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Oi, wot's all this then, guvnuh? or, Ask the Limey: Part II: Electric Boogaloo

This is a continuation of the topic Ask the Limey.

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Mar 8, 2012, 1:54pm Top

The British/UK/Anglo thread continues on its merry way. Let's make this chat worth a tuppence, eh, mate.

Mar 8, 2012, 2:42pm Top

Last thread became more of an "ask the Canadian," actually.

Mar 8, 2012, 3:16pm Top

No wonder it died, then...

Edited: Mar 8, 2012, 3:19pm Top

Two separate threads devoted to the convoluted, in-bred minds of those inhabiting perfidious Albion.


Mar 8, 2012, 4:05pm Top

4: Perhaps marrying someone off the island would prevent that sort of thing. Although, truth be told, it happened on the Continent as well:


The "Ask a Canadian" thread should be "Why does that ninth-rate hack and maple syrup tycoon Robertson Davies have better health care than me?"

The "Ask the American" thread should be properly labeled "Whatchoo readin' for?"

Mar 26, 2012, 11:57pm Top

Mar 29, 2012, 2:57pm Top

Ohhhhhhhhhhh, I-an...

Recently snapped up a copy of THE RED RIDING TRILOGY. Comes with an impressive rep...at least on your side of the pond. Not too many folks over here seem to know it, though it has acquired something of a cult reputation (which, natch, made my spider sense tingle).

Have you seen any/all of the films in the trilogy? Familiar with the books (by David Peace)? Thoughts?


Mar 29, 2012, 3:14pm Top

Saw the TV series, it was excellent. Have heard the books praised by many. The only book by Peace I've read is The Damned Utd. I hate football but I thought it was a very good book.

Mar 29, 2012, 4:15pm Top

Thanks for that. I've heard the accents render some of the dialogue unintelligible. Hopefully won't take us long to acquire the proper "ear"...

Apr 29, 2012, 12:32am Top

Hey! I want to ax the Limey: whats up with that Skins Limey crack addiction like series I have been watching since finding it on Netflix? Is that just exploitative or does it have socially redeeming value? The sound track just gets better & better as I enter the second season although I think I liked the first season best still so far. Did the series touch base with people over there or seem to be a {well} concocted fantasy?

My first post here, that will teach you about locking all the doors.

Apr 29, 2012, 5:07am Top

I've never watched it. I'm about 20 years too old for its demographic.

Apr 29, 2012, 7:48am Top

Dear Cliff,

Ignore the peasants. We too in Australia suffer envy from less fortunate lands.
Just the burden we have to bear!

May 2, 2012, 7:03pm Top

Doesn't a Duran Duran concert constitute an "act contrary to the public good" or some other felony punishable by beheading?


Well, it should.

Dear God, Ian, this is the best organizers could do? What's the matter, were Dexys Midnight Runners and Phil Collins already booked?

Edited: May 2, 2012, 7:22pm Top

13: Dexy's Midnight Runners were probably doing a gig for The Young Ones and Phil Collins probably had to record some middlebrow dreck for a Disney film.

Hey! I like Duran Duran and not in an ironic hipster d-bag kinda way either. Comparing them to the Beatles should probably be considered a felony, at least to the editoral board of Pitchfork.

Still, not sure the Olympics gig is an improvement or a decline from their work on the theme song for that one James Bond movie where Christopher Walken was the villain and Grace Jones was the Bond Girl (aka, "A British pop cultural product that left my adolescent years one of libidinous confusion. Also, Roger Moore didn't help.")

May 2, 2012, 11:05pm Top

I forwarded my idea that the opening ceremony should consist of 2012 pearly kings and queens singing "My Old Man" and "Any Old Iron" while hundreds of mini skirted maidens wearing Barbara Windsors hair-dos ran through the crowd dispensing meat pies and jellied eels. Unaccountably it was rejected and this is the result.

May 3, 2012, 5:53am Top

Ah, the ignorance - Dexy's Midnight Runners were/are a great band. Come On Eileen was probably one of the worst songs they recorded and it's still better than most of the dreck out there. Open your ears and listen to the albums.

Choosing Duran Duran for the Olympic concert just sums up the approach to culture being pursued - rather than celebrate new art the committee is obsessed with the past. It beggars belief that we have another Shakespeare binge thanks to the Olympics - all that money could have gone to promote other writers.

May 3, 2012, 11:46am Top

15 sounds like it would have been epic. An Olympics to remember.

I agree that choosing Duran Duran shows that the Olympic committee is more into nostalgia than current reality.

May 3, 2012, 12:10pm Top

Showed a paucity of imagination on the part of organizers, at the very least.

Duran Duran iconic? A celebration of all things British? Surely the Limeys haven't sunk THAT far.

May 3, 2012, 12:57pm Top

16: Then the Olympic Committee sounds no different than the Oscars this year.

May 3, 2012, 1:55pm Top

On the other hand, if they chose something current, everyone would have said, "Arctic Monkeys and Adele? That's the best they can do?"
Perhaps Duran Duran best represents the ephemeral nature of British pop, a stand-in, if you will, for everyone from Freddie and the Dreamers to Aztec Camera.

May 3, 2012, 3:03pm Top

20: In either case, it sounds like the Olympic Committee is nothing more than an appeasement machine for mob rule. Ugh, let me know when they evolve a backbone. Whatever decision is made, they'll offend the taffeta-thin sensibilites of some allegedly benighted demographic, be it hipsters or purists or some yob with a Manchester United jersey on slugging back multiple pints of bitter.

May 9, 2012, 9:55am Top

May 9, 2012, 10:06am Top

>20 Lcanon: - all pop is (supposedly) ephemeral. Duran Duran aren't even a London band, they're from Birmingham - they should have given it to Madness, they are are London band and everyone would have a good time dancing to 'One Step Beyond' and 'Night Boat to Cairo' et al. (And their last album was surprisingly very good - probably the best of their career).

>22 CliffBurns: - always a good quiz question - name the only British PM to be assassinated?

May 9, 2012, 12:16pm Top

Spencer Perceval. Never understimate the power of reading trashy historical novels in your teens.

May 9, 2012, 1:52pm Top

23: Margaret Thatcher ... no wait, just wishful thinking.

May 9, 2012, 2:31pm Top

25: The IRA gave it a bloody good go!

May 31, 2012, 1:11pm Top

I would like to ax the limey one more time: Does this article mean there can now never be an "Order of the Garter" charter awarded to Brazil?

Brazil burns mystery panties found in Congress

"SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A pair of women's underwear that fell out of a Brazilian legislator's briefcase on the floor of Congress two weeks ago has been incinerated after no one stepped forward to claim them, O Globo newspaper reported on Thursday."

May 31, 2012, 1:16pm Top

Very odd.

Jun 1, 2012, 4:56pm Top

27: What's odd is that the Brazilian woman was wearing panties to begin with. Then again, my knowledge of Brazilian culture comes from some pretty disreputable sources on this here Netterwebs.

Jun 3, 2012, 11:40am Top

One of Britain's most beloved ambassadors has left us:


Jun 4, 2012, 10:49am Top

Didn't know he was married to Diana Dors. Did he ever meet Ronnie and Reggie then?

Jun 4, 2012, 11:31am Top

The Krays? Good question...

Jun 4, 2012, 9:15pm Top

Prince Philip's bladder ailment has been misreported.

I have it from "reliable sources" that what REALLY happened is that he found out who was playing at the Jubilee concert and pissed himself laughing...

Jun 4, 2012, 9:22pm Top

33: As an American, I can proudly say I could care less about Lizzie Windsor's Consort's bladder issues.

Jun 5, 2012, 9:49am Top

Beware of Greeks bearing UTIs?

Jun 5, 2012, 3:17pm Top

Well, I felt bad for him that he missed the party.

Jun 5, 2012, 3:28pm Top

I could do without hearing "Prince Philip" and "bladder" in the same sentence, particularly when I'm eating breakfast. Can't the news media just say "hoo-haa" or "thingamajig?"

Jun 6, 2012, 10:36am Top

Yes, who wants to be reminded of things like intestines when they are eating their sausages.

Jun 6, 2012, 3:02pm Top

Cheerios. I'm a vegetarian.

Edited: Jun 11, 2012, 8:50pm Top

Once more axing da Limey; I am thinking about emigrating to Great Brittan and I was just thinking if you have more children than beer and decided to leave one of the surplus at a pub - how many cases of beer could you get? ;-) ................................{glad all worked out ok!}

Jun 11, 2012, 11:07pm Top

40: But every sperm is sacred!

Jul 17, 2012, 6:50pm Top

Irish hipsters circa 1870:


They hated the English before James Joyce made it cool. Also, check out that machete that dude is holding. "Now that's a noiff."

Jul 17, 2012, 10:13pm Top

My wife was born in Galway, and the chap on the right looks a bit like her dad.

Jul 18, 2012, 9:45am Top

Was he a turf cutter as well?

Jul 18, 2012, 1:17pm Top

>42 kswolff: I think that 'machete' is a bill-hook ;-) A machete would be more imposing still!

Edited: Jul 18, 2012, 4:16pm Top

No he's not known for cutting turf, although that is still a very common form of heating in the west of Ireland. His heating is mostly internal in the form of Guinness.

Jul 19, 2012, 3:18pm Top

#46 Well, a pint of plain's your only man.

Edited: Jul 19, 2012, 5:19pm Top

#42 maybe that's a knife for sides of beef or goat? You would have to have a meat connection and a big knife to sport side burns like that I assume!

Skylon in the HangarCredit: Adrian MannSkylon, a concept spacecraft from Reaction Engines Ltd., is an entirely reusable single stage-to-orbit launch vehicle, based on revolutionary engine technology.

Great idea you guys over the puddle!! One problem however, where will you find a runway long enough to launch it in England? Extend some docks on either end of the island? ;-) {Hope it works!}

Jul 19, 2012, 9:29pm Top

Apparently, as befitting a Brit invention, it has a problem with premature ejection...

Jul 20, 2012, 6:47am Top

>47 justifiedsinner: - yep, a pint of plain's enough for any man.

>48 DugsBooks: - we won't need a large runway, it's obvious from that photo it's a re-fitted Thunderbirds model - a runway of about 50 feet should be enough. Perhaps they'll launch it at the Olympics.

Jul 20, 2012, 9:32pm Top

The Bri'ish Olympics is almost upon us, guvnuh.


Jul 21, 2012, 3:40am Top

Don't remind me. I won't be watching it. I'm not a sports fan to start with, but the organisation of the 2012 Games are an embarrassing farce.

Jul 21, 2012, 7:57am Top

Hi Ian, I've started reading your favourite book. Half an hour each morning and half an hour each afternoon. I usually only read in/on the bed (but that was an old thread) So far I find it very masculine but the voice is so strong it has kept my interest.
As for the Olympics- a rower or an athlete to light the torch?

Jul 21, 2012, 8:10am Top

>53 oldstick:
Has to be either Daley Thompson or Steven Redgrave? Daley gets my vote.

Jul 21, 2012, 9:15am Top

#53 My favourite book? Er, which one?

Jul 22, 2012, 6:03am Top

The Alexandria Quartet. It makes me feel like a student. It's like eating dollops of mince pie covered in meringue and fresh cream. Oh, for a cheese sandwich!

Jul 22, 2012, 10:23am Top

56: Well, I guess I'm reading Ian's favorite book as well. Is "very masculine" a criticism?

I know what you mean about the student feeling, I think. I find myself reaching for the dictionary rather more often than I'm used to, not to mention all the foreign language I entrust to Google Translate (or just suffer with). It's worth it, though.

Jul 23, 2012, 5:04am Top

Since Bradley Wiggins has just won the Tour De France the press are convinced the UK will finish top of the medal table which is of course rubbish - the UK will never beat the drug-enhanced athletes of China, Russia and the US.

Jul 23, 2012, 7:00am Top

I meant 'very masculine' as an observation, not a criticism. It just makes it harder for me to identify with the narrator. That isn't the author's fault, although possibly a writer like Henry Fielding or Dickens might not make me feel the same. It is all a bit rich, although some of the descriptions make me want to copy them out and save them. I don't know if I'll get through the lot. Maybe if I intersperse my 'literary' reading with something lighter. Sorry, I seem to have taken over the thread. It's great to have a conversation. I was beginning to feel lonely.All the Brits must be on holiday, or sunk!

Jul 23, 2012, 7:05am Top

Durrell is definitely a rich read. I love his books for his command of language, though it's not to everyone's taste.

Jul 27, 2012, 10:07am Top

I like this humor columnist, Dave Barry, who has just arrived in England for the Olympics and describes the experience. I thought he had retired - must be gambling debts.


Jul 27, 2012, 9:16pm Top

Unfortunately, it seems like the Opening Ceremonies of the London Games make about as much sense as any passage of Finnegans Wake Speedboats and doctors, WTF?

Jul 27, 2012, 9:53pm Top

Part of the show was a celebration of the National Health Service. Speedboats? That was just a way of getting the Olympic Torch to the stadium in style, and for David Beckham to look dashing.

Edited: Jul 28, 2012, 11:20am Top

I read an article about some of the world's largest yachts {Like microsoft's Paul Allen with the world's 12th largest} are docked near the Olympics. The article explained the roads are horrid nearby and not fit for a parade so the river is used. Not that I am explaining someones own country to them, the boats are huge.

A different article with some photos: http://www.businessinsider.com/yachts-parked-at-london-olympic-games-2012-7?op=1

I thought the Opening Ceremonies were "inventive" and great for the venue but they should not have shown a repeat of China's extravaganza beforehand. I think the led screens used by China cost more than the last two Olympics combined.

Dave Barry's take on the opening ceremonies: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/27/2915484/dave-barry-opening-ceremonies.html...

edit: caution, if you have a slow isp like my Sprint, the miami herald's web pages are a horrid POS littered with "dancing bears" and other slow loading crap.

Jul 28, 2012, 6:59am Top

The trouble with the opening ceremony was the timing. OK, so they wanted it in the dark but here in Britain it meant children and pensioners who wanted to see it live had to stay up past midnight and a lot of us can't do that anymore.
No more gripes, it was one man's vision and I thought the volunteers were great. Mind you, for me, the stars of the show were the two corgies!

Jul 28, 2012, 1:13pm Top

I missed the agrarian bit and tuned-in to Branagh and the industrial revolution. I thought it looked like a Doctor Who episode. I was very disappointed when neither Matt Smith or David Tennant appeared and the House that Tim built didn't morph into the Tardis.

Jul 28, 2012, 3:46pm Top

I just saw the "forging of the Olympic Rings" on a repeat, that was a great idea. It took so long during the original TV presentation that I took a break to do something else and missed the climax of that scenario. Internet shortened attention span I guess.

Jul 29, 2012, 10:41am Top


Gotta pity those genetically-engineered canine dwarves.

I'm glad I'm a mutt. My congenital deformities are blended in a much more subtle nature.

Aug 13, 2012, 9:39pm Top

Just wanna say great job by the Limey's on the Olympics! I watched it on the boob tube and it looked like a lot of effort went into making the entire event entertaining. I liked the closing ceremony better than the opening, though it was fine in its on respect. I missed the Who somehow at the end, a trip to the bathroom or a commercial overriding them I am not sure. I guess they will appear on youtube somewhere.

I have been practicing my "Bolt" pointing vogue move - hope I have a reason to use it soon.

Aug 14, 2012, 11:53am Top

All the Limeys looked exceptionally cheerful all around this event. How long will it last?

Aug 15, 2012, 10:45am Top

Until the bill comes due.

Aug 15, 2012, 10:55am Top

Limeys are always cheerful since no matter how bad it gets we are at least assured of not being foreign.

Aug 15, 2012, 11:43am Top

72: Tell that to your former colonies, you driving-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-road-Coronation-Street-lovin-tea-drinking lunatics.

Aug 15, 2012, 1:23pm Top

Aug 15, 2012, 2:05pm Top

73: Unfortunately being an expat I do drive on the wrong side of the road and can't get Coronation Street (I do drink imported Bewlay's tea though).

Aug 19, 2012, 10:30pm Top

Ok, I am back to watching that teenplotation Limey Skins show and just saw the last show of the second season. Were there riots when Freddie was killed?? Did anyone beat up the writers when they ended the show without showing the outcome of Cook's fight with the murderer?? Not that I am emotionally entangled with the series or anything just curious.

Sep 23, 2012, 2:16pm Top

One thing I gotta hand the Brits, they know how to name their towns--today my blog received a visit from someone in "Bury Saint Edmunds" U.K.

Bury Saint Edmunds.

Love it.

Then again, there's a Climax, Saskatchewan...

Sep 23, 2012, 3:42pm Top

Well, we have been doing it a while longer than you...

Sep 23, 2012, 3:48pm Top

I love that bit where you name places for the nearby river: "Ross-on-Wye" and "Bobby-on-Hull" (the latter a very poor play on names involving a famous hockey player for which I humbly apologize).

Sep 23, 2012, 4:28pm Top

They do that one the continent too. Helps them not get too confused - you know, like Frankfurt an der Oder and Frankfurt am Main...

Sep 23, 2012, 5:33pm Top

Don't forget Dildo, Newfoundland.

Lots of good place names in Canada: Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Moose Factory (a whole moose theme, it seems), and my personal favorite, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta.

Sep 24, 2012, 2:33am Top

I live just off Penistone Road. And there's a Shatton Moor nearby.

Sep 24, 2012, 5:45am Top

I don't suppose you have pub quizzes in the USA but there is a game here where folk are given a set of clues to local place names and the winners are the ones who get the most right e.g.'a fat lake' which is a terrible clue for Broadwater. All harmless fun!

Sep 24, 2012, 9:56am Top

Hitchhiking from Huddersfield to London I had to get to Penistone for the start of the M1 motorway so I took a bus.
"How much is it to Penis -tone?" I asked the conductor with my best Southern accent.
"Thou what lad? Thou mean Pennis-tun?" came the reply.

Sep 24, 2012, 10:17am Top

Penishead Road? Seems like an appropriate address for...never mind.

Sep 24, 2012, 11:36am Top

83: Actually we sort of do. In that we think it is a British thing! I walked into a British style fish and chips joint a while back and they were hosting a Dr. Who trivia quiz thing. It was very weird. The decor was all Dr. Who posters and the bathroom was made to look like Tardis. Many of those involved in the quiz were in costumes of various sorts.

Sep 24, 2012, 11:47am Top

>83 oldstick: - that's like those episodes of American TV series where the characters come to a UK that only exists in the mind of American producers who have pieced it together from postcards and Hollywood's previous ideas of the UK. (To be fair, it's just not the UK that suffers from this, Ireland is even worse - everyone there is portrayed as lovable drunken leprechaun; and everywhere in France is in camera shot of the Eiffel Tower).

Sep 24, 2012, 3:46pm Top

In Middlemarch there's a manor house called Freshitt. I kept wondering if George Eliot was trying to get away with something or if she was just extremely naive.

Sep 24, 2012, 4:14pm Top

88: The manor house name sounds like the genre of Fifty Shades of Grey or Brown.

Sep 24, 2012, 4:27pm Top

"Wains Cotting...sounds like a little Dorset village..."


Sep 28, 2012, 9:19pm Top

The Knights of Ni demand a shrubbery. Oh, there's one right now.


Sep 29, 2012, 9:05am Top

92: Now I feel all pear shaped. You put a spanner in the works and broke my lorry.

Edited: Sep 29, 2012, 9:28am Top


As an Aussie, I seem to know all of the Britishisms and the USA ones as well. And both feel natural! WTF!

And "kswolf" is spot on, except for that "broke my lorry". Err. do you mean "crashed/smashed my truck"? and even that is clumsy. Not quite sure what you mean there, old boy.

Sep 29, 2012, 11:31am Top

Can't say I've heard anyone say "broke my lorry" either. And "a spanner in the works" is a bit old-fashioned.

Sep 29, 2012, 12:45pm Top

Too many people nowadays don't know what a spanner is.

Sep 29, 2012, 4:57pm Top

Ironically enough, this group knows what a spammer is. We got one when it started a completely random thread.

Sep 30, 2012, 11:15am Top

My current favorites:

Well wrap his nuts in bacon and take him to the nurse!

You'll never bugger the dolphin again.

Bit of a girl-girl-greek-island sort of thing.

Sep 30, 2012, 12:22pm Top

Wha?!! Never heard those ones before. Hi-larious!

Sep 30, 2012, 1:08pm Top

98: Was the dolphin OK? Did it need counseling?

Oct 1, 2012, 10:58am Top

They're from Richard Bean's hilarious One Man, Two Guvnors his rewrite of Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters. One of the characters is an ex-public school boy who utters these surreal apothegms.

Oct 1, 2012, 7:18pm Top

My favourite buzzword melange was "Let's punch the low-hanging fruit".

Oct 1, 2012, 7:47pm Top

My father (a vicious Scotch/Irish brawler) had some great sayings:

"That man is the essence o' nothing."

"He doesn't know if his ass is punched or bored."

"She doesn't have enough sense to pound sand."

A drunk, but he knew how to lob an insult and could curse like a sailor with his shoes on fire.

Nov 22, 2012, 6:04pm Top

What is it with Abrahamic religions and their fear of vaginas?


Apparently this is a big deal with the Church of England In the words of Bill Hicks: "Good, women priests. Another group of priests I don't listen to."

Edited: Nov 22, 2012, 6:57pm Top

Not about insults but just aphorisms in general: I heard a good one yesterday that is NOT british in any way, I don't think,

"Going in and out faster than a fiddler's elbow." Anyone heard that one before? I hadn't. I've been looking for an excuse to use it myself ever since.

Nov 22, 2012, 10:38pm Top

105: There is a pub in my wife's home town in Ireland called the Fiddler's Elbow. People tend to go in fast and come out slowly and somewhat unsteadily.

Nov 22, 2012, 10:40pm Top

104: "Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." Dr. Johnson.

Nov 23, 2012, 10:15am Top

The 'fiddler's elbow' saying was one I inherited from my grandparents, in a fairly unmusical part of England's north-east Midlands. That easily puts it back to early 20th-century. And there's a pub of the same name in Brighton...

Edited: Nov 23, 2012, 2:20pm Top

Wow, fascinating. So many great expressions. 106: That was pretty funny! 108: huh, so itIS a britishism. Well. At least I brought it up in the right thread!

Nov 23, 2012, 4:20pm Top

104: "Nothing odd will do long. Tristram Shandy did not last." -- Samuel Johnson. If Johnson knows his priests like he knows his Sterne, we'll do just fine.

Feb 4, 2013, 5:05pm Top

"I'm British" by Professor Elemental:


Feb 5, 2013, 10:02am Top

111: This is absolutely spiffing!

Feb 5, 2013, 10:12am Top

I concur - we are dreadfully, dreadfully sorry about sending you Piers Morgan (but we're awfully glad he's gone).

Feb 5, 2013, 12:13pm Top

113: Well, for what he's done for the gun debate, I don't think the sane, non-rape-justifying portion of the United States enjoy his presence. But the Professor might be critiquing Mr Morgan's presence on that stupid talent show he co-hosts with Sharon Osborne and What's-his-face.

Feb 5, 2013, 1:49pm Top

Can't resist this, because it's in a similar vein and is sung by a friend of mine and all-round lovely bloke, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. It took an Englishman to come up with a song that would unite the Belgians (well, for a moment anyway). It was actually quite a big hit there.

Feb 5, 2013, 2:01pm Top

115: So cute! I have a Belgian friend from college, had to go share that one with her on Facebook.

Feb 5, 2013, 2:22pm Top

116: That's great Anna. Maybe it will spark a "Mister John" revival.

Feb 5, 2013, 3:25pm Top

Feb 5, 2013, 3:35pm Top

118: A classic sketch. Thanks for posting it.

Feb 5, 2013, 5:24pm Top

#114 Or perhaps his possible involvement with the phone hacking scandal when he was editor of the Daily Mail.

Edited: Feb 5, 2013, 11:48pm Top

120: Then he's a little fish. Rupert Murdoch still swims free, but he's a kangaroo-rapist, not a Limey.

Feb 6, 2013, 7:57am Top

> 115: another song that unites the Belgians is the "Marseillaise". There was a French politician a couple of years ago who caused a storm when he suggested that it ought to be the Belgian national anthem. Even the French-speaking Belgians were outraged...

Feb 6, 2013, 8:33am Top

122: As am I. I once lived in a street named after the composer of the Belgian national anthem, François Van Campenhout.

Apr 11, 2013, 5:32pm Top

Turns out those Scots are ripe for ridicule as well.


In English with English subtitles.

Apr 11, 2013, 7:37pm Top

Are ye kiddie hinnie? Take the mickey outta the Scoots?
I wouldna' dare!

Apr 12, 2013, 7:00pm Top

125: If it inna Sco'ish, IT'S CRAP!

Edited: Apr 29, 2013, 12:18pm Top

"Spivs", shady characters and an (in) famous murder remembered:


(From Gord)

Apr 29, 2013, 6:13pm Top

127: The difference between a spiv and a chav depends how far they live from the Thames.

Apr 29, 2013, 10:59pm Top

127, that website is quite the rabbit hole.

Apr 30, 2013, 12:00am Top

Thanks #127, I've added it to my 'favourites'.

Apr 30, 2013, 3:14pm Top

'Ere kswolff whots the etymology of Chav den?

Essex word innit? Wiki says one version is "Council Housed And Violent" but warns that it is probably a backronym. My brother-in-law insists on using it in his radio broadcasts - he claims 'I is one' so it is allowed!

Apr 30, 2013, 3:32pm Top

I like spiv. It does not have the class snobbery connotations that chav does, I don't think.

Apr 30, 2013, 4:52pm Top

They use Chav in Portland Anna!?

Spivs are professionals though - flogging gear.
Chav's just pinch it!

Edited: Apr 30, 2013, 4:53pm Top

The great Eric Partridge notes it as a Romani word used in the 19th century. It originally meant child but then was applied to men. Who revived it is unknown.

Edited: Apr 30, 2013, 7:43pm Top

Dictionary of the Underworld also by Partridge, only suggests "...it may be cognate with, or telescoped from, Welsh Gypsy spilav, 'to push'...".

In the same entry he says the term arose amongst the race gangs of the 1890's.

Apr 30, 2013, 7:57pm Top

Spilav seems exactly right guido47, "pushers" was another word for the Spivs and "Barrow Boys" when I was a kid growing up in Kent just after the war. (WWII that is!).

Chav was a word I did not hear until the late 70's, and then only in London and the south. Interesting.

May 1, 2013, 8:43am Top

Never heard "chav" in the Midlands in the early 1980s. Yobs.

May 1, 2013, 10:19am Top

I think Chav and Spiv are so different in meaning that there's no point in linking them.

May 1, 2013, 10:23am Top

Chav, iirc, came out of Essex in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

May 1, 2013, 10:59am Top

'Bout the only thing of note that has (rimshot sound effect).

May 1, 2013, 11:01am Top

You're not a TOWIE fan then? :-)

May 1, 2013, 11:25am Top

Don't get it this side of the pond, mate. Looks likes ITV's answer to the Jersey Shore which I've never watched either even though I go on my hols there every year.

May 1, 2013, 11:56am Top

The UK answer to Jersey Shore is Geordie Shore. Not sure how to describe TOWIE. I've never been able to sit through more than 5 minutes of it.

May 1, 2013, 12:01pm Top

If you ask me the UK should ignore US reality tv rather than answering it...

May 1, 2013, 1:51pm Top

Dear God! There's a show called Geordie Shore? At least New Jersey has a beach. I guess they could swim in the canal.

May 1, 2013, 2:09pm Top

144 - couldn't agree more!

Worked last year with a Kentish fellow who reckoned 'chav' was supposedly from 'Chatham Average' , though that sounds pretty dubious and after-the-event if you ask me.

All this talk of spivs makes me think of Private Walker in Dad's Army. Mind you, I always preferred Private Godfrey and his sister Dolly...

May 1, 2013, 5:00pm Top

146: I am still happy about learning "backronym" from 131. I love this thread.

May 1, 2013, 7:15pm Top

146: Private Walker is who immediately came to mind for me too. And you might regard Del Trotter of "Only Fools and Horses" as a descendent of the spivs. Both of these are lovable versions, of course.
A little more obscure and less sympathetic would be the "Cockney Wanker" character in Viz magazine. That magazine originated in Newcastle and gives a nice idea of Geordies' view of Londoners - all sheepskin coats and dodgy deals. Since we have somehow got onto Geordie Shore, I just gave myself a pat on the back in recognition of my ability to draw these two strands of the discussion together.

May 1, 2013, 9:10pm Top

And who can forget "Arthur Daley" (spl?) in "Minder".

May 1, 2013, 9:31pm Top

149: Indeed. The spiv personified: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01dXHywMMyE

My favourite Arthur Daley moment was when he had to leave London for some reason and head north. He got as far as Watford, stopped the car and stared at his surroundings in a mixture of fear and amazement, muttering to Terry, "It's a bloody desert!" (or words to that effect).

May 1, 2013, 10:43pm Top

May 27, 2013, 9:52am Top

So, Cliff, all US citizens are fat, illiterate slobs who attend Michael Bay movies and read James Patterson, how do you explain the mayor of Toronto?


But since this is Memorial Day, a big shoutout to D-Day veteran James Doohan

May 27, 2013, 9:55am Top

Sherron has lots of friends in Toronto. They can't believe their fellow citizens elected Ford as mayor.

Another one of those arseholes who came in on a "cut taxes and spending, slash, slash, slash!" ticket.

Insects, every one.

Jun 17, 2013, 6:20pm Top

Big News! Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer, will be at CONvergence in Bloomington, MN, this year.

"Straight outta Surrey, bitches!"


Jul 22, 2013, 6:47pm Top

In celebration of the new royal larva:


Jul 24, 2013, 8:27pm Top

Amazing news mates! The royal fambly "welcomes the baby".

They didn't chuck it out wif the barf-water this time?

Edited: Aug 5, 2013, 10:36pm Top

A little Cream with my late night tea. Thanks, Auntie...

Aug 5, 2013, 11:17pm Top

That's what happens when you leave your baby with commoners like that damned Middleton woman.

Aug 10, 2013, 4:14pm Top

Anybody who puts cream in tea, doesn't deserve any

Aug 10, 2013, 5:01pm Top

I do say Dear Girl, #160,

I suspect those "Colonial Chappies", No, not us Orstralians, I mean the other 'mob' you don't talk about. If I may, with your pardon M'am, be explicit, I do mean the Americans.

As I understand it, M'am, when they say 'cream' with, regard to TEA, I am sure they mean milk.

Obviously not "clotted Devon Cream". I do expect some o'seas cousin will advise me if, perchance,
I might have erred.

Aug 10, 2013, 5:09pm Top

Guido, Guido - you erring? Never!
Nope, they mean sumfink called 'alf han 'alf, if that is, they serve tea hot, rather than iced.

Aug 10, 2013, 5:12pm Top

160: If that ever happened, we'd have to slap a NC-17 rating and move this discussion to the erotica thread.

Aug 10, 2013, 5:19pm Top

Ah #160, Those amusing 'colonials', Rude, crude but amusing, best ignored in polite society.

Aug 10, 2013, 11:02pm Top

164: Then how would you explain Benny Hill?

Edited: Aug 11, 2013, 11:25am Top

If he had lived a hundred years earlier he would have been transported?

Aug 17, 2013, 7:35pm Top

Aug 17, 2013, 11:31pm Top

167: My mother's whole family come from Shetland and I know some of these names from visiting the place. Shetland is very different from the rest of Scotland, being basically Norse with a Scottish overlay. That explains the weirdness of the names to some extent. The Shetland dialect is very different from anything to be found on the mainland. Just to confuse things, they call the largest island Mainland. It's also a surname there. In fact it's my mother's maiden name, and the name of my publishing company, Mainland Press.

Shetland is also home to the world's finest fiddle player, Aly Bain

Aug 18, 2013, 12:16am Top

168: That was a beautiful song! The box player was great too!

167: Argh! Using "Segway" for "segue" is pretty awful. Other than that, entertaining article, with good and interesting comments.

Aug 18, 2013, 12:49am Top

169: That's Phil Cunningham, who wrote it. Like a lot of people, I first heard this on a Prairie Home Companion's joke show back in 2000. Phil Cunningham had just finished telling a very funny and crude joke about Shetland, and then they started this amazingly beautiful tune. It was maybe even a better performance, or maybe it was the sudden shift in mood that made it feel that way.
You can find it here at minute 121.50 http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/20000401/

Aug 18, 2013, 3:06pm Top

"Kamikaze Scotsman" from Monty Python:


Aug 27, 2013, 11:53am Top

I saw a business report that Burger King is offering a French Fry Burger:


At first I thought the US had at last caught on to the glories of the Chip Butty - no such luck it has meat in it. Poor America deprived again.

Sep 24, 2013, 10:53pm Top

And Canadians can't even adequately guard their maple syrup:


Oct 8, 2013, 11:35pm Top

Oct 9, 2013, 11:16am Top

174, what a crazy story.

Edited: Oct 9, 2013, 8:17pm Top

Oh I dunno Anna, for that sort of UK "Chas" it must have seemed like a good idea at the time! At least he did not open fire and shoot everyone like here!

//Actually Cliff, with law, culture and language at least, we still do mate! Eh?//

Edited: Oct 9, 2013, 8:27pm Top

True...although as per the instances you cite, "some animals are more equal than others"...

Oct 10, 2013, 10:37am Top

As 'Uncle" George Orwell might say!
Congratulations one yet another Canadian Nobel Prize (Alice Munro, today, for Literature).

Oct 10, 2013, 10:40am Top

Ms. Munro has had a long career--I do admire her writing and it's a pleasure to see someone specializing in short stories get the nod.

Oct 10, 2013, 11:39am Top

That's good, that's very good.

May 6, 2014, 5:01pm Top

Explanation, Mr. Sales? Any other Limeys out there?


May 7, 2014, 2:00am Top

That's down south, they're all fucking bonkers down there,

May 7, 2014, 10:31am Top

The Industrial Revolution resulted in a mass migration to the cities which in turn resulted in small population sizes and that in turn resulted in severe genetic drift. Although England led the way in this they were soon overtaken in this (and most other things) by the US. This can be seen in the oft shouted refrain: "We're rural. We're retarded. Get used to it!"

May 7, 2014, 10:34am Top

Hmm. There are more opportunities for double-entendres in that report than in a Frankie Howerd monologue.

May 7, 2014, 11:12am Top

185: Right? I was reading along thinking "is this intentional or is it just that I have a very dirty mind?"

May 7, 2014, 11:59am Top

Never underestimate the ability of even the BBC to slip knob jokes into a news item.

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