A British slang site from a Yanks perspective

Discussion in 'The Lamp and Sandbag II - The Tall Story Strikes B' started by Trip_Wire, Jun 19, 2006.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    I was looking for a site that had some definitions of some of the UK's "slang" terms that I run across here. I ran across this one and thought it was kind of humurous, yet informitive for me.


    One "slang" term that I often see on this board is "Septic," used to label Americans. (I liked the quote posted with it):

    "Septic -- Disagreeable Yankee Commentary -- Sticks and stones may break my bones, but rhyming slang will never hurt me. (Still, how would you feel if I called YOU a name like that? Hmm? You wouldn't like it a bit, would you? Of course not. Well, okay, then, let's be nice to one another, shall we? whether we live in the United States or in England! All right? I mean, septic, indeed! Honestly!)"

    I also enjoyed this quote:

    In Defen(s)e of
    "Provincial" Americans
    an open letter to Brits from a simple everyday American (Aww! That's me, by the way: Brian Quass of Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Trust me, I'm as representative as they come! And unassuming! Girlfriend, I'm tellin' you....)
    Honestly, you English folks -- don't get me wrong, I love you guys to pieces! (I mean, kissy kissy, right?) But I do have one particular bone to pick with you guys this morning! A very, VERY particular bone! (Humph!)
    But first, do "you lot" fancy a spot of tea?

    (Sigh! In the old days, you Britishers always seemed to fancy a spot of tea. I mean, an American like myself always knew how to treat you right, as it were, from a cultural point of view. Today, I suppose there's no telling what you drink, what with globalization and immigration muddying the waters of regional identity.

    But then (and do forgive this extended parenthetical: I'll get back to the point in a moment) have you noticed something? Transatlantic understanding these days seems to have a lag time of about 40 years.

    I mean, I don't like to complain, but when certain British and European stand-up acts tell jokes over here in the states, I get the feeling that I've been transported back to the mid-1960s, particularly in the area of race relations, what with the standard allusions to bigoted white cops and American xenophobia. True, we're not living in a Golden Age over here in terms of cultural understanding, but only leftist ideologues (at least on this side of the Atlantic) would argue that things have not improved in this regard in the United States after 40+ years of hard-earned societal experience (witness, for starters, the creation, ex nihilo, of an American black middle-class over that period). Indeed, the major stateside gripe these days in terms of tolerance is that it sometimes goes too far (they call it "political correctness run amok"), to the long-term detriment of all parties concerned, when, for instance, a college newspaper is confiscated by students who object to an editorial that it contains against affirmative action, or when an Ivy League president is pilloried for suggesting that (news flash, right?) there may indeed be some intrinsic differences between men and women after all. (Go figure.) One feels, in short, that the comedians in question have honed their social wit on the dull whetstone of outdated books -- or that their modern-day reading material has been vetted by a professional malcontent such as Al Sharpton. (Bless his heart: that poor man has racked his brains, but try as he might, he still can't seem to find anything good to say about the United States over the last 50 years. Dear me...))

    But where was I?

    Oh, yes, here's your tea or whatever. (Careful, it's hot.)
    Of course, the funny thing is that the foregoing parenthetical gripe (as charmingly expressed as it might have been... sigh!) is not -- I repeat: not -- the famous "bone" that I wanted to pick with you English types this morning. (Oh, no, no, no. Don't be silly.) Still, I think that a generous mind will find a corollary between my REAL complaint and my previous remarks, wherefore I can refute the charges of "rambling" that might otherwise be preferred against me. (Me, rambling? I don't think so. At worst I was "yammering on and on" -- but with a purpose!)

    Right. So here's the bone I'm picking.
    (Just holler when you want more tea.)

    Do you know how the Brits and Europeans are forever lamenting the un-worldliness of Americans? You know: We're so provincial and we don't understand other cultures, et cetera, right?
    Well, dig: have you ever watched BBC America?

    Oh, they show us English shows all right -- but they edit 90% of the cultural relevance out of the suckers so that we poor American viewers aren't overwhelmed with Britishisms (and so mobiles become cell phones, Celsius becomes Fahrenheit, and shagging becomes -- well, you get the point).

    Nor is it just the words that are condescendingly altered before stateside airtime: They even redub the voice-overs on their reality programs before they show here, substituting an "American voice" for a British one, presumably so that we won't be "put off" by a "foreign accent," or feel that the program is somehow too exotic for the backwater likes of us locals. (Golly, I never realized how aesthetically sensitive we Americans were until I became aware of this patronizing transatlantic practice.)
    I mean, crikey moses, right?

    Do you see the problem here? (of which the film editors at BBC America, bless them, are only one symptom, of course, since British magazines, websites, and other media also strive to put on an American face for any presumably large audience of us Yanks).
    First you send us these Americanized programs that minimize "foreign" references, then you turn around and chide us for not knowing enough about the outside world.

    And I'm like, "Oh, please!"
    (More tea? Bless my soul, you vacuumed that cup out! -- or rather you hoovered it out, right? Ha ha! Hoovered it out? Oh, you!)
    Yeah, so I'm like, cut it out, okay?
    I mean, jeepers, we love you guys to bits, what with your Stonehenges, and your Shakespeares, and your Towers of London.
    But if you really want us to understand your everyday culture (right down to the British-specific bits and bobs), you first have to show it to us, okay? And until then, I'll thank you to "put a sock in it" on the subject of American provincialism. So there! (Humph!)
    I mean, am I crazy here or what?! (Don't answer that.)

    Okay, then: bone picked, right? We'll say no more about it.
    Tut-tut: I'll take that tea cup now, thank you very much.
    (By the way, if you British ever give up your fondness for tea, I'm not sure that I'd want to hear about it, notwithstanding my foregoing call for transatlantic candor. No, that's one topic on which I invite you to leave me in ignorant bliss, since I can't really envision you guys without a tea cup to your mouth -- or at least the proffer of such a drink on your lips. I mean, what can I say? We Yanks find it a vicariously reassuring custom. No: redesign your flag, ban the reading of Shakespeare, and declare Buddhism the state religion, but keep sipping tea. But only tea, mind. For I've noticed a dangerous trend in BBC America mysteries these days: the detectives are as likely to pause for a cup of coffee as they are for a cup of tea. Which, note to show editors: That "rings hollow" over here, even if, technically speaking, it accurately reflects the current state of beverage preferences in the UK. We Americans expect our British detectives to drink tea, after all. (Hey, it was good enough for Sherlock Holmes, right?) And this is one instance where we Americans would prefer reality to conform to our preconceptions rather than vice versa. So even if this custom has changed over there, allow us to hold it in safekeeping in our stateside imaginations, whence you're welcome to reclaim it when you finally come back to your cultural senses on this point.) :lol: :wink:
  2. That was almost as funny as bringing down friendly fire on soldiers whose regiments are older than the United States of America, let's stick to what we're good at, we'll drink tea, septics supre size your meals and die as obese lumps of lard and let the Canadians and Mexicans fill the empty space.....
  3. It didn't do it for me, I'm afraid.

    Looking though the slang dictionary, there's a lot of english phrases I've never heard of - "funk out" meaning to evade duty is just one example.

    They don't have "banjo" in there. Perhaps somebody should tell them.
  4. No banjo? Neither as a verb nor a noun! How very...... septic of them......
  5. About as funny as terminal cancer.... :roll:
  6. Thank you for a most entertaining and amusing post Trip-Wire.

    I knew there was a reason for 'taking the mickey' out of the Americans!

    Good-naturedly of course!

    Thanks for the tea by the way!

    Regards and best wishes
  7. Rather alot to say about tea.I personally don't like tea,but there you go,I have no problems with Americans OR Canadians,but reading through your message there was a wee (small) no I am not Scottish,dig just a couple of times to the contrey.I Like USA/all it entails,hey I even visited the place,spent my hard earned cash,but I don't blab on about it.If you have a problem then talk to someone,that knows.If you would like to talk about the States/UK then e:mail me.I am in the Brit Forces(you may have heard of us) usually in the background.Look forward to your reply.

  8. Trip-Wire, are you for real?!!

    Dunno what you're drinking mate, but whatever's in it's given you verbal diarrhoea!! :D
  9. Contrary to whatever you'd like to belive, Trip_wire, I like most Americans. I wouldn't be living with 20 million of them at fairly close quarters otherwise. You, on the other hand, are a shuddering hoop. Try looking that one up in the glossary.

    For the record, that little monograph was one of the worst pieces of writing in the English language that I have ever had the misfortune to cast my eyes upon.
  10. To be fair to Trip_Wire, this is all he said:

    The rest was a quote from the link. So, apart from spelling, and that weird transatlantic misconception of what constitutes humour, he's not to blame.

  11. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Thanks, putteesinmyhands, that is correct. The excerpts were from the site, not mine! If somebody here has a better source for the Brit slang definitions. please post it, since most here don't seem to think the one I found was a good one. :roll:

    Now that you mention what constitutes transatlantic humour, I would have to say the typical brand of "British humour") is VERY misunderstood in America as well. :wink:
  12. Tripwire old bean,
    The esteemed E. Blackadder Esq might say, raising one eyebrow -
    "It started badly, went downhill in the middle and tailed off towards the end....."
    Cor blimey, cripes etc, surely a member of the gang who gave the world "Scrubs", "Simpsons" and the first three serials of "Friends" can do a bit more better-er than this turgid contrafibularitousness?
    Warm beer anyone?
    Pip pip!

    PS - Stop whooping. The lot of you. It is spreading to our equally mindless masses.
  13. Tripwire,

    perhaps you should spend sometime at www.yankbelter.co.uk

    I'm sure you'd feel more at home there.

  14. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

  15. what the fcuk??