swisskloten
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Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:53 pm

British a.netters (Kirkie too!), wonder if you know about the origins of cliches and sayings that are prevalent in the UK. How did they come about?
What does bloody refer to? (Move that bloody plane or I'll shoot it up!)
Wanker? (I think you know how it's used!)
Blimey
Tosser
Rubbish
Bloody hell (sounds overdone, if yer in hell, it's gonna be bloody awful!  biggrin  Wink)
Bugger: I've heard Australians say "I've got bugger-all to do." I've never heard a Briton say that. They always use the word alone. Is this what Oz lovingly refers to as Strine?

One last thing, I've heard a lot of Germans on a.net using British words every so often. Is this prevalent in Germany? I was surprised how many German posts or replies have the words bloody or something else. There are too many examples to list here.
 
GoAround
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:00 pm

The British say bugger all, fuck all, sod all to do, too! Interesting question. Bloody is used to diminish something, eg 'the bloody window smashed'. Or, you could use sodding/fucking, or quite commonly nowadays people insert their own word eg 'horsing' or 'twatting'.

Rubbish is the same as trash, refers to waste. If something's rubbish, it's no good. eg 'It's rubbish', no other real use for it.

Tosser = the same as wanker, to toss off/masturbate. Fucker is similar :P And so is sod.

Not sure about the others really - especially not the origin!
GoAround
 
Catatonic
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:04 pm

BOLLOCKS!!!!!!!!!
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oly720man
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:09 pm

(Cor) Blimey is shorthand for "God blind me", AFAIK.

Quite a few terms like this derived from expressions with religious content but disguised/distorted so as not to offend the more religious. Some go back centuries. Basically it was a way of bringing God into swearing, and adding impact, without actually saying the word straight out.
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Banco
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:09 pm

I've heard several possible derivations of "bloody", including it being a corruption of "by your lady". It's a pretty mild term.

"Blimey" is a shortening of "God blind me" in the same way that the Australian "Strewth" is an abbreviation of "God's truth".

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
One last thing, I've heard a lot of Germans on a.net using British words every so often. Is this prevalent in Germany? I was surprised how many German posts or replies have the words bloody or something else. There are too many examples to list here.

They use American terms too. You just don't notice because you see them all the time and don't notice it. Non-native (but fluent) speakers are likely to use all sorts of different countries' dialect words.

One of the amazing things is how many terms which are thought of as modern are really not. For example, calling someone a "waster" is often viewed as a modern term, but it isn't. In the Royal Navy (and presumably the US Navy too) of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the able hands would be fore and aft, and the landsmen in the waist - or middle of the deck. They were known as "waisters" and were viewed as incompetent. The term continues, just with a spelling change due to a misunderstanding of the origin. There are loads of examples of things like that.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:14 pm

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
One last thing, I've heard a lot of Germans on a.net using British words every so often. Is this prevalent in Germany?

Not that I know of.
I've noticed a lot of Americans using arse instead of ass as well lately. The British also use 'twat' quite a lot, but in different contexts. For instance:

"Kirky is a twat"

"I twatted Kirky over the head with a brick"

Australians tend to use much the same sort of words us British lot do as well. Bugger is extremely common in British usage. Although if you want an object lesson in the foul mouthed colloquialisms of the British you need do no more than read anything Kirky has posted in the last 12 months.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Banco
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:15 pm

The other thing to remember is that a great many of these terms are so ancient that they will have crossed the Atlantic with the English settlers. It's just that some died out of useage and others didn't. Language developed on both sides and some words were cast off and others weren't.

Examples? "Garbage" is good old English word, but virtually became extinct here and continued in the US. "Gotten" likewise.
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
Andreas
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:34 pm

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 5):
For instance:

"Kirky is a twat"

"I twatted Kirky over the head with a brick"

Now Whitehatter, that is VERY interesting...would you be so kind as to extend your list by, say, 100 or so examples?  Wink
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Banco
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:41 pm

Quoting Andreas (Reply 7):
Now Whitehatter, that is VERY interesting...would you be so kind as to extend your list by, say, 100 or so examples?

And in the case of the latter example given, preferably with photographic evidence. Big grin
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
aloges
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:43 pm

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
One last thing, I've heard a lot of Germans on a.net using British words every so often. Is this prevalent in Germany?

We're taught bloody British English in school. The colourful expressions however, even those of British origin, are all-American a.k.a. "home skooled".  Wink
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:49 pm

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
Is this what Oz lovingly refers to as Strine?

Australians never lovingly call it "Strine". It's sloppy English - nothing more.

QFF
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
Banco
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:08 pm

Quoting QANTASFOREVER (Reply 10):
Australians never lovingly call it "Strine". It's sloppy English - nothing more.

And there was me thinking Kath & Kim were part of an Open University course...  Wink
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
whitehatter
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:26 pm

Quoting Banco (Reply 11):
And there was me thinking Kath & Kim were part of an Open University course...

I thought it was a travel documentary...
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
jush
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:43 pm

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
One last thing, I've heard a lot of Germans on a.net using British words every so often. Is this prevalent in Germany? I was surprised how many German posts or replies have the words bloody or something else. There are too many examples to list here.

For me it is good old school in Somerset. Even if you're a german. After you lived there half a year you can't deny the influence you had there.
Learned all the words which we weren't taught in school Big grin


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jush
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geoffm
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:46 am

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
Bugger: I've heard Australians say "I've got bugger-all to do." I've never heard a Briton say that. They always use the word alone.

Far from it - we use bugger all a lot. Bugger, I've burnt the toast. Bugger, I've got bugger all bread left to make any more toast.

Quoting Swisskloten (Thread starter):
Wanker?

Jerk.

Geoff M.
 
highpeaklad
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:13 am

I love it when you hear little old ladies saying " ooh and it hurt like buggery! " I often wonder if our American cousins know what she's saying?

Chris
Don't try to keep up with the Joneses - bring them down to your level !
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 6:08 am

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 14):
Far from it - we use bugger all a lot

And I seem to remember it's used in Four Weddings & a Funeral quite a bit. It's actually quite a posh term mainly used by the upper classes.

Oh, and just for the record, the meaning of 'posh' derives from an acronym Port Out, Starboard Home, a reference to the more upper class side of the QE2 liner on trips across the Atlantic. Having a cabin on the port side going west and on the starboard side going east was more expensive as you got the sun on your balcony going in both directions.

How about that for a snippet of useless information?!

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
Logan22L
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:04 am

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 16):
How about that for a snippet of useless information?!

Pretty much worth sweet FA.  Wink
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:17 am

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 17):
Pretty much worth sweet FA.

Well if you could send me a sweet F/A that would be great!

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
David L
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:20 am

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 16):
Port Out, Starboard Home, a reference to the more upper class side of the QE2 liner on trips across the Atlantic

It's from way before the QE2 was around but otherwise correct.

How about that for a snippet of pedantic information?!
 
bristolflyer
Posts: 2103
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 1:35 am

RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:26 am

Quoting David L (Reply 19):
How about that for a snippet of pedantic information?!

I bow down to your superior level of pedantry!  sorry 

BF
Fortune favours the brave
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:56 am

Quoting Highpeaklad (Reply 15):
" ooh and it hurt like buggery! "

hahahaha The thought of little old ladies being taken up the ass isn't probably the
first thing that would spring to mind for them...
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
David L
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:18 am

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 20):
I bow down to your superior level of pedantry!

It's what I do best.  Smile
 
runway23
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:33 am

Britain has recently been accustomed to saying "rhaa". To the point that Oxford dictionary is soon to include the word.
 
swisskloten
Posts: 317
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 8:56 am

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 14):
Far from it - we use bugger all a lot. Bugger, I've burnt the toast. Bugger, I've got bugger all bread left to make any more toast.

Geoffm, I may have typed that wrong. It's the word "all" that I've never heard the British use with the word "bugger." They say something like "Bugger!" or "Bugger that!" in London. I've heard people from Western Australia add the word "all." They would say "Can't stand that lazy bloke 'cause he has bugger-all to do" or someone would say "Got anything new?" and his/her mate would say "got bugger-all."
 
ltbewr
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:08 am

I know that the term bloody is rather profane, or was, in the UK and other UK conneced countries and territories. Perhaps it is a reference to woman's menstrutaion, something that while natural, is...well...kinda nasty and not discussed in nice company.
How about the orgin of the word twit?
 
geoffm
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RE: Origins Of Britspeak

Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:01 pm

Quoting Swisskloten (Reply 24):
Quoting Geoffm (Reply 14):
Far from it - we use bugger all a lot. Bugger, I've burnt the toast. Bugger, I've got bugger all bread left to make any more toast.

Geoffm, I may have typed that wrong. It's the word "all" that I've never heard the British use with the word "bugger."

Er... see highlighted section of quote - we use it a lot! (Reference means "I haven't got any bread")

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 16):
Oh, and just for the record, the meaning of 'posh' derives from an acronym Port Out, Starboard Home, a reference to the more upper class side of the QE2 liner on trips across the Atlantic.

Actually, it supposedly derives from the ships sailing round to India, with the port side out being the coolest - but it is believed by many to pre-date that and thus has nothing to do with ships at all, despite the common belief... It was supposedly on the first class tickets for the shipping companies - but no ticket has EVER been found with that acronym so it's another urban myth I'm afraid.

Geoff M.

[Edited 2005-10-20 10:06:18]

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