Humour was an integral part of the free spirited persona of Ceylonese Burghers. Here are a few phrases and their meanings:


Colloquialism Meaning
Yo’ll die and go. I’ll bury and put. You children are harassing me so much that if you were to die I’d just bury you and go about my business.“I heard this being screamed at a 9 year old by the mother of a “friend” who had reached the limit of her endurance whilst trying to control half a dozen of her “unruly” children who weren’t paying a blind bit of notice to her.” Dugald Gonsal.
“Border catch and go”. The person says they are going to do something so quickly – or someone is being asked to do something so quickly, that they will have to hold onto the corners/ bends they take along the way, to prevent them from flying off.
Almarah top got and have”(almarah = wardrobe) It’s kept safely on top of the wardrobe.
Almarah top got and have, seeni bunis bunko stool put and take The sweet buns (seeni bunis) are on top of the wardrobe, stand on a stool and get them.
“Bark what dog in won’t dog when I come” The dog that is in won’t bark when I come in.
“slipper don’t get waste put pariah”. Put the slipper on so it won’t get wasted.
“Fujigraphing around” Fiddling, fudging, wasting time, when trying to do something – also ditto when trying to get the attention of someone of the opposite sex
Moodavi……..also moospaynthu Curmudgeon, spoiler, spoilsport.
Where to catch, men Unattainable, beyond reach.
What for the telling, men That goes without saying.
mummy, come soon, mutton eating croton Goats have entered the garden and are eating your prized plants.
(Child) Mummy, the dhobi is came. (Mummy): Don’t tell like that child, tell the dhobi was came.(dhobi = the person who washes and delivers laundry – and gets paid on delivery). Mummy said to tell mummy is not at home.
“Bathroom got one soap piece bring and come” Bring the soap from the bathroom.
“I will put him a puttarse”(prounouned as in ‘but’ and not ‘put’) I will give him a good hard slap (rarely meant literally).
Doctor Puttarse If someone is called “Dr Puttarse” it means they are giving unwanted advice / information and the listener is of the opinion the person doesn’t know what s/he is talking about. They are basically telling them to go away with their unwanted information (said with a tongue in cheek attitude).
A Gumaya A Villager – simple person.
Gumayata magic Villager magic.  When someone is in awe of something the average person takes for granted.
A Mikko Someone who has no dress sense, style or class.