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Language Differences in the English Speaking World.

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posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:19 PM
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I'm curious about words used in the English Language and in particular the USA compared with words used in Britain.

How come Americans call it 'Gas' when we Brits call it Petrol and it's not a Gas it's a fluid lol?

And 'Pants' - Pants is like Knickers or underwear in Britain - we call them trousers - is there anywhere in the USA that they are called 'Trousers' and it's just the prevalence of the word pants in movies from Hollywood that makes me think all Americans call them that?

There's heaps more but I'm curious to know if these words in particular are universal in the USA or just local words which have risen to prominence?

Sorry if it all seems rather trivial - but it's Good Friday here in Australia and a lazy day and I'm really genuinely interested. More so because my wife just finished her first novel which I had to edit for 'Americanisms' - I set aside 48 hours to do it and it took me a week as there were so many.

Oz




posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:30 PM
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I was brought up hearing "I have to go to the gas station" or "put on your pants NOW" I thought the term trousers were from our parents or grandparents time or used in other countries, but I dont hear anyone here using that term. I guess the word gas was easier to say than "exxon mobile", "petrol station", or "getty". I dont get it lol, i guess i'll be looking that up.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:33 PM
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I bet the romans were thinking the same thing when the Spanish, English, and French languages started to appear across their vast empire. Its just an evolution from slang of one language to its own distinct one.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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one of my favorites is the difference in pronunciation of aluminum... I have some british neighbors here in the states and it took me forever to figure out what in the # they were asking me for...lol



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:39 PM
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Gas is short for Gasoline. Pants, trousers and slacks my be interchanged but in my neck of the woods, trousers and slacks are usually terms used to describe dress pants.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by wearewatchingyouman
one of my favorites is the difference in pronunciation of aluminum... I have some british neighbors here in the states and it took me forever to figure out what in the # they were asking me for...lol


Hey yeah that's a good one! I hear the American version on TV and think 'Eh what they talking about??'


Oz



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:53 PM
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i made a thread about asking if americans version should be called american instead of english because there is so many differences between the 2 countries even tho the name we call it is the same...the way we use words and the names we call things are widely different..LINK TO THREAD...if interested



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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How about "bum"... ? in the USA, a bum is not something we make bowel movements out of...




posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:00 PM
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Another one is fags, in Britain that is a common term for cigarettes, in the U.S it's a derogatory term for a gay person.
Fanny is another one, in Britain it's a slang term for the female genitalia but in the U.S it means your buttocks.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by Ozscot
I'm curious about words used in the English Language and in particular the USA compared with words used in Britain.

How come Americans call it 'Gas' when we Brits call it Petrol and it's not a Gas it's a fluid lol?

The Brits decided to call it petroleum which isn't quite as descriptive because that really isn't refined fuel either way thats how they got Petrol. Gas comes from Gasoline, which is the name given to Petroleum refined to a fuel.



And 'Pants' - Pants is like Knickers or underwear in Britain - we call them trousers - is there anywhere in the USA that they are called 'Trousers' and it's just the prevalence of the word pants in movies from Hollywood that makes me think all Americans call them that?


Pants comes from Pantaloon which was a style of trouser. I'm not sure when the shortened version "Pants" changed to the main vernacular for long leg coverings to replace Trouser but it did. A common saying in the US when you're going to get screwed is still "Drop Trou and bend over".


There's heaps more but I'm curious to know if these words in particular are universal in the USA or just local words which have risen to prominence?

Sorry if it all seems rather trivial - but it's Good Friday here in Australia and a lazy day and I'm really genuinely interested. More so because my wife just finished her first novel which I had to edit for 'Americanisms' - I set aside 48 hours to do it and it took me a week as there were so many.

Oz


Some more of my favorites:

Boot / Trunk
Lift / Elevator
# / # Oh thats right can't use that one here!
Oh man I had a bunch more until I tried to think about it! Hate it when that happens...



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:07 PM
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reply to post by mclarenmp4
 


So here in the states one could say " I saw 2 fags smokin a bum in an alley", and it would make sense.. but in the UK it wouldnt...

no offense to anyone...



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:08 PM
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Here's one that could get you in trouble:

In America, a nappy is a small bowl used for fruit or dessert, in Britain, it's a diaper!!



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:13 PM
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HEre is a good web-site that has a lot of the differences outlined:

www.effingpot.com...



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by snowman9364
reply to post by mclarenmp4
 


So here in the states one could say " I saw 2 fags smokin a bum in an alley", and it would make sense.. but in the UK it wouldnt...

no offense to anyone...


Yep I think I understand what you're saying because of American TV but it does sound weird to me. Basically saying 2 gay people shooting a tramp in an alley, is that right?
Now I could say "I smoked 2 fags last night" and in the U.S that would be seen as
but in the U.K that would just mean I smoked 2 cigarettes last night.
Weird huh.
Again not trying to offend anyone just pointing out cultural/language differences.
edit on 21-4-2011 by mclarenmp4 because: Clarification



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by mclarenmp4
 


exactly true!!

funny stuff... i'll be watching my tongue when conversing with Euro's...



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 10:52 PM
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Ah yes, Amerikan english, where "I don't know" can be expressed without even opening your mouth, as "mmm-MMM-mmm." Crazy.

Do Brits use the expression "OK"?



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 11:39 PM
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reply to post by Ozscot
 


It hacks me off so bad, that here in New Zealand, we are the victims of cultural hegemony, and use Americanisms in preference to New Zealand English.
Gas particularly annoys me, as petrol does not become a gas until halfway through the combustion cycle as my English father, a mechanic used to point out...
Blog by American woman in England

and
englishusagewoman.blogspot.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink">My own blog



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 12:46 AM
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USA

Lorry - a lorikeet or sometimes a ladies' name

Woolie - a fuzzy brown/black caterpillar

Fancy- Highly decorative

__________________________________________

UK


Lorry - a truck

Woolie- a sweater

Fancy (v) to like, prefer, or feel attracted to



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by Tasty Canadian
 





In America, a nappy is a small bowl used for fruit or dessert, in Britain, it's a diaper!!


lol i thought in america nappy was the term for knotted hair. In most cases, "nappy" is referred to a black persons hair when it hasnt been done or brushed.



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by snowman9364
 





So here in the states one could say " I saw 2 fags smokin a bum in an alley", and it would make sense.. but in the UK it wouldnt... no offense to anyone...



I had such a laugh at this because

In the HOOD, that would mean 2 gays shot/killed a bum in an alley.

I know thats not what you were trying to say but thats exactly what it would mean in my area.



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