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BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions

MGM·Lion 10 Jul 11 - 01:56 AM
Ebbie 10 Jul 11 - 02:02 AM
Gurney 10 Jul 11 - 02:11 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 11 - 02:14 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 11 - 02:16 AM
autolycus 10 Jul 11 - 02:33 AM
VirginiaTam 10 Jul 11 - 02:52 AM
Will Fly 10 Jul 11 - 04:19 AM
GUEST, topsie 10 Jul 11 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,Elfcall 10 Jul 11 - 04:38 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jul 11 - 06:54 AM
Will Fly 10 Jul 11 - 07:05 AM
Leadfingers 10 Jul 11 - 09:49 AM
Murray MacLeod 10 Jul 11 - 10:09 AM
BrooklynJay 10 Jul 11 - 10:29 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 11 - 10:54 AM
Ebbie 10 Jul 11 - 02:30 PM
artbrooks 10 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM
gnu 10 Jul 11 - 02:41 PM
MGM·Lion 10 Jul 11 - 02:49 PM
gnu 10 Jul 11 - 03:04 PM
michaelr 10 Jul 11 - 03:06 PM
artbrooks 10 Jul 11 - 03:28 PM
gnu 10 Jul 11 - 03:51 PM
BrooklynJay 10 Jul 11 - 04:00 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jul 11 - 04:19 PM
GUEST, topsie 10 Jul 11 - 05:21 PM
gnu 10 Jul 11 - 06:20 PM
Gurney 10 Jul 11 - 07:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jul 11 - 08:51 PM
Donuel 10 Jul 11 - 09:03 PM
gnu 10 Jul 11 - 09:38 PM
gnu 10 Jul 11 - 09:39 PM
YorkshireYankee 11 Jul 11 - 12:59 AM
YorkshireYankee 11 Jul 11 - 01:02 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Jul 11 - 01:12 AM
BrooklynJay 11 Jul 11 - 02:18 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jul 11 - 02:22 AM
Ebbie 11 Jul 11 - 02:38 AM
Michael 11 Jul 11 - 05:45 AM
Lighter 11 Jul 11 - 07:45 AM
Will Fly 11 Jul 11 - 08:04 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Jul 11 - 08:50 AM
artbrooks 11 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM
Lighter 11 Jul 11 - 09:22 AM
Bill D 11 Jul 11 - 10:48 AM
Bill D 11 Jul 11 - 10:53 AM
Dave MacKenzie 11 Jul 11 - 10:57 AM
Bill D 11 Jul 11 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 11 Jul 11 - 12:17 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Jul 11 - 12:26 PM
Ebbie 11 Jul 11 - 12:41 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 11 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM
gnu 11 Jul 11 - 02:03 PM
Don Firth 11 Jul 11 - 03:18 PM
Bill D 11 Jul 11 - 10:06 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Jul 11 - 10:10 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 12:47 AM
BrooklynJay 12 Jul 11 - 01:13 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 01:24 AM
Ebbie 12 Jul 11 - 02:31 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 02:45 AM
Gurney 12 Jul 11 - 03:31 AM
Will Fly 12 Jul 11 - 04:00 AM
autolycus 12 Jul 11 - 04:06 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 04:17 AM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Jul 11 - 04:24 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 05:06 AM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM
autolycus 12 Jul 11 - 06:04 AM
Bill D 12 Jul 11 - 11:35 AM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Jul 11 - 12:06 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 12:13 PM
artbrooks 12 Jul 11 - 12:44 PM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Jul 11 - 01:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 11 - 01:28 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 01:50 PM
Ebbie 12 Jul 11 - 02:21 PM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Jul 11 - 03:14 PM
Ebbie 12 Jul 11 - 03:16 PM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Jul 11 - 03:29 PM
gnu 12 Jul 11 - 03:54 PM
Dave MacKenzie 12 Jul 11 - 07:20 PM
BrooklynJay 12 Jul 11 - 10:21 PM
artbrooks 12 Jul 11 - 10:38 PM
MGM·Lion 12 Jul 11 - 10:47 PM
Bill D 12 Jul 11 - 11:10 PM
Ebbie 13 Jul 11 - 02:38 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 03:27 AM
GUEST, topsie 13 Jul 11 - 03:30 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 03:47 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 03:56 AM
autolycus 13 Jul 11 - 03:59 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Jul 11 - 04:14 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 04:40 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 05:23 AM
Arnie 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Jul 11 - 06:50 AM
artbrooks 13 Jul 11 - 08:36 AM
Leadfingers 13 Jul 11 - 08:44 AM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM
MGM·Lion 13 Jul 11 - 09:12 AM
Ebbie 13 Jul 11 - 11:16 AM
Ebbie 13 Jul 11 - 11:22 AM
Penny S. 13 Jul 11 - 11:56 AM
Jim Dixon 13 Jul 11 - 04:41 PM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jul 11 - 05:10 PM
Dave MacKenzie 13 Jul 11 - 07:06 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 14 Jul 11 - 12:14 AM
Gurney 14 Jul 11 - 03:39 AM
Jim Dixon 14 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM
catspaw49 14 Jul 11 - 05:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 11 - 05:51 PM
catspaw49 14 Jul 11 - 05:58 PM
Howard Jones 14 Jul 11 - 07:17 PM
catspaw49 14 Jul 11 - 07:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 11 - 08:14 PM
olddude 14 Jul 11 - 08:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 14 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM
Gurney 15 Jul 11 - 02:22 AM
Dave MacKenzie 15 Jul 11 - 04:16 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 11 - 04:45 AM
catspaw49 15 Jul 11 - 05:16 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 11 - 05:22 AM
GUEST, topsie 15 Jul 11 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Jul 11 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,Merseyside 15 Jul 11 - 04:47 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 06:36 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Jul 11 - 06:38 PM
BrooklynJay 15 Jul 11 - 11:42 PM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 11 - 12:15 AM
Penny S. 16 Jul 11 - 06:06 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 11 - 07:07 AM
GUEST, topsie 16 Jul 11 - 07:35 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 11 - 07:39 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
BrooklynJay 17 Jul 11 - 04:54 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Jul 11 - 05:21 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 11 - 05:26 AM
Ross Campbell 17 Jul 11 - 02:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 03:03 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 04:36 PM
Dave MacKenzie 17 Jul 11 - 05:13 PM
Ebbie 17 Jul 11 - 05:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 11 - 05:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jul 11 - 03:53 PM
Dave MacKenzie 18 Jul 11 - 06:23 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Jul 11 - 10:21 PM
Dave MacKenzie 19 Jul 11 - 04:30 AM
Gibb Sahib 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 11 - 06:43 PM
Uncle_DaveO 22 Jul 11 - 07:25 PM
Dave MacKenzie 22 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Jul 11 - 08:11 PM
Penny S. 23 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM
Dave MacKenzie 23 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM
Howard Jones 23 Jul 11 - 07:40 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:02 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:46 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:58 AM
Penny S. 24 Jul 11 - 02:50 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 03:31 AM
Dave MacKenzie 24 Jul 11 - 04:14 AM
BrooklynJay 24 Jul 11 - 04:28 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 09:01 AM
GUEST, topsie 24 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 09:47 AM
BrooklynJay 24 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 12:08 PM
Penny S. 24 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM
MGM·Lion 24 Jul 11 - 01:16 PM
Mo the caller 25 Jul 11 - 11:19 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Jul 11 - 11:38 AM
Mo the caller 26 Jul 11 - 12:07 PM
MGM·Lion 29 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM
Joe_F 29 Sep 11 - 09:16 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Sep 11 - 12:34 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Sep 11 - 09:02 PM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 11 - 01:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Oct 11 - 05:27 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Oct 11 - 05:58 AM
Gibb Sahib 01 Oct 11 - 10:54 PM
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Subject: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 01:56 AM

I once started a thread, about 18 months ago, called Transatlantic Folk Flak, about how usages could lead to misunderstandings as to precise meanings. This predictably drifted into one about such differences, not just in songs &c, but generally: not entirely a new topic, but one of which I am reminded by the two current, recently OP'd threads, on Sloppy Language and Can You Call Your Doctor's Office?...

... which lead me to point out that, over here, our doctor's don't have 'offices', they have 'surgeries' ~~ which might lead you over there to believe that if you enter they will cut you up with a scalpel ~~ which, however, we would not call performing 'surgery' but doing an 'operation' ~~ which I believe would mean to you-lot something military...

Oh, the joys of this old 'divided by a common language' thingie...

Luv 2U all justa-same

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:02 AM

"Luv 2U" Another language but one in common, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gurney
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:11 AM

Too common now, Ebbie. That is all that the kids seem to be able to write, in some cases. In a couple of cellphone generations... Who knows?
As opposed to headmistresses, though. When I received missives from my son's school, I had to use a Dictionary of Business English to understand them!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:14 AM

Right-on, Ebbie, dear.

To refine further [o, wot-the-hell, why not!], if we spoke of the doctor's office, we would mean that room in his surgery where his receptionist would take phone calls to make appointments for patients to visit the surgery................


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:16 AM

What is a 'cellphone', Gurney? Do you mean a mobile?

:)

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: autolycus
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:33 AM

I've had a bit of a think about the gulf lately.

I don't thin the problem is just about language.

I think it's also about our relationship to language.

It's also about our respective psychologies.

As to the first, I think us Brits have a somewhat more formal attitude to our language whereas Americans are more freewheeling in their use.

Regarding the second, The Brits are more down-to-earth, dour and phlegmatic. The Americans are more emotional in their use of language and often don't take well to be taken to task rationally.


Btw, I do i fine line in sweeping statements. Makes for interesting discussions [he said defensively]


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:52 AM

And when one goes into the theatre here in the UK, one might well be going in for an operation. Whereas in the US one might be going to see a movie. What one in the UK would call a film and go to the cinema to see.

Visits back home (US) are quite interesting with my tongue wobbling back and forth between British english and American english.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 04:19 AM

More trans-oceanic than trans-atlantic:

Ros, a Tasmanian girl who was working as a temp in the BBC in the 60s, called across the office to me, "Can you pass me the Durex?"

So I passed her the Sellotape and then the other girls took her on one side and explained...

How she blushed. How we laughed. Wherever you are, Ros, I drink to you!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 04:27 AM

I know someone who was working for an American company in London, and was told in no uncertain terms that what she was using was an "eraser" annd she was NOT to call it a "rubber".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST,Elfcall
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 04:38 AM

I have recently been working on a sales team that dealt exclusively with the US. I would often have occasion to give our customer service number which began 888 - I started by saying 'triple 8'or 'treble 8' until several of the callers said how British this phrasing was. So I went to saying '8-8-8' - not another comment.

Elf


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 06:54 AM

You mean haight-haight-haight?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 07:05 AM

You could have said "Three fat ladies"...

Well, perhaps not.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 09:49 AM

Two nations divided by a common language !

I am wild about my flat - Please explain !

And IF you are in New York , DONT hump a suitcase across the city !


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 10:09 AM

I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago, when I performed Grant Baynham's "The Wine Song" for some American visitors, and forgot to explain that "pissed" in the UK = "drunk" , not "angry" .


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 10:29 AM

Leadfingers: And IF you are in New York , DONT hump a suitcase across the city !

Reminds me of when, so many years ago, I first heard Eric Bogle's And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. The line "To hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs" conjured up an image that... well, I figured it just couldn't mean what I initially thought it meant! (And it didn't.)

Lately the word "flat" has come into much more common usage here in the States - at least in the New York City region where I live.

Have to admit that after reading earlier posts in this thread, it took Google to educate me as to just what "Durex" is!

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 10:54 AM

Durex

So how did it come to mean sticky tape in USA. I really do want to know?

I mean, if it is made by a company of similar name, why doesn't google say so? &, if not...

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:30 PM

Durex=Sellotape=scotch tape?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: artbrooks
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM

I have never heard the word Durex before, in any context, although google says it is a brand of condum. People in the US generally call sticky tape scotch tape; Scotch is a principle manufacturer. I'm confused about "hump". Doesn't that mean carry? Does it have a different meaning in the UK? Or in New York, which is a foreign country I've never visited.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:41 PM

Hump in the US = ah, er, well, fuck.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:49 PM

Ebbie ~ yes, Sellotape or Scotch tape. What I want to know is why it is called Durex in US, leading to so much linguistic flak, as over here it is a leading make of contraceptive. Google doesn't seem to mention the Scotch-tape connotation at all ~ or not on 1st page or two, anyhow.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 03:04 PM

Google durex tape.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: michaelr
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 03:06 PM

Shouldn't that be cellotape, as in cellophane?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: artbrooks
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 03:28 PM

"Hump a ruck" = carry a backpack. Over the hump = over a hill or (in a psychological context) well beyond halfway on a project. Speedhump = an obstacle across the road to force slower driving. Hump = fuck? Must be local dialect in the NE US.

BTW, I asked my wife (who is from the Eastern US). She has heard hump in that context, but she has never heard of Durex tape.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 03:51 PM

Well, ya usually don't use tape when ya hump... but I am SURE there's a website for that.

Now, here's a "hump". At my alma mater, in men's residence waaaaayyyy back when they existed, when somebody was a "hump" and said something stupid or did something stupid the cry would go out : "HUMP!" and lads from as far as the call could be heard would race to join in... one after another they would jump on the pile with the "idiot" on the floor on the bottom of the pile. And they would hump up and down. Not in a sexual way, of course. It was in a "you might get your ribs broken for being so stupid way so don't act like an asshole again eh?" kinda way.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 04:00 PM

The sexual definition of "hump" in the United States is not just limited to the NE region.

Slight drift here: Way back in 1955, a new translation (by Marc Blitzstein, I believe) of The Threepenny Opera opened off-Broadway in NYC. It enjoyed a healthy run. One song had a reference to "humping," which was (along with lots of other "adult" lyrics) thoroughly sanitized when the cast album was recorded.

Seems we just weren't ready for "humping" on vinyl in 1955.

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 04:19 PM

I have often wondered what "uptown" and "downtown" mean. Do those words have meaning and if so what?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 05:21 PM

Durex means sticky tape in Australia, not America. It was mentioned in a post about a girl from Tasmania. How many of you posters don't know where Tasmania is?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 06:20 PM

topsie... not me.

Richard... uptown is swanky and downtown is where I prefer to be.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gurney
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 07:40 PM

"He stood on the corner with a fag in his mouth..." Both English meanings of 'fag' are different to (or from!) American.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 08:51 PM

While youve a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile, boys, that's the style.....

Fag has many meanings, look in the OED.
Many have become uncommon in recent years as new slang expressions have taken over.
Fag for a cigarette- earliest quote is 1888 in the Saturday Review (English). Americans picked it up in WW1 from the song about Pack Up Your ,,,,, and it was common in the US for many years, but 'cig' seems to have replaced it. Fag, meaning to tire, is used both sides of the water.
One that is UK only is the cricket meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 09:03 PM

English bassoon
Italian fagotto


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 09:38 PM

Both are blown.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 09:39 PM

Both wind instruments, of course. Would a rose by any other name????


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 12:59 AM

VTam, I know exactly what you mean. Am back in the US now & trying to remember to say "cellphone" instead of "mobile", "gah-RAHJH" (rhymes with "barrage" instead of "GAER-ej" (rhymes with "carriage"), "bathroom" instead of "loo", "vest" instead of "waistcoat", "sidewalk" instead of "pavement", "back yard" instead of "back garden","thank you" instead of "ta", etc.

I can get away with saying "trousers" instead of "pants", 'cos even though people rarely say "trousers" here, they do understand what it means...

More examples, and a parody what I wrote about US English vs UK English (tto "My Favorite Things" called "Don't Know the Words for My Favo(u)rite Things") here on the thread BS: English To English Dictionary

Also, "Keep your pecker up!" has a rather racier meaning in the US than in England, where your "pecker" is your nose... and you had better refer to that little bag you carry on a belt around your waist/hips as a "bum bag" in the UK, unless you want to get everyone laughing nervously.

Although, for the most part, it seems to me there are WAY more "innocent"(?) words in the UK that have a second, racy meaning than there are in the US: "knob", "baps" (too tired to think of more at the moment, but there are LOADS).

Even the way people swear is different; the first time I heard my (English) husband swear ("bastard!"), I looked to see who he meant -- in the US we use it as an adjective rather than a simple exclamation. Nor do we tend to exclaim "shite!" (unless you delete the "e" on the end) or "bollocks!"

Then there's the UK's two-finger salute, which would get you a blank look (if it was even noticed) in the US. Likewise, UK-ers don't seem to "flip you the bird".

I find this stuff fascinating, but I'll stop here.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 01:02 AM

MGM, sorry -- have just re-read your OP and realised my previous post isn't really sticking to your original subject. Apologies...


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 01:12 AM

Yes it is ~~ near enuff, certainly. Fascinating post. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 02:18 AM

Many years ago, we happened by chance on the website of one Chris Rae. I believe Mr. Rae is from Scotland, but my memory isn't what it used to be.

Anyway, I see he still has his website; lots of very useful and interesting information about our "common language" and its divisions.

Click here.

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 02:22 AM

Hmmm. I wouldn't think "triple 8" to be unusual. After all, the American Automobile Association is known as "Triple A." But then, I have an unusual heritage.

-Joe Offer, Born in Detroit, raised in Wisconsin, living in California-


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 02:38 AM

I just looked up 'treble'. I have never heard it used in referring to three times something, but the dictionary gives it as the first meaning. I have used it only in the musical meaning.

Triple 8 or whatever is fairly common, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Michael
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 05:45 AM

UK road sign indicating the presence of (anti)speed bumps; 'Hump in road 50 yards'.
And in 'Tramps and Hawkers' "I've done my share o' humpin with the dockers on the Clyde"

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 07:45 AM

All my life Americans have had "operations" for medical reasons. Then about twenty years ago they began having "surgeries" instead. It isn't worth whining about, because "surgery" is, after all, more precise.

What's this "you-lot"? Can it also apply, like "y'all," to just two people?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 08:04 AM

My favourite UK road/ad signs include:

Potatoes please pull in.
Giant plant crossing
Hidden dips ahead (I always imagine a lake of guacamole or taramasalata suddenly appearing) in the road...)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 08:50 AM

===All my life Americans have had "operations" for medical reasons. Then about twenty years ago they began having "surgeries"===

Much longer than that, Lighter. My sister-in-law, who died in Chicago earlier this year at 72, had an operation there about 50 years ago. Her neighbour rang my wife to tell her that her sister had just had "surgery".

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM

As far as I can remember, the two words have been synonymous in the US - but there are great regional differences in word usage in addition to our regional dialects. Our friends across the pond complain about "Americanisms" creeping in through television, but a similar process happens here. TV has given us a national accent, if that is the proper term, that combines the worse of Midwest bland and California obnoxious.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Lighter
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 09:22 AM

In my experience, one commonly could have "surgery" (the procedure), but it wasn't ordinarily pluralized to designate specific instances, as in "She needed three different surgeries."

The most frequent term, at least outside of medical circles, was always "an operation."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 10:48 AM

In the US, "mobile" is usually an adjective. I have noticed with trepidation in recent years the trend toward turning verbs into nouns, adjectives into nouns, nouns into verbs... and similar eccentricities.

The other thing I notice, shown in this thread, is the habit of using 'local' (meaning region or country) commercial product names as generic names... and being surprised when 'furriners' don't recognize them. A few years ago, there was brief confusion when someone referred to 'Araldite', which is a registered trademark, not a descriptive term for a class of adhesives.

Companies, of course, are delighted when their product..(Kleenex, Jello in the US) become synonymous with a class.... but I do wish people would make more effort to learn the distinctions.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 10:53 AM

*grin*... and after I posted the above, I opened the "day of the week" thread to find my post about "trash & recycling pick-ups" had been followed by a reference to the "bin lorries".

Now, I ask you... which would be more universally understood?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 10:57 AM

Glad you understood me, Bill. The English don't always.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 11:03 AM

Well... a few years here in conversions WITH those from the UK, and both 'bin' and 'lorries' are not totally uncommon.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 12:17 PM

Mind you, going back to the top of this thread. Certainly the general public including politicians and newspapers talk of having operations but the medical word does use the term "performing surgery."

I love how many words went from here in at the UK to America a few hundred years ago and became unused here, and then we complain when they return as "Americanisms creeping over here.". Bill Bryson has written quite a bit on the subject. Garbage and faucet are two that spring to mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 12:26 PM

,,,,,I have noticed with trepidation in recent years the trend toward turning verbs into nouns, adjectives into nouns, nouns into verbs... and similar eccentricities.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

In fact this has always happened: "Grace me no grace and uncle me no uncle". "He out-Herods Herod".

I regard such flexibility as one of the glories of English.


You have to use jello, because jelly over there means jam, so you don't have a proper word for jelly, do you?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 12:41 PM

"Companies, of course, are delighted when their product..(Kleenex, Jello in the US) become synonymous with a class.... " Bill D

Not necessarily so, Bill- many a company has gone to court to protest and protect their trademark. Among them, I believe, have been Xerox, Aspirin and Kleenex.

"Conversely, trademarks that are distinctive and have qualified for trademark protection may lose that protection by becoming generic in the mind of the public. This transition happens when a substantial segment of consumers in the relevant market adopt a trademark as the general name for an entire line of products. Examples of once distinctive trademarks that have since become generic include aspirin, cellophane, escalator, and thermos. The trademark owners of Kleenex, Xerox, Sanka, and Teflon have successfully prevented their marks from becoming generic, despite many consumers' strong identification of their individual products with the product lines as a whole."

Lanham Act of 1946



OTH, maybe Bill's tongue was in cheek? Sorry...


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM

"Knock me up at eight" from a British lass may be misunderstood on the west side of the pond.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 02:03 PM

But appreciated.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 03:18 PM

THE SCENE:

Somewhere in England during World War II. Some American troops are stationed at a British army camp while waiting to be deployed to the continent. Their orders could come at any time, so they couldn't be given leave, but in the meantime, they had nothing to do, so they were ordered to attend a series of lectures on British army ordnance. These lectures were mainly just to fill time, and a side-effect of this general inactivity was immense boredom

One of these lectures was on the parts, disassembly, nomenclature, and maintenance of the British Enfield rifle. The lecture was being delivered by an old career British Army sergeant. After field-stripping the rifle, describing each part in detail, and discussing its proper care and maintenance, the old sergeant came to the remaining part, the stock.

"And this," he intoned, "is the stock of the British Enfield rifle. It is generally made of h'oak, h'ash, or 'ickory. And it is often made of—"

A hand went up in the back. The old sergeant recognized this particular young Yank because over the past few days, he had shown himself to be a bit of a smart-ass, verging on insubordination and general disrespect.

"A question?" said the sergeant, glowering.

"Yes," said the young Yank. "When you say 'h'oak, h'ash, or 'ickory,' don't you really mean 'oak, ash, or hickory?'"

The old sergeant's eyebrows Veed into a frown and his ample mustache bristled.

"Young man," the old sergeant said, "'h'oak, h'ash, or 'ickory,' is what I said, and 'h'oak, h'ash, or 'ickory,' is what I meant! To continue, if I may. The stock of the British Enfield rifle is also frequently made of a fourth wood called lignum vitae, or h'ironwood. Lignum vitae is very 'ard and h'oily, therefore it was h'often used as planking in ships and as piles for the piers—   And by the way, for the benefit of the young h'American who asked, when I say 'piles for the piers' I am not referring to 'emorrhoids for the hhhh'aristocracy!!"

Don Firth

[Collected, in the mid-1950s over a couple of beers in the Blue Moon tavern, from fencing buddy, brilliant raconteur, and good friend, Chuck Canady, who had a million of 'em.

I mean, when it comes down to it, jokes ARE folklore.]


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 10:06 PM

"..many a company has gone to court to protest and protect their trademark. "

Ah yes...to prevent others from USING their trademark name! All *I* meant was that they are quite happy to hear folks saying.."Oh dear...we need more Kleenex...or Jello." ..etc.

------------------------------------

"...because jelly over there means jam, so you don't have a proper word for jelly, do you?"

au contraire, mon ami! Jelly does NOT mean jam. There is jelly, jam, preserves... and Jello.

    In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of (only) fruit juice.
    In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly as a result).
    In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 10:10 PM

Ebbie's proposition about loss of distinctiveness is also good law in the UK.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 12:47 AM

Yes, OK, Bill ~~ BUT what word do you have then, for what we call 'jelly': a pudding or sweet course consisting of a sweet gel, diluted, put into a bowl or mould, and permitted to set? - of which, IIRC, your Jell-o is one of the branded examples? If you don't just call it jell-o, what do you call it, in distinction from the seedless mixture in a jar that can be spread on bread (which we also call "jelly", and often use also as an accompaniment to meat ~ cranberry jelly for turkey, redcurrant jelly for lamb...)?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 01:13 AM

Gelatine, perhaps?

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 01:24 AM

But, Jay, is that what it would be called as part of a meal? "Ma, what's for dinner?" "Chicken, and then gelatine for dessert." I don't think so somehow. Surely she would say 'jell-o', brand name or not, as the generic term for that last course dish which we call 'jelly'?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 02:31 AM

Yes, we would call it jell-o, although if it was a different brand we might mention that it's not real jello. I expect there are other brands of "jello" i.e., "a sweet course consisting of a sweet gel, diluted, put into a bowl or mould, and permitted to set". but I don't know of any.

There is a brand of UNflavored gelatin made by Knox, as I recall, not by Jell-o. It is used in a number of ways but generally not eaten by itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 02:45 AM

Not always by itself here either ~~ it can have fruit in it, for instance. And remember the song 'Food, Glorious Food' at the beginning of "Oliver" ~~ "Hot sausage and mustard ... Cold jelly and custard".

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gurney
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:31 AM

Shops in Britain, stores in the US. Transpacific, we're getting more 'stores,' sometimes 'Outlet Stores' because we tend to English English, and you don't retail from a store. You store in a store.
Chemist's Shop/Drug Store.

Although my dictionary does give the example "We bought it from a shop in Cape Cod."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 04:00 AM

There is one shopping phrase wich I think is uniquely American - the 'Mom and Pop' store. I suppose the only equivalent of this in the UK is the 'corner shop', to denote a small, old-fashioned shop selling an odd mixture of groceries and other commodities.

Do 'Mom and Pop' stores still exist? They're mentioned in a song by the Tractors (a band from Tulsa, OK), which is where I heard the phrase.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: autolycus
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 04:06 AM

Store and jello.


As a Brit, I really don't like the takeover of the word 'store' at the expence of 'shop'.

Someone tell me when people stop 'shopping' and start 'storng'.


Jell-o is a brand name used for that sort of pudding. We Brits shouldn't jib at that. We seem quite happy to use hoover in exactly the same way.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 04:17 AM

I wasn't 'jibbing', Aut; just remarking that, while over there they use a brand-name generically for that sort of pudding [in the same way, as you say, that we use hoover as noun & verb for (using) a carpet-cleaner], we use the same name for it as the seedless version of the spread. Just a difference, is all.

Noteworthy, I think, that a lot of our leading makers of jams also make both (our) sorts of jelly ~~ Chivers, Robertsons, et al.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 04:24 AM

I remember when we has stores in Britain, and then they started calling them Co-ops.

For some reason I always think of jell-o as a form of explosive.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 05:06 AM

A big shop or emporium, whether of native foundation [Harrod's, Fortnum & Mason]] or a US import [Selfridge's], is, nevertheless, always a department STORE.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM

Dave ~~ 'jelly' here also has the slang connotation of various kinds of explosive, esp nitro-glycerine &c, from 'gelignite'.

Has 'jello' the same overtone in US?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: autolycus
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 06:04 AM

Do people going storing in a department store?


I wonder why 'department shop' wasn't used in britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 11:35 AM

The generic term for Jello which is not Jello is gelatin dessert. There are several brands...usually named for a store chain. For all I know, Kraft Foods makes them all under contract. (next time I go shopping, I'll look to see if any are being sold....we don't use them often)

But, if I were going to use one, I'd just say I have an off-brand Jello, since Jello has become essentially the generic term...even more than Kleenex as a tissue.

My question is: How do you in the UK differentiate what we call jams, jellies and preserves?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 12:06 PM

"In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of (only) fruit juice.
    In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly as a result).
    In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam. "

More or less the same in the UK, though I'd say jelly is runnier than jam, and you wouldn't put a preserve on bread. Possibly a conserve which is usually a posh jam.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 12:13 PM

I think conserve & preserve are both pompous terms for the ordinary man's jam, rather than distinctive terms as appears from Bill's distinction to be the case in US. Disagree that jelly is runnier than jam ~~ certainly not so in case of redcurrant jelly or mint jelly, both of which may be used as a condiment for lamb &c.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 12:44 PM

OK - so what's marmalade, then?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 01:03 PM

Depends on the marmalade - I like mine chewy.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 01:28 PM

Don't put jam on bread? I do and I resent being told that it is wrong.
I have some excellent cherry jam, and I distribute the lumps (cherries) and jelly parts equally over the slice. Excellent with my eggs! (Canadian-ex-U.S.)
OK, so sometimes a little drips on my jammies (or do only English children wear them?).

Jelly is slang for gelignite, I think universally.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 01:50 PM

Marmalade a specialist kind of spread tending to have own rules.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 02:21 PM

A slight aside here: In the US we say 'cookies', not biscuits. A biscuit in the US is a specialty bread, usually round, usually served hot. However, it occurred to me this morning when I gave my dog his treat, we do say 'biscuit' for that. I haven't tasted one so I don't know if dog biscuits are sweet. Generally, cookies are.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:14 PM

In the US, 'cookies' is part of the heritage of Niew Amsterdam.

AS for jelly, if it's a spread, it's runny(ish), if it's a condiment it's a bit firmer, and if it's a dessert, it depends on how much water (or milk) you put in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:16 PM

Why is a cookie not called a 'bakie'?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:29 PM

No such word in Dutch, just koekje : a biscuit, cookie (US)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: gnu
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:54 PM

If yer a Newfoundlander, Cookie is da lad what cooks in da camp b'y.
An ye learn some quick dat Cookie is tird in line me zon me zon. Unless ye are boss or foreman, ye better not piss off Cookie buddy.

I got up from the construction camp table one supper to get some bread from the kitchen as it had run out on the table (Cookie was busy having a drink and a natter and I thought it was only polite) and all eyes were on Cookie... then me... then Cookie. I was impolitely told that I should never, EVER, serve myself in any way and I HAD BETTER STAY THE FUCK OUTTA THE KITCHEN.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 07:20 PM

Wasn't Cookie in 77 Sunset Strip?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 10:21 PM

I thought it was Sesame Street.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 10:38 PM

The guy on "77 Sunset Strip" was Kookie with a 'K'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 10:47 PM

Getting back from you kookie lot ~~

CAREEN
Reminded on Sloppy Language thread that it means to turn a ship over to scrape the barnacles off the bottom

but has come in US to replace our 'career', in sense of 'run in an uncontrolled fashion'.

How & when did that happen? (and also, perhaps, why?)

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 11:10 PM

I absolutely never heard 'career' used that way till a couple years ago on Mudcat.

It would bother me because 'career' is already used to describe a person's basic vocation...often lifetime. I don't know any other uses for 'careen'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:38 AM

"but has come in US to replace our 'career', in sense of 'run in an uncontrolled fashion'."

I have seen it used that way but only rarely- and always followed by someone else correcting it. I like the word 'careen' and career makes no sense atall, atall.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 03:27 AM

Career, acc to Chambers Dict, originally meant 'rush', in the work of Spenser (C16) ~~ & hence developed the meaning of progress thru life or one's chosen occupation; also the verb to rush madly.
Chambers doesn't even [mistakenly in my view as it is widespread & catching on here as Americanisms will - see several previous threads on the topic] include this sense at careen at all, but only the turning over of a boat for purposes of cleaning or repair.

So, sorry over there Bill & Ebbie; but as you continue to call the language you speak 'English', at least have the grace and modesty to accept the judgment of one of the leading English dictionaries.

Now, to return to my question ~~ when did your word replace ours over there? & how & why? Cleaning boats, unlike moving on in a certain direction, has no connection to the rushing about connotation at all that I can see. Don't your dictionaries give that meaning of careen also?: I remember it occurs in Treasure Island, which I believe is a book widely read over there.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 03:30 AM

Oxford English Dictionary (1993 edition) under 'careen' has as meaning 4:

v.i. Rush headling, hurtle unsteadily. N. Amer. E20.


(fourth attempt to post this, so apologies if it appears more than once)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 03:47 AM

Thanks Topsie. That meaning is not in my OED, the previous one of 1971; & note that your later one specifies the usage as purely N American. So my point, & my questions, hold.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 03:56 AM

Checking the other dictionary I have here to hand on my desk, Collins, 2000 edition, I find it includes only the boat-turning meaning at 'careen', but the 'headlong rush' among the several meanings of 'career', all of which imply onward movement of some kind - incl the progress thru life or job.

So, please, you guys stop being so insular, and try to find out from your dicts the answers to my questions.

~M~

luvyaz all justasame


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: autolycus
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 03:59 AM

Marmalade is 'jam' made from oranges.

I'm amazed that anyone thinks it's not ok to spread jam on bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:14 AM

I was going to say that the earliest example I know of 'careen' meaning to rush headlong was in james Taylor's "Carolina", but on reflection it could be either meaning - possibly he meant the original, and it got misinterpreted, and the unintentional malapropism became widespread?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:40 AM

That sounds a most interesting suggestion, Dave. A work entirely unknown to me. Can you give the reference, or link to it?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:23 AM

I googled the Jas Taylor lyric ~~ can't find 'careen' in it anywhere, only the girl's name 'Karen'.

And the US use of 'careen' is, I am sure, older than his work.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Arnie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:44 AM

auto - marmalade can also be made from limes, which is my favourite! Well, next to Marmite that is. I'm usually ok with understanding Americanisms, having spent at least a fortnight on holiday there - had to get back home for a decent curry. However, I've recently got into reading novels by James Lee Burke and most are set in and around New Orleans. He uses words and phrases that are completely unknown to me and I just have to accept that I don't know what he is on about sometimes. I've worked out what a 'gunbull' is from the context but there are some offerings that I suspect even Americans from other parts of the US would struggle to interpret. If I had my Kindle to hand I'd give some other examples - in fact it now occurs to me that with the assistance of Mudcat I may be able to call on our US friends to do some intepreting when I get stuck!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 06:50 AM

My mistake - it was 'Something in the way she moves'. Posted straight after coming in from the pub. Her's a link to the lyrics:

Something In The Way She Moves by James Taylor


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:36 AM

My American Webster's dictionary (1988) has both words. Careen has both the nautical meaning (first) and "lurch from side to side". Career has "profession" as the noun meaning and "rush wildly" when used as a verb.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:44 AM

100


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM

So, according to Webster's in 1988, "careen" had not acquired the meaning of 'to rush wildly'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:12 AM

Thank you, Art & Dave.

So, Ebbie & Bill ~~ hope you have got that.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:16 AM

I'm still workin' on it, MtheGM.

Sometimes it is more fun to present only what one has 'always' believed than it is to check the official tomes. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:22 AM

I meant to comment on: Marmalade is 'jam' made from oranges

Without looking in the dictionary, I had got the impression that unlike a jam or jelly a marmalade has bits of the skin, the peel, in it. (And I do realize that jam, with its chunks of whole fruit, does contain peel. I didn't say I had it well thought out.)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:56 AM

Most marmalades have the peel, either thinly or thickly cut. However, there are Golden and Silver Shreds, which have a clear jelly with very few shreds in, and are used to introduce children to the bitterer adult varieties. I believe the makers, Robertsons, have a shredless version, as well. I remember being very disappointed at a hotel in Cumbria which had, on a previous visit, given me Frank Cooper's Oxford Marmalade, when Golden Shred arrived on my table.

As for not serving preserves on bread, that was the preserved fruit, I imagine. Not the jammy stuff.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:41 PM

As a kid growing up in the US, I learned to distinguish jelly/jam/preserves this way.

They are all sweet and fruit-based, and used to spread on toast at breakfast, or on peanut-butter sandwiches as a snack for kids.

Jelly is clear, or nearly so, because as much pulp and fiber as possible has been strained out of it by pouring the liquid through a cloth before it sets. It wiggles when you shake it, and you can see through it.

Jam has some of the pulp left in (I suppose because it is strained through a coarser cloth or maybe a colander?). It doesn't wiggle, and you can't see through it. It has more of a pasty texture, but is uniform, with no lumps.

Preserves are lumpy because they have visible, recognizable chunks of cut-up fruit in them.

I know drippings from meat if left to cool, would sometimes form gelatinous goo in the bottom of the pan, but we never ate it in that form. (Instead, my mother would usually add flour to the drippings it and cook it into gravy.) I didn't know any name for that gelatinous stuff. It would never have occurred to me to call it jelly because, in my opinion, it was disgusting and inedible, especially since it was brown instead of fruit-colored. I remember seeing similar stuff in a canned ham.

I never heard of aspic and probably would have refused to eat it if I had seen it.

Jell-O was just Jell-O. I seem to recall that at some point it was advertised as "Jell-O brand gelatin dessert," probably because the maker did NOT want their brand name to turn into a generic term, because then they would lose the exclusive right to use it. (Such is the price of having a near-monopoly.) Anyway, that's how I learned the term "gelatin."

In my limited experience as a child, NO form of gelatin was ever served with meat—cranberry "sauce" being the unique exception; it was served with turkey at Thanksgiving. But it was called "sauce," not jelly or gelatin, although it had all the characteristics of jelly.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:52 PM

I used to love the jelly on meat - still do, when I can get it. Most cold meat nowadays has the interesting bits surgically extracted!

In our house, cranberry sauce, with turkey, camembert etc, is just referred to as "jam" (no cranberry).


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 05:10 PM

Mint jelly with lamb - always.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:06 PM

Mint sauce with lamb - mint jelly doesn't work so well.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 12:14 AM

One of my ancestors became an exile for stealing sheep. Because of that I have no desire to consume the beast with or without mint jelly!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 03:39 AM

Mint sauce, for non-Brits, is chopped garden mint steeped in vinegar, malt vinegar usually. It is a liquid with added bits, not a sauce as is generally known, depending on the amount of mint.

Thinking about it, has anyone a favourite mixture with added ingredients?

Sandy, why not? Your ancestor obviously did!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 05:34 PM

The word "reckon" isn't heard very often in the US. Most people would consider it quaint or dialectical. I don't think you'd ever hear a TV reporter say it. I think it's used mainly in the South. My father used it a lot. He grew up on a farm in Kentucky.

I was surprised and pleased to find it is rather common in the UK.

"How much do you reckon it'll cost?"

"I reckon we'll have some rain this afternoon."

"I reckon it's about time to eat."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 05:49 PM

Because it fits here as well, the below is from another thread. I might as well tag it on this one too.

I would be all for referring to the languages (dialects included) which we use here in United States as American except I hate to piss off the Canucks.

I tend to think Micca had it right. English may have mugged other languages or as Topsie said, "mated with them," but here in the States we took English and ripped out the entrails, ate them for lunch, then pissed on the rest before scooping the leftovers into a bucket, shitting on it, and setting it on fire. That pretty well sums up the "American" language..........and we kinda' like it......sorta'..........

Ya' gotta' figure it was inevitable. This is probably the most ethnically diverse place in the world. Plus all that diversity happened in a very short time period. Additionally, as the country was settled and the Pacific reached, transportation grew rapidly. So instead of cities with huge ethnic populations living cheek by jowl we developed into an entire country that did the same as booms developed to the west and then flowed back to the east and the south and the Northwest and southwest and...........you get the idea. Even in the small eastern Ohio town where I was born, we had at least 12 (that I can easily count) groups living closely together.

It was only natural that all the other influences should change the English to "American." Hell, we don't even know where most of our words originated but we use them anyway. Sadly for many back in the UK, it seems their language is being taken over by nasty Americans. If you feel the need to hold the line for for "real" English, then y'all just go on out there and "git 'er done!" (;<))


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 05:51 PM

Reckon is dead in the south as well as the rest of the U.S. Once a word or usage is labeled as dialect or as a colloquism, it is dropped from use.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 05:58 PM

I don't think I agree with you Q cause I'd reckon we use reckon around here on a pretty regular basis. Plus, being identified as ethnic, or as a part of a dialect, or as vulgar, has not stopped or slowed the use of motherfucker in the least. (;<))


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Howard Jones
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 07:17 PM

What actually is a "raincheck"? and a "brownie point"? These are both phrases which have entered English from American TV - we understand what is meant from the context (or perhaps only think we do), but I don't actually know what they are.

The latter is permanently associated in my mind with the Brownies (a junior version of the Girl Guides, who are the Girl Scouts). I'm positive it has nothing whatsoever to do them.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 07:28 PM

Actually it does! Brownie points were bonus points awarded to pedophiles for molesting Brownies. Girl Scouts got 3 points and Brownies got 5. They discontinued this when too many of their members were claiming the points for fuckin' fudgecake................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 08:14 PM

Whooo-ee! Hate to post following the Master, but-

raincheck- originally a ticket stub given when rain cancelled a game.
In stores now, it is a ticket or (recorded) promise given when some item, priced in a sale, is sold out but which guarantees the customer the item at the same price at a later date.

Brownie point- "a notional mark of achievment, or kudos for performing some creditable act."
Often credited to the Brownies, the lowest age group associated with the Girl Scouts (Guides in Canada and England(?)), but J. E. Lighter, Historical Dictionary of American Slang, found the oldest usage in Army jargon- "Blew his stack. Brownie points." 1944, MSU Folklore GF2.1.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: olddude
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 08:17 PM

Ok but now to the important things ... where did the word "LEW" come from?? when ya gotta go to the lew?

I have an aunt Lou, and she goes to the bathroom a lot, got one of those bladder condition things. She makes darn fine christmas cookies also ..

which leads to to another question, what is a crumpit?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 08:45 PM

The last first- a crumpit is a gawd-awful biscuit.

The word is loo. A room with a toilet.

Then there is the loo table, which is a circular table on which loo- a card game - is played. I bought one from auction one time.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gurney
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 02:22 AM

I have heard that 'Loo' comes from 'Garde l'eau' or 'look out for water,' shouted when emptying a chamber pot into the street, -in the old days, of course! Not sure that I believe it.

Q, "once a word is labelled as dialect or as a colloquialism, it is dropped from use"???   That's where they come from in the first place! Used by some 'in' group, picked up and promoted by talking heads on TV.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 04:16 AM

I've never heard 'crumpet' as a biscuit - it's always a kind of pancake, shape and size depending on locality, cf Breton 'krampouezh'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 04:45 AM

Ah, here's another fine example: a crumpet is in fact not that far from what they call a biscuit. But to us it is nearer to what we call a muffin, though they call that an English muffin, as their muffin is not a million miles from what we call a cupcake; while our biscuit is their cookie, as has been already remarked above...

And so wags the world away!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 05:16 AM

And what Michael calls a scone, Spaw calls a biscuit........Out of curiosity, do you have "sourdough" crumpets or is that something we dreamed up over here?


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 05:22 AM

No, Spaw; don't know what a sourdough crumpet is. The point of our crumpets, & what differentiates them from such relatives as [our] muffins, Scotch pancakes, &c, is that they are honeycombed with holes thru which the butter, jam &c, permeate. Delicious.

There is a sort of folktale [I think] that their recipe, the kind of flour used, and so on, are terribly hush-hush & secret and known only to the bakery trade...

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:34 AM

I used to believe that American cookies were the same as English biscuits.

Then I saw an AOL "cookery hints" feature that offered advice on what to do if your cookies weren't soft! Advice like putting them in a container with some slices of apple!
English biscuits should be light and crisp. Putting them anywhere near anything moist would make them inedible (with the exception of an EXTREMELY quick dunking in a cup of tea before eating, just enough to soften the outside but leave the inside still crisp).


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 09:33 AM

AS you have heard, American "cookies" are usually crisp, but others are chewy ("soft").

I don't know how long the "soft" kind have been common. I first noticed them ca1960. I thought they were something new and strange, and it took me a while to get used to them.

(Fig Newtons, of course, have always been chewy, but although universally considered "cookies," they're closer in nature to tiny pastries.)

Sweetness is the common denominator. An unsweet (or slightly sweetened) crisp "cookie" is a "cracker." An unsweet fluffy thing is either an "English muffin" (a kind of bread) or a "biscuit" (a kind of bread raised with baking powder or baking soda). "Scones" are uncommon, though growing in popularity; people generally unfamiliar with them think of scones as a kind of "biscuit."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST,Merseyside
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 04:47 PM

MARMITE!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:36 PM

Lovely scones at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada. I have posted the recipe in a thread, don't remember which.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 06:38 PM

I said crumpets were gawd-awful biscuits; I will emend to Gawd-awful whatevers.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 15 Jul 11 - 11:42 PM

I thought "crumpet" was also a slang British expression for a sexy woman. Has that changed?

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 12:15 AM

BrooklynJay ~~ still extant, but probably a bit old-hat slang nowadays. Not sure what it ever had to do with the sort of toasted muffin with holes; perhaps a sort of distant rhyming allusion to 'strumpet'?, tho Partridge gives comparison with 'buttered bun' -- perhaps something to do with sliding in easily? It is used rather as a collective term for sexy women generally, than for 'a sexy woman' as you render it, one at a time ~~ e.g. "Good party ~ plenty of crumpet!". Of an individual woman, one would rather say "She's a nice bit of crumpet", than just "She's a nice crumpet".

HTH

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 06:06 AM

Crumpets can be made at home. There's no secret to them. My Mum did it once. It is a bit of a palaver. They are made from a yeasted batter, which is poured into a ring on a griddle. They are a bit more than half an inch thick, with the base looking a bit like that of an American breakfast pancake, but the top holed like a Swiss cheese. Eaten without a topping, especially without buttered, they would be pretty dire, but they are supposed to have butter melted on them after toasting. It occurs to me they might be good carriers of maple syrup. Nothing like any sort of biscuit, British or American.

See also pikelets, which are thinner.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:07 AM

Thanks, Penny. I eat them for breakfast practically every day, with lots of butter & jam or marmalade permeating. What I want to know is how they get honeycombed with holes like that.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:35 AM

They are made from a frothy batter (bubbles of corbondioxide). The bubbles get bigger as they cook, and burst at the surface, producing holes.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 11 - 07:39 AM

Ah. Thank you


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

BTW BrooklynJay, FYI, another word used here in the same sense as "crumpet", for attractive women collectively, is "totty".

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:54 AM

MtheGM - That's a new one on me. Never heard of "totty" before - thanks for enlightening me. I am thoroughly convinced that the English language (on both sides of the Atlantic) is evolving faster than I can keep pace with it.

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:21 AM

I always visualise 'totty' as a bunch of girls tottering along on very high stilettos.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:26 AM

From Wiktionary {but doesn't give a derivation, though I love your suggestion Topsie}
,,,,,,
Pronunciation
IPA: /tɒti/
Rhymes: Rhymes:English:-ɒti
[edit]Noun
totty (uncountable)
(UK, slang, English) sexually attractive women considered collectively; usually connoting a connection with the upper class.
(slang, English) an individual sexually attractive woman  [quotations ▼]
[edit]Usage notes
Although denoting a countable subject, the noun is a mass noun. A single person is described as "some totty" or "a bit of totty". But a group of people can also be referred to as "some totty" or "the totty".
[edit]Related terms
top totty
hotty
[edit]Synonyms
talent


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 02:24 PM

A bunch of girls tottering along on very high heels usually constitutes a hen party - get in their way at your own risk!

Ross


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 03:03 PM

Crumpit (slang, with reference to a woman) got me to looking and I found it in The Oxford English Dictionary, 1987 Supplement (for those with older editions). Several variants.
"1900, G. Swift, Somerley, 40, You're Ophelia, Scrubby; but don't you go winking at the johnnies in the stalls, you giddy little crumpet !"
c. Women regarded collectively as a means of sexual gratification, so 'a bit of crumpet'.
"1936, J. Curtis Gilt Kid. 75, Fancy staying up as late as this and not having no crumpet."
1961, "luscious foreign crumpet."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 04:36 PM

The only 'transAtlantic' distinction that really bothers me is the difference in electrical systems, and it affects everyone. A little kit with a converter and plug cheaters is necessary in order to use items like hair dryers, etc. Mostly it's the wife who complains.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:13 PM

The difference in electrical systems is not just transatlantic. Try sticking a UK plug into a European socket (without a convertor).


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:27 PM

A segue here (what's new?)because there is likely no thread in which this will be the topic:

This year I have seen more girls/young women tottering along on stiletto heels than I have ever seen. Is it a new fad and is it everywhere?

When I was a girl we crammed our feet into narrow-toed 'high heels', ruining many a foot in the process, but those high heels were nothing, compared with these. The heels I see today force the bend between the toes and the foot to be the only accessible walk-on surface.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 11 - 05:32 PM

That's why I said plug cheaters, Dave. I have a son who goes to the Cooks every winter, and the first thing he packs is the kit with plog conversions and current converter. I have a DVD player, I believe made for the Russian market but handles all zones, and I needed a 'cheater' for it. Not really a problem because many outlets sell them.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 03:53 PM

And any hotel is likely to have a drawer full of converters that have been left behind by guests.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 06:23 PM

"And any hotel is likely to have a drawer full of converters that have been left behind by guests."

Never found any.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Jul 11 - 10:21 PM

On the meaning of "downtown" and "uptown"

As far as I know, every American city has a downtown, but not every city has an uptown. The meaning of "uptown" varies from city to city, and in some cities, the term is not used at all.

Downtown always means what Brits would call the city center, the area with the highest concentration of commercial buildings, usually also the location of the tallest buildings and the most expensive land and rental space, per square foot. Historically, it is usually the approximate place where the first buildings were built, and as the city grew, it spread outwards from there. In cities that have numbered streets (1st Street, 2nd Street, etc.) the numbering begins downtown, usually next to a river or shore, and the numbers get larger the further you are from downtown. So do house numbers.

In New York, as I understand (I am not a New Yorker, so someone correct me if I'm wrong), "uptown" and "downtown" are not so much places as directions. To go downtown means to go toward the southern tip of Manhattan; to go uptown means to go the opposite direction, that is, northward. This works, and is meaningful to New Yorkers, because Manhattan is a long narrow island running roughly north-south. Development began at the southern tip and spread northwards.

Most cities aren't configured this way. Most cities began at a central location and expanded in 4 directions (sometimes only 3 directions if the city is bounded on one side by a large body of water). Either way, "downtown" has a clear meaning, while "uptown" is not likely to be used because it would be too vague. Instead, we tend to use clearer terms like "the North Side," "the East Side," etc. The exact terminology varies from city to city and depends on local history and geography.

Neither St. Louis, where I grew up, nor St. Paul, where I live now, has an "uptown." In Minneapolis, however, Uptown is the name of a secondary commercial district about 3 miles south of downtown. I don't know how it got that name. It has a high concentration of movie theaters, restaurants and bars, and trendy shops.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:30 AM

In Britain many settlements were founded on hills, so in most British cities, downtown would be uphill from the rest of the town (thus restoring 'down' to its original Anglo-Saxon meaning).


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 AM

The connotation of "downtown" is funky and inhabited by lower income people, whereas "uptown" is less gritty and richer people.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 06:25 PM

And most people live "out in the sticks".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 06:43 PM

We have downtown (office buildings, hotels, condos, and, yes, a section with the lower orders). The better-off folks are in the suburbs and may go downtown to the office tower, but they shop in the suburban malls. The "sticks" are rural (unless one is well-off, then one lives "in the country".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 07:25 PM

Bill D, when you say

Companies, of course, are delighted when their product..(Kleenex, Jello in the US) become synonymous with a class.

I think not so across the board. That's a terrible danger, because the company is likely to lose the identity of its product.

How about Nylon, which became "nylon"
and Eversharp (pencils), which became "eversharp" pencils
and Cellophane, which became "cellophane"
and Aspirin, which became "aspirin"
and Scotch Tape, which became "scotch tape"
I'm not sure whether Celluloid was a trademark which faded into "celluloid", but I strongly suspect so.


and on and on, trademarks which were lost because they became
generic.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 07:52 PM

When you say scotch tape, do you mean sellotape?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 08:11 PM

Sellotape is European only, made by the Scapa Group plc.
Scotch brand tape is made by 3M, which means Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, a conglomerate company. Their ordinary transparent sticky tape is called Ruban Magic Tape but most people just call it 'Scotch tape'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:48 AM

I once had a very difficult conversation with a couple of tourists from the States about the whereabouts of downtown in London. We were on a train from Dover to London, late on a Sunday night, and they had come from the continent. On Sundays, the rail companies do engineering works, and our journey was interrupted by bus trips to allow for this. The mother took this personally, and did not understand about not interrupting commuters' journeys on working days.
She and her son had not booked a hotel in London, and wanted to know which one to go in downtown London. I asked them to define what they meant by downtown. The son said "You know, where it's at." I silently cursed Petula Clark. We never arrived at any sensible conclusion, as I tried to find out whether they wanted shops, theatres, historic buildings... And as for hotels...

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:58 AM

In London, by 'Downtown' they surely meant the West End; where it's 'at', and all the leading shops, hotels, theatres are located. And perhaps also the City, where many of the historical buildings are.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 06:33 PM

There is another thread going now, which mentions the 'Irish Mail' in its title. In Britain, although the American sense would be understood, it is (or at least was) the name of a train. We would normally say the Irish Post Office (or an Post).

"This is the Night Mail crossing the Border....." (Betjeman).


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 07:40 PM

WH Auden.

Interesting distinction: we "post" a letter in a "postbox" and it's delivered by a "postman" working for the "Post Office", but we would never refer to a "post train", it's a "mail train"


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:02 AM

Yes, Howard; but the postman is employed by Royal Mail as well as the GPO [General Post Office] ~~ or are the terms interchangeable? or if not what is the distinction?; I have never been sure.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:46 AM

Re poem quoted [& misattributed] above ~~

"Night Mail is a 1936 documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train from London to Scotland, produced by the GPO Film Unit. A poem by English poet W. H. Auden was written for it, used in the closing few minutes, as was music by Benjamin Britten."
Wikipedia

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:58 AM

"Wash up" in UK = US "Do the dishes"; if we wash ourselves, we just 'wash' tout court. A 1950s UK Davy Crockett children's parody, for those old enough to recall that particular nine-days obsession, went "The Yellow Rose of Texas and the Man From Laramie - Went round to Davy Crockett to have a cup of tea. - The tea was so delicious they had another cup - And poor old Davy Crockett had to do the washing-up" [to tune, obviously, of Yellow Rose]. Unconvincing, the nephew, then about 5, that I learnt it from pointed out, because a second cup is generally poured in the same cup as the first so no additional washing-up would have been necessary!

~M~

[Also posted as part of discussion of 'up' on 'Sloppy' thread]


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 02:50 AM

As far as I thought at the time, the theatres are not in quite the same place as the best shops, again not in the same place as the 1960's area of King's Road, Carnaby Street, etc. It's a matter of scale, I suppose. I asked them which particular features they were interested in, suggesting shops, theatres etc., and they didn't know.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 03:31 AM

Well ~~ Kings Road Chelsea a bit further out; but Carnaby St off Regent St only just up from Piccadilly Circus, off which also runs Shaftesbury Ave the heart of Theatreland, & Piccadilly in which is leading store Fortnum & Mason, & in the Circus itself is Swan & Edgar, & halfway up Regent St, crossing it at Oxford Circus, is Oxford St where many main stores [e.g. Selfridge's, the original John lewis & Debenhams] ... and there are hotels in all these [the Ritz is in Piccadilly], or not far away in Park Lane [Dorchester, Grosvenor House], the Strand [Savoy]...

Still, Penny, I agree that as they didn't actually know what they were looking for there wasn't that much you could tell them. I think I should just have told them to go to Piccadilly Circus & walk in any direction & they would find something interesting. I still think that by 'Downtown' they would have meant the West End.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 04:14 AM

Sorry about the misattribution.

There is a distinction. When I worked for the Post Office, I actually worked for Royal Mail (except when it was Consignia) - the Post Office was a separte bit which ran the sub Post Offices. I don't think there's been a GPO for a long time.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 04:28 AM

It's curious how a person's name (or names) can have a sexual meaning both here in the States and across the pond - but usually the names and connotations are different. Examples:

In the UK:

"Roger" (as a verb) can also mean the sexual act.

"Randy" is a synonym for "horny."

"John Thomas" is slang for penis. (I remember an old episode of "Are You Being Served?" in which Wendy Richard wanted to order a "Tom Collins" but ended up saying something quite a bit different!)

Here in the US (aside from the ever-popular "Dick"), instead of "John Thomas" you might hear "Johnson." But it may be more of a regionalism, or more popular with African-Americans (at least from my experience).

Any other names I've missed?

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:01 AM

In LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER, Mellors the gamekeeper introduces 'John Thomas' to 'Lady Jane'. I can't say I have come across the latter as a term for vagina or pudendum elsewhere: has anybody? Or did DHL just make it up?

Not the first time I have come across an American stating that 'randy' is an exclusively UK word, but I grew up thinking it an Americanism: IIRC [tho it's going back about 65 years] I first came across it in Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath. I don't, btw, think it is connected with the name Randy, as Roger & John Thomas do derive from names in a attempt at humour[?], but rather is an independent word cognate with 'rant', from Dutch meaning to rave {& not in the party sens: oh, just get embroiled in words/derivations and see where you end up!

YAY: FOUND IT! ~~~ Minds me of a story they tell about Willy Feeley when he was a young fella. Willy was bashful, awful bashful. Well, one day he takes a heifer over to Graves' bull. Ever'body was out but Elsie Graves, and Elsie wasn't bashful at all. Willy, he stood there turnin' red an' he couldn't even talk. Elsie says, 'I know what you come for; the bull's out in back a the barn.' Well, they took the heifer out there an' Willy an' Elsie sat on the fence to watch. Purty soon Willy got feelin' purty fly. Elsie looks over an' says, like she don't know, 'What's a matter, Willy?' Willy's so randy, he can't hardly set still. 'By God,' he says, 'by God, I wisht I was a-doin' that!' Elsie says, 'Why not, Willy? It's your heifer."
— John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath) ~~~

How about that for research!

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:07 AM

An obvious example is Fanny - plenty of scope for confusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 09:47 AM

Yes, indeed, Topsie ~~ esp IIRC it refers to different anatomical features here & there...

LoL

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: BrooklynJay
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 11:55 AM

M - your research is greatly appreciated! As a matter of fact, the anecdote alerted me to another name which was so obvious, I can't believe I missed it:

Willy.

It should have been right up there with "John Thomas." Again, I would think it's more a UK expression. I remember many years ago seeing Billy Connolly on television and he made some jokes about "Free Willy." Very funny - if only I could remember just what it was that he said!

Jay


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 12:08 PM

TU Jay: & note that the young man in the story the Steinbeck character was telling was called Willy Feeley ~~ now what are we to make of that, eh?

There is a famous Donald McGill postcard of a fat man saying "I can't find my little Willie". {Donald McG on wiki if he is not known over there: famous 'naughty seaside postcard' artist, subject of essay by George Orwell. Or is he as well-known over there?}

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 12:51 PM

Did I mention that the train was due in at after 11 pm? My advice was that they booked in at the nearest hotel for the one night, and look for something more suitable next day. They weren't happy with that.

I was also in Cambridge once, somewhere near the Cavendish laboratory, I think, when some Americans asked where the University was. All around you was a bit difficult for them to understand - but they were brighter than the train couple.

On the other hand, the story about the American tourist looking out of the plane at Windsor Castle and asking why they put the place so close to the flight path strikes me as having been intended as a joke by the originator. I know Americans who could have thought of it.

And on the other subject, some little lads at school asked me, very concerned, why anyone would call someone Dick. (You can tell they didn't learn to read from Dick and Jane.) I explained that it was quite sad that someone, somewhere, decided to use perfectly ordinary waords and names for things people thought were rude, and made it very difficult for other people. Try telling people the story of the Musicians of Bremen, or even the story of Good Friday without tripping up.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:16 PM

I have lived in/near Cambridge for 50-ish years. I find the answer is that there is not just one building called The University, but the University is a federation of all the colleges. Have never met a tourist unable to grasp that as a concept.

A variant on the flightpath one is, Why did they build Stonehenge so far from the airport?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Mo the caller
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 11:19 AM

The distinction between Jam and Conserve in the UK is a result of the Trade Description act I think.
Like the diference between 'Fruit Juice' 'fruit drink' 'squash' etc.
To call something by a particular name it has to have more than a certain proportion of some relevant ingredient.
Shop jam hasn't got a very high fruit content, and not all might be the fruit named on the label. Conserve has a high % of fruit and is like home-made jam.

The shopper in the UK needs to study the law before shopping (or assume that you get what you pay for)


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 11:38 AM

Then where does "Extra Jam" fit into all that, Mo?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 12:07 PM

I've not studied the exact legislation. Maybe more fruit than plain jam.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:19 PM

I refresh this old thread because I have just come across that charming American word, so appropriate when applied to Lucy van Pelt by her brother Linus, "fussbudget", on the 'electronic distractions' thread. It is a word we don't use over here" our equivalent is 'fusspot'.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 09:16 PM

Uptown & downtown are regions of Manhattan as well as directions, and there is a midtown in between. Not being a New Yorker, I do not know their exact boundaries.

Boston has a downtown (there is a subway station called Downtown Crossing), but it is thought of in polar rather than rectangular coordinates, so there is no uptown. The signs in the subway say Inbound & Outbound, not Uptown & Downtown as in New York. However, there is an eatery in Somerville (an inner suburb) that calls itself Johnny D's Uptown Lounge. I have never been clear whether that means I am to think of Davis Square (its neighborhood) as uptown Somerville, or Somerville as uptown Boston, or Boston as (way, way) uptown New York.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 12:34 AM

Don't think I have ever seen our pigsty = your pigpen mentioned on any of these threads before.   Peanuts character Pigpen would be called Pigsty in any of our comics.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Sep 11 - 09:02 PM

Does London have a "downtown?" Well, if you applied the definition that most Americans have in mind when they say "downtown," I guess you'd have to say that "downtown" is the City of London, the financial district. But does the City have any hotels? And would a tourist want to stay there?

And then you would have the problem of explaining why "the City" doesn't mean the same thing as "London."


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 01:51 AM

As I have said before , Jim: surely London's Downtown = the West End + The City.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 05:27 AM

With the odd consequence that people in the west of London will talk about "going up West" when they intend to travel east to the West End.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 05:58 AM

Indeed. A common misnomer is the designation of outlying districts to the E of The city, like Newham, or even as far out as Romford, as The East End, whereas nobody would call Hammersmith or Ealing, say, The West End.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Oct 11 - 10:54 PM

As an American who visited London, yes, I considered the West End to be "downtown." More in the direction of Piccadilly and Leicester Square. However, with a city of London's size, it was understood that there were multiple "centres."

Los Angeles, being a very large city with multiple centers, might confuse people similarly, if it weren't for the fact that...being an American city...there is a known and labeled section called "downtown." But downtown in L.A. is not a tourist area, and in some places it is one of the least friendly places to outsiders, anywhere. Same with Downtown Kingston, Jamaica, where many would not like to be dead at night. "Uptown" is the more "happening" and *wealthy* area (I remember the reggae song, "Uptown Babies Don't Cry"). Downtown Hartford, Connecticut, is obviously the center due to its big buildings, but few would want to head there! Where I live now is "Downtown Long Beach". The transportation hub is here, but that makes it simply the business centre; it's not attractive to fun-seekers, I don't think.

"Where it's at" for a tourist is not synonymous with "downtown." In smaller cities, they may end up being synonymous simply because it's the *only* "stuff" there. I recently moved from "Downtown Santa Barbara". In a small city like that, there was absolutely no question where "downtown" was: where streets are tighter, traffic moves slower...where all publc transport reaches inbound "end of the line"!


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Oct 11 - 02:11 AM

But re London's 'multiple centres', Gibb: yes, true ~~ London is, like all huge conurbations, a collection of villages. But take one indication of which of these is really the centre: Theatres. Many 'villages' have, or have had, their own single theatre: Golders Green Hippodrome; Theatre Royal, Stratford East; Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park; Orpheum, Temple Fortune; The Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon; The Churchill Theatre, Bromley ... But the West End has ~~ how many? never counted; but googling London Theatre Seating Plans produced 45! And the general ambition of any company opening a production in any of these 'village' theatres, as well as in the provinces, is for an impresario to be found who will take it "into the West End".

QED


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 01:01 AM

Just read on the Latest Headlines site of a US exhibition of "dollhouses". In UK, we call such a children's plaything a "doll's house", which is also the invariable title of an early Ibsen play. Is it called "The Dollhouse" in the USA?

I was initially puzzled by the title of one of Damon Runyon's Manhattan stories, "The Old Doll's House", which I expected to concern a children's toy, but turned out to be actually about a house in which an old woman lived. A BBC tv continuity announcer I recall experiencing the same misunderstanding, announcing an upcoming version of the story with the emphasis on "doll's" when it should fall on "house".

In Runyon's works, there is no such thing as "a woman" or "a girl"; they are all invariably "dolls", just as his men are always "guys": whence, as will be instantly recognised, the title of a famous musical based on one of his stories, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown", and of a Penguin anthology of them.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: mkebenn
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 11:58 AM

I've wondered why yanks go to the hospital or the university and Brits and Canadians drop the preposition, not that it matters. Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Tradsinger
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 11:59 AM

I have loved reading this thread, being a) interested in language and how it changes and b) having worked briefly in the States. We could fill a dictionary with US and UK synonyms but in general we understand each other pretty well. I never had any language problems in the States, except once when I was asked to put a document in the bin and realised that it meant a tray not a waste-bin, nor did they have any problems understanding me. I had to change my vocabulary, of course - no sense in referring to a lift when everyone around you is saying elevator. As a general statement, the flow between British and American English is one-way, i.e. west to east, and so on this side of the pond we are very familiar with most 'Americanisms' but I guess that Americans are often surprised by 'Britishisms'.

There are a few differences that cause me to chuckle. If an American said "This plane will be airborne momentarily", that would sound alarming to me. Conversely, do Americans use the word 'dead' to mean 'very'. It may be a bit old-fashioned now, but I have no problem with "the music was dead lively" or seeing "Dead slow" painted on a road.

I have just read (yet another) article saying that regional accents are dying out in the UK - shame. It would be 'dead' boring if we all spoke the same, so as for the differences in British and American English - bring it on, I say, or else we won't have anything to talk and laugh about.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: mkebenn
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 01:56 PM

Boot:trunk bonnet:hood. Coming of age in the early sixties Ithought all Brit accents were Cockney or Connery's Bond. Mike. As far as our Northern brothers, the "o" as in about{aboot" and
the interjection "eh".


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: meself
Date: 01 Jun 16 - 03:39 PM

'I've wondered why yanks go to the hospital or the university and Brits and Canadians drop the preposition, not that it matters. Mike'

Not quite right, and not that simple. If we 'go to university', we are enrolled in courses, but if we are on our way to a particular institution, we are 'going to the university'. We go to THE hospital, though; we never 'go to hospital' (unless we're three-years-old!).

As for 'aboot' - that seems to be something that Americans hear, but not what any Canadian actually says. It's far more likely to be something like, 'abaowt', or, in some places, 'abote'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 04:06 AM

But we do talk about 'going into hospital'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: mkebenn
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 07:24 AM

Meself I never got the difference in "to university" makes perfect sense. Mike. We yanks can tend to be a bit careless.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Andrez
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 07:29 AM

In Australia when a forest burns we call it a Bushfire. Lately in the TV news when we see footage of the same in the US or Canada it gets called a Wildfire instead of the local wording. Newsreaders are the main culprits here!!

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Allan Conn
Date: 02 Jun 16 - 06:56 PM

Mkeben it isn't true that all Brits drop the preposition! It is very much in use in Scotland not just in Scots but in Scottish Standard English too. Many do say "I am going to the school - or going to my bed - or I have the cold" etc. There are numerous forms of speech, accents ad dialects etc so the generalisations often don't hold.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jun 16 - 02:01 AM

Re 'the cold': it used to be that every disability or illness would be named by the definite article. I remember in one of Jane Austen's novels, Mansfield Park iirc, one character says sympathetically to another "I believe you have the headache"; which today would be "a headache". We still use this form for "the flu", but generally nowadays it is either "a", as above, or with no article, as in "I've got rheumatism rather badly at the moment". I don't know if these are idiomatically similar in US?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: meself
Date: 03 Jun 16 - 06:29 PM

In Canada, it is only relatively recently, I believe, that 'wildfire' has become the preferred term - back in my day, grumble-grumble, it was 'forest fire'.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Janie
Date: 03 Jun 16 - 09:42 PM

I don't say this from any authority, just my impression, but regarding fires, I think in the USA there may be different common usage of terms depending on which side of the Mississippi River. In the East, where we have large tracts of deciduous forest, major fires in forested areas are still mostly referred to as forest fires. Bushfire is not, I think, used anywhere in the USA. Brushfires, at least in the east, refer to fires that occur in meadows, grasslands, or mixed scrub areas with many bushes, scrub pines and saplings but is by no means forest. Forest fires may start as brush fires that spread into forests and become forest fires. Wildfire may be applied to any fire that is out of control, but in the East, most major fires that burn out of control are going to be in deciduous woods so will more likely be called forest fires. Fires in coastsl pine forests and swamps might be more likely to be called wildfires instead of forest fires.

Out west, my impression is fires are more likely to be called wildfires regardless of topography or fauna. It's higher and drier out there, with natural scrub lands, and extensive pine/evergreen forests but fewer deciduous forests. Fires on the great expanse of prairie between the Mississippi and the foothills of the Rockies, to the extent large expanses of prairie still exist, vs. cultivated land, are called prairie fires.


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 12:16 AM

As an American, I have a question. I just read a story where cricket was involved, and players would say, "How's that, umpire?"

In America, "How's that?" is an informal way of saying "What did you just say?" But what does it mean in cricket?


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Subject: RE: BS: More on transAtlantic distinctions
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Jun 16 - 12:50 AM

"How's That?" is an appeal to the umpire for a decision re: a possible dismissal of the batsman (or 'batter' as you Americans mis-call him/her - 'batter' is the stuff pancakes are made from) on the grounds of, e.g., an LBW, or catch.

No appeal...no dismissal.

Hope that helps?


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