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An example of why Britain in't Great anymore... >>
Will someone point me in the direction of authoritative reference on this subject.
Just when I think I'm getting the hang of it (i know what my 'bum' is now), something else stops you in your tracks.
What is 'whilst'?
And why is "it's a dog" bad while (whilst?) "it's the dog's" is good?
A dog - bad, poorly operating etc.
The dog's - short for the dogs bollocks which literally means the dog's testes...not sure why this is good - but it is.
Dog tired - shattered, knackered.
Dogs dinner - A real mess
Dog-leg - A sharp bend, particularily on a golf course
Hopefully that should help - though not a lot .
Knackered - Tired, or old and decrepid, not worth repairing any more.
from when knackering was the rendering of animal bones into glue.
I've got the same history of "knacker" in Dublin English at http://www.h2g2.com/A275960 ... but how do we get "knackers" meaning testicles?
Don't know, but I did think of asking it here
There used to be an animal rendering plant (as knackers yards are called these days) near where I was brought up. Locally known as the kingston stink, it was forced to close down a couple of years ago due to not complying with the various environmental laws.
I am *totally* lost. How did testicles get into this? And why does it mean good?
And hold on just a minute, I was told that 'bollocks' means something is 'rubbish' (or 'crap', as the Brits also say).
I'm so confused.
If something is good it can be said to be "the bee's knees", "the cats whiskers" or even "the dogs b******s".
Now b******s is slang for testicles...but:
"He's talking b******s" (UK) - means he doesn't know what he's talking about.
"He's a b******s" (Ire) - The man is an imbecile or deliberately being troublesome
"B******s to this" (UK) - I've had enough of this.
"Is it b******s!" (UK) - Like hell it is.
"This is b********d" (UK) - This is broken.
"B*****k-all" (UK) - None. i.e there's b*****k-all food in this cupboard.
So is this clearer, or just a load of b******s?
and Never Mind The Bollocks: A Sex Pistols album. The title of which was questioned in court and the record company (Virgin I think) produced someone to state that it wasn't an obscene term, rather a very old term for a priest or the priests clothing I can't remember which.
Knackers (the people who used to work in knackers' yards) also used to castrate cattle, sheep etc What they removed also came to be known as "knackers" and an alternative meaning of knackered is thus "castrated". By what route this can be applied to women I think I'd rather not know.
Just a point of interest. I have an encyclopedia of classical music which mentions some old musical instruments. One that they mention is 'nakers' (pronounced 'nackers'), which are small round drums held between the thighs and played with fingers or a stick. It amused me when I read it (I have a smutty mind!)
Maybe I'm just too stupid to get this. Good dogs and bad dogs, with or without bollocks.
How d'ya all get by?
The lesson here is never give a Brit the chance to mention "bollocks" - they just won't stop going on and on about it.
I believe there's a British slang guide on this site....you might get less bollocks there .
P.S. new more polite phrase for something that is the dogs bollocks - "it's the puppies privates"
According to the Oxford dictionary, 'whilst' is just another version of 'while'.
Where I grew up, 'dog's dinner' is almost always applied to people, and usually used to describe someone overdressed (even over-formally dressed) or overly made-up, but not to the point of real trashiness.
On the other hand, 'dog's breakfast' *always* means a real mess. As well as referring to people's appearance, it has another meaning, somewhat like 'pig's ear'.
eg. 'I left Jeff to rig a couple of ropes to haul some gear on, and he's made a real dog's breakfast out of it'
There is a Lincolnshire usage "to bum" as in to borrow...i.e. "Can I bum a quid off you" means can I borrow a pound.
Also related "to cadge" - exactly the same meaning, but can also apply to lifts. "Can I cadge a lift to town?".
Whilst waiting for the definitive guide to British English, I shall attend to this dog's breakfast of a paper that is due tomorrow. I'll probably be knackered by midnight and talking bollocks. In which case I will bum a quid from the bloke next door and get my bum to the nearest pub.
--Zmrzlina (who is determined to learn British English )
This is *so* surreal, and I'm not any clearer.
Surely "It's a dog" should mean 'good', because dogs are nice, man's best friend, and all that. I was advised by a Brit friend not to buy a certain used car because he said "It's a dog!"
However, "It's the dogs" should be bad - real bad - because you all are saying that it means 'the dogs bollocks', which in turn means 'the dogs testicles'; and that is just so gross! Yes, even if you call it 'the puppy's privates'.
Let's face it, none of it makes sense. So just how are we supposed to understand the British? I'm trying, really I am.
None of it makes sense, but then Americans drive on a prkway and park on a driveway .
Incidentally: If the car was a dog, it could have been a right lemon...you would have been stitched up like a kipper if you'd touched it with a bargepole. You're lucky your mate set you straight on that score
I don't know where you're from, but 'dog' was used in the States years ago to describe anyone who wasn't pretty or handsome. For example, 'Bill fixed me up on a blind date with his sister. She turned out to be a real dog.' Or something.
Americans may take issue with this, but I heard the word used this way in the film 'Marty' (made 1940-something or 50-something, starring Ernest Borgnine. He won an Oscar.)
I guess we British just picked up the American use of the word and altered it slightly.
I'm confused and I'm bleeding English, and have been since I was a sprog!
"He doesn't know his arse from his elbow!"
This "dogs" business, a lot of it all depends on how it's used within the sentence and what the sentance is saying...
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