oh, i can be just as wide awake. As a matter of fact, i did a service call for an older english couple not long ago, nice people. On arrivial, however, i was given an oration of the problem and aparently had a 'deer-in-the-road' stare because i could'nt quite hear thru the heavy accent. After an awkard moment, he stated " It really is the same language govenor" , or something to that effect. I suggested that a mouthful of marbles would be all that's needed in the hills here to communicate effectively , after which i progressed erroneously to the wrong floor....
Do you know what part of England these folks were from?
Accents can vary tremendously in a fairly short distance here, and the accents in some parts of the country are like a foreign language to the rest of us!
Quite amazing that I can travel 3000 miles, speak to someone in the depths of rural Alabama and understand every word perfectly, but I can't make head nor tail of someone from 200 miles away in my own country.
Re the floor numbering, the American system actually seems far more logical to me.
Another point on numbers: You may already know this, but dates are written a different way here as well, e.g. today is 18/11/01 instead of 11/18/01. It can get confusing during the first 12 days of a month!
Some other language differences: * FOOD (US = UK) fries = chips chips = crisps Jello = jelly jelly = jam cookies = biscuits biscuits = no direct equivalent shrimp = prawns
CARS/ROADS hood = bonnet trunk = boot fender = wing gasoline = petrol sidewalk = pavement pavement = no direct equivalent (road surface)
TRAINS caboose = guard's van freight = goods switch (track) = points switch-tower = signalbox ties = sleepers
Enough already. Common language? What common language?!
hmmm, No Paul, i did'nt catch the English couples location. Anyhoo.... it's as you've demostrated, more than just accent. It's how it's said, verbage or whatever. Have you been privy to 'up the stairs' intead of simply 'upstairs', or 'couple few' instead of simple few? Then there's 'Don't know how it'll sugar off' another local corker here.
It gets better when people get excited, i had to communicate with a deaf Norewiegian once on a ride with the local Ambulance...or the time we pulled a French Canadian out of a crumpeled log truck...oh yes, there was this Sweedish gent who's house was on fire some years ago. We have some basic translation books, but it's slow going....
All in all, I guess the BB has broken this barrier for us. ( That's a plug Boss!)
PaulUK, Having worked extensively on the continent with some Brits from various parts of the UK, your language bits bring back great memories. However, you didn't even touch upon the subject of rhyming slang. Some day you should post a few of those. Maybe I will learn some new ones. WireWrestler
Does that "Sugar off" saying have anything to do with syrup making? We went to a place in NH for breakfast once that had a "syrup-making museum" or something like that. It was all I could do to keep from tapping into the Maples out in the yard.
My daughter brought up a question recently; People from NY are called 'New Yorkers', What are people from Vermont and New Hampshire called? Connecticut? Massachussetts? I couldn't think of anything that made sense.
Bill, yes, the term comes from the the syrup trade, form the sugarhouses. Most sugarhouses i frequent go thru more beer than sap, but i digress....
There is a lot of 'slang' as to what state one resides in, Vermont has 'Vermonters', people from Maine seem to be 'Down Mainers', I hear New Hampshire residents called 'New Hampshirites'...and anyone south of the boarder Flatlanders.
No, I've never heard "couple few," "up the stairs," or "See how it'll sugar off." There are some strange regionl sayings over here too.
Masters of Cockney Rhyming Slang can hold a conversation which is impenetrable to outsiders, but again, it's quite a local thing to part of London. I'm certainly no authority on the subject. A few examples for those not acquainted with it:
apples & pears = stairs dog & bone = phone frog & toad = road brown bread = dead plates of meat = feet mince pies = eyes
The "real" proponents of rhyming slang use just the first part of each phrase, e.g. "Is that a new whistle you've got?" (whistle & flute = suit) or "I'd love a nice cup of Rosie" (Rosie Lee = tea).
One or two phrases have become corrupted into general British slang, with many people not realizing the rhyming-slang origin, e.g. "titfer" as slang for a hat (from "tit for tat").
How about inventing some electrical rhyming slang? Maybe "win & lose" (fuse), chair & table (cable), or "jump & twitch" (switch).
(Also describes what you might do if you don't open the jump before touching the win or the chair! )
pauluk, Thanks for the reply. Most yanks have never heard of this language within a language. I really enjoyed learning and using it. If by some chance you know a couple of leckies from Burnley, Lancashire named S. Brophy and G. Dacre I would love to get in touch with them. They do a lot of work at large bakeries throughout the UK. Cheers, WireWrestler