Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • I find the whole vest and pants for jacket and trousers thing disconcerting when I am reading fiction. Author is going for, dressed in a suit, and I’m getting, is wandering around in their underwear.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Originally it was a theatre. The operation could be watched for either education, or, I suppose, entertainment.

    Interesting answer - thanks. (These days there's sometimes a video camera that perhaps serves the same purpose).
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited August 19
    I find the whole vest and pants for jacket and trousers thing disconcerting when I am reading fiction. Author is going for, dressed in a suit, and I’m getting, is wandering around in their underwear.

    A vest is a waistcoat, not a jacket. A "sweater vest" is a sleeveless pullover.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 19
    I think my point stands, not helped by suspenders/braces confusion.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    What I would call a vest is, apparently a tank top. Which is the knitted thing you wore with your flares (and that shirt with the long collar) in the 70s.

    And reference to men wearing suspenders brings quite the wrong pictures to mind. Though I suppose Americans are wondering why we are keeping our trousers up with dental orthodontics.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Here is a (British) vest, pants, and suspenders. So you can see why the thought of an American in his vest, pants and suspenders would be totally risible to a Brit.
  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    In Australia caravan can be a group of vehicles, but is most usually a type of mobile living space. My great grandad lived in a caravan out the back of my grandparents' house. We call a caravan park what you would call a trailer park, I think.
  • Athrawes wrote: »
    In Australia caravan can be a group of vehicles, but is most usually a type of mobile living space. My great grandad lived in a caravan out the back of my grandparents' house. We call a caravan park what you would call a trailer park, I think.
    Maybe a “trailer park,” but maybe not. In U.S. usage, a trailer park is typically a place for so-called “mobile homes.” The Wiki tells me that these might also be called “static caravans” or “residential caravans.”

    But if we’re talking about a truly mobile living space, that’s an “RV” (“recreational vehicle”) if drivable, and a “camper” if pulled by another vehicle. The “caravan park” would be an “RV park.”
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    edited August 20
    A "camper" can also be a sort of metal cabin that fits into the bed of a pick-up truck. Like this one (Northstar Campers).
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Here is a (British) vest, pants, and suspenders. So you can see why the thought of an American in his vest, pants and suspenders would be totally risible to a Brit.

    Here, I think those suspenders for socks would be "garters".
  • carexcarex Shipmate
    jedijudy wrote: »
    I noticed that on my trip to Oregon this summer. The fields of what was recognizably wheat were only about knee high...


    That's due to a different sort of cultural difference than we have been talking about on this thread. More of a cultivational difference, perhaps. Most of the wheat in eastern Oregon is hard "winter wheat", planted in the fall and left over winter to catch the rain, then harvested as it ripens in our dry summers. And much of that area has relatively poor volcanic soils. That gives it rather different characteristics compared to wheat planted in the spring (generally a "softer" wheat).

  • Enoch wrote: »
    1. In England, the English word corn = wheat.
    2. In parts of Northern Scotland, the English word corn = oats.
    3. That's because for climatic reasons in the one, the 'standard' staple grain crop grown is wheat and in the other it is oats.
    4. That indicates that by usage what 'corn' means is not a species of grain but whichever grain crop, the grain staple, happens to be most grown where the speaker is.

    I don't know how else to put this: YES, I KNOW.
    In linguistic terms, if in parts of North America 'corn' just means maize, then it is those parts that are the outliers. One would expect 'corn' to mean maize in areas where that is the staple crop and wheat where the staple crop is wheat.

    In all of North America, corn means maize. Period.
  • I understood caravan to have two meanings: the first, and original, was a group of pack animals and attendant people travelling over a distance; the second was the lightweight trailer towed behind a car, ingeniously fitted out with sleeping accommodation, a table for meals and food preparation area.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    In Britain, a 'camper', when not a person pending their holiday/vacation in a tent, is a medium-sized vehicle with living accommodation built in, not a separate towed unit, which is a caravan.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Golden Key wrote: »

    Here, I think those suspenders for socks would be "garters".

    Ah, garters. Which of us who remember the seasonal alternation of short and long socks can forget the imprint just below the knee of the elastic that held up the latter?

    Or the fun, if you were a gurl, of graduating to garter belts to hold up the 60 denier school stockings. And how, if one of the buttons came off, you could improvise with a Polo mint. Or a sixpence, in emergencies (though difficult if you needed it for your bus fare).

  • Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, garters. Which of us who remember the seasonal alternation of short and long socks can forget the imprint just below the knee of the elastic that held up the latter?
    I do, for one. Of course, we wore short trousers at school too, up to the age of 11 or 12.

  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    carex wrote: »
    Most of the wheat in eastern Oregon is hard "winter wheat", planted in the fall and left over winter to catch the rain, then harvested as it ripens in our dry summers.

    Thanks @carex ! I remember studying winter wheat in school, but hadn't had any cause to remember that after that! It's fascinating how farmers figure out how to work within an ecosystem!!
  • White Lily Flour—a staple of many (American) Southern kitchens that many Southern cooks insist on for biscuits (in both the British and the American sense), cakes, pie crusts and other baked goods—is made from red winter wheat.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    In Britain, a 'camper', when not a person pending their holiday/vacation in a tent, is a medium-sized vehicle with living accommodation built in, not a separate towed unit, which is a caravan.

    Same in the US. I have a camper van. Van that has a bed and such inside for camping.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 20
    Eirenist wrote: »
    In Britain, a 'camper', when not a person pending their holiday/vacation in a tent, is a medium-sized vehicle with living accommodation built in, not a separate towed unit, which is a caravan.

    Same in the US. I have a camper van. Van that has a bed and such inside for camping.
    Maybe it's regional in the US? In these parts, a camper typically refers to a separate towed unit. It it can be driven, it's an RV.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I think a 'camper' is originally a shortened form of 'camper-van'. In the past they were quite often known as Dormobiles which was the trade name of various conversions of Bedford vans, even if the vehicle was not a Bedford.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Back in the 70s we had a trailer tent with ‘Campervan’ as its brand name.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    So did we. It was brilliant and extended to three times the length of the trailer! The "kitchen" swung out and there was a built in table and benches which became a sleeping area. There was a floored extension which pulled out from under the base of the trailer and the actual tent extended beyond that again. I think when erected it was about 17 feet long.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Yup. It was great, but could be a bit tricky to erect on uneven ground - like an unevenly pulled out drawer in a chest of drawers. It could sleep six with plenty of room, and also other stuff (bikes etc.) could be piled onto the trailer.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, garters. Which of us who remember the seasonal alternation of short and long socks can forget the imprint just below the knee of the elastic that held up the latter?
    I do, for one. Of course, we wore short trousers at school too, up to the age of 11 or 12.

    Likewise anyone who does not own a suit, but who wears a kilt when the need to dress up arises.
  • AnnAnn Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    And how, if one of the buttons came off, you could improvise with a Polo mint. Or a sixpence, in emergencies (though difficult if you needed it for your bus fare).

    Ah - held up by the mint imperial or the imperial mint.

    And I am of an age to remember Threadgold's Thoroughgrip Garterettes.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Mint Imperials 6d a Quarter. They were the top end of the cheaper sweets, which tended to be tooth-loosening chunks of hardened sugar. Rhubarb Rock was in there, and Conversation Lozenges and Brandy Balls. 8/9d got you Buttermint and Toffee Brazils and the lime-flavoured ones with the chocolate centres. Above that you were into posh sweets with individual wrappers.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, garters. Which of us who remember the seasonal alternation of short and long socks can forget the imprint just below the knee of the elastic that held up the latter?
    I do, for one. Of course, we wore short trousers at school too, up to the age of 11 or 12.

    Shorts and long socks held up by garters are still part of summer rig for all ages in hotter regions of Australia.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    Back in the 70s we had a trailer tent with ‘Campervan’ as its brand name.
    Some Australian definitions:
    Camper - small to medium trailer often with a self-contained tent which folds out as described by Cathscats
    Campervan - self-contained vehicle with sleeping and cooking facilities [and sometimes washing and toilet space] - see also American RV. Large vehicles of this type, often converted from buses, are referred to as RVs.
    Caravan - towed medium to large trailer with sleeping, cooking, dining and often shower and toilet facilities. Popular with the considerable "grey nomad" population who often sell their homes and tour our enormous country.
    Fifth wheeler - large to very large trailers attached to a ute or pickup by a turntable hitch, with interior facilities like a caravan but more spacious and luxurious fit out.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, garters. Which of us who remember the seasonal alternation of short and long socks can forget the imprint just below the knee of the elastic that held up the latter?
    I do, for one. Of course, we wore short trousers at school too, up to the age of 11 or 12.

    Shorts and long socks held up by garters are still part of summer rig for all ages in hotter regions of Australia.

    Save that in the school Dlet and I went to, in final year trousers all year round, a great concession to our maturity!
  • "Camper" in California where i grew up simply referred to a thingy on wheels you could camp in. Ours was permanently installed atop a pickup truck body, so formed a single unit and was self propelled.
  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    I live in one of the hotter regions of Australia, and can honestly say I haven't seen the shorts and long socks combo since the 70's. Shorts, yes, but short socks and RM's ( elastic sided work boots), or long pants and shoes/socks. Thongs (flip flops) appear more in summer.
  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    Oh, and prickle guards - not sure of their proper name. Little cotton garter things to protect your socks so they don't end up with prickles and burrs in them. Worn by stockmen and other farm workers.
  • Western Canada:
    Camper is a thing on the back of a pick-up truck. Overhang in front is over the truck cab.
    Trailer is towed by a car or truck.
    5th Wheel has a hitch pivot installed in the back of a truck.
    Tent Trailer is a pop-up and fold out trailer with the pop-up and out walls made of tent material.
    Motorhome or RV is a self propelled bus like camper (recreational vehicle).

    Camping means a place in a wilderness or wilderness like setting where you may light an open fire and cook over it.
    A trailer park is sort off pretend camping with trailers and other such.
    Trailer parks to live in as permanent dwellings exist but are rare. Mobile home park. There's not enough insulation in them for a cold climate. These trailers are called mobile homes and may be double wides.
    A camp is an organized setting on a lake where they offer programs for children mostly but there are family and adult camps frequently.


  • @NOprophet_NØprofit - that's what camper means here also.
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    [quote="mousethief;c-180655"
    In all of North America, corn means maize. Period.
    [/quote]

    Which of course mean a full stop in English. In English a period is something else and there is a wealth of euphemisms for it.


  • That's one of the meanings here, too, and many euphemisms. ;)

    "Full stop" for the punctuation mark always sounds strange to me. However, telegrams used the word "stop" in place of a period.
  • Full stop just makes sense to me. It’s like “that’s that & we’re done with it;” whereas period connotes a pause and we have commas, hyphens, ellipses, semi-colons etc. for that.
    But my grammar ain’t great. I’m endeavouring to improve it since I’m meant to be teaching literacy!
    You are very welcome to slate my grammar at any time!
  • Athrawes wrote: »
    Oh, and prickle guards - not sure of their proper name. Little cotton garter things to protect your socks so they don't end up with prickles and burrs in them. Worn by stockmen and other farm workers.

    Do you mean this sort of thing? Called gaiters in the UK. If the shorter variety that doesn't fasten under the shoe then they're properly called puttees.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    These also are gaiters. Puttees are generally, I think, strips of cloth wound round the leg.
  • Modern gaiters. I wear them when riding bicycle in the winter. Protects pants, which are not trousers because no-one says trousers. The good ones are Goretextm = waterproof breathable.

    Apparently some people call a neck tube a gaiter.

    The wool hat on top of your head, also in winter is a toque, spelled this way: the internet lieth.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Here a toque is a style of ruched pillbox hat, frequently with a hussar plume or ostrich feather, much favoured by the late Queen Mary.

    You would look splendid riding a bicycle in one.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Here a toque is a style of ruched pillbox hat, frequently with a hussar plume or ostrich feather, much favoured by the late Queen Mary.

    You would look splendid riding a bicycle in one.

    I would pay good money to see that!
  • One of my grandmothers favoured a toque - but then she continued to dress in the style of George V's consort into the late 1960s :grin:
  • A "full stop" is what the police always accuse you of NOT doing as they write you a ticket for coasting through a stop sign.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Ah, garters. Which of us who remember the seasonal alternation of short and long socks can forget the imprint just below the knee of the elastic that held up the latter?
    I do, for one. Of course, we wore short trousers at school too, up to the age of 11 or 12.

    Shorts and long socks held up by garters are still part of summer rig for all ages in hotter regions of Australia.
    We had to wear them all year round, in England!

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    A "full stop" is what the police always accuse you of NOT doing as they write you a ticket for coasting through a stop sign.

    "Full stop" means you have stopped at a stop light or sign for at least three seconds in my neck of the woods.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 21
    Sparrow wrote: »
    Period.

    Which of course mean a full stop in English. In English a period is something else and there is a wealth of euphemisms for it.
    It also has a school usage: "First period today is maths, then after break we have a double period of chemistry". And I think ice hockey matches are divided into three periods.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Athrawes wrote: »
    Oh, and prickle guards - not sure of their proper name. Little cotton garter things to protect your socks so they don't end up with prickles and burrs in them. Worn by stockmen and other farm workers.

    Do you mean this sort of thing? Called gaiters in the UK. If the shorter variety that doesn't fasten under the shoe then they're properly called puttees.

    Leggings?
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