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7,247 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Melvyn Bragg host of BBC4's In Our Time wrote a beautiful book about our common language, "The Adventure of English". Among the many twists and turns in what has become a global Latin for our age is the capacity for the language to absorb and adjust to the many lands where its use has spread.

This is a global forum. We should remember that terms like fannie and fag are as likely innocuous as offensive. Lets enjoy sharing our local use of this magnificent language and enrich ourselves in the process.
937 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
been reading through this post and I have to say I agree with the fact that here in the UK we have our own regional dialects. I am a complete mixture. Having spent time in the South of England and the Midlands, and having Irish, Scottish and English and Australian all in my family so I have a wide range of words I use.

I currently live in the South East of England, the posh part where a lot of people do still speak the Queens English. I get several laughs when I say words that I fully understand but my friends don't.

Mardy is one word I have used recently that I had to explain: it means moody or grumpy. "John's a bit mardy today"
Fuzzpig is a hedgehog. I prefer fuzzpig over hedgehog
Brew: cup of tea "I fancy a brew"
Crack: this has already been explained before but it means talk "having a good crack"
Drongo: It's actually a term that means idiot but in a joking way. Say if someone falls over you say they're a drongo rather then an idiot.
Bucks: when I ask for a few pounds I ask for a few bucks.
Budgie Smugglers: Speedo

CK x
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Queensland, Australia
4,361 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
What an interesting topic.

I was born in NZ, went to school in the UK, married to a scouse and live in Australia. Talk to me about accents..... prounciation.... and words that mean something else.....lol.

In the USA they pronounce 'vase' vayse and in NZ, Aus and UK they say 'varse'...

I say 'castle' prounced 'carsell' and my DH says 'cassell'.
I say 'broom' he says 'brush'.

We say aluminium and in the USA they say Aloooomium.

I do think that the UK, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have the most varied of the same language than any other country and I find that so interesting and would love to know how that came about.

And a phrase that always gives me the giggles and I hear it on every UK TV program is 'it's doing me head in'... I've never heard that anywhere else before.

Jilly
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Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
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Jilly- that made me laugh!
Er.....I didn't realise that al-um-in-ium and al-um-inum were the same item- are they?
I think the doing my head in bit comes from some comedy show, although I have heard it said by wives about husbands and naughty children.
My OH, a southener and from a fairly posh family, would pronounce Carstle that way, but luckily the dog doesn't understand him when he threatens her with a "BARTH".
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20 cruises; 11 ships; 8 lines; 94 ports
3,258 Posts
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Oh the joys of the English language. Being Canadian it seems like we adopted a bit of both our original mother England English and American English mixed with a bit of French.

We use:
Cheque instead of check
Theatre instead of theater
honour and colour instead of honor and color
trunk (in a car) instead of boot
dish detergent instead of washing up liquid (except my smart ass partner who turned British after one vacation)
aluminum instead of aluminium

We watch a lot of British programming so some words or phrases that are used in Britain we are familiar with but there are some I still haven't figured out what they are saying.

Again, look at Australia for even more interesting twists on the English language.

David
who knows what poutine is
and has been known to end sentences with, eh?
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Queensland, Australia
4,361 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
There would be pages and pages if we started added Australian to this thread.

Cobber.... your best friend
Servo...... where you buy your petrol
Ambo...... The Ambulance
Hurray..... Good bye
See you later..... doesn't necessarily mean the same day....lol

Jilly
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Estonia 1966
P & O Oronsay 1967
Shaw Savill Ocean Monarch 1972
P & O Pacific Sky 2003
Celebrity Constellation 2003
Pacific Princess 2004
Pacific Sky x 3 2004
Pacific Princess 2005
Celebrity Mercury 2005
Celebrity Mercury 2007 x 3 x B2B - 42 wonderful days
Rhapsody of the Seas x 2 xB2B 2008
Celebrity Millenium 2008
Rhapsody of the Seas 2009
Pacific Dawn 2010
Rhapsody of the Seas 27 Oct. 2010
Sun Princess April 2011
Celebrity Century 30 November 2011
Voyager of the Seas - 14 April 2012 42 nights New Orleans to Singapore
Queen Elizabeth Auckland to Los Angeles 20 February 2013 - 21 nights
Sea Princess October 2013 11 nights
Queen Mary 2 February 21 2014 13 nights Brisbane to Fremantle
Voyager of the Seas 11 nights Sydney Mar 2015
Pacific Aria November 2015

Waiting to enjoy:
Legend of the Seas Feb 2016



TO CONTACT ME: [email protected]
South Australia
8,105 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by Bramcruiser
Oh the joys of the English language. Being Canadian it seems like we adopted a bit of both our original mother England English and American English mixed with a bit of French. eh?
It just means you know how to spell!

Hmm, in South Australia we don't use words like Cobber and Hurray for goodbye. Maybe that's another twist.



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Kingston, ON
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Joined Sep 2009
Found this thread extremely interesting. As a Canadian who winters every year in the southern US, we are often asked why we pronounce some words differently- leftenant- and spell some words "funny" -colour. I am never sure when I want a certain type of bread whether to pronounce it as scone or scon.

I was born in Canada and with the exception of 4 years when we lived and taught in Germany, have lived here all my life. Even so, when we hear someone born and raised in Newfoundland speak, we often ask one another just what he said. That accent is so insular even in the age of internet and many TV stations broadcasting via satellite.

Ciao,
Nikki
Switzerland
2,222 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by $hip$hape
The lift? The Tube? The zebra crossing?
Here's a related article from today's Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...?tid=rec_wp_rd
Nice article. He got most of it right, except 'Tube trains have “carriages,” not cars.' Actually, on the underground they are called cars - as in the announcements - ''move right down inside the cars please'', but on the overground they are carriages.
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7,247 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Hi SwissDave!

Here's a tale you might appreciate. My mom lives near Franfurt am Main. While visiting her a few years back I went out for a stroll. Upon returning I found her and her husband watching a travel show on tv. I noticed the subtitles were in German but the people on the show were speaking German. Perplexed, I asked why this was the case and in unison they both responded "because they are speaking Swiss German and we can't understand a word they're saying!".
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,751 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Tut tut, Washington Post.....it's an "Off Licence"- noun; "license" is a verb.....
People seem to get by when they cross the pond either way.....we did puzzle a Texan when we said we'd seen something on the telly, and I didn't know that "adverts" weren't used in the USA.
And we all watch the same shows on the telly these days, so I'm aware what a cell phone is.....
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Texas
4,089 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by jocap
Tut tut, Washington Post.....it's an "Off Licence"- noun; "license" is a verb.....
People seem to get by when they cross the pond either way.....we did puzzle a Texan when we said we'd seen something on the telly, and I didn't know that "adverts" weren't used in the USA.
And we all watch the same shows on the telly these days, so I'm aware what a cell phone is.....
Jo.
Just checked in my Webster dictionary and the preferred spelling for both the noun and the verb in the US is license. The spelling "licence" is listed as secondary for both the noun and the verb. So, the editor probably didn't see that as a misspelling.
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,751 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by Texas Tillie
Just checked in my Webster dictionary and the preferred spelling for both the noun and the verb in the US is license. The spelling "licence" is listed as secondary for both the noun and the verb. So, the editor probably didn't see that as a misspelling.
Oh, yes, I agree that license is the correct US spelling....but this article is supposed to be pointing out the British way, so I thought it amusing that they got it wrong! It would be like me telling people visiting the US to look for signposts saying:"Harbour".
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20 cruises; 11 ships; 8 lines; 94 ports
isle of man
896 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Excellent post!

My favourite Australian word is "DAG" - ie "you're such a dag" or "he is so daggy" Picked that one up off "Neighbours" tv show

There is a song about where I live called "the crack was 90 in the Isle of Man" - i dont quite know what means?! a good time was had by all maybe, but what does the 90 mean? - I dont think anyone knows......

Back on topic though - The best USA/UK word difference though in my opinion is PASTIES!!! Here it is something you eat, pastry filled with meat and potato. In USA something quite different I believe!
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england
589 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
drunk
rubbish
bin
bum
pavement
tin foil
car boot
car bonnet
gear stick
tap
sweets
plaster
curtains
motorway
purse
chips
crisps
holiday
what do these mean to you my american friends?
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7,247 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by postmeome
drunk a person prone to alcoholic intoxication
rubbish trash, garbage
bin where the trash/garbage is deposited
bum rump
pavement a hard surface designed for automobile traffic like a road or parking lot
tin foil thin sheets of aluminum
car boot trunk
car bonnet hood
gear stick stick shift
tap valve for controlling the flow of liquids, usually water but prefer beer
sweets candies
plaster what walls are often made of
curtains a type of window covering
motorway a limited access highway
purse what the queen carries on her fore arm, contents unknown
chips fries
crisps chips
holiday vacation
what do these mean to you my american friends?
That's what they mean to me.
Isengard
415 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by yst347
That's what they mean to me.
But the average American (who has not traveled to the UK) might answer

bum: someone who makes no effort to provide an honest living for himself or his family, or as a verb...to "borrow" a cigarette or a light

car boot: a device that clamps on an illegally parked car to prevent its removal until it can be towed to a police lot

tap: could also be a light touch...or a kind of dance

holiday: a special occasion like Christmas or Thanksgiving, one day only

chips: what you call crisps
No crisps, no car bonnets over here...never heard of motorways until I drove in Britain....but "roundabouts" are FINALLY appearing here!!!!

A few more not touched on yet, I don't think...
In the UK, when you relocate, you use a "removals" firm while we use a "moving line/company".
(Here, if something is removed, it's usually gone forever!")
We "hire" people to work for us, but "rent" a car.
We have "speed bumps" and "crossing guards", while you have "sleeping policemen" and "Lollipop ladies"....or used to, at least.
Vancouver BC
7,241 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I'm Canadian, but I grew up speaking hampshire, a dialect all to its own...

Originally posted by postmeome
drunk: past tense of drink. I drunk that beer
rubbish: Manchester United
bin: where you threw the beer you drunk
bum: supporter of Manchester United
pavement: where I ended up after I drunk that (and many more) beer
tin foil: hat worn by republican candidates
car boot: the bit I bounced off on the way to the pavement
car bonnet: or was it this?
gear stick: found on real cars
tap: cuts threads in metal
sweets: DW
plaster: to become drunk
curtains: what was covering up my eyes when I made a pass at someone other than my DW
motorway: pavement I'm glad I didn't end up on
purse: DW's method of paying for above beers
chips: some things I had at the poker table
crisps: (empty packet) along w/ two empty pints of lager
holiday: any day my boss doesn't phone and say "are you coming in today"
what do these mean to you my american friends?
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Switzerland
2,222 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by scottbee
I'm Canadian, but I grew up speaking hampshire, a dialect all to its own...

Best answers yet
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180 days completed and counting
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