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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Stupid British Questions by Scout on 18 January 2007 2:33am
Legal Disclamer- First let me say that the title reffers to the fact that the questions are stupid, not that that I have questions about the Stupid British.
My first stupid question is-
1. Is Soccer anouther word for Football over there or did we as Americans just make it up?
Stupid Question #2
2. I hear people in British pubs ask for a pint of Bitters. I understand that this is a kind of Beer, but is it Bitter?
Stupid British Queston #3
2. Is quid anouther word for pound, and if it is how many other words mean pound? I'm always hearing British people mention denominations of money and they never seem to use the same word twice.
Well there's my first three stupid questions for starters. I'm sure I'll think of more. If any British people have any Stupid American Questions- or Questions about Stupid Americans- go ahead and ask. Thanks.
Re: Stupid British Questions by Ellerd on 18 January 2007 4:22am
Referring to your second Q2 - I often use quid to refer to money in general, as in, "Geez, that's gonna cost a quid!" or "You've got a few quid, haven't you!" I don't think it refers to a specific currency. I'm not British, BTW.
Re: Stupid British Questions by Miss-M on 18 January 2007 7:18am
Bitters is a liquid, often an alcoholic liquor, in which bitter herbs or roots have steeped, used as a flavoring, especially in mixed drinks, or as a tonic.

A quid refers to one pound sterling.

Thanks to www.dictionary.com for these answers!
Re: Stupid British Questions by Spursfan on 18 January 2007 11:06am
We actually say a pint of bitter (singular).

I can't think off hand of any other names used for pound apart from quid - though I'm sure there are loads. As in any other culture there are colloquial names for coins, especially pre-decimal - 'tanner' for sixpence, 'copper' for pennies, 'half a dollar' for a halfcrown (2/6), 'bob' for a shilling [an interesting trivia fact here - the Scouts had 'Bob a Job Week' as a fundraiser - the Guides had 'Willing Shilling Week]. And even today there is slang for amounts of money. There is a 'Score' - £20, 'pony' - £25, 'ton' - £100, 'monkey' - £500, 'grand' - £1000. And a pocket of loose change is often refered to as 'shrapnel'.

'Soccer' is another name for football over here - no you did not make it up. 'Soccer' and Football' are both actually shortened terms for 'Association Football' which is the full name for the game.
Re: Stupid British Questions by thomasmbrooks30 on 18 January 2007 11:11am
Although I have no doubt that that definition of bitters is correct (and I don't know because I have never had it), I'm not sure that it is the same as bitter as in 'a pint of bitter'. It may seem petty but there is a difference between a pint of bitter and a pint of bitters. Bitters is like a flavouring added to a drink (not being too much of a drinker I don't know what you would put it in, but there is angostura bitters used in cocktails). Bitter, as in a pint of bitter is a type of beer, and to my mind is the most foul tasting drink on earth after guinness. Notice the subtle difference in spelling and the difference it makes! The next time you're in an English pub, just have lager: it's much easier and tastes much nicer too.

As for words concerning money, a great deal of those refer to the pre-decimalisation system of pounds, shillings and pence. Ha'penny, bob, crowns, half-crowns, sixpenny bits etc. are all references which are in common parlance (interestingly still amonst young people as a feature of the language as opposed to craving some return to 1971).

As for the first question: be it Aussie Rules, Soccer or American Football, it doesn't matter. They are all as uninteresting as one another.

I have some stupid American questions too!

1) What happened to the u in colour, harbour, etc. The english language is derived from French which is very enthusiastic on u, so I have always wondered where that happened.

2) Is there any reason why Americans are the most litigious people on earth? Is this just a bad reputation, or a reality?

and finally

3) Why is a dime so called, and what does it mean?
Re: Stupid British Questions by arty_farty on 18 January 2007 11:14am
er, whats litigious mean?
Re: Stupid British Questions by thomasmbrooks30 on 18 January 2007 11:23am
Litigious refers to the American propensity for suing each other. I have always wondered if a real life example of an American suing at the drop of a hat can be found. I bet it's out there somewhere.

And Anne, I had no idea the word 'soccer' was derived from 'association football'. You have managed to find an interesting fact about soccer! I'm sure there are many more in reality, I just find watching the game a bit dull. I have never understood how people can get so excited by a ball going in a net. Variety is the spice of life!
Re: Stupid British Questions by Spursfan on 18 January 2007 4:34pm
I thought it was common knowledge!!!
Re: Stupid British Questions by peripatetically on 19 January 2007 1:37am
Soccer does nothing for me, either, Thomas. But to each his own.
Re: Stupid British Questions by pandab on 19 January 2007 3:36am
Thomas - I'm not sure about your first and third questions, but I can offer an opinion on the second.

I don't know (factually speaking) if Americans are the most litigious, but suing people is something of a national hobby here. I think it springs from two main sources:

First, Americans are very keen on things being just ... or at least the perception of justice. If you hurt me in some way, it is only just that I get recompense for it. Fortunately, most of us have moved on from the eye-for-an-eye thing and are satisfied with draining a bank account instead.

Second, over the last few decades, Americans have evolved a blameless mentality. I imagine it exists elsewhere, too, but I don't know for certain. Americans like being innocent. We like it so much that nothing is our fault. To use a famous example, if I buy a coffee at McDonald's and am stupid enough to try drinking it while driving, I am certainly not fault if it spills all over me and causes burns. Nope, it is McD's fault for having such hot coffee and not warning me about driving with it.

You encounter the blameless thing all the time. If a child is skateboarding along a sidewalk, and just happens to fall and break an arm in front of your house, you are at fault. Don't ask me why. I don't know. But you are. In fact, my homeowner's insurance has coverage for just that sort of thing. I also know that happens because my neighbor is currently being sued by a family the next street over because their son broke his arm in front of her townhouse. The reasoning, as I understand it, is that my neighbor should have seen the child skateboarding towards the gravel and stopped him. Of course, my neighbor wasn't at home at the time, but still. Go figure.

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