and Whale.watcher and Tim W: re. the waistcoat pronounced weskit thing. This is not a regional thing but an archaeic form of upper class pronounciation, almost never heard nowadays except on the stage. It has disappeared along with huntin' shootin' and fishin' which used to be the 'correct' way to pronounce these pastimes.
Diana, we used "was supposed to" as well. I think there's some subtle difference, but it's too hot to think about it now...
And Marg, for "dear", there's a whole raft of regional differences: "chuck" is Lancashire/ North-West. In London (or lots of places) it'd be "love", in the North East "pet" or "hinny", in Glasgow "hen", and in Devon "my lover"!
Something that's struck me - not so much vocbulary as speech habit. In the UK, we would give a street its full name, where at least some Americans seem to drop the "Street", "Avenue" or whatever. In London, and probably most other towns and cities too, there could be confusion between a district and a street or square("Victoria", "Bloomsbury"); and often, posh Georgian and Victorian developments would have their associated Lane or Mews for service access, so you could easily have in the same district a Square, Avenue, Street, Lane and Mews all with the same name. And developers often lacked imagination too.
I don't want to change this thread, so this will be my last post on this for now, but I have heard "I was meant to go teach that class..." instead of " I was supposed to go theach that class" many times...Not "I had meant", instead, "I was meant". This is the usage I was refering to. But no mind, on with the game.
I'm think there's a sort of Venn diagram of meanings. "I was supposed to" means (to my mind) "someone else expected me to" (whether or not I'd chosen to, or even knew I was expected to: there's an even older meaning, I think, of "people believed I did"). "I was meant to" means (to my mind) "both I and someone else expected me to".
But no doubt people actually use them interchangeably.
Hola. I am so sorry for posting more than one thing but after I saw this thread I looked on the internet for words. This site made me laugh so hard I had to put my wine down..Especially the following....(25 and 31 are connected)
25) Woody. In the UK, an acceptable description of a wine that has taken on the flavour of the barrels it has matured in. In the US *never* go a wine tasting and claim that this wonderful Californian Chardonnay has an excellent 'woody' flavour, unless you are the female co-star of the aforementioned male actor and you are in the process of filming an 'arty' movie.
26) Hood. To our American cousins, the bit of a car that the engine sits under or place where you might live if you are a rapper. To us Brits, the part of a coat that is designed to cover your head when it rains. What you call the 'hood' we call the 'bonnet' on a car.
27) Gas. To the citizens of the United Kingdom, an instrument of warfare, the stuff that you use to cook your dinner on or a state of matter that is neither liquid nor solid. To you guys, what we call petrol and the gaseous by product of bottom burps (wind).
28) Pecker. To keep one's pecker up is a state of mind in the UK, an athletic feat in the US and a way of life for the common or garden woodpecker.
29) Toilets. Although we have a lot of colourful euphenisms for the lavatory experience in the UK (e.g. spend a penny, watering the daisies) we lack the prissiness of our American chums. To us a toilet is a bog, a kharzi, a shithouse (or alternatively an outhouse in more polite company), a gents/ladies but mostly a toilet. It is perfectly acceptable to be in the Ritz and request to use the toilet. However, you guys seem ashamed of the t-word. Hence you go to the John (where no-one called John is there) and the bathroom (where there is no bath). ...And a word of warning for English chaps in the US - never admit to eating baked beans out of the can.
30) Beer. What you call beer, we call lager. What we call beer, you call disgusting. This might be mutual.
31) Hard. In the UK, you might see an unshaven tattooed uncouth man with big muscles in a pub. If you accidentally spill his beer, he might get upset and request you to join him outside. He might say `Come on then if you think you're hard enough!' Or even 'I'm hard, me, so you better watch your step, mate.' He is not casting aspersions on your sexual persuasion, nor does he have an erection. He is merely stating the fact that unless you buy him another pint of lager in the very immediate future he might beat seven shades of **** out of you. In the US, our friend the male actor would probably say 'I'm hard' while sharing a bottle of woody flavoured chardonnay with his co-star...
Teachick - I think the semantics, the explanations and the discussions are part of the fun. There is almost as much variation in English between regions of the UK (and maybe America as well) as between countries. (In some areas,if you were to suggest to a young lady that you'd "knock her up in the morning", you may well end up with a slapped face)
Diana - I believe Whilst is technically correct "English English", but don't believe I have heard or read it used outside of Literature.
Posts: 1086 | Location: Hampshire, UK | Registered: 28 March 2005
Tony (the PM) uses whilst all the time! I have heard it from many a Brit in my day. It always sort of sticks out for me as a tough of aristocracy. When I worked as an English Instructor in Germany, we were required to teach both whilst and while.