Life Advice: Smelly Breath, Foreign Language, and “LUH!”

Welcome to the fifth (fourth?!) installment of Life Advice From an Unemployed Artist. I’ve had some strange questions sneak into my inbox lately, but it’s okay. I love my readers.

What does “Luh” mean? I’ve seen it in some Facebook comments but I have no idea what it means. I think it’s a NL thing but I’m not sure.

“Luh” is most definitely a Newfoundland expression, but I don’t think it actually has a meaning. It’s more of a substitute for “look!” and is used to draw attention to something. For example, “Look at dat, luh!” is an appropriate phrase to use downtown on George Street on a Friday night to point out the girl who looks like a hooker sitting on the sidewalk with her legs splayed.

Red, I got this wife, great gal, but when I wake up in the morning and roll over to give her a kiss or two she invariably comments on how my breath smells like something that crawled stinking from the Dark Ages. Now, I don’t fancy rolling out of bed first thing before kisses and snuggles and shit so how do I kill my dragon fart breath? Altoids? breath strips? gum? Help!

I mean serious business when it comes to combating bad breath.

I am a firm believer in gum. At any time, I carry three packs of gum in my purse. My biggest fear is that someday I will be face to face with my Prince Charming (i.e. Josh Holloway), and I’ll just have eaten a full meal of garlic shrimp, and will not have any gum. Dentyne works well, as does Excel.

But if you do not enjoy popping gum first thing in the morning, try some super-mega-crazy fresh breath mouthwash before you go to bed. And don’t be cheap about it, take a great big swig. Or hey, closed-mouth kisses can also be pretty rad.

Are you ever worried about traveling to a place where you don’t speak the language? Especially as far as getting around to where you need to go?

Yes, I don’t have an ear for languages. I don’t have much of an ear for anything, apparently, because I’m as tone-deaf as a goldfish. This is particularly worrisome given the fact I’ll be in Montreal all weekend, and although I’m told I don’t actually need to speak French to get around there, I feel like I should at least try.

The worst part is that I’ve been studying French since I was 7 years old, and while I can read it just fine (and even write…sorta), I simply cannot speak it. When I was in Brittany, France two years ago, I was dumbfounded by how my language education had failed me. One morning, one of my colleagues asked, “Comment ca va?” (inappropriate French quotation marks and grammar FTW) and I responded with “ca va bien!” He was impressed. The fact that this exchange was the culmination of nearly 15 years of French learning tells me I’m a language idiot.

But generally I don’t worry too much. Thank god our world is westernized enough that speaking English in most places doesn’t seem to be a problem. Whew.

If you’re worried about this, my advice is to download a crapload of apps. If you don’t have an iPhone, you’re SOL.

Burning with questions? Use the form in the right-hand corner! Or go see your gynecologist.

  • May 26 2011

    I’m FAMOUS! I made it into your awesome blog…oh I’m so excited!! YEA ME! I’m probably one of those idiots…but I always though luh meant love (like luv). Thanks for the clarification…I’m going to bring it to MN!!

    • May 26 2011

      Hehe, and I still have more to answer! Wooo!

    • May 27 2011

      I thought it meant “love” too! My illusion has been shattered.

      • May 28 2011

        LOL, well, you can claim its own meaning if you like. ;)

  • May 26 2011

    Hahaha… great, I had a feeling I was SOL!
    About the lack-o-iPhone, anyway.
    I do have a ton of gum…
    and I hardly ever leave the apartment (except for a weekly ‘Friday Night Sidewalk Show’ I put on), so that’s… something… I guess. Maybe. :)

  • May 26 2011

    bahahaha, I love that picture of you ;)
    solid advice on the gum. i get stressed out when i don’t have gum in my purse.
    and I’m pretty sure Montreal is the best place for you, in Quebec, if your french is barely passable…lots of english going on in there.
    My french got worse in france, i think :S but i’m pretty solid at communicating with people who barely speak english. comes with the job :/

    • May 26 2011

      It’s so maniacally appropriate for the subject and for ME.

  • May 26 2011

    No shame with keeping packs of gum in your bedside drawer. The luh expression I’ve never heard of. Love how the uniqueness of Newfoundland language has morphed online as well.

    And speaking of languages in Mexico someone asked me how I was doing in Spanish. And me, the master of language responded back with ca va bien. Oops. Obviously the learn to speak Spanish podcasts I listened to didn’t really pay off.

    • May 26 2011

      ahaha yeah, sometimes it gets just as untranslatable online as offline…

      And I’ve done that before too! “De rien” instead of “de nada”

  • May 26 2011

    I love that picture of you and oh I too don’t have an ear for anything but I did have a BFF in HS that was magic at language.

    I say live it, don’t have to speak it.

  • May 27 2011

    Feeling slightly less panicky about my upcoming trip to France (I speak no French). But am now self-conscious about my breathe. Le sigh.

    • May 28 2011

      I’m sure your breath is fantastic! And listen to Flight of the Conchords Foux du Fafa, that’ll teach you everything you need to know.

  • May 27 2011

    Have to say, I was so pleasantly surprised at how lovely Montrealers were to me in spite of my hamfisted attempts at their language. In fact, I had one young French girl waiting on me in a coffee shoppe confess that she hated to attempt English because her English-speaking friends laughed at her accent…..boggle! I assured her that her English was approximately a billion times better than my French and that her accent was utterly charming.

    No matter, I always tried. I always entered with a “Bonjour,” threw in some “Merci” and left off with “Abientot” (which my mushmouth finds easier to handle than trying to say Au Revoir even close to correctly) and people were very forgiving.

    Have fun in Montreal, thou trekker of the Great White North and remember, keep your eyes on the Bailey’s. :)

    • May 28 2011

      Ahh, good to know! I hear similarly lovely things about Montreal, so I’m not too worried. :) I’ll at least offer a “Bonjour!” every now and then. I love the French accent, it’s beautiful. Wish I could speak the language.

  • May 30 2011

    I totally understand the French learning failing you AND I get made fun of for saying “LUH” all the time!! After reading this blog post, I don’t feel so alone! Thx! hahahahahaha!

    • June 03 2011

      Lollll, glad to know! Hahahaha. Luh!

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