Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Isn't a tux a white version of a dinner jacket (DJ)? So it is worn with a bow tie, black or coloured and cummerbund often matching the bow tie. It ends at the waist. It definitely doesn't have tails. To me, a dress shirt tends to mean the sort of shirt one wears with a dinner jacket. It often has frills down the front, and sometimes studs in stead of buttons. Usually one would wear a turn down collar with a dinner jacket and a wing collar with white tie and tails.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    In British English a suit that one might wear with shirt and tie in the office is usually a ‘lounge suit’. When I dressed this way on a regular basis for work button-down collars were extremely rare (and probably deprecated).

    ‘Dinner suit’, or often just ‘dinner jacket’ I’d take it to mean a black suit with satin detail on lapels and trouser seams. It is worn with a ‘dress shirt’ and a bow tie. Dress shirts might be worn with studs or concealed buttons and often a pleated front. Collar can be wing collar or the more normal turn down collar. The bow tie would normally be black, but sometimes coloured.

    The next step up is “white tie” which may also be referred to as “full evening dress”, “tails” or “dress suit”. For this a white bow tie is the rule. The waistcoat must be white and an evening tailcoat is required. The shirt should definitely be fastened with studs and have a wing collar.
  • I'd define a dress shirt as one with a wing collar, fastened with studs, to be worn in the evening with a white tie and tails.

    That defines a tux. Which no one wears. A dress shirt is button up as indicated which could be worn with a necktie. Some collars are also button down (buttons on the tips). I haven't seen cufflinks for 40 years.
    Some men here wear wear dress shirts with French cuffs requiring cuff links, even when not dressed in formal wear (tux, dinner jacket or tails). Definitely a minority, and often older men. I wouldn't dream of doing it.

    Dinner suit? Probably that means a business suit. But usually just "suit" which means the jacket and pants match (they are pants, what's under them are underwear, or locally here in Sask "gotch"). A sports jacket is an unmatched colour but the same thing.
    Yes, that's the usage in the States, at least in my experience—just "suit," or maybe "business suit."

  • edited November 20
    @BroJames I have a number of button down collar shirts. Wear them frequently.

    The step-up levels of dress. These are non-existent here.

    No-one wears a bowtie here. It would be highly unusual.

    It seems we're finding differences in language and dress. I hope none of you wears a speedo on a beach.
  • I'd define a dress shirt as one with a wing collar, fastened with studs, to be worn in the evening with a white tie and tails.
    That defines a tux. Which no one wears. A dress shirt is button up as indicated which could be worn with a necktie. Some collars are also button down (buttons on the tips). I haven't seen cufflinks for 40 years.
    Not so. The shirt to go with Black tie (see below) has a normal (down) collar and has a number of very thin vertical pleats on the front between the fastening placket and (roughly) nipple level. Always worn with a black silk bow tie (never coloured) which one ties oneself (ready-made is a definite no-no); a black cummerbund is optional but only if not wearing a waistcoat.

    A tuxedo is the US term for what we would call Black Tie (some refer to it as dinner suit or dinner jacket) which is black, shaped like a normal jacket but with satin lapels and the matching trousers having a satin stripe down the sides. - as used to be de rigeur for men attending the Oscars.
    Dinner suit? Probably that means a business suit. But usually just "suit" which means the jacket and pants match (they are pants, what's under them are underwear, or locally here in Sask "gotch").
    We would just say "suit": two piece or three piece depending on choice. - oh, and never "pants" but trousers, pants are underclothes.
    A sports jacket is an unmatched colour but the same thing. I have a nice bright lemon yellow one which my wife doesn't like; I think it is cheerful.

    A sports jacket here would be in tweed and usually worn in the country, occasionally in town with cavalry twill trousers on the bottom and usually a checked shirt.
  • I hope none of you wears a speedo on a beach.

    Speedos! Never. A gentleman wears swimming shorts.

  • BroJames wrote: »
    ‘Dinner suit’, or often just ‘dinner jacket’ I’d take it to mean a black suit with satin detail on lapels and trouser seams.
    ”Dinner jacket” here would normally mean a white jacket. A black jacket (and pants) is a tux. (I hardly ever hear “tuxedo” anymore.)

    No-one wears a bowtie here. It would be highly unusual.
    Bow ties are very common in the American South, at least among some groups, and not just with formal wear. I wear them more often than I wear neckties. A navy blazer, khaki pants, white (or light blue) button-down shirt and bow tie have long been the default dress clothes for lots of college boys around here.

  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    I once knew a young British man who said that he had caused great humor by going into his college dorm lounge in the US and asking loudly if anyone had a rubber.

    (for those who don't know, USA rubber = condom. British rubber = USA pencil eraser)

    Similarly, an Australian recently arrived in Aberdeen (long ago) asked if anyone in the lab office had any Durex (= Sellotape).

    What does Durex mean to a Brit?

  • Speaking of gotch (underwear), perhaps it isn't cold enough to wear longjohns in most places? long underwear is another term. The ones not worn under pants are tights, sometimes with shorts worn over them, shudder. Which means, shudder, "ath-leisure wear".

    I've heard "longjohns" and "long underwear" here in Michigan.

    But in Michigan, we also call a long doughnut with icing on top (usually chocolate, but maple if you're lucky) and filling (creme or custard) inside a "long john." Out in California, they called it a "bar." If it had chocolate icing, it was a "chocolate bar," even though the doughnut itself was not chocolate. And it had no filling. I found that hard to comprehend.
  • churchgeek wrote: »
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    I once knew a young British man who said that he had caused great humor by going into his college dorm lounge in the US and asking loudly if anyone had a rubber.

    (for those who don't know, USA rubber = condom. British rubber = USA pencil eraser)

    Similarly, an Australian recently arrived in Aberdeen (long ago) asked if anyone in the lab office had any Durex (= Sellotape).

    What does Durex mean to a Brit?
    I’m guessing the same thing it does in the US, though “Trojans” might be better known.

    Sellotape is a new one to me though.
  • Durex in UK means condoms, probably the same as USA
  • edited November 20
    Cellotape is an older term for what was more commonly called scotch tape here in Sask, which is from a brand name, kind of like hoover for a vacuum cleaner or thermos for a bottle which keeps tea or coffee warm.

    Swimming trunks for men, swimming suit for women. Skinny dipping if you don't wear one.

    I have a large collection of toques, some from here: link to a shopping page of toques. A beanie (which I understand is used some places) is exactly like a zuchetto. Notwithstanding that the first link uses "beanie" in some of the descriptions, no doubt foreign influence.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    To me, a dress shirt tends to mean the sort of shirt one wears with a dinner jacket. It often has frills down the front, and sometimes studs in stead of buttons.
    A dress shirt with frills down the front must be a survivor from the nineteen-seventies - or eighties, at a pinch.
  • Durex in UK means condoms, probably the same as USA

    Never heard of it.
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    No-one wears a bowtie here. It would be highly unusual.
    Bow ties are very common in the American South, at least among some groups, and not just with formal wear. I wear them more often than I wear neckties. A navy blazer, khaki pants, white (or light blue) button-down shirt and bow tie have long been the default dress clothes for lots of college boys around here.

    I have seen them worn by high school teachers here. Presumably on the principle of "I don't have to impress anybody, so I can wear whatever the fuck I want, and the kids haven't learned that bit of snobbery cultural norms yet."
  • Swimming trunks for men, swimming suit for women.
    Swimming suits, swim suits or, perhaps more often, bathing suits for men and women here.

    mousethief wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Bow ties are very common in the American South, at least among some groups, and not just with formal wear. I wear them more often than I wear neckties. A navy blazer, khaki pants, white (or light blue) button-down shirt and bow tie have long been the default dress clothes for lots of college boys around here.
    I have seen them worn by high school teachers here. Presumably on the principle of "I don't have to impress anybody, so I can wear whatever the fuck I want, and the kids haven't learned that bit of snobbery cultural norms yet."
    Are bow ties considered snobbish in the PNW?

  • Nick Tamen, what are French Cuffs?
  • Nick Tamen, what are French Cuffs?
    Cuffs that are twice the length of normal cuffs, with four holes for cuff links instead of two. They're folded back and then closed with cuff links.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    In UK parlance, sometimes called double cuffs.
  • Ah yes, I know them, but I've never heard that term.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    'Longjohns' or 'combinations' are often called 'thermals' here these days. It makes them sound more modern. Also, thermals cling better, have more give in them, are usually a dark colour and look more stylish (I hesitate to say in this context 'cool') than the old fashioned longjohns.

    Bow ties for day wear are a bit unusual here these days and would look to me a bit of an affectation, the sort of thing only a young fogey would wear. 50+ years ago, they were almost an occupational badge for architects.

    Durex means condom because it's the name of a brand.

    Sellotape is also a brand name but it is also the normal generic word for the ordinary sticky tape. There isn't really any other word that means that here. 'Masking tape' is a less adhesive sort. 'Insulation tape', 'parcel tape' and 'gaffer tape' are all stronger varieties designed for specific uses. 'Duck tape' is a brand name.
  • My medical friends tell me that gynaecologists were always advised to wear bow ties.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    A doctor of my acquaintance always used to have his tie tucked in between the buttons of his shirt. Now I know why ...

    Re: gentlemen's formal attire, D. at one point acquired* what I'd call a penguin suit - a tail-coat with a short front and trousers with a double satin strip on the outside leg. He wore it for certain concerts (usually the more frivolous sort) with a dress shirt (double cuffs with cufflinks), a red bow-tie** with musical notes on it and a red cummerbund.

    I have to say, he looked rather well in it. :)

    * His father was an auctioneer, and it turned up in the sale-room

    ** ready-tied, pace @TheOrganist
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Re: gentlemen's formal attire, D. at one point acquired* what I'd call a penguin suit - a tail-coat with a short front and trousers with a double satin strip on the outside leg. He wore it for certain concerts (usually the more frivolous sort) with a dress shirt (double cuffs with cufflinks), a red bow-tie** with musical notes on it and a red cummerbund.

    I have to say, he looked rather well in it. :)

    ** ready-tied, pace @TheOrganist

    In some parts of Scotland that would be known as a claw hammer suit, and I have a rather tedious story of one I borrowed for a daughter's wedding.
  • then when you get on to Scottish "formal" attire, including a kilt, you get into a whole nother mess of Jacket styles, whether or not a belt is worn, or a waistcoat, and what type of tie and... and.....

    I have a normal length black woolen jacket, with epaulets and shiny buttons including on the shoulders and the cuffs. No Waistcoat underneath. Dress shirt is white, with 4 or 5 plain pleats down the middle, buttons hidden. Black bow tie.
    like this

    the shorter jacket, which has a tail and usually worn with a waistcoat underneath can be seen here:

    I also have a normal length tweed/wool jacket of a greeny/bluey colour. Horn coloured buttons. worn with a waistcoat of matching colour. Apparently i "shouldn't" wear a belt underneath but do so to help the kilt stay up. Worn with a "normal" white shirt, and a long tie of a matching colour (though some will deliberately contrast, or have a tie of matching tartan to the kilt)
    like this
  • Wet Kipper wrote: »
    then when you get on to Scottish "formal" attire, including a kilt...
    But you know that the question everyone wants to ask isn't what you wear above kilts, but what you wear underneath.
    :wink:

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited November 21
    Kilt hose, a sgian dubh* and ghillie brogues. :mrgreen:
    (*autocorrect gave me a very hard time over the Gaelic.)
  • I had an elderly Scottish lecturer at theological college. When asked if anything was worn under the kilt, he would reply, "Och no, it's all in perfect working order!".
  • I once took a wedding with a far-too-young flower girl (about 2). During the ceremony she suddenly ducked under the best man’s kilt and emerged to say, quietly and wonderingly, “That man’s not wearing any pants.” Collapse of wedding party!
  • I've seen a hilarious wedding photo where a bloke in a kilt is kneeling in the front row unaware that the garment has ridden up to reveal ...
  • I have lowered the tone.

    I've not been back in this thread for a while and apologise unreservedly for my earlier scatological comments and stress that I am a Francophile and not a Francophobe.

    I wasn't agreeing with the 'rumours' but can see how my comments were out of order.

    I apologise.
  • edited November 21
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    then when you get on to Scottish "formal" attire, including a kilt, you get into a whole nother mess of Jacket styles, whether or not a belt is worn, or a waistcoat, and what type of tie and... and.....
    Scottish formal attire is extremely common in Saskatchewan, though it is part of performance art. They must play bagpipes at every curling event, Legion, many funerals, many public events. Well loved by the large Ukrainian and German descended population.
  • The worst wedding story I ever heard involved a bride marrying a Scot. The groom, best man and ushers all wore kilts as a result. It was a lovely sunny day, so the photographer could take lots of extra pictures, including one of the bride sitting on the grass, with groom and best man on her dress. The latter was dressed correctly - and left a skid mark on the dress when he stood up....

    20 years later she still wasn't talking to him.
  • Enoch wrote: »
    Sellotape is also a brand name but it is also the normal generic word for the ordinary sticky tape. There isn't really any other word that means that here.

    IIRC, Blue Peter used to call it "sticky tape" because the beeb couldn't be seen to endorse a particular brand, even if it had become generic. I don't think they'd ever talk about doing the hoovering either.

    I wonder if no prophet would distinguish between a sports jacket and a blazer - his description seems to be more like a blazer to me.

    The dress shirt worn with white tie (wing collar, stiff front, single cuff) isn't the same as the dress shirt usually worn with black tie (turndown collar more common than wing collar, soft pleated front, French cuffs).

    The kind of shirt worn with a tie and a lounge suit or blazer is called a "shirt". Most have button cuffs, although single or double cuffs that close with cufflinks are possible.


  • Re kilts:

    "The Scotsman" is a song that may provide answers... (Lyrics Mania).

    ;)

    BTW, that's just the lyrics. There are recordings online.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Wet Kipper wrote: »
    ... Dress shirt is white, with 4 or 5 plain pleats down the middle, buttons hidden. Black bow tie.
    like this ...
    And don't you look well in it! :)

    D. reckoned that at some of our family weddings he felt as if he was the only bloke in trousers ...

    I'm reminded of a conversation with a gentleman in a kilt, on a rather blustery day in Orkney.* He said, "I don’t know where that wind's coming from, but I know where it's going".

    * not exactly a rare occurrence :mrgreen:
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    What is a "dress shirt" in America? Just a shirt with buttons, or something more?
    It is a shirt that can be worn with a tie. That means, properly, that it has long sleeves.

    Mind you, in the U.S. there are garments marketed as "short-sleeved dress shirts" (Male Mormon missionaries are apparently under strict orders to wear them, always with a dark tie), but that just demonstrates the ignorance of the buyer and seller. It is totally déclassé to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. If it's hot, sleeves can always be rolled up.
    My medical friends tell me that gynaecologists were always advised to wear bow ties.
    Mine doesn't. It's just not her style.


  • @Rossweisse : "It is totally déclassé to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt."

    I don't think that's the case on this side of the Pond, but I'm not the most fashion conscious person in the world. Can someone with a sense of style comment about the UK?
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    What is a "dress shirt" in America? Just a shirt with buttons, or something more?
    Mind you, in the U.S. there are garments marketed as "short-sleeved dress shirts" (Male Mormon missionaries are apparently under strict orders to wear them, always with a dark tie), but that just demonstrates the ignorance of the buyer and seller. It is totally déclassé to wear a tie with a short-sleeved shirt. If it's hot, sleeves can always be rolled up.
    So-called “short-sleeved dress shirts,” surely an abomination unto the Lord, were common summer work attire for men in the American South when I was growing up. I rarely see them anymore, except when worn by the aforementioned Mormon missionaries.

  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited November 23
    Short-sleeved shirt with a tie - never.

    But then a chap doesn't possess a short-sleeved shirt: when its warm you wear a normal casual shirt with the sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, no tie and the top button undone.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Short-sleeved shirt with a tie - never.

    But then a chap doesn't possess a short-sleeved shirt: when its warm you wear a normal casual shirt with the sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, no tie and the top button undone.

    Or you just ignore these arbitrary rules and where whatever you bloody want.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    For transatlantic shipmates, @TheOrganist may be misleading you. You can buy the distasteful things here. It's that he doesn't buy them and doesn't wear them. Nor do I.
  • In the summer I wear short sleeved clerical shirts with a dog collar. They're black and I'm hot. In Australia I think I remember many men wearing such shirts with ties. It's very hot there.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited November 23
    But then a chap doesn't possess a short-sleeved shirt: when its warm you wear a normal casual shirt with the sleeves rolled to just below the elbow, no tie and the top button undone.
    Not if you live where summer temperatures regularly hit 90°F (with heat indices of maybe 120°), and not unless you want to be thought of as a very odd and somewhat eccentric chap. Yes, people would notice and think it odd. Short sleeve shirts are de rigueur for summer casual attire here.

    I am reminded of the prominent local lawyer who never wore a short-sleeved shirt and dressed as you describe with sleeves rolled up. He did this because he didn’t want people to see the tattoo he got while in the navy and later regretted. People didn’t see the tattoo, but they regularly wondered why in the world he had a long-sleeves shirt on.


  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Casual shirts don't take ties by definition. If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited November 23
    KarlLB wrote: »
    If you're wearing a tie, you're in formal wear.
    What about business attire, or what some here would call “coat-and-tie,” and others would call “Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes”?

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    With all the warnings these days about skin cancer, isn't wearing short sleeved shirts unwise?
  • Here in Britain, we invited some elderly friends to an evening meal on a hot (for England) day. The husband arrived wearing jacket and tie. I was wearinga short-sleeved shirt, no jacket or tie. His opening words were, 'I didn't realise it was going to be tropical kit.'
  • Enoch wrote: »
    With all the warnings these days about skin cancer, isn't wearing short sleeved shirts unwise?
    That’s what sun screen is for.

    I mean, I have fair, freckled skin that burns easily, so I’m pretty aware of the risks, and I’m generally aware and careful. But when it’s really hot . . . .
  • Enoch wrote: »
    For transatlantic shipmates, @TheOrganist may be misleading you. You can buy the distasteful things here. It's that he doesn't buy them and doesn't wear them. Nor do I.

    Precisely. If I do wear a short-sleeved garment it is a polo shirt.
  • Back to the words... Reading Pete Buttigieg's autobiography last night I was reminded of another good one. The despised person known in the UK as a 'ticket tout' is called a 'scalper' in the USA. There are various possible explanations that may not all be safe to explore here.
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