Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • MiffyMiffy Shipmate
    Blessed are the tea makers!


    When our two were small and we lived overseas, I was wont to get my knickers in a twist about ‘Americanisms,’ as their exposure to English outside the home was limited and several of their teachers were American. Now I couldn’t care two hoots about whether they drive a ‘lorry’ or a ‘truck,’ or put out the rubbish/garbage on the pavement or sidewalk. Helped, I’ll admit by Ms M and American SIL living in the Big Apple.

    After all, we can’t complain about having bilingual offspring.





  • 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.
    I think that would convert me to coffee-drinking (and put me off evangelism) for life!

  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Diomedes wrote: »
    Our preschoolers sing 'when the kettle's boiling hear me shout'. I never knew there was an alternative version!

    And hereabouts it is always

    I'm a little teapot short and stout
    Here's my handle, here's my spout.
    When the tea is ready hear me shout
    Pick me up and pour me out!
  • On a slightly different, but vitally important point, when did it stop being normal to get a pot of hot water with your pot of tea in a cafe?

    One used to order a pot of tea for one in a cafe, and receive a cup and saucer, a small metal teapot containing tea, a (taller, thinner) metal jug of hot water, and some milk. Last time I was in the UK, the hot water jug had vanished. I have a sample size of several cafes to choose from.

    What happened?
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Now if you want two cups they want you to pay for them!
    (I have notice this too, becuse I am a hot water drinker and now have to ask for it, instead of drinking the pot which used to come with my husband's tea.)
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited August 14
    On a slightly different, but vitally important point, when did it stop being normal to get a pot of hot water with your pot of tea in a cafe?

    One used to order a pot of tea for one in a cafe, and receive a cup and saucer, a small metal teapot containing tea, a (taller, thinner) metal jug of hot water, and some milk. Last time I was in the UK, the hot water jug had vanished. I have a sample size of several cafes to choose from.

    What happened?
    I frequently ask for extra hot water and usually get it without question. As good as invariably I get the impression this is a familiar and fairly usual request.

  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Cathscats wrote: »
    Diomedes wrote: »
    Our preschoolers sing 'when the kettle's boiling hear me shout'. I never knew there was an alternative version!

    And hereabouts it is always

    I'm a little teapot short and stout
    Here's my handle, here's my spout.
    When the tea is ready hear me shout
    Pick me up and pour me out!
    Hmmm. I grew up with the lines:

    "I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
    Here is my handle, here is my spout.
    When the water's boiling, I start to shout
    Then you tip me over and pour me out."
  • I would say "pottery" and "crockery" both refer to objects made from fired clay. The fired clay itself I would refer to as "ceramic(s)"
  • 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.

    Yikes!
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Enoch, Dear M-i-L was a several pots a day coffee drinker. I think she figured D-U just wanted to boil water then pour it onto a teabag in a cup. That is just so sad!!!
  • It does save messing with wet tea leaves, though! ;)
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    But leaves make a completely different brew worth drinking. Boiling water onto leaf tea in tea pot and allowed to steep.
  • Leaves swimming free, not confined to little paper-plastic envelopes. Those envelopes are actually full of tea dust not actual leaves. A capitalistic invention, made by radical socialists, degrading the real item in the perception of the average person, making them believe it requires milk, sugar or lemons. If you need such a thing get some canned capitalism instead. Real tea stands stalwart and full bodied without adulteration. Not like communistic teabag.
  • The communistic teabag is a capitalistic invention? Methinks a refresher course in the Cold War is in order.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited August 15
    Went to Castell Coch (run by Cadw, the Welsh Heritage organisation) on Tuesday. Asked for tea in tea room. Was offered the choice of leaf tea or tea-bag tea; asked for the former and got a nice pot plus a jug of hot water (without asking). And a little jug of real milk, not UHT,
  • Just finished an American crime novel, with lots of references to "gangbangers", but in a non-sexual context. Another Pond difference.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Just finished an American crime novel, with lots of references to "gangbangers", but in a non-sexual context. Another Pond difference.
    What else does it mean?
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Participating in street gang activities?
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Yes, being in a street gang generally. It’s rather old fashioned now; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone actually use it that way.
  • ECraigR wrote: »
    Yes, being in a street gang generally. It’s rather old fashioned now; I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone actually use it that way.
    Nor have I. I’ve only heard it used in a sexual context.

  • I read a detective story, written by an American but set in Britain, which consistently referred to an "auto-injector". The term meant nothing to me - everyone here refers to them as "Epipens" - just as all vacuum cleaners are known as "Hoovers".
  • mousethief wrote: »
    The communistic teabag is a capitalistic invention? Methinks a refresher course in the Cold War is in order.

    Cold! Never!! Tea is hot or it's not tea. And you say war? It will be of the tea is cold.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @NOprophet_NØprofit not so fast. In the days either before flasks, or when they were all fragile and contained glass, cold tea was a widespread drink among workmen, particularly on the railways.
  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    "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.)

    In the UK if someone says that they are/ were "going potty" it would mean they were becoming exasperated.

    The use of the term "potty" for a chamber pot is only used when speaking to young children and then only as in "would you like/ do you need to use the potty". In other words, potty is never used as a verb.
  • [In the UK if someone says that they are/ were "going potty" it would mean they were becoming exasperated.
    Or - very non-PC - demented.

  • Yes, this was a scifi story and the gangbangers were in criminal groups. In the UK it only refers to group rape.
  • An abomination that has crossed the Atlantic and settled in the UK is 'train station'. It is a railway station, confound it, a fixed place along a railway line where trains sometimes stop. It is fatuous to protest that we commonly talk about bus stations to justify this outrage, as buses can stop anywhere and do not travel on busways. I have been trying to explain this to my Dear American Wife for more than four decades, to absolutely no effect. But I have not given up.
  • I read a detective story, written by an American but set in Britain, which consistently referred to an "auto-injector". The term meant nothing to me - everyone here refers to them as "Epipens" - just as all vacuum cleaners are known as "Hoovers".
    FWIW, this American has never heard "auto-injector;" I always here "Epipen." Maybe a trademark issue was at play?
    Cold! Never!! Tea is hot or it's not tea. And you say war? It will be of the tea is cold.
    Ha! In these parts if you want your tea to be hot you'll probably need to be specific and ask for "hot tea," as "tea" generally means "iced tea" here. (And "sweet tea" is redundant, while "unsweet tea" is an abomination unto the Lord.)

  • [In the UK if someone says that they are/ were "going potty" it would mean they were becoming exasperated.
    Or - very non-PC - demented.

    North of the border, that might often be heard as 'dottled'.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited August 15
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    "unsweet tea" is an abomination unto the Lord.
    o
    Only in the sinner's Bible, in which the letters 'un' have been added by printers' error.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I read a detective story, written by an American but set in Britain, which consistently referred to an "auto-injector". The term meant nothing to me - everyone here refers to them as "Epipens" - just as all vacuum cleaners are known as "Hoovers".
    FWIW, this American has never heard "auto-injector;" I always here "Epipen." Maybe a trademark issue was at play?
    Cold! Never!! Tea is hot or it's not tea. And you say war? It will be of the tea is cold.
    Ha! In these parts if you want your tea to be hot you'll probably need to be specific and ask for "hot tea," as "tea" generally means "iced tea" here. (And "sweet tea" is redundant, while "unsweet tea" is an abomination unto the Lord.)

    I used to like you.
  • ... as buses can stop anywhere and do not travel on busways.
    Not necessarily the case: https://www.thebusway.info

  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    May I mention, for tangential information, that it is possible to buy small bags into which one can spoon loose tea leaves of one's choice, for insertion into a teapot, thus combining the advantages of both systems. We first came across these when visiting the civilised Dutch. Of course such Continental abominations will not be available here after October 31st, but something similar can also be obtained from posh shops in the UK.
  • You can also buy those small tea bags here in the US.
  • Heavens, I don't even drink the ghastly stuff and even I have known about tea infusers since childhood - they were invented in the 19th century, sometimes called a tea ball or tea egg, and you used to be able to buy them at the Tea counter in the Home & Colonial Stores.

    I suppose if you want some sort of muslin bag then you need to buy ready-made lavender bags (unfilled) from a craft outlet.
  • ... I have been trying to explain this to my Dear American Wife for more than four decades, to absolutely no effect. But I have not given up.

    And she's still married to you?


  • Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    ... I have been trying to explain this to my Dear American Wife for more than four decades, to absolutely no effect. But I have not given up.

    And she's still married to you?

    :killingme: :notworthy:
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I read a detective story, written by an American but set in Britain, which consistently referred to an "auto-injector". The term meant nothing to me - everyone here refers to them as "Epipens" - just as all vacuum cleaners are known as "Hoovers".
    FWIW, this American has never heard "auto-injector;" I always here "Epipen." Maybe a trademark issue was at play?
    Cold! Never!! Tea is hot or it's not tea. And you say war? It will be of the tea is cold.
    Ha! In these parts if you want your tea to be hot you'll probably need to be specific and ask for "hot tea," as "tea" generally means "iced tea" here. (And "sweet tea" is redundant, while "unsweet tea" is an abomination unto the Lord.)

    I used to like you.
    Yeah, well, it was inevitable that you’d get over that sooner or later

    But if it helps, merely reporting the traditional usage in my neck of the woods.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    May I mention, for tangential information, that it is possible to buy small bags into which one can spoon loose tea leaves of one's choice, for insertion into a teapot, thus combining the advantages of both systems. We first came across these when visiting the civilised Dutch. Of course such Continental abominations will not be available here after October 31st, but something similar can also be obtained from posh shops in the UK.
    Sounds like a tea condom.

    No doubt some of you put leaves of other plants in these tea condoms or buy baggies of other vegetation passed off as tea. There are three drinks: tea, tea bag, and not-tea. Tea is tea, and not-tea is everything else. Tea can start out as tea and be made into a Bad Drink. Your imagination provides the limit to the possible obscenity.
  • What about non-tea herbal teas? What, other than unprintable names, are they called? Tisanes?
  • And infusions.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Heavens, I don't even drink the ghastly stuff and even I have known about tea infusers since childhood - they were invented in the 19th century, sometimes called a tea ball or tea egg, and you used to be able to buy them at the Tea counter in the Home & Colonial Stores. ...
    The are readily obtainable from Amazon for £1.56 + postage. There are other more sophisticated versions that cost a bit more.
  • Heavens, I don't even drink the ghastly stuff and even I have known about tea infusers since childhood - they were invented in the 19th century, sometimes called a tea ball or tea egg, and you used to be able to buy them at the Tea counter in the Home & Colonial Stores.

    I've had several tea infusers, and none of them have worked quite well enough to be able to dispense with the strainer.
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    I like the Glasgow expression 'ginger' which doesn't refer to the colour of one's hair,but is rather a general word for all sorts of aerated waters, in particular, perhaps the 'ginger; colour of Scotland's 'other national drink' Irn Bru - apparently made in Scotland of steel girders - at least that is what they say in the adverts
  • They had to change the name from Iron to Irn in the 1940s as new labelling regulations came in and - surprise, surprise - it's not made from girders: https://tinyurl.com/y5rp4us2
  • Tea condom sounds like something you put tea in so that it can't possibly impregnate the water.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    FWIW, this American has never heard "auto-injector;" I always here "Epipen." Maybe a trademark issue was at play?
    I've never heard (or read) anything but "Epipen." The trademark idea seems likely.
    Ha! In these parts if you want your tea to be hot you'll probably need to be specific and ask for "hot tea," as "tea" generally means "iced tea" here. (And "sweet tea" is redundant, while "unsweet tea" is an abomination unto the Lord.)
    I always have that problem in certain Southerly parts of the country: they assume you want iced tea, and you have to specify if you don't want sweetener in it. Even here in the Midwest one has to specify hot or iced at this time of year, but at least sweetening isn't assumed.

    As for literary Britishisms, I grew up on Beatrix Potter, A.A. Milne, and P. L. Travers, so most of the older ones aren't an issue. Harry Potter introduced me to "ginger" and another way to use "brilliant."


  • And sweet tea in the southeast doesn't just have sweetener in it. You actually create what is essentially a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water, then steeping tea in it. It's vile.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    And sweet tea in the southeast doesn't just have sweetener in it. You actually create what is essentially a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water, then steeping tea in it. It's vile.
    If by vile you mean elixir of the gods, then I agree.

  • I'm surprised nobody has mentioned "corn" -- in Blighty it still means "grain" whereas in the States, we figured one word for "grain" was probably enough, and subverted it to mean one particular grain, maize.
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