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July 1, 2010 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Beached Az - the adventures of a whale stranded on a New Zealand beach [official site]
posted by UbuRoivas (38 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thus sucks, bro.

Seriously, back last year when this was abso-friggin-loutely huge, I could not see what the fuss was about. I was never able to get into this, or see the humor.

I know, I know, as an Australian it is my duty to mock New Zealanders every opportunity I get, and lord knows I have in the past. But this? For me, not funny.
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:58 PM on July 1, 2010


You and me both, Effigy2000.
posted by Pinback at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2010


For me, funny. Just a bit of total absurdity. I mean, of all the ways you're going to poke a little fun at the Kiwi accent, you go about it via a beached whale and a seagull with a bag of chups? It's nice and sully. Dunno why they had to go and try to make more episodes of it, though, the one seemed enough.
posted by barnacles at 3:08 PM on July 1, 2010


Eh, the first time I saw this, it was posted on Facebook by a kiwi & it was well-received by the other kiwis, so I guess it's just not your kettle of fush. Plus, I think it's adorable. But enough editorialising.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:09 PM on July 1, 2010


Well, I've learned today that I have no idea what a Kiwi accent sounds like.
posted by brundlefly at 3:16 PM on July 1, 2010


Everyone I know thinks it's hilarious.

But also, it sounds very little like an NZ accent to us.
posted by Paragon at 3:17 PM on July 1, 2010


I think it's one of the first times the Kiwi accent has been properly hassled by Australians.

The "oh, no" is spot on.

Our (Kiwis') accent is lazy as fuck. We don't distinguish between a bunch of phonemes and we have a tendency to hassle accents that go to the trouble of doing so. I got called up on it last night by my fiancee, who couldn't understand why I would be talking about a "Policemen's Bull".
posted by Wataki at 3:21 PM on July 1, 2010


I don't know, the "ez" for "as" sounds South African to my ear.

Every now and then I hear myself say something rull koiwi and it makes me freak out ever so slightly, in case someone tries to take the puss.
posted by tracicle at 3:30 PM on July 1, 2010


Last year, we brought people back "fush and chups" t-shirts* from Supre as a souvenir from the annual visiting-the-in-laws trip to Sydney. They made the perfect gift, as they were totally inexplicable.

*and Tim-Tams, of course, but that goes without saying, as people always place their Tim-Tam orders months before we go.
posted by girl scientist at 3:30 PM on July 1, 2010


Wataki is correct. I don't know whether kiwis have a lazy mouth, or lazy tongue...but something in there just doesn't want to move for a lot of kiwis...and its considered normal!

Well...guess I can't show up at a local metafilter meetup now.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:31 PM on July 1, 2010


This works for me. I LOL'd at the snail in the second episode. Cute.
posted by Pecinpah at 3:32 PM on July 1, 2010


Whut? No bowl of petunias?
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:39 PM on July 1, 2010


It's really interesting how pronunciation variations (which, if you're a descriptivist are inherently value-neutral) are almost always interpreted negatively. NZ Eng has a tendency towards vowel centralisation, which is usually translated as being mumbly and therefore lazy. NZers often view the Australian high-front vowel [i] as grating and strident, and translate that to our stereotypes about Australia and Australians.

But all this that makes about as much sense as calling all non-rhotic dialects (including Oz, NZ, and SA English) lazy for omitting the 'r' sound.
posted by Paragon at 3:41 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


I loved my trip to Kiwiland last year. The drunken highlight was sitting on a bar terrace drinking Radler while three Kiwis said goodnight to each other.

The entire conversation seemed to be just three phrases repeated over and over... "Sweet as", "Great as", and "Cool".

As for the video... didn't sound overly Kiwi to me, and wasn't funny in its own right, so... Meh?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 3:46 PM on July 1, 2010


I will also go on the record as having never understood the appeal of this show/video/joke.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 4:22 PM on July 1, 2010


This is on Metafilter only now? I swear I've been hearing "beached as bro!" jokes for about 2 years now.
posted by divabat at 4:33 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


So "Beached as." is short for "Beached as hell." or something like that? Sorry, but this is totally fascinating to me.
posted by snsranch at 4:47 PM on July 1, 2010


First saw the original video about a year and a half ago - I was tipped off by an American friend who'd moved to New Zealand some years earlier. She said it was hugely popular, and everybody around her was using "Yer beached iz!" as the catchline of the moment.

If nothing else, this says something about their national sense of humor.

I considered making a post of it last year, did some poking around, and found the official site announcing the series of cartoons, and decided meh, they're cashing in now, the meme's played out.

Now I've just watched nine episodes, and I'm thinking maybe I'll watch the rest shortly. Thanks for posting this.
posted by ardgedee at 4:55 PM on July 1, 2010


I swear I've been hearing "beached as bro!" jokes for about 2 years now.

Are you saying the whale has jumped the shark? Maybe that's how he ended up on the beach.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought it was funny. Where does the "as" tag at the end of the sentences come from? Is it a reduced form of "as fuck"?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:59 PM on July 1, 2010


So "Beached as." is short for "Beached as hell." or something like that?

Not really. It's not 'as' anything. In technical terms, it's is a post-modifying intensifier. The word is dropped after an adjective in the same way that "very" is put before an adjective:

Sweet as = very good
Drunk as = very drunk

Intensifiers seem to crop up in a long of dialects: dead sexy, hella cold, bloody great.

Not sure if this article is viewable without reg., but 'Sweet as!': The intensifier as in New Zealand and Australian English gives a decent overview.
posted by Paragon at 5:01 PM on July 1, 2010 [4 favorites]


So "Beached as." is short for "Beached as hell." or something like that?

I dont' know if it's originally a kiwiism, an australianism or both, but the "x-ed as" construction is pretty common in these parts - pissed as, hungry as, tired as...whatever follows is just implied: pissed as a fart, hungry as a horse, tired as all fuck, etc.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:02 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not funny.

What I like most about the New Zealand accent is the fact that New Zealanders themselves don't like it. In studies, I think it's one of the few accents in the world whose native speakers rate it lower on trustworthiness than accents foreign to them. Did that sentence make any sense?

I have never heard anyone say "Great as".

I love the Australian accent.

Out of interest, do any New Zealanders here also find that they have a radar for a capital Z anywhere on the page?
posted by doublehappy at 5:05 PM on July 1, 2010


(Oh, it's already been beanplated as in the Cambridge University Press)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:06 PM on July 1, 2010


well as a bit of confirmation bias for me, i watched this for the first time on ABC iView last night.

Wasn't stoned, didn't think it was funny.

Though I loves me a kiwi uccent. I'm allowed to make jokes, my dad's from Gisborne.
posted by wilful at 5:12 PM on July 1, 2010


'Sweet as' is a catch-all phrase meaning 'okay', 'thanks', 'really good', 'fine', 'I understand', and 'yes'. I had never heard 'beached as' until this video came out a couple years ago - so I just assumed it was more just mocking the tendency to use 'as' as an intensifier.

From the abstract: In 2002, Laurie Bauer and Winifred Bauer included adj + as in their study of intensifier usage among middle-school aged children in New Zealand.

I had Laurie Bauer for my introduction to linguistics paper and he was awesome
posted by doublehappy at 5:12 PM on July 1, 2010


Out of interest, do any New Zealanders here also find that they have a radar for a capital Z anywhere on the page?

"How pleasant it is when reading some English or American book, often on subjects far removed from our own sphere of life, to come across those two words 'New Zealand.' I think most New Zealand readers can glance from top to bottom of a page of print and, if those words are there, pick them out instantly, chiefly of course by the uncommon letter Z."
~1935

Sorry to thread-stalk, used to lecture in phonetics and phonology at an NZ uni, so this is all very interesting to me
posted by Paragon at 5:13 PM on July 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe people who don't think this sounds like a kiwi accent haven't spent much time with a large group of youngish women who are mostly from rural areas. My nursing class consists of mostly 18-20 year olds who talk just like this "Chur bro, sweet as!" pretty much 24/7. It's even crept into my own accent as I now find myself saying yis instead of yes and 'strahlia instead of Ahstrayleeuh. I have yet to take on the multi-sylabic "no" which runs the gammut through almost every other vowel "noiaou!" but there's still time. My aunt-in-law is originally from Alabama, and if you want to hear an unusual accent hybrid it's definitely someone with a thick southern accent who's lived in NZ for 30 years.

Incidentally, regarding the non-rhotic accent, I've been initiating my classmates (most of whom swear effusively) into the joys of saying mothe-r fucke-r! instead of motha fucka. If someone is visiting NZ and winds up in hospital, and their nurse drops their sterile equipment on the ground, and that nurse says "mothe-r fucke-r!" then that was all me - that is my legacy and my gift to the people of Aotearoa.
posted by supercrayon at 5:25 PM on July 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


well, not entirely the first time it's appeared on this site, divabat.

me, i likes it. funny as.
posted by msconduct at 5:33 PM on July 1, 2010


Thanks Paragon and UbuRoivas. ...whatever follows is just implied.

This may be a silly post but I've just learned something cool as!
posted by snsranch at 6:15 PM on July 1, 2010


I think it's important to note that there are regional variations in the NZ accent, though nowhere near as strong as the roughly-equivalent sized UK. People from further south have a broader strain which is obvious to the ear, and there are all kinds of slang derivations from certain regions and even suburbs. A good friend of mine reacted strongly to (true) accusations that she sounded like a (Hutt) Valley girl.

For myself - I've been here since before I could talk, but British parental influence and (I can only assume) too much US TV means that I sound Canadian or Pommie to many Kiwis. By contrast, while actually residing in the UK, I found it hard to order a chardonnay without being offered a shandy.

I also have it on good authority that that particular combination of influences, mixed with a slight hintage of Buffyspeak, is both annoying and occasionally contagious.
posted by Sparx at 9:14 PM on July 1, 2010


"Tough crowd, bro."
"Yeah, bro. Tough as."
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:42 PM on July 1, 2010


I thought the original was cute, not really sure a series is necessary. But had to laugh at the characters page on the site, especially the screaming sea slug.
posted by harriet vane at 11:34 PM on July 1, 2010


I have yet to take on the multi-sylabic "no" which runs the gammut through almost every other vowel "noiaou!"

Oh yeah. I worked with a Kiwi woman could pack a word so full of vowels it'd ship vinegar. ie.

[Phone rings]

"Hullooiaeu"?

On the other hand, "NZ Eng has a tendency towards vowel centralisation" as Paragon describes it is an understatement. I think they take the vowels from other words.

"What's on TV, Kiwi coworker?"

"Ntbl".

"Netball"?

"Yeah, ntbl".
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:21 AM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fiasco da Gama: Ntbl

And, of course, "New Zild".

sparx: For myself - I've been here since before I could talk, but British parental influence and (I can only assume) too much US TV means that I sound Canadian or Pommie to many Kiwis. By contrast, while actually residing in the UK, I found it hard to order a chardonnay without being offered a shandy.

After four years in the UK, most people in NZ thought I was English (whereas no-one in England did).

Most NZ'ers I know liked the original. But then most NZ'ers I know probably don't think that we talk like that...
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:31 AM on July 2, 2010


This has apparently evolved into a weekly appearance on a new sketch comedy show (which I'm watching right now) called Radiradirah. The Beached Az whale isn't the funniest thing on there although, like most NZ comedy, it's hit-and-miss.

When I lived overseas, I was asked at varying points if I was Irish, South African, or Canadian, as well as the usual Australian/kiwi.
posted by tracicle at 2:52 AM on July 2, 2010


For myself - I've been here since before I could talk, but British parental influence and (I can only assume) too much US TV means that I sound Canadian or Pommie to many Kiwis.

There's definitely a "posh" Kiwi accent that has a heavy dose of RP to it, which apparently sounds rather old-fashioned to people my age when I slip into formalspeak.
posted by rodgerd at 3:13 AM on July 2, 2010


it was well-received by the other kiwis, so I guess it's just not your kettle of fush.

That'd be kittle of fush. Kettle are where beef comes from.
posted by Herodios at 7:55 AM on July 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


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