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Thread: Being British: Garden Gate, Number Eight

  1. #31
    Lord Great Chamberlain
    Guest
    I don't think it has anything to do with where you live, it's going to be more about who you are as a person and whether you've picked up annoying habits from being influenced by the deluge of American shows on TV, the internet and so on.

    Someone in a rural part of Scotland is as likely to use it as someone in Essex if they've been influenced the same way, and depending on who they're speaking to.

    I've lived in Oxfordshire all my life and do hear it occasionally by younger people when they're talking amongst their friends. It's not something that can really be generalised though.

  2. #32
    apollo13
    Guest
    I suppose, but you must admit that it is usually the younger, working-class people that ten to use American words.

    ~Evie

  3. #33
    Shev
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by apollo13
    Chick, no, absolutely not. No way. You would only use that if you were taking the mick out of Americans. An adult male (usually quite a sleezy male) might call a girl a bird, but it is not at all encouraged by the female population. "Lass" could be used up north and in Scotland.
    This isn't true. Chick is definitely used - most often by guys talking about girls, but also in self reference occasionally. Phrases like chick-flick and chick-lit are also commonplace over here now. The word isn't an insult - it's just something to call a member of the opposite sex when you're with your friends and girl/women sounds a little formal.

    I suppose, but you must admit that it is usually the younger, working-class people that ten to use American words.
    Again, I don't agree that this can be generalised that much. I've heard people from every class use Americanisms - in fact, some of the more 'upper class' people I know will tend to use American slang before they use British slang.

    Basically, Lord Great Chamberlain has the right of it - it's down to influences rather than geography or class. Age does come into it to some extent, because it's harder to change speech patterns that have been developed over a longer period.

    Most American phrases and original words - I don't mean direct replacements like sweets/candy - are used in this country with growing regularity. The amount of American programming on our TV is at such high levels that if you use it, you're going to hear some American slang. A lot of people will pick this up and use it - normally in casual conversations with friends.

    In canon period, this wasn't the case - the only American shows that appeared with high regularity were kids cartoons. Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles has a lot to answer for.

  4. #34
    apollo13
    Guest
    This isn't true. Chick is definitely used - most often by guys talking about girls, but also in self reference occasionally. Phrases like chick-flick and chick-lit are also commonplace over here now. The word isn't an insult - it's just something to call a member of the opposite sex when you're with your friends and girl/women sounds a little formal.
    Chick flick is used by magazines (I have never heard chick-lit), but I usually hear people reffering to them as rom-coms, because that's usually what they are.

    If I saw a fic where the characters were using the word chick for female, I would almost certainly assume that the author was American, whether it is next-gen or not.

    Basically, Lord Great Chamberlain has the right of it - it's down to influences rather than geography or class. Age does come into it to some extent, because it's harder to change speech patterns that have been developed over a longer period.
    Yes, but it is the working class that more often has the greater influence. I'm not being stereo-typical here, but, statistically, the working class have children much younger than middle and upper middle class, and, again, statistically, these children are more likely to watch cartoons made in America. I'm honestly not being snobby or anything here - we studied it in Sociology!!

    I don't think that young witches/wizards would use chick and sucks very often, because, unless they are muggle-born, they are very unlikely to have watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles every saturday morning.

    ~Evie

  5. #35
    TyrannoLaurus
    Guest
    I agree with Shez on this one. I had a boss once that used to call me 'Chick' (annoyed the heck out of me) and she was middle-aged. Bird and duck are also used quite often, and usually not in a sleazy way but rather a familiar way, in the way that chick would be used in America. Depending on the context, it could be 'sleazy' - but only in the same way as other casual terms can.

    As far as I am aware, Americanisms can be used by anyone who watches American TV. Programs such as Friends have been very popular since the 90's, and programs like House, Grey's Anatomy, Charmed, NCIS and 24 are popular over here.

    There is a class distinction, yes. I have a few 'upper-class' friends, and I would say they're less inclined to use words like 'suck' on a regular basis ... but they'll still say it from time to time. Accents and colloquilisms differ from place to place, too, and depending on how someone was brought up depends on how strong their accents and diction is. I know someone from Birmingham who speaks 'Queens English', because her parents raised her not to have a Brummie accent. But this doesn't effect how easily she picks up Americanisms - as far as I know, she's watched as many Friends episodes as I have.

    Of course, I am speaking for 21st Century ... but I grew up in the 90's on copious amounts of Scooby Doo - that could just as easily effect someone's diction, lol!

    apollo13 - Chick-lit is very popular and has been for quite a long time now. Think Bridget Jones and Devil Wears Prada - they began as chick-lit and became chick-flick! And when the magazines use these phrases, you can more or less guarentee that impressionable teenagers will as well.

  6. #36
    apollo13
    Guest
    I agree with Shez on this one. I had a boss once that used to call me 'Chick' (annoyed the heck out of me) and she was middle-aged. Bird and duck are also used quite often, and usually not in a sleazy way but rather a familiar way, in the way that chick would be used in America. Depending on the context, it could be 'sleazy' - but only in the same way as other casual terms can.
    Ah, yes, I completely forgot about that one. My Grandma does call me duck. Y'know, the full "Ey up, Duck, d'ya want a brew?" Translation: Hello, dear, would you like a cup of tea?

    Schmergo, seeing as we're all getting into a min-arguement about this, could you provide us with some info on the context and the character?

    ~Evie

  7. #37
    Sirius Girl 08
    Guest
    The use of 'chick' seems to be causing quite some debate.

    I think you are probably all right thought. I regulary use the phrase 'chick-flick' to describe films like Legally Blonde for example and my friends and I will have a 'girly' nights watching 'chick-flicks'. I don't tend to use the word 'rom-com'. However, I've never been described as a 'chick' nor have I heard any of my guy friends refer to a girl as a 'chick'. You are probably more likely to hear terms like 'babe', 'sweetie', 'bird' etc if the girl is being spoken to by her boyfriend.

    In every area though there will variations - here in Scotland it's not uncommon for a girl to be called 'hen' or 'misses' - for example 'How you doing hen/misses?' and those terms would be used by both males and females. Another one is 'lass' but that will be used in other pockets of the UK.

    As for 'sucks' I would and do use that word but I'm probably more likely to say 'rubbish'. I used to use 'sucks' all the time but I've now trained myself to say 'rubbish' (I don't know why - think I just got bored with using sucks).

    I think that when it comes to language it's hard to draw hard and fast rules because here in the UK regional laguage variations can be so diverse. If you also then add in the influence of American TV shows and movies it can become hard to identify what is truly 'native' to Britian. A word that might be common place in one part of Britian maybe completely allien in another. There is also the issue of age, class, situation and social groups as well and I do think that all of them have an affect on word choice.

    But hey, that's just my take on it.

    Ruth

  8. #38
    Schmerg_The_Impaler
    Guest
    Schmergo, seeing as we're all getting into a min-arguement about this, could you provide us with some info on the context and the character?
    Well, at one point in the story, the main character is reading the book "Pride and Prejudice," and she summarizes what she's read so far in the first couple chapters. I tried to make the characters' dialogue in her summary as modern and un-Regency like as possible, and this occurs:

    So, Bing-Bing is like, “Come and dance, you moron!”

    And Darcy—which I’m pretty sure is a girl’s name—goes, “No, you’re dancing with the only good-looking person here!”

    And Bing-Bing goes, “Heck yes, I am! But, er, her sister’s over there… she’s fairly fit…”

    And Darcy goes, “WELL, I GUESS SHE’S BETTER THAN THAT PILE-OF-POO-FACED CHICK OVER THERE NEXT TO HER, BUT, ER, I’D STILL RATHER STICK FORKS IN MY EYES IF IT’S ALL THE SAME TO YOU. BY THE WAY, YOUR GIRLFRIEND SMILES TOO MUCH.”
    And as for 'chick' being sleazy, I picked the word because I wanted Mr. Darcy to sound really unpleasant at this point...

    And with the word 'suck,' I just had werewolves killing a bunch of people, and it seemed inappropriate somehow for the character to say, "This stinks"-- it seems too flippant, and I felt like she should say "This sucks," which is actually something I don't say in real life, but then I've never had my town massacred by werewolves.

  9. #39
    emmaholloway
    Guest
    I'm a south eat Londoner and I've never heard anyone use 'chick' unless it was followed by 'lit', 'flick' or in reference to an actually baby chicken. I think if someone refered to me as a chick I would probably whack them (assuming of course it is a guy, I can't picture a girl calling me a chick) because it is a derogatory term in my eyes and in the eyes of pretty much everyone I know.
    Bird is occassionally used, but also then followed with a whack, and I agree with Evie, it's usually kinda sleazy...

    Sucks if more liking to be used by younger people, those who might me pre teens now, because they have even more influence from American TV, films ect, but it isn't unheard of.

  10. #40
    TyrannoLaurus
    Guest
    Schmerg, I think you're pretty safe in the context. If you want to be uber safe, then change chick to bird, but I think either work as well. I've just asked my Mum, though, and she doesn't consider either to be derogatory.

    But then - that's just me and my mum and where we're coming from and how we've heard a word be used. I grew up in the North Midlands and have most of my family in Yorkshire, so my perspective is going to differ from those in the south. Plus, derogatory for me is words that have to be censored if they are found before the ten o'clock watershed.

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