Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Word Wednesday: Idiom, idiosyncrasy, idiot…the weirdness of English, part One of No Doubt Many Entries of the sort.

As promised, some of the discussion from my LiveJournal friends.

Odd how these things crop up. It all started when a friend from England posted this picture of Jonas Armstrong from his new series.

[pic of Jonas Armstrong in a wife beater shirt]

She called his shirt a vest, and away we went (yes, there is clothing covering that hot body, no matter what your imagination says and yes, I realize how weird we are to be discussing words in the face of such hotness).  Bear in mind, we are all fans of the 2006 BBC series, Robin Hood. We have all “spoken” with each other a lot over the past few years and have grown used to the different words we each use for different things. For example:
  1. Pissed=Angry
  2. Pissed=Drunk 

The first response came from another resident of England, who didn’t even blink. The next response came from an American, who did not want to say what many of us here call it—a wife-beater. Legend has it (aka: what I’ve heard about the etymology –see? I used one of my words!), that the shirt is called by this hideous name because, either:

A.   Many men who wear them beat their wives.
B.   Many men who beat their wives wear them.

Like the chicken and egg thing, who knows or cares which came first.

Other names (of a less colorful or incendiary nature) are tank top, sleeveless undershirt or muscle shirt.

Now, in the United States, a vest is a button-up or zip-up sleeveless over-shirt. There are many versions:

  1. Suit or tuxedo vests are worn over a nice button-up shirt and under a suit jacket.
  2. Sweater vests and down vests offer warmth with more freedom of movement.
  3. Tactical vests make me hot, er, um, carry the gear that law enforcement and military personnel need in dangerous situations.

There are likely other versions that I've forgotten, but it's the end of a long Wednesday and I'm beat pooped exhausted.

The discussion went on to non-clothing items, such as pop vs. soda vs. Coke, until it degenerated into trousers vs. pants (apparently in England, pants are the things found under your dungarees Wranglers blue jeans jeans, unless you’re going commando). You can just imagine where that part of the discussion went! Thank goodness we didn’t get into the whole, “fanny” thing…


Mae Clair said...

LOL! Okay, that's a fun post! I love the difference in dialect across the pond (and even in parts of the U.S.). I've frequently had to ask my British or Aussie friends for clarification when they mention a term that leaves me scratching my head.

And - - wow! - - I didn't even recognize Jonas Armstrong. I was a fan of RH too but ticked how they ended the whole thing!

Lynne Kensington said...

Glad you enjoyed! :D As the title says, I'm sure there will be more along these lines.

Jonas never really did it for me, but he looks awfully good there. I was not pleased with S3 or RH, either. Taking away not only Marian (couldn't be helped, I guess, since the actress was going away), but Will & Djaq as well, replacing the lost characters with an alarmingly obnoxious Friar Tuck and a village girl who needed her braids wrapped around her neck until she stopped making noise, and then, the ABSOLUTE WORST THINGS. Killing off Allan (after having the gang turn on him again) & Guy & Robin, after setting up Guy & Robin's "half brother" to be the new Robin Hood through the whole "We are Robin Hood!" thing. **snorts in disgust** Yeah, not a fan of S3, myself.

I actually wrote a couple different fan fictions (one co-authored) about S3 and how different things should/could have been. Will have to post one tomorrow (Fanny Friday).