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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 11:53 am Reply with quote
Idioglossic
 
Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 1
Location: British Virgin Islands


Wow... I have lived in the British Virgin Islands since 1969 and never knew this!!

Lorry for truck was hard for my son to figure out in school as a 5 year old.. that visited the US several times a year...

fag for cigarette was shocking to me...

knickers in a twist.... was fun to "get"

"for true?" was common here in the 1960's and has since died off..

vehicle for car or truck or suv

fish and chips equals fried fish and fried potatoes on newspaper!!!

Cheers is good bye, not a bar..

Good night is good evening...

Bangers and mash..... ok never order this....



bruski89 wrote:
Quote:
bruski89 wrote:
I remember my first month of college in the US having a heart to heart with a female friend. She confessed to me that when she was younger and she did something wrong her dad would smack her on the fanny. I was utterly outraged and I told her that it was sexual abuse. She assured me that it was no such a thing and that her father would also smack her sisters on the fanny. I tried to reason with her that, while it was maybe normal in her family, it was not a common occurrence. It ended up being to no avail as she brushed it off like it was nothing leaving me very frustrated and more than a little disturbed.

Quote:
About a month later I found out that the word fanny means backside in US English rather than vagina, which it means in Irish (and British) English.

Whoops!

This may be one of the most egregious examples of two countries being divided by a common language. In American usage, "fanny" is a rather innocuous term, not much ruder than "backside" or "hind end" (as we might say in the southern Appalachian mountains).

In British English, of course, it is either slang or a euphemism (which is it, O British cousins?) for a vagina.

I wonder what your reaction might have been if she had told you her father used to slap her brothers on the fanny? That would be a perfectly reasonable usage in America, but it must sound awfully strange to British speakers.

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In British English I would say that the word falls closer to being a slang word rather than a euphemism. It was probably the first word I learned in the schoolyard for this part of the female anatomy. In a more formal setting it would be considered vulgar and it's definitely more offensive than the American sense of the word. However, I can think of many words that would be considered more offensive.

I've always felt that the American word "fanny pack" sounds like a kit that a gynecologist might carry around with them. In Ireland we call it a bum bag.

As far as a guy being slapped on the fanny it would just sound ridiculous and not make a whole lot of sense to us.

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Re: An anecdote
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:36 am Reply with quote
Eileen Ann
 
Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 42


bruski89 wrote:
I remember my first month of college in the US having a heart to heart with a female friend. She confessed to me that when she was younger and she did something wrong her dad would smack her on the fanny. I was utterly outraged and I told her that it was sexual abuse. She assured me that it was no such a thing and that her father would also smack her sisters on the fanny. I tried to reason with her that, while it was maybe normal in her family, it was not a common occurrence. It ended up being to no avail as she brushed it off like it was nothing leaving me very frustrated and more than a little disturbed.

About a month later I found out that the word fanny means backside in US English rather than vagina, which it means in Irish (and British) English.



http://homepage.mac.com/ciaranbrewster/


Oh dear, this is funny! I am a Brit, English and grown up in England. Fanny most definitely is the slang word for 'vagina'. I have never, ever heard its use as another word for 'bottom' or 'backside'. There is an old English saying along the lines of "..and if your Aunt Fanny had a willie she'd be called Uncle Bob!", this in response to the constant "If this, that or the other syndromes. Like: if only I had this, if only it wasn't raining, if only I could buy that dress. . .etc."

As children the fanny was not considered proper use; it used to be referred to as "pom-pom" in some households (a bit quaint) and for the boys "willie".

And yet, certainly in Victorian times and before the Christian name of "Fanny" was given to many women. Notably not those in the upper classes mind, who got names like Sophie and Victoria. . . lots of class distinction in Christian names in times of yore. . ..
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:41 am Reply with quote
Eileen Ann
 
Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 42


Idioglossic wrote:
Wow... I have lived in the British Virgin Islands since 1969 and never knew this!!

Lorry for truck was hard for my son to figure out in school as a 5 year old.. that visited the US several times a year...

fag for cigarette was shocking to me...

knickers in a twist.... was fun to "get"

"for true?" was common here in the 1960's and has since died off..

vehicle for car or truck or suv

fish and chips equals fried fish and fried potatoes on newspaper!!!

Cheers is good bye, not a bar..

Good night is good evening...

Bangers and mash..... ok never order this....



bruski89 wrote:
Quote:
bruski89 wrote:
I remember my first month of college in the US having a heart to heart with a female friend. She confessed to me that when she was younger and she did something wrong her dad would smack her on the fanny. I was utterly outraged and I told her that it was sexual abuse. She assured me that it was no such a thing and that her father would also smack her sisters on the fanny. I tried to reason with her that, while it was maybe normal in her family, it was not a common occurrence. It ended up being to no avail as she brushed it off like it was nothing leaving me very frustrated and more than a little disturbed.

Quote:
About a month later I found out that the word fanny means backside in US English rather than vagina, which it means in Irish (and British) English.

Whoops!

This may be one of the most egregious examples of two countries being divided by a common language. In American usage, "fanny" is a rather innocuous term, not much ruder than "backside" or "hind end" (as we might say in the southern Appalachian mountains).

In British English, of course, it is either slang or a euphemism (which is it, O British cousins?) for a vagina.

I wonder what your reaction might have been if she had told you her father used to slap her brothers on the fanny? That would be a perfectly reasonable usage in America, but it must sound awfully strange to British speakers.

_________________
The Word Nerds, a podcast about language
http://thewordnerds.org
Dave's Midlife Blog



http://davesmidlife.com



In British English I would say that the word falls closer to being a slang word rather than a euphemism. It was probably the first word I learned in the schoolyard for this part of the female anatomy. In a more formal setting it would be considered vulgar and it's definitely more offensive than the American sense of the word. However, I can think of many words that would be considered more offensive.

I've always felt that the American word "fanny pack" sounds like a kit that a gynecologist might carry around with them. In Ireland we call it a bum bag.

As far as a guy being slapped on the fanny it would just sound ridiculous and not make a whole lot of sense to us.

_________________
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Hello, I thought always that "cheers" was used to clink glasses and drink together and "cheerio" was the goodbye salutation. Having said that, my Dad used to sign some of his letters: "Cheers, Charles". Occasionally I still use "cheerio" when in the Uk but often I realise that is really is no longer common as I am met with blank stares by younger people.
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Re: Nouns and Articles
PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:48 am Reply with quote
Eileen Ann
 
Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 42


Dennis wrote:
I always take notice when Brits use the phrase: "I'm going to hospital" rather than "I'm going to the hospital". I suppose most Americans think of hospital as a noun, which deserves the artiticle "the". Brits must treat hospital as a verb (e.g. rehabilitation). The same can be said for "university".


As I understand and use or not use the definite article "the" is like this:

I am going to hospital. This means I have a need to go to a hospital - which particular one is not yet known.
I am going to the hospital. This means that I am going to the specific hospital which is known to myself and the speaker and would be in response to the question: "where are you going today?". I would definitely not be an in-patient, I could be an out-patient and I might just be a visitor.

Consider this too:

"When are you going into hospital?" means that it is known that you are booked to go in and the speaker might know or not know the specific hospital, but the term "going into hospital" is sufficient and means that you will be a patient inside it, not a visitor or an out-patient.

Similar to "I am going in to work tomorrow" which means that you might not be going to actually do your work there, you might just be popping in to drop something off. Or it can mean that you have had some time off from work and you are now returning. This, as opposed to saying just "I am going to work tomorrow" as a normal, habitual event.
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Stephen Fry's English Delights
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:51 pm Reply with quote
Enkerli
 
Joined: 25 Jul 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Montreal


I hope you all know about Stephen Fry's English Delights series on the BBC. The latest episode of the programme devotes considerable attention to distinctions between British and United States English. Not to mention fascinating discussions of accent, voice, and elocution.
It's only available for a few days, as the Beeb has this annoying tendency to take content offline as quickly as possible to make sure it cannot have the impact we would want it to have. Terrible for teachers.
Ah, well...

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British v American English
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