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  #1021  
Old January 20th, 2010, 8:34 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
Bureau is never used for office here
Citizens' Advice Bureau?


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  #1022  
Old January 20th, 2010, 8:42 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Citizens' Advice Bureau?
I hadn't thought of that - obviously the exception that proves the rule


  #1023  
Old January 20th, 2010, 10:34 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

There's also the difference in emphasis between US and Br Eng. We say BUR-eau, while I think in the US it's bur-EAU, isn't it? I've noticed that with a lot of words of French origin - that the Americans have retained the French stress pattern more than we have (e.g. British DEB-ris/US de-BRIS, British BALL-et, US ball-ET, British CLICH-e, US clich-E)


  #1024  
Old January 20th, 2010, 11:10 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

^ I had no idea! Gosh, how butchered must my English sound


  #1025  
Old January 20th, 2010, 1:45 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by FleurduJardin View Post
If "pocketbook" is typical of the North-East and New England (though I've heard it in the Midwest too), no wonder my husband, who's Connecticut born-and-bred, almost always refers to my handbags as "pocketbooks". As I mentioned before, it drives me nuts, as much as his calling my chest of drawers a "bureau". Thanks, Dung, for letting me know that that word has the same meaning as in French, though in French, an elaborate desk like the one you show would be call a "secrétaire".
In the southeast, the term "pocketbook" can refer either to a lady's "purse" (always a synonym for handbag, much more common than the use of "handbag", and rarely ever referring to a coin purse) or to a lady's billfold, which, of course, she would keep in her purse. It is much more common, I think, to refer to a woman's billfold as a pocketbook than anything else.


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  #1026  
Old January 20th, 2010, 1:51 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
^ I had no idea! Gosh, how butchered must my English sound
Not at all - I am talking about traditional tendencies, not uniform rules. There are many British native speakers who use American intonation/pronunciation of some words in English.


  #1027  
Old January 20th, 2010, 2:18 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
I am sure antique dealers would use the French word (nothing like using foreign words to show how clever you are) Bureau is never used for office here - it has rather sinister connotations of unmarked buildings occupied by les flics
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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Citizens' Advice Bureau?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundungus Fletc View Post
I hadn't thought of that - obviously the exception that proves the rule
There's also the Better Business Bureau.


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  #1028  
Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:59 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

And the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Reclamation. There are actually quite a lot of them. I hadn't really thought about it. Normally, when I think about a bureau (I'm going to annoy the person above who said they didn't of their chester drawers as a bureau! ), I think about something that looks rather like this:

Perhaps the whole "bureau" thing is a regional thing, too? Everyone I know calls it a bureau, although sometimes it is just referred to as "drawers," with an understanding that the use of "drawers" alone is a reference to a personal set, rather than a kitchen or utility set.


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...anyone got any M&Ms?
  #1029  
Old January 22nd, 2010, 1:02 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Sheree View Post
Normally, when I think about a bureau (I'm going to annoy the person above who said they didn't of their chester drawers as a bureau! ), I think about something that looks rather like this:

Perhaps the whole "bureau" thing is a regional thing, too? Everyone I know calls it a bureau, although sometimes it is just referred to as "drawers," with an understanding that the use of "drawers" alone is a reference to a personal set, rather than a kitchen or utility set.
Something like that I would call a "dresser".

And in my family, "drawers" alone would be your underpants!


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Last edited by Pox Voldius; January 22nd, 2010 at 1:09 pm.
  #1030  
Old January 22nd, 2010, 3:35 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
There's also the Better Business Bureau.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheree View Post
And the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Reclamation. There are actually quite a lot of them.
Just to clarify, Mundungus was specifically talking about British English when he said that "bureau" never means "office". I think everyone accepts that it is used in that sense in US English.


  #1031  
Old January 24th, 2010, 8:44 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
And in my family, "drawers" alone would be your underpants!
I was thinking of that too.

A "drawer" by itself is just that - a drawer, sort of a box with a knob or handle that slides out of a desk when you pull (or "draw") it out. When there's several of them (for clothes mainly) then it's a "dresser" or "chest of drawers", as I understand it.

And Sheree, no, I'm not going to get upset... I've gotten used to a dresser being called a "bureau" by now, after over 30 years in the US, 20 of them married to an American.


  #1032  
Old January 25th, 2010, 9:12 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
And in my family, "drawers" alone would be your underpants!
Yet another difference. Underpants here are most likely to be referred to as your "undies," "underwear," or even "britches." I have, of course, heard them referred to as "drawers," but that's not as common as the others.


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"I am having that kind of day where if the winds blow in a different direction, I am reduced to a gelatinous mass of tear-soaked silly-putty, caterwauling in a heap until someone spoon-feeds me chocolate and tells me I'm pretty."

...anyone got any M&Ms?
  #1033  
Old January 25th, 2010, 11:46 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by Sheree View Post
Yet another difference. Underpants here are most likely to be referred to as your "undies," "underwear," or even "britches." I have, of course, heard them referred to as "drawers," but that's not as common as the others.
Around where I am (US East Coast) they're also called "panties". ("Britches" refer more to tight trousers, I think.)

Don't the Brits at one time call them "bloomers" too, or was that just for those kind of bulky Victorian underwear?


  #1034  
Old January 26th, 2010, 6:56 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by FleurduJardin View Post
Don't the Brits at one time call them "bloomers" too, or was that just for those kind of bulky Victorian underwear?
Bloomers were extremely baggy trousers that ladies could wear in late Victorian times without frightening the horses. They were a 'scientific' form of clothing that allowed women to participate in sport (and incidentally invented in the US and promoted by a Mrs Amelia Bloomer) By extension very baggy underwear got the same name (It's an archaism now)


  #1035  
Old January 26th, 2010, 8:36 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

The fact that a shape of loaf was called a "bloomer" used to raise a smirk or two when we were children. (Admittedly a long time ago, but not quite archaic, Mund )


  #1036  
Old January 26th, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Underwear here is usually "pants" for men and "knickers" for women.


  #1037  
Old January 26th, 2010, 12:31 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheree View Post
Yet another difference. Underpants here are most likely to be referred to as your "undies," "underwear," or even "britches." I have, of course, heard them referred to as "drawers," but that's not as common as the others.
Tell me that. Wanted to buy some in Canada and I asked for "underwear". Got only a dumbfounded look. So I tried "slip", "pants" and wild gestures. They led me to this.


Then at work (in NZ this time) for example it frustratest me when I ask them for the key to bring out the "rubbish" just to be asked what I need it for.
To bring out the rubbish.
Whaaat?
I want to dump the garbage? Waste? Trash? <insert all possible English expressions here>?

Eventually you find the word they understand.


  #1038  
Old January 26th, 2010, 12:57 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

^ Okay, this begs the question. What do they call underwear in Canada? and what do they call the trash in New Zealand?


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  #1039  
Old January 26th, 2010, 1:12 pm
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Re: "separated by a common language"

Quote:
Originally Posted by FleurduJardin View Post
Around where I am (US East Coast) they're also called "panties". ("Britches" refer more to tight trousers, I think.)
West Coast, only women's are called "panties;" Guys call them "shorts," which is odd because "shorts" are also outerwear for both males and females.

Quote:
Don't the Brits at one time call them "bloomers" too, or was that just for those kind of bulky Victorian underwear?
That's a word I've only ever seen denoted as "underwear" in literature! When spoken, it's always meant to do with flowers or puberty (as in "late bloomers").

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoxV
Okay, this begs the question. What do they call underwear in Canada? and what do they call the trash in New Zealand?
After Tenshi's tale, I'm dying to know too!


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"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance--You don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and *continues* to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go."
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  #1040  
Old January 27th, 2010, 1:06 am
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Re: "separated by a common language"

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Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
West Coast, only women's are called "panties;" Guys call them "shorts," which is odd because "shorts" are also outerwear for both males and females.
I was under the impression that the "shorts" bit came from a shortening of "boxer shorts", which can vaguely resemble the outerwear type of shorts. I'm not sure I've heard "shorts" applied to any variety apart from boxers... have you?


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