Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Eirenist wrote: »
    The current equivalent of 'bon appetit' (good appetite) in popular British eateries at the moment seems to be 'There you go!' (where?), or, in slightly more upmarket places 'Enjoy!' (I'm not sure if this is intended as a command.) Is there a North American version?
    Those, and "Does everything look delicious?" I can't quite bring myself to respond.

    Here, "You want fresh ground pepper on that?"
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    mousethief wrote: »
    Here, "You want fresh ground pepper on that?"
    My response: "Not only no, but hell, no."


  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Here, "You want fresh ground pepper on that?"
    My response: "Not only no, but hell, no."

    I like pepper so I usually say "yes" because it makes them feel like they're actually doing something. And everybody wants to feel needed.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Not if they're wielding a giant pepper mill, they don't.
  • I must not dine in the finer restaurants. I’ve never heard “Does everything look delicious?” I usually just get some variation of “Can I get you anything else?”

    Bonus points if a waitress follows that with “Shug.”

  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Not if they're wielding a giant pepper mill, they don't.

    Pepper mill. Never heard of that. Pepper grinder.

    A mill sounds like an industrial factory.
  • I used my example because I'd been reading a book that featured a misused dog. The narrator cut his collar off him. No "of" needed, but one was included.

    At least in my dialect, the "of" gets included because the simple form "off him" seems ... well, a bit violent? aggressive? pushy? Depending on context. The extra "of" softens things a bit, inserts some mental (and physical) space between the one doing the cutting, taking, etc. and the one er, suffering such action.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    In a domestic context a grinder - coffee grinder, spice grinder - I think of as something mechanically assisted. Whereas a pepper (or salt) mill is something you can turn by hand.

    Actually, how did mill spread from the original grinding function to processes which I didn't think involved putting stuff between two stones? Like cloth?

    Or is it the workers, not the raw material, they (darkly and satanically) grind down?
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Or is it the workers, not the raw material, they (darkly and satanically) grind down?

    :mrgreen:
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    CJCfarwest wrote: »
    There's an odd one in that which she doesn't mention, which she doesn't seem to be aware of and which would never have occurred to me.
    "I’m aware that makes two times already for this list, sorry."
    In UK English that is 'twice'. 'Two times' sounds really weird.
  • I think "off of" is common round London; not sure if it exists in Cockney. Hence, "I took it off of him", is characteristic. I bet it's in Shakespeare, wot a laaf.
  • "Off" is a mosquito repellant brand. Muskol is pure Deet. Off is weak version.

    A white-out is snow coming down and blowing in the wind such that you cannot see more than a foot or so. We're having a white out just now. About a foot and a half of snow. Plus drifts.
  • I think "off of" is common round London; not sure if it exists in Cockney. Hence, "I took it off of him", is characteristic. I bet it's in Shakespeare, wot a laaf.
    Don’t know about Shakespeare, but The Rolling Stones sang it.

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    CJCfarwest wrote: »
    There's an odd one in that which she doesn't mention, which she doesn't seem to be aware of and which would never have occurred to me.
    "I’m aware that makes two times already for this list, sorry."
    In UK English that is 'twice'. 'Two times' sounds really weird.


    So would she she say "thrice" for the third mention?

    (Loved the article! :grin: )

  • Lyda wrote: »
    So would she she say "thrice" for the third mention?

    Is there one for "four times"?
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    This Brit didn’t find ‘two times’ an odd usage.
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Early industrial processes usually worked by water power, like a water mill, hence woollen mill, cotton mill, silk mill, paper mill.
  • RussRuss Shipmate
    The usage that caught me out when I was in the US is "wash up". Which in British English is to do the dishes and US English seems to mean "visit the bathroom".
  • Russ wrote: »
    The usage that caught me out when I was in the US is "wash up". Which in British English is to do the dishes and US English seems to mean "visit the bathroom".
    Depends on exactly what is meant by “visit the bathroom.” In US usage, at least in my experience, “wash up” means to wash one’s hands, and face if needed, before a meal.

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Whichever usage is in mind a Brit’s offer to help you wash up would cause some startlement I think.
  • No, I think we'd understand that perfectly well. The "up" is just an intensifier (as it is in "finish up"), so it basically means "wash"--and we'd know by context what you meant.

    "Wash up" in the context of the loo/bathroom/restroom/whatever is a euphemism (or not). You may indeed be planning to wash, or you may have other activities in mind for that space. Nobody wants to know...
  • I've never heard "wash up" as a euphemism for a visit to the potty. Somehow the word "kybo" in my childhood came to mean an outhouse (little closet sized shack with either a pit under the toilet, or a catch tank, or a chemical or biological toilet. May be derived from something in southeast Asia given where I learned it. Biffy is another one for potty. One goes potty in the kybo or the biffy, and you can also go potty in the potty. We found loo as a term for a potty quite amusing when young, considering the song "Skip to My Lou". I actually know quite a few songs about pottying yourself.
  • "Kybo" meant pit toilet when I was in Boy Scouts in the early 1970s
  • I've never heard "wash up" as a euphemism for a visit to the potty.
    Nor I. In my experience, “wash up” has usually been used in the context of a summons to the table: “Supper’s about ready, go wash up!”

    mousethief wrote: »
    "Kybo" meant pit toilet when I was in Boy Scouts in the early 1970s
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard “kybo.” We always called the pit toilet a latrine.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited October 14
    Russ wrote: »
    The usage that caught me out ".

    That one caught me (not out). Never heard it this side of the pond.

    A 50's euphemism women used when going to the bathroom was "I am going to powder my nose." Yes, they may use the bathroom, but before they left the restroom, they would check their make up.

    Oh, and about the term "Kybo" Here is the Lore of the Kybo.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    If I were told to wash up before eating I'd assume my host had OCD and a rather dictatorial attitude to their guests, not to mention a willingness to eat luke-warm food.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    No discussion of 'loo' is complete without a reminiscence of the former Edinburgh custom of firing the contents of your chamber pot out the window of your tenement with a merry shout of 'Gardy loo!' To which the response, if you were passing beneath, was 'Haud yer hond!'

    Fav word for house of easement (there's a usage I would like to see return) is the Scots 'cludgie'.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Russ wrote: »
    The usage that caught me out ".

    That one caught me (not out). Never heard it this side of the pond.

    A 50's euphemism women used when going to the bathroom was "I am going to powder my nose." Yes, they may use the bathroom, but before they left the restroom, they would check their make up.

    Oh, and about the term "Kybo" Here is the Lore of the Kybo.

    Clearly whoever did that web page has not yet earned his HTML Merit Badge.
  • Well, IME, people here in the US normally wouldn't tell a guest to go wash up. They might tell/show where you (gen.) *could* wash up.

    A parental-type might tell a child to wash up, particularly if they've been playing in dirt. Someone who is going to prepare food might be reminded.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    We ‘do the washing up’ - ie wash the dishes. 🙂
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Oh, and about the term "Kybo" Here is the Lore of the Kybo.
    Interesting. (And as @mousethief said, in need of an html good turn.)

    Maybe “Kybo” is a regional term? I started in Cub Scouts, went through Eagle and have been an adult Scouter on the unit and district/council level, and this thread is the first time I’ve ever heard “Kybo.”


  • Russ wrote: »
    The usage that caught me out when I was in the US is "wash up". Which in British English is to do the dishes and US English seems to mean "visit the bathroom".
    And 'Murricans get very confused when you show them to a bathroom and it doesn't have a water closet.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited October 14
    And 'Murricans get very confused when you show them to a bathroom and it doesn't have a water closet.

    and I suppose when someone asks for the smallest room, you take them to the pantry?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited October 14
    "I gotta shit. Where would you like me to do that?" (for those smartarse Brits who claim to hate euphemism and feign not to know the American usage of "bathroom")
  • And 'Murricans get very confused when you show them to a bathroom and it doesn't have a water closet.

    and I suppose when someone asks for the smallest room, you take them to the pantry?

    And they think a restroom is where one goes to rest?
  • When you really gotta go, yeah, having a good dump/piss can make you feel much more restful. Absolutely.
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    And they think a restroom is where one goes to rest?

    I don't know how old I was when I discovered that "restroom" was an American word for the room with a toilet in. I'm pretty sure that I used to think that a "restroom" was something like the waiting room at a railway station, where one could indeed rest between legs of a journey. Although given the state of some waiting rooms, ...
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    "Caught me out" is a familiar phrase to me - Midwestern American, with Southern roots.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    "I gotta shit. Where would you like me to do that?" (for those smartarse Brits who claim to hate euphemism and feign not to know the American usage of "bathroom")
    See a man about a dog. Less politely but more than your's, hang a rat.
  • I have never said "hang a rat" nor ever heard anyone say it, nor read it until just now. Certainly not mine.

    (no apostrophe in yours)
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited October 14
    But that opens a new and interesting topic:

    Euphemisms for going to the toilet

    Already mentioned was powder my nose. We also spend a dime, and see a man about a horse. Guy I knew in Chicago used to say "wring a kidney."
  • Putting a deposit on some porcelain; going the way of all flesh.
  • Visit the little girls'/boys' room.
  • Putting a deposit on some porcelain; going the way of all flesh.

    That's a new one on me! I always thought "go the way of all flesh" meant to die.
  • It does--but smart-ass English majors, well...
  • 'Smart-arse Brits?' Feigning not to know what 'Murricans mean by 'bathroom'.

    Of course we know what you mean by 'bathroom'. It's just that we don't give a ....

    ;)

    No, seriously, if an American visitor asked for 'the bathroom' they would almost invariably be directed to somewhere with the requisite fittings and appliances for whatever ablutions they required. I have heard - and I think there're instances cited on this thread - of US visitors directed to bathrooms without a lavvy / bog / loo / WC / (other epithet of choice - but I suspect:

    a) That happened some years ago.

    b) The hosts were unfamiliar with US movies and TV shows.

    c) They lived in a rural backwater.

    d) They were kiddies, they were naive or lacking in common sense or empathy.

    I doubt if they'd do it for reasons of smart-arsery or to cause discomfort to visitors.

    Lavatorial customs can be confusing across borders. In a French 'chambre d'hote' recently I was surprised to see a shower ('douche') attachment suspended from a wall-bracket and fixed to the toilet cistern from whence it derived its water supply. A notice in French on the wall proclaimed that it was intended for guests to wash their private parts. 'Essayez Moi!' it cried.

    Reader, I did not ...

  • An alternative to a bidet?
  • Yes, come to think of it, I didn't notice a bidet there. Perhaps this was an ingenious alternative to be deployed when sitting on the john / bog / loo / ...

    I've never used a bidet. But then, I've never done a dump in a shower either as the French are rumoured to do. One man's fish is another man's poisson.
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