Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Every once in a while, when we Americans are upset with the French, we will change the name to American Fries.
    I think you’ll need to qualify “we.” I remember when the House and/or Senate dining room did that, and maybe the White House, but I never encountered an average person who went along with such short-lived nonsense.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Steak frites is for when a place is trying to sound French or Belgian.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I can never remember wierd - oops again, weird.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Every once in a while, when we Americans are upset with the French, we will change the name to American Fries.

    Torture Fries anyone?
    Like english means to put a spin on a ball.
    Huh? Never of heard that before!

    "He put some english on that ball." means it really hooked (strongly curved). If it was "he put some f---ing english on it" the speaker could also add "pardon my french". --hope this isn't greek to you.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited January 22
    orfeo wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    EDIT: We do a similar thing with "chips". Only in that case we use it to mean 2 completely different things, one in common with Brits and the other in common with Americans.

    Americans will use "chips" to mean pommes frites when in context of a dish containing fried fish: fish and chips. Some restaurants have alternative versions which will keep the word, such as clam and chips or shrimp and chips. Once you leave that context, and especially if preceded with the word "potato", "chips" refers to what the Brits call "crisps".

    We use chips for all of that, all the time. British crisps are chips. Pommes frites are chips. They become (French) fries at McDonald's and that's about it.

    Brits have chips and crisps. Americans have pommes frites and chips. But Australians decided to have chips and chips.

    Actually only effete snobs say "pommes frites". Primarily we have chips and fries.

    Well if you want to call yourself an effete snob... I only used the term because you did.

    I was using it to indicate precisely exactly what I meant in a technical discussion about uses of words. I used it as definiens not definiendum. And in using it, I pointed out most clearly that we call them FRIES.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    i before e is rubbish, because there just as many words that are the other way around. I think someone just liked rhyming.

    "I before E
    Except after C
    When it says 'Ee'"

    Generally holds.
    I learned it as:

    I before E,
    Except after C,
    Or when it says A
    As in “neighbor” or “weigh.”

    That's the version I learned as well. The problem with "when it says ee" is that many words that don't say "ee" in Blighty do say "ee" in North America, such as "leisure".
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Every once in a while, when we Americans are upset with the French, we will change the name to American Fries.

    Torture Fries anyone?
    Like english means to put a spin on a ball.
    Huh? Never of heard that before!

    "He put some english on that ball." means it really hooked (strongly curved). If it was "he put some f---ing english on it" the speaker could also add "pardon my french". --hope this isn't greek to you.

    The context in which I've most heard "English" meaning "spin" is billiards/pool.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Every once in a while, when we Americans are upset with the French, we will change the name to American Fries.

    Torture Fries anyone?
    Like english means to put a spin on a ball.
    Huh? Never of heard that before!

    "He put some english on that ball." means it really hooked (strongly curved). If it was "he put some f---ing english on it" the speaker could also add "pardon my french". --hope this isn't greek to you.

    Nah! You're ****ing making that up!
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    i before e is rubbish, because there just as many words that are the other way around. I think someone just liked rhyming.

    "I before E
    Except after C
    When it says 'Ee'"

    Generally holds.

    When what says 'Ee'?
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited January 23
    mousethief wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    EDIT: We do a similar thing with "chips". Only in that case we use it to mean 2 completely different things, one in common with Brits and the other in common with Americans.

    Americans will use "chips" to mean pommes frites when in context of a dish containing fried fish: fish and chips. Some restaurants have alternative versions which will keep the word, such as clam and chips or shrimp and chips. Once you leave that context, and especially if preceded with the word "potato", "chips" refers to what the Brits call "crisps".

    We use chips for all of that, all the time. British crisps are chips. Pommes frites are chips. They become (French) fries at McDonald's and that's about it.

    Brits have chips and crisps. Americans have pommes frites and chips. But Australians decided to have chips and chips.

    Actually only effete snobs say "pommes frites". Primarily we have chips and fries.

    Well if you want to call yourself an effete snob... I only used the term because you did.

    I was using it to indicate precisely exactly what I meant in a technical discussion about uses of words. I used it as definiens not definiendum. And in using it, I pointed out most clearly that we call them FRIES.

    No, you didn't. Look at the nested quotes. The word "FRIES" did not appear once when you talked about pommes frites. I'm not psychic.

    Frankly I thought that fries was what Americans called them. And then you talked about pommes frites, without mentioning fries, and I literally thought "oh okay, I was mistaken for at least some regions of America". Apparently what I should have thought is "damn, my ability to psychically read words that aren't there is on the blink again".
  • I'll try to lower the grade level in future.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited January 23
    mousethief wrote: »
    I'll try to lower the grade level in future.

    Why are you always like this?

    You used the term "pommes frites". You did not use the term "fries" so the notion that in using pommes frites you "pointed out most clearly" that it wasn't a term you used is nonsense. You only cleared that up later.

    The end. The record is there for everyone to see, so stop inventing alternative facts where it's my fault for not reading things you never actually wrote. Take some responsibility for your mistake instead of suggesting that I'm stupid.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate

    "frenching" means in cooking, to cut things up in particular ways. Like english means to put a spin on a ball.

    Whereas "frenchie" is something entirely different.
  • Are there other nationalities that have become verbs or adverbs?

    "Wow, I really canadianed that elephant seal!"
    "Have you germaned the cooker yet?"
  • A long shot and could annoy the Scots among us: “ We scotched his little plan”
  • Well, there are cousins german.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    i before e is rubbish, because there just as many words that are the other way around. I think someone just liked rhyming.

    "I before E
    Except after C
    When it says 'Ee'"

    Generally holds.
    I learned it as:

    I before E,
    Except after C,
    Or when it says A
    As in “neighbor” or “weigh.”
    The version I know (with my own punctuation, to clarify it):

    I before E--
    Except after C,
    Or when sounded as A
    In "neighbor" and "weigh".
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited January 23
    Sojourner wrote: »
    A long shot and could annoy the Scots among us: “ We scotched his little plan”

    Don't you welch out on us now.

    Plenty of countries show up as nouns and adjectives to mean something, but verbs are rarer.

  • Are there other nationalities that have become verbs or adverbs?

    "Wow, I really canadianed that elephant seal!"
    "Have you germaned the cooker yet?"

    Don't think those work. Though dutch treat was a thing: on a date, both of you pay for your own versus over paying the bill. I haven't heard this for a while.

    Re seals, I think the elephant variety are in the south somewhere. In Canada we no longer club baby seals, we wait until they're older.
  • Are there other nationalities that have become verbs or adverbs?

    "Wow, I really canadianed that elephant seal!"
    "Have you germaned the cooker yet?"

    Don't think those work. Though dutch treat was a thing: on a date, both of you pay for your own versus over paying the bill. I haven't heard this for a while.

    Re seals, I think the elephant variety are in the south somewhere. In Canada we no longer club baby seals, we wait until they're older.

    The Dutch manage to get a few different references:

    Going dutch
    Speaking double dutch
    Dutch courage

    Apparently, they all arise from the time when England and Holland were rival naval powers. As usual, the English found numerous ways to insult their enemies.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    Why are you always like this?

    Please stop.
  • There's also the "double-dutch" method of jumping rope. AFAIK, there's no insult there, unless--because it's difficult to do successfully--maybe someone said that only the Dutch would come up with it, or some such.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    orfeo wrote: »
    i before e is rubbish, because there just as many words that are the other way around. I think someone just liked rhyming.

    "I before E
    Except after C
    When it says 'Ee'"

    Generally holds.

    When what says 'Ee'?

    The ei/ie digraph.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I had a neighbour called Welch. And she did.
    And I had an insight into the double-dutch expression once on Dover Priory railway station. We used, on occasion, to have parties of travellers heading for the harbour, all from one background, and it gave the whole station a "foreign" sound, quite disorientating. So a party of Americans might make me feel as if I were on the set of Oklahoma, or waiting for the Aichison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. Or French might recall Paris.
    One day I got off the train and there was a waiting party busily chatting away, and sounding English. Until I got among them, and found, definitely disorientatingly, that I could not understand a word. They were not speaking English, but were speaking Dutch, with an intonation that matched English. And I decided that that discombobulation of expecting to understand and then not doing so might have led to that expression.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    [Helpful Hostly interjection]
    Throwing out a reminder here that we are discussing how the English language contains differences depending on where the words are spoken or heard. This is not a thread for fightin' words.

    Please refrain from sniping at each other.

    Thank you.

    [jedijudy-helpful Heaven Host]
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I always think the ‘music’ of Dutch resembles UK east coast accents north and south of the border.
  • When in the USA, don't ever ask someone if you can borrow a rubber.
  • Sojourner wrote: »
    A long shot and could annoy the Scots among us: “ We scotched his little plan”

    Don't you welch out on us now.

    And we Welsh get pretty upset when that is used as a pejorative term.
  • Is "American" or "Yankee" or equiv. ever used as an insulting verb in other countries? If so what does it mean?
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Sorry.
  • CJCfarwestCJCfarwest Shipmate Posts: 49
    When in the USA, don't ever ask someone if you can borrow a rubber.

    My mother, newly married and not long arrived from the States, started a teaching job in a huge Scottish comprehensive in the 70s. Like most new teachers she was worried about impressing her authority on a crowd of teenagers. In one of her first classes a boy put up his hand and asked her for a rubber. She tore such a strip off him that the word quickly got out NOT to mess with the new English teacher if that was how she reacted to someone forgetting to bring an eraser with them!

  • ROTFL re both "rubber" comments.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited January 24
    Penny S wrote: »
    I had a neighbour called Welch. And she did.
    And I had an insight into the double-dutch expression once on Dover Priory railway station. We used, on occasion, to have parties of travellers heading for the harbour, all from one background, and it gave the whole station a "foreign" sound, quite disorientating. So a party of Americans might make me feel as if I were on the set of Oklahoma, or waiting for the Aichison, Topeka and the Santa Fe. Or French might recall Paris.
    One day I got off the train and there was a waiting party busily chatting away, and sounding English. Until I got among them, and found, definitely disorientatingly, that I could not understand a word. They were not speaking English, but were speaking Dutch, with an intonation that matched English. And I decided that that discombobulation of expecting to understand and then not doing so might have led to that expression.

    We were one catching the train back from Canterbury to London. There were two couples (a couple of couples) travelling in the same section and we could not understand them. We thought they may have been Dutch or German but when they asked for guidance from the ticket inspector it turned out that they were from Yorkshire. Pronunciation very different to ours or much of the English we were used hearing from others. No doubt this foursome thought much the same of ours in return.

    (And I hope this is in line with the hostly admonition)
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    In Australia, at least in the context of sports news, I often hear "ay-leet" (emphasis on first syllable) and have eventually worked out that what is meant is élite. How is that pronouncd in America?
  • Generally, "ee-LEET". Sometimes, "eh-LEET" or "uh-LEET".
  • up here eh-LEET.
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    ell-EET- "ell" as in "tell".
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    There is, I understand, a passage in a book from the first printing in this country by Caxton about choosing versions of words. He tells a story of someone wanting a dish of eggs at a tavern in Kent, and being unable to get through to the serving girl, who called them a word like "eyren" (things found in an eyrie). One or other of the characters accused the other of being Dutch. It is a very old confusion.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    cgichard wrote: »
    In Australia, at least in the context of sports news, I often hear "ay-leet" (emphasis on first syllable) and have eventually worked out that what is meant is élite. How is that pronouncd in America?

    I have never heard any other pronunciation here, save that the emphasis is on the second syllable. Then again, I don't often listen to sports news.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    i-leet (almost but not quite ǝ-leet) with the emphasis very much on the second syllable here (England).

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited January 24
    Penny S wrote: »
    There is, I understand, a passage in a book from the first printing in this country by Caxton about choosing versions of words. He tells a story of someone wanting a dish of eggs at a tavern in Kent, and being unable to get through to the serving girl, who called them a word like "eyren" (things found in an eyrie). One or other of the characters accused the other of being Dutch. It is a very old confusion.

    Which is odd, because the Old English and Dutch words for egg both lack the G. It's Old Norse which gives us Modern English Egg, which is why it was originally a Northern form; we got it from the Vikings.

    Eyrie comes from Old French 'Aire' from Latin 'Area' and etymologically has nothing to do with eggs.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    Is "American" or "Yankee" or equiv. ever used as an insulting verb in other countries? If so what does it mean?

    I didn't think so. I can't remember where this came from, but I once found it useful in a wedding speech in Vermont (we now have four Yankee grandchildren):

    To an Englishman, a Yankee is an American; To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner; To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner; To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander; To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter, and to a Vermonter, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast.”
  • Enoch wrote: »
    i-leet (almost but not quite ǝ-leet) with the emphasis very much on the second syllable here (England).
    That’s how I typically hear it in the American South. Sometimes, though, I hear ee–leet.

  • Penny S wrote: »
    There is, I understand, a passage in a book from the first printing in this country by Caxton about choosing versions of words. He tells a story of someone wanting a dish of eggs at a tavern in Kent, and being unable to get through to the serving girl, who called them a word like "eyren" (things found in an eyrie). One or other of the characters accused the other of being Dutch. It is a very old confusion.

    Egg(e)s comes to English from Old Norse, and was the northern word for eggs in early middle English (due to the Norse influence). Ey (eyren is plural) comes from the old English for egg. (As I recall the story, it was French, rather than Dutch).
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I didn't read the story - I heard it, so it has probably suffered from Chinese whispers. My mind is placing it in a particular lecture room at what was once an excellent place for adult education, and I suspect it was from the guy from the English Place Name Society - nothing else fits. And I've learned something.
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I have gone back to the source - a bit hard to decipher the typeface - and indeed it was French. But I didn't imagine the Dutch, as these Northern merchants were heading for Zelande.
  • What's Chinese whispers?


    Re Dutch. Spent a couple weeks in Amsterdam. I've got some receptive German (understand what's said). After about 3 days I was understanding Dutch when people spoke it.
  • What's Chinese whispers?
    I think it’s another name for the game that here is called “Telephone”—one person whispers something into the ear of person next to them, who in turn does the same, and so on down the line. At the end, everyone laughs at how what was first said changed as it was passed along.

  • Re Dutch. Spent a couple weeks in Amsterdam. I've got some receptive German (understand what's said). After about 3 days I was understanding Dutch when people spoke it.

    Some years ago, the comedian Eddie Izzard learned how to speak the English of Chaucer (I think he is a gifted linguist - he certainly speaks french fluently). He then went to Holland and spoke to a farmer about purchasing a cow. He found that there was enough similarity for both him and the farmer to make themselves understood.
  • edited January 24
    Re Dutch. Spent a couple weeks in Amsterdam. I've got some receptive German (understand what's said). After about 3 days I was understanding Dutch when people spoke it.

    Some years ago, the comedian Eddie Izzard learned how to speak the English of Chaucer (I think he is a gifted linguist - he certainly speaks french fluently). He then went to Holland and spoke to a farmer about purchasing a cow. He found that there was enough similarity for both him and the farmer to make themselves understood.

    Frisian. My Rhineland cousins live close to Netherlands. It's quite interesting to see the closeness to English; it is said to be closest dialect and I think it is true. (my transliteration: "unser fater, let yo nām hilige vurd, lit yo wil been vurd, an here'd like good as in himel" - start of Lord's prayer, pronounce everything, e.g., hilige = hīll-i-guh -- holy)
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