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#1
Swad

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If you haven't checked out Metrogirl's US-UK Dictionary, you should. It's hilarious!

How do some, like "inside lane," become totally opposite?

The "spunk" story is awesome. My favorite British word at the moment is Queue - it makes a lot of sense, more sense than a line (which usually isn't a line at all!)

I think the exchanging of "hoover" for vacuum should be added, metrogirl.

#2
jbjonas

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I can understand inside lane being opposite- since they all drive on the wrong side of the road :D
What I don't get is how Public and Private (as far as schools) became opposite meanings!

I remember taking my first class in C programming at college... The Professor was British, and an expert in Traffic flow patterns & simulations. Half the damned problem sets involved 'queues' of cars lining up at toll booths, and linked-lists and {censored}. And besides that- just look at how it's spelled! queue Thats absurd!

#3
cyrana

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Britain is evil. Due to going there so often and having a British fiance, I have stupid Americans always asking me if I was born there. I must say things oddly now or something.

#4
Swad

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LOL -

Well, inside lane should mean the lane closest to the other lane, right? But don't even get me started on the driving thing... :D

The "billion" thing was interesting.

And whatever happened to tea time?

#5
cyrana

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Oh, and the best word ever is bollocks. It has so many uses. :D

#6
Trombone_Bob

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I find that my favorite "british" word is "hemidemisemiquaver" for people who speak american english this word means 64th note in music. Now which is easer to type? http://www.music.vt....semiquaver.html

for thoes who want to know more

#7
cyrana

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LOL, interesting.

"Pear-shaped" also rocks. Things go pear shaped at work all the time... If I say that I just get stares here though and they want to know wtf it means.

EDIT: OMG, Metrogirl doesn't have it in her UK-US dictionary. :( :D
http://www.worldwide.../qa/qa-pea2.htm

#8
Captain Ahab

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I can help out on the Public/Private school bit.

In the old days all schools in the UK were run by various groups, often by churches. If the school was for e.g. catholics and you weren't, your kids had to go and learn all about catholicism regardless. Or any other group you could mention. Those schools were privately run, hence 'private'. You usually didn't pay for them because the groups running them wanted to indoctrinate the kids.

When schools that didn't subscribe to a religion or other group were introduced, anyone could go, so they were callled 'public'. They were a better and broader class of education but because they were not subsidized by anyone you had to pay to go. So a public school was one you paid to attend.

Eventually all the 'private' schools were absorbed into the state system and became just normal free state education and they were forced to teach all religions etc. Some private schools remained private - just for catholics for eg and are 'private' to this day. Some 'public' schools remain too, and charge fees, and they offer the 'best' education. They are open to any of the public, as long as they've got the dosh :( Eton, Harrow, etc. are 'public' schools.

#9
macgirl

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If you haven't checked out Metrogirl's US-UK Dictionary, you should. It's hilarious!

How do some, like "inside lane," become totally opposite?

The "spunk" story is awesome. My favorite British word at the moment is Queue - it makes a lot of sense, more sense than a line (which usually isn't a line at all!)

I think the exchanging of "hoover" for vacuum should be added, metrogirl.

I should do a Spanish Spain/Mexican/LatinAmerican version.

#10
Metrogirl

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Great idea, Macgirl! I'd be fascinated in that, though my Spanish is terrible so I wouldn't understand much of it!

I've been adding to that dictionary almost daily since I created it ... I have a notepad on my laptop which gets three or four additions a day - and they get uploaded when I can. Yes, pear-shaped is a great one; I always thought it came from that terrible sinking feeling you get when something goes wrong and it seems like your insides just collapsed to the bottom ... or maybe trying to hold a balloon full of water around the middle and it all slips down to the lower half.

Inside lane comes from being closest to the kerb - you go 'outside' when you travel further from the kerb, I always thought that made sense to me. The public school explanation above is 100% too.

Queue comes from the French for tail, and the spelling is originally French.

The suggested phrases will be added soon - any more suggestions happily received for inclusion!

#11
jbjonas

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He He... I love Spanish. My father tells a funny story about a business trip he once took to Mexico City:
-He was trying to learn more Spanish for his business trips. After checking into his hotel, he was escorted to his room by a teenager, the bellboy. Upon giving the bellboy his tip, he decided to practice some Spanish. While handing the boy some cash as a tip, my father asked him "Quantos aos tienes?" However, my father- reading from a Spanish phrase book, incorrectly pronounced it "Quantos anos tienes?" For those of you who don't speak spanish that's the difference between the correct: "ayn-yos" and what my dad said: "ah-nos"

As far as the meaning goes: instead of what he meant to ask (how old are you - or how many years do you have? -literally) My father asked this poor boy: How many {censored}es do you have? The kid took the tip, turned and ran away, probably thinking my father was a pedophile.

I love that story! It always makes my dad blush... ;) :)

#12
cyrana

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LOL, that is pretty good, jbjonas. :D I'd like to see that other dictionary, I know Spanish although I can pretty much only read it now. My writing and speaking ability is rather poor (other than basic getting around stuff).

Japanese has a ton of words that are made different just by an extended vowel sound and the such as well. The words for husband and prisoner are just one long vowel off. :o lol

#13
Metrogirl

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I stayed with a French family when I was in my early teens. After a particularly good meal the hostess asked me if I wanted some more. Being very proud of my French, I brightly replied "Non, merci, je suis pleine" which I expected to be interpreted as "No thank you, I am full." Horrified and sympathetic looks resulted. I rapidly discovered that I was busy telling them in perfect colloquial French that I was pregnant... :whistle:

#14
macgirl

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LOL, I remember some shame moments with my first attempts of german and my SO laughted so much. :whistle:

Is this parallel thinking? Attached File  users.png   2.89KB   74 downloads

#15
cyrana

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It sounds like something I've seen Americans use before who don't know Spanish so often... (how odd, same theme still) I think I saw this on King of the Hill, too.

embarassada doesn't mean embarrassed. lol





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