Weeble (clockworksaint) wrote,

This evening I went to Bedlam, but since not much of interest happened, I won't bother telling you about it. Instead, I thought I would discuss some of the terms listed in my fine Oxford Guide to Style as having different meanings in the US and the UK.

Foxy. (UK) sly or cunning. (US) slang for (of a person) sexually attractive.

The US meaning is pretty well understood over here. Is the UK meaning understood in the States?

Homely. (UK) simple, plain, unpretentious, cosy. (US) unnattractive in appearance, ugly. For the British sense Americans use homey.

This is one I've always been confused by, as I've encountered both meanings and often not been entirely sure if they've been used sarcastically. I guess this explains it.

Knickers. (UK) women's or children's panties or underwear. (US) plusfours or breeches.

I think it's just as well I read this, as I'd have had no idea the term means something different in the US. I know "pants" means trousers, but I wouldn't have thought "knickers" was similarly confusing.

Moot point. (UK) something debatable, undecided, open to question. (US) something having no practical significance, abstract or academic.

Okay, I don't think I've ever encountered the supposedly UK meaning. Has anybody else?

Off colo(u)r. (UK) not in good health. (US) somewhat indecent.

I'm not familiar to the US meaning, though I imagine it would generally be pretty obvious in context.

Pokey. (UK) uncomfortably small and cramped, (especially of a car) having considerable power or acceleration. (US) annoyingly slow, also slang for jail.

I'm familiar with the first UK meaning, but have never heard it used to mean either fast or slow. I've heard it used as slang for jail once or twice.

Slate. (UK) criticize severely, scold. (US) make arrangements for, schedule, or propose, nominate.

I've heard both meanings and was never aware either was specific to the UK or US.

Table (a matter, as in a meeting). (UK) bring forward for discussion or consideration. (US) postpone consideration indefinitely, shelve.

Never heard the US meaning, but I'm familiar with the UK one.

Now wasn't that educational?
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