Link salad.

I think it’s safe to describe my mental state this morning as “knackered,” and can I get a huzzah for British English? We need more words like knackered. I think Gawker did a thing a few days ago, about what British terms we need to import, and my answer is: All of them. Take the lift to the fifth floor and tell your mates how your flat is being sprayed for insects. My brother’s favorite is “artic” for the tractor-trailer most Americans call a semi. (It’s an articulated lorry.)

And while Gawker mentions the bathroom/loo thing, I think we could do worse than adopt the even blunter toilet.

Second cup of coffee and I could still go back to sleep. So let’s make this a link-a-licious day, if I can find any.

From the Department of Elections Have Consequences, a couple of dispatches from the field. We’ve already seen that when one party is swept into office, crowing, “Jobs are our only priority,” it’s only a matter of time before we get a bunch of bills about abortion. It’s what you do when you have a safe majority — ram those suckers through before the tide turns. And so, in Wisconsin, we have a bill that would change what teachers are required to tell students about birth control (yay, abstinence! Contraception? What’s that?). Here in Michigan, a Republican from over there in Dutchistan is trying to strip domestic-partner benefits from staffs at state-funded colleges and universities. It would save the state “millions,” although I’m not sure how, because presumably the people who lose their bennies would be more likely to leave the employ of, say, the University of Michigan, and be replaced by heterosexuals, who would then take advantage of the benefit, but go figure.

Note this representative’s bio — he’s a retired airline pilot, and looks exactly like Leslie Nielsen in the “Airplane!” movies. I guess he really took those “ever seen a grown man naked” jokes personally.

P.S. He doesn’t use the term “domestic partner.” His website prefers the douchier “taxpayer-funded healthcare for roommates.”

Keep it classy, College Republicans.

Someone please tell me this is a joke.

Just because I want to be an equal-opportunity critic of bad ideas, someone tell me how the subway disruptions are going today.

If I understood high finance better I wouldn’t be blogging at 9 a.m. on a weekday, so I need some help here, too: Is it really possible MF Global actually lost $600 million in customer funds? Or was it all taken by Jeremy Irons, avenging the death of his brother, Hans Gruber?

Finally, a moment of silence, please, for the composer of “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini,” dead at 87.

Off to the showers.

Posted at 9:16 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

79 responses to “Link salad.”

  1. Dorothy said on November 17, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I’m on a crusade to knock the word “awesome” out of the vocabulary of virtually everyone on the planet. After watching some of the Irish movie “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”, last Friday night, I decided I’m going to start using “grand” as an affirmative adjective. And the Irish lilt makes the pronunciation even, well, more grand.

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  2. del said on November 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Victoria Jackson’s conservative talk show Politi-Chicks a joke? Yes, but not in the manner intended. Seems Ms. Jackson has fallen on hard times. Her website lists her club dates for 2010 as limited to Bloomington MN (mostly at the Mall of America).

    I know the Open Letter format is not a favorite but this one to Penn State’s whistleblower coach is fine:

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  3. Connie said on November 17, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Dutchistan? Dutchistan? I grew up in Dutchistan?. Hmmmm. Note the state rep in question (for the next district east from my hometown) has a Frieslander name just like me.

    I will be heading to Dutchistan on Saturday for my Dad’s 80th birthday party. At the restaurant HIS father refused to go to because it was owned by Catholics.

    Hope College (in the heart of Dutchistan) colors are blue and orange by the way. Orange being from the House of Orange. I love blue and orange together and have used it in decorating. My lovely rust tapestry couch is in the garage these days because it is too large for any of the doors in our house.

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  4. del said on November 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

    “Grand” is my new word too Dorothy. Just watched Mae West say it to a young Cary Grant in She Done Him Wrong on TCM last night.

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  5. LAMary said on November 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Sometime around the end of the 19th century, the Netherlands imported all it’s assholes(at least the ones who had not already moved to South Africa) to the US. Left behind are a mostly tolerant bunch who have a pretty decent social safety net and can’t understand why the US insists on pretending sex doesn’t exist, poverty is all self inflicted, and smoking reefer is much worse than getting drunk.

    I’ll check in with the in-house brit for some terms he thinks we should use.

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  6. Deggjr said on November 17, 2011 at 9:56 am

    The abstinence discussion reminds me of this very moving discussion in Acts 15 about the requirements for new believers.

    Excerpts, verse 5: Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.” Verse 10, Apostle Peter: “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?”

    Sure, abstinence would work, but it doesn’t work. It is only a part of the picture.

    Or put another way from this unattributed quote: “In theory, theory and practice match. In practice they don’t.”

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  7. Laura Lippman said on November 17, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I like “chuffed.” And the more casual use of “brilliant,” which makes me get all aglow, and then I remember it’s used much more casually.

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  8. Maggie Jochild said on November 17, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Brit girlfriend, who holds multiple degrees and has a dazzling vocabulary, has easily convinced me of the utility of loo and manky. She also brought a suitcase of English candies and confections on her recent visit, and I am slowly acquiring intercontinental addictions (Toffee Crisps and Jammy Dodgers remain at the top of my list). I still don’t understand British currency, though, old or new.

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  9. Jolene said on November 17, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I like bollocks, which I understand to mean bullshit, but it doesn’t sound quite so crude. Of course, that’s only because we don’t really know what it means. If people started using it regularly in contexts where we’d ordinarily say bullshit, it would very shortly sound just as crude.

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  10. mark said on November 17, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Wall Street opened on time, but some school children have been delayed getting to school. It seems the OWSers must have left their business attire behind in the tents confiscated at Zucotti park. Dressing as a tree is popular, but surprisingly ineffective for sneaking onto the trading floor.

    OWS has become a remarkably silly series of “events” occasionally interrupting a steady stream of assorted misdemeanors. Other than hooking up in the park, what is this progressive movement about? Keeping police officers and public defenders employed?

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  11. coozledad said on November 17, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’m sure a small fraction of Texans already know this, but the sorority twit could probably stand to be reminded of it. Their own vengeful neolithic God appears to hate them- at least by their own plague and drought metric. A more subtle act of God seems to be making the available breeding stock for realtors, Burger King managers, and muffler shop monkeys that the state seems to specialize in, just that much more likely to produce emotionally stunted offspring.
    I don’t know how God could make it any plainer unless he turned Rick Perry into a pillar of salt…

    H/T Fried Green Al-Quaedas

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  12. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Lots of scuffling and plastic-cuffing of OWSers at Wall Street, lots of yelling between protesters and those heading into work. , apparently the intent of the bridge disruptions is not to shut down the motoring lanes, just to show a mass of protest by showcasing large numbers of OWSers.
    The Twitter-fest just went off the tracks last night, calling for today to “be THE day”…but it’s just another day in paradise it seems.

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  13. coozledad said on November 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Hey Mark. You don’t want OWS to lose its playfulness. Believe me.
    It’s managed already to dramatically inflate credit union membership and kick some banksters and their handlickers in the balls. Pretty good for a bunch of hippies.
    Sweet Jeebus, Glibertarians suck ass.

    And my favorite English slang? Twat.

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  14. Jen said on November 17, 2011 at 10:26 am

    My sister watches a ton of British shows on Netflix and YouTube, and she has worked a lot of British words into her conversation. She especially likes the insults – wanker, tosser, knob, tosspot. Rick Steves has a whole list of British phrases here: He doesn’t include the good insults though – probably because he doesn’t advocate calling people names when you visit Europe! I like all the ways that you can say you’re drunk, personally.

    I have actually written my representatives and senators, both at the state and national level, and told them that they need to concentrate on jobs right now instead of social issues. I tend to disagree with them on things like gay marriage, but as I wrote, it doesn’t really matter because right now they shouldn’t be screwing around with things like the Defense of Marriage amendment when unemployment is high and the economy sucks. I do not think my emails have made a difference, but it made me feel better – at least marginally.

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  15. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

    GAIR-ahhge. Motorcar. Baked beans, bangers and mash, and don’t botch it!
    rasher of bacon, strong tea for breakfast.
    Cock up, diddle, and pussy mean totally different things than what we are accustomed to associating.

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  16. Jolene said on November 17, 2011 at 10:32 am

    The Sunday NYT Magazine will have an article about a very different kind of sex education taking place in a private school in a Philadelphia suburb. Up now on the web.

    Sounds like a wonderful experience for kids to have.

    The author comments on some of her experiences while writing the article in this blogpost:

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  17. Jeff Borden said on November 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I believe the words “classy” and “Republican” cannot be used together without provoking laughter, sort of like “jumbo shrimp” and “military intelligence.”

    I’m sure little Miss Prissy Pot will fit right in with her older cousins. She probably spends the weekends throwing rocks at Mexicans and baking cupcakes for reverse affirmative action bake sales while listening to Glenn Beck audiobooks.

    Fucking Young Republican assholes. Where do they manufacture these asshats?

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  18. Sue said on November 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Personally, I really want to greet people with “Wotcher” like Lovejoy and his pals do but there aren’t many East Anglians in SE Wisconsin, so I’d probably get funny looks.
    Terry Pratchett has great Brit lingo in his books. How it got to Discworld is a multiverse mystery, of course.
    Edit: Oh, and of course there’s not just today’s British words and phrases but what happens to you when you start reading some of the classics. I think I’ve mentioned here before what happens when I go on a Jane Austen bender. Come back to work talking like Elizabeth Bennett, at minimum throwing “indeed” into every sentence.

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  19. Eric Zorn said on November 17, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Yes, “toilet,” in honor of Ida Blankenship, the most senior of Don Draper’s secretaries in “Mad Men” who was (she is fictionally dead) known to loudly honk such things as “Your daughter’s psychiatrist called while you were in the toilet.” Perhaps better known for her attitude toward the Clay/Liston bout: “If I wanted to see two Negroes fight, I’d throw a dollar bill out my window.”

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  20. Deborah said on November 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’m all for the OWSers. After leaving the church where the wedding was held this past weekend in Charlotte NC we walked right through a protest group heading down the same street. I flashed them the peace sign as we passed, some returned it while they chanted “we are the 99%”. My husband’s relatives were aghast but no one said anything. I’ve seen OWSers in Chicago, Des Moines and now Charlotte, I think that’s cool. One of the best protest signs I saw in Charlotte (the home of Bank of America by the way) said “America bend over” and the BoA logo was changed so that the stripes spelled FU.

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  21. mark said on November 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Yes, cooz, I’m real worried about the OWSers ceasing to be playful. Who knows how long until they are not content with raping, shooting and overdosing their own?

    But I sleep better knowing that you will be tirelessly searching for any sign of “incitement”, and quick to attribute any comment from one as applicable to all.

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  22. Deborah said on November 17, 2011 at 10:59 am

    While working in London for awhile in the late 80s I was doing some graphic paste-ups for a project (before the computer). Normally typesetting came waxed but over there it didn’t, at the time, so all I had to use was cow paste. It was horribly ineffective. David Letterman used to do a schtick about cow paste, that’s the only time I ever heard of it before London. There is a canned food called Spotted Dick that can be bought at some grocery stores around here. I think it’s British, it sounds British anyway.

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  23. Kirk said on November 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

    A British pronunciation I like:


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  24. Kim said on November 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Wanker is a favorite, and a Brit friend once described a bunch of little kids as being “crafty as a bag of weasels.” That phrase is a staple in our house, esp. among our weasels and their occasionally weaselly friends.

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  25. nancy said on November 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

    When Ford owned Jaguar — do they still? I should ask the auto editor — that’s how the American execs pronounced it, too. More like JAG-yewer, as I recall.

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  26. Dorothy said on November 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    And when they give you the finger it’s two of them: the pointer finger and the middle finger turned sideways. I like “Oy!” to get your attention as well, which doesn’t sound particularly British but in the prawpah accent it does. Speaking of the telly, have any of you seen Idris Elba in both seasons of “Luther”? Leaves me wishing for more than 5 eps per season. And I’m in the middle of the first season of “Upstairs, Downstairs.” Not loving the black and white (there were strikes on in the UK when it was being filmed) but everything else is just grand.

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  27. coozledad said on November 17, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Keep fuckin’ that Murdoch chicken, Mark.
    I got a niece that used to write for the Post.They threw her away like an old rag once she lost her teen sheen.
    Too bad. They had a splendidly dutiful dumbass in that one.

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  28. Sue said on November 17, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Deborah, Cooz and mark – I support OWS but they are devolving instead of evolving. If they are going to be effective in the long run they will have to start working with the enemy. They know better than to get sucked into an astroturf situation as happened with several tea party groups and their money backers, but refusing to move from the loosest organization possible is eventually going to get them classified as ineffective cranks, all the easier to ignore and sweep aside (sometimes literally).
    The powerful people are waiting them out. Unless they can do a ‘move your money’ day every week (which they can’t), they will disappear and become the definition of lost opportunity.

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  29. Maggie Jochild said on November 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

    During the week Margot was recently here, I opted to match her intake of tea cup for cup, to see what it was like. Mornings began with a cuppa (with milk and sugar added for me) plus a single coffee for her, since her system is accustomed to the caffeine in tea. She brought Typhoo and Waitrose with her, and I learned right away to differentiate the taste, depending on my palate at that moment. The regular infusions greatly enhanced my mood and productivity, and I have really missed it since she left. (I am bedbound and my attendant care is only 4 hours a day, so I cannot continue the tea habit on my own.)

    The OWS movement is not clearly comparable to other progressive-led actions. It has only a weak interest in working with the current system, and its main success thus far has been to create functional relationships between subgroups who heretofore were effectively separated by the power elite. Its impact will emerge elsewhere, in areas which will catch the dull-witted status quo by great surprise.

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  30. Angela said on November 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I’ve been trying to train my Hoosier-country self to pronounce “been” as “bean,” not “bin.” It’s bean difficult.

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  31. Catherine said on November 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I love new (to me) words: Git. Shite. Chuffed. Brilliant. So many words for drinking, drinks and puking.

    The one I don’t like: Jumper instead of sweater. Pulls me out of the story every time.

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  32. John C said on November 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I like “grand” as well. But I like “brilliant” better, which the Irish use all the time. Really my favorite is the Irish use of “himself” and “herself,” as in: “Well if it isn’t herself, Nancy Nall, the famous writer come to share a pint with us!”

    There’s also “shite” and “fukshite,” which always seem to hit the nail on the head.
    Forgive me if I’ve told this story before, but a while back I was at a 2-week writing conference in Ireland. During one break we (all the participants were Americans) got into a conversation about how casual profanity was so much more accepted there. Later that day I was walking through town and passed a dad standing on the curb with his three small children. “Well,” he said with a clear tone of irritation, “where the fook’s yer mother!?”

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  33. LAMary said on November 17, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Speaking of the British calling cats pusses and pusses fannies, a popular name for a cat in England is Cooking Fat. Think spoonerism.

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  34. Deborah said on November 17, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I was in Northern Ireland overseeing the coloring of a carpet pattern I designed a few years ago. I couldn’t understand a word any of the workers said while I was in the factory. I remember that they used the word wee instead of small.

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  35. Deborah said on November 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Maggie, that is a brilliant paragraph:

    “The OWS movement is not clearly comparable to other progressive-led actions. It has only a weak interest in working with the current system, and its main success thus far has been to create functional relationships between subgroups who heretofore were effectively separated by the power elite. Its impact will emerge elsewhere, in areas which will catch the dull-witted status quo by great surprise.”

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  36. LAMary said on November 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

    The accent in Northern Ireland is inpenetrable. I have a friend from Belfast and we exchange lots of interesting emails, but speaking face to face? I just nod and smile.

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  37. LAMary said on November 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    What Deborah said about Maggie’s OWS comment. Amen.

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  38. Jeff Borden said on November 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    When I accompanied a group of English and Irish travel writers on a “media familiarization” trip through Chicago in advance of the World Cup opening ceremonies and game, there was a bombing of a Catholic pub in Northern Ireland. Since Mayor Daley was of Irish descent, a few of the lads put in calls to City Hall to see if they could get a reaction statement from him.

    A writer from Belfast told me he thought his colleague Ted, a hard-drinking scribe from one of the lesser U.K. papers, had indeed received some kind of call from one of Daley’s aides, but Ted could not be sure because he had been “in an advanced state of refreshment.” A more charming phrase for dead drunk I’ve yet to hear.

    Regarding the New York Post or any other element of Rupert Murdoch’s sleaze machine, you believe what they say at your own peril. Even the Wall Street Journal has been brought low by the Aussie asshole.

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  39. Linda said on November 17, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    The Brits have a way with words. Not just “knackered,” but their words for useless people: gits, tits, wankers. We should turn just such words into congressional titles.

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  40. brian stouder said on November 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Huzzah! Huzzah for British English!

    Speaking of the Automotive Editor, a book called Once Upon a Car got onto my radar last weekend (good ol’ C-SPAN). So, does Bill Vlasic play for our team, or is he ‘one of those people’? (his interview was pretty lively and engaging). Other than that, watch a Formula One broadcast, and Steve Matchett and David Hobbs will work to scratch any British itch your ears may have (I like ‘ah-LOOminium’ for aluminum; and klagg (instead of ‘marbles’ – for the off-line build-up of rubber as a race progresses), to name two (of many)

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  41. Sue said on November 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Brian – David Hobbs has a car dealership in the Milwaukee area. David Hobbs… Honda.

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  42. Kim said on November 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Maggie, where in this world are you? Perhaps near enough to help satisfy the hankering for some tea – although that paragraph was so perfect it seems you don’t need the tea to write, just to do it more.

    On that OWS topic, Samantha Bee’s OWS take on the Daily Show makes for a nice video pairing.

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  43. Maggie Jochild said on November 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Kim, I am in the bluest neighborhood in Austin, Tejas — I am sixth-generation Texian and determined to save my people from Republican racist woman-hating fuckwittery. One word at a time.

    When I don’t have tea, I drink Mexican Cokey-Cola.

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  44. Linda said on November 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    OWS may vary in its effectiveness across the country. It’s interesting to me that in the midwest, the Occupy movement seems to get on better with authorities than on the coasts–it seems to be a big-dick issue with authorities on the coasts, particularly NYC. In Toledo, OT is planning a pizza party for Saturday, and is trying to get its mitts around foreclosure. In Detroit, authorities gave OD more time to leave, so they could move indoors for the winter.

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  45. Heather said on November 17, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    At my first real job, my British boss once told the business manager that her job was to “sit on my face and make sure I get things done.” She eventually clued him in that it might not be the best phrase to pull out in the American workplace. Conversely, I learned that when in Britain, best not to offer someone “a ride,” because it’s more than a lift home.

    After my father moved to Ireland, he wasn’t there two months before he was telling us on the phone that it was “grand–just grand,” and how he was watching the “telly.” I’m an accent chameleon myself but it was really over the top.

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  46. LAMary said on November 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    “When I don’t have tea, I drink Mexican Cokey-Cola.”

    Made with cane sugar, not corn syrup?

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  47. John G. Wallace said on November 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Jag is now owned by Tata, the Indian auto manufacturer.

    Spotted Dick doesn’t mean you saw Cheney at the hospital (checking for dead young men with good hearts), it’s a canned pudding. Pass on that,as well as British corned beef which is a fatty meat paste that may be good on crackers if you are knackered.

    I like the word knackered – not a big fan of shagged, which brings to mind my own personal anti-viagra Austin Powers-Mike Myers.

    A few years back I was food service director at a summer camp in the kittatiny mountains and we had a large number of british counselors. One weekend a contingent of pretty British girls went to Harlem with some american staffers and from everyone’s account there is nothing funnier than having a lovely british girl tell the waitress at IHOP,”I’d like the rooti tutti fresh and fruity please.”

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  48. Mindy said on November 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    British English just makes the world a happier place. I think that all the PG Tips tea I drink is bringing my English ancestry to the surface. For those of us who wish to learn British English as a second language, this is big fun:

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  49. Maggie Jochild said on November 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Yes, LAMary. Icy cold in a glass bottle. The local grocery store sells it. I try to limit it to the morning caffeine launch, however.

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  50. Jeff Borden said on November 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Now this is how you sell a car to a male buyer:

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  51. jcburns said on November 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    I heartily endorse Dorothy’s attempt to de-awesomeize this Grand Land of Ours. I’m afraid if something isn’t done soon, my home town will change its name to Awesomeview Heights, Ohio.

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  52. Dorothy said on November 17, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Well crap, I spelled “oi” wrong. I should have known better – we put the close captioning on when we watch Luther, too. Thanks for the instructional link, Mindy.

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  53. Kirk said on November 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm


    Brilliant idea.

    “The chair recognizes the right honourable git from Mississippi for two minutes of rubbish.”

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  54. Jolene said on November 17, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Maggie’s appealing paragraph notwithstanding, I’m becoming impatient w/ the OWS people–not because I’m worried about them stopping traffic but because I’m worried about seeing a lot of good energy spent on directionless activity. There’s a big difference between “we are going to stay here” and “we are going to stay here until …”.

    But I’ve always been impatient w/ inchoate social processes. Have always found editing easier and mote natural than drafting. Am feeling like it’s time to find the central argument of this enterprise and drive it home.

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  55. Julie Robinson said on November 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Trainers are gym shoes. And pudding doesn’t mean pudding, it means dessert, which may indeed be a pudding.

    I missed a lot of Upstairs, Downstairs when I was away at school without a TV. So after we got Netflix, I watched every single episode, and found out that some of the plot points I thought I had missed were never there in the first place. But it was a pure pleasure, indeed.

    Dang–I only got two indeeds in there.

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  56. beb said on November 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Re Victoria Jackson. Someone once wondered if there was something in the water where they produced Saturday Night Live because so many of the cast members (OK I can only think of Victoria and Dennis Miller) turned into conservative arseholes.

    My favorite britishism is “twee” for something that is sort of cute but has gone off the deep end. I like shagged as a replacement for fucked. It’s a softer voiced word so it doesn’t sound so violent.

    the AP is telling reporters that they should not be making news, ie, getting caught up in police arrests of OWS, which is kind of difficult when the police begin arresting people blocks away from the park.

    Olbermann had on the 84 year old retired school teacher last night, who had been pepper-sprayed that day. He said hello and she started talking non-stop for 15 minutes. And was interesting all the way. Now there’s a woman who knows what she wants to say, how to say and how to stay focused. I want her in Congress!

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  57. Suzanne said on November 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Mindy, I love PG Tips! Great tea, as is Barry’s Irish and Typhoo. And nothing says love like snogging.

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  58. Deborah said on November 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    This has been a really great comment thread. I’m just sitting here with a big grin on my face because of it.

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  59. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    We discussed this a few years ago, but all this discussion of word play reminded me once again of how my old army buddy Bill from University City / St. Louis, Missouri, always said “…wow, he really hoosiered that up…” It simply means “totally fucked up the deal”. Any ill-mannered act, gross bodily function, clumsy mistake such as spilling a beer at a Cardinals’ game earned you the insult. “You fuckin’ hoosier!”
    I recall the 1980s movies by “The Mackenzie brothers”, in which the big insult was to be called a “hoser”. Could there possibly be a connection?

    It got really crazy in NYC today, but the wags at The Gray Lady just write this drivel:

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  60. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    JulieRobinson: I watched the show in 1975 . It was the first time I ever knew that shell-shock was an honorable injury, and not one to be shamed over.
    Of course, even years later in WWII, the USA looked at it differently, as Patton slapped battle-fatigued soldiers still in hospital.
    I still think about that show. It was great acting, great television. I’d love to see it again …maybe I’ll pursue it.

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  61. moe99 said on November 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I tried to post on my IPOD this am but since it’s not appeared, I will try to recreate it.

    Kudos, Maggie for a great post upthread. I was waylaid by OWS in Seattle two nights ago when their street protests delayed my bus home by an hour. I got a friend to let my dogs out for me, so I was fine. Then I learned the next day that the police had directly pepper sprayed the petite 84 year old Olberman interviewed and a pregnant young women. Making friends whereever they go, those cops in Seattle.

    My favorite foreign phrase comes from Australia where many Cockneys (who are noted for their colorful language) made their home voluntarily or involuntarily. It refers to a need for a male to go to the loo: “Unbutton the mutton and wring the rattlesnake.”

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  62. Kirk said on November 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Dexter, when I went to school in Missouri, a lot of St. Louis people there used “hoosier” as a synonym for “hick” or “rube.”

    Guess I had missed out on Victoria Jackson turning into a right-wing ninny, a la Dennis Miller. The other thing they have in common: Neither of them was funny.

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  63. Suzanne said on November 17, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I do have a close relative who lives in Manhattan and I did talk to her today. She said she hasn’t noticed any subway disruption, but she doesn’t go anywhere near Wall St.

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  64. Scout said on November 17, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Brilliant thread! My propensity for calling my friends Sweetie Darling comes directly from AbFab. Favorite phrase has to be “sort it out.” With the accent, naturally. We’re always getting things sorted at our abode.

    I first heard “fook you, you fooking fook” from a friend who’d just been to Dublin. She thought the phrase was brilliantly amusing and brought it back as a souvenir, if you will. This was many years ago, before it became over-used here.

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  65. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    November 17, OWS, check out this bloody arrest. My facebook friend Franklyn of Brooklyn shot this video a short time ago.

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  66. Sherri said on November 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    While I don’t think every OWS idea is necessarily a good one, I actually don’t think that OWS needs to be focused and organized to be effective. Unless you have tons of money, making change in a kleptocracy is hard, messy business. I think it’s harder to fight against a disorganized, inchoate mass than an organized movement. What’s more likely to make a difference, an organization like MoveOn or a picture of an 84 year old who’s been pepper-sprayed by cops?

    Democracy is messy business, something I wish the current occupant of the White House was more appreciative of. You can’t stay above the fray and get anything done.

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  67. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    This one is for business and car buffs. Fiat, far-removed from the joke pile of years ago, may move corporate HQ to Michigan.
    Who could have foreseen this just three years ago when Fiat took control of Chrysler? Sergio Marchionne, head man of both Fiat and Chrysler ends of the corporation, looks a little like Woody Allen and H. Kissinger combined, but he is a fascinating guy to listen to. He is just so articulate and just plain smart. I heard a fifteen minute radio interview with him and I wanted to hear more. They love him in Toledo…just yesterday an announcement: a $500,000,000 investment in the Jeep works in North Toledo.
    Things are looking up in The Glass City.

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  68. Catherine said on November 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I’m going to start using snogging immediately. Maybe it will catch on with the teens in my life who say “sucking face.” Ew.

    Now that we’ve got that sorted… My lunch group of 4 women in the 45-60 YO range had a similar conversation about OWS:

    “The last time people were protesting, it was OUR generation.”

    “Yes, but we had a goal — to get out of Vietnam. These people don’t seem to have a goal. I’d be more sympathetic if I felt they were FOR something.”

    To which I said, “I think many of them would reject your idea that a goal is even needed or desirable.” Response from the table: silence and incredulous stares.

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  69. ROGirl said on November 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Other Britishisms:

    bog (or lav) – toilet

    bloody ‘ell or bleedin’ ‘eck – all purpose, not polite

    rubber – eraser

    rubber johnny or johnny – rubber

    tea (when used to describe a meal) – dinner

    plimsoles – sneakers

    the curse – period

    pants – underpants or knickers

    vest – undershirt

    torch – flashlight

    wireless – radio

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  70. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    ROGirl’s post has me asking this: what is the origin of calling a condom a “jimmy hat”?
    That’s all the New York boys call them on the radio show I listen to. I had never heard that terminology until 2011.

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  71. MichaelG said on November 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    TaTa motors makes great cars. They’re bodacious TaTas.

    I think the OWS people started out with a lot of good will from everyone for the first couple of weeks. I mean I’m certainly in favor of the things they seem to want, who wouldn’t be? Then the lack of focus and the lack of message or leadership started to tell and the demonstrations seemed to become stale and pointless. At this stage I think the demonstrations are more about the right to demonstrate and to see whose is biggest. It’s about something else altogether different from what it was when they started. The demonstrations have now become their own end. I think the OWS people need to call things off, fall back, regroup and start over when they get some of their problems worked out.

    Also demonstrators absolutely lose me when they get destructive or violent or start to do things that inconvenience everyday folks like shutting down bridges or public transportation. That’s just stupid. I can see the fat cats sitting back with big smiles when they see that shit.

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  72. caliban said on November 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Taking the piss out of, as Princess Nancy did so sublimely to Rick Perry.

    According to Ray Davies, a Harry Rag , rhymes with fag + cigarette.

    Cricket terms are quite brilliant.

    The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society but they are also the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular.

    Also, rubbish is used as verb and adjective as well as noun.

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  73. Dexter said on November 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    When men were men, in Bryan, Ohio. More than a century ago, in a little town…

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  74. coozledad said on November 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    What occupy is protesting is the the privatization of profit and the socialization of loss. If it follows the historical arc of other revolutions, the criminal classes at the top will remain in denial until they’re being held by their ears under a blade. They never respected the peaceful stuff before, and it’s not likely to make them stop stealing shit now.

    For example, taxpayers will probably be put on the hook for the losses incurred by the shareholders of this criminal enterprise:

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  75. del said on November 17, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Michael G, I met David Keith at a bar in the late 80’s. His line from Officer and a Gentleman had apparently resonated with the friend who was with me, who, to my surprise and without warning looked at Keith and proudly announced, “now there’s some bodacious TaTa’s,” hoping to impress the actor. Keith was flummoxed, didn’t remember the line — and who were these boneheads after all? Just two kids who ended up making their sleeping arrangements that night on some cardboard in a subway station. Good times.

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  76. Deborah said on November 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    It’s c-c-c-c-cold in Chicago tonight. But just wait until February when it’s really cold. It has barely begun. I like it, I’ve got a warm coat, a warm down comforter for the bed, I’m all set. That’s what I always say about the difference between summer and winter, you can only take so much off in the summer but you can always add more on in the winter. I got some new gloves at Northface this evening, they have tips on the thumbs and index fingers called etips, you can use your iPhone with them on, no problem. Cool.

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  77. jerry said on November 18, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Jan at 14 recommends Rick Steve’s site for Britishisms – a couple of warnings:
    be on the pull is indeed looking for love – but of the physical kind rather than the emotional.
    A lady would never ask to be knocked up as it also means to make pregnant.

    Moe at 61 rather than wring the rattlesnake our son in Oz prefers syphon the python.

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 18, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Dexter, the Ohio Historical Society thanks you for your patronage! I’m assuming the quilted bloomers were for protection in the high dive into a shallow pond, but they’re quite the fashion statement.

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  79. Sue said on November 18, 2011 at 8:58 am

    One of our local news stations made sure to mention that protesters on the North Avenue bridge were also carrying Recall Walker signs, and emphasized the police chief’s dismissive comments about acting like martyrs and letting them freeze their butts off. So, link them with the dirty hippie anti-Walker protesters and have an authority figure blow them off as an inconsequential irritant. And of course it was noted that the protesters hung around for a few hours and then packed up and went home, implying that the demonstration had made no difference. The major message of these folks yesterday – hey if you fix the North Avenue bridge it would make things safer and create some jobs for us – was buried in the story, but at least mentioned in passing.
    That was my point yesterday. Without leadership or a demand and willingness to work with the people in power, the message will be controlled by the people who control messages for a living, and the movement will lose momentum and opportunity.

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