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Britishisms

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

Britishisms

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:29 pm

Reading MC Beaton's latest book about a cop in far north Scotland, and once again I'm hit by britspeak, most of which I understand, but don't comprehend. A new one for me is "hunting box." When I first saw it I thought deer stand or duck blind. No, it seems to be a two story house with a stair case. Later it is called a hunting lodge, but mostly he keeps calling it a box.
And of course, there's may favorite pet peeve, they are sitting out in the garden. Mention garden anywhere around here, and we think vegetable garden. Occasionally we refer to flower gardens. Apparently they don't have lawns in Brit lands. I recommend them. What, pray tell, do they call tilled and planted plots raising greens, peas, and shallots. Oh - and potatoes, which must grow up there, witness the Irish potato famine. (Actually, it was more than lack of potatoes that was starving them.
pl
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:05 pm

PS- we actually say "yard" more than lawn, as in front yard, back yard, even side yard.
pl
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Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:26 am

The English and we in the USA often use different words to name the same thing. Windshields are windscreens. A car trunk is a boot. A shoulder of a road is a verge. I think you will find that our yard is the English garden. Our garden (vegetable) is the English kitchen garden. The English yard, when using it to describe a part of the domicile, is more like my side yard where I store my junk. Then there is Scotland Yard that is not Scottish and not any kind of yard.

Compare the way and the English and we each pronounce foreign words that have come into our common language? We, with sometime disastrous results, try to pronounce them the way the foreigners do. The English try to make some English phonetic sense out of the words. We pronounce an absent t in Nazi because the Germans seem to. The English see no t so they don't say it. They just say NAH-zee. Look how we have both destroyed the French word garage. Us red necks say grag or grawg. Other Americans try to say something like guh-RASH. The English say GAR-ig.

I have been to England about twenty times. I really enjoy the differences.

We could talk about the Irish potato famine but it is an involved historical subject that doesn’t do much to advance our discussion of language. It did make England and the USA much more Irish. Post me a private message if you want to talk about it.
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:39 pm

Thanks, esp for the dif in English pronunciations based on source. When I come across a new foreign word in reading, I automatically pronounce it like Spanish. Sometimes I find it doesn't work. Never remember hearing Nazi pronounced without the t. I once had a British roommate who regularly said shedule instead of skedule, which sounded nice.
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Postby Slava » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:40 pm

As to Nazi, I actually know a couple of real ones. It's not an uncommon name in Georgia (the country). I told them to make sure they transliterate it as Nahzi, which is how it's pronounced there.
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Re: Britishisms

Postby SheriS » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:03 pm

Having grown up in Michigan, when I moved to Australia and subsequently to New Zealand (where I have now lived for more than 32 years), I naively thought I spoke English, only to realise I actually spoke American! The locals could understand me because they had American TV, but I had to work hard to learn to understand them. Part of the difference is accent and part of it is dialect.

It can be a trap when the same word has a different meaning. For example, in USA a biscuit is something soft, more like a scone....in Australia / NZ, a biscuit is what Americans call a cookie...or a cracker (also known as a water biscuit)!

I remember co-hosting a dinner party in Melbourne, and one of the guests was helping me to set the table. I suggested using a pitcher for water; she turned around and said, "A picture of what? Oh - you mean a jug!"

British usually refer to their backside as their bum rather than as their butt. And word the word fanny - innocuously referring to your bottom in USA, in British-influenced Australia and NZ, refers to a part of the anatomy specifically frontal and female.....*blush* People generally only ever get caught out on that one once!!

Oh - another Britishism is that you must never refer to someone as she - they will generally snap back at you "SHE is the cat's mother!"
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Re: Britishisms

Postby Bazr » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:37 am

This link is to a good little article I read on differences between America & Australia
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