Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    As a UK person, one US usage that sounds really weird is 'hutch' for what we'd call a sideboard. A hutch here is what a pet rabbit lives in.
    Americans have sideboards as well. What they call a hutch is a sideboard with a cabinet on top

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    As a UK person, one US usage that sounds really weird is 'hutch' for what we'd call a sideboard. A hutch here is what a pet rabbit lives in.
    Americans have sideboards as well. What they call a hutch is a sideboard with a cabinet on top

    Oh, you mean a dresser.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    As a UK person, one US usage that sounds really weird is 'hutch' for what we'd call a sideboard. A hutch here is what a pet rabbit lives in.
    Americans have sideboards as well. What they call a hutch is a sideboard with a cabinet on top

    Oh, you mean a dresser.

    A "dresser" (often synonymous with "bureau" or "chest of drawers") is usually in the bedroom, contains folded clothing, and does not have shelves on top.
  • Stercus TauriStercus Tauri Shipmate
    edited August 10
    After numerous decades of being married into an American family and having lived as a stubborn foreigner in Canada for a long time, I much enjoyed travelling in South Africa and finding myself in an English (as well as Afrikaans) speaking country at last. The reason I enjoyed it so much was probably that their language seemed to be a couple of decades behind UK English, and thus right in my comfort zone.
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    A "dresser" (often synonymous with "bureau" or "chest of drawers") is usually in the bedroom, contains folded clothing, and does not have shelves on top.
    Actually, that sounds much more logical usage than the British. Mind you, we also have a cupboard (not that I've heard of it recently) called a "tallboy": https://tinyurl.com/yysdtn6l

    (Note: clothes are not always folded!)

  • Sometimes, very colloquially, "chester drawers".
  • (Note: clothes are not always folded!)
    True! I was just trying to distinguish it from a chiffarobe or armoire which have space for hanging clothes.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Sometimes, very colloquially, "chester drawers".
    Which, pedantically and to avoid confusion in a thread where that is predicated, is a contraction of ‘chest of drawers’.
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    As a UK person, one US usage that sounds really weird is 'hutch' for what we'd call a sideboard. A hutch here is what a pet rabbit lives in.
    Americans have sideboards as well. What they call a hutch is a sideboard with a cabinet on top

    Oh, you mean a dresser.

    A "dresser" (often synonymous with "bureau" or "chest of drawers") is usually in the bedroom, contains folded clothing, and does not have shelves on top.
    You mean a tallboy (occasionally a low boy).

  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Sometimes, very colloquially, "chester drawers".
    Or “chest o’drawers.” :wink:

    BroJames wrote: »
    Which, pedantically and to avoid confusion in a thread where that is predicated, is a contraction of ‘chest of drawers’.
    As @Pigwidgeon, to whom @Golden Key appeared to be responding, said. :wink:

  • Nick--

    Yup. ;)
  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited August 10
    This reminds me of being very confused when one of the Irish girls in a nurses’ residence I lived in asked me to get something from the press.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Back to "willy" - many years ago, we had a group of American teenagers working with our church to run a holiday club. They mixed with our youngsters and many formed lasting friendships. It was a bit off putting when one of the American girls threatened one of the Welsh boys with a "wet wily". Apparently, this was the name given to sticking a wet finger into your opponent 's ear.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Priscilla wrote: »
    Back to "willy" - many years ago, we had a group of American teenagers working with our church to run a holiday club. They mixed with our youngsters and many formed lasting friendships. It was a bit off putting when one of the American girls threatened one of the Welsh boys with a "wet wily". Apparently, this was the name given to sticking a wet finger into your opponent 's ear.

    That must have been most disappointing for him.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited August 10
    Enoch wrote: »
    As a UK person, one US usage that sounds really weird is 'hutch' for what we'd call a sideboard. A hutch here is what a pet rabbit lives in.

    We use it for that, too. A sideboard stops about waist-high. A hutch goes up beyond that another 3 or 4 feet.
    Enoch wrote: »
    Wow. I'd have been caught by that one. Does 'holiday' in the US mean specifically and only, an official public holiday/bank holiday?

    Or religious holiday, yes. (= holy days, etymology of the word)

    We rarely have kettles in hotel rooms because Americans as a whole don't drink tea. They drink coffee (I don't, nasty stuff), so hotel rooms have coffee makers. And running water through a coffee maker without grounds results in tea that tastes like coffee. Bleurg.
  • I was surprised how many Britishisms were allowed into the book I had published in the US. The copy editor was British and accustomed to US English and US editors so that helped.

    We did include some regional expressions - Yorkshire dialect - as the bloke whose story it was is a Yorkshireman. The meaning was generally obvious from the context though. We used it sparingly and didn't lay it on too thick.

    There were Americanisms I refused to use. Someone has to maintain standards ... ;)

    In those instances I found alternative ways of conveying the information without defiling myself ... ;)
  • Tea seems to be a cognoscenti thing in the US. I've come across US as well as British tea snobs. Equally, I've come across Americans who seem to have little choice beyond Walmart and who think that P G Tips is the best tea available ...
  • Before I am accused of causing a diplomatic incident, may I state that I consider some Americanisms far more logical or pleasing than their British counterparts.

    Just thought I'd better clear that one up.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    When I was in seminary we were told if we were ever assigned to a congregation in Quebec we might be invited to a dinner with something missing at our place setting, we should be careful what we ask for. If we asked for a napkin we would get a feminine hygiene product. Instead, we should ask for a serviette.
  • In Portuguese, a "constipacao" (with c sounding like s) is a common cold, not a blockage of one's internal plumbing.

    And the French know all about "preservatifs" ...
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    A "dresser" (often synonymous with "bureau" or "chest of drawers") is usually in the bedroom, contains folded clothing, and does not have shelves on top.
    Actually, that sounds much more logical usage than the British. Mind you, we also have a cupboard (not that I've heard of it recently) called a "tallboy": https://tinyurl.com/yysdtn6l

    (Note: clothes are not always folded!)

    Out tallboy had drawers all the way down, but it was that height. In the days before fitted kitchens, a dresser was kitchen furniture with shelves above.
  • This reminds me of being very confused when one of the Irish girls in a nurses’ residence I lived in asked me to get something from the press.

    I'd only heard that usage of 'press' in the west of Scotland, and not since I was rather younger. It might be interesting to explore other words that are common to Ireland and the west of Scotland.
  • One of the search links claims Americans only started using “ginger” to describe red hair as a result of the popularity of Harry Potter. Is this true?!?
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    This reminds me of being very confused when one of the Irish girls in a nurses’ residence I lived in asked me to get something from the press.

    I'd only heard that usage of 'press' in the west of Scotland, and not since I was rather younger. It might be interesting to explore other words that are common to Ireland and the west of Scotland.

    The large but portable cupboard in school classrooms when I went to school was called a press. That is in Australia
  • One of the search links claims Americans only started using “ginger” to describe red hair as a result of the popularity of Harry Potter. Is this true?!?
    I’d never heard “ginger” used to describe a redhead until Harry Potter. All my years have been lived in the American South, and I’m closing in on 60.

  • Boogie wrote: »
    Aravis wrote: »
    Some years ago an American pastor was visiting the church my parents attended (in the UK) and began his children’s talk by saying he was going to tell them about a boy called Willy. Half the Sunday school started giggling. The pastor looked confused and said “Is one of you children called Willy?” By now all the children were falling about laughing.

    I don’t know whether any of the adults felt able to tell the pastor what “willy” means for most younger UK children...

    We have German visitors staying with us. We had fish, chips and mushy peas. German sniggers ensued as ‘muschi’ is their childhood slang for vagina.

    Sniggers => snickers.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I think most North American hotels have kettles . . .
    Though we wouldn’t call them “kettles.” Almost all hotels I’ve been in over the last 20+ years have small coffee makers. Of course, you can just run water through them without coffee, so as to heat water for tea.
    . . . but definitely not “phials”. Vials, maybe. :smile:
    Probably packets, really.

    No you cannot run water through a coffee contaminated anything and make tea.

    I may be missing something: kettle is for heating the water whether on stove-top or plug in. Teapot is what the leaves swim in when you pour the boiled water into it.

    A kettle is also a landform. A pothole on the prairie which is filled with sediment carried from melted glaciers.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Marsupial wrote: »
    I think most North American hotels have kettles . . .
    Though we wouldn’t call them “kettles.” Almost all hotels I’ve been in over the last 20+ years have small coffee makers. Of course, you can just run water through them without coffee, so as to heat water for tea.
    . . . but definitely not “phials”. Vials, maybe. :smile:
    Probably packets, really.

    No you cannot run water through a coffee contaminated anything and make tea.
    Fair enough. I rarely drink coffee or (hot) tea, and even more rarely make either myself.

    I may be missing something: kettle is for heating the water whether on stove-top or plug in. Teapot is what the leaves swim in when you pour the boiled water into it.
    That’s my understanding of “teapot.” But I haven’t usually heard “kettle” used for anything other than what goes on the stove-top. The plug-in variety is (in my experience) generally called a “hot pot.” I can’t say, though, that I’ve seen many since my dorm room days.

    I realize “hot pot” is often used for something different now.
  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    The other problem with using a coffee maker for making tea is the temperature of the water. Coffee is made at 90 deg C (whatever that is in F), and tea needs the water to boil. My kettle has settings for both, as well as one at 80 dec. C for making green tea.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    What someone upthread was calling a tallboy is to me a highboy - I have one that is almost five feet high. A tallboy is a 24-ounce can of beer.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    One of the search links claims Americans only started using “ginger” to describe red hair as a result of the popularity of Harry Potter. Is this true?!?
    I’d never heard “ginger” used to describe a redhead until Harry Potter. All my years have been lived in the American South, and I’m closing in on 60.
    Wow! I just thought it was universal. Growing up redheads were given a hard time. I have a friend who had a dog ginge who recently died.
  • Which raises the question of the same terms for standards of measurement referring to different quantities or volumes. I hadn't realised until recently that US and British pints weren't the same volume.
  • Same here about not hearing "ginger" to refer to redheads until Harry Potter.

    Agree with thoughts about water temperature -- black tea wants water "just off the boil."

    I have never heard "tallboy" or "highboy".

    A "press" is something that prints, or a machine in a factory that operates by pressing.

    Another word that I never heard until the SOF is "mangle". Also "hob", "boiler" used to mean device that heats a building, or "tip" for a receptacle for trash (rubbish?).
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    One of the search links claims Americans only started using “ginger” to describe red hair as a result of the popularity of Harry Potter. Is this true?!?
    I’d never heard “ginger” used to describe a redhead until Harry Potter. All my years have been lived in the American South, and I’m closing in on 60.
    Wow! I just thought it was universal. Growing up redheads were given a hard time. I have a friend who had a dog ginge who recently died.

    Young red-headed fellows here were often called Bluey and kept that into adulthood. Ginge or Ginger was an alternative. Bluey probably dates me now, but I think Ginge continues. Other than that, they were not treated as they seem to have been in England and perhaps other parts of the UK.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Another word that I never heard until the SOF is ... "tip" for a receptacle for trash (rubbish?).
    And taking oversize stuff to the Municipal Waste Facility is "going to the dump" - which, I suspect, may raise eyebrows in the US.

  • HeavenlyannieHeavenlyannie Shipmate
    edited August 11
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I realize “hot pot” is often used for something different now.
    Hot pot is a traditional poor man’s stew of mutton, potatoes and onion from Lancashire, England. Though my Lancastrian mother would probably be horrified to learn that I add garlic, herbs and a little cream to my version.
    (I just did a google to look at alternative recipes and Delia Smith pretentiously suggests that it was called hot pot because it was wrapped in a blanket and kept warm for a day at the races! Well, I ate it as a child at home at least once a week and the only races we ever went to were the dogs at Lytham St Ann’s.)
  • Delia's from Norwich. What would she know? ;)

    For Mousethief's illumination, a 'tip' isn't a receptacle but a name for a heap or pile of rubbish (trash) such as the municipal waste dumps that Baptist Trainfan alludes to. 'Dump' and 'tip' are interchangeable terms depending on where you are in the UK.

    I think 'dump' is a more southern version. Such facilities are usually referred to as 'tips' in the north. The term has also become a description for anywhere that is untidy. 'His room is a right tip ...'

    'right' - in this context a northern term meaning 'real' or 'veritable'.

    'It wor right tasty that pie ...'

    'Dump' can certainly have another connotation here in a more uncouth way.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I realize “hot pot” is often used for something different now.
    Hot pot is a traditional poor man’s stew of mutton, potatoes and onion from Lancashire, England. Though my Lancastrian mother would probably be horrified to learn that I add garlic, herbs and a little cream to my version.
    (I just did a google to look at alternative recipes and Delia Smith pretentiously suggests that it was called hot pot because it was wrapped in a blanket and kept warm for a day at the races! Well, I ate it as a child at home at least once a week and the only races we ever went to were the dogs at Lytham St Ann’s.)

    Hot pot is lovely and although it’s based on meat & potatoes I think there is an element of chucking in anything that needs using up so I doubt you’d be villified! I like pickled red cabbage on tge side. Scouse is similar & equally yummy.
  • And taking oversize stuff to the Municipal Waste Facility is "going to the dump" - which, I suspect, may raise eyebrows in the US.
    No eyebrows raised here. Though "dump" can have another meaning, it's the place we take any trash that isn't picked up by the municipality.

    And they're closed on Thanksgiving.
    :smile:
  • We call it going to the tip in north England.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 11
    Do you folk to the West know the phrase "fly-tipping"? It has nothing to do with insects: https://tinyurl.com/y3u4kfxh.

    By the way: English "He's talking a lot of rubbish"; posh English: "He's talking a lot of rot"; informal English: "He's talking twaddle"; Glasgow: "He's talking mince"; I'm sure other variants are available including "garbage" and "bilge",
  • "Taking a dump" is an individual seated activity, creating relief.

    We actually pay by weight to take things to the dump. They weigh vehicles before and after dumping. Illegal dumping is a problem, particularly of construction waste. The garbage is taken usually in a half-ton also called a pickup. This means a truck such as an F-150. When mocking Ukrainians people say 'pick me up truck'. Which is also self mockery frequently.

    Trash is also used in the sense of 'trash it' or for small quantities. Rubbish is seldom used except for garden waste.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    The average under 25 year old would think of “talking rubbish” as a posh way of saying “talking crap”.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 11
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    And taking oversize stuff to the Municipal Waste Facility is "going to the dump" - which, I suspect, may raise eyebrows in the US.
    No eyebrows raised here. Though "dump" can have another meaning, it's the place we take any trash that isn't picked up by the municipality.

    And they're closed on Thanksgiving.
    :smile:
    No raised eyebrow here, either. “Going to the dump” or “taking things to the dump” are very different things from “taking a dump.”
  • Aravis wrote: »
    The average under 25 year old would think of “talking rubbish” as a posh way of saying “talking crap”.

    "Posh" means luxurious. Don't think we have an equivalent term for how it's used in Canada. Hoidy-toidy may be close: means something puffed up to look all great.
  • "Posh" allegedly derives from the days of the British Empire, and the more expensive cabins on the ships going out to India being on the shadier side of the vessel. "Port Out, Starboard Home" hence became a euphemism for "richer" and "higher up the social scale". "Hoity-toity" is, as you say, rather different, not far from "mutton dressed as lamb".
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Another word that I never heard until the SOF is ... "tip" for a receptacle for trash (rubbish?).
    And taking oversize stuff to the Municipal Waste Facility is "going to the dump" - which, I suspect, may raise eyebrows in the US.

    No, we know both meanings for that word and differentiate them by the verb used. Using the loo for #2 is "taking a dump".
  • "Posh" allegedly derives from the days of the British Empire, and the more expensive cabins on the ships going out to India being on the shadier side of the vessel. "Port Out, Starboard Home" hence became a euphemism for "richer" and "higher up the social scale".

    This is an urban legend.
  • I did use the word "allegedly"!
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