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Thread: Being British XII

  1. #121
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    Okay, I've got several questions on Brit-speak.
    First of all, would the students actually 'graduate' from Hogwarts at the end of seventh-year? Is 'graduation' a term you use like we do when it comes to high school and college?

    Also, is it okay to interchange the words 'kiss' and 'friend' for 'snog' and 'mate'? Because I feel like I'm forcing it if I ALWAYS us 'snog' and 'mate.' I guess because it just doesn't always feel natural to my American tongue, lol.

    Finally, do guys and girls 'go out' or 'go steady'? Do they 'break up' or 'dump' each other? I'm just wondering how you refer to these fun things.

    Thanks!!
    ~Gina

  2. #122
    sas__x
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    Graduating is probably something you would refer to when it comes to uni, i just refer to it as leaving school.

    Maybe you could mix pull in with snog? And pal can be used for mate, althoug mate is good. You could use chum or something but only in a joking manner.

  3. #123
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    Thanks, guys! That really helps. Here's another: what about pajamas? And remind me again: pants are trousers and underwear are pants, right? What about shorts (as in, undershorts or boxer shorts?)

    Thanks!
    ~Gina

  4. #124
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    Over here, you only graduate from university, so I would just say that the students left at the end of their seventh year.

    With kiss, snog etc I think it would be okay to interchange them. Another prhase you might want to use in terms of snogging is 'got off'. Ron uses it in HBP, something about Hermione getting off with McLaggen. It means kiss. Something else might be 'pull', which I think might be your equivelant of 'hooking up' (I got this from watching Friends, no knowing whether it's true or not). If I asked someone, 'Did you pull him last night?' I'm asking whether that person kissed him or not. However, I don't know if these terms are modern or not. You might want to ask someone like Carole if they would have been in use in Marauder or Trio Era.

    We use the term pajamas, or just abbreviate it to pjs, or jamas/jammies (these last two are more jokey). What you call pants we call trousers or jeans etc. Underwear are pants, though we use the term underwear as well. Boxer shorts we use, not so much undershorts, and they can also be called pants, or just plain boxers.

    Sarah x


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  5. #125
    h_vic
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    'Got off with' and 'pulled' were both definitely around in in the Trio-era - I remember them being used when I was at school, but I can't vouch for any earlier. I figure that the meaning as in 'being on the pull' at least was probably around before that because I'm fairly sure the infamous chat up line 'get your coat, love, you've pulled,' has been with us a long while.

    Only difference with pyjamas is that we spell it differently.

    ~Hannah

  6. #126
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    In my dim and distant past (before I was married, I should say), I used to go 'on the pull'. Not very successfully - ha ha.

    As well as pants/boxer shorts for underwear, girls will wear 'knickers'. TBH, I use the term pants to mean underwear for either sex, but I know people who believe strongly that girls wear knickers and boys wear pants.
    If you said 'shorts' we'd think you meant the short trousers that you wear over your boxer shorts/pants/knickers.

    FYI (not sure if relevant): Blokes in Marauder era would also refer to a girl as a 'bird'. Not sure how true that is these days, but it was certainly still in use in the 90's. Girls woild use 'guy' but it was seen as being heavily influenced by USA so I'm not sure a witch would use the term. Lily might if she's watched a lot of telly (that's TV )

    Quote Originally Posted by sas x
    You could use chum or something but only in a joking manner.
    Oh I can imagine Slughorn using this word and his pupils using it to imitate him.

    ~Carole~
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  7. #127
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    Equinox Chick:
    FYI (not sure if relevant): Blokes in Marauder era would also refer to a girl as a 'bird'. Not sure how true that is these days, but it was certainly still in use in the 90's.
    Oh, it's still around. Trust me. My boyfriend is from Yorkshire and ALL his friends refer to their/other people's girlfriends/random girls as 'birds'. Or 'lass'. 'How's your lass, Gavin?' 'Our lass isn't very well today.' I really, really hate being referred to as 'Aaron's bird' or 'Aaron's lass'. I correct them saying, 'No, I'm his girlfriend.' I think it's probably a nothern thing because me and my southern friends don't use it. I could be seen as being a little bit sexist.

    Sarah x


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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah
    I think it's probably a nothern thing because me and my southern friends don't use it. I could be seen as being a little bit sexist.
    Lass is northern, but bird is used in the south. Certainly, my husband and my brother in law use it a lot. *sigh*.

    There used to be a character in EastEnders (which is a soap set in East London) in the eighties called Pete Beale. He called all the girls 'treacle'. This could be construed as his version of 'sugar', but there's also 'treacle tart' which doesn't suggest it's a particularly nice nickname.

    ~Carole~
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  9. #129
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    Smoking

    So I believe, in general, smoking goes into vogue in Europe starting in the late 1600s. I think.

    By say... the late 1800s, is it particularly permissible for women to smoke in Britain, or not? Would it be so rebellious to be historically impossible?

    How popular was smoking in general in the late 1800s?
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  10. #130
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    Sir Francis Drake was apparently the first person to bring a consignement of tobacco into England in 1570 something, though it was popularised by Sir Walter Raleigh in the court of Elizabeth I in the 1580s.

    Some women were smoking in the mid 1800s because I watched an episode of Time Team and they showed pictures of navvy (manual labourers of the time) women smoking pipes. So yes, women did smoke back then, but the navvys were the underclass of society, the people everyone looked down on.

    It wouldn't be acceptable for higher class women to smoke. They would have used snuff in the 1700s, but that began to go out of fashion towards the end of the century, and men began to smoke rolled cigarettes or cigars, but it wasn't seen as acceptable for a woman to smoke, or even inhale the scent. Smoking became a male dominated thing, with smoking rooms set up primarily for them to go after dinner and smoke away from the women. I remember reading a book set in 1912 where a young woman of fairly low rank was scandalised when a man lit up a cigarette in front of her. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert hated tobacco so much, they banned it from royal palaces.

    If your character was just a working class housewife then yes, I think it would have been okay for her to smoke a clay pipe of sorts, but if she had been anything else, then it would have been completely unacceptable, and probably too rebellious for it to be historically accurate. In Titanic (and I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel for examples here!) Rose's mother dislikes her smoking, which seems to me like the behaviour was rebellious for the time. I think you could probably get away with it being a rebellious behaviour after the turn of the century, but not much earlier.

    Sarah x


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