DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

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Stanley
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 08 Nov 2018, 06:24

The joke that Bodge posted yesterday reminded me of one of the differences between US English and our home grown variety. The joke hinged on recognising that the Americans regard 'arse' as a rude word and substitute 'ass'. I suspect that most people will get this.
This reminded me of other instances where what I perceive as a slightly prissy approach to language is preferred. In the States I have never heard breast meat on a table bird referred to as that, it is always 'white meat'. What we routinely call a grease nipple is called a 'zerk'. You have to be very careful when you are over there so as not to offend!
Another word caught my attention, 'knit one purl one', I understand the root of knit but purl? I had a furtle and found this in the Online Etymological Dictionary....
"knit with inverted stitches," 1825; earlier "embroider with gold or silver thread" (1520s), probably from Middle English pirlyng "revolving, twisting," of unknown origin. The two senses usually are taken as one word, but even this is not certain. Klein suggests a source in Italian pirolare "to twirl," from pirolo "top." As a noun, from late 14c. as "bordering, frills," 1530s as "twisted thread of gold and silver."
That sounds reasonable....
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by plaques » 08 Nov 2018, 08:10

Stanley wrote:
08 Nov 2018, 06:24
the Americans regard 'arse' as a rude word and substitute 'ass'.
We have the cockney rhyming slang 'Bottle and glass, (the glass spoken with a long 'A') = arse, So to lose your Bottle is to lose control of your bowels. Locally known as 'Sh*t scared'

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer » 08 Nov 2018, 10:15

Having been an editor and publisher I can confirm Stanley's comments about the different attitude in the US to words that we see as only slightly naughty or not at all offensive. On the other hand, we in the UK are now moving towards the US state of affairs with increasing intolerance of relatively minor issues.

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tripps » 08 Nov 2018, 12:51

There's nearly a page of 'bottle' slang expressions in my Dictionary of Slang. I liked 'bottle and stopper' for Copper.

Strangely they don't give the one that immediately came to (my) mind.
In bookmaker's slang it means two.

Just to keep you all up to speed with modern webspeak I give you Gaslighting which has resurged recently and had me puzzled. :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 09 Nov 2018, 03:29

I didn't know that P! Thanks.
David I came across gaslighting a while ago and enquired. I remember seeing the film Gaslight when I was young and being disturbed by it.
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Tizer » 09 Nov 2018, 11:19

I came across `nugatory' yesterday but didn't look it up because it's of no significance... :extrawink:

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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 10 Nov 2018, 03:38

Very clever Tiz! The only place I have ever heard it is in the States..... Not surprising because their version of English is based on the 18th century style taken over there by the immigrants..... (Trump would call them the invaders)
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 11 Nov 2018, 05:06

One of the things I like about my current author Dorothy Hartley is that, as part of the historical content of her book, she uses archaic words. 'Tracklement' caught my eye yesterday. Here's what I found when I did a search: "Coined in its current sense by the English cookery writer Dorothy Hartley in her book Food in England in 1954, but probably derived from a similar dialect word with variant spellings (e.g. tranklement, tanchiment) used before that date across North and Central England and meaning "ornaments, trinkets; bits of things".
In the sense that Dorothy uses it it refers to vegetables and condiments which naturally enhance a meat, ie. Mustard or horse radish with beef or mint with lamb and mutton.
I like it and approve!
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Re: DIALECT AND WORD MEANINGS

Post by Stanley » 18 Nov 2018, 04:55

Another archaic word culled from Dorothy.... 'Nef'. I had never seen this word and Dorothy explains that in the days before canteens of matched cutlery became common and part of place settings at a banquet it was the practice for each person to take their own knife, single pronged spike (the equivalent of the later fork) and a spoon. This was enclosed in an ornamented case and the whole described as a nef.
However, Dictionary.com and several other authorities cite it as noun, a silver or gold table furnishing in the form of a ship, either for holding various utensils or for ornament. No mention of a personal nef and of French origin. On balance I'll let Dorothy have her version, she has done extensive research and found examples.
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