Day 314: Bristol

Bristol is a port city on the bank of the Severn River, opposite Wales. It has a population of around 433,000. Laetitia took her group to visit the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and later to an ocean liner, the S.S. Great Britain, built during the transition from sail to steam. Its designer was Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a remarkable nineteenth-century engineer who in addition to ships, designed bridges, buildings, and locks in Bristol and elsewhere in Britain.

Bristol is also number 67 in Rude UK, owing to its meaning in Cockney rhyming slang, a convoluted scheme in which a common word is replaced by a phrase. The original word and sometimes part of the phrase is then dropped, making the connection seem obscure to the uninitiated. In the case at hand, Bristol City replaces a two-syllable word that rhymes with city and refers to a prominent feature of the female anatomy. “City” is then dropped, leaving “Bristol” with the new meaning. Laetitia based the limerick of the day on the slang meaning of Bristol.

When Herkimer told his friend Crystel
He’d be pleased if she’d show him a Bristol
She pulled out a map
And showed the poor sap
Then asked for some Waterford Crystal.

And next when he asked his pal Ruby
If she’d let him see a nice booby
She opened a book
So that he could look
At a bird with blue feet, what a newbie!

And then, when he offered some pewter
To Jill if she’d show him a hooter
She showed him an owl
Then said something foul
And told him he needed a tutor.

Though Herk was a man slow of wit
He finally got tat for tit
When his boss, Miss Becker
Asked to see his pecker
He showed her his rooster and quit.