Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More word differences and more book excerpts

First I want to thank a new commentator, The Plastic Mancunian (of Manchester) for leaving the following interesting words and observations on my "New Words" post today:

There are many British slang terms and most of them are regional. For example there are words used in Liverpool that a cockney wouldn't understand (and vice versa).

For example - some gems from Liverpool (the land of the Scousers):

"Don't get a cob on" - don't lose your temper.

"Where's me keks?" - Where are my trousers?

"Bizzies" - Police

There is a tangible rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool (the cities are roughly 40 miles apart). Locals here call Liverpudlians "Mickey Mousers" (i.e. "Scousers"). Other gems from Manchester:

"Angin" - Ugly

"Nowt" - nothing

"Bobbins" - Rubbish

Of course there are millions more ...


Also thanks to CharmaineZoe (of Warwickshire) for leaving an amusing anecdote about our confusing language(s), on the same post. I would like to share it with you here:

"When my husbands firm was taken over by an American company based in Houston they had to order any equipment they needed through Houston. He put in a requisition for a router (connects a computer to a network - pronounced rooter). Imagine their surprise when a large parcel turned up and on opening it they discovered a router (large drill that puts ridges in wood - pronounced router)this was for a computer software company mark you. It was then they realised that, in those immortal words 'Houston, we got us a problem!' Lets just say its been an interesting learning experience over the last couple of years, on both sides :-)"


Ok, CharmaineZoe. Now I have to tell you that, in many parts of the U.S., (including, apparently, Houston) that computer thingy is indeed pronounced with an "ow" sound instead of "oo" as you do. (So it is really even worse than you thought!). And most Americans will say "paper rowt" rather than "paper root". But not all. Heh. So that makes it even more confusing. I am so happy that you stopped by and left that little story. You sound like someone we all would like to get to know better. (And I hope we do. :)


Well, it looks like this post is already long enough, so I won't post any book excerpt today. Maybe next time.


  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog :-) Glad you liked the story, I'll have to see if I can elicit any further gems from hubby, I'm sure there must be plenty! Will keep popping in - especially as I now work for the same American company and appreciate just how much of a difference there is (If our American customers ring in to the help desk too early before it switches over to the USA, they get us (not sure who's more confused, them or us):-)

  2. Hello CharmaineZoe. I recognise your avatar from somewhere... Did you live on or near the south coast before Warwickshire?
    Your story reminds me of one when my husband worked for an American company, but it was more accent related so it doesn't fit here.

  3. I had a discussion with the World Authority (we met in Liverpool and he had up till then been living in Manchester) on the Manchester/Liverpool vocabulary divide. "Where's me keks" we agreed is Liverpool, but I'm convinced getting a cob on is more widespread. I'm sure my friend from Oswaldtwistle used to have a cob on. But there again, we were students in Liverpool so perhaps. Where's Claire when you need her? I think at least it has become more widespread, inevitable I suppose with a mobile population.

    We lived for a while roughly between Liverpool and Manchester, just off the East Lancs Road. I worked in Liverpool and the WA worked in Manchester. In fact one son was born in each place too, now that I come to think of it. The divide between the two cities was nearly as bad as the one between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  4. I'm glad you explained that whole router/rooter thing because as I was reading it, I was sitting here thinking "but it IS a router! what on earth is a computer rooter?" I don't think I've heard anyone call it a rooter and that includes all of the Rhode Islanders I know who mispronounce everything!

  5. Dear rich lady from Connecticut:

    Not "Rotor-Rooter" - ROUTER-Rooter.

    Woot woot!

    The British have taken that root before. When we routed their their sorry redcoat asses.

    Not to be unfriendly...

    No a.! Put down that knife. Feckin' limey rooter....

    Nothin' could be ruder!

    Max has left the building. ::thunderous applause::

  6. Dear Max. Do try to keep it down to a dull roar please. There are people about who haven't had a chance to acclimatise (with an ess and not a zed).



Related Posts with Thumbnails