Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Linguistic Moment

OK, we all know the "tube" or "underground" is the public transit system of them trains what run (mostly) underground in London, right?  And a "subway" is not, in fact, one of those trains, but is instead a pedestrian tunnel that cuts under the street and saves you the annoyance of waiting for a traffic light.

And I also already knew that "fanny" in Britain is not at all what it is in the States.  It, in fact, refers to a part of the female anatomy some 180 degrees away from the part Americans use the word to refer to.  Don't refer to a "fanny pack," in London -- you'll get some strange looks.

Today I learned (and it was from a source I truly respect -- and she would not be funnin' me) that "frigging" is not, in fact, a socially polite alternative to use in place of "the f-word" (as we usually use it in the States) but, as far as the Brits are concerned, refers to female masturbation.

Which led to a fairly amusing conversation, as my source was telling me how she herself learned this, while we're sitting on a bench in Regent's Park -- mothers are walking by with baby strollers, and we're sitting there laughing, throwing around euphemisms (and more technical terms) for the act in question. 

Sigh.  I'm never going to live down this "ugly American" thing.

1 comment:

hewasolddog299 said...

And now you know why my Aunt Francis was horrified to be called "Aunt Fanny" by some of her American kin! And why my mother's family have such an aversion to those who use "fricking" in place of the anglo-saxon "fuck". Their last name is Fricke!