Saturday, 8 May 2010


I'm trying to make up a word like 'mansplaining', only instead of meaning 'when men explain something in simple terms for the wimminz', I want a word that means 'when people who know someone who knows someone who knows a Brit, who knows better than you, the person who lived there for well over forty years of your life. Maybe 'Britsplaining'.

This happens to me a lot.

Here's an example. Apparently, there is a now (quite rightly) not-to-be-used expression, 'to Jew someone down' and this seems to mean to haggle them down. (I think). I have heard this from a number of sources since I've been here. The other day, this expression was being explained to me again, and I was foolhardy enough to say that I'd never heard the expression before coming to Canada. WRONG!!!! The friend of a friend of a friend, KNEW that it was an English expression from Britain.

I am frequently having to explain how, in spite of having an English accent, I don't drink tea. In fact, coffee drinking is just as usual as tea drinking, particularly in the south. WRONG AGAIN!!!! Someone's grandmother's entire family came from England and everyone drinks tea there.

Then there is the Britsplaining based on TV. This can go hand-in-hand with communication difficulties because of language difference. The other day I had an entire conversation about turnip growing that turned out to be about tulips. But I digress.
Tonight's convo went like this,
'You leave England and come to Canada?'
'Canada better,'
'No, not really, much the same,'
'Weather much better here,'
'Nope, pretty similar, much the same really,'
'No, no, no, no, no, it always fog in England,'
'No, nope, bit in November but not a lot really,'
'Oh yes, it alway fog in England,'
'Nope, really, no.'

And, sigh.


Sleepy said...

NEVER have heard the 'Jew' term here, EVER!

Yes! And in that thick fog Jack the Ripper lurks.
Clean Air Act 1956 anyone? Thick Twats.

France is 35km away, well known for their tea drinking there.
We're a fucking European country!
Rather than a country made up of Jocks nobody wanted, Micks nobody wanted and Frogs even the French didn't want!

Schneewittchen said...

And Alex has found the same thing happening, although she works with someone who thinks of Britain, and more specifically, England, which he has never visited, as some kind of golden land of beauty and proper manners.

Sleepy said...

These people need a dose of 'Shameless' to shift their arses out of Dumbasfuckistan!

Schneewittchen said...

Eesh, I could do with a dose of 'Shameless' myself!

Dawn said...

With embarrassment and apologies to those of Jewish heritage, these are expressions I grew up with in the Midwestern U.S.--

He jewed me.
He jewed me out of my right to something.
I got jewed.

I think the modern-day expression "screwed" has replaced jewed; however, the stereotyping of Jews being tight with their money likely still exists.

Schneewittchen said...

Ha! Interesting. Still, makes Sleepy's and my point that it is probably not an expression of English origin.

Gail said...

we used "gypped" - had no idea what it actually meant for years (if I had to spell it, I would have probably spelled it jipped). Another one was "heim"

There's also a certain breed of Canadians who were either born in England or whose parents were born in England who think they know all about England and often espouse how wonderful things are there compared to here. My old roommate used to make himself a "chip butty" - Wonder white bread, mayonnaise and potato chips (crisps). I kid you not, he ate this and told us how very British it was. He should have known, he lived there until he was 3.

Schneewittchen said...

Sadly Gail, the chip butty actually is British, although it does contain actual chips rather than crisps. However it is a northern and working class disgusting habit, certainly not something to boast about.

Gail said...

yes, knew it existed, but also knew that what he was eating was NOT a chip butty.