My knowledge of UK contemporary culture is patchy to say the least, but I absorb it very quickly once I’m exposed to it.Not so with Carry On movies unfortunately. I never sat through a whole one, and I only recently found out when it is appropriate to say “Ooh matron”, when Dr B. and Ian explained it to me. If I got it right, it follows wordplay charged with sexual innuendo, and is always uttered by Kenneth Williams whenever the matron (a nurses’ supervisor in a hospital, I have just learnt) character played by Hettie Jaques is involved.
I’ve even been kindly provided with examples of the circumstances when it can be used:
“Just pulling off now – oh matron…”
Text message from Dr B., on a train leaving the station
So far, so good. Then I was faced with another challenge, that is pronouncing “Ooh matron” with just the right intonation and nasal quality. And this is where I inevitably fail and never get it quite right. I’ve searched the web for a decent soundbite but not even this page has one – the “Oh matron” on the list is not the right one.
“—charges of witness tampering” Oooh matron!
Text message from Ian
- Test yourself: How much do you know about matrons?
- Download a “Oh Matron” ringtone for your mobile phone (it sounds like a rather bad Kenneth Williams impression)