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View Full Version : lift - is the British use of lift understood outside UK



Bolero
07-31-2019, 01:29 PM
So one of my background characters is standing on the doorstep of the house where a party has just ended, wanting to come back in, because "My lift has gone."

Am aware from TV that in US would usually say "ride".

Just wondered whether in context that would work for folks.

Helix
07-31-2019, 01:57 PM
If, by outside the UK, you're including Australia, then yes.

aspirit
07-31-2019, 02:58 PM
I likely would've figured it out in context.

Bing Z
07-31-2019, 04:07 PM
I thought that was a typo for Lyft (the ride hailing service) ^_^

But as long as the party host or other characters respond rationally, it should be easy to figure out the meaning. I would not worry.

ap123
07-31-2019, 04:30 PM
NYer here who has always heard/used lift and ride interchangeably in this context. Often expressions like these are regional. People figure it out, no worries.

Ari Meermans
07-31-2019, 04:34 PM
^ Same here in Texas and Louisiana; like ap123, I use "ride" and "lift" interchangeably.

angeliz2k
07-31-2019, 04:43 PM
From the title of the post, I figured you meant "lift" as in "elevator". Which I think a reasonably intelligent person could figure out in context if they didn't know it already (and I suspect a lot of Americans do know that one).

As far as "lift" for "ride", it's very much used in that sense in the US, too.

Al X.
07-31-2019, 06:12 PM
I would understand it out of context, but the first thing that comes to my mind when "lift" is spoken in the UK is an elevator.

Bufty
07-31-2019, 06:27 PM
I would understand it out of context, but the first thing that comes to my mind when "lift" is spoken in the UK is an elevator.

'Lift' and 'ride' are interchangeable. Context is everything.

Sage
07-31-2019, 06:53 PM
From the title of the post, I figured you meant "lift" as in "elevator". Which I think a reasonably intelligent person could figure out in context if they didn't know it already (and I suspect a lot of Americans do know that one).

As far as "lift" for "ride", it's very much used in that sense in the US, too.

This is exactly my thought. I expected this to be about elevators, and know "lift" in this context from the U.S.

cornflake
07-31-2019, 08:26 PM
From the title of the post, I figured you meant "lift" as in "elevator". Which I think a reasonably intelligent person could figure out in context if they didn't know it already (and I suspect a lot of Americans do know that one).

As far as "lift" for "ride", it's very much used in that sense in the US, too.

Exactly this. I assumed you meant elevator. Lift is used that way in the US all the time. 'Can I give you a lift?'

MaeZe
07-31-2019, 10:25 PM
U.S. here, lift as in elevator is much more familiar to me than Lyft the taxi because I never use Lyft.

Diana Hignutt
07-31-2019, 10:56 PM
As in: "I got a lift to my flat in a lorry"? Sure.

amergina
07-31-2019, 11:20 PM
Yeah, people do use lift and ride pretty interchangeably, at least in my area of the US for that context. "Hey, do you need a lift home from the party?" "Na, Steve's giving me a ride."

aspirit
07-31-2019, 11:38 PM
I wonder if the Americans saying "ride" and "lift" are interchangeable meant to imply both words are used for travel in the same way. I've been to every region of the United States and have lived in three; to my memory, no one's said "My lift is gone" when they were talking about a promised ride in a vehicle. How often does that happen in the U.S.?

I think we can clarify that for lookie-loos writing characters who'd realistically say "ride".

frimble3
08-01-2019, 12:55 AM
I am Canadian, lift and ride are pretty much interchangeable as a way of giving someone a way home.
However, if I were reading an English book, about English people in England, I might be confused, suspecting a cunning British trick. "Aha! They say 'lift' but do they mean 'elevator'?" Any sort of context should clear that up, though.
A character calling from outside the building probably wants a ride, a character calling from inside the lobby probably wants an elevator.

Bolero
08-01-2019, 06:19 PM
Thanks folks. I've never even heard of lyft.... :) Presumably spelled that way so it could be TM'd......

Yeah, the character is a Brit in Britland - knocking on the door of the hacked-off host's house wanting somewhere warm and a phone (because his girlfriend left without him) and not getting it. (There's a pub down the road, go use their phone. SLAM!) A surprise party that went badly.

Yes did want response from anybody non-UK, thanks.