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Thread: Understanding English at the Olympics (Funny)

  1. #1
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Understanding English at the Olympics (Funny)

    LONDON (AP) -- Americans arriving for the London Olympics will find that the chasm between British and American English can seem as large as the ocean that separates the two nations. Here's a primer:

    Brilliant The land that gave us the poetic cadence of William Shakespeare now places everything into one of two categories: brilliant and rubbish. Shades of gray are not permitted. Brilliant does not mean smart or ingenious. It can mean anything from "OK," ''great" or "fun" to "stop asking questions." Each of the 542 British Olympic athletes is likely capable of using the phrase 10 times in a single press conference.

    Brolly Essential British accoutrement also known as an umbrella, carried by men and women alike daily without embarrassment. See weather.

    Football A way of life not related to the American game with helmets. Balls are propelled forward by everything except hands and arms, unless you are a goalkeeper or Diego Maradona. Describing this as "soccer" might get your teeth knocked out in a bar fight (see trollied).

    Gutted An emotion beyond "disappointed" but not quite "suicidal." Unlike fish, British athletes can be gutted more than once. Related to the nation's historic inability to win football matches on penalty kicks.

    Kettle Electric device used to boil water for tea. Also the British police practice of corralling protesters.

    The loo The toilet.

    Over the moon The opposite of gutted. Something to do with cows jumping.

    Oy tink Phrase heard with increasing urgency in bars as the night goes on and the sports debate gets more heated. Alternate spelling: "I think."

    Punter Nothing to do with a fourth down. A bettor in a land where casinos are as common as pharmacies.

    Rain See Inuit entry for snow. Too many variations to list.

    Rubbish See brilliant. No plural. Conjugate as: "I was rubbish," ''we were rubbish," ''the ref was rubbish," ''the decision to ban me for doping was rubbish." Occasionally also used to mean "garbage."

    Sticky wicket A cricket term used to describe when one is between a rock and a hard place. Easily applicable to other sports.

    Taking the piss Not to be confused with what is done in the loo. Winding somebody up or playing a joke on them. A favorite ploy of drinkers and sportswriters.

    Trollied Drunk, as in taking too much from the drinks trolley. Alcohol has fueled so many bar fights in Britain that one firm created a pint glass that doesn't shatter so it can't be used as a weapon.

    Weather. See brolly. Also see rubbish.
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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    good one
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


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    Also: being pissed is being drunk

  4. #4
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    When I got my first job in Australia one of the other workers (a male) asked me if I was getting a "good screw". After he picked himself up off the floor I found out he meant "pay check"!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
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    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Don't forget, if someone offers to "Knock you up" it is not necessary to slap their face. They are offering to wake you up at a certain time.

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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    ha, ha. don't even get into quilting terms!

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    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    Plus, Central Reservations is not the number to call for a hotel room. It is what we in the US call the median strip.

    I love this kind of stuff. I can think of a concept for which there are three different terms, American, British, and Canadian. Any guesses what it is? Or can anyone come up with more?

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    Senior Member patmas57's Avatar
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    I loved this post. I watch so much British television that I've heard most of these several times, but I loved the definitions anyway, and there were a couple I wasn't sure of just from context.

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    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Being married to a Brit and spending a fair amount of time there myself, I pride myself on speaking both English and American.

    I can add several to that dictionary ....

    Holes: we call it an outlet, they call it holes (or "oles" if they're from the East End).
    Chemist: the Pharmacy
    Wellies: boots, specifically Wellingtons
    Knackered: tired
    Bum: we call it a butt, rear end, or the "A" word
    Git: Dumb person
    Garden: any piece of land they own is the garden, never a "yard".
    Ta: Thanks!
    Mate: Friend
    Afters: dessert
    Pudding: also dessert - it could be a Pudding (NOT to be confused with the Jello brand type pudding!), or it could be pie
    Pie: usually meat, if it's fruit pie they'll specify
    Chips: French fries
    Crisps: Potato chips
    Sweets: candy


    Oh ... a "fanny" is NOT a butt - rather it is referring to the lady parts. Brit's don't have "Fanny Packs"... they have "bum packs".

    tons more. I've been married to the man almost a decade, and every now and then I'll still hear a new one.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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    Well - that explains why that book with "fanny" in the title was on the 'adult' list.

    There was an author that seemed to refer to 'dangly bits' - - -

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    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    There was an author that seemed to refer to 'dangly bits' - - -
    hmmm .... SO MANY terms for the "dangly bits" (including dangly bits!), but two of my favorites are "Wedding tackle" and "Meat and Two Veg".
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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    Quote Originally Posted by DogHouseMom View Post
    hmmm .... SO MANY terms for the "dangly bits" (including dangly bits!), but two of my favorites are "Wedding tackle" and "Meat and Two Veg".
    I hadn't heard of either of those before -

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    Junior Member daisylil's Avatar
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    I spent a little time in the US and I think I was almost unintelligable to most

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    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptquilts View Post
    Don't forget, if someone offers to "Knock you up" it is not necessary to slap their face. They are offering to wake you up at a certain time.
    I must say that that phrase has an ENTIRELY different meaning here...something to do with the patter of tiny feet...

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    Member Lisa49's Avatar
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    Smalles are underware.

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    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I got a lot from a Police Video type TV show that I used to watch, like central reservation = median strip
    Lay-by = rest area
    slip road = exit ramp
    dual carriageway = freeway

    I always picture carriages driving down it, LOL!

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    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ptquilts;5397875]dual carriageway = freewayQUOTE]

    No ... a dual carriageway is a road that has a central median (like a boulevard). What we call an interstate (or freeway) is called a Motorway in England.


    another funny one my husband has used. "Put the wood in the hole" = close the door!!

    And then there is the whole cockney (East End) rhyming scheme which seems to be increasing in leaps and bounds - thanks in small part to TV shows like "East Enders" and "TOWIE's" ("The Only Way is Essex" - Englands answer to "Jersey Shore"). I (we) don't know any of the new ones, but some of the old ones are still widely used:
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I briefly worked with a British national once, we had great fun discussing the different words...

    Togs = swimsuits
    torch = flashlight
    trolley = shopping cart

    And I think biscuits are cookies, aren't they?

  19. #19
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    yes, DH's uncle was once hosting some young relatives from Australia and told them he would take them to a restaurant for "All you can eat" chicken and biscuits. They were quite confused until they saw the food, and said, "Oh, you mean SCONES!"

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    Super Member Veronica's Avatar
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    This is so much fun to read.
    Veronica

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    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    I just about thought I was from Mars when a relative came back ffrom England and told me they "had a brew-up in the lay by." (Cup of tea in the rest stop.)
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    haha too funny!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

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    This is a great thread to help us know and more importantly, understand each other. Sometimes it could be pretty easy to take offense at a truly innocent remark.

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    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Love it! I really enjoy language. Another one that makes me wince at the Olympics is 'rooting for your team'. In Australia rooting is a very coarse and yucky word for intercourse.

    One query on the original post though- who says casinos are common in England? They absolutely are not. However, betting shops/bookmakers/bookies are, and they are places where you place bets (or have a punt) on the outcome of events, notably but not exclusively horse races. But punter is such a common term now, I dont think it has anything to do with gambling. It is often used to mean 'customer'.

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    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    Thanks Kitsie!
    Mary

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