Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX


October 13, 2013

Reflections on being an Anglophile


To say someone is talking “codswallop” is to say they are talking garbage. Codswallop was coined after Hiram Codd, the inventor of the Codd bottle, which was the commonly used 19th Century bottle for fizzy drinks – you know, those carbonated drinks like Dr. Pepper!

“Cotton wool” is what we call a Q-Tip; the “dole” is welfare; an “estate agent” is a realtor; “gobsmacked” is slang for being astonished.

“Gormless” means stupid or clumsy. “Hols” are the holidays. An “ice lolly” is frozen fruit juice on a stick, and “identity parade” is a police lineup. A “jumble sale” is a rummage or garage sale, and if you are “legless” you are extremely drunk.

A “zebra crossing” is a crosswalk. “Wellies” are rubber boots, also known as Wellingstons after the Duke of Wellington. A “marrow” is a gourd fruit such as a squash, and “rashers” are slices of bacon.

If a person pulled up “sticks” in England, he pulled up stakes in America. If you are “toffee-nosed” there, you are stuck up here. And they don’t have dessert, they have “pudding.” Also, a “porky” is a lie – a short form of the rhyming slang pork pie for lie.

And they spell things differently, as well. For while they say “whilst,” and for among they say “amongst.”  Color is “colour,” and neighbor is “neighbour.”

We have much in common with the British, but many things are different, as well, and our language plays a major part in that. When I began watching British television, often I would not understand a word they would say. Now I can even understand the Welsh, Irish and Scottish!

I highly recommend you get acquainted with the Brits on television. Their comedy is much more sophisticated than ours, and, often, their dramas are much deeper.

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