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Old 10-25-2012, 11:43 AM   #81
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We simply used the term socket to refer to a "socket wrench". (e.g. "pass me a 10mm socket")

A ring spanner is the same as a spanner except with closed ends where we lived.
And indeed everywhere in the UK. I must have been writing on autopilot.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #82
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A minor one: "Right" (in response to a statement by another speaker). It turns out that "right" in this context is not a term of agreement, it's just an acknowledgement that he's heard what you've said and wants to move on.

"I guess my joke about the Queen might have been in bad taste. Still--do you agree with the basic point of it?"
"Right. Grab that tyre and spanner from the boot and let's put this wheel on, or you can sit on that kerb and wait to get hit by a lorry."
Sorry Sam, I don't recall your joke about the Queen. However, it did remind me of another British term, lavvy, used in many areas, and this spitting image skit following a story where a special toilet was provided for a visit by the Queen in case she needed to "spend a penny"

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Old 10-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #83
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As for spanner, I learned it from a bad pun in an obscure Arthur C. Clarke story.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #84
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Sorry Sam, I don't recall your joke about the Queen.
Sorry, I was just making up an example conversation. I've learned (from the experience of others) not to make jokes about the royal family. I think perhaps Brits can do it among themselves, but jokes from a Yank are a different kettle of fish. Which is just as it should be.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:18 PM   #85
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Sorry, I was just making up an example conversation. I've learned (from the experience of others) not to make jokes about the royal family. I think perhaps Brits can do it among themselves, but jokes from a Yank are a different kettle of fish. Which is just as it should be.
No worries. I think the Royals themselves have a pretty good sense of humor.

Here is Prince Charles reading the weather forecast on BBC Scotland earlier this year.

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Old 10-25-2012, 05:45 PM   #86
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Being late to the thread, I'm surprised that "rubber" (British for eraser) hasn't been mentioned. When we lived in Europe, DS was in preschool and primary school in an international school with a curriculum based on British English. So he naturally called them "rubbers". We get back to the USA and he's in 3rd grade - needless to say his teacher was shocked when he asked for a rubber on the first day of school!
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:04 PM   #87
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One more


Randy = Horney


Being there as a young single man - I was in tune with this one
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #88
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I like dodgy.

And trainers, the sneakers that the young undercover detectives in the British mysteries I read are always pulling on when they go to the council estates Alan mentioned earlier.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:22 PM   #89
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I like the one "proper." When they moved there a little over year ago the first indication that five year old grandaughter was being indoctrinated was her use of "let me have a go" instead of "let me have a turn." As an aside, I do think the UK living is finally getting to the mother and father; aside from the confines and difficulties of London living, it's no fun having your 3 and 5 year olds correct your pronunciations!
My mother-in-law has an English degree and spent several years teaching elementary school. Years later my in-laws moved to Hawaii to watch their granddaughter grow up. One of the first things my MIL experienced was her 1st-grade GD showing off her pidgin skills to her kupuna, li' dat yah?

Grandma's reaction led to a private grownups conversation that admonitions about "propah English" were not in keeping with the Hawaii Renaissance. But for the rest my MIL's time here, when she heard pidgin she'd automatically assume that the speaker was illiterate, slow of comprehension, and deaf. She'd then speak much more precisely, slower, and louder. She never did understand why she got such bad customer service all the time.

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Randy = Horney
One of my college classmates was named Randy, which turned out to be short for "Virginia". Never saw that naming convention again.
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:16 AM   #90
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I grew up in the British Commonwealth, so they are perfectly familiar to me and many are a regular part of my vocabulary (the racier ones I got from British sitcoms ). Returning to the States as a teenager I had to make several adjustments. When you were mad, it meant you were angry, not crazy. You sat on your bottom or buns, not your bum. Hood, trunk, renting a car, etc., etc.

I use "autumn" all the time. I guess I didn't get the memo.......
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:26 AM   #91
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What does it really mean

Quite nice = I like, it's good
Quite nice, really = meh, nothing special
Quite nice, really, if you like that sort of thing = don't bother me again with this
"Not half bad" meant something was actually better than expected.

Most of the compliments I heard were back-handed. Not in keeping with British colonial tradition to straight out say something nice.

Make that: "Not half bad, eh?"
Probably made in the response to the Texan lady who drawled that it had been such a gawgeous afternoon.
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