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"separated by a common language"



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 20th, 2007, 9:05 am
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"separated by a common language"

Some of the differences in language between the US and the UK are well known, we eat biscuits/cookies, put our luggage in the boot/trunk, and walk on the pavement/sidewalk. You also have super big faucets, and we have fiddly little taps. Some words have changed their meaning so much they would be considered rude in the other country (OK, Mods, perhaps we won't go there!).

So, sticking to acceptable words, here's a question to start off - what do US men put on their nether regions when getting dressed in the morning? We wear pants, or boxer shorts, or even knickers - but pants for you are trousers for us.


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  #2  
Old October 20th, 2007, 8:02 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Another question about this from a British girl -

If biscuits are cookies, what do you call real cookies?


  #3  
Old October 20th, 2007, 9:31 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger1 View Post
So, sticking to acceptable words, here's a question to start off - what do US men put on their nether regions when getting dressed in the morning? We wear pants, or boxer shorts, or even knickers - but pants for you are trousers for us.
In the U.S. we call them "underwear", "underpants", "boxers", "briefs", "shorts", "boxer shorts", "whitie-tighties"... and we do have a couple vulgar expressions (which I won't repeat here, as I don't want to upset the mods) that use "pants", where the "pants" could refer to either trousers or underpants...

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Originally Posted by HugForLupin View Post
Another question about this from a British girl -

If biscuits are cookies, what do you call real cookies?
Well, that would depend on what you mean by "real cookies" -- could you give us a description or a picture?

In the U.S., these are cookies -->


and these are biscuits -->


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  #4  
Old October 20th, 2007, 9:54 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

What Americans call biscuits appear to be a type of scone.

In Britain we call big chewy round things with chocolate chips in them cookies, while small, hard things that come in packets and can sit on the supermarket shelves for a year or two without going stale are biscuits. Oreos are what we would call biscuits, but the picture above illustrates chocolate chip cookies.

According to my Delia Smith cookery book, the word biscuit means "baked twice" and originally applied to bread that was dried in the oven to preserve it, ie baked twice! Sailors used to eat ship's biscuit as a staple part of their diet on long voyages.


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Old October 21st, 2007, 1:23 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

I've noticed that there is a word on here that when I use it, it is censored...Trying not to get anyone upset here...how do I say this. It starts with a C and rhymes with lap...is that considered a swear word over there or is it just offensive to certain people on the site? Because I do not swear, but I use that word, and I don't consider it a swear word..

Sorry if that's dumb...I just wondered. It's not considered a swear around here.


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  #6  
Old October 21st, 2007, 1:37 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

I don't know about Britian and that word. But my part of the US, that word's a swear word, not a horrible one, but still a swear word.


  #7  
Old October 21st, 2007, 11:02 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by anabel View Post
According to my Delia Smith cookery book, the word biscuit means "baked twice" and originally applied to bread that was dried in the oven to preserve it, ie baked twice! Sailors used to eat ship's biscuit as a staple part of their diet on long voyages.
I think in Britain the legal difference between cakes and buscuits are that cakes go hard when they go stale while buscuits go soft. I yhink this is for tax reasons as cakes count as confectionary so get higher import duties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_attack View Post
I've noticed that there is a word on here that when I use it, it is censored...Trying not to get anyone upset here...how do I say this. It starts with a C and rhymes with lap...is that considered a swear word over there or is it just offensive to certain people on the site? Because I do not swear, but I use that word, and I don't consider it a swear word..

Sorry if that's dumb...I just wondered. It's not considered a swear around here.
It's certainly not a swear word where I live, many a teacher in fact has used that word to describe my homework


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Old October 21st, 2007, 11:44 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by unconvinced View Post
I think in Britain the legal difference between cakes and buscuits are that cakes go hard when they go stale while buscuits go soft. I yhink this is for tax reasons as cakes count as confectionary so get higher import duties.
In Britain no VAT is charged on cakes or biscuits, but chocolate covered biscuits are taxed as they are considered luxury. This is why Jaffa Cakes are called cakes. When HM Customs & Excise challenged this McVities made a large Jaffa Cake to show it was a cake and observed that they go hard when stale therefoew making them cakes.


  #9  
Old October 21st, 2007, 12:15 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by UAM View Post
In Britain no VAT is charged on cakes or biscuits, but chocolate covered biscuits are taxed as they are considered luxury. This is why Jaffa Cakes are called cakes. When HM Customs & Excise challenged this McVities made a large Jaffa Cake to show it was a cake and observed that they go hard when stale therefoew making them cakes.
Oh yeah that's right I got it the wrong way round


  #10  
Old October 21st, 2007, 3:54 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

OK, what on earth are grits?


  #11  
Old October 21st, 2007, 4:12 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Grits are a sort of porridge made from ground corn. According to Wikipedia:
Quote:
Grits are prepared by simply boiling the ground kernals into a porridge; normally it is boiled until enough water evaporates to leave it semi-solid.
They are most commonly srved as a breakfast food, and are eaten mainly in the Southern U.S. You aren't as likely to come across them if you're travelling in the East, West, or Mid-West, though you can get them at some restaurants.


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  #12  
Old October 21st, 2007, 4:47 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac_attack View Post
I've noticed that there is a word on here that when I use it, it is censored...Trying not to get anyone upset here...how do I say this. It starts with a C and rhymes with lap...is that considered a swear word over there or is it just offensive to certain people on the site? Because I do not swear, but I use that word, and I don't consider it a swear word..

Sorry if that's dumb...I just wondered. It's not considered a swear around here.
It depends on what type of person you are around here. Everyone at my school says it regularly, including the teachers. They also use the word for a female dog regularly, to describe the behaviour of some girls towards others. They aren't really considered swear words at school, but elderly people find the less-offensive C word...well, offensive.


  #13  
Old October 21st, 2007, 10:27 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by UAM View Post
In Britain no VAT is charged on cakes or biscuits, but chocolate covered biscuits are taxed as they are considered luxury. This is why Jaffa Cakes are called cakes. When HM Customs & Excise challenged this McVities made a large Jaffa Cake to show it was a cake and observed that they go hard when stale therefoew making them cakes.
That's funny! But Jaffa Cakes are indeed made of sponge cake, so I think that's fair enough, even though they are sold with the biscuits!


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  #14  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 5:43 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

I love this thread!!! I'm not from the Us or Britian, but I've always found this type f differnces in language fascinating. Dan radcliffe was on the tonight show last month I think promoting December Boys and he discussed this abit it was actually a very funny and good interview I don't know if anyone else watched it.


  #15  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 8:58 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

OH wow so biscuits in the US are scones! How confusing. You learn something new everyday

Quote:
Sorry if that's dumb...I just wondered. It's not considered a swear around here.
Its kind of a swear word here (Australia, we go along with UK English obviously) but by no means a bad one, you could get away with using it in front of parents, teachers etc.


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  #16  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 2:45 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Hysteria
OH wow so biscuits in the US are scones! How confusing. You learn something new everyday
I think that actually depends on who you ask--I overheard a conversation about this the other day. But, yeah, they're at least pretty similar. I've noticed that all the scones I've ever eaten (which doesn't amount to much) are less fluffy than a lot of American biscuits though, but that may just be me.


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Last edited by hermy_weasley2; October 22nd, 2007 at 3:14 pm.
  #17  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 2:54 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by hermy_weasley2 View Post
I think that actually depends on who you ask--I overheard a conversation about this the other day. But, yeah, they're at least pretty similar. I've noticed that all the scones I've ever (which doesn't amount to much) are less fluffy than a lot of American biscuits though, but that may just be me.
I don't know if Starbucks is anything to go by (probably not) but I once had a Starbucks scone, and it was really dry and in no way comparable to an American biscuit.


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Old October 22nd, 2007, 3:31 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
I don't know if Starbucks is anything to go by (probably not) but I once had a Starbucks scone, and it was really dry and in no way comparable to an American biscuit.
Thats even more confusing because scones arent supposed to be dry either. Well kind of but they're supposed to be fat and fluffy.


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  #19  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 5:29 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Where I live biscuits are more like a dinner roll type of thing. You would eat them with like mashed potatoes and gravy or something. And what the rest of the world calls scones is different...I'm not sure we have a name for it.
Where I live what we call scones are these. I guess their real name is Navajo Fry Bread (which I'm guessing is from the Navajo tribes), but everyone here calls them scones, and they are eaten either as a breakfast food with honey, a desert with desert toppings, or as a meal with chili, chese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa served on top of it.

Another difference in language I've noticed is the suffix at the end of words like Spelled vs. Spelt or Learned vs. Learnt. At first I thought some people on here were just spelling things wrong, but then I noticed that all the ones I thought were wrong were written by Brits.


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Last edited by mac_attack; October 22nd, 2007 at 5:41 pm.
  #20  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 7:42 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Biscuits really aren't like scones at all from what I've seen. I don't think I'd eat a blueberry biscuit, nor would I put preserves on a regular biscuit...


 
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