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BS: American English Bl**p*rs

Pete Jennings 05 Apr 02 - 06:56 AM
Hrothgar 05 Apr 02 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 05 Apr 02 - 07:32 AM
Les from Hull 05 Apr 02 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,DMcG at work 05 Apr 02 - 08:51 AM
kendall 05 Apr 02 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,DMcG at work 05 Apr 02 - 09:22 AM
irishajo 05 Apr 02 - 10:04 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Apr 02 - 10:50 AM
Sorcha 05 Apr 02 - 10:58 AM
irishajo 05 Apr 02 - 11:19 AM
Margo 05 Apr 02 - 11:24 AM
Jon Freeman 05 Apr 02 - 11:45 AM
Linda Kelly 05 Apr 02 - 11:49 AM
The Walrus at work 05 Apr 02 - 12:04 PM
Sorcha 05 Apr 02 - 12:07 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Apr 02 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,JohnB 05 Apr 02 - 12:15 PM
irishajo 05 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM
MMario 05 Apr 02 - 12:42 PM
Mrs.Duck 05 Apr 02 - 12:45 PM
Hollowfox 05 Apr 02 - 01:09 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Apr 02 - 01:13 PM
MMario 05 Apr 02 - 01:20 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Apr 02 - 01:43 PM
Lynn 05 Apr 02 - 02:06 PM
Les from Hull 05 Apr 02 - 03:09 PM
gnu 05 Apr 02 - 03:43 PM
Mrs.Duck 05 Apr 02 - 03:59 PM
jimlad 05 Apr 02 - 05:42 PM
Burke 05 Apr 02 - 05:43 PM
Mark Cohen 05 Apr 02 - 05:59 PM
Jon Freeman 05 Apr 02 - 06:29 PM
Celtic Soul 05 Apr 02 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,Dagenham Doc. 05 Apr 02 - 06:42 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Apr 02 - 07:05 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Apr 02 - 07:54 PM
John Gray 05 Apr 02 - 08:09 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Apr 02 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 05 Apr 02 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 05 Apr 02 - 08:25 PM
Robin2 05 Apr 02 - 09:28 PM
lady penelope 05 Apr 02 - 09:32 PM
Mark Cohen 05 Apr 02 - 09:47 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Apr 02 - 11:10 PM
Bert 06 Apr 02 - 02:36 AM
Liz the Squeak 06 Apr 02 - 03:34 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Apr 02 - 08:22 AM
Liz the Squeak 06 Apr 02 - 08:29 AM
Jon Freeman 06 Apr 02 - 12:56 PM

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Subject: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 06:56 AM

The "Euphemisms and asterisks" thread highlights a lot of the differences between the US and UK use of the English language. Most of them are downright funny, once the initial confusion has been sorted.

The first time I was over in the States, I was in a business meeting in NYC. After about three hours, someone suggested a break and I said "thank god for that, I'm dying for a fag".

I have never lived it down. Any others?

Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Hrothgar
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:25 AM

Lucky you didn't say you were "knocked up," meaning very tired.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:32 AM

"I'd like a couple of sticky buns"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Les from Hull
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:35 AM

Mike Harding used to tell a story about touring in the US, and getting fed up eating in fast food outlets. Discussing this in a Native American-themed place, 'squaw' waitresses and 'brave' cooks, one of the crew, thinking back to the superb curries available in his native Bradford, says 'Aye, I could murder a bloody Indian'. (I really fancy a curry).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST,DMcG at work
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 08:51 AM

When my wife went moved to Washington DC from the UK in the 60's she made the classic error of asking for a rubber at school (an eraser).

Since she was sixteen they would probably simply give her a condom these days and think no more about it!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: kendall
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 09:03 AM

When I visited Morticia and Gomez in England last fall, she said, among other things, "Let's pop into the pub for a bit of a piss up" That would get you arrested here!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST,DMcG at work
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 09:22 AM

Another family one, but French-English this time. My sister stayed with a French family and mistranslated an English idiom. When she was asked if she wanted any more to eat, she tried to say "No thanks, I'm full", but the French for that translated as "No thanks, I'm pregnant". Great confusion followed because they believed her...


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: irishajo
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 10:04 AM

Another French one...

A friend in high school went on a field trip to France. She said the females in the group were advised to dissuade any man hitting on them by calling him a rude name. Accordingly she tried to call one a 'cochon' which means pig but pronounced it 'couchons' which means lets go to bed together.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 10:50 AM

An American teenager in London: "Ee-ee-ew! They put squash in their pop!"

(In Britain, squash is a drink made from diluted fruit juice. What Americans call lemonade is what Brits would call lemon squash. What Brits call lemonade is what Americans call 7-Up. What Americans call squash is something that, as far as I know, doesn't even exist in Britain: a kind of edible gourd.)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 10:58 AM

What Americans call squash, Brits call marrows.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: irishajo
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:19 AM

Do you have zucchini?

Summer squash is so good, sauteed with zucchini and spices.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Margo
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:24 AM

My grandmother, when filling out the application to become an American citizen, came upon the question of how many times she'd been married. She interpreted it as how many years.... so naturally she put 47 in the answer... Pretty good, huh? Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:45 AM

Squash do exist in the UK and call them squash. They are fairly new to me - I can't remember trying one ( a butternut squash) until a couple of years ago. I've just had a look at a UK seed catalogue and see they have 5 types on offer - maybe we should try to grow some...

What Americans call a zucchini, we call a courgette.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:49 AM

zucchini are called courgettes in England. I remember watching a Mork & Mindy episode once with a couple called Mr & Mrs Wanker - I suspect foul play on Robin Williams part. I was in New York many years ago and asked for a jacket potato which resulted in much hilarity.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:04 PM

"...I was in New York many years ago and asked for a jacket potato which resulted in much hilarity...."

Why? What do 'merkins call potatoes baked in their skins then?

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:07 PM

Since baked potatoes are always baked in skins, it's a moot point. Most people call them skins instead of jackets, but not everybody. I call them jackets, but then I use the Joy of Cooking which has a lot of British phrases in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:12 PM

Potato "in a jacket" is fairly common in the US. Must have been years ago, Walrus.
A Dutch friend and a group of us were sitting around in the hotel bar before going up to our rooms. The friend stood up, yarned, and said "I am going up to take a douch." He meant a shower.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:15 PM

To an American a Torch is a great big burning flame, in England it's a Flashlight, so be careful what you ask for in a dark basement, or was that a cellar? America 16 Fl OZ Pints Booo, England 20 Fl Oz Pints Hoooray. Bi-Lingual JohnB.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: irishajo
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM

Be careful growing squash, you could end up with more than you'd ever want.

I still wonder about the term 'rasher'. Sounds more like something requiring ointment than having to do with bacon.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: MMario
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:42 PM

sorch - no - you can have jacket-less baked potatoes - you just don't find them often; and to avoid confusion they usually call them something else.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:45 PM

And of course what we refer to as a bum bag is something else in the US! 'spose that's why they tend to be worn at the front!!


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Hollowfox
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 01:09 PM

Some friends of mine were visiting England about ten years ago. When asked by their hosts if they were hungry, one of the guests remarked that he'd enjoy some munchies. He meant a snack of some sort. He didn't know that it was a brand of cat food.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 01:13 PM

Some words just get lost. The old WWI song with the line "While you've a lucifer to light your fag" was sung in America for many years after the war. As the people of that time died off, the words were no longer used and fag came to mean homosexual. Now the word in that usage is politically incorrect.
The British use career, Americans use careen (screeching around corners, etc.). Both, however, are English in origin. The 19thC English poet, said of Lucifer: "Now his huge bulk o'er Afric's sands careened, Now the black planet shadowed Arctic snows." This usage prevailed in America but not in Britain. Both Americans and British also use careen in the sense of tipping a boat to work on the hull. Career refers only to work in the States.
Biscuit and cookie cause confusion, as do pavement, boulevard and sidewalk.
There are other threads on this topic.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: MMario
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 01:20 PM

It's a brand name of cat food in the states, too.

When my mother was very young her family lived overseas in enclaves of primarily British. (There wasn't yet enough of a US commercial presence to have any sort of US enclave). almost 50 years later my grandmother delighted in trotting out the story of how Mom got the entire family "shunned" by pointing to a squashed mosquito and announcing "Look at the bloody bug!"


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 01:43 PM

I had assumed bumbag and knickers were British for the same thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Lynn
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 02:06 PM

Jim - What we call squash here is called 'marrow' on the other side of the pond (near as I can tell, anyway. My cousin served me a joint of beef with marrow and Yorkshire pudding (which isn't pudding at all) before going to the pub where we got ourselves a bit pissed (tipsy). Fun stuff here.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Les from Hull
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 03:09 PM

My friend's father used to apply red lead paint for a living (to ships' hulls, etc). When the American saw his passport they were alarmed to see he was a 'red leader'.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: gnu
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 03:43 PM

A cousin of mine visiting from Boston wanted to go to "Sortie" because he figured it must be one heck of a big city... every highway exit ramp from the USA/Cdn border to Moncton was going to whatever town(s) and to "Sortie". (New Brunswick is Canada's only officially bilingual province, so every "exit" is also a "sortie".)


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 03:59 PM

Lol Dicho, no a bumbag is one of those bag on a belt type things which I think you Americans call a fanny bag. However that word refers to a different although not far removed part of the anatomy overhere hence my comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: jimlad
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 05:42 PM

I have caused consternation in the past with the problem of "two nations divided by a common language" as Winston Churchill said.

I once told my US friend Joannie,"I will knock you up in the morning",meaning I would give her an early morning call.

I told my 6 year old daughter to stop "rooting about in a drawer". She was rummaging in it,but Joannie gave me a strange look.

My Canadian mate David collapsed laughing when I said I had been "working like a Trojan for the past week". It means working hard to us.

Lastly, when the Australian Grand Prix took place some years ago a team was sponsored by Durex,which turned out to be what Aussies call Scotch Tape or Sellotape.The Durex logo was blanked out and replaced by LRI (London Rubber Industries).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Burke
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 05:43 PM

Then a bumbag would be a fanny pack or a waist pack.

I understand a lot a Spanish speakers got a big kick out of a local Italian/American politician named La Pola.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 05:59 PM

Creeping along, another Spanish/English mishap with significant economic consequences: Back in the 60s, when Chevrolet came out with the Nova, they couldn't understand why sales were so low in Puerto Rico, where they generally had a fairly large share of the market. Until someone realized that "No va" = "It doesn't go"! Creeping back, I imagine the following would make no sense to a Brit: "Better to be pissed off than pissed on!"

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 06:29 PM

I'm puzzled over the marrow/ squash bit that Lynn has re-rasised. What would people in the US call something that looks like zucchini/ courgettes but is a lot bigger say 18" and even bigger in length? Over here, that is a marrow.

I'm not sure how marrows, squashes, etc. are related but over here, to the best of my knowledge, in common terms, we know marrows, courgettes and pumpkins for something to get called a squash, it would normally have to be something other than these vegatables.

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 06:37 PM

The Walrus penned: "Why? What do 'merkins call potatoes baked in their skins then?"

And I add: :::BWA-HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!!::: That's rather a good one right there. A "merkin" is a pubic wig. No, I am not making that one up, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST,Dagenham Doc.
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 06:42 PM

Over there it's a dick. But don't confuse knickers with knockers. Although they both tend to lose their elasticity in time.

Doc.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:05 PM

Since I've never actually seen a squash OR a marrow in Britain, I'm not quite convinced they're the same thing. I figure we need some pictures to straighten things out once and for all.

I found this cool web site: The Cook's Thesaurus.

(Squash is divided into 2 groups: Summer Squash and Winter Squash.)

But despite all the pictures, I'm still confused about what a marrow is. On the Summer Squash page, that green object above the words "vegetable marrow" and left of the word "tinda"—what is it? A vegetable marrow or a tinda?

I ask my British friends: do you see a picture here that looks like a marrow?

The type I'm most familiar with is the acorn squash (near the top of the winter squash page). We cut them in halves or quarters, scoop out and discard the seeds and the stringy stuff they're attached to, sprinkle a little brown sugar on them, and bake them. When you eat them, you scoop the fleshy part out with a fork or spoon. You don't eat the green rind.

Technically squash are fruits since they contain seeds. But most people think of them as vegetables because they're not very sweet. (The brown sugar makes them more palatable.) I notice The Cook's Thesaurus calls them "fruit vegetables" along with cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 07:54 PM

The problem with squash is that it is rejected by so many people that they have no idea of the kinds available. Marrows of two kinds are certainly grown in the States.
Squashes, pumpkins and gourds are all members of the Cucurbita and thus closely related. All of them came from the Americas. Now there are so many selected varieties and hybrids that boundaries are blurred. Summer squash include the yellow (generally necked) and the "green" which include vegetable marrows, pattypan and zucchini. Winter squash are generally rougher-skinned and include acorn, Hubbard, and a host of others including marrow (not vegetable marrow) just to cause confusion. Spaghetti squash often shows up here (inside stringy); I don't know to which group it belongs. In the fall, a lot of winter squash come into the stores with hybrid, patented names, again, causing confusion to the uninitiated. In addition to eating winter squash as Jim Dixon does, the cooked pulp can make wonderful pies, used like pumpkin or sweet potato.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: John Gray
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 08:09 PM

In Oz, and in the UK, a Hooker is a position in a rugby team.

JG/FME


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 08:20 PM

A hooker is also a boat- or a drink of liquor.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 08:23 PM

I learned to spell from my British Grandmother and therefore spelled colour and favourite incorrectly on all my spelling tests in grade (grammar) school.

British Aubergine is Eggplant in the US.

British Bumbag is a funny pack in the US.

The British exit signs do not say exit. They say "Way Out," which an old hippie like me thought was the most hilarious thing in all of England.

A bit Peckish in UK means a bit hungry in the US.

When there was a merger, they renamed all the Sav-On Pharmacies in California OSCO until they found out that it sounds like the word for bad medicine in Spanish.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 08:25 PM

P.S. Isn't squash a game with a racket?


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Robin2
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 09:28 PM

Not English, but with the Danes we had this happen

We were playing in Denmark, and my guitar playing husband commented, "Heck, there's my pick on the floor." Upon which one Danish gentleman told my husband to quit bragging. Seems "pick" is the Danish slang for a man's equipment.

Now I know why the Dane's that visited took all my pencils with "picking and grinning" etched on them.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: lady penelope
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 09:32 PM

Coo I must live in very cosmopolitan place ( Walthamstow in London ). We get squash ( like a small deformed pumpkin,ie same colour different shape ) zuccini are indeed courgettes, which are , indeed, very small marrows. We also get loads of stuff I don't even know the names of and haven't a clue how to cook apart from sweet potato and yams.

Americanisms.......I must insist it's a 'pavement' and moving stairs are 'escalators', other than that, I must watch too much american T.V. But I must also admit to being an evil Londoner by making Americans try to pronounce various place names before I'll tell them where they are! Oh come on,tell me it's not funny to make them say Ly-ses-toor ( Leicester - pronounced "lester") over and over again?

TTFN M'Lady P.

"Fag" originally meant servant in a very derogatory way. Because of its use in public schools ( in England ) it became an alternative word for homosexuals.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 09:47 PM

So that would mean that "faggot" as a derogatory term for a homosexual man might be a back-derivation from "fag", rather than the latter being a shortened form of the former. Interesting--can anyone confirm this? Of course, (keeping this musical) the Italian fagoto (I may have the ending of the word wrong), meaning a bundle of sticks, is also used to mean "bassoon". This caused the bassoon players in our school orchestra no end of grief! And, to complicate matters, that word is derived from the Latin fasces, whence comes the anatomic term "fascia" and the political term "fascist"--named for the party which took its name from the Roman symbol of authority, a bundle of sticks bound up with an axe. Now aren't you glad that's all straight? (Pun intended)

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 11:10 PM

I remember that faggots were small sticks of wood to be burnt in a stove in the western States. That was a long time ago and I doubt that young people would know that meaning.
Both zucchini and courgette appeared in the OED for the first time in 1987, but they date to about 1930 in English. Zucchini is used in Australia as well as in the USA and Canada.
Sidewalk as a paved walk at the side of a street came into usage in the early 18th C. in England, spread to America, and became obsolete in England where pavement "rules" (an English usage that has spread to America).


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Bert
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 02:36 AM

I remember when I first came to The States a very attracive young lady leaned back in her chair after a large meal and announced "I'm Stuffed". Fortunately the context allowed me to not misunderstand.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 03:34 AM

"Lastly, when the Australian Grand Prix took place some years ago a team was sponsored by Durex,which turned out to be what Aussies call Scotch Tape or Sellotape.The Durex logo was blanked out and replaced by LRI (London Rubber Industries)".

I seem to remember a picture of this car, in the pits, with a burst tyre!!! Great advertising!!!!

Why is it called an eggplant? It looks nothing like an egg. At least it's aubergine in colour, although, like orange, which came first, the colour or the fruit?

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 08:22 AM

I assume it's called an eggplant because it's shaped like an egg. Aubergine wouldn't be recognized in the US as the name of a color either. We'd probably call it "plum" -- but the people who invent colors and the names for them have a vocabulary all their own. Ever looked through a bundle of color samples from a paint store? It's fascinating just to see what names they've come up with.

Which reminds me-- there's a type of green plum which I've seen in Britain but never in the US-- its name escapes me right now.

Re zucchini/courgette: It appears that Americans have adopted the Italian word while the British have adopted the French one.


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 08:29 AM

The green plum is a greengage. Sharper and smaller than an ordinary plum.

Having just decorated part of our bedroom in a colour called Lulu, I'm wondering if there is someone out there called Lulu who is that shade of magenta?

And who the hell decided that colour would be called 'magnolia'. There are several magnolia trees near me, and not one of them is anywhere near as insipid a colour as the paint 'magnolia'.

I'd like to know who came up with 'Belgian White' too.... I thought that was a rabbit, but no, it's a paint shade. Looks like ecru to me.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: American English Bl**p*rs
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 06 Apr 02 - 12:56 PM

Thanks Dicho and Jim. I have scanned a picture of what I would consider to be typcial looking marrows and put it here. I have also scanned the bit on the squash on offer in the seed catalogue I mentioned and put it here.

Jon


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