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BS: Translation from the British

GUEST,leeneia 21 Jul 04 - 10:51 PM
Peace 21 Jul 04 - 11:35 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Jul 04 - 11:51 PM
Peace 21 Jul 04 - 11:56 PM
Nigel Parsons 22 Jul 04 - 02:51 AM
akenaton 22 Jul 04 - 04:14 AM
Steve Parkes 22 Jul 04 - 04:36 AM
Jeanie 22 Jul 04 - 04:54 AM
Dave Bryant 22 Jul 04 - 05:09 AM
The Walrus 22 Jul 04 - 05:34 AM
HuwG 22 Jul 04 - 05:57 AM
Geoff the Duck 22 Jul 04 - 06:23 AM
JennyO 22 Jul 04 - 09:06 AM
Roger the Skiffler 22 Jul 04 - 09:31 AM
The Walrus 22 Jul 04 - 09:45 AM
Geoff the Duck 22 Jul 04 - 11:07 AM
JennyO 22 Jul 04 - 11:15 AM
GUEST 22 Jul 04 - 11:26 AM
Bert 22 Jul 04 - 12:05 PM
Steve Parkes 22 Jul 04 - 12:30 PM
PoppaGator 22 Jul 04 - 12:38 PM
TheBigPinkLad 22 Jul 04 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Jul 04 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 22 Jul 04 - 11:44 PM
Geoff the Duck 23 Jul 04 - 03:32 AM
s&r 23 Jul 04 - 03:58 AM
s&r 23 Jul 04 - 04:01 AM
Bert 23 Jul 04 - 04:06 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 23 Jul 04 - 08:34 AM
s&r 23 Jul 04 - 08:53 AM
s&r 23 Jul 04 - 08:59 AM
s&r 23 Jul 04 - 09:05 AM
Pied Piper 23 Jul 04 - 09:05 AM
Steve Parkes 23 Jul 04 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,leeneia 23 Jul 04 - 10:05 AM
Bert 23 Jul 04 - 10:29 AM
Billy the Bus 23 Jul 04 - 10:36 AM
HuwG 23 Jul 04 - 10:49 AM
JennyO 23 Jul 04 - 12:21 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Jul 04 - 03:50 PM
Bert 23 Jul 04 - 04:18 PM
s&r 23 Jul 04 - 05:06 PM
Joybell 23 Jul 04 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 23 Jul 04 - 07:55 PM
JennyO 23 Jul 04 - 11:51 PM
s&r 24 Jul 04 - 04:10 AM
Gurney 24 Jul 04 - 04:44 AM
Billy Weeks 24 Jul 04 - 07:15 AM
Greyeyes 24 Jul 04 - 08:01 AM
Jim McLean 24 Jul 04 - 08:46 AM
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Subject: BS: Translations from the British
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 10:51 PM

I've just read two mysteries by English author Stella Whitelaw. She's pretty good. Plots are little too byzantine, but characters are interesting. Also, her love of the sea in its ever-changing forms is most enjoyable.

However, I would like to see explanations (not really translation, of course) of the following from these two books. The part I'm not familiar with is in quotation marks.

"Crimplene" suits. Surely there can't be fabric called Crimplene?

Electic wheelcarts glided noiselessly, their occupants as intent on steering as if it was "Brands Hatch."

People walked their dogs, looking like "Lowry people" from a distance.

She walked fast despite the heeled "court shoes."

"Tears of Allah" swept in from the sea.

I would be good, so very good in bed with him...Dream on, "Terry Pratchett."

And finally, why does she call the uniformed police "wooden tops"? Does this refer to their headgear or their IQ's?


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 11:35 PM

Good Lord!

Brands Hatch sells Morgans (an automobile (car))

Terry Pratchett wrote the Discworld series

Crimplene is a synthetic polyester

That's it from me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 11:51 PM

Brands Hatch is a racing track.

Can't believe yo've not heard of Lowry
can't be arsed to make a link, but put "L.S Lowry" in your searcher thing.

he was a famous painter, from Salford,
The Lowry Centre is named after him,
he was a rent collector, started painting properly in his 40's, admitted to the Royal Academy of Art,
he's had many songs [folk songs at that!] written about him,
Matchstalk Men and Matchstlk cats and dogs [check the DT or forum searcg],
Pictures Of Matchstick men -by Status Qou, amongst others.

some of his most famous works include "An Accident", Coming home from the match", The Pond", etc etc etc, he died in 1989.


He is on of britains most famous artists, art critics, often describe a piece as "Lowryesque" [not sur if tyhats how to spell it, but its pronounced "Lowry Esk".
he could not paint shadows well, and always [in his latter work at least] painted himself in the picture, [in "The Pond", he is the old guy on the left.

I could tell more about him and his works, but i can't be arsed, i'm off to bed soon.john


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Peace
Date: 21 Jul 04 - 11:56 PM

Could the 'wooden tops' be rhyming slang?


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 02:51 AM

"Wooden Tops" I thing from their reinforced helmets. So only uniformed police. IIRC the term was first generally used in the ITV series "The Bill" ('Old Bill = police) as a derogatory term used by members of CID (non-uniformed police = Criminal Investigation Department[officially] or Cops In Disguise [more commonly])

Court Shoes = any "Posh" shoes, suitable for wearing 'At Court' i.e the royal court, not a court of justice.


Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: akenaton
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:14 AM

The "wooden tops" were a group of wooden puppets, used as childrens entertainment on TV.
The word became synonimous with childish stupidity.
Much like the American Govt really...Ake


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:36 AM

I think court shoes are called "pumps" in the US: a plain all-in-one upper with no laces or straps, and a heel; what a well-dressed woman would wear. (Over here, pumps are plimsolls!)

All I can find about "Tears of Allah" on the Net are (a) a shipwreck in the James Bond movie "Never say never again", and (b) something nasty to do with O. bin Laden.

I don't get the Terry Pratchett reference ...

Oh, and don't wear crimplene if you smoke: the hot ash can go straight through: very nasty. (And it's so not cool!)

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Jeanie
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 04:54 AM

Crimplene is "so not cool" enough to be cool enough to have a special evening devoted to it at Whitby Folk Festival

Groovy, baby !

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 05:09 AM

I thought that "Tears of Allah" just meant rain - not specifically British - more likely from Islamic countries originally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: The Walrus
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 05:34 AM

Terry Pratchett is a best selling author of 'fantasy' books, mostly set on a flat world (the Discworld) carried on the backs of four elephants standing, in turn on the back of a giant turtle swimming through space - He is reputed to be the most shop-lifted author in the UK.

Wooden-Tops: As stated, this nickname for the uniformed police comes from the CID, implying that the uniforms can't think for themselves and I think transferred from the Army, where the same nickname as, on occasion, been applied to the Guards Division based on the comparison between Guardsmen in full dress and toy soldiers (This must be post 1919 as before 1914 all regiments had full dress and between 1914 & 1918, none had.)

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: HuwG
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 05:57 AM

The term, "Wooden tops" seems to predate World War 2, at least in military terms. It was a derogatory name for the Guards regiments in the British army, some of which emphasised drill, display and ceremonial etiquette to the exclusion of all other military skills.

(It may simply have been a reflection on their over-disciplined love of spit and polish, or it might have referred to their resemblance when on parade to a row of skittles in a bowling alley, but I am guessing here.)

It doesn't seem to have crept into criminal slang to refer to the Police until the 1960s, at least as far as I know. It occasionally cropped up in the series "Z Cars", which was shown on British television in that decade. In this instance, it might well have been adopted from the childrens' television programme of that name. It might also refer to the preference of some policemen for the letter of the law to common sense.

Accepted slang names for the Police in detective fiction prior to 1960 included: "Peelers", "Bobbies", "Rozzers" (references to the Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel, who established the first Police forces in the 1840s); "Busies", "Filth" (pronounced in Cockney as, "Filf"); "Scuffers", "Plods" (both of which might refer to the heavy-duty footwear they usually wore); "Old Bill" (possibly a reference to their common duties at the Central London Criminal Courts, which was / is known as the Old Bailey).

Also, "Boys in Blue". Some crime novels e.g. Tom Barling's "The Smoke", set in the 1960s, have members of the CID (Detective branch) referring to the uniformed branch as "serge", from the material used to make the uniforms.

Current TV drama series featuring the police, such as the long-running, "The Bill", has detectives usually just saying "uniform", e.g. "Uniform have just attended another off-licence break-in, looks like your suspect again".


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 06:23 AM

Crimplene was one of the early sythetic fabrics and very poular in the 1960s. It was manufactured by a firm based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and was named after the river Crimple, which runs through the town.
Explained O.K.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck (we know about rivers...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: JennyO
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 09:06 AM

I remember wearing crimplene and court shoes in the 60's. I think Steve was right the way he described court shoes. They were a plain design shoe you could slip your foot into, but they weren't always high heels though. I remember flat court shoes when I was about 12.

As for Terry Pratchett, I have been devouring a number of his books lately. I need to get my hands on some more - I've run out. I don't get the reference to him in the first post, either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 09:31 AM

Aren't there a lot of popular Aussie female names which are/could be snynthetic fabrics?
Raylene
Raywynne
Crimplene
Sharlene
Lurlene

etc.

RtS
(actually married to a Sheila who's not Aussie!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: The Walrus
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 09:45 AM

HewG,

Two other possible explainations for a couple of the police nicknames you quote:
'Plod' - Possibly from Mr. Plod the Policeman, a chatacter in the 'Noddy' books of Enid Blyton who displays the 'plodding' characteristics of the local country policeman in all of her 'whodunnits'and just waiting to be dazzled by the brilliance of her detective character).

Old Bill - This may well derive from assoiciation with the Old Bailey, however, after the Great War, the popular cartoonist, Bruce Bairnefather was commissioned to produce a series of recruiting posters for (I believe) the Metropolitan Police, these involved his two most famous characters 'Ole Bill' and 'Alf'. In addition, between the wars, a great many policemen were ex-soldiers and, I am informed, many retained the moustaches which were compulsary in the British Army until 1916, giving them the appearance of the Bairnesfather character


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 11:07 AM

As for Terry Pratchett - Click Here, Or Here, Or even Here!
Quack!!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: JennyO
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 11:15 AM

Yes, I know about Terry Pratchett - I have seen these sites before. I just don't get the reference to him in the book leeneia was talking about in her initial post

I would be good, so very good in bed with him...Dream on, "Terry Pratchett."

Maybe I'd have to read the book for it to make sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 11:26 AM

The author is implying that the flight of fancy is extreme enough to make it worthy of PTerry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Bert
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 12:05 PM

I'm inclined to agree wuith Brucie here - Wooden Tops must be rhyming slang.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 12:30 PM

For what??


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 12:38 PM

for "cops," obviously. (I'm not even British and I figured that out.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 12:54 PM

Nah -- wooden tops ain't rhyming slang. It's just a mildly derogatory term meaning your head's made of wood. If it were rhyming slang, you'd use the bit that doesn't rhyme.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 01:24 PM

It's great to see that in less than 24 hours, 21 people have contributed to this thread. I'm enjoying it, and I'm learning, as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 22 Jul 04 - 11:44 PM

Geoff, I looked in my atlas, and there is no River Crimple in the index. You aren't making it up, are you?

"(Crimplene)...manufactured by a firm based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and was named after the river Crimple, which runs through the town."

Surely people in the fabric business would realize the connection between wrinkles and the cr sound, as in

creased
crinkled
crumpled
and of course:

crimped.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 03:32 AM

GUEST,leeneia - You should use the internet, not an atlas! Try reading the bottom paragraphs of this page BLICKY! By added bonus it is a Folky website as well!
Quack!
Geoff the Duck (we KNOW about rivers).


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 03:58 AM

Crimplene - because the fibre was crimped in the manufacturing process to give some elasticity and crumple resistance.

Wooden tops according to Partridge refers to Guardsmen, and the legend (from the 1940s) that the cobbles in St James' courtyard are the tops of the heads of Guardsmen buried upright.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 04:01 AM

P S there are a number of British languages: the one you refer to is English

:)

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Bert
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 04:06 AM

Crumple resistance indeed! The bloody stuff is crumpled when they make it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 08:34 AM

Mr Duck speaketh sooth,

independent confirmation here BLICKY


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 08:53 AM

I think this is an urban myth.

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 08:59 AM

Have a look here for instance.....
crimped terylene


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 09:05 AM

Sorry - blicky didn't work. Put crimped terylene crimplene into Google

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Pied Piper
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 09:05 AM

Some more nick names for the Police.
The
Rozers
Bizies
Filth
Bobbies
Pigs
Dibble (as in top cat)

Drugs Squad
Hushpuppies (a type of 70's sued shoe that referred to their habit of wearing plain clothes)
PP


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 10:01 AM

"The"?? And I thought "Drugs squad" was a real oraganisation within the police?

Don't forget "Bluebottle".

Stu: you're right about there being several British languages; but just to clear things up completely, what leeneia wants is a translation from British English.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 10:05 AM

Okay, Geoff, I guess I believe you. Apparently the River Crimple is not a figment of a tormented imagination.

What's it like? Clear, muddy, grassy-banked, lined with masonry, boatable?

Quack!
----------------------------
s&r - it is hard enough already to talk about the differences between various forms of English speech without people fussing over the term 'British."

What am I supposed to call it? Argot of the United Kingdom? (that leaves out Ireland) Old-world neo-dialect?


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Bert
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 10:29 AM

Stu, Leeneia used the term British, to mean British English as opposed to American English.

If she had used the word English it would not have conveyed her meaning as effectively.

You are right though, there are several languages spoken in The British Isles. And don't forget that The Bretons also consider themselves British. Great Britain gets it name from the need to distinguish it from Little Britain of Brittainy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 10:36 AM

G'day Jeeneia,

Methinks you should join us, to avoid the GUEST tag. By the time I'd written enough to reply to your original request, every man and his dog had beaten me - so I didn't post.

I assume you are from the US of BA? You have certainly put the partridge in the porrige and got the Pongolians stirred up. Ain't the English language grand for getting us all totally confused. We could add Plods, Fuzz, Beagles etc.. to the Pied Piper's list of names used for the Constabulary - and add a thread for the derivation of each name.

Talking of thread - avoid Crimplene - as my old Nana said - always wear WOOL next to your skin......

Cheers - Sam (NZ)


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: HuwG
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 10:49 AM

The "Drugs Squad" is indeed an organisation within the Metropolitan Police and all other forces in the UK. Usually, it's a specialised branch of the CID.

HM Customs and Excise are also heavily involved in anti-drug activities (because it's their job to stop the stuff entering the country), and the turf wars between police and Customs officers can become quite as vicious as any shoot-out between rival drug cartels.

Other groups within the police (specifically the Metropolitan Police, responsible for the Greater London area, and usually called "The Met") are:

The Flying Squad, usually referred to in rhyming slang as "The Sweeney", from Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Victorian stage. Originally equipped with fast cars, to get to the scenes of crimes quickly, it became an undercover branch tasked with infiltrating major crime gangs. ITV made a series called The Sweeney, starring John Thaw, later to be better known as Inspector Morse.



Special Branch, originally formed to counter Fenian (Irish Nationalist) acts in the 1880's. Subsequently became involved in all sorts of counter-subversive activities. They're probably reading this now ...

[Space left blank for Special Branch to insert their comments]



The Serious Fraud Office. Question from Paul Merton: is there a Trifling Fraud Office ? It was proposed at one time that they should merge with the Agnostic Society, as neither had any convictions.




****


I think I have mentioned in the past that this specialised Police argot is quite as confusing going the other way. I read "Rising Sun" by Michael Crichton (who also wrote Jurassic Park) and came across the line, "Black and White goes over, arrives at eight thirty-nine pm, finds it's a homicide". Why is a black and white minstrel involved in the investigation of a serious crime ?

Later in the same paragraph, "The blue suits stretch the tape and call the division". Hmm. Business-suited gentlemen (and perhaps ladies) are interfering with the contents of a cassette, and demanding a vote in the House of Commons.

"I go over with Merino, arriving at eight fifty-three. Crime Scene IU and SID show up about the same time for PE, prints and pics. Okay so far?" Sorry, Detective Graham. I read a paragraph or so earlier that Merino is another detective, not a sheep. But why does Sid need Physical Education ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: JennyO
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 12:21 PM

Here is s&r's crimped terylene link fixed up.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 03:50 PM

No, it's not "British English" because there are overtones that are specifically home counties or estuarine.

I think court shoes are supposed to have some but not too much heel, but a thick-ish heel, not tapered too much, nor reverse tapered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Bert
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 04:18 PM

When you get to specific counties you are talking about dialect. There are many of these in the home counties and it takes a native to understand them fully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 05:06 PM

Thanks JennyO - what had I done wrong?

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 07:48 PM

More Aussie girls' names for Roger,
Darlene
Marlene
I would have been Joylene if my mother had had her way.
I once met a Chlorine - she said her mother realized it was a familiar word but couldn't remember the connection with the local swimming pool until it was pointed out.
                                        Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 07:55 PM

The language from British India would be almost incomprehensible today, yet is was considered English - newspapers were written in it and books published.

For instance a policeman might give you a drub with his lathy - a beating with his baton.

The fad for wearing Crimplene was strange - for months - maybe years, no one would buy anything else, and then suddenly it was unsellable at any price. Shops went out of business sales managers were sacked - people emptied their wardrobes, threw all the Crimplene away. It is probably visible as a layer in the rubbish dumps - waiting to be used a dating evidence in thousands of years - it probably will not have decomposed, just consolidated.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: JennyO
Date: 23 Jul 04 - 11:51 PM

Stu, you had www.mudcat.org in there after the http:// part, then the rest of the URL, so I just took the mudcat bit out.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: s&r
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 04:10 AM

Ooops - thanks.......

Stu


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Gurney
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 04:44 AM

Was it Winston Churchill who called the US and Britain "Two countries divided by a common language!"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 07:15 AM

I am having nightmares over Guest Anne's archaeological layers of consolidated crimplene.   An imagination like that should not remain a guest.   Join us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Greyeyes
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 08:01 AM

Court shoes


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Subject: RE: BS: Translation from the British
From: Jim McLean
Date: 24 Jul 04 - 08:46 AM

Gurney, it was George Bernard Shaw who said that 'England and America ...etc'.


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