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Characters & Stuff (spoilers) > Vocabulary? Englishisms?

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message 1: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments I always think of these things as I'm listening and never remember to look them up. Bullocks!


message 2: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa | 72 comments Get out of my brain!

I'm sure there are references that went right over my head in Moon Over Soho. I do remember looking up the term punters though because Peter uses it A LOT!


message 3: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments Bollocks! The punters are having a laugh.


Sorry, that's the first thing that popped into my head after reading both your posts.


message 4: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments "sloped off" seems to show up every book, always to my amusement.

In Hanging Tree, someone 'claimed to have been a bit squiffy.'


message 5: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments Mob-handed.... What's that? That one shows up frequently, too.


message 6: by Miriam (last edited Feb 13, 2017 06:38AM) (new)

Miriam | 113 comments According to the Oxford Dictionary mob-handed means "in considerable numbers".

I thinks it's mostly used when an great number of police officers are present and active in a situation, like for example the Covent Garden Riot in book one.

A word I really like is "to schlepp". Maybe because it sounds so German. "schleppen" is a German verb after all.


message 7: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Miriam--I've used that one! "need to schlepp on over..." For some reason, I was thinking it might be Yiddish origin, but German makes sense. Lots of Germans in Wisconsin.


message 8: by Miriam (new)

Miriam | 113 comments It is Yiddish in origin, but since Yiddisch and modern German both stem from Middle High German, there are many similarities.


message 9: by Nyssa (last edited Feb 13, 2017 02:53PM) (new)

Nyssa | 72 comments The way my mind works:
Yiddish made me think of Fiddler on the Roof, which made me think of Yentl.
I have seen Fiddler on the Roof (it is a favorite of my dad's) but I have never watched more than a scene or two of Yentl!


message 10: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments Can I just say how much I love the term "stroppy"!


message 11: by Stephan (new)

Stephan  | 10 comments I've loaded a custom English-German dictionary onto my Kobo and discovered that it must be built on a UK dictionary, because it contains every single Englishism that Ben has thrown at me til now *thankheavens*


message 12: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments Stephan wrote: "I've loaded a custom English-German dictionary onto my Kobo and discovered that it must be built on a UK dictionary, because it contains every single Englishism that Ben has thrown at me til now *t..."

That's a terrific iea, Stephan! I have a kobo, too, and keep getting frustrated when I want a definition of a Brit term.


message 13: by Stephan (new)

Stephan  | 10 comments These dictionaries are a major thing for me and a great help as a non-native speaker. I wish they'd help more with abbreviations, but then again I love when Aaronivitch explains some of them and ridicules bureaucracy.

I had been trying to work out what the P in PC stands for and it took me ages to understand that it's an oh so simple 'police'..


message 14: by John (new)

John Doe | 36 comments lol we should ask Ben to update his glossary

http://temporarilysignificant.blogspo...


message 15: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments Carol. wrote: ""sloped off" seems to show up every book, always to my amusement.

In Hanging Tree, someone 'claimed to have been a bit squiffy.'"


Squiffy is drunk, but mildly so.


message 16: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments Lata wrote: "Mob-handed.... What's that? That one shows up frequently, too."

To go in mob-handed is to go into a situation with a lot of people beside you.


message 17: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments John wrote: "lol we should ask Ben to update his glossary

http://temporarilysignificant.blogspo..."


Those are so old! I agree... except I don't want to distract Ben from writing the new book :)


message 18: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments Being a native Brit (well, Scottish, but you get what I mean), the "Englishisms" don't give me any trouble.

I *do* sometimes have difficulty with the police jargon. Most of the time I get the meaning via the context (and having watched a great deal of cop shows over the years).

For the ones I *don't* get, there's always the internet.

Failing that, I've a couple of friends - Nick and Catherine - who are First Responders, they know quite a few police officers from providing first aid cover at local events. Indeed, Nick's best mate from his school days is now the head of the local traffic division.


message 19: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments I love the work 'nick.' So totally unAmerican, but I always want to use it after an Aaronovitch reading binge.


message 20: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments It is, yeah. Being both *place* - "the nick" (IE the police station), and also an *action* - to "nick" someone (IE to place them under arrest)

The ultimate example of the latter being John Thaw as D.I. Jack Regan in classic 70s cop show "The Sweeney", and his immortal line - "Get yer trousers on, yer nicked!"


message 21: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments Refs took me a while. Then I realised he meant "refreshments".


message 22: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Re-listening to Whispers Underground, because. Today I looked up

navi (navvy?) --unskilled hard laborers for large projects
sleeping rough --homeless


I had gathered meaning from context, but thought maybe I should make sure I understood correctly. It's so hard for me to remember from the car to my computer :)


message 23: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments Navvy - yes. Short for "navigator".


message 24: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Well, the 'navigator' didn't really make sense either. It seems like a more historical term.


message 25: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments It's because the canals and so on that they built were deemed to be "navigations".


message 26: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Ah, I see. Thanks!


message 27: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments No problem.

It's a bit of a hobby of mine, trying to work out where words and phrases came from and what they originally meant.


message 28: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments It's tricky; one of the reasons I looked up 'sleeping rough' is that I wasn't sure if there was a slur attached and how it might be used. I can't really imagine reading in my non-native language!


message 29: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments Even so, there's a lot of regional variation within the UK.

One that springs to mind is the word "louping" (possibly a derivative of "loping").

In the North of England, it means "to run in a careless manner".

But in some parts of Scotland, it means a bad smell.


message 30: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments Interesting differences, Ronnie.


message 31: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments Language is a fascinating thing. :)


message 32: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Okay, here's another that needs subtlety-- 'taking the piss.' So, like 'pulling my leg?' or a more/half aggressive kind of teasing?


message 33: by John (last edited Feb 22, 2018 04:14PM) (new)

John Doe | 36 comments yes like "pulling your leg" but in a bit more deliberate and pointed manner of teasing someone

it's also used to describe situations when people abuse a privilege or benefit e.g. when an office colleague is constantly "working from home" or takes the office coffee home it can be described as "taking the piss"


message 34: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Ah, thanks, John.


message 35: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments Though the former is more common that the latter. Friends tend to REALLY take the piss out of you. Sometimes more politely referred to as 'taking the mickey', or, if you want to be posh about it, 'extracting the urine'.

Real life exchange with a friend of mine from last year. She'd turned up to meet me at Euston Station clutching a toy koala and waving it over her head.

Me: Now that's just taking the piss.
Her: Naturally, why else would I buy a stupid toy koala?

The second tends, for me at least, to bring to mind the phrase 'diabolical liberties'.

"That Dave, he comes in, works 2 hours, pisses off for lunch and then buggers off home at 2pm. It's a diabolical liberty, that's what it is."


message 36: by John (new)

John Doe | 36 comments we actually utilize the second context a fair bit in the office here in oz. "diabolical liberty" isn't quite direct enough in the antipodes.


message 37: by Margaret (last edited Feb 22, 2018 07:10PM) (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments Oddly enough, I'm also in Australia.

I have never heard taking the piss used in the second context. Doesn't mean it isn't used, just not used in that fashion by the people I associate with. :) We would tend to call such a person a 'thieving bludging bastard' and leave it at that.


message 38: by John (last edited Feb 22, 2018 08:23PM) (new)

John Doe | 36 comments Carol. wrote: "'taking the piss.' "

are you listening to "Whispers Underground" just when Peter meets Sergeant Jaget Kumar of the Transport Police? I just hit that point and heard it on the audiobook just then :) must be about 2 hours behind you lol

Margaret wrote: "Oddly enough, I'm also in Australia.."

yeah i snuck a peek at your profile :) People in Melbourne are more cultured and refined than the convict colony that is Sydney ;p

if it's outright theft then yeah - your term would be used with additional four letter words. but if it's taking "liberties" the n"taking the piss" is used.

accusing someone of a crime in a work environment doesn't end well...so we use roundabout ways to raise the imputation, such is the modern workplace.


message 39: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments *sniggers* When was the last time you visited Melbourne? Parts of this city have about as much culture as a tub of yogurt. :D

I was thinking more of English usage with the phrase 'diabolical liberties'. I've overheard the phrase used more than once in conversations when I've been in London.


message 40: by John (new)

John Doe | 36 comments lol, every city does have it's own version of Collingwood :)

i visit for work about 2 twice a year. admittedly it's very much airport -> hotel -> office -> hotel -> airport. have a few friends there so we usually find the appropriate level of mischief.

"liberties" - makes me think of Guy Ritchie movies and overblown cockney accents :D


message 41: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments John wrote: "are you listening to "Whispers Underground" just when Peter meets Sergeant Jaget Kumar of the Transport Police? I just hit that point and heard it on the audiobook..."

Yes! It's my favorite, I think, and I'm re-listening in the car, although I'm going to have to find other times because I don't have long enough drives for how much I enjoy it.

"Mr. Crispy."


message 42: by John (new)

John Doe | 36 comments hahaha...i've just reintroduced to Zach.

i listen during my commutes...and in the office (pleasant white noise to block out everyone else). it's does mean my productivity drops precipitously as i may decide to pay attention to the story than the actual work :)


message 43: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Ah, Zach. I love how Kobna does Zach. "That's Shakespeare, innit?"


message 44: by carol. (last edited Feb 26, 2018 08:11AM) (new)

carol. | 499 comments Googling 'noddy suit' gets me a ton of full-on respirator-military gear

description

but I think it's more like
description

which doesn't include the respiratory (an important differentiation).

In emergency medical response or the hospital (America) we tend to call them 'bunny suits' or 'iso gear.'

Any insight to the British-ism?


message 45: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie (ronnieb) | 104 comments There's a two page piece on this subject at the end of "Body Work" #1.

The gist of it is, someone back in the dim and distant past got "bunny suit" mixed up with "Noddy suit".

Noddy being a popular character from children's literature, created by Enid Blyton in 1949.

The Noddy stories are also where the term "the plod" - referring to the police - comes from, in the shape of the character Mr. Plod (sometimes PC Plod) the policeman.


message 46: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments Cool! I love these explanations, Ronnie. I really enjoy learning where/how words originate and evolve.


message 47: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) | 301 comments Carol. wrote: "Googling 'noddy suit' gets me a ton of full-on respirator-military gear



but I think it's more like


which doesn't include the respiratory (an important differentiation).

In emergency medical ..."


The second one is what Ben means by noddy suit. There's a good illustration of Peter getting into one in "Body Works".


message 48: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie | 8 comments Y'know, it occurs to me that you folks from "overseas" should be thankful Dr. Walid doesn't get more screen time (as it were).

Otherwise you'd be drowning in weird Scottish colloquialisms. ;)


message 49: by Lata (new)

Lata | 346 comments I'd love to hear Dr Walid's weird Scottish colloquialisms. :)


message 50: by carol. (new)

carol. | 499 comments Ah, Dr. Walid. I would love more Scottish colloquialisms. And to know the story of how a Scotsman became a Muslim.


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