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36

Aubergine is the British word (originally, I think, from French, but there's no percentage in guessing exactly how), and many British cooks literally would not know what eggplant is. In North America, as others have said, it's the other way about. Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and ...


14

I'm in the U.S., and I've never heard of the Washing-Up Fairy. Still, using a fairy to explain an unexplained yet serendipitous discovery is not unheard of. When I Googled "a fairy came and cleaned", I found: my mother would call me the next day, “Oh! a Fairy came and cleaned the house” [in a Yahoo! answer] “Let's pretend a fairy came and cleaned ...


13

In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins was 111 years old and he called it "eleventy-one". “Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today!” So if the speaker is serious, it would make sense to infer eleventy-seven means 117. But since this is not a normal way of speaking about the number 117, and because people don't ...


12

Just so you know, modern British English doesn't sound much like English would have sounded like when Australia or the US/Canada was colonized. In fact, many Southeastern US accents are closer to British English from the 16-1700s than British English is today. The accent from Tangier Island, Virginia (video) is about as close to British English from the ...


11

It's either a real number 110, It is also known as "eleventy", a term made famous by linguist and author J. R. R. Tolkien (Bilbo Baggins celebrates his eleventy-first birthday at the beginning of The Lord of the Rings) and derived from the Old English hund endleofantig. When the word eleventy is used, it may indicate the exact number (110) Therefore ...


11

In the U.S. the phrase for cleaning the dishes after a meal is to wash the dishes (generically, to wash dishes). The action nominalization is dishwashing (with or without hyphen or space) in either case. One can say wash up instead of wash the dishes, in context, but wash up in the U.S. is just one more phrasal verb and does not have the specific ...


9

Being an American, I can safely say that both are used quite often to mean the same thing: angry or irritated. "I was so pissed when he spilled coffee on my new sweater" or "it really pisses me off when she talks down to me" would be understood in America as the speaker being angry. As far as I know, we never use pissed or pissed off to mean intoxicated. ...


9

While I'd agree that Andrew Leach's answer yokel is a good word for this, perhaps you could also (for British English) consider bumpkin:- An awkward, unsophisticated person; a yokel.


9

This is an example of a common tendency towards perverse sense of humor in Australian slang. Several sources attest to this. “In Australian society, Australian men will often give ironic nicknames. For example, a man with red hair will be given the nickname ‘Blue’ or ‘Bluey’.”¹ “1978 R.H. Conquest, Dusty Distances: ‘I found out later that he was a native ...


9

The maps you see with south at the top are generally considered novelties, and are not seriously considered. The worldwide convention for maps is to orient north at the top. I have never heard the expression "down north" when referring to the northern hemisphere. A Google Ngram search shows that sometimes people say "down north" when living in an area where ...


8

A hen party or hen night specifically refers (in the UK) to what is called a "bachelorette party" in the US - there will be drinking, possibly a stripper, certainly some raucous laughter and dirty jokes. I wouldn't expect it to mean any random party featuring lots of women, nor any of the specialized women-only parties like a baby shower or wedding shower. ...


8

From Urban Dictionary: An imaginary number to be used when you have lost count of something and you need to verbally state a quantity.


8

I have not heard of this fairy. It does not exist in Norway where I live. Although a quite similar creature do exist, and is called "dishwasher":


8

In Canada, I've often heard the phrase "dish-washing fairy". For example, if you visit your parent's place for dinner and your Mom says "Gee it would be really nice if a dish-washing fairy appeared and helped out in the kitchen (hint hint)". After reading the other answers, it seems like the exact name of this "fairy" varies a bit, but the concept seems ...


7

Australian English is quite like British-English. Around WW2, it was very similar, including terms like "pounds, shillings, tea(as in dinner), etc." still in common use. However, during the late 20th century, there is a rise of American English, being now used predominantly in movies, tv shows, etc. Due to this influence of American English, Australian ...


7

Yep. In my own experience, casual use of this sense of Caucasian is just as prevalent in the UK and Australia as in the US. Searching for it in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Mail confirms this with plenty of home-grown examples. On the other hand, at least some British publications make an effort to use it more precisely: e.g. searching in the ...


7

Likewise, in (colloquial) Australian English, bogan can be considered roughly equivalent: The term bogan (/ˈboʊɡən/) is Australian and New Zealand slang, usually pejorative or self-deprecating, for an individual who is recognised to be from an unsophisticated background or someone whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour exemplifies a lack of ...


7

The previously-mentioned terms bumpkin (“a yokel; a clumsy, unsophisticated person)” and yokel (“(pejorative) An unsophisticated person”, also “A person of rural background”) both appear in the British-equivalent-of-redneck virtuallinguist link given in a third answer. The linked page also states that “The words hick and hillbilly are used too (also ...


7

I'm in a similar boat to you. I don't know that it's really possible to pin down a regional accent. The consensus appears to be that there are three types of accent, broad (that's your country, 'ocker' or Strine), cultivated (like Peter Costello or Geoffrey Rush), and general (that'll be your town accent). You're more likely to pick up on someone's region ...


7

While I have seen it on Aussie job sites, I don't believe that the use of this phrase is endemic to the Antipodes. Flexible work ethic (normally used in the singular and rarely in the plural) is basically used to indicate that you should be ready to be a "team player" when it comes to working hours, sick leave, etc. If it's busy, you might have to work long ...


7

Searching Google Books Corpus, BNC, COCA, and WebLSE turned up no hits at all, which suggests that this is a very local usage. Plain old Google with a filter to get rid of the washing-up liquid got a washing-up fairy from University of Warwick in UK though the writer may not be British; GardenGirl who is also UK based; a washing-up fairy competition in UK, ...


7

Whenever the term "official dictionary" is thrown around in Australia, it is usually in reference to the Macquarie dictionary which is considered the country's "national dictionary". The Macquarie was born in 1981 and continues to be based in Sydney, New South Wales. I suspect that the excerpt from the tenth edition of the book cited by the OP has not been ...


7

The nickname Bluey originated in the 1890s and was used as a nickname throughout World War One to refer to red-haired soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force, especially from New South Wales. During the Second World War, nearly every redhead was nicknamed Bluey, and it spread to civilian life. The name is ironic, and it seems red-haired men didn't mind ...


7

I'm not from Australia myself, but I believe the phrase "Tyranny of Distance" is used to emphasize the effect of geographical remoteness on shaping the country's identity. In particular, its distance from its colonizer Great Britain affected the development of Australia's culture and attitudes of its people. Your assertion is correct that the word "tyranny" ...


6

I hate it when he does that. I hate when he does that. This is very common (22.8 million Google hits for “I hate when” this morning). It is informal and maybe not completely standard English. As you note, whether it is present or dropped does not affect the meaning. The verb hate in this case is still transitive. The phrase when he ...


6

In New Zealand, that distinction still exists quite strongly. But, like you, I have heard a few people use "pissed" to mean annoyed, but the vast majority of the time, I have only heard it in the sense of being intoxicated. I wouldn't worry too much about it though. There are so many words in English that mean "drunk" that it wouldn't cause too much to be ...


6

I live in Australia and I should know. No, it was never in wide usage, because I have lived here quite some time, and I have never seen it. This simple spelling reform has been adopted widely by Australians. Really? I think it's because Wikipedia can be edited simply just by anyone, not too much credence should be placed on some of its articles. ...


6

In my opinion, "dish-washing fairy" is not a set phrase, idiom, etc at all. In my family growing up in Melbourne in the 1970s the topic of "the fairies", but also "the pixies", we were often told were not going to come along when we weren't looking and do various tasks we were too lazy to do ourselves, including but not limited to washing the dishes. ...


6

Chucking a wobbly comes from throw a wobbly and wobbly refers to a fit of anger, possibly suggesting the person is mentally unbalanced. The 1994 Shorter Slang Dictionary (Partridge, Beale, Fergusson) says: throw a wobbly to become angry, agitated or mentally unbalanced; to behave irrationally or unpredictably. Later 20th century. The 2008 New ...



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