Tuesday, September 21, 2010

British Word of the Day

Betty Grandpa with a captive audience

Adj. lacking funds (British slang term)

The father of The Founding Bettys used to talk a lot about money. As his profession was teaching high school industrial arts (love the 'arts' part of working with an acetylene torch) and as his brood was a massive one we were often short of funds. But along with other pearls of wisdom doled out by the old man (such as 'Measure twice, cut once' and 'Buy the worst house on the nicest street', etc. (you have no idea how much is covered by 'etc.')) we were given his opinion about how currency surpluses and deficits might effect our attitudes about ourselves.

Time without number I would hear, 'Betty Keira (how did he know!), we're not poor; we're broke.' He might be telling me this while he had me captive on a chair lift on the side of a snowy mountain dressed in the finest skiing gear the Saint Vincent de Paul thrift store had to offer. Poor, to him, was people who were stuck. Broke was a temporary state out of which rose the most marvelous contrivances known to man.

Dad would understand 'skint'.


  1. That word describes the college years of Dr. van der Stevejinck and family quite well. We were perpetually 'skint'. Dr. van der Stevejinck went back to college when I was 8 months pregnant with child #3. We had years of college with a growing family (He graduated two weeks before #5 was born).

    I well remember 'the talk' about finances with Betty Dad. Back then it went like this: "It's okay to not have money, but never be poor."

    That was an invaluable lesson - and stood us in good stead.

  2. I remember quite distinctly going to the ATM just weeks before Brit Hub 1.0 came to the US during our engagement -- and I had $9 precisely. Of course, I had a good job as an attorney, but I was skint.

    Then he paid off my law school loans (I did not ask him to do that -- I even tried to talk him out of it) and married me, at which point I was like an English nurse AFTER marrying the RDD: definitely not skint.