Confusing Slang

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

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ArchangelShrike
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:13 am UTC

Maybe on "zee," and "ach" (H). I've met a Brit that pronounces "H" as "ha-ch" as in "hate."

For all I know Hawaii is the only place where it's acceptable to eat SPAM, and is sold in stores just about everywhere.

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Postby liza » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:18 am UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:Maybe on "zee," and "ach" (H). I've met a Brit that pronounces "H" as "ha-ch" as in "hate."

For all I know Hawaii is the only place where it's acceptable to eat SPAM, and is sold in stores just about everywhere.


Really? I though 'aytch' was universal.

And what the heck is up with the spam thing? Spam sandwiches, fried spam, spam sculpture contests... did the entire state of Hawaii win a lifetime supply of the stuff? Or have you all just watched the Spam skit on the Flying Circus too much?

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Postby Marbas » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:19 am UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:For all I know Hawaii is the only place where it's acceptable to eat SPAM, and is sold in stores just about everywhere.


...Spam is FOOD?!? That...but...how can that be?!?

All this time I've been using it as ammo! And you're telling me it's food?

I refuse to believe that that is food.

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Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:21 am UTC

It's because we're the poor, backward redheaded child of the USA. Wait, that's not right... we're the adopted child of the USA. Also, we know how to cook anything except raptor meat, because they can't swim to Hawaii.I'd ship you a SPAM musubi, but it'd spoil on the way.

Marbas wrote:All this time I've been using it as ammo! And you're telling me it's food?
Spammer alert! After him, mods!

Edit: For the "H"... maybe it's because there's a number of languages here and our pronunciation of"H" was settled on, which differed from yours. That's my guess.
Last edited by ArchangelShrike on Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:23 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Marbas » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:23 am UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:It's because we're the poor, backward redheaded child of the USA. Wait, that's not right... we're the adopted child of the USA. Also, we know how to cook anything except raptor meat, because they can't swim to Hawaii.I'd ship you a SPAM musubi, but it'd spoil on the way.

Marbas wrote:All this time I've been using it as ammo! And you're telling me it's food?
Spammer alert! After him, mods!


I don't spam. I fire proccessed meat out of catapults. There's a difference.

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Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:26 am UTC

Oh, sorry. Just trigger fingers. Also, we still have Boy's and Girl's Day, not like the new Japanese that removed both holidays and replaced them with Children's Day *cries*

Remember, we live in the middle of the ocean. It takes time for food to be shipped. And SPAM lasts... forever, even if they're made of Spare Parts And Mullets (Okay, I forgot the M.) Anyone eat "Sunfish" by the way?

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Postby Marbas » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:28 am UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote: It takes time for food to be shipped. And SPAM lasts... forever, even if they're made of Spare Parts And Mullets (Okay, I forgot the M.) Anyone eat "Sunfish"


I've always heard it was:

Specially
Processed
American
Meat

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ArchangelShrike
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Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:29 am UTC

The Spare Parts is a Hawaii thing, I guess. We'd say they were the spare parts of pigs and other animals, same as hot dogs, but then we never really cared because they were still yummy.

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Postby pollywog » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:38 am UTC

So spam is to Hawaii what corned beef is to the South Pacific? My uncle eats that all the time.
(I've never eaten spam, btw, nor even seen it. I guess MAF won't let it in the country)
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Postby stuck » Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:55 am UTC

Rhyming slang is about the queerest thing I've heard.

Trouble and Strife = wife
Dead Horse = Tomato Sauce
Dog's Eye = Pie

etc etc

I have a peculiar love for how we Australians tend to answer in the negative or with vague approximations. To wit:

How are you? Not bad
How far is it? Not far
How long? Not long (or, as I am only starting to become aware of: pretty long)
Where is it? Around the corner (this could actually mean around the corner in a literal sense or it could just refer to a reasonably short distance in the context of the current geography)
An acceptable alternative to the above is "down the road"
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Postby Jauss » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:15 am UTC

ArchangelShrike wrote:For all I know Hawaii is the only place where it's acceptable to eat SPAM, and is sold in stores just about everywhere.


Ha, SPAM*! I grew up eating my grandpa's SPAM sandwiches. He'd take the mashed potato masher and smash up some SPAM with ketchup. Then he'd put it on some Wonder-esque bread. *Laughs* I used to love it. Then one day my senses revolted and I was like "What the hell?" and I didn't eat it anymore. Hmm. Maybe I'll buy some one day just for the hell of it.

*That site is freaky. Seriously, go poke around. Go to "What is Spam?", click on questions, and wait.
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Postby Pebbles » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:35 am UTC

stuck wrote:Where is it? Around the corner (this could actually mean around the corner in a literal sense or it could just refer to a reasonably short distance in the context of the current geography)
An acceptable alternative to the above is "down the road"


hahah Im guilty of that, pretty much anywhere in the same region is just around the corner or just down the road.. no matter if its an hour walk or not.

Traditional aussie slang is dying out though.. we as the next generation are just not carrying it on.. too much american television is to blame I think. We just dont watch enough aussie shows..

you all might find this useful.. or at least interesting
http://www.aussieslang.com/
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Postby bavardage » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:44 am UTC

As a Brit, I find all these Americanisms quite wierd. The Australian slang is a lot more understandable :P

Pavement > Sidewalk
Boot > Trunk
Rubbish > Garbage
Rubbish Bin / Bin > Trash Can
Maths > Math
Soft Drink / Fizzy Drink > Soda / Pop
Normal Size > Regular
Vending Machine > Candy Machine
Sweets > Candy
...
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Postby Pebbles » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:57 am UTC

pretty sure a lorry is a truck... hmmm

pffft sweets/candy.. its lollies! haha
Last edited by Pebbles on Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:35 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby __Kit » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:08 am UTC

I can adjust to most slang, seeing/hearing words in American movies and books. And what we say in my home country (NZ)
=]

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Postby Alcari » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:17 pm UTC

stuck wrote:How are you? Not bad
How far is it? Not far
How long? Not long (or, as I am only starting to become aware of: pretty long)
Where is it? Around the corner (this could actually mean around the corner in a literal sense or it could just refer to a reasonably short distance in the context of the current geography)
An acceptable alternative to the above is "down the road"


Or, you could switch to my uni's system of distances in highly alternative units;

How far is it to the traistation?
[normal] -> Oh about 3km
[here] -> about as far as from Location A to B
------------> About as far as from here to A
------------> If you walk it, it takes about one commercial break to get there. (meaning, about 6-7 min)

How do I get to station?
------------> Follow all the people with large bags
------------> Go to A [where A=nickname for an obscure location not even close to intended destination] and then...
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Postby TheTankengine » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:28 pm UTC

Definitely "pop"!

Interesting fact:If you go a little further south in the US (as proximity to Georgia increases) people call all soft drinks, or "fizzy drinks" as you say, coke. It doesn't matter what it is. If you go to a restaurant they'll ask, "What kind of coke do you want?" They don't mean Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc.; coke includes root beer, sprite, mountain dew, and all that.
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Postby bbctol » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:33 pm UTC

TheTankengine wrote:They don't mean Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc.; coke includes root beer, sprite, mountain dew, cocaine, and all that.

Fix'd. What coke also stands for.

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Postby TheTankengine » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:38 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:
TheTankengine wrote:They don't mean Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc.; coke includes root beer, sprite, mountain dew, cocaine, and all that.

Fix'd. What coke also stands for.


I've never been to a restaurant where the waiter asked me if I would like cocaine, but I suppose it is possible.
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Postby bbctol » Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:03 pm UTC

TheTankengine wrote:
bbctol wrote:
TheTankengine wrote:They don't mean Coke, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc.; coke includes root beer, sprite, mountain dew, cocaine, and all that.

Fix'd. What coke also stands for.


I've never been to a restaurant where the waiter asked me if I would like cocaine, but I suppose it is possible.


I also recollect a Tintin story in which "coke" was slang for "slaves", which, in Georgia, might be more likely. :twisted:

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Postby MFHodge » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:24 pm UTC

Pebbles wrote:pffft sweets/candy.. its lollies! haha

So "lollies" is all candy. Not just candy on a stick? My mind is blown!

When someone asks how far away something is, I would always give an answer in minutes.
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Postby TheTankengine » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:37 pm UTC

When someone asks how far away something is, I would always give an answer in clicks.

Despite the fact that I have no idea what a "click" is.
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Postby MFHodge » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:39 pm UTC

TheTankengine wrote:When someone asks how far away something is, I would always give an answer in clicks.

Despite the fact that I have no idea what a "click" is.


A click is roughly 0.98 km.

Or exactly one kilometer.
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Postby space_raptor » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:39 pm UTC

You want slang, go to The Rock, in Canada. A few days there, drinking screech at kitchen parties and listening to the Newfs babble on about their sacred hearts o' Jesus and asking you "Owshegettinonb'ys" and mixing the words "to" and "from", and you'll be begging for mercy.

This might amuse the Brits, Aussies and Kiwis: There is a major road here in Calgary which is called by a Native Canadian word. That word is Shaganappi.

Say it out loud, slowly, if you don't get it.

Also, a popular clothing company in Canada is named Roots.
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Postby miakoda » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:32 pm UTC

I say "pop" around my family and "soda" at work or with my uppity friends. I didn't even realize I was doing this until the question came up here.

Even though he grew up in one of the northern cities in Indiana, my dad somehow ended up with a distinctly southern country-Hoosier vocab that always amused me (aside from when I was a teenager and terribly embarrassed by it, of course). Examples:

warsh = wash
i-run = iron
hilljack = redneck
jackpants = jeans
deef = deaf

Considering that he held degrees in physics and engineering and programmed brake-testing stations for Honeywell, people were never quite sure what to make of him.

Also: we have a diner near my house that proudly proclaims it serves only the best "American fries." Heh.
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Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:25 pm UTC

hermaj wrote:Example, fish and chips is spelt phonetically for us.


To be fair, it's spelled phonetically for Kiwis as well. For them, the short i is simply pronounced /ʌ/.

ArchangelShrike wrote:For all I know Hawaii is the only place where it's acceptable to eat SPAM, and is sold in stores just about everywhere.


I've heard that SPAM and corned beef are both common throughout much of Polynesia in part because of their similarity to the flavor of long pig. Certain Pacific islanders being among the few cultures who fairly routinely engaged in cannibalism for a significant portion of their history.

bavardage wrote:As a Brit, I find all these Americanisms quite wierd. The Australian slang is a lot more understandable :P

Pavement > Sidewalk
Boot > Trunk
Rubbish > Garbage
Rubbish Bin / Bin > Trash Can
Maths > Math
Soft Drink / Fizzy Drink > Soda / Pop
Normal Size > Regular
Vending Machine > Candy Machine
Sweets > Candy
...


When you use pavement for sidewalk, how do you describe everything else that's paved but not a place to walk, generally along the side of a street?
A boot is something you wear on your feet. A trunk is something you keep things in. Like a steamer trunk, which is basically what most early automobiles had strapped to the back (if they had storage space at all).
Rubbish/garbage, bin/can, maths/math I'm fairly indifferent on, myself. I use the American ones because I'm American, but that's about it. In NZ and Oz, those were among the easiest language things for me to incorporate in order to be understood better.
Soda and Pop are quicker to say and write than your cumbersome two-word, two-to-three syllable monstrosities.
Normal size/regular also doesn't matter much to me.
I only call it a candy machine when it sells only or primarily candy. Even then, most Americans I've met still call it a vending machine. If it's selling pop or chips or something else, it's definitely a vending machine.
I have the same problem with sweets as with pavement: How do you describe all the other sweet dessert-like things that aren't candy? Like cake or cookies or whatever?
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Postby bigglesworth » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:29 pm UTC

bavardage wrote:As a Brit, I find all these Americanisms quite wierd. The Australian slang is a lot more understandable :P

Pavement > Sidewalk
Boot > Trunk
Rubbish > Garbage
Rubbish Bin / Bin > Trash Can
Maths > Math
Soft Drink / Fizzy Drink > Soda / Pop
Normal Size > Regular
Vending Machine > Candy Machine
Sweets > Candy
...


They call pavements sidewalks because they couldn't afford paving stones, they just walked in the dirt.

They call boots trunks, because they used suitcases tied to cars (automobiles) with ropes.

I'm not sure about the others, I'll get back to you...

(just jokes btw)
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Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:38 pm UTC

stuck wrote:Rhyming slang is about the queerest thing I've heard.

Trouble and Strife = wife
Dead Horse = Tomato Sauce
Dog's Eye = Pie

etc etc


Holy Heck. Rhyming Slang is REAL? I thought it was made up by bored fantasy authors who needed one more peculiarity for their minor characters.


My favorite slang term is how in parts of New England, a liquor store is a 'package store' or, more commonly, 'the packie'.

...Wait is that slang or colloquialism?
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Postby ZeroSum » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:46 pm UTC

bigglesworth took care of the ones bavardage stated, though recently I was listening to BBC Worldwide on NPR and they were interviewing one of the top contenders for the US National Spelling bee and asked him to spell "h[a]emorrhage". He spel[led|t] (the regularization of spelt->spelled is acceptable in American English) it the American way and the interviewer said, "Oh, sorry, that's wrong. It's haemorrhage." It was a recorded interview so they apologized after airing the clip and properly stated it's an acceptable spelling difference.

Quick, everyone, state your location and, without reading anyone else's answers (well, just post it in a spoiler tag), how you spell the color between black and white. (If any of you art nazis gets on my case about that phrase I'll throttle you.)

Rhode Island, United States:
gray


TheTankengine wrote:I've never been to a restaurant where the waiter asked me if I would like cocaine, but I suppose it is possible.
Don't go out to eat in LA or NYC much I see.
Last edited by ZeroSum on Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ZeroSum » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:50 pm UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:Wait is that slang or colloquialism?

Colloquialism.

If you don't know what it is take a guess (and state your location): What's a bubbler?
Last edited by ZeroSum on Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Durinthal » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:58 pm UTC

Bubbler's a term for water fountain, I think.. only commonly used in Rhode Island. I've only heard of it because one of my online friends is from there and once mentioned it off-hand, leading to some puzzled comments.

Color between black and white (I'm from rural Ohio, so generic midwesterner):
I actually use both gray and grey, depending on how dark or light it is. Gray is darker, grey is lighter. I know, I'm weird like that.

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Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:21 pm UTC

ZeroSum wrote:If you don't know what it is take a guess (and state your location): What's a bubbler?


'Bubbler' is a 'water fountain' is a 'drinking fountain' where I'm from. I grew up in eastern Mass, went to school in Rhode Island. Bubbler and Packie are two things that never changed. (Till I was surrounded by the idiots from Lon Giland who didn't know what anything was, nor how to drive nor pump their own gas.)

Edited to contain correct pronunciation- it's a bubblah, cuz.
Last edited by (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ on Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby thefiddler » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:26 pm UTC

I've heard "bubbler" used in Wisconsin, too.

[Grey, but I'm weird about spelling. Example: favourite, colour, favour versus the American spelling.

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Postby Durinthal » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:27 pm UTC

Okay, so I was wrong about it being RI-only. Hm.. now I'll have to ask a number of friends from Massachusetts about it.

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Postby Alcari » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:When you use pavement for sidewalk, how do you describe everything else that's paved but not a place to walk, generally along the side of a street?


I'm really trying, but I have no idea what a paved, non-walking area could be...

blubber is really, really bad mud. The kind which sucks you down and is generally more then 5 or 6 cm thick and semi-wet.
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Postby Syrin » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:37 pm UTC

Possible solution!!11!11

Pavewalk?

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Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:53 pm UTC

Vandole wrote:Well you could've just said it was a speedo. (I just realized that's a brand name, so hardly anyone outside of Canada / the US would know it)


Umm, what?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedo wrote:Speedo is a swimsuit manufacturer that began on Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia.


gmalivuk wrote:I have the same problem with sweets as with pavement: How do you describe all the other sweet dessert-like things that aren't candy? Like cake or cookies or whatever?


I call them cake or biscuits, depending on which they are. You could call them all dessert?

Also, bubbler is common here, or it was where I grew up (canberra). And boot vs trunk is from "boot locker" and "steamer trunk" respectively.

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Postby ZeroSum » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:03 pm UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:Edited to contain correct pronunciation- it's a bubblah, cuz.
Pfft. It's still spelled "bubbler". For now...

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Postby ArchangelShrike » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:58 pm UTC

Spam does not taste like long pig, smoked pig, whatever. As for the color:
ArchangelShrike wrote:Grey, usually, although sometimes between myself and spellcheck we'll debate for a few minutes.


We have the Food Network which is the only TV channel I'll watch because as one comedian said "It's porn when you're hungry," and so I tend to call it what it looks looks like. Such as cobbler, pies, cakes, biscuits, scones, etc.

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Postby Vandole » Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:50 pm UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedo wrote:Speedo is a swimsuit manufacturer that began on Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia.

The more you know! So why do you blokes call it a budgie smuggler, while we call it a speedo or manties (man+panties)?
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