Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

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  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    And there’s Lapine, the language of the rabbits in Watership Down, where anything over five is “hrair”. The little rabbit known as Fiver is “Hrair-roo”, the last in a large litter, but they also use “hrair” as a word connected with fear as it symbolizes the numerous natural enemies of the rabbit.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Robertus L wrote: »
    I can't remember the term off the top of my head, but there is a demotic Welsh term for 99 that translates as, 'Except one, five twenties.'

    The one I know is; cant comyn un (= a hundred but one), considerably less of a mouth full than : pedwar ar pumdeg ar deg ac pedair ugain* = four on fifteen on ten plus four twenties

    * I'm not sure that's the right spelling I've probably missed a mutation somewher, but it's the right concept

    Nearly all of them, though how many people would use phedair after a these days? Bastards, aren't they, treigladdau?
  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    There are some indigenous cultures in Australia that count by naming things. I don’t think there are numbers as such at all. From (very vague) memory Warradjuri is one of them.
  • Robertus LRobertus L Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Robertus L wrote: »
    I can't remember the term off the top of my head, but there is a demotic Welsh term for 99 that translates as, 'Except one, five twenties.'

    The one I know is; cant comyn un (= a hundred but one), considerably less of a mouth full than : pedwar ar pumdeg ar deg ac pedair ugain* = four on fifteen on ten plus four twenties

    * I'm not sure that's the right spelling I've probably missed a mutation somewher, but it's the right concept

    Nearly all of them, though how many people would use phedair after a these days? Bastards, aren't they, treigladdau?

    I'm not sure that in reality anybody really went through the rigmarole of the full version when you can just say 'one less than a hundred'. If I had a Welsh bible to hand I could check how the 99 sheep in the parable is translated (but as KarlLB will know using numbers and nouns is a whole other problem)

    Aspirant mutations can, as I've said give rise some funny bilingual problems: the Welsh for 'packed lunch' is pecyn bwyd (= packed food), but under certain mutations this becomes phecyn fwyd, which sounds dangerously close to the English 'f***in' food' adolescents in bilingual schools can have a lot of fun with monoglot English teachers, the Welsh for (female) teacher is of course athrawes, (see what I've done there:😁):
    Athrawes wrote: »
    There are some indigenous cultures in Australia that count by naming things. I don’t think there are numbers as such at all. From (very vague) memory Warradjuri is one of them.

    I know that there is a variety of practice amongst Aboriginal peoples, but I'm less familiar with these than with theSouth American tribes. Anumeric cultures are more numerous that we might think.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Many years ago when driving through northern Arizona we were listening to the news on a Navajo radio station. We had no idea what they were saying, but we enjoyed the sound of it. I got the impression that they did not have words for really large numbers. While going on and on in Navajo, they would suddenly use the word "million" or "billion." (The only other words I understood were names, mostly of politicians.)

    I got a plastic flower pen from a Native American petrol station attendant in Page, AZ. I went in to pre-pay and saw her with it and wanted to buy one (assuming they sold them at the shop). They didn't and I went out to fill the car up. The attendant ran out, gave me the pen, and ran back inside. It is one of my favorite travel memories.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Tangent: Klingon has
    1 – wa’
    2 – cha’
    3 – wej
    4 – loS
    5 – vagh
    6 – jav
    7 – Soch
    8 – chorgh
    9 – Hut
    10 – wa’maH

    Klingon might be considered scifi Esperanto. :wink:
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Long ago, I read a book called "1, 2, 3, Many" (IIRC). It was about number systems in various cultures. The title is a sample. Don't remember what culture it's from.

    Might be handy for a group of 3 people, or 3 groups of people. "1, 2, 3...ooo, we have extra!"
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited April 10
    Robertus L wrote: »
    The only way I can make that work is if it's parsed as:

    Three plus half from five multiplied by twenty

    3 + [(5 - 0.5) x 20]

    This assumes it's a vigesimal system, but truly bizarre,

    Bingo. You have it. Welcome to Danish counting.

    Though I think the origin is not so much "half from five" as "halfway to five from four", though I'd have to go look some things up to be certain.

    It's okay up until 40, but then 50 is based on "half-threes", 60 is based on "threes" etc.

    Plus they do the German thing of putting the units first.

    My understanding is that even the Swedes and Norwegians, who essentially speak the same language (the whole language vs dialect thing is well illustrated by these), look at Danish counting and think "What the devil are you doing?"
  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    Sussex. One-ery, twoery, cockery, shoe-ery, sitherum, satherum, wineberry, wagtail, tarradiddle, den. Each word for two sheep. On den, cut score on stick. Hence score for 20. But if there's any Old English, Celtic or Norse lurking in there, I'd be surprised*. I used to have a set of poetry books with a variation of the Cumbrian counts in the footer of each page, one word to a right opening.
    *I have concerns about the third and fourth words - I suspect bawdry.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    edited April 10
    Addendum: having found the material I was thinking of, it's more accurate to say that 50 is based on "half-third" rather than "half-three".

    It's "half-the-third-lot-of-twenty" and so on.

    But Danes never found a word they couldn't collapse so that most of the syllables disappear. These instructions on how to pronounce any Danish word were first shared with me by my own Danish teacher.

    [code fix-jj-HH]
  • Just reading about the word craic, incredible history, starting as English crack, then into Irish as craic, and of course, Irish English, also in Scots and Ulster dialects, see Wiki.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    'Come your ceilidh' is another collision of Irish/English familiar to me. No actual music was involved: it was simply an invitation to socialise (ah yes, remember that?)
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Firenze wrote: »
    'Come your ceilidh' is another collision of Irish/English familiar to me. No actual music was involved: it was simply an invitation to socialise (ah yes, remember that?)
    That's an idiom unknown to me. A ceilidh, to me, always involves music, craic and plenty of liquid refreshment.

    @quetzalcoatl I'd never realised 'craic' was originally borrowed from English. I mean, I'd just as happily spell it 'crack' and as an expression, it always seems to have been around, just to have got more popular and more emphatically Irish somehow. Thank you. That was interesting.

    The other curious one of these is the Irish bouzouki. It is strung differently from a Greek one, but derives from Greek instruments Irish musicians brought back from Greece when the package holiday began to develop in the 1960s. They then altered it to suit what they wanted to do with it.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    I found this image on which English accent is the easiest to understand was interesting.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    I found this image on which English accent is the easiest to understand was interesting.

    Easiest for whom though?
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Horrible name on that diagram. I do not have an English Accent. Nor do the Americans, Canadians, Irish, Welsh, New Zealanders who also feature on the graphic. We speak English, but that is a different thing.
  • It seems pointless to me, since everyone presumably finds accents easier, which are like their own.
  • Is it because most broadcasting has been in Received Pronunciation until recently? I find it odd that most Americans seem to understand the diversity of accents in their own country, but get defeated by Manchester (for example).
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    What's the source of the diagram and from what dialectical standpoint is it written? I tried to work this out from the page but there doesn't seem to be any link to the Home page of whatever site it comes from.

    It's slightly sad that it also omits some of the smaller speech communities that are first language English speaking.

    I can see why to some there might be a small blob of lower intelligibility round Birmingham, but what have Bristol and Bath done to deserve one?

  • Is it a spoof?
  • I suspect it's US based as the West Country is regarded as comprehensible and not the accent less like those who came over with the Pilgrim Fathers are less so.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited April 14
    Is it because most broadcasting has been in Received Pronunciation until recently? I find it odd that most Americans seem to understand the diversity of accents in their own country, but get defeated by Manchester (for example).
    Well looking at the map, you’d get the impression there are only 3 or 4 accents in the US, and only 2 each in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I’d say we need the roll eyes emoji, but I’m not sure that would be enough.

    The chart says “From the perspective of u/bezzleford,” who apparently is a Reddit user. So there you go.

    I suspect it's US based . . . .
    I doubt it. bezzleford (which sounds kind of Englishy) has lots of these charts, and they almost all focus on the UK or Europe.

  • Penny SPenny S Shipmate
    He has a home marked in Essex on the Estuary, and apparently has no problem with Geordie.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Yes, all of you asking for the standpoint, there is literally a little home logo on the map.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Besides, only an English person would call all these accents English.😒
  • Is it because most broadcasting has been in Received Pronunciation until recently? I find it odd that most Americans seem to understand the diversity of accents in their own country, but get defeated by Manchester (for example).

    It's down to practice. What you run into the most often, you learn to understand. (I've been woman in the middle in a series of three English speakers, but the ones on either side were heavily accented and mutually unintelligible. Think a local Midwestern black doctor asking questions, which I repeat in my own California accent, which Mr Lamb repeats in Vietnamese to the patient--who answers in Vietnamese, with Mr Lamb translating into Vietnamese-accented English, which I change to Californian, which the doctor understands.

    It's a riot.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Remember, I started this thread as a spoof. I thought I would continue the humor by posting a link that is absurd. Of course, it only gives the perspective of the individual who made the map. Note he identifies where his home is and everything moves out from there.

    I have seen a similar map made from an Italian perspective that ranks the national cuisines of Europe. Want to guess where it puts most English foods? (from barely edible to toxic). It says Americans make fake pizza and the Chinese make fake pasta.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    Aha. Found my Welsh New Testament and the ninety-nine are translated “naw deg a naw” (which is what I’d have said, as I think I was taught a modernized Welsh counting system).
    The problems re mutations of consonants for packed lunches in Welsh hadn’t occurred to me. But I did once hoot out loud with laughter when I noticed Asda had dutifully translated the sign above the tins of beans as “Ffa tun”.
    (The letter u makes a short “i” sound in that context)
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    We should be grateful that chickpeas aren't Ffa Cyw, as they could so easily have been.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    Rilliant!
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    Sorry, the initial B disappeared somehow there!
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    We should be grateful that chickpeas aren't Ffa Cyw, as they could so easily have been.

    Some people call them garbonzo beans I believe.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    We should be grateful that chickpeas aren't Ffa Cyw, as they could so easily have been.

    Some people call them garbonzo beans I believe.

    That is what they are called in Washington State.

    Here is a test I want out British cohorts to complete.

    Please define the following words or phrases (no cheating):

    1. Buck
    2. Pass the buck
    3. Going Dutch
    4. Sweet
    5. Zonked
    6. Bought the farm
    7. Shoot the Breeze
    8. Jonesing
    9. John Hancock
    10. Monday Morning Quarterback
    11. Ride shotgun
    12. For the Birds
    13. Put up your dukes
    14. Carpetbagger
    15. Pork

    I am sure our British friends can come up with similar phrases we Americans would not understand.


  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    I got about half of them, @Gramps49, but I’m in Australia. We tend to get a fair bit of both lots of slang. No idea about the Monday morning quarterback, though. Or Jonesing.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    No worries.
  • Wet KipperWet Kipper Shipmate
    edited April 15
    are you wanting the Brits to give a British English definition of those terms, if there is one, or are you wanting us to try and say what they mean to an American ?
    Or even translate the American meaning into a similar term understood by Brits ?
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Is there an American equivalent to 'Sun's over the yardarm'?
  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    Or 'A chip onhis shoulder'?
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    edited April 15
    1. Buck
    a) Act contrary to b) male rabbit or deer
    2. Pass the buck
    Shirk responsibility
    3. Going Dutch
    Halving the cost
    4. Sweet
    Pleasing.
    5. Zonked
    Exhausted
    6. Bought the farm
    Died
    7. Shoot the Breeze
    Chat
    8. Jonesing
    Wanting badly
    9. John Hancock
    ?
    10. Monday Morning Quarterback
    Speculatively, someone wise after the event.
    11. Ride shotgun
    Have a protective role
    12. For the Birds
    Unworthy of consideration
    13. Put up your dukes
    Prepare to fight
    14. Carpetbagger
    Exploiter, opportunist
    15. Pork
    Pigmeat

    Now, what about

    1. Numpty
    2. Cute hoor
    3. Be (someone's) priest
    4. Blether
    5. Wean
    6. Wheen
    7. Kybosh
    8. Teuchter
    9. Guddle
    10. Stushie


  • I didn't know 8, 10 or 15. And I only knew 9 because I'd asked about it on the Ship!
  • Funnily enough I was thinking about Going Dutch only yesterday. I thought it was a British phrase, along with Dutch Uncle, and even Dutch Cap.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate

    Firenze, I only know 1,4 and 7.
    Numpty = idiot, fool, daft
    Blether = keep on talking
    Kybosh= put the kybosh on something, stop it.

    With regard to regional accents, Darllenwr is from Stourbridge, but doesn’t have a Midlands accent. Shortly after we were married, we went into Birmingham to look for a mahjong set. We went into a big store, couldn’t see one, so I asked a shop assistant. She couldn’t understand my Welsh accent, I couldn’t understand her Midlands accent, and Darllenwr, who could understand both of us, stood to one side chuckling!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited April 15
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    We should be grateful that chickpeas aren't Ffa Cyw, as they could so easily have been.


    Some people call them garbonzo beans I believe.

    That is what they are called in Washington State.

    Here is a test I want out British cohorts to complete.

    Please define the following words or phrases (no cheating):

    Here goes, fairly close to @Firenze's answers.

    1. Buck,
    a) Act contrary to, or b) male roe deer or rabbit.
    2. Pass the buck
    Evade responsibility and dump it on someone else.
    3. Going Dutch
    Each person paying for their own meal.
    4. Sweet
    Sugary tasting, and from that, pleasant in a non-threatening way.
    However, 'be sweet on someone' = 'romantically attract to someone', but is old fashioned and probably obs. (What other mystery meaning does it have)
    5. Zonked
    Exhausted (I thought zonked was a BrEnglish expression)
    6. Bought the farm
    Apart from buying an agricultural holding, unknown.
    7. Shoot the Breeze
    Unknown.
    8. Jonesing
    Unknown
    9. John Hancock
    Unknown
    10. Monday Morning Quarterback
    Unknown. Quarterback itself is one of those mysterious transatlantic words that one has seen but doesn't know what it means..
    11. Ride shotgun
    Be a metaphorical bodyguard in a metaphorical passenger seat.
    12. For the Birds
    Expression for condemning a ridiculous suggestion founded in delusion.
    13. Put up your dukes
    Clench ones fists and go into boxer's attack position.
    14. Carpetbagger
    As @Firenze, Exploiter, opportunist
    15. Pork
    As @Firenze, Pigmeat, (What other mystery meaning does it have)
    However 'porky' = lie. That's rhyming slang.

    garbonzo beans
    Unknown.

  • Sweet is interesting as in London it has the street usage, meaning good, but used on its own. However, I suspect this goes beyond London.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    edited April 15
    John Hancock=
    signature (because on the Declaration of Independence he wrote so large). As in, "Just put your John Hancock on this line, and the shiny object is yours."
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Also

    Carpetbagger has the implication
    that they are from outside the region. Someone unwanted coming in from other parts to do things the locals may or may not want done.

    Pork=
    amendment in a spending bill that benefits one particular state or district, and not the country as a whole, OR benefits one particular industry or other subportion of the country. Normally this is done in a tit-for-tat manner. If you vote for a new post office in my district, I'll vote for a new courthouse in your county.
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Funnily enough I was thinking about Going Dutch only yesterday. I thought it was a British phrase, along with Dutch Uncle, and even Dutch Cap.

    Oddly Dutch Uncle is not uncommon here (particularly among us older folk), but I have no idea what Dutch Cap is.
  • Firenze wrote: »
    1. Numpty
    2. Cute hoor
    3. Be (someone's) priest
    4. Blether
    5. Wean
    6. Wheen
    7. Kybosh
    8. Teuchter
    9. Guddle
    10. Stushie

    I'm certain #2 doesn't mean what it sounds like it means, and I've no idea about #3. A lot of these are Scots, and are words that I understand but wouldn't use. I think the only ones of these I know I've used in speech are Numpty, Kybosh, and probably Blether (I might have to think hard about whether blether and blither are different words or not.) I don't think I've ever used wean as a noun, and I know I've never used the rest, but I know what they mean.
  • Buck
    Male deer.
    Sudden jump by a horse or pony.
    US slang for a dollar.
    Pass the buck
    To shirk responsibility, give control of a difficult task or decision to someone else.
    Going Dutch
    An outing where each person pays their own way.
    Sweet
    Single item of confectionery. The opposite of sour. Non-U term for dessert.
    Zonked
    Brought to collapse by exhaustion.
    Bought the farm
    I think its something to do with crashing a single-seater aircraft.
    Shoot the Breeze/ Jonesing/ John Hancock/ Monday Morning Quarterback
    Not a clue.
    Ride shotgun
    To give support in a situation which may turn into an argument/ altercation.
    For the Birds
    Not an expression I'm familiar with.
    Put up your dukes
    To confront an opponent before a boxing bout.
    Carpetbagger
    Fly-by-night financial opportunist - origin from the upheaval in the former Confederate States after the 1860s civil war in North America.
    Pork
    Uncured pig meat. Very occasionally to refer to another's excessive weight.

    So @Gramps49, what do you understand by Hoist with his own petard?
  • Talking about sweet and London street usage reminded me that there is Multicultural London English, and Multiethnic London English, not sure if they're identical. Anyway, it used to be said that it had Jamaican roots, but this seems inaccurate, and it's a mixture of different dialects. It's supposed to be "post-racial", however, I don't know enough about it.
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