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Five conversations that were longer than they should have been

1) “I found a fifty dollar bill just lying in the street” “Oh you jammy git!” “Jammy what?” “You jammy git!” “What?”.

[pause]

“I mean, you terribly lucky person you for being so fortuitous with finding such an item” “Oh.”

2) “But I just can’t get it to work .. it’s never going to work” “Oh come on, snap out of it and stop being such a misery guts”. “A what?” “A misery guts”. “What?”.

[pause]

“Stop being so disheartened and negative about the situation you are in, be positive and make efforts to rectify the situation” “Oh.”

3) “GOOD MORNING!! I had an excellent five mile run this morning” “Well – you’re full of beans, aren’t you!” “Full of what?” “Full of beans”. “What?”

[pause]

“You appear to have come into work this morning in an overly excitable state and are happy to be enthusiastic in showing off your energy to everyone”. “Oh.”

4) “Come in, sorry about the mess”. “Cor blimey! Your place is a bit of a tip isn’t it?” “A bit of a what?” “A bit of a tip” “What?”

[pause]

“I am in agreement with your own proclaimed statement of a moment ago that your abode is not generally of a tidy nature”. “Oh.”

5) “And then he jumped the fence, and ran away!” “You’re kidding… you mean he just legged it?” “Just what?” “Legged it” “What?”.

[pause/sigh]

“What you said! Ran away! Legged it … oh never mind”

And so it goes, everyday, never ending.

Two countries … one language. Not.

18 responses to “Five conversations that were longer than they should have been”

  1. geofftech says:

    Also – don’t ever ask an American “a penny for their thoughts”, to warn them not to rest on their laurels, to not over-egg the cake, or tell them that Bob’s your uncle or that things are ‘sorted’ because they still won’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    I’d extend that to the funny looks I get whenever I used French that has slipped into Brit-Speak, being ‘au fait’ with something for example. That always confuses them too…

  2. Chucker says:

    Years ago, in my role as Tourism Director for Kansas City, MO, I took a bus load of visiting Brit travel writing journalist to a fine dining establishment on the famed Country Club Plaza.

    They fell out of their seats, their jaws dropped, they gaped and they chortled aloud as they went to and fro when I said the name of the eatery was “Harry Starkers.”

    They explained the humour to me as well as what was meant by “shagging” and “what time shall I knock you up?”

    Ain’t language fun?

  3. Brent says:

    I swear there’s too many idiots in this country that don’t get outside their own box.

    now, had you told me any of those bits, I may have laughed just because it’s not common language around here, but I surely would have understood none-the-less.

    And what people have you met that don’t know “don’t rest on your laurels?” SHEESH!

  4. Yorkie says:

    If you ask ‘a penny for their thoughts’ don’t you get their ‘two cents’ ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_two_cents_(idiom)

  5. They got “cor blimey” then?

  6. Tina (G's Mum) says:

    Geoff, you are showing your Cockney (well not quite)roots with all this Sarf London speak! Do your posh friends know you were born in Lambeth. Oops have I given away a secret?

  7. Jono says:

    Have you told anyone at work that you got really pissed last night yet?

  8. Chz says:

    Regional thing, I think. Some of those (though not all, of course) would be well understood up in New York, Pennsylvania, and the like.

  9. Paul says:

    I always wanted a “fag” when I went to Canada but I kept getting offers from gay men and no Benson and Hedges for me

  10. (William) Andrew says:

    I think you’ll find it’s actually “over-egg the pudding“…

  11. Ciaran says:

    Born in Lambeth??? You Millwall pikey.

    Altogether now….

    “The wheels on your house go round and round,
    round and round,
    round and round,
    The wheels on your house go round and round,
    all day long”.

  12. dan says:

    Then again, it cuts both ways. “Hey man, did you catch me shagging with your wife at the wedding reception?” Brits drop their teeth at that one.

    But I wonder: is your speech more idiomatic than ours? It might be.

  13. Jono says:

    Dan,

    It’s not just that Brits have more idiomatic language, it’s that there’s a dozen different idioms, depending where you are in the country. If, for instance, I asked Geoff what he had in his Cobs, I’d get a blank look. Similarly, if Geoff asked my brother (who has never lived Dahn Sarf) if he wanted a wally with his chips, it would be met with equal incomprehension. And both of them would be at a loss if someone from Liverpool described something to them as being Jarg.

    That’s before we get into Weegie expressions…

  14. Ross says:

    All fully understood here in New Zealand.

  15. Grahame says:

    My current favourite is the ad on the telly for something cranberry-involved, wherein the tagline is “Fresh From the Bog”.

    hi-larious.

  16. Dan says:

    I was watching some Scottish-produced mockumentary about NEDs (for Non-Educated Delinquents) and in the comment section there was this great discussion about what NEDs were called in other parts of the English-speaking world.

    Several Englishmen had different words for the class, and an American offered that in the States we’d call NEDs “rednecks.”

    Someone piped up with the question, “I wonder what they call them in Australia?”

    And in the next comment someone piped in with “I believe they call them ‘Australians.'”

    Cor blimey (I don’t really know what that means, but it sounds nice there).

  17. Wayne says:

    My dad lived in Boston 20 years ago. I recall he told us of the time he tried to make an appointment for a fortnight later. The guy asked him what a fortnight was, so my dad told him it meant 2 weeks. “So whaddya call a week? Half a fortnight?”

  18. geofftech says:

    And I discovered another one today .. a local friend is just about to give birth. “We’ll have to go and wet the babies head!” I said. “Wet the what?” “The babies head!”. “What?”

    Oh…

    And so I had to explain.

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