Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Just letting you know your use of the qualification was not in vain.
  • Hokey-Pokey (mind your Ks and Ps)
    Hush-a hush-a we all fall down (no ashes here)
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited August 12
    In this tweet about gun deaths, the Washington Post wrote Eleven hundred ninety-six.

    I would write eleven hundred and ninety-six*. Is the and not used State-side?

    (On numbers, the French for 80, quatre-vingt (four twenties), has always amused...)


    * or would I say one thousand, one hundred...? Not sure.

  • "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".
    Absolutely. And that was the way you wanted to travel because it meant your cabin was always on the shadier side of the ship - Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company of course (P&O for short).
  • Climacus wrote: »
    In this tweet about gun deaths, the Washington Post wrote Eleven hundred ninety-six.

    I would write eleven hundred and ninety-six*. Is the and not used State-side?

    (On numbers, the French for 80, quatre-vingt (four twenties), has always amused...)


    * or would I say one thousand, one hundred...? Not sure.

    If it was gun deaths, I would (sadly) say "One thousand, one hundred and ninety six". If it was the year 1196 AD, I'd say "Eleven hundred and ninety six" or just "Eleven ninety-six".

    We had a problem when we got into the "noughties". No-one wanted to say "Twenty-hundred and one" so it became "Two thousand and one" or "Twenty-oh-one".
  • Using hundreds rather that thousands is rather old-fashion in the UK and we only tend to use it for dates (& pre-20th century at that). Although I’m saying that as someone who was born post-decimalisation.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited August 12
    My observation is that where a Brit would say or write x hundred and [number] a US American would say or write x hundred [number].

    I recognise it as a non-Brit usage like, say, ‘plow’ or ‘aluminum’.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    My wife tells a story of a American at university with her in the UK. The woman got on the dance floor and shouted “Anyone wanna Shag”. I know that a shag is a dance in the US. It is not here.

    Don’t get me started on Writing the date the US way.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 12
    Was she illegally capturing sea-birds? https://tinyurl.com/y639xoc3

    Or smuggling tobacco? https://tinyurl.com/yyyfvk6f
  • Hugal wrote: »
    I know that a shag is a dance in the US.
    The shag, not a shag. :wink:

    And yes, many a kid from the Carolinas has gotten that lesson on different meanings when traveling abroad.

  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    I remember one of my teachers in elementary school strongly admonishing us to not use the word and when writing out or saying numbers. Mostly because we all did that very thing!

    And Hugal, you must know that I have to think carefully about writing dates and to whom I'm writing!! I was filling out paperwork for my mother last week, and while writing her birth date I was thinking how confusing 12-1-**** could be!
  • Using hundreds rather that thousands is rather old-fashion in the UK and we only tend to use it for dates (& pre-20th century at that). Although I’m saying that as someone who was born post-decimalisation.

    I've heard it used here for phone numbers ending in 00 and also for AM radio frequencies ending in 00. Although nobody listens to AM radio anymore (well, not in the numbers of the 40s through 70s).
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    "Baptist wrote:
    "Hoity-toity" is, as you say, rather different, not far from "mutton dressed as lamb".
    Which is, in turn, not far from "All fur coat and no Knickers", although that phrase is more about people trying to be posh.

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Dotting back to presses, did no one here air their bed linen in a hotpress?

    I recall a raised eyebrow from a flatmate when I said I was taking a jar to bed. She thought that meant alcoholic drink rather than hot water bottle. (Mind you, she wouldn't be that far out these days...)
  • Firenze wrote: »
    Dotting back to presses, did no one here air their bed linen in a hotpress?

    Hotpress? Never heard of it. We have an airing cupboard, a heated place with slatted shelves for household linens before they go into the linen press, a super-sized cupboard with trays for sheets, etc on top and deep drawers at the bottom for blankets and pillows.

  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    “Kettles” usually = teapots in American. And I have noticed that the electric kind do appear in more hotels.

    Not here in New England (enough tea drinkers here to warrant grocery stores carrying loose tea). A tea kettle here is for heating water for tea on the stove (cooker). A tea pot is a ceramic vessel for steeping the heated water and tea in.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Firenze wrote: »
    Dotting back to presses, did no one here air their bed linen in a hotpress?

    Hotpress? Never heard of it. We have an airing cupboard, a heated place with slatted shelves for household linens before they go into the linen press, a super-sized cupboard with trays for sheets, etc on top and deep drawers at the bottom for blankets and pillows.

    It's odd that the usage press=cupboard survived with linen, but not with hot. AIR my grandmother would use press of all storage units.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    Firenze wrote: »
    Dotting back to presses, did no one here air their bed linen in a hotpress?

    Hotpress? Never heard of it. We have an airing cupboard, a heated place with slatted shelves for household linens before they go into the linen press, a super-sized cupboard with trays for sheets, etc on top and deep drawers at the bottom for blankets and pillows.

    It's odd that the usage press=cupboard survived with linen, but not with hot. AIR my grandmother would use press of all storage units.

    So would mine, and while I have the impression your grandmother may have been Irish, mine was thoroughly and for many generations, Fife. It is not just Americans and Brits that don't speak the same language.
  • When I was in my early twenties, an older American couple moved in two doors down. They seemed pleasant, and we said "Good morning" etc when we passed each other. I wasn't aware of anything amiss.

    A few weeks later I was waylaid by them,full of apologies for having been avoiding me. When they moved in, someone had told them I was a solicitor, and they had completely misunderstood the nature of my profession.
  • Ah ....
  • When I was in my early twenties, an older American couple moved in two doors down. They seemed pleasant, and we said "Good morning" etc when we passed each other. I wasn't aware of anything amiss.

    A few weeks later I was waylaid by them,full of apologies for having been avoiding me. When they moved in, someone had told them I was a solicitor, and they had completely misunderstood the nature of my profession.

    How funny! No wonder they were avoiding you. They thought you were a lawyer!
  • Not exactly, I suspect ...
  • I just want to know what they thought I was carrying in my briefcase....
  • Briefs, of course !
  • Aaargh!
  • Of course I'm old enough to have endured fagging at school ... :grin:
  • LeafLeaf Shipmate
    NEQ: oh it's worse than prostitution. They thought you were a door-to-door salesperson, a much less reputable occupation. Home mailbox signs with NO SOLICITING on them are anticipating neither free legal services nor hoes.
  • Not long after moving to Canada, I talked about something that was going to happen in a fortnight's time. This was greeted with blank looks. I had to explain that this meant it would happen in two week's time. "Oooo!" they said, "why didn't you say that?"

    I once gave a presentation to some colleagues talking about something that would take a fortnight to complete. Someone asked "what's a fortnight", so of course I replied "twice a sennight".
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Ohher wrote: »
    ... A tea pot is a ceramic vessel for steeping the heated water and tea in.
    I don't know whether this is still the case, but 40+ years ago, I remember reading an article which had discovered the curious fact that there were marked and consistent regional differences in the UK, worked out from sales figures, as to whether people preferred a pot tea pot or a metal one.

  • A pot tea pot? What does that mean? A teapot made of cannabis?
  • Ceramic/china, I think. They also refer to potted plants as "pot plants". There were some mild but confused comments about that in a long-ago thread.
  • I'm familiar with "pot plants" but didn't realize it was referring to what the pots were made of, only that they were pots, i.e., buckets for putting plants in.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Thongs or flip flops here are called Jandals. They were introduced by an ex soldier who had been part of J Force, which occupied Japan after WWII. Jandals meant Japanese sandals.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Never mind that 'on the pot' had a whole other meaning in the days before indoor (or indeed any other kind of) plumbing.
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    I’ll never think of teapots in the same light again.

    It’s not just North America that’s woefully remiss in not providing tea making equipment as standard; we’ve found it to be the same in France. I’ll admit in the past to having pooh-poohed those Brits who travel abroad and whine about missing their home comforts but maybe old(er) age changes us into Victor Meldrew lookalikes; this year we took our own mini travelling kettle and teabags with us.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Does 'pot' really not mean ceramic in the US? That's hard to believe. What do potters make then?
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Pots?

    I can see this discussion going round in circles here.


  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 14
    Enoch wrote: »
    Does 'pot' really not mean ceramic in the US? That's hard to believe. What do potters make then?
    Pottery.

    As generally used here, a pot is a thing. The material from which pots are made is pottery or ceramic. Pottery is also a collective noun.

    (Husband of a Potter here.)

  • Firenze wrote: »
    Never mind that 'on the pot' had a whole other meaning in the days before indoor (or indeed any other kind of) plumbing.
    We say that. And "going to the potty".
  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    Never mind that 'on the pot' had a whole other meaning in the days before indoor (or indeed any other kind of) plumbing.
    We say that. And "going to the potty".

    That’s a chamber pot.

  • "Going to the potty" or, more often, just "going potty" is usually used for young children. (I just overheard a woman in a store yesterday asking her toddler if she needed to "go potty" -- and I thought to myself how ridiculous that sounded.)
  • Ohher wrote: »
    “Kettles” usually = teapots in American. And I have noticed that the electric kind do appear in more hotels.

    Not here in New England (enough tea drinkers here to warrant grocery stores carrying loose tea). A tea kettle here is for heating water for tea on the stove (cooker). A tea pot is a ceramic vessel for steeping the heated water and tea in.

    Okay, but for most of 'Murika I call to witness the 1939 song "I'm a Little Teapot" which evidently describes a kettle ("when I get all steamed up, hear me shout").

  • But the version I sing with British preschoolers has the words 'when I see the tea cups hear me shout' so it's referring to the vessel containing the brewed tea! Did the English words get retrofitted on to mirror our use of the terms or what?
  • DiomedesDiomedes Shipmate
    Our preschoolers sing 'when the kettle's boiling hear me shout'. I never knew there was an alternative version!
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Daughter-Unit was raised with the correct knowledge and practice of tea making. A few years ago, her request for Christmas was a teapot. Her dear Mother-in-Law and I did our Christmas shopping together, and she wanted me to help her find the teapot D-U would like best. She kept picking up kettles!!! I said that D-U actually wanted the ceramic vessel that the tea would brew in. M-i-L was totally confused and really doubted I knew what I was talking about until Christmas Day, when D-U was thrilled with the beautiful teapot that I helped her M-i-L find.

    So, yes. I'm so embarrassed to confess that many, many of my fellow Murikans have no idea of the difference between a teapot and a kettle.
  • "when I get all steamed up, hear me shout"

    Our electric kettle at home (plugs into the wall outlet) has an auto shut-off. At our cabin, the stove-top kettle is a whistling one, which is the shouting. (And our cabin is a cabin, it is not called a cottage. I frequently jump in the drink there, which means lake.)
  • Tree BeeTree Bee Shipmate
    Then there’s the shop referenced in Friends, and which I visited in Toronto, Pottery Barn. Nice shop for a mooch, but not a barn, and don’t remember much pottery.
  • All this talk of teapots has brought to mind an old song my mother used to sing:

    'Dont have a face like s coffeepot
    Coffeepots are tall and thin
    Better have a face like a teapot
    Other folks to Jesus win'

    Cringe! I assume she learnt it in Sunday school or similar.
  • https://youtu.be/238Hnp7mjAo it seems I wasn't imagining it!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    jedijudy wrote: »
    Daughter-Unit was raised with the correct knowledge and practice of tea making. A few years ago, her request for Christmas was a teapot. Her dear Mother-in-Law and I did our Christmas shopping together, and she wanted me to help her find the teapot D-U would like best. She kept picking up kettles!!! I said that D-U actually wanted the ceramic vessel that the tea would brew in. M-i-L was totally confused and really doubted I knew what I was talking about until Christmas Day, when D-U was thrilled with the beautiful teapot that I helped her M-i-L find.

    So, yes. I'm so embarrassed to confess that many, many of my fellow Murikans have no idea of the difference between a teapot and a kettle.
    How did Dear M-i-L imagine the tea mashed? Did she think D-U boiled the water with the leaves already floating in it? Serious yuk.

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