English Lessons in the Canteen

The yellow part of an egg is called the yolk and the white part is the egg-white.

There is a word with the same pronunciation, but it is spelt Y-O-K-E. This is a very funny word. Traditionally, a yoke is a collar for oxen pulling a plough or cart. Irish people tend to use this word in a variety of ways.

Well, Irish people might refer to “that yoke”, to identify an object whose noun eludes them. A humorous example of this is “yoke-a-me-bob”. This term can be applied to an array of items for complicated gadgetry or simple forgetfulness.

“Yoke” can also be used in a derogatory context. See our colleague over there playing a game of pool? I could refer to him as “that yoke over there”. This would imply that I think him to be useless or not worthy of a name.

“Yoke” might be used to describe certain anatomy. If my friend refused to come out for a pint, I might question the benefit of staying in and playing with his yoke. Do you get the application of the word in this context?

No, it isn’t a good thing to play with your yoke. And no, you shouldn’t do it in public.


2 responses to “English Lessons in the Canteen

  1. as we say in Hispania — that’s a good yoke

  2. I love this word – so very very useful 🙂

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