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What the English Say versus What the English Mean

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antedeluvian
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Perhaps these
antedeluvian   2/17/2017 11:11:18 AM
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Max

South African English is close to English English, so maybe these will work

What I say:

Can you put the bagels in a packet?

What I mean:

Can you put the bagels in a bag?

What they hear:

Can you put the bagels where?

 

What I say:

Do you want a lift?

What I mean:

Do you want a ride?

What they hear:

Do you want me to raise you off the floor?

 

What I say:

I have to fetch the kids from school

What I mean:

I have to pick up the kids from school

What they hear:

What? Only dogs fetch

antedeluvian
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Cricket
antedeluvian   2/17/2017 11:28:52 AM
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Any cricket metaphor must flummox

When I say:

It's a sticky wicket

I mean:

It's a difficult situation

What they hear:

Someone spilled a coke in front of a bank teller

 

elizabethsimon
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Boot Sale
elizabethsimon   2/17/2017 12:52:19 PM
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From a trip to England many years ago...


What was on the sign

Boot Sale Saturday in the Car Park

What they meant (as nearly as I can tell)

flea market Saturday in the parking lot

What I understood

What's a car park and why would I want to buy boots there?

 

jimwilliams57
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An old girlfriend
jimwilliams57   2/17/2017 1:24:37 PM
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I used to date a girl from Manchester (in England, not New Hampshire).

She asked "what did you do Saturday?"

I answered "just piddled around."

What I meant "a little of this, a little of that, but nothing of any significance."

What she heard "urinated in various places."

Like I said, I used to date her.

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.

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."

 

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

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: 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: 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?

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