Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

Possible amusing mixups with US/UK English

Options
  • 03-04-2003 11:23am
    #1
    Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Anyone got any, besides the obvious ones like "fanny" ?


«1

Comments

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney


    There was a Simpsons episode recently where I'm pretty sure Skinner said he was going to stop **** all over the stage. Dunno what he meant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    Sometimes the pants one is funny.

    They say pants for trousers whereas we seem to mean underwear.
    "Hey man, nice pants!"
    "get lost you freak!"


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,389 ✭✭✭✭Saruman


    Originally posted by Gordon

    "Hey man, nice pants!"
    "get lost you freak!"

    I think if someone said to me "Hey man, nice Trousers!"
    My response would also be "get lost you freak!" :D:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭davej


    "Rubber" i.e eraser was an innocent word in British English but i suppose the other meaning (US origin) is widely used here. I don't think asking a fellow pupil for a rubber in US would go down too well though...


    davej


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney


    Hehe, "go down" :D


    Yes, yes I am 7 years old.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,712 ✭✭✭Praetorian


    Please keep it clean and constructive. Sexual connotations are not appropriate.

    A jumper here is what the Americans call a sweater. A jumper over there is a little girls dress.

    Chips here are what the Americans call fries. Chips over there are crisps.


  • Subscribers Posts: 9,716 ✭✭✭CuLT


    Originally posted by Praetorian
    Please keep it clean and constructive. Sexual connotations are not appropriate.

    :rolleyes: There hasn't been anything ouvertly distasteful posted.... yet.

    Toilet, not so much a mix up but if you go into an American restaurant and ask where the "toilet" is they will look at you as if you just said " where's the sh***er".


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,712 ✭✭✭Praetorian


    If I thought the post was overtly distasteful, I would have edited it. I think the thread was heading in the wrong direction.

    Most Americans say lavatory or bathroom instead of toilet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,186 ✭✭✭davej


    Please keep it clean and constructive. Sexual connotations are not appropriate.....
    I think the thread was heading in the wrong direction.

    Actually I think the very fact that people are giving so many examples that are based around sexual or other taboo subjects says something very important about the way a language evolves and diverges; taboo words are the very ones that tend to be disparate. Perhaps, if this thread is to continue, people could give some reasons as to why they think this is the case.

    davej


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 278 ✭✭aine


    one very common misunderstanding arises when an American asks if you want a ride.....they innocently mean a lift, we on the other hand take it up in an entirely different way!!!

    oops....sorry was that 'distasteful'?


  • Advertisement
  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,501 Mod ✭✭✭✭ecksor


    Yes, how you "take it up" is entirely off-topic here.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 278 ✭✭aine


    sorry :(


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,501 Mod ✭✭✭✭ecksor


    I think I need to work on my distasteful puns.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    Maybe tomorrows word should be... sordid!

    I always hated how the Americans say "Catsup" and how they don't have an s at the end of maths, and how they don't pronounce the h at the beginning of words - I say "Herbs" they say "Erbs". Gah that annoys me. Oh and the missing "the" when saying dates.

    ahem


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 278 ✭✭aine


    they tell the time differently too! they say 5 of 10 while we would say 5 to 10! and they dont say half past....they say ten thirty!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,712 ✭✭✭Praetorian


    I never noticed an American saying the time differently! Then again, I've never been to America (June hopefully). The way they write the dates is very annoying :o


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 278 ✭✭aine


    what we call rolls they call sandwiches!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 278 ✭✭aine


    oh dear lord ive faaaar too much time on my hands! youd never thing i was writing my last college assignment of the year thats already a week late! oh thats another one, we'd say we had an essay to do....they do 'papers'


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,967 ✭✭✭Dun


    Originally posted by Praetorian
    Please keep it clean and constructive. Sexual connotations are not appropriate.

    I'm not trying to be cheeky or anything but is there any reason why? I mean it's still English-language related.. I can't imagine it would get x-rated or anything :confused:

    Only one I can think of that isn't taboo, is when they talk about nine eleven. I mean the 11th of September (attacks). What I hate even more is hearing European English speakers saying it - or spelling it 'center' or 'meter' (not World Trade Center - I can live with that).

    Maybe I'm just too easily annoyed.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney


    In fairness, it was their disaster, and "nine-eleven" is just a name, like "bloody sunday". It's not like you make a habit of saying "The events in New York and Washington of the 11th of September 2001", is it?

    Why is there this resentment of the fact that the population of a country 3000 miles away with its own dialect spells or pronounces a few words slightly differently? Come on lads, either funny mixups or leave it out altogether.

    "Smoking a fag" may get you funny looks. Or appreciative ones from the gun-toting homphobic elements of society.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3,712 ✭✭✭Praetorian


    Originally posted by dun_do_bheal
    I'm not trying to be cheeky or anything but is there any reason why? I mean it's still English-language related.. I can't imagine it would get x-rated or anything :confused:

    Only one I can think of that isn't taboo, is when they talk about nine eleven. I mean the 11th of September (attacks). What I hate even more is hearing European English speakers saying it - or spelling it 'center' or 'meter' (not World Trade Center - I can live with that).

    Maybe I'm just too easily annoyed.

    I think we should try to keep our posts as educational and informative as possible, in the traditional sense!

    I think Centre should be spelled Center. I guess its just the way one says it! Cen ter (sen tear) not (sen tree). ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,967 ✭✭✭Dun


    Originally posted by pickarooney
    It's not like you make a habit of saying "The events in New York and Washington of the 11th of September 2001", is it?
    No, you're right. I'd just call them the attacks in America. It's not like it happens to often, or on such a grand scale.
    Originally posted by pickarooney
    Why is there this resentment of the fact that the population of a country 3000 miles away with its own dialect spells or pronounces a few words slightly differently?
    I have no resentment about their use of dialect. I love dialects and think they should be encouraged. Variations and mutations in dialects brought about different languages after all. What I don't like (I was a bit annoyed last night about other things) is the increasing tendency by Europeans (English-speaking - I'm not going to say UK or British English because we don't speak that here in Ireland) to use distinctly American-English phrases or spellings that stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of European-English speech or writing. But that's just me - it would be boring (but perhaps more peaceful?) if we all had the same opinions :)
    Originally posted by pickarooney
    "Smoking a fag" may get you funny looks. Or appreciative ones from the gun-toting homphobic elements of society.
    That was one of the things I thought might have been taboo last night.
    Originally posted by Praetorian
    I think we should try to keep our posts as educational and informative as possible, in the traditional sense!
    Fair enough. :)
    Originally posted by Praetorian
    I think Centre should be spelled Center. I guess its just the way one says it! Cen ter (sen tear) not (sen tree).
    Well I suppose that's why it came about in the first place in the USA. But, there's not much point in half-measures. What about cough vs. enough vs. bough vs. lough (yes, it's an English-language word - it's loch in Irish), or moon vs. book or even to read vs. I have read. English spelling has little overall relationship with its pronunciation, a fact that is exacerbated due to the large quantity of dialectual variants of pronunciations in existance. Without any standard that can be used as the basis for an orthography that correlates with the pronunciation, then such a reform of spelling is going to be benign to the point of irrelevance. In any case, any spelling reform would be bordering on chaotic on such large a scale as the English language - have a look at the Dutch and Flemish situation! And yes, I am aware of the SES (Southern English Standard), but firstly the lack of spelling-pronunciation relationship exists equally within its climes as well, and as a standard it would not bode well within the whole of England, never mind Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the USA further afield.

    Sorry for going slightly (!) off-topic :)

    I was slightly amused and bemused by an American acquaintence when he said that he just wore a vest to a semi-formal function, until I found out that a vest is actually a waistcoat. I'd asked him if he had to wear a tuxedo, so yes, he was wearing a shirt, trousers, shoes etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 35,524 ✭✭✭✭Gordon


    I always get confused when they say "pissed" because usually they mean angry but sometimes they mean drunk.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,608 ✭✭✭✭sceptre


    Originally posted by Gordon
    Maybe tomorrows word should be... sordid!

    I always hated how the Americans say "Catsup" and how they don't have an s at the end of maths, and how they don't pronounce the h at the beginning of words - I say "Herbs" they say "Erbs". Gah that annoys me. Oh and the missing "the" when saying dates.

    ahem
    Catsup: old English word for ketchup. Aspirating the "h" was also popular in Elizabethan times (more so than now). Lots of quaint American words are merely older words we used use once upon a time before American english and UK english evolved in different ways. We changed, they didn't (at least wrt these examples). The cockney thing ("wots an eytch mate?") came along later. Still one of the few examples of an accent moving from the lowest classes to the upper classes in any language btw.

    (I drop the "the" when saying dates (eg "April 6th") so I won't defend that one due to vested interests)


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 35,446 Mod ✭✭✭✭pickarooney


    I think purse means a handbag in Americaland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,046 ✭✭✭Dustaz


    Originally posted by aine
    they tell the time differently too! they say 5 of 10 while we would say 5 to 10! and they dont say half past....they say ten thirty!

    That got me into SO MUCH TROUBLE during a stay in the states. Supposed to meet someone at "20 of 10" so i assumed it meant that 20 mins OF the hour had elapsed. As a result i turned up 40 minutes late (well, 35, i was early).

    Silly people :)


    Trashcan

    Sidewalk

    "freedom" fries (snigger)

    Pronounciations like Bayta for Beta, Rowt for Route and one that always makes me giggle for some reason, Boo-ey for Buoy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭mirv


    Originally posted by aine
    oh dear lord ive faaaar too much time on my hands! youd never thing i was writing my last college assignment of the year thats already a week late! oh thats another one, we'd say we had an essay to do....they do 'papers'

    Well they get multiple choice paragraphs to pick when writing an essay so it does make sense :). I like to pronounce beta as bayta, as opposed to beeta, and what about the utter stupidity of their 'aluminum', despite them spelling it the same way as us - 'aluminium'!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 216 ✭✭Belle Ende


    Originally posted by mirv
    and what about the utter stupidity of their 'aluminum', despite them spelling it the same way as us - 'aluminium'!

    I thought people in the USA wrote it "aluminum"? American English follows the idea of writing words more closely to how they are pronounced. Hence words like "center" make more sense than "centre". Of course, if every word followed this pragmatic idea, English would be a very ugly language to write --- for example the first line I wrote would become :

    'I tawt peepl in the USA rote it "aluminum"?'

    :)

    .
    American English is the dominant form of English, yes? And it is becoming more dominant because it's what is taught in Japan/China/India/Russia.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,712 ✭✭✭Praetorian


    So they actually say alooominum (Spelled aluminum)

    Whereas we say aloo mini um (Spelled aluminium)

    Interesting!

    I'm sure I'll notice more differences when I visit NYC in June ;)


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭mirv


    I checked dictionary.com and apparently it's spelt aluminum, and **** does mean masturbate. But I'm pretty sure that International, British English is taught all over the world.


Advertisement