Agnes is a girl’s name which is common in Scotland. Apparently the names Agnes is derived from the Latin form of the Greek name Hagnes which means “chaste“. At some point in Scottish history, someone decided to create a new name from the name Agnes via the magic of palindromes – Senga . During its transmogrification, or should I say palindromification, process the meaning changed entirely from “chaste” to “slim“. This is a classic case of Scottish wishful thinking.
For those of you who are not Scottish, to whom should I compare a Senga? A Senga has come to be known as a female ned. In Glasgow, a ned is a streetwise urchin with the brains of a troll and the looks of a gnome. A Senga is the female equivalent.
If you are Australian it would be tempting for me to compare a Senga to a female bogan. There are considerable similarlities. A female bogan, like a Senga, is defined not so much by her personality, looks or economic status as by her dress sense and mode of social interactions. Common bogan spotting/Senga spotting characteristics are as follows (taken from the Glasgow Survival Guide):
1. Eloquent Swearing
In Scotland, the ability to swear in such a manner that the “F” word becomes punctuation is prized mostly highly. To this day I am likely to reply autonomously if someone tries to drive through a pedestrian light while I cross the road as follows:
Ya fuckin’ shiter, away and fuck yourself you inconsiderate bastard c—
The word ‘bastard’ in Scotland is considered to be a minor insult like the word ‘bugger‘ in Australia. Swearing is, I have always maintained, a Scottish reflex. In your average Senga (or ned, the male version) the swearing is literally elevated to an art form.
For example a typically light conversation between two or more neds and Sengas at a party might unfold as follows:
Ned 1: How ye doin ba face?
Ned 2: Nae bad ye bastard. How’s yir maw?
Ned 1: Dinnae give me onie crap. Ah’ve goat enough shite ae ma ane! An keep affae ma fuckin’ maw.
Ned 2: Aw right big man, how’s yir bird.
Ned 1: Fuckin’ brilliant by the way.
(In this conversation the “bird” is invariably a Senga.)
Apparently one can remember swear words up to four times more quickly than non-swear words particularly if one is Scottish.
2. Clothes & Accessories
The shorter and tighter the skirt the better for a Senga. In Australia, the average bogan will aspire to an Ed Hardy tight tee shirt worn as a mini dress. In Scotland, the average Senga will wear a lot of bright gold jewellery that clanks when she moves and a Top Shop Kate Moss number two sizes too small. The shoes of choice are whiter than white – either huge trainers, white stilettos or white sandals. On special occasions such as a visit to the Grand Ole Opry (Glasgow’s premier Country & Western Veune), the white tassled cowboy boots will replace the foregoing.
Don’t get me wrong folks, I am not looking down my nose at Sengas. Far from it. You will recall that I myself am from Paisley. For the formative years of my life I spoke through my nose and muttered swear words under my breath at teachers. I do, however, have an abiding hatred of white shoes (See Day 35 of the Shoe Challenge). So today, I had to gird up my loins, channel my inner Senga & go for it. Here are the results.