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#26060 - 04/06/01 12:23 PM Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
rodward Offline

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 609
Loc: Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Usage/Ukage/Ausage is an attempt to share information on differences between all the different versions of English (Sorry CK, I couldn't quite see how to fit Zild or others into the pattern). This board throws up examples all the time of words in local use, but I was wondering about words and phrases which have opposite meanings, or meanings so different as to cause embarrassment (and therefore amusing to the onlooker ). I know of a few, but would like to hear of more. My understanding of the below may be incorrect so please correct me if I am wrong. I am also interested to know which side of the divide any bystanders may fall.

moot point:
US: A point not worth discussing
UK: An important and undecided point

table a motion:
US: to put an agenda item aside for (much) later discussion (in UK this would be to "shelve a motion".
UK: to bring the agenda item before the committee.

UK: As Hover=Vacuum cleaner so Durex=condom
Aus: Durex = Sellotape (Uk) = Scotchtape (US)
(visions of Australians asking for a reel of Durex in UK, or pomms in Sydney having to "roll their own" )

UK: An eraser
US: Condom

My wife's elderly aunt claims she was in a stationers in US and called out across the shop to her daughter already at the till "Wait, I've just found the pencils I was looking for, with the rubbers on the end in the shape of Mickey Mouse and Pluto"

Others? Corrections?


#26061 - 04/06/01 01:11 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
RE: with the rubbers on the end in the shape of Mickey Mouse and Pluto"

I heard in the past, that an alternate word for condoms in the UK was a "french cap"-- and the french called condoms --(no attempt here to put it into french) "english letters"

So what do the french call "french tickers" --( Not mickymouse rubbers I suspect)

On a more serious note--
"Its Greek to me" (for something total incomprehendable) becomes "Its Hewbrew to me" in (french i think) but in what is incomprehendable changes for language to language .... its Chinese... ( can we do a series?)

my other obsession

#26062 - 04/06/01 02:04 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
To fix a flat:

US To repair a flat t(i,y)re
UK ? To rent an apartment ?

To knock someone up:

US To get someone pregnant
UK ? To visit someone ? To come by and pick someone up ?

Not sure of the UKages but I'm sure we can get a clarification.

#26063 - 04/06/01 02:16 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
Bobyoungbalt Offline

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
fix a flat
Faldage, I don't believe you would speak in the UK of "fixing" a flat of any kind. I believe it's only we USers who use "fix" to mean "repair". Verification/correction anyone?

#26064 - 04/06/01 02:23 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Sorry CK, I couldn't quite see how to fit Zild or others into the pattern).


The interesting thing (from my perspective, anyway) is that ALL of the meanings attributed to the words above hold good here.

In NZ, rubber = eraser = condom, etc., depending on context.

Tabling a motion or an agenda item, however, only means putting it before the meeting. This is probably because you wouldn't be able to sort out what it meant from the context.

I have NEVER heard sellotape called Durex in Australia. I do stand to be corrected by our Ozzish neighbours, however.

The idiot also known as Capfka ...

#26065 - 04/06/01 02:42 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
I believe it's only we USers who use "fix" to mean "repair".

Zild uses "fix" for "repair" all the time. We would rent a flat, or an apartment, and if it needed maintenance work, we would fix it. Using "flat" for a rented residence gives the wonderfully useful verbal construction "flatting", which would be much more awkward if translated to "apartmenting". Unlike CK I have heard people outside of Lewisveal talk of fixing breakfast, which I must do now.

#26066 - 04/06/01 03:17 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
fix... repair

Yes, I would be with you again Max - I would find it pretty natural to talk about "fixing a leak" or "fixing a tool" meaning mending it. But maybe this is a USnism that's crept into my lex - what about other Brits?

#26067 - 04/06/01 05:21 PM Zildage?
musick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/24/00
Posts: 2661
Loc: Chicago
UK: An eraser
US: Condom

...ahem... far, oh so very far, be it for me to be prudish, but... "rubbers" are equvalent to "galoshes" (I might be the only one (my age (whatever that is)) left on this side of the pond to wear them)

I want my word back!!!

#26068 - 04/06/01 08:36 PM Re: Zildage?
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear musick: to me rubbers are only high enough to protect shoes, and galoshes go over shoes and come up ten inches or better and so have to be loose enough that four or more buckles are needed to close them. Back in the twenties girls who wore them unbuckled were called "flappers". Hardly anybody wears either these days. When weather was really wet, and slush or mud was a problem, I much preferred L.L. Bean's Maine hunting boots, with rubber bottoms and leather tops.

#26069 - 04/06/01 09:26 PM Re: Usage vs Ukage vs Ausage
inselpeter Offline

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
"Wait, I've just found the pencils I was looking for, with the rubbers on the end in the shape of Mickey Mouse and Pluto"

to take the mickey out of him

UK: To put someone down (?)

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