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BS: British/American cultural differences.

GUEST,Jim Dixon 09 Feb 00 - 06:07 PM
Bert 09 Feb 00 - 06:17 PM
Áine 09 Feb 00 - 06:23 PM
Metchosin 09 Feb 00 - 06:32 PM
Bert 09 Feb 00 - 06:35 PM
Metchosin 09 Feb 00 - 06:37 PM
catspaw49 09 Feb 00 - 06:39 PM
sheila 09 Feb 00 - 06:40 PM
Metchosin 09 Feb 00 - 06:45 PM
Metchosin 09 Feb 00 - 07:05 PM
Lanfranc 09 Feb 00 - 07:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Feb 00 - 07:18 PM
Metchosin 09 Feb 00 - 07:51 PM
The Shambles 09 Feb 00 - 07:59 PM
The Shambles 09 Feb 00 - 08:02 PM
Amos 09 Feb 00 - 08:13 PM
Amos 09 Feb 00 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Nancy 09 Feb 00 - 08:18 PM
Murray MacLeod 09 Feb 00 - 08:20 PM
Mbo 09 Feb 00 - 08:53 PM
Sorcha 09 Feb 00 - 08:58 PM
bbelle 09 Feb 00 - 09:07 PM
Mbo 09 Feb 00 - 09:11 PM
Sorcha 09 Feb 00 - 09:17 PM
Hotspur 09 Feb 00 - 09:42 PM
Gary T 09 Feb 00 - 10:36 PM
alison 09 Feb 00 - 10:53 PM
sophocleese 09 Feb 00 - 11:07 PM
ddw 09 Feb 00 - 11:12 PM
Rick Fielding 09 Feb 00 - 11:17 PM
Troll 09 Feb 00 - 11:38 PM
sophocleese 09 Feb 00 - 11:42 PM
ddw 09 Feb 00 - 11:44 PM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 09 Feb 00 - 11:47 PM
Metchosin 10 Feb 00 - 02:42 AM
Steve Parkes 10 Feb 00 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 10 Feb 00 - 04:53 AM
Lanfranc 10 Feb 00 - 05:05 AM
Lanfranc 10 Feb 00 - 05:05 AM
Lanfranc 10 Feb 00 - 05:09 AM
Murray MacLeod 10 Feb 00 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Penny S. 10 Feb 00 - 07:34 AM
Chris/Darwin 10 Feb 00 - 07:35 AM
The Shambles 10 Feb 00 - 07:58 AM
GeorgeH 10 Feb 00 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,James 10 Feb 00 - 08:07 AM
Mbo 10 Feb 00 - 08:18 AM
Fortunato 10 Feb 00 - 08:40 AM
Fortunato 10 Feb 00 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,BV 10 Feb 00 - 10:01 AM
SingsIrish Songs 10 Feb 00 - 01:13 PM
SingsIrish Songs 10 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 00 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Terry 10 Feb 00 - 02:23 PM
kendall 10 Feb 00 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Dick Holdstock 10 Feb 00 - 03:53 PM
Gary T 10 Feb 00 - 04:04 PM
MMario 10 Feb 00 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 10 Feb 00 - 04:12 PM
Linda Kelly 10 Feb 00 - 04:19 PM
Amos 10 Feb 00 - 04:25 PM
Bert 10 Feb 00 - 04:56 PM
Penny S. 10 Feb 00 - 05:38 PM
catspaw49 10 Feb 00 - 05:56 PM
sophocleese 10 Feb 00 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 10 Feb 00 - 07:41 PM
SingsIrish Songs 10 Feb 00 - 07:41 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Feb 00 - 07:50 PM
SingsIrish Songs 10 Feb 00 - 08:03 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Feb 00 - 08:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 00 - 08:20 PM
Mbo 10 Feb 00 - 08:29 PM
Barbara 10 Feb 00 - 09:02 PM
MMario 10 Feb 00 - 09:05 PM
katlaughing 10 Feb 00 - 09:20 PM
SingsIrish Songs 10 Feb 00 - 09:57 PM
SingsIrish Songs 10 Feb 00 - 09:58 PM
Troll 10 Feb 00 - 10:04 PM
Mbo 10 Feb 00 - 10:07 PM
Bob Bolton 10 Feb 00 - 10:11 PM
Bill D 10 Feb 00 - 11:55 PM
Mbo 11 Feb 00 - 12:05 AM
Metchosin 11 Feb 00 - 01:05 AM
ddw 11 Feb 00 - 01:05 AM
Lonesome EJ 11 Feb 00 - 01:53 AM
Barbara 11 Feb 00 - 02:31 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Feb 00 - 03:25 AM
Chris/Darwin 11 Feb 00 - 04:56 AM
Jon Freeman 11 Feb 00 - 11:12 AM
Steve Latimer 11 Feb 00 - 11:43 AM
Penny S. 11 Feb 00 - 12:05 PM
sophocleese 11 Feb 00 - 12:16 PM
Penny S. 11 Feb 00 - 12:29 PM
kendall 11 Feb 00 - 12:46 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Feb 00 - 01:12 PM
Penny S. 11 Feb 00 - 02:00 PM
Metchosin 11 Feb 00 - 02:32 PM
Linda Kelly 11 Feb 00 - 03:51 PM
Bert 11 Feb 00 - 03:53 PM
Llanfair 11 Feb 00 - 04:05 PM
Jeri 11 Feb 00 - 04:27 PM
MMario 11 Feb 00 - 04:50 PM
Jon Freeman 11 Feb 00 - 05:06 PM
Micca 11 Feb 00 - 05:06 PM
Metchosin 11 Feb 00 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 11 Feb 00 - 05:51 PM
katlaughing 11 Feb 00 - 05:59 PM
Metchosin 11 Feb 00 - 06:06 PM
Linda Kelly 11 Feb 00 - 06:22 PM
Jeri 11 Feb 00 - 06:29 PM
Gary T 11 Feb 00 - 06:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Feb 00 - 07:24 PM
SingsIrish Songs 12 Feb 00 - 01:50 AM
Gary T 12 Feb 00 - 02:02 AM
GUEST,Leighton 12 Feb 00 - 03:42 AM
Penny S. 12 Feb 00 - 05:04 AM
Uncle_DaveO 12 Feb 00 - 10:12 AM
Bill D 12 Feb 00 - 01:55 PM
SingsIrish Songs 12 Feb 00 - 03:02 PM
Eric the Viking 12 Feb 00 - 03:15 PM
MarkS 12 Feb 00 - 04:03 PM
GUEST 12 Feb 00 - 04:19 PM
Bill D 12 Feb 00 - 05:38 PM
Penny S. 13 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM
Hotspur 13 Feb 00 - 08:10 PM
The_one_and_only_Dai 14 Feb 00 - 06:00 AM
GUEST,aldus 14 Feb 00 - 08:36 AM
SingsIrish Songs 14 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Aug 00 - 04:16 PM
Cobble 16 Aug 00 - 06:01 PM

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Subject: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:07 PM

As an American who has traveled several times to Britain, I am fascinated with all the differences between American and British cultures. I have collected several guidebooks and dictionaries that explain British/American equivalents, for example: bonnet (of a car) = hood, boot (of a car) = trunk, biscuit = cookie, and so on. Such information is relatively easy to come by.

What I'm more interested in, and what is much harder to collect, and harder still to explain, are all the things that are well known on one side of the Atlantic and practically unknown on the other. In other words, things that have NO equivalent, and are untranslatable without a long explanation. Here are a few things off the top of my head:

BRITISH STUFF UNKNOWN IN AMERICA:

Irn Bru. Pork pies. Ploughman's lunch. Black pudding. Christmas crackers. Christmas pantomime. Kippers. Digestive biscuits (sort of like graham crackers, but thicker and round). Wax jackets. Jellied eels. Fruit machines (sort of like American slot machines, but with lots of complicated stuff that lights up--I never figured them out). Marmite. Electric teakettles.

AMERICAN STUFF UNKNOWN IN BRITAIN:

Root beer. Screen doors. Window screens. Pari-mutuel betting.

My second list is much shorter because those are things I would never have noticed if some Briton hadn't pointed them out. That's where you can help. What can you add to my lists?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bert
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:17 PM

BRITISH STUFF UNKNOWN IN AMERICA: Pontefract cakes, Eccles cakes, Bath Buns, Chelsea buns, eel pie, Cheddar cheese (and a lot of other cheeses), Simnel cake, humor (says he, running and ducking).

AMERICAN STUFF UNKNOWN IN BRITAIN: Bagging groceries - in England you bring your own bags.
Returning goods - in England, you buy it - it's yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Áine
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:23 PM

In the US, jelly means jam without the fruit bits; in Britain it means gelatin, which in the US, we'd call jello.

In the US, it's pudding, in Britain it's soft custard

One thing we have in the US and they don't have in Britain - moon pies!

Correction - Jim, I can get digestive biscuits at the supermarket here in Texas; however, they call them 'tea cookies'! What a hoot!

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:32 PM

Gee guys, I live in Canada and there wasn't a darn thing on either of those lists that I didn't know except Wax Jackets and I'm not even first generation.

But I bet ya don't know what "skookum" is? Unless you come from Seattle.

My daughter tells me they make fun of touques across the pond too. Well because I knew everything on the list, I guess I've just got a "Skookum touque"

But lets not get the Aussies in on this or then we'll all be really confused.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bert
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:35 PM

You used to be able to get moon pies - they called them 'wagon wheels'


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:37 PM

Ah! mushy peas, such a culinary delight!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:39 PM

Tell ya' what Bert...Down there in Aine's country, a 7-Course meal is a Moon Pie and a 6-Pack.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: sheila
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:40 PM

In the UK, the term 'pudding' is frequently used where a USian would say 'dessert' - it can be ice cream, cake, pie - even what an American would call pudding!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 06:45 PM

Up here Spaw, we might have a Mickey and a Mae West. Into the hard stuff you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 07:05 PM

Canadianisms: school marm, pecker pole, ogopogo, mooching, in the toolies, chuck and crummy. Non of which are what they might appear to be in the U.S. or U.K.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Lanfranc
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 07:18 PM

Just to make life interesting.

Black pudding is a sausage made with blood, fat and cereal!

Pond pudding is a dessert made with suet, flour, lemon and golden syrup (liquid cane sugar - is there a N American equivalent of that?)!

Us limeys soon learn never to ask a Yank or Canuck for a fag - to us it's a cigarette, to you, what in less tolerant times would be called a shirt-lifter over here !!

Here to "knock up" is to wake someone for work, in New York, as I discovered to my cost when I used it to a female colleague over there, something rather more pleasurable !

More anon, if I get time


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 07:18 PM

I read Jim and Bert's posting and I was thinking you poor bastards! Then I rememberwed asking aboput kippers and being told you've fgot them, but yiouy call them something different, and I decided you probabably had lots of them but called them different names, and the rest of the thread has borne that out.

If your shopping in a shop you normally get given bags in England these days, and you've the right to take things back, and most shops don't make a fuss about it. If you're shopping in a street market you normal.ly supply your own bag, and you'd be unlikely to able to take things back normally. But do you have street markets in America?

Learning about the different names is useful, but it's just words. But what is really interesting is learning where something you're used to having just doesn't happen in the same way.

Like, for example, a thread recently where someone in America lamented the fact that you don't have folk clubs in rooms attached to pubs (as opposed to sessions in the pubs).

Do you have darts? Snooker (as opposed to pool)? Milk and mail delivered to your door? Fish and Chips? Sausages (I mean the sort you fry)?

Most of these things come in to songs every now and again. Does this cause confusion? (Well it does soemtimes - I've met Americans who completely misunderstand the plot in From Clare to here when he talks about "Work hard for the crack" (though sometimes it's "for the brass" which is probably almost as confusing, though it makes for a better rhyme.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 07:51 PM

Alan, you can ask someone for a "fag" here in Canada, and they'll light it for you too, you just can't ask someone under the age of fifty.

McGrath, I don't know about down in the States, but out here in the last Bastion of the British Empire, we play pool and snooker, milk and mail is still delivered to the door in some areas, Fish and Chips come wrapped in newspapers, and I'll cook you up some bangers and mash, dressed only in an apron and a Pork Pie, any day, as long as you don't knock me up in the morning.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 07:59 PM

Of course the 'wild' folk in the English Midlands eat faggots with peas. Jolly nice they are too.

A rubber means something else too.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:02 PM

Bert is understood and is well known on both sides of the Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:13 PM

Well, Yanks not familiar with life in England should be warned that they are probably not even aware of their U.S. habituation to central heating and individual plumbing.

Over there, it's exactly the other way around!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:13 PM

Well, Yanks not familiar with life in England should be warned that they are probably not even aware of their U.S. habituation to central heating and individual plumbing.

Over there, it's exactly the other way around!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Nancy
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:18 PM

Well........I heard those Brits call a chin a "pecker" and it's not uncommon for one to say "keep yer pecker up!" Also, THEY call pants trousers, and pants over there are what WE call underpants. Hmmmm, when my husband and I were in Australia (off to another geography!) during the Worlds Cup we said we were "rooting" on the couch for Australians to win. We learned later what "rooting' was there:) Not "Yeh, go team go!" Nancy


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:20 PM

You know what continues to amaze me, even after being a US resident for almost two years? That people put stickers on their rear bumpers (fenders?)saying "My child is an Honor Student at XYZ School". NOBODY in Britain would do that.British reserve, don't y'know......


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:53 PM

Here are some great North Carolina-isms:
Heifer-dust
To "get up" with someone
Down East
Hoi-Toiders
Buggy
Goober Paste
Inundate


I think so folks would have difficulty with these!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 08:58 PM

VEGGIE-MITE!! It amazes me that people put any kind of stickers on their cars....I put them on instrument cases. FLOATING ISLAND!!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: bbelle
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:07 PM

Meebo ... now you're talking Outer Banks lingo. Lived on Hatteras Island for three years ... my dad's last duty station in the Navy ... and had to relearn American when we left ... hoi toid on the soundsoid ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:11 PM

Ahh...so you know about Harker's Island then! My dad just retired from the Marine Corps--we're still here by Camp Lejuene. But then again, a guy like me here in Carolina with a Philly accent puzzles people, too. They don't know what I'm saying!

--Mbo (who knows exactly what Cocoa Marsh is)


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:17 PM

Oceans be blessed! Americans don't even know what other Americans are talking about!! Happens all over. Auto-gate=cattle-gaurd; sack=bag, LOTS of regional differences. We had a problem with our son & his teacher in grammer school when the little worksheets with pictures on them had the "wrong" word on the answer code!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Hotspur
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 09:42 PM

I usually can stumble along fairly well with British lingo, but I get totally lost whenever someone starts talking about schools, coursework, exams, etc. A friend from Leicester sent me a letter about her kids' schoolwork, and i was COMPLETELY lost. Can anybody help me? What's a GCE and a CSE? What's a thirteen-plus? What's the difference between an O level and an A level? Aack!

One thing i definitely noticed is that the chocolate you can get in England is much much better than the American version you'd get at an equivalent price.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 10:36 PM

Well, McGrath, to answer these questions: Do you have darts? Snooker (as opposed to pool)? Milk and mail delivered to your door? Fish and Chips? Sausages (I mean the sort you fry)?

Darts, yes. Snooker, no (at least not generally--it may be played in some specific areas). Milk delivery, generally no, although it's still available in some areas. Home delivery used to be common, seemed to phase out around 1960. Mail delivery, yes (though in rural areas, it's typically to a mailbox out by the road). Fish and chips, in some places, although it's seldom called that. Sausages, yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: alison
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 10:53 PM

Yep.. don't tell an Ausiie you were "rooting around in a cupboard"

Ask for a "poke" in Belfast and see what you get..... very pleasant (or a "slider" or a "99")

First time I ordered pizza over here in Oz I hadn't a clue what I was ordering... it had "capsicum"(green peppers).....and "cabanossi" (like salami)...

aubergine = egg plant courgette = zuchini

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: sophocleese
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:07 PM

Oh dear, I'm the Canadian daughter of English parents, who hadn't really intended to live in Canada for as long as they have and will continue to do so. I got used to translating the lingo from one place to another. But how many English, or maybe American, people would know what a 'bush bash' was? What the hell are public and priavte schools in Britain and what are they in Canada? I never had a meal served to me in a Canadian school, until Highschool cafeteria, but had school dinners in England. Recess in a Candian school meant all of the kids from all grades outside running around and playing in small groups, but at the same age in an English school, with a much more resticted playground, the class was sent out and tended to separate severely into boys only and girls only. Immunization schedules are different which can cause havoc when you shift back and forth between. Most Canadian schools don't require uniforms, but in England we had to wear them. Is that still necessary? In Canada the general population doesn't go so crazy for the Royal Family, expatriate Brits might, but the most avid fan I've met was a Canadian of Dutch descent. Then again there is also far less criticism of them as well. The Canadian family were silent and awed through Charle's and Di's wedding, my English born mother said "Well they didn't pick the brood mare for her nose did they?" Neither I nor my English cousins were grief stricken by the death of Princess Di, it was a pity and we would rather it hadn't happened, but we weren't prostrated by it, some friends without English parentage were mightily upset by it. I used to consider myself English-Canadian but now call myself Canadian. All English people drive on the wrong side of the road and are unused to going in a straight line for more than a couple of kilometers at a time. Rights of way are strongly contested, "This is an ancient route used since Roman times." in Britain but, without the centuries of pedestrian traffic "Pardon me, but do you think that we could possibly make a trail through this unused woodlot?" in Canada, are less so here. I'm sure if I thought about I could come up with other small differences. A Fish Called Wanda did point out a few of them as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: ddw
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:12 PM

As an American married to a Brit and living in Canada, I've been a little amused at some of the things posters think are limited to one side of the pond or the other. Most of the things in Jim's initial post as being available only in the U.K. are readily available here (and in the parts of the U.S. I've lived), you just have to know where to look.

Cheddar cheese? Electric teakettles? Pork pies? Digestive biscuits? Give me a break! I have been familiar with all of those since the 1960s.

I agree with some other postings, that in many instances the things exist on both side, they're just called different names.

But it's fun to compare notes.

cheers

david


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:17 PM

Well here's a bumper sticker or two that are common ONLY to Canada: "MY CANADA INCLUDES QUEBEC". Here's one from Alberta,) "FREEZE IN THE DARK, ONTARIO BASTARDS". 'Course we're not immune to "HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS" but you can also see: "JESUS SAVES but MOSES INVESTS". Vive la difference.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Troll
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:38 PM

Two words. Beer and Cider

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: sophocleese
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:42 PM

Oh yes, I like Marmite. I have peanut butter and Marmite sandwiches and have had them for thirty years in Ontario, surely a transcontinental luxury. Canadian Cheddar has been available for my lifetime and is very good.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: ddw
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:44 PM

Mbo,

"Inundate" an NCism? I don't know how long I've known the word, but you can bet it's in the vernacular of most literate people who live close to a large body of water. It certainly is around the Great Lakes and along most sea coasts.

As for the others, they may just be regionalisms and you can find equivalents everywhere you go.

One of my favorite memories of a difficuly caused by them was watching and Air Force mate of mine from Boston getting slapped by a waitress in an Oklahoma City restaurant when he asked her for a frappe. She later told him she had no idea what it meant, but it sounded dirty.

cheers

david


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 09 Feb 00 - 11:47 PM

In Britain (so I understand) the cat panthera onca is called a "jag-you-are". Where I grew up in upstate New York, we called it a "jag-wawr". Many here in Oklahoma call it a "jag-wire".


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 02:42 AM

please what is a wax jacket?

would it look nice with my pork pie?

And where is the "f" in lieutenant?

Damned if I know.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 03:34 AM

Outside my part of the English Midlands (South Staffordshire), they call pigs' pudding black pudding, for reasons I've never understood. It's probably the colour, but then why don't they call polony red pudding? If we call an orange an orange, why don't we call a banana a yellow?

And teakettle? I use mine to make coffe too - what do you Yanks boil water in? Mr Cofeee, I suppose.

You don't have to cross the pond to find you're separated by a common language. My mate's dad was in the Big Smoke (London to you -c.f. the Big Apple), where he bought a newspaper. He the newsagent asked if he'd got an 'ipe-nee'; after much confused discussion, he realised what the guy meant - "Yo' mane an airp-nee!". (Explanation available on request)

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:53 AM

...and Steve, do you have trouble with Southerners in the great pikelet versus crumpet controversy?
We still can't agree after nearly 30 years of marriage (I'm from Brum [no, really, Roger, we'd never have guessed], while She Who Must Be Obeyed is from Bucks. However her Dad was brought up in Wolverhampton and her Mum in Coventry but She still calls 'em crumpets...
RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Lanfranc
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 05:05 AM

Colin Scot (anyone else remember him?) used to say that American English was the only language where you could rhyme "romance", "dance" and "trousers".(Substitute "pants" for the last, and switch on a Brooklyn accent)

There are a couple (at least) of American/English lexicons around, at least one very light-hearted. They used to use them when running induction courses preparing English employees and managers to work in the US. That it was (1980's) considered necessary to do so says a lot.

I, for one, am glad that such differences exist and that the cultural holocaust of worldwide US TV, films and music hasn't eliminated them. Vive la difference!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Lanfranc
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 05:05 AM

Colin Scot (anyone else remember him?) used to say that American English was the only language where you could rhyme "romance", "dance" and "trousers".(Substitute "pants" for the last, and switch on a Brooklyn accent)

There are a couple (at least) of American/English lexicons around, at least one very light-hearted. They used to use them when running induction courses preparing English employees and managers to work in the US. That it was (1980's) considered necessary to do so says a lot.

I, for one, am glad that such differences exist and that the cultural holocaust of worldwide US TV, films and music hasn't eliminated them. Vive la difference!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Lanfranc
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 05:09 AM

Sorry Sorry

Didn't mean to duplicate duplicate

First submission allegedly failed!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:30 AM

Jagwar v. Jag-yew-are is just one of a whole family of words containing the letter "U" which Americans pronounce differently eg. "news" (nooze / nyooze), "tube" (toob/ tyoob). Thinking about the way my usage has changed since living in the States, I ask for "candy" (sweets) in the "store" (shop)unless of course I am in the "lumber-yard* (timber merchant).


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Penny S.
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:34 AM

School uniforms - some do, some don't. Secondary schools can legally insist, primary not. Public and private schools are private - others are state. Public schools may derive from originally charitable establishments, and probably have bursaries and scholarships for the less well off, based on merit. Scholarship children, the brighter, were looked down on by those nly there on account of their ancestors' financial skills. Break or play, (recess) - some schools seem to have children playing together, others not, depending on local culture. Boys tend to spend the time playing football (soccer), and some are inimicable to girls joining in. Read "Bill's New Frock" by Anne Fine for an insight.

Archaeological research has indicated that the Romans drove on the left (wagon ruts into and out of a quarry), and the whole of Europe did until Napoleon. Just because everyone else kowtowed to a self appointed emperor doesn't make it right, only the right.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Chris/Darwin
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:35 AM

Australians have tended to absorb bits from both American and British ("Yank" and "Pom") cultures, so that most of the above references (except the very localised ones) are familiar to Aussies.

There are quite a few local differences within Australia too, but some differences with both USA and UK - "Station Wagons", "Utes", "Semis" (also used occasional in the USA I think), "Pavlovas" (a confection made with baked egg whites and filled with cream and fruit), of course "Vegemite" (a local version of Marmite), "Stubbies" (applied both to small bottles of beer and to brief shorts), "thongs" (the most casual footware around, called "flip flops" in NZ), "parkas" (a cheap weatherproof top - called "anorak" in the UK I think), "cossies" (swimming shorts), etc etc

Australian colloquialisms are legendary and too numerous to talk about, just as they are elsewhere.

Funny, though, I could not think of any significant musical differences, although some Aussie folk songs have odd names in them, but in all other respects are similar. Does this mean music is a universal language??

Regards
Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:58 AM

Hookers are big chaps that play rugby.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GeorgeH
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:06 AM

I thought the only difference that matters is that we have one and you just like to pretend you do . .

[ducks and runs]

G. (who considers Arthur Miller to be the finest English Language playwright of the 20th and 21st centuries, in case anyone took that seriously)


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,James
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:07 AM

Wax jackets or "waxies" are very common in maritime Canada. I find this thread interesting because I think that Canadians, particularly east coasters ,are fairly familiar with a lot of British terms. The American thing that drives me round the bend is the reference to the main course of a meal as the "entre" . I think this is common in other parts opf Canada as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Mbo
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:18 AM

Ddw, when the floods caused by Hurricane Floyd came rolling through this part of the state--the folks on the news must used the word "inundate" a billion times. Is there such a thing as a "state word"? BTW anyone guess what "heifer-dust" is yet?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Fortunato
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:40 AM

Is it just his personality, or is my friend for 19 years, an expatriated Brighton boy, typical of Englishmen in his reluctance to express personal feelings? After 19 years I don't think he's ever verbalized any feelings of friendship to me, though we've hefted 1,000 pints together and sung 2,000 songs. "Men don't talk of such things," he'd say. Whereas and nevertheless, I've tried to say what a good friend he's been to me only to be met with chagrin.

Just curious, Fortunato


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Fortunato
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:40 AM

Is it just his personality, or is my friend for 19 years, an expatriated Brighton boy, typical of Englishmen in his reluctance to express personal feelings? After 19 years I don't think he's ever verbalized any feelings of friendship to me, though we've hefted 1,000 pints together and sung 2,000 songs. "Men don't talk of such things," he'd say. Whereas and nevertheless, I've tried to say what a good friend he's been to me only to be met with chagrin.

Just curious, Fortunato


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,BV
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 10:01 AM

As a Brit raised in America from the age of 4, but in a vary British household and with frequent trips "accross the pond", it does my heart good to hear all these comments! I often used to think I was being raised somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I was so torn. I was often acting as translator in my home, since my Mum refused to change her speech/habits regardless of the fact that she lived in America (for over 25 years now), and I would frequestly have to explain things she said/did to guests.

One thing I was always struck by though, there are as many or more regional variations to speech/culture in England as there are in America, and a lot less area for them to occur in!

-Blackvelvet


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 01:13 PM

There must be a rather large British population here in the Woodland Hills area of CA...to my delight I've discovered The Cambridge Cupboard and gift shop serving Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea--so I've been able to sample some of the British cuisine! In San Francisco I was thrilled to discover Branston Pickle in the supermarket! Deeeeelicious! I have to bring it home to my Mom on the East Coast cause she can't find it!

Let's see: US Britain garters suspenders suspenders braces now, I wonder what term our friends in the UK call the braces used to correct crooked teeth???? :-)

I love the differences in pronunciation! Berkeley, CA (pronounced burr-klee) yet Berkeley in the UK is "barklee"...same difference with Derby...

Gas/gasoline = petrol

an infant's crib in the US is a cot across the pond...

Someone mentioned outdoor markets...I know of the "farmer's markets"--ie the local "farmers" come to town on scheduled days and set up their stands in a parking lot or other place that people can get to easily and sell their wares...

I think I had better stop..

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM

I screwed one part up above!

US term-------British term
garters-------suspenders
suspenders----braces
now, I wonder what term our British friends use for the braces to correct crooked teeth??

That should work better......

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 02:11 PM

I thought that pikelets were crumpets that that look like they've had someone sit on them, so they're flat.

Muffins of course is where the American and English variety are totally different creatures - though "American Muffins" are in the shops all the time these days, and probably more common than Muffins proper.

Apart from "Let's call the whole thing off" ("you say tomato and I say tomato etc">/I> - the first time anyone ever read those lines they must have thought them very odd...) are there any other songs about this kind of thing?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Terry
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 02:23 PM

We straighten crooked teeth with .....braces! McGrath asked about fried sausages but the answer didn't tell that in the US they are made from sawdust. (We need to introduce them to "Braughings" from the butcher in the village of that name 10 miles north of Harlow). I always like to keep my pecker up and didn't go to public school because the public were'nt allowed in. The first time I saw a bumper sticker saying "Honk if you love Jesus" (in Oklahoma) I felt like I wanted to honk. I was in Australia just after the Princess Di thing and was amazed at how sad they all were. We were'nt. They were most surprised to find we generally did'nt go for her at all. Not up to the job. And in the Barbara Allen thread I make the point that Sweet William was actually called Jemmy Grove in the original English version. All the best, Terry


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: kendall
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 02:38 PM

I have a hard cover book of 341 pages on the subject of MAINE LINGO. It contains such words as, Dido. to cut up a dido, is to do something unacceptable. Savagrus..very tough, or as in a hard winter. Fetch a larrup..to move suddenly, out of control. A hogshead.. large barrel which holds 17 1/2 bushels. A foul bight is a poor harbor. Had enough?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Dick Holdstock
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 03:53 PM

Brits think 100 miles is a long distance. Yanks think 100 years is a long time.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Gary T
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:04 PM

That's a good one, Dick. Reminds me of a "conversation" in my college German textbook (30 years ago), where it was said that Germans go to market every day and bathe once a week, while Americans bathe every day and shop once a week.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: MMario
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:11 PM

okay, I've seen the reference before. But now my curiosity is up. WHAT is "brown sauce"?

And while I'm at it, how do you use Branston Pickle?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:12 PM

I'm the guy who started this, and I'm tickled (chuffed) to see that it has taken off. I'm also delighted that Canadians and Australians have gotten (got) into the act. I visited Canada only once briefly and I wasn't aware that so many "British" things are familiar there, too. Some of you have neglected to say where you're writing from, though.

Here are some more things I've noticed:

Brits are more reserved about sharing personal information about themselves. Brits can be friendly enough, and will talk readily to strangers as long as you talk about sports, beer, the weather, tourist attractions you've visited, and other impersonal stuff. But don't sit down in a pub and ask a stranger about his family, what he does for a living, where he lives, or stuff like that-he may take offense. In America, you wouldn't ask somebody how much he earns or whether his wife is good in bed, but pretty much anything else is OK.

In a pub in Durham I (and some friends) met a teacher from the local university, and we were having a lively conversation about something or other, when I asked him where he was from. (I had picked up some sort of clue that he hadn't grown up in Durham.) He stared me down and wouldn't answer! I thought it was OK to tease him a bit. It went like this: "Well, what city are you from?" -- "How do you know I came from a city?" -- "Well, what farm are you from then?" -- (Silence.) I had to change the subject before he would talk again.

Brits are generally more protective of their privacy. My British brother-in-law in Brighton objected when his neighbors built an elevated deck behind their house, because it meant they could see over the six-foot brick wall into his backyard (garden). Of course they could already see over it from their upstairs windows, but he still felt he had lost some privacy. Americans often don't even have fences around their property, or if they do, it might be the kind you can see through. A tall fence that you can't see through would probably be called a "spite fence"-people would suspect you were feuding with your neighbor.

Most Americans are somewhat interested in their genealogy. They will readily tell you, "My great-grandfather came over from Lancashire in 1890" or whatever. When I tried talking about my ancestry in England, I got nothing but blank stares. I still don't know how to interpret this. Was I breaking the "no personal information" rule? Did they think I was bragging? Don't they know or care about their own ancestors?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:19 PM

I am from warwickshire and now in Yorkshire and frankly I don't understand a word anyone says to each other in this part of the country never mind across the pond.it took me two years to discover that a snicket was an alley and a bairn was a child. I would like to know what 'escrow' is as its a term I keep hearing in movies which has no uk equivalent.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:25 PM

It's a business service in which a third party keeps funds for a purchase between a buyer and seller -- typically used in buying houses, for example. The escrow officer ensures all the provisions of the arrangement are made by both sides before disbursing the funds (received from the buyer) to the seller. Smooths the path of buying large things or resolving complex deals.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bert
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 04:56 PM

David, I was talking about Cheddar Cheese, the real stuff, not the stuff they make in Wisconsin. Hmm wonder what those folks would say if the folks in Cheddar marketed 'Wisconsin' cheese?

Yer right Penny, it's a shame everyone seems bent upon copying that petty little tyrant. The left hand side is the CORRECT side of the road to use. Everyone used to use it because when you met someone on the road your right hand was ready to defend yourself (or shake hands, or nowadays pay a toll). Napoleon deliberately changed it to throw confusion into the conquered nations.

He also sponsored the introduction of the metric system (maybe because he couldn't count to twelve?).

Oh another thing I've not seen over here is a savaloy.

You can get good beer over here now since the advent of the micro-brewery. The cider (hard cider) is a bit wimpy though.

Bert (an Ex-limey)


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Penny S.
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 05:38 PM

I grew up learning French from the side of the HP Sauce bottle, a source now removed, since the company was bought by a French one. However, here is the current blurb.

HP Sauce is the only genuine and original brown sauce, which since 1899 has set the standard for quality. everyone's favourite, this legendary and uniquely distinctive taste sensation is the result of HP's dedication to sourcing the highest quality ingredients and using a closely guarded secret recipe.

Everything goes with HP Sauce, Great for spicing up chips, bacon sandwiches, and snacks such as jacket potatoes and baked beans.

Ingredients: Malt vinegar, tomatoes, molasses, spirit vinegar, sugar, dates, salt, cornflour, rye flour, tamarinds, soy sauce, spices, onion extract.

It's a spicy, but not hot, tangy sauce, good with hot meaty dishes, and used like tomato ketchup.

Branston Pickle is also brown, and also vinegary, cubed root vegetables, gherkins etc. cooked in spiced vinegar, and eaten with cold meats, or in cheese sandwiches.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 05:56 PM

I always love reading these threads. Everytime we talk of this culture and language "barrier" it tickles the hell out of me.

Simply amazing.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: sophocleese
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 06:10 PM

I remember a hilarious family lunch where discussed the need and possibility of a transatlantic branston pickle line. Clearly there is a need for this marriage of technology and cuisine.

Went into a Canadian liquor store looking for cider, they had raspberry flavoured, peach flavoured, woldberry flavoured cider but no plain cider. Asked at the till for plain cider the guy turned around and asked his co-worker "Do we have any of the apple flavoured cider?" No they didn't.

When I was growing up American friends whenever they visited us would return to the states with Beer, Canadian Cheddar and Weetabix, which were unavailable in the States at that time.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:41 PM

I've attempted to answer all the questions I can that have appeared in this thread:

You can see some wax jackets at http://www.inatos.co.uk/oakhouse/main.htm or http://www.barbour.com/directory/index.htm. They're jackets of a traditional design, coated with wax to shed rain.

Moon Pies are not available in Minnesota.

I have never seen anything in the US that resembles a kipper. The closest thing would probably be smoked haddock or smoked herring, which is sometimes served as an appetizer, but it is so strongly smoke-flavored you wouldn't want to make a whole meal of it.

Street markets are uncommon in the US, but they do exist. In St. Paul, Minnesota we have a Farmer's Market which is only open on Saturdays in the summer and where only local farmers and other small-scale family-owned businesses (cheese makers, for example) are allowed to sell their produce. You can't buy stuff wholesale and resell it there. Most large cities have a similar outdoor market, and some aren't so strict about what can be sold there.

In America, we don't make ANYTHING out of suet, except that we put it in bird feeders to attract woodpeckers. The closest thing would be lard, which comes from pigs. Melted lard is sometimes used for deep-fat frying, but most people avoid it

We don't have anything EXACTLY like British sausages (bangers), but the closest thing would be hot dogs. On the other hand, we have a wide variety of sausages: Italian sausage, Polish sausage (or kielbasa), Cajun Andouille sausage, German bratwurst, Mexican chorizo. Those names don't imply that they're imported; they only designate a style or flavor. There are also the more common liverwurst (or braunschweiger), bologna, salami, and so on. There are some regional variations. Do you know what headcheese is? I'm not sure I want to know, but I've eaten it.

Do bumper stickers seem strange to you Brits? What seemed strange to me in Britain were the long narrow decals that you sometimes see all the way across the upper edge of a windshield (windscreen).

Hotspur, you will need someone else to explain the British school system. It confuses me too. All I know is that O-levels are standardized tests whose subject matter consists of what we would ordinarily learn in grade school, and A-levels similarly correspond to high school. In other words, if you pass a couple of A-levels, you have the equivalent of a high-school diploma. High-school students (whatever they call them) in Britain normally specialize in a couple of subjects, so they only take tests in those subjects.

All British schools that I know about require uniforms, but in America, only the Catholic schools do. (There are probably some rare exceptions.)

Public footpaths are common in Britain, and you often see signs that mark where they cross a roadway. A public footpath might cross what would otherwise be considered private property (remember to close the gate behind you, and watch out for the bull!). In America, there are public hiking trails, but they only exist in places where all the land around is government-owned. In some places, old railroad beds have been converted to trails, but they are used more by bikers and (in winter) snowmobilers.

Why is it you never see silos in England?

British cheeses (double Gloucester, Stilton, Wensleydale) are sometimes available in America, but they are imported and expensive. I haven't noticed any difference between cheddar made in America and that made in Britain, but I always buy "sharp" Cheddar, while some prefer "mild" or "medium" or even "white."

We have teakettles in America, just not electric ones. (They probably exist, but they're rare.) For you Americans who were wondering: electric teakettles have a thermostat and shut off automatically when the water starts to boil. American teakettles have to be heated on the stove (cooker). They often have a whistle attached to the spout so that the steam escaping through it makes a loud sound when it reaches a rapid boil; that way you know when to shut it off. I suppose electric teakettles never caught on because Americans don't have that much need for boiling water. Electric coffeepots are common though. Water doesn't need to be heated to the boiling point to make good coffee.

Have you Brits ever tasted catfish? Cornbread? Black-eyed peas? Grits? I'm describing Southern food here, which is only rarely available in Minnesota. Funny, it's a lot easier to get Mexican food here than American Southern.

Brown sauce is a condiment, as common in Britain as ketchup or mustard. The most famous brand is HP Sauce, which I am told stands for Houses of Parliament. The nearest American equivalent would probably be A-1 Steak Sauce, but brown sauce is thinner and blander.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:41 PM

Penny, you beat me to the description of Branston Pickle.

To sum it up: it's a pickle relish--very chuncky and also has dates in it balancing out the tang of the vinegar. It's put out by Nestle in the USA under the brand name: Crosse & Blackwell.

I'm still looking for a good malt vinegar for my fries, I mean chips!

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 07:50 PM

BRITISH STUFF UNKNOWN IN AMERICA: Pontefract cakes, Eccles cakes, Bath Buns, Chelsea buns, eel pie, Cheddar cheese (and a lot of other cheeses),

Cheddar Cheese? CHEDDAR CHEESE unknown?

Aww, come ON!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:03 PM

I saw an official electric teakettle at the store today! But, yes, the stove top ones are still the most popular...However, in college I wouldn't have survived without my 1cup (might have been 2cup) electric "hot pot"...basically a personal sized electric teakettle, though you had to turn it off manually.

Now, I've gotten to prefer tea well over coffee, but when I have coffee I say a stove top perculator can't be beat!

I think the English cheddar is crumblier than here in the States. I never liked "bleu" cheese until I tried Stilton! Double Gloucester is wonderful! Oh there are soooo many varieties. But yes, the imported English cheeses are a bit pricey!

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:13 PM

In some language and usage book whose name I disremember, it told the reader that within forty miles of the center of London there were more identifiable dialects than in the entire United States!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:20 PM

I've never heard anyone talk abouit a "teakettle". There are "kettles", and some of them are electric, and you use them when you're making tea or instant coffee or in a hurry to get boiling water for pasta or whatever.

As for eating catfish - surely that counts as cannibalism here?

And how come noone's mentioned tripe? Though that's a Northern thing.

And is it true that there are laws in some parts of the States making it illegal for cats to be free, and that it's legal to have a vet pull the claws from cats to save the furniture?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Mbo
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 08:29 PM

How come no one mentioned "Chocy biqs"?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Barbara
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 09:02 PM

I have an electric teakettle sitting right here next to the computer, to make me cups of tea thru the day, but it is a bit of a trick to find one in rural Oregon, especially since I like the kind where the heater is in the pot and the contact in the separate base.
I recently had Irish Cheddar cheese and it tasted a bit like Gruyere. So Bert, is the real stuff (from Cheddar)like sharp American cheddar? Like Stilton? or what?
Blessings,
Barbara, who just found some digestive biscuits at Trader Joe's.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: MMario
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 09:05 PM

yes there are MANY places in the US where no pets are allowed outside without being leashed. And declawing a cat is a common practice, normally with cats that are restricted to the house. I personally don't believe in it, but ...

of course the US also has pet psychiatrists, analysts, and even pet psychics. There is at least one person making a living counseling pets after their owners divorces.

frightening, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 09:20 PM

Yeah, Kevin, it's legal to do that to cats here and the tails and ears of Dobermans are routinely docked! Some of us protest and try to educate!

I guess maybe Wyoming is more up to date than I thought. We have lots of electric teakettles available in regular stores here.

My mom used to make plum pudding using suet/lard, at Christmastime, in fact she was offended when I moved back 6 yrs ago & told her I wouldn't eat it anymore, now that I'd grown up & learned what was in it!

Our local grocery stores carry kipper "snacks", in a "tin" like sardines, which we and our cats really enjoy now and then.

And, Boston has Quincy Market, which is kind of open air with type of roof over it and NYC has, ummm, can't remeber the name of it, but I believe it has open air markets, too.

Out here we, and all of our neighbours have 6 foot high "privacy" board fences, plus plantings of trees, etc to keep "lookie-loos" out. In fact most backyards are fenced here. It drove me nuts in New England, until I got used to it, that a lot of places didn't have any fences.

You all might enjoy these previous threads, too: Colloquialisms- Post 'em & define 'em and,

Colloquialisms II - for faster loading

Like Spaw, I love these kinds of threads! Lots of fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 09:57 PM

My "personal English tutor" emailed me after reading this thread saying I can't believe you didn't mention these phrases...well, Mick L. here they are! I was saving them...

The UK has wonderful phrases such as: "Anyroadupmeduck" (US say "Anyway"...) or "It's a bit black over Bill's Mother's" ("Looks like rain") or even "What are you like?" (We say something similar at times and now I am drawing a blank)...

The USA has Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers!

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 09:58 PM

My "personal English tutor" emailed me after reading this thread saying I can't believe you didn't mention these phrases...well, Mick L. here they are! I was saving them...

The UK has wonderful phrases such as: "Anyroadupmeduck" (US say "Anyway"...) or "It's a bit black over Bill's Mother's" ("Looks like rain") or even "What are you like?" (We say something similar at times and now I am drawing a blank)...

The USA has Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers!

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Troll
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 10:04 PM

The UK has squash (the kind you drink) barley water, and Burdock and Dandelion soda!

The States has ice for drinks.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Mbo
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 10:07 PM

Recently I found out where the UK term "Bob's your uncle" came from. Fascinating stuff!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 10:11 PM

G'day Ickle Dorrit,

I noticed your par, a bit back there, about escrow. I think you will find the term alive and well in the British law courts in the sense of a bond. It is really a very old English term ... something brought over with the Norman invasion and establishment of a (more or less) French-speaking legal system.

Public use of these arcane legal terms has pretty well vanished in UK, but law is much more public - and commercial - in US, so it's not surprising to find it still in public use. It is common for ex-colonial countries (I live in Australia) to retain all sorts of old terms that have long vanished in the colonising country.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Feb 00 - 11:55 PM

well, cultural differences aside, I sure wish SOMEONE could get the various British news correspondents on CNN & NPR, etc., to realize that that Central American country is NOT pronounced "Nick-uh-RAG-you-uh"...(I know, I know..a lot of the world hasn't a clue about how to pronounce 'Chlomondeley', but still, a newsman....)


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Mbo
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 12:05 AM

I always wondered why British newscasters (and it has seeped over to Americans too) always do that laconic drag and the end of every sentence?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 01:05 AM

Mbo, who was good old uncle Bob? Was he really that adroit at everything?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: ddw
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 01:05 AM

Speaking of odd pronunciations, I sure wish somebody could get people in Windsor to say the name of the city across the ditch without muffing it. In the city, it's pronounced de-TROIT by most, and DE-troit by the transplanted southerners, but in Windsor it's de-TROY-it. But then, they're the same people who pronounce Pierre Street as PEER-ee. It didn't even make any difference when their prime minister was Pierre Trudeau.

Kendall

I don't think "dido" is necessarily a Maine term, although the definition you give is a little strange. A dido is a circle and the usage of it in North Carolina when I was a kid usually referred to what the motorheads did to the jocks' baseball field at 3 a.m. — they'd "cut didos" to mess up the playing surface. Also, there was (maybe still is, tho' I seem to remember he was banned from it or fined for it or something) a grand prix driver who always cut a dido in the winner's circle.

And a hogshead is an old, not-often-used measure, but one I grew up knowing.

Bert, I too was talking about Cheddar cheese — the real stuff. It was, and still is, pricey, but available. As for differences today, I don't think even a practiced pallet could tell, as long as you're buying good quality in the UK or US. I'm a cheese nut and when I was in England a few months ago I couldn't tell any difference, except that some of the more esoteric ones are more readily available there. We have a supplier here in Windsor who gets regular and varied shipments from all over the UK and Europe, so we're not lacking if we can pay the prices.

Dick Holdstock,

Good one. Of course with English roads and roundabouts, 100 miles IS a long distance.

cheers all,

david (who as of NOW is starting a week's vacation) See ya, 'Catters...


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 01:53 AM

Why is it that people in England are constantly asking each other "you alright?" On my first trip, I was asked "you alright?" so many times that I became sure that I must be coming down with something. Is it because noone over there actually says how they are feeling, so people have to keep checking? "you alright?" "well, actually I seem to be experiencing some acute angina. Thanks for asking."

Towel warmers. Those damned hot metal racks the Brits hang their towels, socks, etc on. And the showers. What's wrong with a little water pressure now and then?!

Now, I would have thought that when your cream clotted, you threw it out. No! It's a delicacy, and I love it too!

My wife's sister had us over for Spaghetti Bolognese. What a let down! It's spaghetti with tomato sauce! And a nice lovely gammon steak- it's a piece of ham, fer crying out loud! And who came up with mixing beer and apple cider to make a "shandy"? yeeeuucch. And by the way, pickles are green items made from cucumbers, not this sweet, brown unidentifiable vegetable mash. And why make pies out of kidneys, if you have any other options?

And while we're talking... what's up with Gollies? That kind of thing passed out of favor in the US in the 1930's, but in England you can still get your very own racially stereotyped puppet of some mid-1800's black person if you save enough Golden Shred labels.

End of rant. LEJ


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Barbara
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 02:31 AM

I've got a more general cultural difference question to ask. I recently had the occasion to deal with both US and UK press.
When we objected to something, the US types basically said, "Tough. We can do this so we will". And then did. The UK types tut-tutted and said something like, "Oh good heavens, of course we won't do anything of the sort." And then they did.
Is this a cultural difference? Or is it just the particular people we happened to deal with?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 03:25 AM

Roger, McGrath, I don't even dare mention muffins!


And what about all those racially stereotyped Nordic-featured female dolls that are everywhere? How come people don't object to them?

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Chris/Darwin
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 04:56 AM

And speaking of chips, when I was young my (Londoner) Mum used to make "french fried" potatoes. These were made by boiling potato slices (about half inch or one centimetre thick), and then frying them in butter in a shallow pan.

Properly made they were crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, and were delicious.

The penchant for McDonalds to call skinny chips "french fries" or "fries" is therefore odd to me.

Does anyone know the true origin of the term?

Regards
Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 11:12 AM

Seeing the pikelet/ crumpet debate, in the UK we have much better things to dissagree over food wise like how does one pronounce scone? I of course use the correct pronunciation i.e. SKON.

I was chatting to someone last night and fast food cropped up in the conversation. She mentioned a Boston something or other where they cook chickens and turkeys and it sounded much better to me than the fast food places that I'm used to (McDonalds etc.) I couldn't think ou a UK equivilant (at least in my part of North Wales). Is there one?

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 11:43 AM

It's been mentioned a few times that as Canadians we are very close to both cultures and are probably more familiar with the British even though we border the U.S., all of the British food and drink mentioned is readily available in at least the Toronto area.

My American cousins are confused about our meaning of the term 'Pissed'. Here it is when someone is really drunk. To them it is to be very upset, which of course is shortened from our 'pissed off.'

How about gestures. Once I was in a very loud night club in England, a friend of mine was trying to order beer, the barmaid couldn't quite hear how many he wanted, so he indicated two by making a peace sign wtih his palm facing him. This has an entirely different meaning in England apparently.

Another guy I was with was named Randy, which was met with snickers everywhere we went.

Then there is the U.K. 'coach' which we refer to as a bus. Here a coach is a person who teaches a sport. And the Brits Football is referred to as Soccer here, football is an entirely different game. So imagine my reaction when we pulled into a roadside restaurant that had a large sign saying "No Football Coaches." I'd actually love to get a picture of that for a friend of mine who is a football coach.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Penny S.
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 12:05 PM

The hundred miles thing (cue for music link?) may be related to the population density, and therefore the closeness of things. Average journey length is less, so the increase in distance does seem long, because it is unusual. Also, if the end of the journey is nearer the fringes of the island, the roads are narrower, and more wiggly, and slower. You try driving 100 miles along Cornish lanes with high hedges (disguised stone walls) and passing paces, meeting people who don't know that the one driving uphill has right of way, and all the men who strongly believe that women can't reverse, but strangely can't find that gear themselves, or offroad vehicle drivers who have to stay on the blacktop and force little minis onto the soft verge, and then tell me that 100 miles isn't long.

"It looks like rain" can be an ancient joke referring to the strength of the tea, said while gazing abstractedly out of the window.

We do proper Bolognaise, some of us even not involving tins at all, sometimes.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: sophocleese
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 12:16 PM

A french exchange student visiting in Canada was astonished at people drinking coffee in their cars. Then doubly amazed to discover we even have little things in the car to hold the cups. How do British people feel about these things?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Penny S.
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 12:29 PM

Some cars have them, some not. Do you mean while driving? My current one doesn't have anywhere to put coffee, or anything, stationary or mobile, and it is very, very, irritating, by comparison with the last one which had a little drop down tray with cup depressions as the door of the glove compartment.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: kendall
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 12:46 PM

Actually, if you go back far enough, dido pre dates motorcycles by quite a few years.Originally, the DIDO was a dance. When I was a boy, some folks used to make "Hogs head cheese" but, I would not touch it. Mother used to make "suet pudding" it was sort of like sweet brownbread, and then, you pour syrup (treacle) on it. YUK


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 01:12 PM

The subject of head cheese reminds me of scrapple, which is a sort of second-cousin (cousin once removed) to haggis. I can eat head cheese or haggis, if my feet are held to the fire, but scrapple is GOOD!

Speaking of black pudding, my grandfather, an old butcher/meatcutter, used to make blood pudding when he could get the fresh blood, or sometimes blood sausage. This was very German, of course, but probably not too different from (different to) the English approach.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Penny S.
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 02:00 PM

Is hog's head cheese the same as brawn - all the little meaty bits pressed in a mould and cooked to produce a jelly?

Suet pudding, plain, can be eaten with syrup, or butter and sugar (white or brown, any variety), jam, marmalade, but is a very basic level dish, which was probably subsistence level. It can be cooked as a roll containing jam (jam rolypoly) and served with custard. (jelly, soft custard) It can be mixed with dried fruit and cooked as a roll (spotted dick). It can be cooked in stews as dumplings, with or without herbs in it. It can be wrapped round apples and baked as apple dumplings. It can be cooked in a pudding basin with jam at the base to be a sauce when tipped out, or lemon curd, or marmalade, or syrup (treacle pudding). My father claims that it is best the way his mother did it, boiled in a cloth, but my mother always steamed it in a basin (except the roly poly type, which she steamed wrapped in greaseproof paper. In Sussex, it was cooked savoury and served with roast lamb in the manner of Yorkshire Pudding.

Like any basic staple, such as polenta, it needs the accompaniment to give the flavour.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 02:32 PM

Wow, "spotted dick", here in Canada if you serve it, you do get some odd looks.

Jon, I pronounce scone as skon as well, but I am in the minority here on the west coast of Canada. SKON was how my "auld grandmither" said it, but as I have mentioned before, she also cooked them on her "girdle".


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 03:51 PM

A shandy is beer (bitter or lager) which is mixed with lemonade -as far as I can recall from my alcoholic youth cider and beer mixed is called a snakebite -and very nice it was to.

UK expressions I have heard with no US equivalent
Anyroadup meduck - anyway
Having a canary -very upset
Throwing a wobbler -very upset again
Away an' shite the lotta ya - very very upset


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bert
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 03:53 PM

I WAS teasing somewhat when I mentioned Cheddar Cheese, It seems that here in the States "if it's yellow and tasteless, call it Cheddar".
Our local supermarket "Genuardis" in Phoenixville sells kippers. When they run out you have to ask them to get more or they don't bother.

Another thing I've not seen over here is 'Buckling', which is a herring that has been chosen for it's fat roe and has been cooked in smoke. Another smoked herring that you don't see is a 'Bloater'. I saw some smoked cod recently which the store was selling as 'Finnan Hady"(sic).

You put kidney in a steak and kidney pie for it's flavor. You also don't see pork chops with kidney on them.

And talking of lard, I often make a lardy cake, but it never lasts long, neighbors come in and scoff it down. Hmmm, L:et me post a recipe for that on the 'Just Desserts' thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Llanfair
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 04:05 PM

This discussion is getting very interesting. Are we two (three, four) nations divided by a common language? or joined by the vast Atlantic ocean, or pond?
Can I recommend "Letter from America" written and narrated by Alastair Cook, or Bill Bryson's "Notes from a small Island"
They won't make the picture any clearer, but they have a very entertaining way of identifying the differences.
Personally, I find the American's ability to express their thoughts and feelings so easily an enviable skill. It's certainly not the British way!!!!
Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 04:27 PM

If you grew up in the states of New York or Vermont, ya beddar know what Cheddar is!

The "Boston something or other" was Boston Market. Sort of like Kentucky Fried Chicken, but much better (IMO). I love the garlic-dill red potatoes! You don't have cafeteria style restaurants in the UK, do you? You get a tray and go down lines with seemingly endless vats of various foods and pick whatever you want, then pay for it at the end? My favorite American foods: spaghetti with marinara sauce, Fettucini Alfredo, General Tso's Chicken, Bulgogi, Tandoori Chicken, any curry, coq au vin, cock-a-leekie, beef stroganoff, sauerbraten, and roast turkey.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: MMario
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 04:50 PM

according to the classes I took in cheesemaking mumblty years ago in college: by international agreement any cheese made using the cheddaring process may use the cheddar name. Thus you have NY cheddar, Vermont cheddar, Wisconsin cheddar, etc. Cheddar cheddar I would like to try someday, but not at the prices my local market wants for it!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 05:06 PM

Jeri, I think we have those cafeteria style things on motorways.

Side traking, thinking of a place where you just picked what you wanted has reminded me the the day trips to Dublin that we used to do... get the Dart from Dun Laoghaire to Tara Street Station, have a couple of pints in Reagans (which I have heard is posh now) off to Bewley's to get the breakfast that would see you through the day (at least!!), then O'Donahues where we would meet up with our concertina playing friend from Dublin and play a few tunes, a bit of a walk around and then off to Hughes for a session...

The only trouble was that we had to get back for the return ferry so when things were really starting in Hughes, it was time to say goodbye...and I used to hate that part - wanted to stay there for ever...

I can't take the pace anymore either - last time I tried it, I fell asleep in O' Donahues for over an hour... and a kind friend took a picture to show me..

Rambling on and off subject I know but I used to love it.. and then of course there was the session on the ferry back - I'll never forget the time we made some of the other passengers turn white - the sea was getting a little rough so we decided to sing Ellan Vanin.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Micca
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 05:06 PM

Lonesome EJ, the mixture of beer(usually lager) and cider, (do not be fooled by dorrit) is a short cut to catatonia, and can greatly affect your ability to talk coherently for a few days.Avoid this one at all costs its for students and idiots.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 05:28 PM

Ickle Dorritt, in Canada, the expression "to have a bird", was fairly common once. It has been ousted by the Simpson's "don't have a cow, man".

I don't know if it is just me, who feels this, but the English language in North America, has lost a lot of its colour in the last twenty years. Almost everything has been reduced to the use of the word "f**k" and variations there of.

To me, something smelling "worse than all the night soil of China", has more punch than "it f**king stinks", but maybe we are spiralling in ever smaller circles, in our effort to be what we consider PC.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 05:51 PM

MORE BRITISH STUFF UNKNOWN IN AMERICA: Bubble and squeak. Zebra crossings. Trifle. Trainspotters (America has "rail fans" but British trainspotters carry it to a whole higher level-or lower level, depending on your point of view). The Monster Raving Loony Party (See http://freespace.virgin.net/raving.loony/ ). Pickled onions. Paté. The red "L" (for "learner") on car bumpers. Private Eye (see http://www.private-eye.co.uk/ ). Fireplaces in pubs-they really work! CAMRA (see http://www.camra.org.uk/ ).

MORE AMERICAN STUFF UNKNOWN IN BRITAIN: Yearlong political campaigns. TV evangelists. (Is it true that in Britain it's illegal for religious groups to solicit money on TV or radio?) Automatic transmissions (at least far more common in the US than Britain). Automatic chokes (most Americans wouldn't know what to do with a manual choke if they saw one). "English muffins."

ROUNDABOUTS: I've heard that some east-coast American cities have them, only they go counterclockwise (anticlockwise) and they're called traffic circles. They're unknown elsewhere. In Britain, they're more common than traffic lights. They make sense, since they keep traffic flowing more smoothly than traffic lights, but they require a mastery of rules and driving skills that baffle most Americans until they get used to them.

HEDGES: In America, they're just ornamental rows of shrubbery, planted for purely aesthetic purposes. Most Americans aren't even aware that in Britain they have (or had until recently) a practical purpose: they're literally living fences, meant to confine livestock. To serve this purpose they have to be carefully maintained. People prune them and interweave their branches to keep them strong and tight. Some hedges have existed since time immemorial. Sadly, farmers now often pull them down to make larger fields, or replace them with barbed wire, which takes up less space and is easier to maintain, but I believe there are societies devoted to preserving ancient hedges.

While we're on the subject of horticultural practices: does anyone know, or care to know, what a coppice is? Or a pollarded oak? An espaliered apple tree? I'm full of arcane lore!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 05:59 PM

I agree with you, Metchosin.

Some of us though, were not having a cow, long before that young whippersnapper Simpson said it.

Bert, sometime when you wander up Sandy & Caroline's way, go on over to the southwestern edge of Massachusetts to the tiny hilltown of Granville. The general store there has been famous for cheddar cheese for umpteen years. My Englsih landlady there and her ex-husband owned it for years before they sold it. It is a regular pilgrimage stop for a lot of New Yorkers, etc.

Here's what their website at Granville Country Store says about their process:

It was in 1851 that John Murray Gibbons first developed the recipe, together with his original aging process, that resulted in what is known today as "Granville Cellar Aged Cheddar". In those days, the means to ship perishable products around the country were limited and the fame of Granville Cheese was generally confined to New England.

Today the original recipe and aging method are unchanged, but now you can enjoy the exceptional flavor and texture of our unique cheddar wherever you live.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 06:06 PM

Jim, on the west coast of Canada, we might not have fireplaces that really work, in all Pubs, but we have fireplaces on television. It was really popular here over Christmas, when the local cable station just televised some blazing logs in a fireplace for hours on end. They are also proposing to televise a fish tank full of tropical fish..


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 06:22 PM

Come to think of it Micca I was an idiot student when I drank snakebites so your not far from the truth. We also used to drink a mixture of Newcastle Brown and Cherry B-not for the faint hearted. I remember going to see Thin Lizzy one evening blissfully unaware that the NewkyBrown Cherry B concoction had stained my lips and tongue bright red and I probably looked like dracula's mother. Things that do not travel well from the US- the disgusting Oreo biscuits and that horrible chocolate- get yourself some Cadbury's Cream EGGS- bloody gorgeous!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 06:29 PM

It was an odd way for this to happen, but living in England, I got used to roundabouts. I then moved to New Hampshire and already understood traffic circles. They have to go counterclockwise, otherwise, the people in the circle would miss the rude gestures of drivers trying to enter.

We have pickled onions and paté here. The whole idea of hedges as fences is fascinating.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Gary T
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 06:47 PM

I've got to agree about the chocolate. Our main American brands (Hershey's and Nestle's) were okay until I tasted European chocolate and saw the difference. Even the "premium" American brands, like Ghiradelli's (sp?), pale in comparison to the British, Dutch, and Swiss chocolate I've had. Hershey's makes a variety called "Symphony" that is essentially a European-style chocolate, but it's sometimes hard to find. Anyone who can't bear to think of my deprivation is welcome to send me 30 pounds (about 14 kilos) of good European chocolate (plain milk chocolate--no nuts, please). That will last me a month if I ration it carefully.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Feb 00 - 07:24 PM

You don't have L plates for learner drivers in the States? That's the kind of odd thing that gets missed. Sounds a bit dangerous to me. Though I suppose it could be ok - you'd just assume that every strange car might contain a learner, and treat it cautiously and tolerantly.

Any vet who declawed an cat in England would be struck off the register, and probably hunted down with dogs if the news leaked out. And any politician who tried it(as I understand Clinton has in the White House)would have to go into exile. You can get away with lying, starting wars, adultery, taking bribes,(if you don't do it too flagrantly), and your sexual orientation isn't a problem these days - but there are limits.

As for people saying "Alright?" as a greeting, this is a fairly new thing. Not before the 80s, I think. Probably comes from some soap opera, where they are always looking for new bits of patois to launch on a wider public. Somehow it always seems a bit aggressive to me, not solicitous. It feels most time like they're not saying"Do you need any help?" but "I take it I'm right in assuming that you don't need any help from me." As it's sometimes said "The English are polite - but they're not friendly."

A contrasting bit that I've only heard from Irish people over here is "Are you winning?" which I always feel is very supportive.

And that's another thing to end this garrulous post - people over in England from an Irish background, first or second generation or even more feel Irish, and so they do in America - but when it comes to the kind of thing we've been talking about, we're divided. It's an interesting question, which are further away from the Irish ways?

For example the reluctance to open up about private feelings has been talked of here as being something that differentiates Americans and English - but I'd say it's very characteristic of Irish peiople (especially men!) both in England and back in Ireland. But is it true of Irish Americans?


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 01:50 AM

Yeah, sometimes I have a cow...but when I'm really upset I have a conniption fit or just simply a conniption!

I love that the world is getting smaller such that it is "easier" to possibly find imported food items, etc from other places!

How common are porches on homes in the UK? I love porches...and some of the old homes in the States where they wrap around two sides of the house...WOW!

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Gary T
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 02:02 AM

McGrath, we don't treat strange cars cautiously and tolerantly from assuming they have a learner, but from assuming they have a pistol! (BG, but not as absurd a notion as I wish it were, unfortunately.)


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,Leighton
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 03:42 AM

As a Welshman, married to a Liverpool Lass, Living in Wigan with 2 kids (1 born in Liverpoool and 1 in Wigan), I can say without too much fear of contradiction, that the cultral difference between the Celts and the English is also a matter of great debate. When I first went to an english shop to buy a pair of "daps", I was amazed to find that the shop assistant was unaware of what I was talking about. I was put right, that I required a pair of trainers. And a "butty", as I new as a "friend" in Wales, turned out to be a sandwich in Liverpool.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Penny S.
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 05:04 AM

No longer do you find pork chops with the kidney in, due to the offalphobia following BSE, so I understand, or the EU, or something obsessive like that. Like all chops must be identical or something. I feel cheated.

Some hedges are so old that you can date them from the number of species of tree in them - they would have started as one species, probably a thorn, and then new species would have become established over the years. The theory goes that the number of species in a certain number of yards equals the number of centuries the hedge has been there. I've seen a parish boundary hedge that went back to Saxon times (conservatively), and my parents had a front hedge to their 1970's house that may have been Tudor.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 10:12 AM

<>

Sounds MUCH more interesting than most TV!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 01:55 PM

just got this in an email list I subscribe to..it makes me think that there are differences WAY beyond dialect and food prefs...*grin*

2. Weird Words: Dwile flonking ------------------------------------------------------------------ An English pub game.

When summer comes or charity fund-raising is involved, English pub games often veer from mere eccentricity towards total lunacy. These are the days of marrow dangling, passing the splod, Portuguese sardine racing, conger cuddling, rhubarb thrashing, and dwile flonking.

The game is officially played by two teams of twelve players, though there is great flexibility in numbers (the terminology and rules also vary from place to place). The fielding team gathers in a circle, called a 'girter', enclosing a member of the other team, the 'flonker'. He holds a broom handle (usually called the 'driveller'), on top of which is a beer-soaked rag, the 'dwile' or 'dwyle'.

At a signal, the girter dances around the flonker in a circle. He must flick (or flonk) the dwile with the driveller so it hits a girter team member. His score depends on which part of the body he hits - the usual scoring is three points for a hit on the head (a 'wanton'), two for a hit on the body, (a 'marther'), and just one for a leg strike (a 'ripple'). If after two shots the flonker hasn't scored he is 'swadged', or 'potted', which means he has to drink a quantity of beer from a chamber pot within a given time. After all the members of one team have flonked, the other team is put in. The winner is the team with the most points after two innings, usually the one with more members still upright.

There are two schools of thought about its origins. Some say it's a traditional game known from medieval times, others that it was invented by a couple of Suffolk printers in 1966. The information we have strongly supports the latter thesis. The first reference to the game that researchers at the _Oxford English Dictionary_ can find is from the _Beccles and Bungay Journal_ of June 1966, in reference to a game involving a team from Richard Clay (The Chaucer Press) of Bungay in Suffolk.

'Dwile' is a real word: an old Suffolk dialect term for a dishcloth. Several others seem to be fanciful derivations of obsolete or rare words: 'girter' looks as though it comes from 'gird', a strap or band; 'flonk' could be based on 'flong', an old past tense of 'fling'; 'swadge' might be another form of the obsolete 'swage', to pacify or appease, from the same origin as the more common 'assuage'. The rest seem to have been invented.

[I'm indebted to the staff of the OED for making available the results of their research into this expression.]


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 03:02 PM

I forgot about daps/trainers in the US: sneakers (sneaks for short)!


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 03:15 PM

But what about things like Penker-a marble, Knurr and spell- a game like nipsie- flicking a little pottery ball up into the air using foot movement on a little lever on the ground and then hitting it as far as you can with a stick. Yorkshire is different from the south where I grew up, I used to drink mild and bitter after playing Rugby, when I moved up here I kept getting a pint of each instead of a mixutre, cost me twice as much, but got drunk easier without having to go to the bar. people up here always said "alright" instead of hello (well nearly 30 years ago) up here some people sal "alreet". My mate born and lives in Holland-rolls his own fags-sorry cigs! and asked a girl on a train the first time he came to UK if she wanted a shag! meaning he'd roll her a cig!! Didn't go down too well- We took our kids into a brown cafe in Amsterdam and asked for a "coke" for them!! Cheers. Eric


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: MarkS
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 04:03 PM

Let us not mention Grits to our friends in the UK lest they think we are more crazy than they already do. But one question - Why why why can you not get a coffee to go in England (or anywhere in Europe for than matter?)


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 04:19 PM

A few years ago some friends of mine travelled from the wilds of Ohio to England. They made some friends and were visiting one evening at the home of said friends. As the evening went on, the hosts asked if the guests were at all hungry. "Why, yes, now that you mention it," said one of the USAers, "Have you got any munchies?" He didn't realize that his term for "snacks" was a cat food brand in England.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Bill D
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 05:38 PM

even in the USA, there are wide differences in stuff like coffee rituals, so in England, where 'Tea' is an event and not just a drink, I imagine that even packaging coffee 'to go' might seem a bit odd...Does one 'usually' sit down anytime one drinks coffee or tea?

I came from Kansas, (middle USA)...and when I was in a restaurant and ordered coffee OR tea, it was assumed I wanted it now...with the meal! When I moved to Wash DC 20 years ago, I had to state explicitly that I wanted coffee now...otherwise it was assumed that it was to come AFTER the meal. This is 'usually' the case in private homes, too..I tend to offer folks coffee during a meal or party...most people tend to wait till after, or only during dessert....*shrug*...


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Penny S.
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM

I remember dwile flonking as a running joke on a Michael Bentine show - I think maybe before the printers mentioned above. It involved, I remember, a wet mop, and lines of impenetrable cod-dialect rules and explanations, while all the action happened off-screen. My internal filing system has it closely associated with Kenneth William's Rambling Sid Rumpo from Round The Horne, an excruciatingly double-entendring folk singer, tho' I did not understand the content at the time, only found the accent funny.

Knurr and Spell sounds lile a relation of bat and trap, a ball game designed to be played while holding a pint.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Hotspur
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 08:10 PM

I don't know about other states, but here in New York we have stickers that go on the rear windshield (windscreen) that say New Driver...unfortunately, they're not required by law. As for cheddar--well! People in the dairy states, such as New York, Vermont, and Wisconsin, can be downright rabid about their preferred kind! The mass produced, national brands, naturally pale in comparison to the local versions. New Yorkers know that genuine NYS sharp or extra sharp cheddar is the only stuff made on this side of the Atlantic that's worthy of the name...and if it's extra sharp huntsman's cheddar, so much the better.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: The_one_and_only_Dai
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 06:00 AM

Jim Dixon -

FYI, Headcheese (or Brawn) is made from the skull, cheeks, tongue, ears and brains of a pig (usually, occasionally a calf or sheep). You boil the lot in a bit pot with pepper, Jamaica pepper, saltpetre, a carrot and an onion until it falls to bits. Then you put it in a jar and weight it down, leave it in the fridge for a week, and throw it away. It's great after a heavy night on the town...


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: GUEST,aldus
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 08:36 AM

This is a great thread. Canadian Cheddar is world famous, on both sides of the Atlantic. Here are some eastern Canadian versions of English... I was interested in "Dido" a word from Maine. Here, to cut the Dido is to have a fun..or be naughty. A "time" is a party, a "bungalow" is a cottage..howsagoin is all one word..."some" as in some hot, some cold...is common usage,Judas Priest and Gob shite are swear words, braces hold up your trousers, a clipe is a tattletale, scruncions are food and a dot myra is a quick wash as in "Im goin to a time at the bunglow and I'm some Dirty, think I'll have a dot Myra then go cut the Dido, eat some scruncions...hope the clipes shut up when I loosen me braces and and let down me trousers.

also , a great easter word steele..to go for a walk.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: SingsIrish Songs
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 02:05 PM

Hotspur, I'm laughing re New York cheddar! I am a central New Yorker by birth and here in California where a huge ad campaign on the telly touts it's cheeses (one in particular: going through customs the agent asks "Purpose of visiting California?" The tourists each answer: "The cheese." Then one gent answers "Yosemite" and he is asked to step aside and open his bags for inspection.) What am I getting at....oh yes, I have yet to find any decent California cheese....sorry fellow Californians who may no other than California cheese. When I can't get a WHITE extra sharp NY cheddar, I settle for Vermont's which is very similar in taste and texture! And I can't say that I've tasted any Wisconsin cheeses yet, or Canadian cheddar.

Great thread! I agree!

Mary Kate


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 04:16 PM

This discussion will be continued here.


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Subject: RE: BS: British/American cultural differences.
From: Cobble
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 06:01 PM

this is one brit who has eaten grits, catfish, corn bread, and blackened aligator in new orleans and mississippi, i love the look on the faces of folk in uk when you tell them you have eaten gator !


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 14 August 7:13 PM EDT

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