is used as a general-purpose placeholder to stand in for the appropriate form of a negative-question suffix
. For example:
We're going to the pictures, aren't we? -> We're going to the pictures, innit?
That was really good, wasn't it? -> That was well wicked
This comes from English requiring specific forms of the negative question. In Swedish
, one can say 'eller hur?' ('or how?'), and in French
, 'n'est-ce-pas' (literally, 'isn't it?'), no matter what the verb, tense or number of the preceding phrase. Speakers of languages such as Welsh
, and numerous Indian
languages (which have links to Welsh, incidentally) naturally adapt this usage to English
. While this is probably a Good Thing
and part of the development of the language
, it's confusing right now. Gritchka
informs me that the usage is principally Cockney
, but of Indian/Welsh origin.