Do British people understand American slangs?

Guest   Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:43 am GMT
Clearly Ireland doesn't want it. But you don't care about democracy so you go on signing...
Guest   Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:57 am GMT
Ireland rejected the Lisbon Treaty, not the EU. As I wrote before Ireland will probably have a special status inside EU, or perhaps they will decide to leave EU, who knows. The Irish people wish will be respected, no doubt about it. All the others accepted the Treaty by democratics ways, anyways it would be against the Treaty's own rules (and spirit) imposing it.

On the other hand, how democratic would be having 1 (one) country telling all the 26 other members what to do?
Skippy   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:40 pm GMT
Ireland just got sovereignty 1922 (and even then it was only 3/4 of the nation) so I don't blame them for not wanting to sign on to the Lisbon Treaty. I'm actually surprised that Bulgaria, Slovakia, Estonia, etc. signed on as quickly as they did.
Guest   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:07 pm GMT
The Treaty wasn't voted on in most countries ... just Ireland. The EU is already less democratic than the United States. That was fast.
Guest   Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:43 pm GMT
Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:37 pm GMT
Putting aside for the moment the issue of British people understanding, or not understanding, American slang (most do, especially younger Brits), how about Americans trying to get to grips with the Scouse UK accent (Liverpool and Merseyside area of North West England).

Here is a YT clip from a phone-in competition on BBC Radio Merseyside (in Liverpool) from which you can not only get a good idea of what the Scouse accent sounds like, but at the same time obtain a really good impression of the Scouse character, including sense of humour, which really is in a class of its own! It's little wonder that many of England's comedians came from Liverpool! The stock phrase of past comedians was that to live in Liverpool in the first place you just had to have a sense of humour!

Liverpool is, of course, the home city of The Beatles, in addition to other groups still flourishing on the scene.

It's the Scouser woman in this clip who is the comic - although she sounds incredibly stupid she just oozes the Scouse personality. She was asked which country is the only one in Europa (sorry, Europe) which drives on the left, the answer, according to Radio Merseyside being England. It should of course be the entire UK, including Scotland and Wales, but Ireland and Malta also drive on the left, but that's English nationalism for you! ;-)
Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:04 pm GMT
Here's what I think is a group of Dutch guys (judging by their accents) coping well with driving on the left side of the road on a wee bit of a dreich wet day in the Scottish countryside. They were listening to Caledonian Radio music so apart from good left hand driving skills they have good musical taste as well.....
Rene   Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:07 am GMT
Damian- I didn't have any problem with the Scouse accents at all, but then again I went through an embarassing Catherine Cookson films made in the 80's stage, so I'm probably not a good example as far as Americans go. That was too funny btw. Surely that's scripted?
Damian in Edinburgh   Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:00 am GMT
***Surely that's scripted?***

No, Rene - definitely it is NOT scripted - entirely spontaneous, entirely genuine, as with all live phone-ins. Apparently this particular phone-in is a regular feature on BBC Radio Merseyside on a Sunday morning, hosted by this bloke Billy, broadcasting specifically to the Liverpool / Merseyside area, but which is received in much of North West England and much of North Wales and parts of the North Midlands. Remember the UK is a physically small country, and for the most part densely populated, so all local radio station areas have a high degree of overlap, so most regions are able to listen to several local channels, and the same with local TV.

The woman featured in that clip was obviously elderly, and so typical of many Scousers with her friendly sense of humour, and though she showed herself to be quite dim it was done in such a way that you can't help but love her for it, and all Scousers really. They have always had the reputation for being loveable rogues, or scallies to use the Scouse vernacular.

This Scouse woman enjoyed the whole thing chatting with Billy, and in her own words she said she hadn't had so much fun "since the May Blitz". This definitely proved she was elderly as she was referring to the dreadful WW2 aerial bombing raids on Liverpool and Merseyside in May 1941 which lasted every night for over a week and which devastated much of the city and killed many hundreds of people, and equating such horrors with fun demonstrated a sort of coping mechanism in which humour is used to counteract and overcome such a horrible situation. At least I assume she actually experienced "The May Blitz" as it is now so long ago - maybe the expression has now passed into Scouse folklore, but that's incidental - she just demonstrated typical Scouse humour.

No it wasn't scripted at all - the woman was genuinely as clueless as she showed herself to be, but so funny with it. Typical Scouser! You just gotta luv 'em - even the accent, and that's saying something! ;-)

I haven't been to bed yet - 07:00 hours on a Sunday morning after a night on the town and I feel as fresh as a daisy....try it, it's good therapy..
Guest   Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:22 am GMT
Damian, I highly doubt they would tell you if it were scripted... Do you work on this show or something?
Damian in Edinburgh   Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:05 am GMT
***Do you work on this show or something?***

Now, ask yourself this - is it even remotely likely that I'm personally connected with this show? I am in Edinburgh, Scotland - this show is broadcast from Liverpool, England. Respectfully - try not to be such a numpty! ;-)

Take it from me as the gospel truth - as sure as eggs is eggs and snow is white - that show is in no way scripted! Are all your radio phone-ins over there scripted? It really wouldn't surprise me if they were......!
Hey-Ho   Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:56 am GMT
BBC Birmingham has a gardening tv show, which we can watch here in Croatia. Oh my Gawd, you can hardly understand their dialect.
Trawicks   Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:38 pm GMT
"Putting aside for the moment the issue of British people understanding, or not understanding, American slang (most do, especially younger Brits), how about Americans trying to get to grips with the Scouse UK accent (Liverpool and Merseyside area of North West England)."

That one is indeed a bit tricky. "Red Dwarf" had a bit of a following here in the states, and I remember Craig Charles' accent being a bit incomprehensible. I think it has a lot to do with the Irish influence--lenited 't's, 'd's and 'k's, dentalized 'th's, etc. There's also that strange pronunciation of "fur" as /fe:/, so that it's easy to confuse with "fear" or "fair."
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:11 pm GMT
Liverpool, and Merseyside generally, has a very high percentage of people of Irish origin in its population - in the bad days of the Irish famine in the 1840s onwards very many thousands of starving Irish people escaped either to the closest port in England - Liverpool, then the busiest port in the entire world - or, in even larger numbers, to the United States, settling in large numbers in the north east of the US. Liverpool has, after London, and then Glasgow, the highest proportion of Roman Catholics in the UK.

So the character and the humour of Liverpudlians is very heavily influenced by their Irish roots. Paddy's bars, complete with the full craic, are ten a penny in Scouseland.

"You've have fair hair" in Scouse comes out something like "Youse got fur huh". Police officers in Liverpool are called "busies" and criminals are called "scallies" and that lady's "roasties" in that YT clip were her roast potatoes in the oven, cooking for her Sunday lunch. But "roasties" is used more or less everywhere in the uK.
Jinx   Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:53 am GMT
As to whether Brits "understand" American slang I'd have to say they remotely "understand" it but are not sure how to "use" is. Most foreigners think all us Americans run around saying "Dawg, boi, hood, tight, fly ect." obsessively and then over use all the slang’s like they saw on t.v.

Ex: Yeah Dawg me and the homies are riding fly to the shop to trick out my tight ride, holla yall!

they know that "Dawg" means person, friend and "fly" means cool or good looking, "trick out" means to makeover or add something cool to something, "tight" means cool, ect. But they don't know that to use all that slang in one sentence is not the real way to use slang. While, admittedly, some people think it's "cool" to use all these slang’s at once, it really isn't. The correct way to use slang is as follows

Ex: Me and my friends are headed to the shop to trick out my ride, see you later!

This is how average everyday younger Americans speak. We DO NOT over use slang and other cultures don't seem to grasp that we aren't all "Fellas from da hood" or "people who think they are way cooler than they are" so in this case, Brits understand it, but do not know how to use it.