Saturday, October 06, 2007

Vive La Difference

I guess I'm like a modern day David Frost who was someone from 'my time' who was known for spending so much time flitting between the UK and the US that he talked with a sort of Transatlantic Twang. I don't think I've lost my Ulster accent yet but I do tend to mix my words from both countries and it can confuse my listeners and now, if Jennyta is a good example, my readers. A car boot becomes a car trunk, chips become crisps, butt becomes fanny and so on. Then there are words which are ONLY used on this side of the pond and I usually realise this and add an explanation if I use them.

In my defence, I don't tend to explain them if I've done it before in previous posts and so I'd gently suggest that if you cannot understand a word, do a blog search on my site and I'm sure you'll find it elsewhere. This has the added advantage for me that you'll then read my older posts which I'm told were quite interesting even back then !!

Of course you can always Google the words if you want to pass on the opportunity of knowing me from way back when. In any case I'll help out Jennyta and others by explaining the words she mentioned in her latest comment.

Bocce Ball : a game like bowls where you toss out a small white target ball along a narrow court and then using 4 larger balls, attempt to get as close to it as possible.

5th Wheel : a huge towed trailer which is connected to the bed of a truck (unlike a normal trailer which is attached to a hitch ball on the back of a truck or other towing vehicle). It is easily spotted as the bedroom area towers over the top of the truck bed. This is the advert for ours when we put it up for sale earlier this year.

Shuffleboard : I'll take the easy way out and provide this link. It's not a US only word at all but the game is most often associated with sea cruising and probably wouldn't be played much in Leeds !

RV : almost world known now thanks to tv shows and movies. A Recreational Vehicle could cover the whole gamut from Travel Trailers (the long towable units most like the static caravans we'd have at the seaside in the UK or that you see set up on building sites as temporary offices), 5th Wheels (see above) and Motorhomes (which are the motorised behemoths like an urban bus or coach). I tend to use RV when describing a motorhome, which is wrong but hey, my blog, my rules.

All these RV's are like homes on wheels with everything from showers to toilets, plasma tv's to surround sound speakers set into the ceiling and fully fitted kitchens. In my relatively short time visiting America, I've moved up the line from a popup camper (which I've not even mentioned as an RV as it hardly qualifies - but was fun to travel with for a year or so and it does sleep 3-4 people as long as they REALLY like each other.....a LOT) to a 30ft travel trailer which we took all over the country from coast to coast and finally to the 34ft 5th Wheel in the above advert. Now we have this home in Florida, we don't need the 5th anymore but it didn't sell earlier this year so we've taken it off the market for now.

So there you have it.......todays lesson in how to understand AngloYank. Your homework will be to learn these new words and throw them into conversations whenever you can.

Well I never said learning a new language would be easy !!


Jennyta said...

Thanks for the explanations, Ian. I know I was taking the easy way out, asking you and not finding out for myself but time was at a premium for me. I have promised myself that I will indeed read your older posts, as I enjoy your blog very much, but it will have to be put on 'the long finger' for now!

Silverback said...

Absolutely no problem. And while we're into asking questions, is it Jen or Jenny or Jennyta ? The last one sounds a bit Welsh - which is understandable.


Jennyta said...

It's Jenny. the t and a are the initials of my maiden name and present surname respectively. My only claim to welshness is that my paternal grandmother was born in Mold. I've only lived over here since I met Keith, four and a half years.

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