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What the English Say versus What the English Mean

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Ariella
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Re: Gobsmacked
Ariella   2/17/2017 3:44:04 PM
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@Max It would, indeed. I'm not even sure all Brits would get it. Is that form of slang still in use?

Max The Magnificent
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Gobsmacked
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:45:13 PM
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Now I've started to think of things like "gobsmacked" and "as sick as a parrot."

And then, of course, we have all the Cockney Rhyming Slang sayings, like:

"He's telling porkies" meaning "He's telling lies" (because "Pork Pies" rhymes with "Lies" and "Porkies" is a shortened form of "Pork Pies")

"My plates are tired" meaning "My feet are tired" ("Plates of meat" rhymes with feet, and "Plates of meat" -> "Feet")

"I have to get home to the trouble and strife" meaning "I have to return to the loving embrace of my wife"

And on it goes...

The thing is that, if I'm watching a TV program and I hear a term like this, I don;t think twice about it, but now I come to think about it, such a program would probably sound like gibberish to an American

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Cricket
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:38:25 PM
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@Antedeluvian: When I say: It's a sticky wicket I mean: It's a difficult situation

Well, of course. It is funny when you think about this, but if someone said "it's s sticky wicket" to me I wouldn't even pause for thought -- I'd inherently understand what they meant. It must be so hard to be an American LOL

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Then there's New England
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:33:27 PM
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@MeasurememtBlues: There's also a way of using a negative when you mean a positive...

No way!

Well, gag me with a spoon!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Since you mentioned ping pong
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:22:35 PM
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@Randa11: ...I used to be half decent...

And the other half indecent?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: An old girlfriend
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:20:48 PM
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@Jim: ...What she heard "urinated in various places"...

That would certainly put the damper on things (LOL)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Boot Sale
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:18:34 PM
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@Elizabeth Simon: ...What's a car park and why would I want to buy boots there?...

It was much the same for me coming over here. It really makes you think "I am a stranger in a strange land"

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Perhaps these
Max The Magnificent   2/17/2017 2:14:29 PM
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@Antedeluvian: South African English is close to English English, so maybe these will work...

When I first came here I would forget myself and ask for directions to the "Car Park" and people's eyes would glaze over -- I meant "Parking Lot" -- over here "Park" is associated with things like "Theme Park," "Water Park," "Amusement Park," and so forth, so when people hear "Car Park" their mind tries to wrap itself around the idea of Cars at a Theme Park

MeasurementBlues
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Then there's New England
MeasurementBlues   2/17/2017 1:45:49 PM
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@Max,

Then there are sayings here in New England. For example.

"Wicked" means "very," as in "wicked good."

"Wicked pissa" means even better than wicked good.

There's also a way of using a negative when you mean a positive, but I don't hear that much anymore and can't really remember how it's used. But, that be because so many of the people I know now grew up somewhere else or learned English, as opposed to "New England English."

 

Randa11
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Since you mentioned ping pong
Randa11   2/17/2017 1:31:55 PM
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Since you mentioned ping pong, I used to be half decent, and, I had an american girlfriend for a while: I couldn't understand why she collapsed in a fit of laughter when I explained that I had a different rubber on either side of my bat.

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