PDA

View Full Version : Jolted by Slang



jjdebenedictis
11-23-2012, 02:39 AM
I've read a lot of books by UK authors, but I am not from the UK. This has led to some interesting reactions when a word or phrase gets used in a way I'm not familiar with.

An innocent example would be me wondering what (undoubtedly-magical) realm Dumbledore was talking about when he referred to the "London Underground".

A more-amusing example would be my "Buh?" reaction to Bob Geldof reminiscing about thumping on hotel room doors in the middle of the night and shouting, "Got a fag? Can anyone spare me a fag?"

What jarring moments has unfamiliar slang caused you?

Mr Flibble
11-23-2012, 03:17 AM
Try talking on team speak with a Swede who's learnt all his English from US films and saying 'Hang on a minute, I'm just rolling a fag'. The silence was deafening.

I used to have a few problems when I were a girl - I read a lot of Stephen King and I managed to work out what sneakers were etc. It took till the advent of the internet before I had any idea what Hersheys and Twinkies were bar sweet stuff. Chips always makes me pause too. Chips are big and fat and properly should come from a chippie that full of the smell of steam and vinegar, om nom nom. And then I think, oh, wait, they mean crisps.

AdrianLynn
11-23-2012, 05:31 AM
I studied abroad in New Zealand several years ago. In the U.S. fanny typically refers to your behind. In NZ fanny refers to certain lower parts of female anatomy. That caused some great hilarity until someone finally explained what was so funny! I was just thankful to not be the source of mocking!

shakeysix
11-23-2012, 05:37 AM
I live just 20 miles from Pratt, Kansas. A British exchange student a couple of years ago had a great time telling the folks back home that he was in Pratt, Kansas. And then he would say, "No, really!" and giggle. It made us western Kansans suspect that there is a huge international joke on us--s6

BeatrixKiddo
11-23-2012, 07:45 AM
Snogging...that one threw me. "Let's have a snog." :ROFL:

It's just more proof to me that humans are weird.

seun
11-23-2012, 01:26 PM
Yeah, the fanny issue makes me laugh especially if a character mentions sitting on their fanny.

Not so much a slang thing, but I often wonder about blocks as in 'X Street is five blocks away'. How big are these blocks? Are they all built to the same specifications? If I walked from one to the next, how long would it take?

Fallen
11-23-2012, 01:52 PM
Snogging...that one threw me. "Let's have a snog." :ROFL:

It's just more proof to me that humans are weird.

Lol. I love a good snog.

I get picked up on the likes of "pass us a johnny." Most have slang for condoms, that's a Brit one (including 'wellies' :D).

But 'check' v 'Cheque' still throws me a touch. Just doesn't look right to me: signing a check.

Six Alaric
11-23-2012, 02:03 PM
Any time an American begins describing their 'pants' in detail. >_>

GailD
11-23-2012, 04:03 PM
Wanna shag?



Er... no. I have one of those carpets already and it's so out of style.

:D

AdrianLynn
11-23-2012, 04:49 PM
Going out and getting pissed always made me giggle. Nope, I'm really not looking for a fight!

Mr Flibble
11-23-2012, 05:48 PM
Actually the US use of stoned to mean pissed* gets me every time. Over here it's just used for 'Off your face on weed'.



*I prefer the term 'thoroughly larupped'.

jjdebenedictis
11-23-2012, 09:16 PM
I went to a conference once with an Australian guy who asked me if I wanted anyone to knock me up in the morning.

I knew what that one meant, and I resisted laughing at him, but it's a classic. No, thank you; I really don't want anyone to get me pregnant in the morning.

shadowwalker
11-23-2012, 09:25 PM
"Jumper" and "Crimbo" always catch my eye. But what I really cannot get used to is adding "ie" to things - pressie, ciggie, etc. I keep wanting to say, Hey - adult here! :tongue

backslashbaby
11-23-2012, 11:18 PM
A very common time thing tripped me up. Usually, you can tell by context what something might be, but I couldn't at all:

Me: What time is breakfast?
Answer: Half eight.


Hmmm. I seriously had to ask whether it was the half before or the half after eight :)


Also, right off the coach at Gloucester Green, there was a sign that said 'Busking Prohibited'. Well, I'll try not to busk, except that I have no clue what that is :D

Maxinquaye
11-23-2012, 11:30 PM
Also, right off the coach at Gloucester Green, there was a sign that said 'Busking Prohibited'. Well, I'll try not to busk, except that I have no clue what that is :D

Buskers are street musicians. If you see someone with a hat on the ground, playing outside, that someone is busking. :)

backslashbaby
11-23-2012, 11:48 PM
So I'm not busking right now, then? Ah, good to know :D !

mirandashell
11-23-2012, 11:50 PM
"Jumper" and "Crimbo" always catch my eye. But what I really cannot get used to is adding "ie" to things - pressie, ciggie, etc. I keep wanting to say, Hey - adult here! :tongue

I once asked a colleague if we had anything in the bickie stash. He said we didn't so did I want to get some?

My American boss asked 'A what? What did you say?

'Bickie stash.'

'What?'

'Errmmmmm.... a stash of biscuits? You know, cookies?'

She looked at me like I'm an alien.....

Now I say it just to wind her up.

Xelebes
11-24-2012, 12:02 AM
Yeah, the fanny issue makes me laugh especially if a character mentions sitting on their fanny.

Not so much a slang thing, but I often wonder about blocks as in 'X Street is five blocks away'. How big are these blocks? Are they all built to the same specifications? If I walked from one to the next, how long would it take?

Blocks are generally 1/16th of a mile either way. They were carved out as subdivisions of a section (quarter of a square mile.) A section is a subdivision of a township.

Blocks however vary. Salt Lake City is known for having blocks that are twice as long (making them four times as large) as the blocks in Chicago. Generally, blocks give one more of an idea of how many streets they crossed on their way than an actual distance.

Xelebes
11-24-2012, 12:07 AM
Buskers are street musicians. If you see someone with a hat on the ground, playing outside, that someone is busking. :)

Hm, didn't know Americans did not know that term. Buskers (street preformer), huskers (street vendor) and hagglers (street botherer.) Buskers are more welcome here than the other two.

jjdebenedictis
11-24-2012, 02:35 AM
Buskers (street preformer), huskers (street vendor) and hagglers (street botherer.) Buskers are more welcome here than the other two.I knew buskers (Canadian here; I don't know if that helps me bridge the divide between US and UK English), but not huskers. Interesting!

Which reminds me. How many people here know what a toque is?

mirandashell
11-24-2012, 02:54 AM
It's a small hat a woman wears on the side of her head.

Xelebes
11-24-2012, 03:04 AM
I knew buskers (Canadian here; I don't know if that helps me bridge the divide between US and UK English), but not huskers. Interesting!

Which reminds me. How many people here know what a toque is?

I know what a touque is, but not a toque or tuque. :)

That's the spelling that is normal here.

But more specifically with regards to the previous point, a husker sells illegal goods. So someone working a foodtruck is not a husker but someone laying goods out on East Hastings might be.

Siri Kirpal
11-24-2012, 04:46 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

A block goes from the length of one street between two cross-streets. Lengths vary quite a bit, especially in suburbs where the streets wind.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Stlight
11-24-2012, 05:45 AM
A very common time thing tripped me up. Usually, you can tell by context what something might be, but I couldn't at all:

Me: What time is breakfast?
Answer: Half eight.


Hmmm. I seriously had to ask whether it was the half before or the half after eight :)


:D


Please, ma'am, which is it?

Cliff Face
11-24-2012, 06:53 AM
Half eight is 8.30.

Or 4.00, if you want to confuse people. :tongue

Vito
11-24-2012, 07:12 AM
I always get confused whenever I'm talking to a British person. After a few minutes my eyes sort of glaze over and the other person just sort of morphs into Terry-Thomas, saying "Pip pip, cheerio!", "Smashing!" and "Jolly good!" etc. etc. etc.

Even worse, current youth slang completely baffles me. (By "current", I mean any slang that has come along after 1979 or 1980). :Shrug:

Cliff Face
11-24-2012, 07:47 AM
I've never understood what "Foshizzle" means. What language does that come from again?