Saturday, September 16, 2006

Just not enough

Not having enough rejection on Friday night (from the company at which I'd interviewed) I decided to call a friend that hadn't returned my calls for quite a while. I'd finally stopped calling her two months ago. We had used to go every Saturday to lunch as some of the original "scone club" members. Even though she screens her calls, she answered this one. Ouch. The less said the better. Like I first said, I think I was trying to find more rejection and it was successful.

Anyway, I had a good Saturday despite that, went to the library, did some errands and spent time with my Mom. And per request here are what the author of "Rules, Britannia" feels are the "biggies" in differences between language/word use in the UK and the US:

Anxious: in the UK it means nervous about something. In the US it can also mean eager or looking forward to something, as in Sally was anxiously (happily, eagerly) awaiting her date with Matt.
Co-ed: In the UK it is never used for bathrooms or for students as it's used in the US.
Cute: In the US it also means good-looking, handsome or pretty.
Dear: in the UK usually means expensive or pricey, not beloved, as in the US.
Dirt/Soil: Americans call garden soil "dirt".
Fag: Cigarettes in the UK, of course.
Fanny: innocent and even a cutsy word in the US, not in the UK.
Favor: to prefer, but in the US is also used to mean "looks like" as, the baby favors (looks like) her mother.
First Floor: ground level in the UK, the level above ground level in the US.
Homely: Means ugly in the US, not necessarily in the UK where it can mean plain looking but not actually ugly.
Ill/Sick: To be sick in the UK means to throw up, in the US it means any illness.
May/May Not: are commands on signs in the UK, in the US it implies a choice in the matter.
Momentarily: for a fleeting moment in the UK, means in a monent in the US such as "I'll be back momentarily" meaning to return in five minutes or so.
Neat: tidy or clean in the UK, cool or great in the US.
Pavement: The sidewalk in the UK. It means the road or the street in the US--a dangerous difference!
Quite: the author said this has almost the opposite meaning in the two countries. Is that true? I use "quite" quite a bit! In the UK it means something was only OK, in the US it's an positive adjective like "great" example: The band was quite (very) good.
Smart: in the UK, nicely dressed. In the US it means intelligent.
Tick Off: in the UK it means to check off or to reprimand, in the US it means to get someone angry, "to tick them off".
Vet: in the UK, to check something over. It's not used as a verb in the US.
To Visit: to physically go to meet someone in the UK. In the US it means to talk or to chat.
To Wash Up: means to do the dishes in the UK. In the US it can mean to wash one's hands, or a euphenism to go to the toilet.

The book is full of examples of behaviors, customs and rules. It's fascinating!

7 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

Yes, Aussie language derives from jolly ole England, one can tell just by looking at that list. If you guys say anything about "fanny's" here you'll be arressted!

11:17 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Poor Canadians: between the two world's, we never know what we're talking about.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Aims said...

It is fascinating although the English words have started to take on the American meanings a lot now. Apart from Fanny of course!!

8:17 AM  
Blogger Lorna said...

My grandparents were English and as a result, I had English books from the time I could read. I got even more into it with the PG Wodehouse books---Jeeves and Bertie. Now I can watch Britcoms without closed captioning.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

I find this really interesting. I don't agree with the "first floor" definition as usually we go in on the gorund floor and the first floor is the next one up.

Fanny is such a no no! I always remember watching an episode of Sabrina the teenage witch with my daughter when she was about 8. Sabrina was becoming a popsinger or something and her song was "shake your fanny". My daughter started singing it all over the place and I had to "persuade" her not to sing it any more. It really is a bad word.
Quite now has an ambiguous meaning. both the definitions can apply.
we also spell differently too. Favor =favour/color = colour
I hope that you have a better day today

11:32 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

There's an important one that's missing.

Pissed: In the UK it means to be drunk...in the US it's means you're angry.

I coulda got that wrong, but that's my take on it lol

Very interesting those are.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Ms Mac said...

I wouldn't really agree with their British definition of Anxious. It's not really ever a nice thing to be anxious.

Dear has both meanings in the UK.

Also, sick in Britian can mean to throw up but is also used to describe general illnesses. "I've been sick" could mean either that you've thrown up or that you've not been well.

Oh, I'm getting annoyed now so I'll stop. I think the authors of Rules Britannia should be shot. They seem to have made a load of gross generalisations for the sake of saving a bit of effort.

Sorry PBS!

3:17 AM  

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