View Full Version : seppo speak

31st Oct 2001, 04:05
i liked the thread on american english :)

now i was wondering about american pocketbooks.
i would have thought that they would be a book you could fit in your pocket.
but no. seems this is a handbag why? :confused:
seems odd to me

tony draper
31st Oct 2001, 04:13
I thought a pocket book was a wallet. ;)

31st Oct 2001, 04:14
Dings -

This American from Texas has no idea why it is ccalled a pocketbook. Maybe it has something to do with being a pocket (bag) to keep a "tally" book (a ledger of sorts) in. If it did start there then it likely was a masculine usage.

Maybe Tony D will have an answer here. ;)

A question from me - why is a handbag called a handbag. Is it a place to put your "extra" hands into whilst you walk to the store, or promanade?

Cuddlery - what a new word for me to learn about. That was the highlight of the other thread. Still have trouble with a "semi"-detached house though.

d[b]AA[/v]vid - :confused:

tony draper
31st Oct 2001, 04:23
Another couple
sidewalk= path
Cement = concrete,
asphalt= tarmac
Cement is what a bricklayer clags bricks together with here, concrete is the stuff we build motorway overpasses with.
Tarmac after Tar McAddam, the guy who invented asphalt. ;)

31st Oct 2001, 04:30
A handbag is a bag you carry in your hand, as opposed, say, to a shoulder bag...

But you colonials call a handbag a "purse" and call a purse a "pocketbook". Can't you get anything right? :D ;)

31st Oct 2001, 04:36
dAAvid - Yes, I noted your confusion re:"cuddlery" on the other forum. I think it was an attempt to mimic the American pronunciation of "cuttlery".

Semi-detached = Duplex

Hope this helps with your sleepless nights (sleepless in Coppell?) :eek:

Travelling Toolbox
31st Oct 2001, 04:52
Got these quaint twangs from two instructors at FlightSafety Boeing in Long Beach:

Umwitcha - I am with you! or (light bulb goes on above head)I get what you mean!

Pee Tot Tube - Pitot Tube (pronounced as we all know Pee Toe Tube)

This gentleman was from Chicago, which may explain a lot of things. ;)

And from another (Sorry Rohry, but I still get a smile when I think about you explaining this to us):

Vuja De - A twist on Deja Vu. "Ah aint NEVER seen this [email protected]#T before!!

31st Oct 2001, 05:01
I washaving a look around an american navy ship once, and the very helpful seaman was talking about the 'boo-ees'......finally worked out he was talking about the life-buoys, pronounced 'boys' here...


31st Oct 2001, 06:08
"Fetch the squirrelly raffle Jethro boy, thar be a passel o' varmints down be th' ceement pond!"
Love that Beverly Hills accent. :)

31st Oct 2001, 09:22
Ah no min - "lifeboy" is/was a brand of bath soap here in the States. The sailor had it right. ;)

Now here's one - in the UK it is called the "stand", here we call it the "apron". Haven't figured out yet if that patch of concrete/tarmac/cement (compliments to TD) is an apron, then where is the BIB?

sanjosebaz - spent five nights in SJC last month. Downtown at the Hilton Towers. Thanks for the "cuddlery" comment, guess I had one put over on me. That subtle Brit humor just went right past me. Now semi-detached, another Thank You for some enlightenment. But, I see that one wall is common and seems to this s-l-o-w Texas boy that either half is "Attached" to the other half. Think I will have to go back for another semester of college at AM&N for a refresher course in Logic. Course I don't see much logic in "apron" now that I think about it. Whew - ain't this English stuff hard. :rolleyes:

"Sleepless in Coppell" - probably a good movie title in there somewhere. I'm off to the woodshed to have athink about that one.

Hmm - see in another thread a new UK word: Y'all sit on a "bog" whilst I sit on a toilet? Is your bog in a loo? Mine is in the bathroom, unless it is a restaurant we are visiting, in which case it is in the restroom.

Ah, my Kingdom for a throne.

Nite Nite y'all.

dAAvid -

Arm out the window
31st Oct 2001, 09:43
On the odd occasion when I've watched American football on TV, this one has come up a few times, and I must say that I shake my head in amazement that the Yanks say 'Noter Dame (rhyming with 'same')' for Notre Dame - it seems incredible that anyone with even the vaguest knowledge of French would say it that way.

31st Oct 2001, 10:11
Oh let's not bring mangling of French-origin place name into this !
Duhmoyne (Des Moines), Lake Penderil (Pend d'Oreille) etc.

31st Oct 2001, 10:18
sidewalk = path
pavement = road !

31st Oct 2001, 14:55
One that I hadn't come across before was a sign outside a Motel advertising "Efficiencies"

Apparently its a normal room with a small kitchen in it (Roaches are a non-optional but entirely free extra).

I thought it was a great idea (the kitchen not the Roaches...although they made good sport).

Any idea where the name comes from?

31st Oct 2001, 17:04
just to add to the confusion - in the road construction industry a pavement is the black stuff you drive a car on and a footway is the bit you walk on :D

1st Nov 2001, 02:12
Here in Oz we are just confused, because we take words from both sources (US and UK) when it suits us.

For example,

We drive on Parkways, and park on driveways!

Onan the Clumsy
1st Nov 2001, 02:38
...and the red stuff frightens everyone in the bar because he's a ...cyclepath :rolleyes:

Semi detatched is not so much to do with attaching houses together, it's more a class distinction. A detatched house, consisting of all outside walls, is a thing of grandeur and is a concrete representation of the phrase "An Englishman's home is his castle".

The next level down is indeed what in America would be refered to as a duplex, though it could often be two stories tall. To say this is "Attached" would be to acknowledge the fact that you were not the controler of your own domain, to say it was "Semi Detatched" ie for all intents and purposes detatched even though it's visibly not really so, is to create the illusion of the grandeur of detatched living.

We would call it Traditional Albeit Advantageous Phrasing, you Americans might well call it Marketing.

In any event, the real issue is to ensure the listener is aware that you don't live in a Terrace house!

1st Nov 2001, 03:55
US: take a shower/p*ss/etc

UK/Oz: have a shower/p*ss/etc

1st Nov 2001, 05:48
At least we don't smoke fags....

1st Nov 2001, 06:01
At least we don't root for our team!! Unless of course, we're called Debbie and we live in Dallas...


1st Nov 2001, 06:20
Thought of a couple of more...(yeah, ok..it's quiet at work today...!! touch wood...)

beanie/skimask perhaps??

the list goes on and on and on....however, I'm familiar with the american alternatives for these things...is the same to be said vice versa??


[ 01 November 2001: Message edited by: min ]

1st Nov 2001, 09:48
Dja rekkin dis makes us orstrahliuns troolie worl' citizuns, reel multy-culchral or jes plain schizophrenic? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

compressor stall
1st Nov 2001, 11:03
Jeez, Cooda, duncha larv be-in an Ostraayan. Espeshally in tha En Tee with biggesmobsa **** . :cool:

1st Nov 2001, 14:00
Then there is always the old rubber and fanny mix up.

tony draper
1st Nov 2001, 14:27
Hmmm, Americans don't appear to have a word for cream cakes, such as strawbery tarts and the like.
This could explain drive by shootings and serial killing. ;)

henry crun
1st Nov 2001, 14:44
Tony, I have an American friend who talks of cream puffs but I'm not sure if he is referring to cakes or something else.


1st Nov 2001, 16:25
"...Perhaps the most famous spelling variation is the name of the lightweight metal discovered by the English chemist Humphrey Davy.

He named it 'aluminum', which is still used in America. But the British, believing names of metals ought to end in -ium, altered it to 'aluminium' and changed the pronunciation as well.

Yet for some reason the British have never got around to correcting 'platinum'..."

(Larry Trask
School of Cognitive and Computer Sciences
University of Sussex

...taken from a full page discussing American/British differences in English spelling in the 27 Oct edition of New Scientist magazine...

Just for laughs...from the page opposite...
"According to THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, the recently discovered dinosaur named Elliot 'died 95 million years ago during the later part of the crustacean period.'"

tony draper
1st Nov 2001, 16:32
Aloominum used to be a very precious metal, Napoleon had a Aluminum dinner service for his special dinner guests at the top table, the lesser mortals ate off the cheap gold one.
Not many people know that ;)

Tricky Woo
1st Nov 2001, 16:53
There're also some marked genetic differences between the Brits and the Yanks: English blokes are rarely born with a 'fanny'.


2nd Nov 2001, 02:01
AA SLF - No you still haven't quite got it, the APRON is the RAMP. The STAND is the bit of the RAMP on which you (hopefully) end up parking.....

Alf Aworna
2nd Nov 2001, 03:30
So Yanks think a tight fanny is just someone being stingy??

2nd Nov 2001, 04:00
And I suppose you think that a fanny-pack is some kind of sanitary wear? It's a bum-bag in fact. That ought to save some embarrassment :rolleyes:

2nd Nov 2001, 05:59

Thanks for the help, but I must admit this English english may be too hard for me to really learn.

Think I may go back to just speaking Tejano as in 'amigo'; 'gracias' and 'mas vale tarde'! :D

hsta luego amigos -

dAAvid -

2nd Nov 2001, 06:04
sanjosebaz -

Tu hables tejano? :cool:

Don't have the nice correct upside down "?" on this keyboard, my apologies.

dAAvid -

hmm .... caught by the "flow control" gods. :mad:

2nd Nov 2001, 13:40
?? :cool:

429 CJ
3rd Nov 2001, 11:55
Y'all forgot the yank's JACOOOZII etc ;)

3rd Nov 2001, 13:30
The degree of caring intrigues me as well...

I've just read on another thread (and I've noticed this before) the expression "I could care less".

The British expression is "I couldn't care less", implying that my interest is at rock bottom - could not be lower.

By contrast, it appears that Americans care more than we do!

3rd Nov 2001, 16:41
"You Americans are apathetic and ignorant!"
"Fella, I don't know and I don't give a sh't!"

3rd Nov 2001, 19:42
Of course they call themselves "MURCAINS" and the guy in the police "VEEHICKLE" who apprehends them is the "SHURF".

And why is a push chair for kiddies called a stroller?

6th Nov 2001, 02:20
You people think I know f*ck all - I don't I know f*ck nothing.

11th Nov 2001, 01:13
Draper - twas not Napoleon Bonaparte who had the ally cutlery, it was his nephew Louis Napoleon, who later became Napoleon III (Nap II never became emperor as he was killed in the Sudan whilst serving in the British army). The french chemist who refined the ally for him had a tombstone made out of it as well.

tony draper
11th Nov 2001, 01:33
Yeh, them French seemed to breed Napoleons like cockroaches, wasn't there another one who lived in Mexico?,got a one of his gold coins lying about the house somewhere, Napoleon 111, bought it when I was taken drunk one day walking past the coin shop in Newcastle, god knows what for. ;)

11th Nov 2001, 03:28
You people think I know f*ck all - I don't I know f*ck nothing

I've heard this the other way round GroundHog, ie
You people think I know f*ck nothing, - I don't, I know f*ck all

11th Nov 2001, 04:33
Why is it that I have to use a triband phone in the States whereas everywhere else the dual 900/1800 band is fine? Why is Voicestream available as GSM roaming in Seattle but not Dallas, (both served by Voicestream.)Why can I receive no signal at all in Sao Paulo, one of the worlds largest cities? Why do I recive Al-Jawwal in Jeddah, yet Jawwal in Riyadh? :(

11th Nov 2001, 04:50
Recently at a hotel Stateside during and after my meal asked the same waitress for a glass of white wine with the meal and an Irish coffee after. The respective replies: We only have yellow or red wine; We don't have Irish, only Colombian or Costa Rican coffee! :eek:

11th Nov 2001, 05:39
Can't believe that, the Americans are wine experts, I wa a bit puzzled though when in a good restaurant, the wine waiter lifted a good redd wine out of it's basket to pour it??????? Same sort of language, different sort of people!!!!

11th Nov 2001, 23:38
I'm with you Sensible. It always tastes soooooo much better straight from the bottle!

tony draper
11th Nov 2001, 23:53
We got some funny names for bread here also,or rather different shaped loaves,
Fadge, Stottie,Lumper, Cottage,
Oh Bugg*r!, did have another one but its just gone completely out of my mind, hmmm. ;)

12th Nov 2001, 03:18
Could also be the nicknames to a bowling team, Drape.

12th Nov 2001, 03:19
Spams drive semi`s, while Brits have artics.

tony draper
12th Nov 2001, 03:24
Never thought of that Mr L ;) although here it would be likely to be a darts team, bowling is a gentlemens game here, played on immaculately tended lawns.

12th Nov 2001, 21:13
Yeah, we tried that "lawn bowling" deal once - didn't work. After spending almost two days clearing the junk off the "lawn", we found that we couldn't keep the dad-burn cows from walking through and knocking over the dad-gum pins.

13th Nov 2001, 02:07
Clothing can be a problem:

eg: here in Oz, one wears thongs on one's feet when the sand is too hot at the beach. The same items are flip-flops in the US of A. A thong in America, as former president Clinton let the world know, is something completely different. :)

Then there is being drunk or angry.

Here, if you are drunk, you are pissed. If you are angry, you are pissed off. Hence, if you are an angry drunk it can be said:
"He was pissed and really pissed off"

It's all in the sublte nuance, y'see.

tony draper
13th Nov 2001, 02:58
When we are Pithed in the Pub, we have Thing Thongs altho. ;)

13th Nov 2001, 03:18
Ahhhh - that age-old song of darkness and flagellation... "Just a thong at twilight..."

13th Nov 2001, 06:16
AA SLF, now that you've got your logic going, explain "semi-trailer"...half a trailer??. Articulated lorry/truck is logical.

13th Nov 2001, 06:48
I have a problem with Antipodean. What the hell do people have against Podeans?
What about Seminoles? Are they halfa**ed Indians? :confused:

[ 13 November 2001: Message edited by: pigboat ]

14th Nov 2001, 00:03
You're close... the half trailers are called "bob tails" usually two to three being pulled by one "tractor" that's what we call the truck here.
Someone earlier mentioned that a fanny pack wasn't what it sounded like, if anyone was wondering what the proper expression for homosexual male was it is " tool shed ".
If you're ever visiting the US and want to ask where the mens/ladies rooms are just ask " where's the $hitter? " that'll work pretty much everywhere. :) And if you're anywhere outside city limits just go ahead and use the great outdoors, be sure to use proper etiquete and don't face others while doing so, oh yeah... be mindful of the wind too. If you need to do more than just pee be sure to do so behind the bushes, but watch out for snakes, etc...
On a funny note, I recently had this little exchange with a certain little lady and was shocked/thrilled/amazed/amused/etc... by the words that came out of her mouth! Her: " I sure hope I don't catch *****'s cold ", Me: " It's ok, if you do I got some medicine for ya ", Her: " oh yeah, what kind of medicine? ", Me: " I'm not saying, but there's a couple of was you can take it, orally, and... " Her: " Up the !!! " :eek:
Women say the cutest things :)

21st Nov 2001, 07:53
i heard that that because of the way that it was pronounced some people thought that the united airlines inaugral 777 flight was an all girl flight :D