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Name a (wacky?) English language cultural difference.





The Philosopher Princess
Name a (wacky?) English language cultural difference! Very Happy And/or, help the rest of us understand what’s going on! Confused Or maybe just commiserate with our confusion. Laughing

We’re all familiar with some of the cultural differences of English used in different countries and even different parts of the same country. For example, British “mums labour over their favourite nappies while American “moms labor over their favorite diapers. Some of the differences like the “o” versus “ou” might not be that interesting to discuss. But what about some differences that are subtle, wacky, or just a mystery we’d like to clear up? Well, here’s our chance to think and talk about these things.

We heartily welcome people to post here whose native language is not English; they may have interesting perspectives that native speakers don’t have. But please keep in mind that our focus here is not on learning English, but on learning the variances of English usage. ** We can state differences we’ve noticed. ** We can ask questions about where variances came from. ** And we can answer and even speculate on the parts we think we know.

I’d like to also request that you write proper English (spelling, grammar, and punctuation) as well as you are able. Distinguish your English examples within quotation marks or italics or color so it’s easy for your readers to tell your examples from your discussion about them. Thanks! Very Happy Let’s have some fun here!
~~~~~~~~~~
So, I’ll start us off. In America, we will tend to say “She’s back from the university.” and “He’s back from the hospital.” using the “the”. But the British will say “She’s back from university.” and “He’s back from hospital.” without the “the”. Why do you think we have developed these differences?
-TomJ-
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
So, I’ll start us off. In America, we will tend to say “She’s back from the university.” and “He’s back from the hospital.” using the “the”. But the British will say “She’s back from university.” and “He’s back from hospital.” without the “the”. Why do you think we have developed these differences?

My guess - as a native Dutch speaker I can only guess - is that the Brits consider 'hospital' or 'university' an institution, while the Yanks are inclined to refer to that particular one hospital he came back from.

Maybe the abundance of medical services in the US creates a need to be specific when referring to a medical facility.

I would be inclined to say in (British) English "On leaving the hospital, he got himself a cab', bt this is just a gut feeling, not corroborated by any text book. I would use this phrasing, because here there is no reference to the institution, but rather the actual building.

But then again, I could be completely wrong. The discussion might be interesting though.
The Philosopher Princess
Good comment, -TomJ-. Institution: I’ll have to think on that.

-TomJ- wrote:
I would be inclined to say in (British) English "On leaving the hospital, he got himself a cab'.

Okay. I feel like (but I also don’t know for sure that) Britons would not use the “the” in your example. So maybe we can get some help.
Vrythramax
I find it very interesting that there are 2 versions of the English language, UK and US. I have also wondered how these differances have come about. Possibly it is because the US is a "melting pot" of many laguages and cultures (not to say the UK isn't) and we have incorporated many bits and pieces of those languages into our (US) version. I also find it most interesting, and not just a bit funny, the "slang" both countries use.

For example...lighting up a fag in the UK is fine...in the US however you go to jail for it Wink
Blaster
I like how there are differences. It shows stuff. Even with in the us. Like Y'all and you all. In the UK I notice things like they say pardon instead of excuse me. Just word usaged too is interesting. That is why i like culture class. Very Happy
David_Pardy
Well in Australia, a lot of us pronounce our own country as "Osstraya". I personally make an effort to pronounce it correctly though Wink.

One of the things that gets me though, is from the placement of French words into the English language. For example, Hors D'eouvre (SP), it took me YEARS before I learned how to pronounce that correctly! I was never taught that one in school, yet French words and phrases are not an uncommon occurrance in the English language. Rendezvous is obviously VERY French! When I first saw it in writing, I read it as "ren-dez-vuss".

All these problems would be fixed if the English curriculums in our English speaking countries actually taught us how to SPEAK our own language and inherited phrases. Too much time is spent on analysing literature, and not enough time understanding the foundations of literature.
The Philosopher Princess
Alright! I’m enjoying these posts! Yeah, David_Pardy, and we get Spanish, Italian, German, and other injections as well. It sure makes life interesting doesn’t it, Blaster? Smile I still have to look up hors d’eouvre to get it right. What about gesundheit? Do Osstrayans Wink say that one? And what do you do about the thes mentioned previously?

Max, glad you’re back online! Frihost missed you! Very Happy

Vrythramax wrote:
For example...lighting up a fag in the UK is fine...in the US however you go to jail for it Wink

I didn’t know what the UK version meant, but I’ve now looked it up; okay, a fag is a cigarette. Surprised
jazrt
It would be fairly mute of me to make any comment as I have fairly poor usage of the English-language myself.
there is also a way of speaking. That implies speaking of yourself in the third person. That has been used a lot in Britain as well more of the upper social class area. "If one was to have a look at it in the way""if one must" there is a whole different set of dynamics.
The English adhere to there British sovereignty.
While the Americans became a conglomerate of mixing nationalities.as various different nationalities settled in areas throughout America than their language would be impregnated with the styles of those nationalities. Television has spread more of an influenceof the style and way of speech.

Here in Australia. There was a very Australian way to speak. Which has now been watered down through the intervention of TV and a lot of the American sitcoms and shows that are presented to us on a daily basis. And a lot of the movies they come out from America.
When they started airing the news originally on TV back even 40 years ago the news presenters spoke in an American accent.
So now the Australian language is being butchered and bastardised as well. Of which it is also a butchered and bastardised form of the English.
maybe the English like to speak in minimalistic. Why use too many word when it can be said in less.

Australian "g'day" American "Howdy" English "how do you do"
wow I didn't start off meaning to write all this. Just that when I got going, I really got going.
Traveller
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
okay, a fag is a cigarette. Surprised

Of course, there's always "fagged out," as well. That would probably take on other connotations among some in the U.S.

Some of the difference are just simple grammar. "The crowd is going wild" (U.S.) vs. "The crowd are going wild" (U.K.). The latter also being more grammatically correct if one is not considering the crowd to be a single entity, but a collection of individuals.

In addition, the parts of a car are interestingly different:
  • Hood - Bonnet
  • Trunk - Boot
  • Gas - Petrol
  • Battery - Accumulator
  • Glove compartment - Cubby box
  • Generator - Dynamo
  • Ground - Earth
  • Truck - Lorry
  • Windshield - Windscreen
Many more probably exist, but those were the ones I know that came to mind.
Donutey
Vrythramax wrote:
I find it very interesting that there are 2 versions of the English language, UK and US. I have also wondered how these differances have come about. Possibly it is because the US is a "melting pot" of many laguages and cultures (not to say the UK isn't) and we have incorporated many bits and pieces of those languages into our (US) version. I also find it most interesting, and not just a bit funny, the "slang" both countries use.

For example...lighting up a fag in the UK is fine...in the US however you go to jail for it Wink


and in the US there are different regional dialects, especially so in the Southern US and Northeast, however, both are less so now, I guess because of national news and so forth that moderates regional differnences.
Traveller
jazrt wrote:
It would be fairly mute of me to make any comment as I have fairly poor usage of the English-language myself.
Hence you will be remaining mute instead of rendering your comments moot? Wink
The Philosopher Princess
You’re making me laugh, jazrt. Thank you for all that. I use the “One must...” approach on a regular basis. You also make me think about non-English languages that use parts of English. For example, I recently watched a Scandinavian movie (with English sub-titles), and I was surprised to find that they kept saying “hi”. (At least I thought that was English. Confused In any case, it’s even shorter than the 3 you named. Smile)
jazrt
Traveller wrote:
jazrt wrote:
It would be fairly mute of me to make any comment as I have fairly poor usage of the English-language myself.
Hence you will be remaining mute instead of rendering your comments moot? Wink


touché
jazrt
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
You’re making me laugh, jazrt. Thank you for all that. I use the “One must...” approach on a regular basis. You also make me think about non-English languages that use parts of English. For example, I recently watched a Scandinavian movie (with English sub-titles), and I was surprised to find that they kept saying “hi”. (At least I thought that was English. Confused In any case, it’s even shorter than the 3 you named. Smile)


in Australia we call the little pack that you wear around your waist.
"A bumbag"which in America bum is not a good word.
In America they say.
"Fanny Pack" which in Australia is not good to use because Fanny refers to the more private parts of women's anatomy.
There are words that are used in one country. That are accepted in use.
While in another country it is considered rude or profane.
This was one example.
And I'm sure there are many other examples as will probably follow. If others pick up this thread.

I just put in edit in; my father was in Texas as a missionary. While there, he had been out for a jog. When he had come back to where he was staying with others who were American there,he had said, " that he was all knocked up"in Australian which meant that he was exhausted from jogging. The Americans upon hearing this were quite alarmed and shocked. As to being knocked up in America meant to have got the girl pregnant.
jazrt
I've got a lot to say on this subject and I didn't know.
Not only language cultural differences.

This also goes into body language cultural differences.

There's a whole new bucket of worms to open up. Or should I have said can of worms.
Blaster
Traveller wrote:
"The crowd is going wild" (U.S.) vs. "The crowd are going wild" (U.K.).
Actually "The crowd is going wild" is right. Are is a verb and is is a noun. So that is wrong.

And yes The Philosopher Princess it does make you think.

I like the whole in spain it is differnt for the plural form of you. The form in most is

For -ar verb like tocar

I) toco _____________We)tocamos
You) tocas
he she) toca ________him her) tocan

Now if we where in spain it would be tocasteis.
-TomJ-
Blaster wrote:

Actually "The crowd is going wild" is right.

Both "the crowd is going wild" and "the crowd are going wild" are grammatically correct. It all depends if you consider the crowd to be one entity, or a word decribing a quantity of individuals.
Blaster wrote:

Are is a verb and is is a noun.

This is not correct: both "are" and "is" are verb forms. "Are" is the plural form and "is" is the singular form used for the verb "to be" in the present tense.

Most European languages I know have distinct forms for the second person singular and plural. Many languages even make a distinction between a "colloquial" second person (German du, French tu, Norwegian du, Dutch jij) as opposed to the polite form (Sie, vous, De, U). Which makes translating from English tricky, as you do not only need to know the meaning, but also the national or cultural habits. In German, parents are addressed with the polite form, in French, prayers use Tu, the colloquial form (but with a capital T).
Hogwarts
Traveller wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
okay, a fag is a cigarette. Surprised

Of course, there's always "fagged out," as well. That would probably take on other connotations among some in the U.S.

Some of the difference are just simple grammar. "The crowd is going wild" (U.S.) vs. "The crowd are going wild" (U.K.). The latter also being more grammatically correct if one is not considering the crowd to be a single entity, but a collection of individuals.

In addition, the parts of a car are interestingly different:
  • Hood - Bonnet
  • Trunk - Boot
  • Gas - Petrol
  • Battery - Accumulator
  • Glove compartment - Cubby box
  • Generator - Dynamo
  • Ground - Earth
  • Truck - Lorry
  • Windshield - Windscreen
Many more probably exist, but those were the ones I know that came to mind.

Actually, I use both forms of most of those words alot apart from Battery - Accumulator, I didn't even know accumulator was related to batteries Surprised . With things such as Generator and Dynamo, I use both in certain instances:
Generator: The power in the hospital went down so the generator started up to power the hospital.
Dynamo: The radio had a dynamo power source in the form of a handle which is rotated to cause power.
(I could have used the wrong meanings or not. I only have an Australian dictionary and am too lazy to go on dictionary.com Wink . With "Lorry" I will never use that though.

Some more:
[*]Soda - Soft drink
[*]Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwitch - Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwitch
[*]Peanut Butter - Peanut Paste
Just to set the record straight: Soft drink actually gets it's name because it is a fancy beverage that does not contain alcohol (Or something similar to that)

As for the second one... What is with that!? I wikipediafied it (what I mean is searched wikipedia for it). here
[FuN]goku
Traveller wrote:

[*]Trunk - Boot
[*]Gas - Petrol
[*]Battery - Accumulator
[*]Glove compartment - Cubby box
[*]Generator - Dynamo
[*]Ground - Earth
[*]Truck - Lorry
[*]Windshield - Windscreen[/list]Many more probably exist, but those were the ones I know that came to mind.

cubby box xD actually down in canada alot of people call it a dash box
tidruG
Blaster wrote:
Are is a verb and is is a noun. So that is wrong.

Actually, both are verbs of the "be" form. Hence, you have some characters in literature saying "He/They be OK", instead of "He is OK" or "They are OK".

Hogwarts wrote:
[*]Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwitch - Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwitch

Hmm.... I wouldn't be too sure about this. I've had friends who've made me sandwiches with peanut butter and actual jelly as well as friends who've made me sandwiches with peanut butter and fruit jam.

Here in India, spoken English is unpredictable. You've got American accents, British accents and "Hinglish", a fine mixture of Hindi and English words. I'll give some more examples of Hinglish later.

Also, a lot of Indian words have been added to the English language either modified or unmodified. A few examples are:

1. actress - The word for both males and females originally was actor. The word actress only started being used recently, and I believe it was first used in India.
2. pre-pone - This word is obviously the conjugate of postpone. But you probably wouldn't find it in any really old dictionaries. That's because the "correct" word is advance. However, prepone does serve a good purpose, doesn't it? Wink
3. chaddi - I believe this is used to refer to shorts or short shorts generally. However, in India, it was generally used to refer to underwear, or really short shorts. Razz

Other words are:
Sahib - Generally used to refer to someone at a higher position or authority than you.

Locally, here in my city, Hyderabad, we use the word "Boss" while addressing auto drivers, shopkeepers, etc.
Also, another thing peculiar to India is that we generally call each other with respect. Anybody who's a friend of my dad's automatically becomes my "Uncle", and similarly, anyone comparable in age to my mum (and older) gets called "Aunty". We rarely refer to anyone by their names, as in Hello, Mrs. Sharma is generally replaced by Hello, aunty.. Actually, I even address people at the bus-stop as Uncle/Boss (based on how old they look) when I ask them which bus will take me to where I want to go.
selim06
There are a few differences beetwen them...I think British English has interrupted and gained new words from the African Languages...And I want to tell my knowledge(Very Happy too small)..
British-American
Underground-Subway
Tube station-Subway station
White coffee-coffee with cream
Town centre-downtown
Tower block-Skyscraper
Torch-Flashlight
Take away-Carry out
Surgery-Doctor's office
Subject-Citizen
Tin-Can
Ring up-Call
Return ticket-Round trip ticket
Shopping centre-Shopping mall
etc...(if you want I can continue)
Miniwood
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

So, I’ll start us off. In America, we will tend to say “She’s back from the university.” and “He’s back from the hospital.” using the “the”. But the British will say “She’s back from university.” and “He’s back from hospital.” without the “the”. Why do you think we have developed these differences?


Being British I'll try and sort this one out. The fact is we would use both terms. If my daughter went to another town to study at University, when she came home on holiday (vacation) she would be 'back from University'. In this case, without the definite article University is really referring to the general concept of Higher Education. If my son had to visit a University on business, on his return he would be 'back from the University', the definite article is used because he visited a specific University. The same is true with your other example where hospital can refer to healthcare in general or a specific building. Usually though, in the non-specific cae we would say out of hospital

@tidruG

tidruG wrote:
Also, a lot of Indian words have been added to the English language either modified or unmodified. A few examples are:

1. actress - The word for both males and females originally was actor. The word actress only started being used recently, and I believe it was first used in India.
2. pre-pone - This word is obviously the conjugate of postpone. But you probably wouldn't find it in any really old dictionaries. That's because the "correct" word is advance. However, prepone does serve a good purpose, doesn't it? Wink
3. chaddi - I believe this is used to refer to shorts or short shorts generally. However, in India, it was generally used to refer to underwear, or really short shorts. Razz

Other words are:
Sahib - Generally used to refer to someone at a higher position or authority than you.


Actress is the female form of actor, which is a Latin word and has been used in English since the 14th century.

Pre-pone is a word I've never heard of and is not AFAIK in use in general English.

chaddi people in England know this word, as meaning underpants, from a british-asian comedy series. It is not used in English generally.

sahib is known in England as a Hindi word but is not used in general English.

Words that we do use with Indian origins include jhodpur, bungalow, shampoo and many others.

Adding my own differences between American and British English, there is the issue of pronunciation.

Since we parted ways in 1776 pronunciation of some words has been preserved in American English and changed in British or vise versa. For example Americans do not pronounce the H at the beginning of the word herb, the British do pronounce the H. In 1776 however, no one pronounced the H in herb.

Americans pronounce tune as if it rhymes with moon but British people pronounce it tyune.

There is also the phrase in American English 'He smells from fish' while in British English we say 'he smells of fish'. Again the American preserves an earlier British usage.
The Philosopher Princess
That was very helpful on the “the”s, Miniwood. It makes me analyze the American usage more. If someone asked me what happened to the driver in the car crash, I might answer “They’re taking him to the hospital.” -- even if there were 5 hospitals in the area and I didn’t know to which hospital he was going.

In other words, I’d use the definite article even when it wasn’t being definite. I’m not saying it’s logical, but that is a cultural “proper” standard. And, I contend, it has a different subtle meaning from using “a hospital”.
~~~~~~~~~~
I didn’t realize we’d be getting so many funny ones. “Bumbag”! “Cubby box”! Laughing

Traveller wrote:
Ground - Earth

So on that one, are you saying that, to the question “Should I hang this driveway lamp right now?”, Britons might answer “No, just put it on the Earth. I will hang it later.”? Laughing

selim06 wrote:
Shopping centre-Shopping mall

Yes, but some of the “uppity” Americans still use “centre” and “theatre”, while others have gravitated to the seemingly more logical “center” and “theater”. (More logical because they are spelled how they are pronounced.)

selim06 wrote:
Torch-Flashlight

That’s funny too. A “torch” makes me think of a wooden stick with actual fire on the end.

I would love to hear more from Australians and Britons on what American phrases seem funny to you and why.
David_Pardy
In Australia we use all of these:

Bonnet
Boot
Petrol
Battery
Glove compartment
Generator, Dynamo
Ground, Earth
Truck
Windshield, Windscreen


Princess - By Ground and Earth it's talking about the electrical connection of a device to keep it 'earthed'. For example, some people buy 'earth straps' for their cars which dangle from the vehicle and touch the road to discharge electricity. Inside the vehicle, all the components are 'grounded' or 'earthed' meaning they're connected to the body of the vehicle which is connected to the negative terminal of the battery.

We do use the words Ground and Earth within their other definitions - for example:

"I tripped and hit the ground hard"
"He's digging up a pile of earth"
"Stay within the grounds where it's safe!"
"Welcome to planet Earth, I hope you enjoy your stay!"
izcool
Alright, I've been talking to a few people from England and Australia for the past few years and I've found numerous differences. I do appologize if the ones I mention on here may have been mentioned on here before, but I'm just going by what I remember.

Foreign English - U.S. English
===================
Petrol - Gasoline (Gas for short)
Torch - Flashlight
Bloke - Guy (Man, or Gentleman for proper)
Bird - Chick (Girl, or Woman for proper)
Knackered - Tired
Colour - Color
Centre - Center
Favourite - Favorite
Chav - I'm assuming it's a teen that dresses bad ?? Don't exactly know.
Tele - Television
Windscreen - Windshield
Ay - Hello
Barbie (like the doll) - Barbeque
Mum - Mom (or Mother)
Uni - University
Fag - Cigaratte
Smeg (from Red Dwarf, a TV show that I watch that's British lol) - Replace with any curse word of your choice
Coke - Soft drink (I live in Chicago, and here it's called "Pop" or "Soda Pop")
Underground - Subway station (or here in Chicago, it's called "The L" or "The Loop", the "Chicago Loop" which goes underground, on ground, and above the roads).
Lift - Elevator
Car Park - Parking Lot (or Parking Garage)

That's all that I can think of for now. If I think of any more, I'll post them here.

- Mike.
Miniwood
izcool wrote:
here in Chicago, it's called "The L" or "The Loop", the "Chicago Loop" which goes underground, on ground, and above the roads


I love E.R. and they often mention the L. I had assumed it was 'el' and was short for electric or elevated railway, LOL.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I didn’t realize we’d be getting so many funny ones. “Bumbag”! “Cubby box”


I never heard of 'Cubby-box', who uses that?
mathiaus
Nice topic Very Happy


Hospitals:
Over here in the UK we have the NHS so we kind of refer to hospitals as all being the same as they are run by the same people and whichever on you went to it would be free.
Miniwood wrote:
Being British I'll try and sort this one out. The fact is we would use both terms. If my daughter went to another town to study at University, when she came home on holiday (vacation) she would be 'back from University'. In this case, without the definite article University is really referring to the general concept of Higher Education. If my son had to visit a University on business, on his return he would be 'back from the University', the definite article is used because he visited a specific University. The same is true with your other example where hospital can refer to healthcare in general or a specific building. Usually though, in the non-specific cae we would say out of hospital

That basicly Wink


The Philosopher Princess wrote:

selim06 wrote:
Torch-Flashlight

That’s funny too. A “torch” makes me think of a wooden stick with actual fire on the end.

I think thats where it comes from. Dictionary definition - a small portable electric lamp, a wooden or tow shaft dipped in wax or tallow and set alight. You see a torch is usually small and provides little light, just enough to see like your 'wooden stick with actual fire on the end'. We do however have the word flashlight as well but use this mainly for Largelights, usually non-portable such as security lights on buildings which provide a bright light over a large distance unlike a torch.


Traveller wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
okay, a fag is a cigarette. Surprised

Of course, there's always "fagged out," as well. That would probably take on other connotations among some in the U.S.

We use cigarette, fag is merely slang
In regard to "fagged out", never heard of it.


Gas - Petrol
Put simply we use petrol so call it that. I believe 'gas' is shortened from 'gasoline though where that came from I don't know as we refer to gas as a state of matter (like solid & liquid) though petrol is liquid and it all becomes rather confusing.


Traveller wrote:
Some of the difference are just simple grammar. "The crowd is going wild" (U.S.) vs. "The crowd are going wild" (U.K.). The latter also being more grammatically correct if one is not considering the crowd to be a single entity, but a collection of individuals.

Indeed, if you were for instance to change crowd for 'people' you would (at lleast here) say "The people are going wild". A crowd is not considered an object basicly Smile


The one I love is our roundabouts, the way American's call them traffic circles
Traveller
mathiaus wrote:
The one I love is our roundabouts, the way American's call them traffic circles

In the New-England region of America, we always called them "rotaries."
The Philosopher Princess
David_Pardy wrote:
Princess - By Ground and Earth it's talking about the electrical connection of a device to keep it 'earthed'. For example, some people buy 'earth straps' for their cars which dangle from the vehicle and touch the road to discharge electricity. Inside the vehicle, all the components are 'grounded' or 'earthed' meaning they're connected to the body of the vehicle which is connected to the negative terminal of the battery.

Oh, okay, that kind of ground and earth! Yes, I realize that “In a toaster oven, if the ground wires are not grounded, the connection will not be complete and the appliance won’t work and could be a fire and shock hazard.” Would you use “earth wires”?

Now my previous “put it on the earth” hypothetical seems even funnier.
~~~~~~~~~~
Miniwood wrote:
I never heard of 'Cubby-box', who uses that?

Not that I know the answer, I do see lots of Google hits on it.

In an American public gradeschool, we used to have “cubby holes”, which were something like lockers, only they were open and without front doors; we could put our personal lunch boxes, jackets, spelling books, and such in “our” cubby hole. For a car, I say “glove compartment” or with a minivan I say “glove drawer” (since it slides under the front passenger seat), though I’ve never heard anyone else saying that.
izcool
Okay, at work today I was going over some of the conversations I had with my friend in England and remembered more of the differences between common language over there and what it's like over here.

Foreign English - U.S. English
===================
Mobile Phone - Cellphone (or "Cell" for short)
Catalogue - Catalog
Mad - Crazy (think of Austin Powers on this one, "Are you mad ?!")


Again, I'll try to think of more. Razz

Miniwood wrote:
I love E.R. and they often mention the L. I had assumed it was 'el' and was short for electric or elevated railway, LOL.


Oddly enough, it does all three (above the streets, below the streets, and on ground level). The "L" ("The Loop") is circling a chunk of Downtown Chicago and branches out to O'Hare Airport (that's where it goes underground and above ground) with other places throughout the city too. It's a little weird, but "The Loop" is actually referring to the section that's Downtown, although everyone calls it that even when it branches out from that section of town.

- Mike.
Traveller
izcool wrote:
Foreign English - U.S. English
===================
Mobile Phone - Cellphone (or "Cell" for short)
Catalogue - Catalog
Mad - Crazy (think of Austin Powers on this one, "Are you mad ?!")

Those are not all that foreign: I was born and raised in the U.S., never been to England, and have used those last two for as long as I can remember. Yes, it's true that I became a big fan of British comedies, etc., as a teenager, but I was already using "mad" and "catalogue" before that.
quartnee
Miniwood wrote:
(...) There is also the phrase in American English 'He smells from fish' while in British English we say 'he smells of fish'. Again the American preserves an earlier British usage.


I don't exactly know if this is an American thing, but normally in American English most would reply "He smells like fish." or like Miniwood said "He smells of fish".
Traveller
Miniwood wrote:
(...) There is also the phrase in American English 'He smells from fish' while in British English we say 'he smells of fish'. Again the American preserves an earlier British usage.

Use "He smells like fish" to indicate a comparison between his aroma and that of fish.

Use "He smells of fish" to indicate that his aroma is caused by the presence of fish upon him.

Have never heard "He smells from fish," until now.
quartnee wrote:
...or like Miniwood said "He smells of fish".

Of course, the point of grammar, here is that it should be "as Minwood said."
Darren
I like to find the different catch phrases and crutch phrases in different cultures. On a recent cruise to Alaska I was lucky enough to hear everything from my Native "How's it goin', eh?' (CDN) to 'I'll tell you what!" (USA) to "Bully for you, Bob's your Uncle" (er.. not sure where he was from. Can anyone shed some light?
Vrythramax
Darren wrote:
...."Bully for you, Bob's your Uncle" (er.. not sure where he was from. Can anyone shed some light?


Are (and I could most cerainly be wrong here) UK slang...not sure of thier meanings though Sad
The Philosopher Princess
It’s funny how, once you get this kind of topic in the back of your mind, you notice applications all over the place.

I was reminded over the weekend (from an excellent movie) of schedule -- its pronunciation. Americans start with sked- with the k sound, while British start with shed- with the sh sound.

And yet Americans say school with the k sound, which, am I correct that, Britons say too? Do we have other differences on the sch’s?
~~~~~~~~~~
Then there’s the spelling of judgement (Britons) and judgment (Americans), with and without the e respectively. I know there are other similar words, but I can’t think of them offhand.
Traveller
In discussing the World Cup with my Spanish tutor, today (she helps me with Spanish and I help her with English), one England/America difference that came to mind was "sport" vs "sports."
The Philosopher Princess
Traveller wrote:
one England/America difference that came to mind was "sport" vs "sports."

Don’t we need more to go on to understand the difference?

Americans would say “Which sport do you spend more time with?” and “Are you much into sports?”
Traveller
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Don’t we need more to go on to understand the difference?

Ah! Perhaps we do. My reference was regarding the term used to encompass all such competition. Probably the easiest examples being news broadcasts and newspapers, where the U.S. would use "Sports," but the U.K. would use "Sport."
The Philosopher Princess
Yes, I see that now, Traveller.

As examples, besides the subcategories of “entertainment”, “news”, “weather”, etc. http://news.bbc.co.uk/ lists “sport” while http://nytimes.com lists “sports”.

This kind of thing is so small, and yet that one letter can identify a person’s culture. (I say “can” because text rife with typos can hide things like that. Wink)
izcool
Ah, now this is making me think of more and more differences that I can remember that I've seen in conversations with my friend in England.

Foreign English - U.S. English
===================
Time Table - Schedule (In regards to classes for school, on how they are lined up)
Football - Soccer (Football here is a completely different sport than Soccer)
Shoppe - Shop

Yet once again, I'll try to think of more. Very Happy

- Mike.
Marston
Brits say "fag" when referring to cigarettes (or so I'm told).

The rest of the world calls them cigarettes.


Wink
Traveller
izcool wrote:
Football - Soccer (Football here is a completely different sport than Soccer)

Players in American "Football" rarely contact the ball with their feet. Indeed, it is a different sport from (proper grammar, not "than") Soccer - the true FOOTball.
izcool
Traveller wrote:
izcool wrote:
Football - Soccer (Football here is a completely different sport than Soccer)

Players in American "Football" rarely contact the ball with their feet. Indeed, it is a different sport from (proper grammar, not "than") Soccer - the true FOOTball.


I dunno, to me it seems OK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Than) where you can use "than" to compare two objects. "From" (to me) seems like "I just came FROM the office, I'll be home shortly", although I do see what you're trying to get at. Since this is on topic, it looks like that English over there may be different than how it's looked at over here. If you didn't know, I'm from the United States where rules seem to be bent in language. After all, rules are made to be broken.

- Mike.
Davidgr1200
The word "fag" has a couple of other meanings in English, it is not just a slang word for cigarette. It can also mean:
"A junior pupil at a public school who does minor chores for a senior pupil"
(Give a whole new meaning to "lighting up a fag"!)
"An unwelcome task" (According to my dictionary, though I've never heard it used that way)
Incidentally, "Public School" is an interesting phrase. It refers to a type of school that generally only the verr rich can afford to send their children to. What most people would regard as a "Private school"!
Traveller
izcool wrote:
I dunno, to me it seems OK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Than) where you can use "than" to compare two objects.

The wiki article is correct, but is about "than," not "different." The reason the wiki article is correct is that it is talking about comparatives. Although "different" makes a comparison, it is not a grammatical comparative (as in "adjective," "comparative," "superlative"). Thus, when using comparatives, "than" is correct (e.g. "bigger than," "smaller than," "greater than," etc.).

The following links provide additional references:
Traveller
Another difference regarding sport is in the declaration of the score when at least one team has zero points. In British English, one would say, for example, "America lost: three nil," but in American English, it would be "America lost: three nothing." The former is starting to be used a little more on ESPN and by some other American sportscasters, but the latter is still more common.
Allweareisair
Ever notice how some people say "I did it ON accident!" when one should say "I did it accidentally!"?

That's my little pet peeve.
watersoul
My friend was in the US recently and while at a bar with his American friends he asked (quite innocently) "...can i bum a fag please" - now of course, he was just asking for a cigarette but there was quite some suprise around the table!

Later that same night he realised the bar was lacking women and then embarrased himself again by suggesting they moved somewhere else to find more fanny - again he didn't realise that that term referred to the bit of your body that you sit on.

Personally I think all these difference are brilliant really - all languages are living things evolving with the people that speak them, and to be honest it's perhaps more appropriate to call them American, Australian etc as the differences in spelling and meanings of words increases?

Smile
izcool
Hehe, sorry, I just thought of another. Razz

Foreign English - U.S. English
==================
Cheers - Thanks

- Mike.
The Philosopher Princess
Outside of Frihost, a friend wrote this to me (and gave me permission to copy).

a friend wrote:
The word “fag” for cigarette and homosexual has the same etymological root. Faggot comes from the Latin word for burning sticks. A cigarette is a burning stick. In Roman times, and the Dark Ages, homosexuals, Christians, and other “undesirables”, were tied to stakes and surrounded by faggots to kill them. So, the word faggot was associated with homosexuals, and later shortened to fag.

But I looked into that further, and it appears to be an urban legend (with which my friend now agrees). I thought it would be interesting for you all.

Source: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=fag&searchmode=none

Online Etymology Dictionary wrote:
faggot (2)

"male homosexual," 1914, Amer.Eng. slang (shortened form fag is from 1921), probably from earlier contemptuous term for "woman" (1591), especially an old and unpleasant one, in reference to faggot (1) "bundle of sticks," as something awkward that has to be carried (cf. baggage). It was used in this sense in 20c. by D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, among others. It may also be reinforced by Yiddish faygele "homosexual," lit. "little bird." It also may have roots in Brit. public school slang fag "a junior who does certain duties for a senior" (1785), with suggestions of "catamite," from fag (v.). This was also used as a verb.

"He [the prefect] used to fag me to blow the chapel organ for him." ["Boy's Own Paper," 1889]

Other obsolete senses of faggot were "man hired into military service simply to fill out the ranks at muster" (1700) and "vote manufactured for party purposes" (1817). The oft-heard statement that male homosexuals were called faggots in reference to their being burned at the stake is an etymological urban legend. Burning was sometimes a punishment meted out to homosexuals in Christian Europe (on the suggestion of the Biblical fate of Sodom and Gomorah), but in England, where parliament had made homosexuality a capital offense in 1533, hanging was the method prescribed. Any use of faggot in connection with public executions had long become an English historical obscurity by the time the word began to be used for "male homosexual" in 20th century American slang, whereas the contemptuous slang word for "woman" (and the other possible sources or influences listed here) was in active use.
Jaime
I am learning the english language, I don't understand differences of some words...
The Philosopher Princess
Hey y’all, I have an additional method for gathering some good examples: While reading other Frihost threads, when we run across examples that strike us as relevant to this topic, quote them and discuss. We are not doing this to make fun of people, but we can have fun with people; I hope my distinction makes sense. Let’s keep everything friendly! Very Happy

Here’s an example:
wumingsden wrote:
I came across an advert for some new car

Of course I realize that “advert” is short for “advertisement” (an apparently popular abbreviation in the UK), but I also realize that I (and I believe most Americans) would say “ad” rather than “advert”. Neither is right or wrong, but just customs. Smile
Juparis
Ooh, an interesting topic indeed! I remember having trouble all the time in grade [elementary] school (not sure what the British term for that would be) writing my papers, because I always confused the o's vs. the ou's. Color/Colour, Favorite/Favourite, Savior/Saviour... And then the odd ones as well, such as Program/Programme, Shop/Shoppe. Although the only reason I had confusion with the latter was because I lived in a German-town (hence it's name, Germantown Rolling Eyes ). Calling a grocery store a Markt Platz was easily understandable, and shoppe somehow played into that...

Regardless, I find the difference in grammar to be somewhat amusing to discuss. Brits always say that "their" English is the proper dialect. Then there's American English. There's Northern 'talk,' and the Southern jibberish. Laughing
Most American newscasters, however, come from the Midwest, because that's the region with the most properly-pronouncing dialect. Very Happy Sorry, random trivia for you there..

Anyway, I think it's pointless to claim and cry what's proper and what's not, because more often than not, both versions are correct and acceptable in their respectable home lands. Than; of; from... It's all the same to me. Razz Trying to figure out when to use 'por' and 'para' in Spanish--now that's a challenge (both mean "for").
hlavco
Okay, I'm not positive on this one, but pretty sure:

A sedan becomes a saloon.
A station wagon becomes an estate.

Actually, that seems more like a "Europe in general" thing. Once again, not positive.
jharsika
Allweareisair wrote:
Ever notice how some people say "I did it ON accident!" when one should say "I did it accidentally!"?

That's my little pet peeve.


A lot of people around where I live (Maritimes in Canada where the English is appalling!) say that. I think another proper way of saying it is "...by accident." That's how I would say it!

****What is up with SODA = POP??! Here we say Coke, for Coke(Coca-Cola) and Pop for Orange Pop(Cola), Ginger Ale, Sprite etc. When you order a soda, why do you(Americans) assume they know what flavour?! I just don't get it.

PS. Fag here means a homosexual.
SNES350
Juparis wrote:
Ooh, an interesting topic indeed! I remember having trouble all the time in grade [elementary] school (not sure what the British term for that would be) writing my papers, because I always confused the o's vs. the ou's. Color/Colour, Favorite/Favourite, Savior/Saviour... And then the odd ones as well, such as Program/Programme, Shop/Shoppe. Although the only reason I had confusion with the latter was because I lived in a German-town (hence it's name, Germantown Rolling Eyes ). Calling a grocery store a Markt Platz was easily understandable, and shoppe somehow played into that...

I would not understand a reference to a grocery store by Markt Platz (I learned the term to mean "marketplace" or "market square" in German class). I think of a marketplace as an outdoor market, but I think of a store in a building when I hear grocery store.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:

Then there’s the spelling of judgement (Britons) and judgment (Americans), with and without the e respectively. I know there are other similar words, but I can’t think of them offhand.


I've always believed the correct spelling is judgement, and I am an American. I believe I have even been corrected after spelling it without that "e".
Lapinbleu
Selim06 writes
Quote:
Subject-Citizen


Curious this. The British were always subjects, of Her Gracious Majesty. When I received my last passport I discovered that I am now a "British Citizen". Has Britain become a republic, without me noticing? Question I think, as they say, we should be told...
The Philosopher Princess
SNES350 wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Then there’s the spelling of judgement (Britons) and judgment (Americans), with and without the e respectively. I know there are other similar words, but I can’t think of them offhand.

I've always believed the correct spelling is judgement, and I am an American. I believe I have even been corrected after spelling it without that "e".

That “missing” “e” certainly does seem wacky! I mean, are we Americans really saving a whole lot of time by not having to type or write those “e”s? I’d like to see a scientific study: maybe we save, what?, 2 minutes and 14 seconds a year, average! Razz

Seriously, I don’t know why the “e” was dropped, but if you look in an American dictionary, I believe you will find that “judgment” is the only standard American spelling. The extra form of “judgement” will be offered too but only as the “Brit” form.
IceCreamTruck
In England if you are hit crossing the road you were "run down."

In America if you are hit crossing the road you were "run over."

If you run a race in America and you are caught the you are "run down."

In england if you run a race and you are caught in England then you were "over come."

That's my two cents, and it doesn't really matter what side of the coin you choose to look at. It's just two cents! Dancing
The Philosopher Princess
IceCreamTruck wrote:
In England if you are hit crossing the road you were "run down."

In America if you are hit crossing the road you were "run over."

If you run a race in America and you are caught the you are "run down."

Well I guess if there would ever be an expert on “run down”s and “run over”s it would have to be an IceCreamTruck! Razz
Panthrowzay
This is a simple on the word The prononced as THA or T-he its simple but even the same person swicths it up in the same sentence, also in the south in elementry we sayed "he skiped me!" but some idiot form up norths says "you cut me" the diffenct was moumental, i thought the guy was bleeding the first time he sayed that, also britains way of saying scheudle, how ever you spell it, i was listen to a speaker it took me a hour to realize what he was saying, dang dailects!
Kaneda
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
You’re making me laugh, jazrt. Thank you for all that. I use the “One must...” approach on a regular basis. You also make me think about non-English languages that use parts of English. For example, I recently watched a Scandinavian movie (with English sub-titles), and I was surprised to find that they kept saying “hi”. (At least I thought that was English. Confused In any case, it’s even shorter than the 3 you named. Smile)


I'm a Dane, and I actually have no idea if that's a word we borrowed from English or both languages got from somewhere else (such as Dutch "Hoi") - or it's a coincidence (unlikely). In Danish, it's "hej", in Norwegian, "hei", they don't mean exactly the same, though. We'll often use "hej" also as a greeting of "goodbye" / "see you", for example (although I think that's relatively new, like, the past 30-40 years).

I do know we have plenty of words borrowed from English, and plenty of words that we borrowed from the same languages as English (French, Latin, Greek, Spanish, Arabian etc.)

And the etymology of a large amount of every day English words is actually Scandinavian (by way of the vikings), for example: window, anger, blunder, welcome, shirt, cake, kid, guess, husband, egg, low, odd, rotten, both, crash, scream, shy, bread, dirt, clown, talk, ugly, bush, bubble...; some of the week days; and several hundred other words (one funny example: balderdash) Smile

Some of them (like balderdash Wink) we don't use anymore, many we do, some have changed their meaning here while keeping their original meaning in English (for example, "anger" in Danish, which is rarely used, has meant sorrow/regret for hundreds of years).
Traveller
jharsika wrote:
What is up with SODA = POP??! Here we say Coke, for Coke(Coca-Cola) and Pop for Orange Pop(Cola), Ginger Ale, Sprite etc. When you order a soda, why do you(Americans) assume they know what flavour?! I just don't get it.

Within the States, this is regional. Some people call it "soda," some call it "pop," and some call it "soda pop." There are even a few areas in which it is called "Coke," regardless of the brand or flavour.
Jack_Hammer
Panthrowzay wrote:
...also britains way of saying scheudle, how ever you spell it, i was listen to a speaker it took me a hour to realize what he was saying, dang dailects!


Schedule ("shed-dule")

BIG differences (Mainly pointing to america):
England - A single nation
Great Britain - Group of nations (England, Wales and Scotland)
United Kingdom - Group of nations (England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland)

I am English, also British.

English the langauge comes from (I know this might be hard to believe) England, the Welsh speak a form of Gaelic (Welsh) the Irish speak a form of Gaelic (Irish), British accent - none existant. English accent (I bet there are more different accents in England than there are in america).

jharsika wrote:
...What is up with SODA = POP??! Here we say Coke, for Coke(Coca-Cola) and Pop for Orange Pop(Cola), Ginger Ale, Sprite etc. When you order a soda...


In England we say Pop / Fizzy pop etc.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
...I realize that “advert” is short for “advertisement” (an apparently popular abbreviation in the UK), but I also realize that I (and I believe most Americans) would say “ad” rather than “advert”...


We say Ad Ads Advert Advertisement, but for advertisements on the TV you tend to say commercial, we still say ads.

izcool wrote:
Cheers - Thanks

Cheers / Thanks

izcool wrote:
Foreign English - U.S. English


This is irritating me, ENGLISH. Not foreign, proper English, the langauge itself.
In 1604 the first English dictionary was published.

izcool wrote:
...Time Table / Schedule - Schedule
...
Shoppe - Shop...

We say shop and spell it shop, not shoppe.

Traveller wrote:
...Probably the easiest examples being news broadcasts and newspapers, where the U.S. would use "Sports," but the U.K. would use "Sport."

Yes we have a 'Sport Section' of newspapers not 'Sports Section' etc.

IceCreamTruck wrote:
In England if you are hit crossing the road you were "run down."...

In England we say either "run over" or "run down".

We say "Caramel" nor "carmel"

We pronounce words like "Semi", not "Semiiiiiiiiiii"

We pronounce "Nike" not "Nikeeeeeee"

We (usually) say maths (As mathamatics) not math

We say (generally) "Shopping centre" not "Shopping mall"

We tend to say "Holiday / Vacation" not "Vacation"

Toaster - toaster oven

Zed (In the dictionary verbal pronunciation of the letter 'Z' - Zeeeeee

Schools
Preschool - Kindergarten (We start school at different ages and you call kindergarten 'School' when I was in america I was 'tought' in kidergarten is basically preschool for us (In Scotland you start school at four))
Secondary school - High School
Grammar School - High School
6th form / College - High School
University - University / College

Vrythramax wrote:
I find it very interesting that there are 2 versions of the English language, UK and US. I have also wondered how these differances have come about. Possibly it is because the US is a "melting pot" of many laguages and cultures (not to say the UK isn't) and we have incorporated many bits and pieces of those languages into our (US) version. I also find it most interesting, and not just a bit funny, the "slang" both countries use.

For example...lighting up a fag in the UK is fine...in the US however you go to jail for it Wink


Oookay, in England we have had our langauge turn about from many many different culutres invading us, also a big influance is also French (Why we have spellings like Colour Cheque etc.). There are lots of different versions of English, but there are three main types Chinese English, English and american.


One that aggitates me a little
Theatre where a play is acted out.
Cinema where a movie is shown.

Movie theatre - No such thing in my mind nor a home theatre.

Chav / townie - people that dress in tracksuits and think they look good, listen to crud music and buy things simply because someone else has, people that are led. Also tend to drink a lot and have a low IQ.

(There are lots of differences between langauges, though most of what I have said are general but you must realise that in america they tend to use few ways of saying things but all of you say it) for example when my family went to live in american (We lived in florida) my mum and my sister went to see a friend and my sister wanted to stroke the cat, my mum was there for half an hour (Litrally) trying to explain that my sister wanted to stroke the cat until she finally said she wanted to 'pet' the cat, it wasn't until then the american friend finally realised what she meant.

[EDIT] I am also a limescale if anyone that isn't British can tell me what that means I will give you all my Frih$[/EDIT]

[HINT]By limescale I mean I'm anit-septic[/HINT]
The Philosopher Princess
Jack_Hammer wrote:
[EDIT] I am also a limescale if anyone that isn't British can tell me what that means I will give you all my Frih$[/EDIT]

I am not British. I am curious about that. Is it related to limey, which was a derogatory term used for a British sailor, derived from the use of limes on British ships to prevent scurvy?
wumingsden
Jack_Hammer wrote:
[EDIT] I am also a limescale if anyone that isn't British can tell me what that means I will give you all my Frih$[/EDIT]


I am English and have absolutely no idea what that means Embarassed
IceCreamTruck
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
IceCreamTruck wrote:
In England if you are hit crossing the road you were "run down."

In America if you are hit crossing the road you were "run over."

If you run a race in America and you are caught the you are "run down."

Well I guess if there would ever be an expert on “run down”s and “run over”s it would have to be an IceCreamTruck! Razz



In england I "run them down" but in america I "run them over" be sure to get it right!! Laughing
izcool
jharsika wrote:
****What is up with SODA = POP??! Here we say Coke, for Coke(Coca-Cola) and Pop for Orange Pop(Cola), Ginger Ale, Sprite etc. When you order a soda, why do you(Americans) assume they know what flavour?! I just don't get it.

PS. Fag here means a homosexual.


Commonly in resturants here, they have their own soda machines where you can fill it yourself. At other resturants they ask what flavor you want. (Hey, that's another, "flavor" in U.S. English to "flavour" for Foreign English). When I order, I say "Medium Drink" and then followed by the flavor "Coke" or "Pepsi" (the two common ones in resturants here). At home or something, I call it "Soda Pop", "Soda", or just "Pop". It's a little weird.

- Mike.
The Philosopher Princess
IceCreamTruck wrote:
In england I "run them down" but in america I "run them over" be sure to get it right!! Laughing

Yeah, but how do you get your IceCreamTruck overseas? Nevermind, don't answer; that would be off topic.

Forget the children. Just send me a case of CA-ra-mel chocolate chip sundaes with sprinkles and a side case of soft drinks, preferably Classic Coke. Razz
Soulfire
Well, my teacher explained a few things to the class:

Cigarettes - Fags
Apartments - Flats

And intrestingly enough, in the U.S. you would ask for a wake up call, where in the U.K. you would say "Knock me up at X o'clock"

And in the U.S. the term "knock up" is used to describe someone drugging someone else up.
jharsika
Soulfire wrote:

And intrestingly enough, in the U.S. you would ask for a wake up call, where in the U.K. you would say "Knock me up at X o'clock"

And in the U.S. the term "knock up" is used to describe someone drugging someone else up.

LOL ....to knock someone up, here it means *ahem* get them preggers as the Brits would say! Hah....
The Philosopher Princess wrote:

Seriously, I don’t know why the “e” was dropped, but if you look in an American dictionary, I believe you will find that “judgment” is the only standard American spelling. The extra form of “judgement” will be offered too but only as the “Brit” form.

That reminds me how in Britain they spell it aluminium but here in Canada, and I think the States too, we spell it aluminum. Do the Brits pronounce the i too? I've always wondered what happened there.....(with the i)!



IceCreamTruck wrote:
In England if you are hit crossing the road you were "run down."

In America if you are hit crossing the road you were "run over."

If you run a race in America and you are caught the you are "run down."

In england if you run a race and you are caught in England then you were "over come."


In my corner of Canada we say overcome(by fear, emotion), run over(or hit, by a car) and rundown(tired, dilapitated {sp?}). We're crazy, I know.


One last thing. After reading a series of hilarious books in Junior High (The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson by Louis Rennison...) I started using some of the slang from Britain like "nippy noodles", "nunga-nungas", "snogging", "fags", "spots"(zits), aaand "cor" etc. ex. Cor it's nippy noodles, my nunga-nungas are giving everyone a peep-show.... Laughing
<BananasAreForMonkeys
I dont know if this is the same type of difference, but its funny how different things are said in different languages and countries. For Example, in the US (especially NY) when its really cold its said to be F**king cold, although in german its a$$ cold, while in spanish its penis cold, and in hungarian its wh0re cold.
guissmo
piss - urinate
piss off - go away

That's weird already...
riv_
In Canada we speak a strange blend of Brit and American English. Most of us are pretty defensive about our zed (It's not "zee"); we drink pop, fags are homosexual, and if we don't spell with an "ou", we get very poor marks in school. (Which is always a hang up in my CSS - there is no colour property!)
For the most part, we tend to speak the same language as our neighbours to the south. A short time ago, we were travelling as a family in the US, and my mother had occasion to ask someone for something to tie back her hair. After a long, comical exchange, we discovered that Americans use rubber bands; Canadians use elastics. Go figure.
jharsika
riv_ wrote:
In Canada we speak a strange blend of Brit and American English. Most of us are pretty defensive about our zed (It's not "zee")........... A short time ago, we were travelling as a family in the US, and my mother had occasion to ask someone for something to tie back her hair. After a long, comical exchange, we discovered that Americans use rubber bands; Canadians use elastics. Go figure.


I say rubber band for like office supply elastics (there I go), and hair elastics or just plain "elastics" for tieing my hair back. When scrunchies were in we called them that too.

Hey I say zee OR zed! It makes no difference to me, and people don't seem to care when I say it either way. I always forget which it is "supposed" to be anyway.
izcool
Reading more and more of these are starting to bring back some more conversations. Very Happy

Foreign English - U.S. English
===================
Preggers - A slang in which I was told by him that Chavs and Chavette's use to say "Pregnant"
Boob - It ACTUALLY, IN REAL LIFE means an ignorant or a foolish person, not the slang for a woman's chest in the U.S.
Pound - Unlike the U.S. weight measurement, a Pound is their form of currency.
Pissed - Drunk, Hammered, or Wasted

In regards to what I was saying before about the Chicago "L" going more than around Downtown Chicago, it goes throughout other places, including as far as O'Hare Airport. I was on the Kennedy Expressway today heading towards O'Hare and took a quick photo on my cellphone of one of the "L" trains going by. It's a little hard to see at first glance, it's all the way on the left behind some cars, but it's visible.



I do appologize for making so many replies to this thead, but it'd be hard for people to see them as the pages keep clicking on and on. Smile

- Mike.
The_Gamer294
im not so sure this fits in but its still pretty interesting. in arabic the same word is used for both the lemon and the lime. this caused alot of confusion at my friends house when his mom asked me if i wanted lemon juice in my ramen noodles. (it tasted like crap with lime in it)

EDIT: one more
USA - Rubber is what tires are made out of (tyres in british)
UK - Rubber is what americans call erasers

interesting...
Vrythramax
The_Gamer294 wrote:
im not so sure this fits in but its still pretty interesting. in arabic the same word is used for both the lemon and the lime. this caused alot of confusion at my friends house when his mom asked me if i wanted lemon juice in my ramen noodles. (it tasted like crap with lime in it)

EDIT: one more
USA - Rubber is what tires are made out of (tyres in british)
UK - Rubber is what americans call erasers

interesting...


I have to disagree here...I am no English Major, but in the US erasers are indeed made of a form of rubber....but we call them erasers not a rubber, I have never in my life heard an eraser called a rubber, and it's been my unfortunate displeasure to have to use one more than once. Maybe you should check that one out again.....btw, a "rubber" in the US is also slang for a condom.
Samuel
I perfer to use OU in words like armour, labour, etc. Very Happy
Traveller
Vrythramax wrote:
I have to disagree here...

I concur. Of course, it could be regional, but the only people I've ever heard use the word "rubber" for "eraser" were Brits.

One other American use of the word "rubber" also exists. In some areas, galoshes are called rubbers.
Vrythramax
Traveller wrote:
I concur. Of course, it could be regional, but the only people I've ever heard use the word "rubber" for "eraser" were Brits.

One other American use of the word "rubber" also exists. In some areas, galoshes are called rubbers.


very true...but does anyone still use galoshes anymore? Wow...I don't remember seeing a pair since I was a kid....and it was my GrandFather that was using them Smile

Also our fishing fleet uses "rubbers" while fishing (commercial fishing that is), they are also called "oilers" though.
Juparis
Has anyone mentioned bubbler/water [drinking] fountain?
Though that might only be an American regional thing...

Just like someone mentioned soda vs. pop, you could say [milk]shake vs. malt.
Here, it's always soda and shake. People ask for a malt, and the waiter says "huh?" Laughing
jharsika
Juparis wrote:
Has anyone mentioned bubbler/water [drinking] fountain?
Though that might only be an American regional thing...

Just like someone mentioned soda vs. pop, you could say [milk]shake vs. malt.
Here, it's always soda and shake. People ask for a malt, and the waiter says "huh?" Laughing


Here it's milkshake never shake. And a malt is like an alcoholic drink or something....I'm not sure. Malted liqueure?

We say just drinking fountain or fountain. And the water cooler things are well....water coolers or water tubs. Confused Dang I just went and confused myself.
SFMeatwad
Americans (ME) : Color; Armor, Favorite, Mom, Crap, Can't cuss infront of parents without getting on to

British: Colour, Armour, Favourite, Mum, Sh*t, Can cuss infront of parents
secret_soul
Every American I have ever met has asked if I'm British whereas I have never referred to myself as anything other than English. I must also point out the huge amount of conclusion that happened when my American step-mum told me and my sister to put on "thongs" which, in the USA, mean flip flops but in England mean G-Strings.

Also swear words have completely different scales of impact in the countries. I said a very mild swearword in front of my step-mum and she had a huge go at me because, apparantly, it's much more offensive in the States. Also, on several forums I am on the majority of people are from the USA and they constantly use words that are not considered acceptable over here but are perfectly fine where they live.

.... it's an odd little world... Smile
Jack_Hammer
secret_soul wrote:
Every American I have ever met has asked if I'm British whereas I have never referred to myself as anything other than English...


I am English through and through and I am proud of that, though as I have stated many times, why do americans not see a difference?, Though I am in the British army as England doesn't have one.
Wink
OutlawSpirit
IceCreamTruck wrote:
In England if you are hit crossing the road you were "run down."



no... its "run over" in england..... i know im english & proud! Very Happy
The Philosopher Princess
I was just reminded of these: Americans write offense and defense, while British write offence and defence: Ss versus Cs. They’re pronounced the same as far as I know.

In a Briton-authored book I’m reading, I’ve come across a lot of terms I wasn’t familiar with. Here are just the latest:

Tuck in, I take it, means feel free to start eating. Americans might say for that, dig in. And when I think about both of these literally, they seem quite hilarious. We’d use tuck in to mean get someone snuggled in bed under the covers.

Git as in “Having a nosy git like you for a brother is a bummer.” stands for something I’m not quite sure, but seems lightly derogatory.

Chivvy -- now that was one I wasn’t familiar with at all. My dictionary has Brit., to chase; run after.
Jack_Hammer
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
In a Briton-authored book I’m reading, I’ve come across a lot of terms I wasn’t familiar with. Here are just the latest:

Tuck in, I take it, means feel free to start eating. Americans might say for that, dig in. And when I think about both of these literally, they seem quite hilarious. We’d use tuck in to mean get someone snuggled in bed under the covers.

Git as in “Having a nosy git like you for a brother is a bummer.” stands for something I’m not quite sure, but seems lightly derogatory.


Tuck in, start eating, also one gets tucked into bed.

Git is offensive though a bit bland nowadays (Stupid old git) etc.
The Philosopher Princess
Thanks! Also, I’m glad you all brought this one up because I was meaning to ask about it.

Jack_Hammer wrote:
secret_soul wrote:
Every American I have ever met has asked if I'm British whereas I have never referred to myself as anything other than English...

I am English through and through and I am proud of that, though as I have stated many times, why do americans not see a difference?, Though I am in the British army as England doesn't have one.
Wink

Please tell us more. Do you both consider it just kind of inaccurate to call you “British” rather than “English”? Or is it at all offensive? And also please give us your best judgment of what your fellow English would think about this. For example, is it at all a regional thing or a class thing?

Also, what about being called a “Briton”? Our dictionaries say that is also proper, but what do you think?
wumingsden
Juparis wrote:
Here it's milkshake never shake


Not entirely true. I take a number of suppliment drinks, one of them are named "Cal-Shake". I usually call it a shake.

I have never said that I am British nor that I live in England. When I say I'm from England someone may say "Oh, your British" and I reply, "No, I'm English". I don't hear no-one saying Britain/British apart from on documentaries .... and Little Britain Very Happy
To me I think its in-accurate to call me British, not offensive. I use the term British so in-frequently that to be truthful I'm wondering whether I've spelt it correct. Is is 2 es-us ("ss") ?
This maybe just me though. People consider me to be a higher class (well, I usually get called posh), although in my opinion I am not. I don't think its a regional thing.
Weslyn
No one's mentioned this, and I'm sorry to say I can't add much more at the moment. >_<

English | American

Realise | Realize

... and there's something else... can't quite remember what it is now.
wumingsden
Admittedly I haven't read all replies to this thread so am unsure whether these have already been mentioned:

U.S English -----> English

fanny -----> ass
vagina -----> fanny
asforoneday
I don't know why I really dislike the british spelling but I do.. I feel like a bigot though. Sad
nazty
The first word is 'salvage'.

In the International English, which is the English known by most English-speaking countries, the term means as the act of saving imperiled property from loss.

However, in a Filipino-English, the meaning is the extreme opposite. Mostly used in a tabloid when someone is salvaged, don't expect that the news will narrate on heroism but rather on a crime. Salvage in the Filipino-English context means as the act of murdering someone usually by high profile personalities. The dead body is usually dumped in an abandoned area.

Weirdness.
nazty
The second word (the last word for now) is the word 'traffic'.

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is among the cities heaviest traffic. So, it is not that hard for the word 'traffic' would evolve and its meaning be tagged immediately as 'heavy traffic'. So when you take a cab and the driver will tell you that it is traffic to where you will be heading, he means that you will be expecting a heavy traffic.

It is contrast to the International-English which is basically a flow of automobile and vehicles. It might be light or heavy.

Weirdness.
DoctorBeaver
In England we say "up north" or "down south", yet northerners often "go up to London", which is south & therefore down. Confused
wumingsden
DoctorBeaver wrote:
In England we say "up north" or "down south", yet northerners often "go up to London", which is south & therefore down. Confused



Quite funny. I think its because they say you go up the M1. Personally I say go down to London wihch is geogically - is that a word? Confused - correct.
paul_indo
wumingsden wrote:

When I say I'm from England someone may say "Oh, your British" and I reply, "No, I'm English". I don't hear no-one saying Britain/British apart from on documentaries .... and Little Britain Very Happy
To me I think its in-accurate to call me British,


I think you are confusing your terminology here.

Is England not part of Britain?
It is perfectly acurate to call an English person British. If you come from yorkshire you would never say "Oh no, I'm not English, I'm a Yorkshireman."

Yorkshire is part of England so you would be both, a Yorkshireman and an Englishman, you would also be British.

wumingsden wrote:
wihch is geogically - is that a word? - correct.

I think you mean geographically.
SoftStag
What an interesting topic!

I'm a Yorkshireman, which also makes me English and British. I'm proud of all 3, I don't see it really matters. Do Americans see themselves as from America, or the state they are from? Surely this is just splitting hairs (probably a UK term).

I think something people haven't really mentioned in this thread, is that in the UK, there are so many regional variations. Being from Yorkshire, I know that many fellow Englishmen can't understand 2 Yorkshiremen having a conversation. Check this link for some Yorkshire words:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yorkshireisms

It amazes me how many names we have in the UK for bread, used to make sandwiches. Here are a few that I can think of, and they are all essentially the same thing:
    Bread cake
    Bread bun
    Bread roll
    Teacake (in some areas this infers it has currents in it)
    Barm cake
    Muffin
    Bap
    Cob
    Oven Bottom Muffin
    Stottie Cake


The English language is a constantly changing and evolving language, different countries are just like the different dialects within the UK.
izcool
Alright, yet again, here's more that I've come up with. This time it's a longer list. Smile

Foreign English - U.S. English
==================
"Spin On It" - "Get Lost"
Mate - Friend
Tit - Stupid Person
Goit (Similar to "Git") - An Idiot
Vid - Video
Rubbish - Nonsense
Tot - Nonsense
Tiff - Fight or an Argument
Gray - Grey (The spelling for that word are a little different)
Fancy - "Want" or "Do you want"

- Mike.
David_Pardy
Izcool, you really should be writing "English vs US English" rather than "Foreign English", being as US English is based on English from England, not the other way round... Besides, 'foreign' is a relative term.

For example, US English to myself as an Australian is foreign, whereas my local slang is foreign to you, and local to me. Therefore 'Foreign' is an inaccurate adjective whether US English is based upon England English or not.
izcool
David_Pardy wrote:
Izcool, you really should be writing "English vs US English" rather than "Foreign English", being as US English is based on English from England, not the other way round... Besides, 'foreign' is a relative term.

For example, US English to myself as an Australian is foreign, whereas my local slang is foreign to you, and local to me. Therefore 'Foreign' is an inaccurate adjective whether US English is based upon England English or not.


The reason why I'm doing that is because there's a lot of us here from the U.S., and to us, it is considered as foreign. For those of you who are in foreign countries (foreign to me), or considered as "Across the pond" (another I thought of), read it backwards. I Google'd the meaning for "Foreign" and it reads "Of concern to or concerning the affairs of other nations (other than your own)". That's why I'm using the word "Foreign" instead of another word in place of it when I'm making these replies. Alright then, tell me what I should be using then instead of "foreign". I do in every right have the privilege to be using almost any word I want in the English dictionary.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2006-16,GGLG:en&q=define%3AForeign

- Mike.
jazrt
wumingsden wrote:
Admittedly I haven't read all replies to this thread so am unsure whether these have already been mentioned:

U.S English -----> English

fanny -----> ***
vagina -----> fanny


Yes I have already mentioned this in a previous post

jazrt wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
You’re making me laugh, jazrt. Thank you for all that. I use the “One must...” approach on a regular basis. You also make me think about non-English languages that use parts of English. For example, I recently watched a Scandinavian movie (with English sub-titles), and I was surprised to find that they kept saying “hi”. (At least I thought that was English. Confused In any case, it’s even shorter than the 3 you named. Smile)


in Australia we call the little pack that you wear around your waist.
"A bumbag"which in America bum is not a good word.
In America they say.
"Fanny Pack" which in Australia is not good to use because Fanny refers to the more private parts of women's anatomy.
There are words that are used in one country. That are accepted in use.
While in another country it is considered rude or profane.
This was one example.
And I'm sure there are many other examples as will probably follow. If others pick up this thread.

I just put in edit in; my father was in Texas as a missionary. While there, he had been out for a jog. When he had come back to where he was staying with others who were American there,he had said, " that he was all knocked up"in Australian which meant that he was exhausted from jogging. The Americans upon hearing this were quite alarmed and shocked. As to being knocked up in America meant to have got the girl pregnant.
SoftStag
izcool wrote:
David_Pardy wrote:
Izcool, you really should be writing "English vs US English" rather than "Foreign English", being as US English is based on English from England, not the other way round... Besides, 'foreign' is a relative term.

For example, US English to myself as an Australian is foreign, whereas my local slang is foreign to you, and local to me. Therefore 'Foreign' is an inaccurate adjective whether US English is based upon England English or not.


The reason why I'm doing that is because there's a lot of us here from the U.S., and to us, it is considered as foreign. For those of you who are in foreign countries (foreign to me), or considered as "Across the pond" (another I thought of), read it backwards. I Google'd the meaning for "Foreign" and it reads "Of concern to or concerning the affairs of other nations (other than your own)". That's why I'm using the word "Foreign" instead of another word in place of it when I'm making these replies. Alright then, tell me what I should be using then instead of "foreign". I do in every right have the privilege to be using almost any word I want in the English dictionary.

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2006-16,GGLG:en&q=define%3AForeign

- Mike.

I think you are changing from the initial idea of the thread. Just because the USA has a bigger population than the UK does not mean that the USA is the correct form of English. I think the whole idea of this thread is to show the differences in the English Language across the world. Right or wrong, is not really the point. Saying "Foriegn English" (from a USA point of view) is a very broad term. We have seen already that there are many differences between Austrailia, England, USA, and other countries, and regional differences within those.

In England I do not use the following of your "Foriegn English" terms:
Spin it On
Goit
Tot
Gray (it is spelt Grey in the UK)

Maybe we are turning American...
DoctorBeaver
Going back to what was said earlier about the word "pi55"

"pi55ed" - UK, drunk: US, annoyed
"pi55ed off" - UK, annoyed or "gone away"

So, to say "he's pi55ed off" could mean he's annoyed or he's gone away.

Then we have "to take the pi55". This doesn't mean a fascination with urolagnia but means to make sarcastic or disparaging comments.

"pi55 water" - very weak beer
"pi55 likely" - probably won't happen
"pi55ed on" or "pi55ed all over" - gave a sound thrashing to, usually in a sporting sense (not to be confused with "piston" which is part of an engine)
"piston broke" - how I usually end up on Saturday nights.
"pi55 up" - a bout of heavy drinking.
"pi55 easy" or "a piece of pi55" - a doddle, cinch, piece of cake
"pi55head" - someone who drinks a lot
"pi55 for brains" (sometimes "5hit for brains") - a very silly person
izcool
I've been watching that one TV show that I like (British) called Red Dwarf. I'm writing all of those down as it goes along, and all in that one reply of mine I've heard being used. Rolling Eyes I'll kindly step away from this thread, because I don't want to start another argument on here. Last time that happened I got a warning, and 2 warnings max is all you can have for FriHost before being bounced.

- Mike.
secret_soul
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Thanks! Also, I’m glad you all brought this one up because I was meaning to ask about it.

Jack_Hammer wrote:
secret_soul wrote:
Every American I have ever met has asked if I'm British whereas I have never referred to myself as anything other than English...

I am English through and through and I am proud of that, though as I have stated many times, why do americans not see a difference?, Though I am in the British army as England doesn't have one.
Wink

Please tell us more. Do you both consider it just kind of inaccurate to call you “British” rather than “English”? Or is it at all offensive? And also please give us your best judgment of what your fellow English would think about this. For example, is it at all a regional thing or a class thing?

Also, what about being called a “Briton”? Our dictionaries say that is also proper, but what do you think?


I would not consider it inaccurate or offensive but I would never refer to myself that way because that is simply how I think and I tend to find that most English people will agree with me here. I am both British and English but when I think of myself and what I am I would consider it to be English, if you see my meaning?

Smile
jharsika
secret_soul wrote:
American step-mum told me and my sister to put on "thongs" which, in the USA, mean flip flops but in England mean G-Strings.


Don't you mean thongs mean g-strings in the US/Canada but flip flops mean sandals. And in Britain thongs are sandals, but there is no such thing as "flip flops". Some places, I've heard, call them "go forwards"! I call them thong sandals or flip-flops, or just sandals.

nazty wrote:
The second word (the last word for now) is the word 'traffic'..........It is contrast to the International-English which is basically a flow of automobile and vehicles. It might be light or heavy...

Here traffic means like drug trafficing or the flow of vehicles. Traffic in French especially means drug trafficking.

DoctorBeaver wrote:
In England we say "up north" or "down south", yet northerners often "go up to London", which is south & therefore down. Confused

Since I leave in Eastern-most Canada we say up west and down east also up north and down south. When talking about the rest of Canada, or even just the rest of the Maritimes we say the mainland.(I live on an island!)

About the British vs. English thing. I consider myself English as I am from an English speaking country, and speak English. When anyone from the US, Canada, or even the UK (Is even this appropriate!?) visits an exotic country they don't care where you are from you are "English". Also I agree that British is accurate if you are from London, as well as English. I think we use British just to say in general from the areas like New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Ireland etc. That is just how my area/region uses it, sorry if it's wrong, but it will be hard to change us all Laughing Plus we call each other French and English already.....that's a whole 'nother story

I was discussing this the other day with a friend and she noticed that the few "English" people she knew seem to pronounce a's as r's like idea= ideer and supernova=supernover. We have a teacher that has a "English" accent.

Fit means physically fit here, but in the UK I have heard it used instead of "hot" or "sexy" ie. good looking. Since the people I hang out with are pretty cultured, we use fit as good looking too.
greenwoodmonkey
to truely appreciate the complexities of the english language, you should try teaching enlgish as a foriegn language...

As a teacher in Bangkok of 11 - 18 year old miscreants, I find that I am almost constantly having the correct the spellings and grammatical errors created by my american predecessors...

While I have nothing against my red necked, hilly billy cousins I do have to point out that the ENGLISH created the ENGLISH language and took it to the four corners of the globe. In doing so, I cannot expect that our forfathers were expecting for the language to be abused so greatly by the "Whatever" socialites of the US of A, who deem it thier god-given right to change the spellings of words they find difficult (THE WORD IS COLOUR with a "U" please)...... and the pronunciation of words that they find difficult the get their cousin kissing tongues around....

So, let me finish by saying I love the US of A, I love the people, the lifestyle and the attitude to winning they all seem to possess, but please, please leave the ENGLISH language alone....

Love you all monkey-philes
SoftStag
jharsika wrote:
secret_soul wrote:
American step-mum told me and my sister to put on "thongs" which, in the USA, mean flip flops but in England mean G-Strings.


Don't you mean thongs mean g-strings in the US/Canada but flip flops mean sandals. And in Britain thongs are sandals, but there is no such thing as "flip flops". Some places, I've heard, call them "go forwards"! I call them thong sandals or flip-flops, or just sandals.


No, no, no. In the UK, thongs are g-strings, flip flops are flip flops, a type of sandal!
Traveller
greenwoodmonkey wrote:
As a teacher in Bangkok of 11 - 18 year old miscreants, I find that I am almost constantly having the correct the spellings and grammatical errors created by my american predecessors...


In that case, you are accustomed to changing:

greenwoodmonkey wrote:
to truely appreciate the complexities of the english language, you should try teaching enlgish as a foriegn language...

Into:

Quote:
To appreciate the complexities of the English language truly, you should try teaching English as a foreign language.


I imagine you must encounter split infinitives, uncapitalized proper nouns, misspelled words and the use of ellipses in place of full stops quite frequently.
Aless
[Quote tags fixed by The Philosopher Princess.]

SoftStag wrote:
No, no, no. In the UK, thongs are g-strings, flip flops are flip flops, a type of sandal!


By now, yes. It's just like how in the US in the 80s, thongs WERE flip-flops, same for the UK. That's a myth, because once g-string/thongs became popular as an underwear choice (several years ago), the terminology changed. Now only backwater or old people still call them 'thongs'. Everywhere I've been in the UK & Europe calls the popular term of flip-flops.

But despite the fact that the UK is slowly adopting American commercial terms, they still can be remarkably different languages.
The Philosopher Princess
jharsika wrote:
About the British vs. English thing. I consider myself English as I am from an English speaking country, and speak English.

That’s interesting, since I’d been thinking it was because you (and others) are from England. People from America are also “from an English speaking country, and speak English” but are not English.

Oh well, I have learned some things here. It seems that using British as an adjective is acceptable but as for the noun form of the people themselves, English is better.

Here’s one funny theory I have. First, some lore. Americans have a phrase that we just sort of accept as really being something: “The British are coming! The British are coming!” We are told that the American Revolutionist, Paul Revere, once went from house to house shouting that during his famous midnight ride. As it turns out, most historians claim that Revere doubtfully used that phrase, and said something more like, “The regulars are coming!”

So, my funny theory is that the almost-clichéd phrase “The British are coming!” makes us think that it’s proper to call English, British.
-TomJ-
izcool wrote:

Foreign English - U.S. English
Dear Izcool
You insist on using the word' foreign' to indicate non-US. Don't you know that the word 'foreign' means 'from other countries', so to Britons (and many others who use London as their global focus point rather than New York) 'foreign' is used to indicate US? The very opposite!

If you want to distinguish between US and non-US, do so by describing, not by using the word 'foreign'.
The world is quite complicated as it is.
The Philosopher Princess
Here are some more examples of English terms; while they’re unfamiliar to me, I believe I can understand them in context.

kip -- “I could kip on a camp bed.”

prat -- “He wants to make a prat of himself, does he?”

broom cupboard -- Americans would tend to say broom closet; cupboard is not usually considered an actual room

catch you up -- “Go on ahead; I’ll catch you up.” -- Americans would say “catch up with you” rather than “catch you up”.

chuffed -- “Chuffed though he was by the admiration of the readers...”

Those are fun. So, is the following example, wacky but correct, or just wacky? “She made a prat of herself by kipping in the broom cupboard, but felt chuffed anyway. On the latter, none of us can catch her up.”

(I feel like I’m a 3rd grader trying to use new words in a sentence correctly. Laughing)
wumingsden
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
Here are some more examples of English terms; while they’re unfamiliar to me, I believe I can understand them in context.

kip -- “I could kip on a camp bed.”

prat -- “He wants to make a prat of himself, does he?”

broom cupboard -- Americans would tend to say broom closet; cupboard is not usually considered an actual room

catch you up -- “Go on ahead; I’ll catch you up.” -- Americans would say “catch up with you” rather than “catch you up”.

chuffed -- “Chuffed though he was by the admiration of the readers...”

Those are fun. So, is the following example, wacky but correct, or just wacky? “She made a prat of herself by kipping in the broom cupboard, but felt chuffed anyway. On the latter, none of us can catch her up.”

(I feel like I’m a 3rd grader trying to use new words in a sentence correctly. Laughing)


WOW, extremely wacky but none-the-less correct Very Happy
jazrt
Then when you get into free-form speech. Example-poetry-.
All the rules are thrown out the window.
In grammatical and the substitution of words.
and even the making up of your own words or sounds to keep a flowing of the verse or stanza.
As now it is put down as creative expression or poetic licence.

In the political area is just called Bull shit.
Especially if you look at examples given by " Bush". in his public addresses.
Where he will just make up words on the spot.
We all do that to some extent.
As these words are said enough. And other people catch on to them and start using them. It proceeds to continue and used by enough people or by people of influence .
We have a new addition to our language.
Now we can either look at it as a bastardisation.
Or creative expansion. It depends if you're a purist or not.
Vrythramax
after reading all these posts on the differences between US and UK english usage...I think it could be said that we (the US and the UK) are basically the same people seperated by a common language....rather ironic don't you think?


As for which version is the correct one, I think they are both correct for thier own locations geographically....but the UK version does outdate the US version...still some irony there as it was the English (or British if you prefer) that first really settled here, meaning the first long-term non-indigineous (sp?) peoples that is....can't leave out the real natives of the US....the many different Indian tribes.

Great topic here, some of the differences are really very humorous....and I have learned quite a bit I'm happy to say Very Happy

Kudos to The Philosopher Princess for bringing it up Exclamation
GW_Addict
Here is a more complete list from the above posts, with some additions of me own. :)

British-American

Underground-Subway
Tube station-Subway station
White coffee-coffee with cream
Town centre-downtown
Tower block-Skyscraper
Torch-Flashlight
Take away-Carry out
Surgery-Doctor's office
Subject-Citizen
Tin-Can
Ring up-Call
Return ticket-Round trip ticket
Shopping centre-Shopping mall
Bonnet - Hood
Boot - Trunk
Battery - Accumulator
Cubby box - Glove compartment
Dynamo - Generator
Ground - Earth
Truck - Lorry
Windscreen - Windshield
Soft drink - Soda
Jelly - Jam
Peanut Paste - Peanut Butter
Petrol - Gasoline (Gas for short)
Torch - Flashlight
Bloke - Guy (Man, or Gentleman for proper)
Bird - Chick (Girl, or Woman for proper)
Knackered - Tired
Colour - Color
Centre - Center
Favourite - Favorite
Chav - I'm assuming it's a teen that dresses bad ?? Don't exactly know.
Tele - Television
Mum - Mom (or Mother)
Uni - University
Fag - Cigaratte
Lift - Elevator
Car Park - Parking Lot (or Parking Garage)
Mobile Phone - Cellphone (or "Cell" for short)
Catalogue - Catalog
Mad - Crazy (think of Austin Powers on this one, "Are you mad ?!")
nappie - diaper

and some more of me own...

silencer - muffler
napkin - tampon
serviette - napkin

The last two can be very embarassing if you are an American male walkng into a diner and asking for a napkin. :)
marioflory
Hey, I don't really understand what is going on here... could someone explain a little more please? Some of us are not native English speakers... so it is very hard to understand. But as much as i understand, it seems very interesting.,. Wink

Take care when using strange words.... Smile Could be misunderstood....
SoftStag
On the Jelly - Jam thing. I think there is a difference; Jelly is Jam with the seeds removed.
jharsika
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
jharsika wrote:
About the British vs. English thing. I consider myself English as I am from an English speaking country, and speak English.

That’s interesting, since I’d been thinking it was because you (and others) are from England. People from America are also “from an English speaking country, and speak English” but are not English.


It's complicated because, in Canada, we have a visible division between the French and the English. I was actually born in Quebec and my first languages were English and French. There are even little rivalries in the French Immersion elementary schools between the "English Muffins" and the "French Fries". While most "English" people consider me French, most "French" people consider me English. Laughing

Here's an interesting term "true blue Islander". Meaning you are at least second or third generation born on Prince Edward Island. I don't think anywhere else uses the word.

About flipflops vs. thongs too, I got that from Carl Baron--- the Australian comedian. Any Aussies in here? I'd like to here some of those English differences.....I've heard some before but forget.
Here is yet another Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_English
The Philosopher Princess
Vrythramax wrote:
Kudos to The Philosopher Princess for bringing it up Exclamation

Thanks. I send all me kudos to all me kiddos who showed up here. Dancing

Speaking of me -- no, not me me, but the word me...

It is quite common to hear English use “me” in place of “my” (which I attempted above). Americans only do this if they’re copying the English.

My question to the British English speakers here is: Is that form of “me” considered slang/informal only? I wouldn’t expect it to be considered “proper, educated” English, and yet I would like verification on this.

For the record, I sometimes like using the “me” as a possessive even though I wasn’t brought up on it.

I’m reminded of the American tv show, Saturday Night Live (which can be seen in reruns some places), which had a skit with Mike Myers whose character was a little boy in a bathtub. He would often say, “Don’t look at me bum! Are you lookin’ at me bum!?” Well, for many Americans that is hilarious, and that’s how we learned what a bum really is. Razz
Shin
It's always interesting when talking about the language subject. I am especially keen on finding the origin of words. I find that fascinating!
To go with the World cup festival period Smile, now here is the word that puzzles me. "Football" and "Soccer".
Why Americans call a game that played mostly by hand the "football"? Laughing Could anyone explain?
make_life_better
IceCreamTruck wrote:

In england if you run a race and you are caught in England then you were "over come."


Actually, we'd be more likely to say you were over-taken. If you were over-come, you would be more likely to have fainted or similar.

jaime wrote:
I am learning the english language, I don't understand differences of some words...


I wish you luck. English, in all its variants is w wild and wacky language however you look at it. It's borrowed bit and pieces of many other languages along the way, so that now it is (I believe) the largest language of all in terms of numbers of words, though I can't remember where I heard that.

Other points of interest: apparently the average English person knows and could use something like 25000 words (can't remember the exact number, but that feels sort-of right magnitude), whereas the average French person knows a smaller number, maybe 20000. But the average French person actually regularly uses a larger number of words than the average English person. I guess this means that most english speakers are just lazy...

Another linguistic oddity - women use something like 3 times more words or word-like symbols per day than men. This is (I read somewhere, again I can't remember where) common across many languages and cultures - probably to do with different wiring of the brain in males and females.

Soulfire wrote:

And intrestingly enough, in the U.S. you would ask for a wake up call, where in the U.K. you would say "Knock me up at X o'clock"

And in the U.S. the term "knock up" is used to describe someone drugging someone else up.


Actually, I also know (for some in the UK) that to "knock up" a girl would be to have sex with her and probably make her pregnant...

jharsika wrote:

That reminds me how in Britain they spell it aluminium but here in Canada, and I think the States too, we spell it aluminum. Do the Brits pronounce the i too? I've always wondered what happened there.....(with the i)!


Yes, we do pronounce it with the "i", so it has five syllables: Al-you-min-ee-um

Don't know which spelling came first though...

The Philosopher Princess wrote:

Please tell us more. Do you both consider it just kind of inaccurate to call you “British” rather than “English”? Or is it at all offensive? And also please give us your best judgment of what your fellow English would think about this. For example, is it at all a regional thing or a class thing?

Also, what about being called a “Briton”? Our dictionaries say that is also proper, but what do you think?


I think it depends who you talk to. There are some that are vehemently "English", "Scottish", "Welsh" etc, and you had better not get it wrong, or else...

On the other hand, there are those like me who don't give a stuff what you call me - it won't change who I am. So yes, I am English, British, European, Human, etc. Depends on the context... but I only really use those distinctions when I am trying to help others understand where I am coming from (metaphorically, rather than geographically...)

I'm also interested in how many different words that people have for the same thing. For example, when I was still in primary school here in the UK, we used "Daps" for "PE". By that I mean we "gym shoes" for "physical education" lessons. When I met my wife at university, she had no idea what "daps" were. She referred to "tackies" instead, and I didn't know what she meant either. And we were born less than 100 miles apart. There are lots of other names for the same thing in other parts of the country.

I know this is a bit off-topic, but even single words in England don't travel well from one place to another...

jharsika wrote:

I say rubber band for like office supply elastics (there I go), and hair elastics or just plain "elastics" for tieing my hair back. When scrunchies were in we called them that too.


We also use rubber bands, or more usually "elastic bands" for office use. For hair, we call them "hair ties", although a friend's family called them "widgets"...

Somebody once told me that Americans "Park on a driveway, but drive on a parkway"

Anyway, I feel I've taken this far enough away from the original topic for long enough, so trying to bring it back a bit, I wonder if other English variants have/use the following:

"To push the boat out" or "to go to town" - to really make an effort e.g. for a party for somebody; often by spending money. Also to "splash out" money for something.

My mother always used to say my father "got the bum's rush" when he wanted to buy e.g. a new television and ended up buying something bigger and more expensive than he intended.

Often the best available is described as "the bee's knees", or "the dog's b*ll*cks"

Somebody mentioned "cubby-holes" - these were out-of-the-way places where things could be stowed or stored.

In offices, we use "pigeon holes" for our incoming letters (mail) and small packets or parcels.

Sorry if I am going on a bit too much, I've got "verbal diahorrea"...

BTW: Deepest respect due the the Philosopher Princess for her ideas and her patience with all this...
carbenson
Been having a non ending conversation about the words bring / take.

My frind says (from home the night before) "I will bring a lunch to camp tomorrow"

I would say "I will take a lunch to camp tomorrow"

however if I was at camp "I would say I will bring a lunch to camp tomorrow"

seems to me to be an issue of pointing to a location, if the location is here it is "bring", if the location is there, I would "take"...

any ideas?
jharsika
make_life_better wrote:
Somebody once told me that Americans "Park on a driveway, but drive on a parkway"

Heh. It's true. A parkway is like a highway. Which reminds me someone(on tv or somewhere) mentioned that they couldn't figure out what a "turnpike" is. As far as I know that is the on/off ramp, as we call them here, to the highway. Or the little road that leads off the big road to a smaller road..... Shocked

make_life_better wrote:
.....Somebody mentioned "cubby-holes" - these were out-of-the-way places where things could be stowed or stored.

In offices, we use "pigeon holes" for our incoming letters (mail) and small packets or parcels....

That is interesting because "pigeon holing" is to categorize people or stereotype them. While Cubby holes are small 5 sided boxes (one side left open) for putting stuff in like shoes or whatever.....a small version of a locker. Also the "pigeon holes" as you call them, well we just call them mail-boxes!
foodman
whats really intereting is how the accents of the english language have develpoed. its funny to see the way people try to immate those the different one. anyways the slang useage is totaly different in every english speaking country. its weird that all this developed in such a short amount of time..
Vrythramax
I could be wrong here, but I think a "turnpike" in the US is a "toll road" kind of thing. You have to pay to use it.....I think Confused
Traveller
Vrythramax wrote:
I could be wrong here, but I think a "turnpike" in the US is a "toll road" kind of thing. You have to pay to use it.....I think Confused

"Turnpike" originally referred to the gate or barrier erected at points where road tolls were collected, but it has (at least in the U.S.) come to mean the entire toll road, itself.
javsay
Another big difference between american english and british english, i've found is that words compsed of two words are always pronounced diffrently. in america they pronounce any word which is composed of two words by each words own pronounciation where as in britain even if the word is composed of two origanl words due to the fact that it is a new word it is pronounced completely diifrently.....ummm i've found this the case wiv many words. im jus tryin ta thnk of an example.hold on,
(N.B hope u understood what i'm tryin to get at)
Traveller
From the culinary realm:

U.S. --- British
Eggplant = Aubergine
Zucchini = Courgette
Potato chips = Crisps
French fries = Chips
Scallion = Spring onion
Cotton candy = Candy floss
Snow peas = Mange tout


Then there are some things that are just different, with no exact American counterpart - things one discovers when reading British recipes. Fortunately, specialty import stores (or some of the more-enlightened supermarkets) have these items:

Castor sugar: A finely granulated sugar that is neither as course as American granulated (i.e. table) sugar, nor as fine as confectioner's (i.e. powdered) sugar.

Golden syrup: As the name states: a golden-coloured, sugar syrup.

Finally, and very importantly: when I was a child/teen, back in the '60s and '70s, my favourite candy bar was the Marathon Bar - a simple treat that was just a long (hence the name), braided-looking piece of caramel covered in chocolate. Much to my chagrin, it went out of production in the States many years ago. Just a few years back, however, I discovered that the identical candy bar is still made, and is available in British import shops in the states. The name, of course, is different: it is called a Curly Wurly bar.

Of course, now that I'm living in Honduras, we have American import stores, but no British import stores, so I am, once again, without my Marathon bars. It's a good thing I make my own, home-made caramel!
The Philosopher Princess
Yuuuuummmmyyy!!! I want a marathon-lasting caramelllly Curly Wurly! Drool I had never heard of one but I now know I want one!
~~~~~~~~~~
I remember being introduced to Fish & Chips and wondering why the restaurant got mixed up by giving french fries instead of potato chips. Of course I learned later that English chips were french fries! If they’re not too greasy, I love ’em all! Very Happy
~~~~~~~~~~
In a book I’m reading it talks about sending a servant out to buy winegums. What’s a winegum? It’s not in my dictionary.
Scorpio
Apparently google gave a solution when I searched

Here is one of the sites
The Philosopher Princess
Hello, scorpio! Source: http://www.webtender.com/db/drink/2944.

Quote:
Winegum
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ingredients:
1 oz Vodka
Lemon soda
Apricot

Mixing instructions:
Mix the Vodka with the other ingredients after taste.

Creator/contributor's comments:
This drink comes from Denmark, and is very popular in Djursland, the nose of Denmark

I could see sending a servant for the ingredients, but to send them for apparently ready-made winegums seems strange to me. (Question) (My example is from a book written by someone who is English.)
venus flytrap
I have to say I'm irritated by how the Americans drop the preposition "to" after the word write, as in "Please write me" whereas on the European side of the pond we would say " Please write to me". Also they often drop the pronoun "me" after the preposition with as in "Do you want to come with?" I think these American usages developed through European immigrants adopting the grammar rules of their native languages and applying them to English.
Traveller
venus flytrap wrote:
I have to say I'm irritated by how the Americans drop the preposition "to" after the word write, as in "Please write me" whereas on the European side of the pond we would say " Please write to me".

Perhaps it's an outgrowth of "Please call me." "Please call to me" has a somewhat different connotation. Even so, "Please write me" still sounds incomplete to my American ears.

venus flytrap wrote:
Also they often drop the pronoun "me" after the preposition with as in "Do you want to come with?"

Although this usage grates on me, as well, I have never heard it in this particular context. The way I have heard it is in the context of one thing accompanying another, especially something for sale. For example. "Did you remember to get batteries for that?" "No, they came with." or "Could you get me a combo meal at the fast-food place?" "Sure. Should I get you a coke, too?" "No. It comes with." Either way, it's annoying.

As you said, much of it has to do with immigrant adaptations of English phrases. In some cases, it may be due to their grammatical structures. In others, it may simply be a matter of pronunciation. One example of this is the expression "all the farther" (which, itself, is a bastardisation of the proper "as far as"). Some people, to express the limit to which something can move, will say, "That's all the farther it can go." In Royersford, Pennsylvania, however, an odd blend of American English with Pennsylvania German in a rural setting transformed it into "That's all the fuhthuh [phonetic spelling] it can go." Yikes!

As long as I'm mentioning such things, please allow me to vent my feelings about two misusages that really get on my nerves. I'm not sure if these occur elsewhere, but they are very common in American English.

The first of these is "all but." Properly used, the expression "all but" means "nearly" or "almost." Too often, however, Americans will say something like, "The fire all but destroyed the building" to describe a conflagration resulting in a total loss. In such cases, they are really using an expression meaning "almost" to mean "completely," and it is very irritating.

The one that nauseates me the most, however, is when someone attempts to sound intelligent by trying to use the word "enormity" to refer to the size or scope of something. A good example of this is when someone who is preparing a charity drive talks about "the enormity of the task ahead of us." What they actually said, however (when one understands the correct definition of "enormity") is "the great wickedness and evil of the task ahead of us." The correct way to say what they intended would be "the enormousness of the task ahead of us."
DoctorBeaver
greenwoodmonkey wrote:
to truely appreciate the complexities of the english language, you should try teaching enlgish as a foriegn language...

As a teacher in Bangkok of 11 - 18 year old miscreants, I find that I am almost constantly having the correct the spellings and grammatical errors created by my american predecessors...

While I have nothing against my red necked, hilly billy cousins I do have to point out that the ENGLISH created the ENGLISH language and took it to the four corners of the globe. In doing so, I cannot expect that our forfathers were expecting for the language to be abused so greatly by the "Whatever" socialites of the US of A, who deem it thier god-given right to change the spellings of words they find difficult (THE WORD IS COLOUR with a "U" please)...... and the pronunciation of words that they find difficult the get their cousin kissing tongues around....

So, let me finish by saying I love the US of A, I love the people, the lifestyle and the attitude to winning they all seem to possess, but please, please leave the ENGLISH language alone....

Love you all monkey-philes


Would the EFL teacher permit a lowly ex-university lecturer the impudence of pointing out that the passage I have quoted above is rife with both spelling and grammatical errors?
If the above is an example of how you corrected your predecessors' errors, may I ask who, now, is there correcting yours?

Laughing
SoftStag
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
It is quite common to hear English use “me” in place of “my” (which I attempted above). Americans only do this if they’re copying the English.

This is quite a "northern" English way of speaking. Interestingly, it is often uncorrectly used with "us" instead on "me", so "pass me my coat" becomes "pass us me coat"!
Traveller wrote:
Finally, and very importantly: when I was a child/teen, back in the '60s and '70s, my favourite candy bar was the Marathon Bar - a simple treat that was just a long (hence the name), braided-looking piece of caramel covered in chocolate.

I thought Marathon bars were rebranded to Snickers to come in line with the rest of the world.

The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I remember being introduced to Fish & Chips and wondering why the restaurant got mixed up by giving french fries instead of potato chips. Of course I learned later that English chips were french fries! If they’re not too greasy, I love ’em all!

French Fries do exist in England, they are very thin chips. So, if you buy chips from McDonalds, you would get French Fries, if you go to an English chip shop, you would get chips - about 0.5-1cm in diameter.
Traveller
SoftStag wrote:
I thought Marathon bars were rebranded to Snickers to come in line with the rest of the world.

Since the original Marathon bar is long gone (except as "Curly Wurly"), Snickers introduced their own brand of "energy" bar, called the "Snickers Marathon," in 2004.
The Marathon bar of which I wrote was around in the '70s.

(Source of date information: http://www.snickers.com/history.asp)
(Further "Snickers Marathon" information: http://www.snickers.com/marathon_info.asp and http://www.snickersmarathon.com/home.asp)
SoftStag
Traveller wrote:
SoftStag wrote:
I thought Marathon bars were rebranded to Snickers to come in line with the rest of the world.

Since the original Marathon bar is long gone (except as "Curly Wurly"), Snickers introduced their own brand of "energy" bar, called the "Snickers Marathon," in 2004.
The Marathon bar of which I wrote was around in the '70s.

(Source of date information: http://www.snickers.com/history.asp)
(Further "Snickers Marathon" information: http://www.snickers.com/marathon_info.asp and http://www.snickersmarathon.com/home.asp)

For fear of hijacking this thread and turning it in to old confectionary, I will quote from Wikipedia about Marathon's. I think this resolves the issue and we are both right! Very Happy

Wikipedia wrote:
The Marathon bar was a candy bar consisting of eight inches of braided chocolate and caramel. Introduced by Mars in 1973, the bar stood out due to its bright-red package and great length. Inch markings printed on the wrapper showed that it was as long as it claimed. (The length was the result of its braided shape; it didn't weigh more than standard candy bars.) When sales didn't meet expectations, Mars took it off the shelves in 1981.

America's Marathon bar is not to be confused with the Marathon Bar formerly sold in the United Kingdom. Britain's Marathon was a chocolate, caramel, and peanut product sold in the United States under the more familiar name Snickers. In 1990, Mars decided to change the Marathon bar's name to Snickers, the world's top-selling chocolate bar. Since Mars didn't want to lose the candy bar's British fans, the candy bar's wrapper sported both the Snickers and Marathon name for 18 months, with the Marathon name in smaller type. Afterward, the Marathon name was dropped, and Snickers/Marathon went from the U.K.'s #9 candy bar to #3.

A Cadbury product similar to the American Marathon bar, the Curly Wurly, is currently available in Britain and Australia
The Philosopher Princess
SoftStag wrote:
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
It is quite common to hear English use “me” in place of “my” (which I attempted above). Americans only do this if they’re copying the English.

This is quite a "northern" English way of speaking. Interestingly, it is often uncorrectly used with "us" instead on "me", so "pass me my coat" becomes "pass us me coat"!

Laughing Oh good, I’ll have to add that one to my repertoire!

I wonder where the use of “we” for “you” came from, and whether it’s more English or not. Consider this example. A “proper” nanny catches her child charge doing something against “the rules”, and announces that some privileges will be taken away. Then she says sternly to the child, “Now, are we going to do that again?” (“No, Miss Higgenbothem.” Anxious )

Speaking of nannies, that term is quite English isn’t it? People in America certainly know of them, and there was that silly tv show about one, but I don’t think it’s common to actually use that term in real life. Anybody have evidence to the contrary?
XSTG
I know the term Nanny (but i'm not an American myself...) thought I never used it elsewhere than here...

I'd say "employee that looks after the children"
jharsika
XSTG wrote:
I know the term Nanny (but i'm not an American myself...) thought I never used it elsewhere than here...

I'd say "employee that looks after the children"


Ummm here Nanny is used instead of Grandmother for many children. Depends what the family decides as a grandparent nickname.
Aless
Mmmm, I could go on and on about confectionary differences! candy bars are just different over there - almost more extreme. there's some that have so much stuff shoved inside, you have to wonder how they got it all inside a chocolate coating! That said, I much prefer British candies & chocolate.
SoftStag
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
I wonder where the use of “we” for “you” came from, and whether it’s more English or not. Consider this example. A “proper” nanny catches her child charge doing something against “the rules”, and announces that some privileges will be taken away. Then she says sternly to the child, “Now, are we going to do that again?” (“No, Miss Higgenbothem.” Anxious )

I'm not sure where this comes from, but the use of "we" in the English language is quite interesting. It seems to be one of those words that breaks the rules in many circumstances. No wonder English is such a difficult language to master.

This is what Wikipedia has to say on the small word:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We

It would be interesting to know if the "Royal we" is ever used outside the UK. This is where the word we is used in place of I, especially by an important/powerful person.
spoon1985
British candy?! Surely that's 'sweets'!

Does our 'sweet shop' equate to the American 'candy store'?
sharp
Well for starters... Brits dont use the letter 'H'... most brits dont realize it either, the brits speak in slang... even the 'professionals' on the telly ect...

Now, when I was in the uk I was told by many that I speak 'the queens language' basically because I pronounciate all my words properly...

Truth is... the british have created the 'english ' language as the Americans have 'Perfected' it
Traveller
sharp wrote:
... the brits speak in slang...


One thing that has always fascinated me is Rhyming Slang. I even managed to find a couple of used books on the subject, including a small, but handy dictionary titled, Up the Frog.

For those who are new to the concept:
  • "Up the road"
  • "Road" = "Frog and toad"
  • Drop the rhyming part, and it becomes
  • "Up the frog"


There's a LOT more to it than that, and that's not the ONLY way it works, but that's a good example.
meet in rio
I don't know quite how to explain it, but I feel like there's a slight difference between US and UK English in the way that they phrase would-be subjunctive or conditional phrases.

For example:

If I should see that famous author, I would be happy. <--This sounds odd to me.
If I were to see that famous author, I would be happy.


Maybe I've only heard weird Americans speaking, but it always catches my ear.
whatif
make_life_better wrote:
I know this is a bit off-topic, but even single words in England don't travel well from one place to another...



Continuing the "a bit off-topic"...
And the accents...
It is nearly impossible for an American to try to get a British accent. You can't even use BBC anymore to get one accent. It is quite interesting to listen to Americans try to imitate the accent; they end up having several accents at once!
I think the favorite among Americans is rubbish. You say "rubbish" and they say "where are you from".
snowboardalliance
Not exactly on-topic but there are some differences within countries too. Like in the U.S. everyone would say Coke is soda, but in Michigan, we call it pop.
Zug Zug
There is one thing that came to mind: Austin powers. On my radio the other day there was an arguement about language and how it was used in other countries. Kind of like "Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me". Which was okay to put up poster of that in America..but in Britian...it's offensive.

Here's a few I surfed up for ya:

* Graham cracker = wholemeal biscuit
* Grandstand play = done to impress the audience in the grandstands rather than as a requirement of the game, "showy" action
* Ground rules= specific local rules for particular event or action, sports or otherwise
* Half & Half = dairy mixture of half cream, half milk (to put in coffee, for use in baking, etc.)
* Handball = game played by hitting a small, hard ball with bare hand against a wall in room similar to a squash court — European "handball" is not 'known' in the U.S.
* Hard-on = male sexual erection
* High school = secondary school, senior (upper) secondary school
* Home free (colloquial) = home & dry
* Homely = plain-featured, -looking; GB homely = domestic, pleasant
* Horny = randy
* Housing project = housing development, housing estate
* Huddle = planning, tactics conference, especially in American football, but also metaphorically in other situations
* Hung jury = jury that is divided, cannot reach a verdict
* Jello = jelly; U.S. "jelly" = G.B. "jam"; U.S. "jam" = G.B. "thick [GB] jelly with fruit embedded"
* Kerosene = paraffin, U.S. paraffin = GB paraffin wax
* Longshoreman = docker, dock worker
* Lox = smoked salmon, especially American Jewish usage
* Martini = gin & vermouth (combined) cocktail (does not refer to "Vermouth" brand name)
* Mean = nasty
* Mobile home = (trailer) house on wheels, can be moved behind truck, auto
* Mononucleosis, "Mono" = glandular fever
* Nervy = impudent, impertinent, with a lot of nerve (cf. GB Nervy)
* Night crawler = fishing worm
* Oatmeal = porridge
* Ordinance = by-law (law at local city, municipal level)
* Overpass = flyover
* Pacifier = dummy (what baby uses to suck on when not eating)
* Parakeet = budgerigar
* Parka = anorak
* Patrol wagon, Paddy wagon = black maria
* Pegged pants = tapered trousers
* To pinch-hit for = to substitute for in a particular tactical situation (batting in Am baseball, or metaphorically)
* Plexiglass = Perspex glass (brand names used as generics)
* Potato chips = potato crisps
* Quarterback = Am. football team leader, also to direct, manage, in other situations
* Railroad = railway; U.S. railway = tracks, roadbed which trains run ON; U.S. "railroad" refers to the enterprise, i.e. the Union Pacific Railroad
* Raise = rise; U.S. "rise" is slang for male erection, or, "to get a sensation from ..."
* Realtor = estate (real estate) agent
* Retroactive = retrospective
* Roomer = lodger
* Roster = rota
* Rubber = condom; GB rubber = US eraser
* Rube Goldberg = Heath Robinson (stereotyped creators of wacky, bizarre "inventions" in USA, GB)
* Sedan = saloon car
* Shellac = high-gloss varnish
* Slingshot = catapult; U.S. "catapult" = G.B. "sling"
* Special Delivery = Express (postal) Mail
* Station wagon = estate car
* Thumbtack = drawing pin (small, flat-headed tack used on bulletin boards or to attach papers to wooden surfaces; U.S. "drawing pin" a long, narrow, sharp pin used in sewing, clothing design, always with soft fabrics or paper)
* Thread = cotton; U.S. cotton = plant, fiber, material only
* Trash = rubbish
* Trashcan = dustbin; trashman = dustman
* Turtleneck = polo neck (sweaters or pullovers)
* Vaudeville = Music hall (type of entertainment, style of theater)
* Wash up = to wash oneSELF, not the dishes; G.B. to wash up = to do the dishes
* Wax paper = greaseproof paper
* Yard = garden; U.S. garden = vegetable or flower garden (cultivated area); GB yard = US paved area, not grassy lawn)
* ZIP code = postal code
* Zucchini (squash) = courgette (marrow)
GameAddict
Well, I'm Russian, and in America, most Russian immigrants (like me) now quite a bit of english- mostly from nessecity. Well, russians that have lived mosrt of their lives in russia but now live in the US have another version of english!!! (nearly). Mostly, the english thaty russians know is the US version of english with russian pronounciation. Florida is pronounced Flariiida, and the r is hard.Cool is kul, ect.
Russians that lived in america for most of their lives(like me) have perfect US English.
Its Crazy!!!! Very Happy Very Happy
Panthrowzay
Traveller wrote:
From the culinary realm:

U.S. --- British
Eggplant = Aubergine
Zucchini = Courgette
Snow peas = Mange tout


This is interesting because Aubergine and Courgette are French for Eggplant and Zucchini respectivily. However i dont know which country had it first. But "Mange tout" is roughly "Eat All" in french which has nothing to do with Snow peas
SoftStag
Panthrowzay wrote:
Traveller wrote:
From the culinary realm:

U.S. --- British
Eggplant = Aubergine
Zucchini = Courgette
Snow peas = Mange tout


This is interesting because Aubergine and Courgette are French for Eggplant and Zucchini respectivily. However i dont know which country had it first. But "Mange tout" is roughly "Eat All" in french which has nothing to do with Snow peas

They are called Mange Tout, because that's what you do with them: you eat all of it. With regular peas you don't eat the pod's, with mange tout you do.
Panthrowzay
Oh, i didnt realize that, iv never had snow peas obviously.
Draznog
Australia and US.

Slingshot - shanghigh
Pickup truck - Ute
Flip flops - Sandels
flexorcist
my topic is posted so late compared to the one I'm referring to, however I must agree with my fellow Aussie that we very definately DO pronounce it Osstraya, and I've spent many drunk hours trying to teach this to tourists!!!
pennymellow
flexorcist wrote:
...however I must agree with my fellow Aussie that we very definately DO pronounce it Osstraya...


Most of us do, yes. In fact, Australian's are incredibly lazy when it comes to speaking. Not only do we drop letters left, right and centre but we tend to run words in to each other, too: "owsitgoin" springs to mind. Three words packed in to one!

Of course, the correct response to "owsitgoin" would be "not bad" or "not good". Someone here mentioned Carl Baron. He happened to do a very funny routine that included these responses. He mentioned that it doesn't make sense that, when asked how they are and Australian will respond with how they're not.

Some other frustrating habits include "I done that yesterday" as opposed to "I did that yesterday", "I use to know him" instead of "I used to know him", and "we'll go shopping an' that". Of the three, I hate the last the most. You'll go shopping and what!?

Then there is "jail" versus "gaol", the latter begin chiefly British. I believe that "jail" came from France and "gaol" from the old English "gayhole" but I haven't spent a lot of time researching this.

I'll end this post with a couple of interesting Australian colloquialisms for you all to mull over:

She'll be apples
Barbie
Battler
Bludger
Blue (as in, to have a blue)
Chunder
Dipstick
Dob (as in, to dob someone in)
Scrag
Mole
Sheila
Lollies
Mappa Tassie
Up oneself
Whinge
chuck a yewie
caroline
This can happen within states!

In North California people say "Go on 101 and take the 2nd exit"
and in South California people say "Go on THE 101 and take the 2nd exit"
Smile
vicarious
I usually give my two cents, but I only have a penny Laughing

Has anyone ever wondered about the language that spells the word that means "as it sounds" not "as it sounds"?

I have always found the word phonetics to be an english irony. Wouldn't the phonetic spelling "Fonetik" be more appropriate?


Wink
Shiva
Well, when you use a lift it normally says "on the move" or "Running" while the lift is running up and down..

In Denmark it says: "I fart!" Whitch is quite funny when you read the text in english Laughing
kd5nrh
caroline wrote:
This can happen within states!

In North California people say "Go on 101 and take the 2nd exit"
and in South California people say "Go on THE 101 and take the 2nd exit"
Smile


In Texas, it can range from "Get on 20 and look for the catfish place" to "Go on down that way and ask someobdy else when you get closer."

Of course, most of the time the answer seems to be "Who sent you looking for a place that closed down ten years ago?"
-TomJ-
vicarious wrote:
I have always found the word phonetics to be an english irony. Wouldn't the phonetic spelling "Fonetik" be more appropriate?

You may be right, but most "sciences" use classical teminology to allow exchanging ideas between learned people all over the world. See the medical world, the law world, etc.
The same goes for the linguists: since the Roman ages terms have been described using Latin and Greek phrases. And since the Greek word for 'sound' has always been transliterated into 'phonos', the ph has got stuck in most languages. Hence the 'phonetics'.
Bmucha
Apart from all the interesting differences in vocabulary, there's the whole wide area of pronunciation. I got drawn to the crowd from the North of England, once I've learned that I can get away with pronouncing "man" as "mahn" and "fun" as "foon" (as I tend to do, being a "continental" European) and still be understood! As an additional bonus, I can even roll my "r's" with impunity and still nobody from the North rolls their eyes (pun intended), being used to the sound of the nearby Scots. Oh bliss!
Rev` -
Well in Croatia, like in Russia there are many funny spells like the "HARD" R and things like that.
Our language, croatian, is a language that you speak as you write, so it's quite hard for the young and old croats to learn english.
For an example, a lot of croats spels the english V as a F or they just ignore the double letters so they spell "small" [smooll] like smal [smol]

Yep, after our war versus Serbia a lot of young people stopped their education period and join the army, and the sad thing is that a lot of them died. So, that are the stats here in Croatia.
blackheart
Australia also drops the "the" in their sentences.

We also tend to slur "this afternoon" into simply "s'arvo" (although this is in speech rather than written language, obviously).

I would put it down to how laid back we are. To the point we're too lazy to speak properly.

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

Also, in Australia "fanny" means "female genitalia", where in the States it means "bottom".

More on Australian (and/or British?) vs. American;

we have "jam (sandwiches)" where they have "jelly (sandwiches)",
we have "footpaths" where they have "sidewalks",
we have "biscuits" where they have "cookies".

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

Bert Newton (an Australian personality) while introducing Mohammed Ali at the Logies made the comment "I like the boy".
Apparently refering to a black man as "boy" in the States is derogatory in some way - (I actually had to have this explained to me) - and Bert got into alot of trouble.
Here (in Oz) it would purely translate to "I like this man-who-is-younger-than-me", and Bert hadn't meant the alternate.

Also, to "bag" someone here, is to make fun of someone. Not "pick them up".

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

Ontop of all that, Australia also has a tonne of colloquial phrases.
Here are some we actually use:

Fair dinkum - (fair go, truthfully) - (often used when frustrated)("fair dinkum, I already payed this bill")
True Blue - (genuine) - (often used in patrioticaly)("true blue australian")
You've got Buckley's - (no chance, no hope in hell, it's impossible) - (buckley was a convict who tried to swim across swelling stormy sea from an inscolated prison on an island just off the coast. There is a vague chance he made it, as no body was found, but it was a fair ditance, and the theory is far-fetched)
mate - (friend, good friend)
barbie - (barbeque)
thongs - (flip-flops)
snags - (sausages)

And one we never say (seriously):
G'day.

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

Dead Horse = Tomato Sauce

(my dad's family's favourite)

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

meet in rio wrote:
I don't know quite how to explain it, but I feel like there's a slight difference between US and UK English in the way that they phrase would-be subjunctive or conditional phrases.

For example:

If I should see that famous author, I would be happy. <--This sounds odd to me.
If I were to see that famous author, I would be happy.


Maybe I've only heard weird Americans speaking, but it always catches my ear.


I dunno, but both of those sound weird. Almost... too formal. I'd probably come out with:

"I'd be happy if I saw that famous author"

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

Draznog wrote:
Australia and US.

Slingshot - shanghigh
Pickup truck - Ute
Flip flops - Sandels


slingshot (what the heck is a shanghigh... sounds more like a mispelt city)
ute (yep)
thongs (how-ever queenslanders still say flip-flops)

sandels are the ones that are like shoes. more straps, not just between the toes. like tee-vas only they can be more casual.

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

@ everyone bringing up:

PETROL - GAS

The difference here is not in the language, it is in the type of fuel used by an area. In Australia, you can get both.
Gas is gas, and petrol is petrol. You would not put one into a car that ran on the other. Gas stations supply (primarily) gas (LPG), whereas petrol stations supply primarily petrol.

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

I think I've gone off topic, but oh well.

Cheers, beers, and -,
=> Jess
-TomJ-
What has always struck me is the American phenomenon to use adjectives substantively. It is quite normal to hear the Americans talk about 'the military', whereas I have always learned that the English language doesn't allow this. One should say 'the red one', 'the military forces' or 'the photographical aspects'.

When I would say 'the photographical' by itself, it would sound odd, wouldn't it?
kd5nrh
blackheart wrote:
Also, in Australia "fanny" means "female genitalia",


Must make fanny packs *really* uncomfortable.
meet in rio
Traveller wrote:
sharp wrote:
... the brits speak in slang...


One thing that has always fascinated me is Rhyming Slang. I even managed to find a couple of used books on the subject, including a small, but handy dictionary titled, Up the Frog.

For those who are new to the concept:
  • "Up the road"
  • "Road" = "Frog and toad"
  • Drop the rhyming part, and it becomes
  • "Up the frog"


There's a LOT more to it than that, and that's not the ONLY way it works, but that's a good example.


I've never personally met anyone who speaks regularly in rhyming slang, although there are some phrases which loads of people use without question, such as 'Barnet' (Barnet Fair = hair), 'loaf' (loaf of bread = head) or 'have a butcher's' (butcher's hook = look).
Traveller
blackheart wrote:
We also tend to slur "this afternoon" into simply "s'arvo" (although this is in speech rather than written language, obviously).
Something similar is not too uncommon in American English (at least in some regions), where "this afternoon" becomes "thisafternoon" or even "thi safternoon" (with just a slight break).

blackheart wrote:
we have "jam (sandwiches)" where they have "jelly (sandwiches)"
First, the exact choice for this is regional within the States. When referring to just the filling for the sandwich, it may be "jelly," "jam," "preserves," or even "conserves." Usually, however, "jelly" is a spread made from only the juice of the fruit, but the other three terms are for spreads that include the pulp of the fruit. "Marmalade" is also similar, but includes the rind of the fruit and usually is not confused with the others. Oddly enough, even in places where the people primarly say "jelly" to refer to the spread, they still say "jam sandwich" to refer to the sandwich made with that spread. Now that's wacky!
FreeLancers Guild
An American man and British man were standing in the lobby of a hotel in london.

The American says "Are you waiting for the elevator, too?"

The Brit replies "No, I am waiting for the lift."

American "Hey, buddy, the machine was invented in America, so it's called an Elevator."

Brit "Pardon, but the language was invented here, so it's called a lift."


Just thought that was a good example of cultural differences.
charseips
just some things I've thought of whilst reading through.

Being a Brit I have only ever used the term Glove Box never cubby box and nor have I ever heard it refered to as cubby box.


Quote:
* Parka = anorak

Having sold Parka jackets, in the UK a Parka jacket is a winter paddded jacket with a fur lined hood

(the one over your head not the one on the front of your car- although it is interesting to consider that both a hood and bonnet in the UK are worn over the head, although bonnets are currently only really used in period costume dramas and occasionally for babies, although most of us have hoods on our jackets/coats/anoraks/hoodies) worth considering the double meanings?

Another thought is that a clear indication of the change in language easily found in the UK (I'm not sure about other countries), we all have to study the works of Shakespeare before we leave school. Putting aside the various arguments about Shakespeare and assuming he wrote all of the plays we credit him with- his writings were in the spoken English of the time, with references to political and topical events of the time. We no longer 'get' the jokes in Shakespeare's works because the langauge has developed on since the time of writing and orignal performance, but it is a good way of seeing the change and development in language over time.

Also you could probably compare the langauge of religious texts against current language- although the most if not all religious texts were written in ancient languages originally and may well have been adjusted to make easier reading in some editions, although I believe that the 'King James Bible' (I believe that was the first English translation) can still be found in it's orignal form.

Hope this has provided some insight/helped a bit. I've certainly learnt a few things reading the posts.
bewolff
British fellow here likes to say he got pissed, which for us Americans means angry-irritated. He means drunk of his bum. Rubbish not trash. Never really liked Cheers for good-bye. Just can't get used to it. A Canadian fellow here said that as well as the British fellow.
SoftStag
bewolff wrote:
British fellow here likes to say he got pissed, which for us Americans means angry-irritated. He means drunk of his bum. Rubbish not trash. Never really liked Cheers for good-bye. Just can't get used to it. A Canadian fellow here said that as well as the British fellow.

Cheers to me means "thank you", but can be used as a goodbye.
pennymellow
kd5nrh wrote:
blackheart wrote:
Also, in Australia "fanny" means "female genitalia",


Must make fanny packs *really* uncomfortable.


We call them 'bumbags'.
tyrant
Ok , Well for the singaporean's that do speak good english, we follow the british style , since we were a british colony. However we singaporean's have a tendency of mixing everything and thus we our own variation of english is termed singlish (singaporean english)

Everything is messed up in singlish. For example : 1 would normally ask
"Where are you going to", we say "you go where ah?" or "you where go ah?

It's part of our local culture but it can get frustrating especially, when every thing they say is grammatically wrong and you hear a slew of chinese , malay and tamil thrown it to the speaker's own liking.

cheers
ncaditya
If any body has modified English so much that people are not even able to recognise that it is English, then it is the Indians.

There is a famous joke: Britishers left India because they thought English as a language would be wiped out of the face of earth, if they stayed any longer!
LOL!
schnitzi
As an American who has recently moved to Melbourne, Australia, I notice language differences all the time. A lot of them are Britishisms, but many are uniquely Australian. Asking "How are you going?" instead of "How are you doing?" is the most commonly encountered difference.

But, playing soccer is where I really notice the differences:

In America, I would strap on my cleats, throw on the rest of my gear, run out onto the field, and play a game.

In Australia, I strap on my boots, throw on the rest of my kit, run out on the pitch, and play a match.
corridor_writers
Its getting hard to follow what has and has not been added here (thanks GW_ADDICT for the compilation-to-date!), but there are some pretty funny differences in some of the slang terms.

Here is an example.
American is Fart. Queens English says Fluff.

Maybe I will go through everything since GW_ADDICT did the compilation and try to make a new one - I would love to document all of these somewhere in a sort of "master" list.
Kamu8recon
Heres a few for those of you that live in or have been to hawaii. Local people here call this language Pidgin (i can explain why just ask):
In hawaii we have change the english words to fit our culture using such words as "eh" meaning hey or "brah" meaning brother. One of the gestures used to greet people and to tell them goodbye or how are you doing is to "throw them a shaka sign" meaning clinch your fingers into a fist but leave your thumb and your pinkey sticking out while shaking your entire hand side to side. This is how we greet other locals or tell them goodbye. Its a form of having the "Aloha Spirit" which means caring for one another as "ohana" or family.
Kamu8recon
More pidgin phrases from hawaii:
Howzit? - how are you?
Eh no get nutz - dont get crazy with me or its on.
No make lidat - dont do that.
How you ah? - how are you doing

their are so many more pidgin phrases and maybe if their are any other hawaii people on here you can help me out. but try not too get all technical. a hui hou! that means until next time in hawaiian Wink
Traveller
Here's one I hadn't encountered in a while, but recently read again, somewhere:

American: counterclockwise
Elsewhere: anticlockwise
imraanio
lol, this thread has been quite an interesting read so far. I'm a med student at Oxford University, and here everyone is pretty steep in tradition, and we have our own official "Oxford-speak" for everyday University terms.

Just for example, our college bills are referred to as "batells", our cleaners are called "Scouts", our Deans are "Provosts", and scum from our rival University (CAmbridge) are called "tabs". Rolling Eyes

Such terms are a part of everyday language on Oxford; you pick it up even if you don't wish too, and feel almost obliged to use it! I really don't know how i'm going to survive in the real world, after i graduate....
vsnow
In China, the English-teaching system teaches English which is overall "American English", but their system as a few non-american "glitches". The two most prominant ones which I've noticed:

1. Instead of saying/writing "Aunt", the Chinese use the word "Auntie".
2. Instead of "pants", they only use the word "trousers".

And of course, sometimes you have those who know English TOO well and try to use non-common words... such as people who, instead of saying "rooter", say "******" (I hope this does not get censored, I am talking about poultry! ).
Wink
upliftphoto
its actually called the "el" here in chicago, which is referring to elevated tracks downtown. the "loop" is in fact the area within the elevated tracks.
noliver
This kind of reminds me of the first time I visted in america. I wanted to connect the hose-pipe to the outside water supply ( commonly called a "tap" where I live) but the poor lady was flabbergasted because she had no idea what I was talking about. Only later I was told that a tap is actually called a faucet in america.

Then there are the other stuff already mentioned like glove box - which I know as the cubby hole. Smile And then there is that thing that americans love to do ( drive on the wrong side of the road ) which sometimes confused me as well Smile
druidbloke
Here in the uk some people say either back from the hospital or back from hospital, I've heard both versions, fanny and pants are the obvious examples to get you in to trouble Bo) fanny means here the same as someone pointed out it does in Australia, fanny pack made me laugh for ages the first time I heard it. and also pronunciations can be very different; lever, american lever to us sounds like leather, pulling a leather could sound fairly fetishistic.
sarahjlayouts
Blaster wrote:

I like the whole in spain it is differnt for the plural form of you.


I always liked that too. It is a great idea really. That way when you are with a group a people you know exactly who someone is talking to/about instead of in English having to say you or she or they. It is a little harder to remeber all the exception, but I shouldn't really complain English has a ton of hard rules.
Bookface
I think most times the context eliminates the need for specifying "you" singluar/plural, but I admit it does come up sometimes.

Someone early in the thread mentioned center vs centre, theater vs theatre, etc. seemed more logical, and I agree but would also point out that the -tre spellings are closer to their original Latin roots: theatrum, centr-um.

I like a lot of British idioms over American ones. One particular favorite that comes to mind: When Americans take their belongings into a new domicile, they move out of their old home and move in to their new place, whereas Brits accomplish it all in one step by moving house.

My least favorite: in television, British "Series" versus American "Season," not because I don't like the British term (I think it is better suited to what it decribes), but because I have to adjust for it mentally every time I see "The Complete First Series" available on DVD. You see, in American English when someone has the complete series they mean all the seasons (B: series) and thus all the episodes ever created.

Some excellent British programming to pick up Briticisms from: Coupling, The Office, Wallace and Grommit.
mmaccarelli
I believe English is one of the only languages that uses the adjective BEFORE a noun.

(EX: It is a blue car.)

Most European languages put the adjective AFTER the noun.

(Ex: C'est l'auto bleu.)

I don't understand how this affects comprehension at all, but it seems a little odd for me to picture a car and paint it blue. However, I think it is brilliant how the English language does not rely on assigning 'gender' to nouns. (A book is masculine?) Rolling Eyes
Rebzie
The Japanese Language has adopted alot of english words like OK is said alot.

im from new zealand but im living is australia atm

new zealand - Aussie

Jersey - jumper
cardiegin (i can't remember how to spell it) - Skivy
Doona, duvet- Quilt
railwaystation or railroad- train station
Nanna- Grandma
junior School - Primary school
kindy - pre school
kumara (maori word) - sweet potato
bonk - bang
kickers - panties
marmite - vegemite ( personally i think they taste the same)

and i call my New zealand grandparent Nanna and my enlish one Granny
owen mono
there are differences in every colonised language, eg. Spanish and mexican spanish, the pronunciation is very different.

Ohyeah, andi'm sure england is the birthplace of slang, words like krovvy, bastardface and numpty being in regular circulation.
napoli
Folks, I might be wrong in this but have the impression that there is a difference between Americans and English on the meaning of the phrase:

put this (issue, matter, subject, proposal) on the table

I think that the American usage is "let us think, examine, talk about it" while the British probably is "let us drop it". Not quite sure so would appreciated feedback

regards/napoli
spacefinder
Just try getting a Finn with a strong accent to say, "Three hundred and thirty three trees"

It is amazing because the Irishman with a strong accent has the same problems!

(It the "th" sound, they have problems with it!)
The Philosopher Princess
napoli wrote:
Folks, I might be wrong in this but have the impression that there is a difference between Americans and English on the meaning of the phrase:

put this (issue, matter, subject, proposal) on the table

I think that the American usage is "let us think, examine, talk about it" while the British probably is "let us drop it". Not quite sure so would appreciated feedback

regards/napoli

Speaking for “Americanglish”, I offer this:

Either of the meanings can be valid; often only very subtle clues indicate which one currently is. This means that a meaning could be misinterpreted.

The easier one, in my experience anyway, is “let us drop it”. All of these fit that:
I’d like to table it until I research the matter.
Let’s table those two issues till later.
If we table them, we might never get back to them.


It’s harder for me to think of good examples fitting the “let us think, examine, talk about it”, and yet I still think I and others might use it like that. I’m inclined to want to turn the verb table, into a noun table though:
Let’s go around and each person put their highest priority issue on the table. (It doesn’t mean literally on the table, but figuratively, i.e., the issues that are stated can then be examined by the group.)
bufu
not gonna explain much...but english sux. i hate english, well my primary language is polish, i speak nd write in both, i kno both for 75% or maybe less..
ZergZoul
I don't know quite how to explain it, but I feel like there's a slight difference between US and UK English in the way that they phrase would-be subjunctive or conditional phrases.

For example:

If I should see that famous author, I would be happy. <--This sounds odd to me.
If I were to see that famous author, I would be happy.

Maybe I've only heard weird Americans speaking, but it always catches my ear.
druidbloke
"if I should see" and "if I were to see" are both perfectly good english phrases and both used in the uk, though the former sounds a bit old fasioned to me so its interesting its use more over the pond these days.
corridor_writers
druidbloke wrote:
"if I should see" and "if I were to see" are both perfectly good english phrases and both used in the uk, though the former sounds a bit old fasioned to me so its interesting its use more over the pond these days.


There are more and more "international" phrases being used that work in many cultures (though I think many originate in England.)

What continuously amazes me is how many things vary even in the professional world between English and US English. I would challenge anybody to open a word document in one, and set the spell check to the other. Smile))

Your name reminded me of an obvious one.

UK US
Bloke Guy
The Philosopher Princess
The word: BLOODY.

I’m not asking about the literal meaning related to the red liquid circulating inside us all, but the figurative usage.

Let’s please not degrade our cool wacky discussion into “filthy” talk, but what better place for me to get some honest, matter-of-fact opinions than from a worldwide audience like Frihost?

To the English (and those people closer to English-influenced than American-influenced) amongst us: Please help this “Americanese” speaker better understand that word. For example, how bad is that word actually? Is it considered a cuss word? Or is it just slang? Would a schoolchild get in trouble if they used it in class, or not? If someone uses it in public, are they considered uneducated or low class? Or is it fairly widely accepted?

Bloody is not a word that I personally use, except in this meta way, but we all certainly run into its usage in books, movies, etc.

I’m not looking for answers that dictionaries might give me. I’d like to know first-hand opinions. It will be interesting to learn whether there is some disagreement of opinions, or close to a consensus.
-TomJ-
mmaccarelli wrote:
I believe English is one of the only languages that uses the adjective BEFORE a noun.
(EX: It is a blue car.)
Most European languages put the adjective AFTER the noun.
(Ex: C'est l'auto bleu.)
I don't understand how this affects comprehension at all, but it seems a little odd for me to picture a car and paint it blue. However, I think it is brilliant how the English language does not rely on assigning 'gender' to nouns. (A book is masculine?) Rolling Eyes


I believe you are wrong in that assumption.
European languages that stems from Latin, have the adjective after the noun.
European languages that are from Germanic origin, have the adjective before the noun: German, Dutch, Frisian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish.
English has always been a sort-of inbetween case, beacuse the English language has been influenced heavily by French. English has a lot words from Roman and Germanic origing existing happily side-by-side: motherly love and maternal care is one example that comes to my mind.
But the word order in English is still the original Germanic one.
linexpert
In British English the present perfect is used to talk about an action that has occurred in the past.
Example:
In British:
I've done my home work. Can I go play?
In American:
I did my home work. Can I go play?

There's also common word diffrences and preposition diffrences.
British - American
bonnet - hood
boot - trunk
lorry - truck
at the weekend - on the weekend
in a team - on a team
lift - elevator
mum - mom

Even thought there are many diffrences, usually if you speak either the other should easily be able to understand you. The american english is also more accepting and many things that were for british english are also gramatically correct in american english.
GW_Addict
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
The word: BLOODY.

I’m not asking about the literal meaning related to the red liquid circulating inside us all, but the figurative usage.

Let’s please not degrade our cool wacky discussion into “filthy” talk, but what better place for me to get some honest, matter-of-fact opinions than from a worldwide audience like Frihost?

To the English (and those people closer to English-influenced than American-influenced) amongst us: Please help this “Americanese” speaker better understand that word. For example, how bad is that word actually? Is it considered a cuss word? Or is it just slang? Would a schoolchild get in trouble if they used it in class, or not? If someone uses it in public, are they considered uneducated or low class? Or is it fairly widely accepted?

Bloody is not a word that I personally use, except in this meta way, but we all certainly run into its usage in books, movies, etc.

I’m not looking for answers that dictionaries might give me. I’d like to know first-hand opinions. It will be interesting to learn whether there is some disagreement of opinions, or close to a consensus.



The word “bloody” comes from a corruption of a term 'By your Lady', which was a religious exclamation sometime in the Middle Ages. (Many British words have a history that has been around longer than the United States has. )

As for its usage, the context of how it is used (and the inflections when using it) makes a lot of difference.

As a brit, I can say also with some certainty that the usage and level of ‘rudeness’ associated with this word changes from generation to generation (much as the original perversion of the religious phrase got more and more obscure.). The older folks often rank this word up there with the American equivalent of ‘the F word’. However, more recent generations have taken its usage more to the level of the American work ‘damn’.

Thus “He’s a Bloody idiot” could be something between “he’s an f’ing idiot’ to ‘he’s a damn idiot.’

Hope this helps in anybodies efforts to be able to swear like a brit. ;)
-TomJ-
(It is such a pity this thread seems to be fading away)
The Philosopher Princess
-TomJ- wrote:
(It is such a pity this thread seems to be fading away)

Sad Yeah. Well it was pretty good there for awhile. Very Happy

I meant to come and thank GW_Addict for the bloody cool response. (Interpret my inflection as nice. Wink)

But here is one I just ran across: Nibs. In the example it was calling someone "His Nibs".

That is pretty funny sounding, I must say. I think it means something like not-quite royalty (as in "His Royal Highness") but almost royalty. Am I right? Do people really say that these days or is it something that is now old-fashioned?
corridor_writers
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
-TomJ- wrote:
(It is such a pity this thread seems to be fading away)

Sad Yeah. Well it was pretty good there for awhile. Very Happy

I meant to come and thank GW_Addict for the bloody cool response. (Interpret my inflection as nice. Wink)

But here is one I just ran across: Nibs. In the example it was calling someone "His Nibs".

That is pretty funny sounding, I must say. I think it means something like not-quite royalty (as in "His Royal Highness") but almost royalty. Am I right? Do people really say that these days or is it something that is now old-fashioned?


I have to agree that GW_Addicts response was 'bloody perfect'. Regarding NIBS though, I found the following bit from http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-nib1.htm, which pretty well confirms what you have said.

Quote:
Nibs

This is a mock title used to refer to a self-important man, especially one in authority. It is modelled after the pattern of references to the British aristocracy, such as his lordship. Most sources say something like “origin obscure”. It is first recorded in print about 1820, but is presumably older. There is some evidence that nibs is a variant form of nabs, and that both may have their origin in the ancient word neb, meaning a beak or nose, or more generally, the protruding bit of anything (our word for the business end of a pen comes from the same root). Also, nib itself was once used as a slang term for a gentleman, as was another old slang word still to be heard, nob, and these could very probably be connected. Several early examples of the latter are spelled nab and his nabs is a variant recorded form of his nibs. It seems the vowel was highly fluid, not surprising considering the different dialects and periods it has come through. Perhaps the association with supposed social superiors may have something to do with people so elevated in self-importance that they “have their noses in the air”?
The Philosopher Princess
corridor_writers wrote:
I have to agree that GW_Addicts response was 'bloody perfect'. Regarding NIBS though, I found the following bit from http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-nib1.htm, which pretty well confirms what you have said.

Oh, wow Very Happy ! That website is a fantastic new reference for me. Thanks! Check out the “Weird Words” link over there -- hilarious!
corridor_writers
The Philosopher Princess wrote:
corridor_writers wrote:
I have to agree that GW_Addicts response was 'bloody perfect'. Regarding NIBS though, I found the following bit from http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-nib1.htm, which pretty well confirms what you have said.

Oh, wow Very Happy ! That website is a fantastic new reference for me. Thanks! Check out the “Weird Words” link over there -- hilarious!


Glad you enjoyed that. Smile

This is a great site for people like us who enjoy learning more about why certain words (that seemingly have no footing in the modern day world) came around and are often used prevalently still.
justnewbie
English cultural difference? We've got a lot in Malaysia - where one may learn up to three languages and an informal version of English sprung up from nowhere.

Some examples:

US/UK : cellphones/mobile phones , in M'sia it's : hand phones

in US/UK, just now means something has happened few seconds ago, in M'sia it can be considered something has happened a few minutes ago.

how is the word 'flash' pronounced? is it sounds like 'flush' or 'fl'e'sh'?

pronounce the word 'challenge'?

both pronouncation and spellings of US/UK English can be used here as the English education system here was based on UK while the English media influence was largely from US.
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