Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • I know the tune of Click go the shears, but didn't recognise the words, not even the Rolf Harris version that came up on YouTube (we had an album of his songs as children). I think I must have sung or heard Ring the Bell Watchman (link to Maddy Prior on YouTube) at some point as that chorus I remember
  • Never heard of it under either name. Civil War was longer ago than my great-grandparents were alive.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    There’s a version here with links at the foot of the page to other related songs. The ‘Strike the bell’ link takes you through to a page about the author.

    Thanks, had never heard of the song or author
    Cathscats wrote: »
    We also had a song for decimalisation, which I learned in primary school. It went to the tune of the 12 days of Christmas and ran:
    On the fourteenth day of February 1971
    There’s going to be
    Decimal currency
    With a hundred pennies in a pound.

    What is there about 14 February? Can't be St Valentine, he's not concerned with money.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    I don’t know that Click go the Shears is much known outside Oz.

    I (in the UK) remembered it when I saw it mentioned, but only because many years ago an Australian friend of my mother sent us a cassette of this for Christmas.

  • Henry Clay Work was responsible for that golden oldie “My Grandfather’s Clock”
  • Sojourner wrote: »
    Henry Clay Work was responsible for that golden oldie “My Grandfather’s Clock”

    I loved that song as a child. Musical taste was never one of my strong points.
  • Work is distantly related to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Did she know anything abut work, though?
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    From another thread:
    Not sure what is meant by a "flannel" perhaps face cloth or wash cloth.

    Yup, Brits call face cloths 'flannels'. They must once have been made out of flannel (which I think of as a fairly smooth sort of cloth) but these days they're basically made out of towelling.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Fawkes Cat wrote: »
    From another thread:
    Not sure what is meant by a "flannel" perhaps face cloth or wash cloth.

    Yup, Brits call face cloths 'flannels'. They must once have been made out of flannel (which I think of as a fairly smooth sort of cloth) but these days they're basically made out of towelling.

    Being the passive-aggressive bastard that I am, I pull this example out to use against British types who are snottily insisting some Americanism is stupid because its meaning has evolved past its etymology.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Are “face cloths” what I and others in the American South would call “wash cloths”?
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Are “face cloths” what I and others in the American South would call “wash cloths”?

    And the American northwest.
  • And Midwest.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    Tangent: on holiday in Argentina, in the days when we were allowed holidays, we realised we needed to buy more flannels/face cloths/wash cloths as the hotel we were in at the time didn’t provide them. So we went to the local supermarket and bought a couple of nice terry towelling cloths - they were a bit big but the best we could do.

    When we got them back to hotel, we realised they were probably tea towels. We had visions of the hotel staff saying, ‘oh, that’s interesting, in England the flannels are just like tea towels’....

    MMM
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited March 28
    Flannel < Welsh Gwlanen < Gwlân, wool. Or at least that's the most guessed at etymology. Alternatively may have come via Norman French. Ultimately from proto-Celtic *wlanā either way.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Here it wouldn't be a flannel, face cloth or wash cloth (though I'd at least recognise "face cloth").

    To me it's a face washer. Or possibly even a facewasher.
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Fawkes Cat wrote: »
    From another thread:
    Not sure what is meant by a "flannel" perhaps face cloth or wash cloth.

    Yup, Brits call face cloths 'flannels'. They must once have been made out of flannel (which I think of as a fairly smooth sort of cloth) but these days they're basically made out of towelling.

    Being the passive-aggressive bastard that I am, I pull this example out to use against British types who are snottily insisting some Americanism is stupid because its meaning has evolved past its etymology.

    So let me also give you for free from Anglo-English:

    - choo-choo train (ok, maybe not used all that widely in polite adult company).

    - giving someone a ring on the telephone.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited March 28
    Choo-choo, along with puff-puff and puffer train, is usually employed to wind up steam enthusiasts; paging @Baptist Trainfan
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    Here it wouldn't be a flannel, face cloth or wash cloth (though I'd at least recognise "face cloth").

    To me it's a face washer. Or possibly even a facewasher.

    You're young Orfeo - to us, growing up in the 40s and 50s, it was a flannel or face washer.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    To me it's a face washer. Or possibly even a facewasher.

    To me (UK) that sounds like a machine that washes your face for you (maybe by analogy with 'dishwasher').

  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    orfeo wrote: »
    To me it's a face washer. Or possibly even a facewasher.

    To me (UK) that sounds like a machine that washes your face for you (maybe by analogy with 'dishwasher').

    I'm sure it does! A bit of research suggests it's unique to Australia.

    Of course, once upon a time a dishwasher was a person not a machine... so I'm going to argue the mechanics of how the face is washed aren't specified.
  • If you're going to use a flannel/ face cloth/ facewasher make sure you only use it for your face: if you need to employ one for your body have a separate cloth.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Why?
  • Depending on what bits you wash with your flannel, etc, do you want it on your face?
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Don’t care

    Mind you in my days as a junior nurse when doing a “ sponge bath” one started with face then hands then genitalia then feet....

    A dear old lady one said to me “just me face and me bum, love, in no particular order”😂I still smile at the memory...
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Personally I don’t care
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    Oh, I care a lot! yuck
  • SparrowSparrow Shipmate
    Reminds me of Granny Weatherwax's (Discworld) reply: "I just does all the bits. As and when they become available."
  • Am I the only one who never uses a flannel or one of those nylon scrunchies in the shower? I prefer to use my bare hands to wash myself with. Similar to my aversion to doing the dishes using a dishcloth, horrible germy things ....if I have to wash up by hand I need a brush. A clean one.
  • I never use a flannel to wash either, never have, even when having to wash myself in the work toilet basins after cycling in (top half then bottom half, stripping off to wash half, dressing and then the other half).

    I do use a sponge with a scouring pad to wash up and a brush but bleach them regularly.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host, 8th Day Host
    edited March 28
    @Sojourner, my favourite line regarding washcloths and sponge baths, probably repeated by many people in many contexts, was from my aunt when she was a student nurse, quoting the instruction she claimed to have been given on how to give sponge baths to a bed-ridden patient. The official instruction was "starting at the face, wash down as far as possible; starting at the feet, wash up as far as possible ... but eventually you'll have to wash Possible."

    In my family, cleaning one's own or a sick person's private parts is still sometimes referred to as "washing Possible."
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    I’m another who never uses washcloths or dishcloths.

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    I could always tell the children in swimming lessons who had had their faces always washed with flannels. They wouldn't put their faces in the water. I would send them home with homework - putting their face over the basin and rinsing it with their hands. Turning over in the bath and splashing their faces.
    My grandmother, reputedly, according to my mother, used the "down as far as possible" etc rule - she would have been using a wash stand with a bowl and jug. And a matching soap dish and gazunder.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Depending on what bits you wash with your flannel, etc, do you want it on your face?

    It's important to wash them in a certain order.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    I use a "face" washer all over in the shower, but it probably doesn't actually get used on my face much at all (and if it did that would be the starting point anyway).

    I mean, my face is happily getting the most rinsing direct from the showerhead. Plus it can also get washed when I'm standing at the sink at other times if necessary.

    Plus, you know, not that interested in putting soap in my eyes.
  • SojournerSojourner Shipmate
    Trudy wrote: »
    @Sojourner, my favourite line regarding washcloths and sponge baths, probably repeated by many people in many contexts, was from my aunt when she was a student nurse, quoting the instruction she claimed to have been given on how to give sponge baths to a bed-ridden patient. The official instruction was "starting at the face, wash down as far as possible; starting at the feet, wash up as far as possible ... but eventually you'll have to wash Possible."

    In my family, cleaning one's own or a sick person's private parts is still sometimes referred to as "washing Possible."

    Better than unmentionable😂

  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Although I would call the implement in question a facecloth (or sometimes a flannel), the one part of my anatomy it doesn't wash is my face; that gets rinsed many times under the shower-head and occasionally treated to a lather of a proprietary liquid called "face-wash" that's supposed to do wonders for your complexion.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Sojourner wrote: »
    Don’t care

    Mind you in my days as a junior nurse when doing a “ sponge bath” one started with face then hands then genitalia then feet....

    A dear old lady one said to me “just me face and me bum, love, in no particular order”😂I still smile at the memory...

    Like it!
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