A Short Guide to Great Britain (13)…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s nice adjectives are: ruddy, anharmonic, wimble, choppy, skeely, and preterhuman.

Yes, this will be my thirteenth extract from that very interesting little junk shop book A Short Guide to Great Britain; a slim volume which dates to the dark days of WWII. Copies were handed out to all the US troops who visited these shores in 1942 to help us with sorting out that idiot A. Hitler and his band of Aryan fruitcakes.

DSCN3749Today we’ll have a look at page 25:
Some Hints on British Words.
British slang is something you will have to pick up for yourself. But even apart from slang there are many words which have different meanings from the way we use them. For instance, instead of railroads, automobiles, and radios, the British will talk about railways, motorcars, and wireless sets. A railroad tie is a sleeper. A freight car is a goods wagon. A man who works on the roadbed is a navvy. A streetcar is a tram. Automobile lingo is just as different. A light truck is a lorry. The top of a car is its hood, What we call the hood (of the engine) is the bonnet. The fenders are wings. A wrench is a spanner. Gas is petrol – if there is any.
Your first furlough may find you in some small difficulties because of the language differences. You will have to ask for sock suspenders to get garters and for braces instead of suspenders – if you need any. If you are standing in line to buy (book) a railroad ticket or a seat at the movies (cinema) you will be queuing (pronounced “cueing”) up before the booking office. If you want a beer quickly, you had better ask for the nearest pub. You will get your drugs at a chemist’s and your tobacco at a tobacconists, hardware at an ironmonger’s. If you are asked to visit someone’s apartment he or she will call it a flat.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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2 Responses to A Short Guide to Great Britain (13)…

  1. memadtwo says:

    My daughters love to say “cinema” with their attempt at a British accent. Perhaps they read this book?

    • Dave Whatt says:

      “Ah, two nations separated by a common language.” – Winston Churchill I think. As kids we never used the word ‘cinema’, we always referred to it as ‘going to the pictures’.

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