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Britishisms in America

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Britishisms in America

Postby Slava » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:39 pm

Somewhere we've seen a piece on the Americanisms invading British English. Here's the other side of the story:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19670686

They missed my favorite, though: twig.
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:30 am

I looked up twig in a slang dictionary. There was no notation that it was British. I have never heard twig used as a slang word. There used to be a British "model?" who was named Twiggy because she was so thin. Only some of the elderly set on this forum remember Twiggy. She didn't last long as a topic of conversation or as a model.
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Slava » Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:36 am

dictionary.com wrote:— vb , twigs , twigging , twigged
1. to understand (something)
2. to find out or suddenly comprehend (something): he hasn't twigged yet
3. rare ( tr ) to perceive (something)

[C18: perhaps from Scottish Gaelic tuig I understand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins


As to Twiggy, she's still out there, and it's not only oldies who know of her. Unless I count as one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twiggy
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:45 pm

Odd that 3 is counted as rare. As almost equivalent to 2, it's the use I most frequently think of. In a long discussion, someone twigs to the actual meaning of the terms.
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Slava » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:04 pm

Ah, but #3 is transitive. So in your example, one would twig the meaning, not twig to it.

Can one twig a tree? :)
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:08 am

With all the recent reading I have done on the simple word "twig", I could probably write a dissertation worthy of a PhD. I had no idea past twig being identical in meaning to the German cognate Zweig. Now I find that twig, in the sense of learn or catch on, is a word and is not a slang word. It has an extensive history and an etymology from the Celtic languages. At my advanced age it seems I still don't know my native language. Slava, thanks for clueing us in.
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Slava » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:10 am

Thanks for the thanks, and, hey, keep on twigging! :D
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Slava » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:02 am

The New York Times has chimed in with yet another piece decrying the British invasion.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/fashi ... hisms.html

A bit wonky that it's in the fashion section, you'd think. As it refers to the "fashion" of adopting Britishisms, I guess it belongs.
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Re: Britishisms in America

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:14 am

Should there be a filter to check Britishisms coming to America and Americanisms going to Britain? I think time and tide (in the pond) will smooth it out.
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