U.S. vs. U.K. common terms

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Dec 29, 2021.

  1. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Essex.Just a username."Rubbers" I may have heard used a lot later than "rubber jonnies" though.That might have been on TV or equivalent.
     
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  3. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Never heard that one. Is that the same as "polishing the bishop"?
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Shome mishtake shurely? As I recall, one polishes a rocket and bashes a bishop. In Australia, it is punishing Percy in the palm.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    A hone is apparently also a kind of whetstone, used to sharpen razors or knives.

    I originally heard the term used in a context such as "hone the blade", which referred to sharpening a knife or similar cutting tool. A sharp knife or sword could be described as "finely honed".

    "Honing in" on something is an ignorant error. It seems like, for some reason, lots of people have a vague idea of what "hone" means - it implies the idea of bringing something to a sharp point. Hence, "honing is" is used to mean getting to the point of something. On the other hand, to understand "home in", one needs to know something about homing pigeons and the like. For whatever reason, it seems that more young people know about knives than pigeons, these days.
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe not a "UK v US"ism, but in the vein of misused words, I've just heard a sports commentator talking about how a goal (in a football/soccer game) has put "a whole new complex on the game". This was a UK pundit, and I know they meant to say "complexion" (pundits rarely being the sharpest tools in the shed), but was wondering whether this has come over from the other side of the pond? Anyone else experienced the jarring phrase?
     
  9. geordief Valued Senior Member

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  10. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Another pair of expressions that has come to my notice as a result of my recent foray into the world of compression stockings...

    A ladder in the UK is something that you get in a pair of (compression or ordinary) stockings.

    In the US this goes by the name of a "run".

    I gave also learned that you can repair such a ladder ,or a run by means of the application of (clear) nail varnish on the damaged area.

    Presently so occupied , as they cost a bit to replace.

    See how they hold up.Apparently washing them doesn't destroy the repair ,and they are supposed to be washed daily (by hand and not in detergent -I use washing up liquid)
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Sports commentators have always been notorious for malapropisms, mixed metaphors etc. Private Eye has for years run a column called “Colemanballs” , publishing examples sent in by readers, named after the BBC sports commentator David Coleman. I remember one of his best was “…..and Juantorena opens his legs and shows his class…….” during a race involving a Cuban runner of that name. Another was Bill McLaren’s “That ball took off like a meteorite.”

    But a sports expression that has always had me baffled is “early doors”. WTF does that mean? “Early bath” I understand, as a bath was what football players traditionally had after the match, so if they were withdrawn early and substituted, they got an early bath. But early doors? Beats me.
     
  12. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Always thought "early doors" was a pub metaphor, referring to how soon after the doors were open you would arrive. Somewhat lost that reference with all-day opening, though.

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    But why "early doors" rather than just "early on (in proceedings)", even in relation to the pub...??
     
  13. geordief Valued Senior Member

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  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Much as I love dear Susie, I could not make it to the end of her clip because of the bloody music. (Why the fuck the BBC has to contaminate radio pieces with this distracting junk is beyond me. It adds nothing, adds to the production cost for licence fee payers and gets in the way. It seems to be a recent fad.) The bit I did hear seemed to say much the same as my post 29 on this thread, about different approaches taken on opposite sides of the Atlantic when spelling came to be standardised, something that did not occur until the c.18th.
     
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    We can. We just don't spell it incorrectly.

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  16. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    "me" is "my".
    "Crust" is from cockney rhyming slang: "crusty bread" = "head".
    So this means "doing my head in" - i.e. to frustrate.
    Khazi means "toilet". It comes from an old cockney word "carsey" meaning "toilet" (possibly originally from the Italian "casa" meaning "house"). As to why the "khazi" spelling, this may have been from one of the many colonies of our old Empire, possibly one of the African ones.
     
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    flogging a dead horse?
     
  19. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Flogging could mean "selling" as in trying to get water out of a stone or convince a very sceptical buyer.

    Or ,maybe whipping a horse in a race that is never going to win or arrive at its destination because its forces are spent.
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Spike Milligan, in one of his books, possibly "Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall", claimed Khazi, or Karzi, comes from the Swahili word m'karzi, meaning, er, karzi. However, this being Milligan, I'm not sure it was entirely serious.

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  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    It's quite possible, although whether Swahili or Zulu, perhaps? That may be where the cockney derived from, albeit a change of spelling. Possibly mixed two similar influences: Italian and swahili/Zulu.... And that's part of the joy of English... words can originated from anywhere!

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  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Well it's certainly the case that the British Army from imperial times has imported slang from other languages, "bint" for a young woman (feminine of "bin" = son of, i.e. daughter of) and "shufti" for to have a look at something from shuf or shoof, to see, both coming from (probably Suez canal) Arabic, as I realised during my time in the Gulf.
     
  23. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

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    Are loanwords more common with English than with other languages? I've always gotten the impression that this is the case--it certainly seems to be more true for Germanic languages than for Romance languages, at the very least. And American English is certainly more prone to bastardizing pronunciations than British English, typically in a very ugly fashion (that's entirely subjective, I suppose, but c'mon, we have a particular knack for making words and names sound really, really stupid).
     

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