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Orianna2000
08-24-2011, 09:32 PM
I need a British or Canadian word for a party. Some kind of slang, preferably. My research only turned up "do" and it doesn't fit well in my sentence. Originally I was going with "shindig" but decided that might be too American. If it matters, it's a semi-formal party, black tie (not white), to honor some secret agents who saved the world. The one speaking is Canadian, but has lived in England for several years.

Here's the sentence. The bold word is the one I'm looking to replace.


"Besides, it's a party! Granted, these kinds of parties aren't always as fun as they ought to be. But it's an excuse to dress up, drink champagne, do some dancing."

Parametric
08-24-2011, 09:33 PM
Bash? A bash is any kind of big party.

Adam
08-24-2011, 09:34 PM
A get together? That's common in England. :)

Torgo
08-24-2011, 09:45 PM
'dos' sounds ok to me.

Drachen Jager
08-24-2011, 09:58 PM
Here is how a well educated Brit might say it, "Besides, it's a party! Granted, this sort of affair isn't always as fun as it ought to be. But it's an excuse to dress up, drink champagne, do some dancing."

For something fancy, British often use 'affair'. It's not a very Canadian expression but certainly all Canadians would be familiar with the word in that context.

Becca_H
08-24-2011, 10:15 PM
For semi-formal, "party" would probably be fine.

Also maybe: "gathering".

sparkypants
08-24-2011, 10:21 PM
Sounds like your characters are attending a bash to me! Or a fancy do.

dpaterso
08-24-2011, 10:23 PM
Shindig is fine, knees-up, soiree if you're being posh, Ceilidh in Scotland (expect lots of heart-straining traditional Scottish dancing).

-Derek

crunchyblanket
08-24-2011, 10:48 PM
Sounds like a do to me. I always thought of do's as being a little bit posher than parties.

Orianna2000
08-24-2011, 11:04 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I was concerned with using "do" because it's plural, and "dos" looks like something computer-related instead of a party. :-)

I like the suggestion of "an affair". I'll probably use that, thanks.

Torgo
08-24-2011, 11:05 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions!

I was concerned with using "do" because it's plural, and "dos" looks like something computer-related instead of a party. :-)

I like the suggestion of "an affair". I'll probably use that, thanks.

Would just point out that 'an affair' is quite posh; in speech it might sound a little affected.

MisterFrancis
08-25-2011, 12:07 AM
Affair works well in your sentence. But it only makes sense in the context of your sentence. I can't think of any other construction where affair would be used, though, so watch out if you want to transplant it to a different sentence.

Orianna2000
08-25-2011, 12:35 AM
Affair works well in your sentence. But it only makes sense in the context of your sentence. I can't think of any other construction where affair would be used, though, so watch out if you want to transplant it to a different sentence.
True. As someone else pointed out, it's kind of a posh word, so I'd only use it when describing a super-fancy party. Both of the parties in my novel are formal affairs, one is black-tie, the other is white-tie, so I think the word would work for either of them. But a regular shindig? Not so much. :-)

Selcaby
08-25-2011, 04:22 AM
I'd combine Drachen Jager's suggestion with Torgo's: "this sort of do". "Affair" is a bit too formal, but "sort" instead of "kind" is spot-on.

Mr Flibble
08-25-2011, 04:43 AM
Like other posters have said, it depends how formal you want to be Do, thing, shindig, knees-up, piss-up, jolly, bash, work do, etc. Those are the ones that really spring to mind.

Orianna2000
08-25-2011, 06:45 AM
Like other posters have said, it depends how formal you want to be Do, thing, shindig, knees-up, piss-up, jolly, bash, work do, etc. Those are the ones that really spring to mind.
Those are so colorful! I love them. If my original "shindig" is British enough, then I think I'll change it back, since that's recognizable to American readers and it fits very well with the character's personality.

Bigglesworth
08-25-2011, 04:21 PM
As well as formality, I'd consider what region your character grew up in / retains the speech patterns of / otherwise identifies with. A Londoner may look forward to a knees-up, a Mancunian not so much =)

skylark
08-25-2011, 04:43 PM
I'd call a party thrown in someone else's honour a "do".

The others are all perfectly good words for parties, but don't have the same implication. To me, a "do" would almost always be for something.

JimmyB27
08-25-2011, 04:53 PM
I was concerned with using "do" because it's plural, and "dos" looks like something computer-related instead of a party. :-)


Maybe:

"Besides, it's a party! Granted, this kind of do isn't always as fun as it ought to be. But it's an excuse to dress up, drink champagne, do some dancing."

Orianna2000
08-25-2011, 05:22 PM
As well as formality, I'd consider what region your character grew up in / retains the speech patterns of / otherwise identifies with. A Londoner may look forward to a knees-up, a Mancunian not so much =)
Ah, that makes sense. Well, the guy talking is from Canada of the 29th century, so there's no telling what kind of slang he'd be accustomed to, LOL!



"Besides, it's a party! Granted, this kind of do isn't always as fun as it ought to be. But it's an excuse to dress up, drink champagne, do some dancing."
That's a great fix, thank you. Would "do" work equally as well for a party held in honor of First Contact with aliens? Because the way it stands now, I use "shindig" for the first party (in honor of the agents who saved the world) and I use "do" for the second party (anniversary of First Contact). Does that sound like it works?

Bigglesworth
08-25-2011, 05:55 PM
Just a thought, but people tend to be less precise in their speech. I'd be tempted to put "...these kinds of things aren't always...", especially since you already named the 'thing' in the previous sentence.

seun
08-25-2011, 11:23 PM
I'd go for piss up.

But only if there's wall to wall vomiting and broken furniture.

Orianna2000
08-26-2011, 05:37 AM
I'd go for piss up.

But only if there's wall to wall vomiting and broken furniture.
Sorry, not that kind of party! The Prime Minister is in attendance, along with alien ambassadors of all sorts. Although, I could see the male MC actually trying to "liven things up a bit" by bribing the orchestra to play something modern and teaching the aliens the Chicken Dance. LOL!

Hmm. Now I really wish I could change one of the party scenes to include that. . . . it would be perfect. :D

seun
08-26-2011, 12:20 PM
Not that sort of party?

Shocking, I tell you. Shocking.

dazzlejazz
08-26-2011, 01:06 PM
I'd have to agree with seun - definitely a piss-up. Would it be BYO grog?

samw11
08-27-2011, 12:50 PM
Must agree with Bigglesworth (not just because I used to have a cat called Bigglesworth either) I'd have said 'thing'... it's a quintisentially British way of refering to any type of event... if the character really isn't looking forward to it - not expecting it to be fun - then you could italicise it & let it drip with disdain!

Just a thought, but people tend to be less precise in their speech. I'd be tempted to put "...these kinds of things aren't always...", especially since you already named the 'thing' in the previous sentence.

Orianna2000
08-27-2011, 04:10 PM
Must agree with Bigglesworth (not just because I used to have a cat called Bigglesworth either) I'd have said 'thing'... it's a quintisentially British way of refering to any type of event... if the character really isn't looking forward to it - not expecting it to be fun - then you could italicise it & let it drip with disdain!
I'll keep that in mind, thanks! For now, since the character isn't actually British, I'm going with "shindig". It fits his personality perfectly. I'll remember "thing" for future writing, though.

Transatlantic
09-10-2011, 08:08 PM
Can I get slightly off-topic? I live in Britain (I'm an American) and I don't really think you'd tend to hear "aren't as fun" - I think it'd more likely be "aren't as much fun". Hope that's of use.

As for the original Q, I'd say:

"Granted, these things aren't always as much fun as they ought to be." Or "Granted, this sort of thing isn't always as much fun as it ought to be."

Orianna2000
09-10-2011, 08:38 PM
Can I get slightly off-topic? I live in Britain (I'm an American) and I don't really think you'd tend to hear "aren't as fun" - I think it'd more likely be "aren't as much fun". Hope that's of use.
Thanks for that tip. The guy speaking isn't actually British, but you're right, it does sound better with "much" in the sentence. :-)