Help with Brit-speak part 2

yoyobon_gw

While reading the latest Maisie Dobbs novel written by Jacqueline Winspear I noticed that she emphasizes the way in which a physician is addressed. If he is a doctor he is called " Dr." however if he is an accomplished surgeon he is called ' Mr.".

Is this the norm in the UK ?

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colleenoz

Yes. It’s a class thing. We do it in Australia, too.

I seem to recall it’s because surgeons were originally barbers who did simple surgery as a sideline, so they had no actual qualifications, and hence were referred to as “Mr”, while doctors had medical training and so earned the right to be called “Dr”.

Just for extra, in Australia at least, only medical doctors are referred to as “Dr”. Vets and dentists, for instance, are just “Mr”.

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msmeow

Colleen, are people with advanced degrees in non-medical fields referred to as "Dr."? In the US if you have a PhD most people address you as "Dr." Even people with honorary PhD's are addressed as "Dr." :)

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Our Vets are called "Dr." but I refuse to call anyone with any advanced degree "Dr.". I think it's rather foolish and confusing. ( sorry to all of you with PhD's !!)

Formal invitations are addressed to Dr. and Mrs Whomever and that is strictly for medical degrees.

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colleenoz

Yes, PhDs are titled “Dr”. (Though a lot of Australians might think you’ve got tickets on yourself if you _insist_ on it.)

It is correct to title PhDs as “Dr” as they have earned a doctorate.

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vee_new

Yoyo, here it is as Colleen describes; though I don't know if it is really about 'class', more like tradition and yes Donna, PhD holders are formally addressed a 'Dr' in the UK.

Over here I know a number of families who sons/daughters have stayed at universities for years in order to obtain a doctorate in some esoteric subject. Despite their so-called Great Learning several of them are unable to find work or, because they see themselves as so well qualified they refuse to take jobs that ordinary mortals would be happy to do. One acquaintance told me when there is an announcement on a 'plane "Is there a Doctor on board?" They should add 'Medical Dr" as both her sons could be on that journey and might to be thought of as 'medical men'. Another friend who's DD has only just got a first job in her mid-30's (considered by her Mother to be 'below' her abilities) has a grudge against the DD's partner as she is only an anesthetist and therefore lower down the education scale.

OK rant over. I know very highly educated members of the community are to be welcomed/encouraged, but I feel a medical education is far more useful over someone who's specialty is for eg. Sardinia 1847 - 1856.

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msmeow

LOL, Vee! I have a friend whose son is starting his master's degree this coming fall, focusing on "the rise of secularism in medieval/renaissance Italy." I told my DH that degree sounds like a real money-maker!

Donna

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woodnymph2_gw

Donna, I would hazard a guess that the sort of degree you mentioned could be used to teach at the college level or perhaps garner a position in an Italian library or museum. Then there are always the authors and researchers. Sad to think we must discount most history majors in terms of job seeking. Says this former history major (but what do I know?) ;-)

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msmeow

Yes, I thought he is probably planning to teach. It just seems like a very narrow field of study with a small number of job prospects. I didn't mean to offend you (and any other history majors out there).

Donna

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astrokath

I have to disagree with Colleen here. I just checked the web pages for my dentist and a local chiropractor and veterinary clinic, and they are all calling themselves Doctor.

Since my husband has a PhD (in Organic Chemistry) I do feel it is a bit cheeky for them to do that.


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vee_new

Donna and Woodnymph the degree to do with Sardinia is a real eg, 'though the dates might not be exact, and the resulting doctorate did not result in offers of work from universities; the subject is too specialised and narrow. He had to take short-term (one year) contracts teaching history all over the UK and produce endless academic papers which are necessary to get any higher up the ladder.

In a perfect world these highly educated people would be regarded with respect. But if you can't afford to buy a house or must rely on a wife to bring in the money and leave her while you work miles from home I think practicality must step in and 'high ideals' take a back seat.

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yoyobon_gw

In a University setting all professors have PhD's and are called "Dr." and that is simply respectful. Once they hit the community no one uses the designation.

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carolyn_ky

My daughter has a PhD in Nursing. She got her RN in 1982 and went on at intervals to get a Bachelor's, a Master's, and then the PhD. I believe she finished in 2010. For a little girl who started first grade in 1961, she certainly spent a lot of years getting finished with school. On her voice mail, she refers to herself as Dr. Thompson, but at work she goes by her first name.

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annpanagain

When I worked as a library assistant in a university library, I was told that a number of my co workers had degrees but never mentioned it. They wanted jobs and were afraid that their high qualifications stood in the way of getting work below their levels. It seemed a shame after all the hard study time put in but high level positions were rare.

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yoyobon_gw

In the medical field, I think it would be confusing to have a person who is a nurse called " Dr."

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colleenoz

Well in WA at least, vets, dentists and chiropractors don’t call themselves “Dr” unless they either have a doctorate or an MD

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carolyn_ky

Yoyo, I agree, but DD doesn't work as a floor nurse. She is something like a Director of Nursing or other such jobs. Her favorite thing to do is to work for a firm that moves her around to trouble shoot in different situations in different cities. She always did like to tell people what to do--and travel!

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woodnymph2_gw

On a related forum, a few of us are having a friendly debate about shoes. What are "plimsoles"? Are they the same as "trainers", or are they different? We in the US say "sneakers" or "tennis shoes."

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vee_new

Plimsolls (named after the 'plimsoll line' on all ships) are very cheap canvas topped, rubber soled shoes that used to be worn by children for PE/gym/games and until the 50's/60's? by poor kids who's families couldn't afford regular footwear. They are OK for an hour or two's wear but give no support and quickly become hot and sweaty.

They were known as 'pumps' where I grew up in the English Midlands and in Wales they are called 'daps' (no idea why!)

Of course these days everyone seems to wear grossly over-priced sneakers or what we call 'trainers'. Proper 'tennis shoes' are also quite expensive and often have a cushioned in-sole and are probably not used as 'everyday wear'. Rather as 'running shoes' are not designed for lolling about in but for pounding the pavements.

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annpanagain

Vee, you are right about the over-pricing. I like a very lightweight brand of trainers and can get them in a department store sale at half price and they still must make a profit!

Most of our shoes come from China, I believe. It seems to be too expensive to manufacture goods in Australia but do make the original Ugg boots with sheepskin still.

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vee_new

Annpan, I have never owned a pair of Ugg boots and always wonder at their 'waterproofness' and how clean, or other wise, they stay in wet weather.

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annpanagain

Vee, the original ones weren't waterproof but they could be now. They were meant to be something to pull on to warm the feet after surfing and caught on. The ones I bought around the Seventies or early Eighties I recall, were suede with real sheepskin lining. Ugly they were indeed but very comfortable in cooler weather.

Yes, it does get cold in some part of Australia, especially down South in Winter.

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colleenoz

There is a waterproof version of Uggs available but classic Uggs are not waterproof.

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msmeow

Around here (central FL) teenage girls wear Uggs as a fashion statement, sometimes even in the summer time.

Donna

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msmeow

Vee, I have a question for you. I'm reading The Silkworm which is set in London. Several times the characters have been eating in a pub, and they go to the bar to order their food and drinks. Is that usual in casual dining in London? In the US restaurants have servers who take orders and deliver food, unless you're in a fast food place like McDonalds.

My DH and I are cruising out of Southampton at the end of June and spending two days in London at the end. We decided we wanted to visit several of the properties managed by Historic Royal Palaces. We did some math and learned it would cost less to buy a joint membership than to pay for individual tickets. We bought the membership online and our new member packet arrived the other day. The cover letter was addressed to us in "Winter Garden, Florida, United States (of America)." The qualifier "(of America)" cracked me up! Is there another United States I've not heard of?

Donna

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vee_new

Donna, in a pub the customer always goes to the bar to order drinks. As for food I think it depends if the place has a separate 'dining area' where waiters/waitresses service is offered. If that is the case you might be expected to buy a drink at the bar (or put it on a 'tab' where everything is added up for the final bill) then go to the area of tables. Often the bar staff will give you a menu and tell you they will come and take your order in a few minutes . . . or forget you if they are very busy and you are sitting in a dark corner.

As for the United States of America. You do realise that you are in communication with the Historic Royal Palaces, no doubt an august body who probably know the correct mode of address of every country in the world? You wouldn't want your tickets going to the United Arab Emirates or the United States of the Lesser Antilles or the United States of the Ionian Islands (I may have made up one of those)

If you get the chance do visit Hampton Court Palace. It is on the Thames and a boat trip there from Westminster Pier is very popular. They used to offer a 'return ticket' so you went one-way by boat and the other by train, if time is a bit short.

DH used to live about a mile from there as a boy, It is also very near the Royal parks of Richmond and Bushy and Kew Gardens is well-worth a visit if you have time. DH's 'ancestors' were gardeners there over a hundred years ago. He has inherited their green fingers!











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msmeow

Thanks, Vee! I don't think we'll have time to go to Hampton Court. We're planning to visit the Tower (of course), Kensington Palace and the Banqueting House. I would also love to go to Westminster Abbey. We are staying in a hotel right across the river from the Tower. I have heard the traffic in London is awful (but, hey, it's awful here, too) so we figure a lot of time will be spent traveling from one place to another. I told DH that I don't want to waste my time in the subway - I want to be out where I can see stuff! (Plus those multi-story escalators give me the heebie-jeebies.)

Donna

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carolyn_ky

Donna, have you heard the story of a U.S. visitor who went to a London post office to send postcards home? He asked how much postage was required, and the answer was x pence per stamd, "the same as all the other colonies."

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msmeow

LOL Carolyn! A friend of mine was visiting one of the cathedrals in England. A docent asked what language he wanted the brochure in, and he said “English.” She looked down her nose and said, “Well, of a sort.” :)

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vee_new

Donna, as you say the traffic in London is terrible and, although I have no idea how young or fit you both are, the best way to get around would be 'on foot'. If you are staying on the South Bank of the Thames it is not a long walk along the riverside to London Bridge then over to Whitehall for the Banqueting House. Westminster is a bit further away but still in the same direction.

Westminster Abbey can be a huge scrum of humanity (as can the Tower) But as you will be almost in the 'City'* you might have the energy to look at a couple of 'Wren' churches (built by Wren after the Fire of London had destroyed so many of the medieval buildings) Many of them, unlike St Paul's, don't have many visitors and can be an oasis of calm from the crowds on the streets

* You may not realise that London is divided into the City of London, which was the old, Roman bit, with the various 'gates' that led out into what was countryside Moorgate, Aldgate etc. It is North of the Thames and known as the Square Mile; now the main financial area. The City of Westminster, still North of the river is much bigger with many of the 'tourists' places of interest Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, the theatres and big stores etc.

Re 'English' (as it is spoken) over here we, simple fools that we are,
think we speak 'English' whereas a US RPer suggested what we actually
speak is 'Anglo Saxon' as Americans speak 'English' . . . my spell
checker says I speak/write British English . . . but only makes corrections in American . . .

And I had never heard of a 'docent' 'til I met it on RP. It is a word never used here!

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annpanagain

Regarding Ugg boots, it was reported on the news that a firm in the US has the rights to the brand name Ugg Australia with them being manufactured in China! Crazy world, hey?

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astrokath

Vee, I discovered the word docent a couple of years ago when in the US - it's never used here either. We just have guides.

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colleenoz

I’ve encountered docents in WA. In fact, for a while I was one.

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woodnymph2_gw

I love to read various recipes and came across this puzzle: what exactly are "floury potatoes"?

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yoyobon_gw

perhaps it means older, starchy potatoes ?

or does it refer to potato starch which is similar to corn starch and used in breads for the same purpose ?

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woodnymph2_gw

It was a Brit recipe so I await their answers. :-)

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vee_new

yes yoyo usually older spuds, but as you know there are many different types some waxy, good when 'new' for salads etc and the floury ones used for mashing, roasting in their 'jackets' etc.

Was the Brit recipe from England Ireland Scotland or Wales where potatoes are cooked in many different ways?

Mary did you check out the answers to your question about plimsolls . . . above?

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woodnymph2_gw

Yes, Vee, thanks for the prior post. I'm not sure which of the above the recipe came from. I would guess England. I never had heard that term before in any recipe.

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woodnymph2_gw

Vee, updating the recipe info. It is for Duck Confit Pie. It also calls for "rooster" potatoes and "King Edward" potatoes. What are those?

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vee_new

Mary, I had never heard of rooster potatoes but nothing daunted have looked them up. So called because they have red skins . . . rooster is not a common word over here. I know you in the US use it for a male chicken/fowl but we are more down-to-earth and say cock or cockerel. King Edward's are a very common type of spud with a floury texture used for all sorts of dishes.

Nor have I heard of a duck confit pie; it sounds as though it might be served at a pretentious dinner party.


Potatoes

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woodnymph2_gw

Vee, thanks for posting the info on potatoes. I suppose we would call
roosters "red potatoes." Interesting how all those were labeled so precisely. We mostly see Yukon Golds and tiny "new" potatoes here.

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annpanagain

Many years ago my State's Potato Marketing Board decided that only King Edward potatoes should be grown commercially. I didn't like them as they had little taste and were only used by me mashed with butter and salt or fried. I sometimes used packets of flakes which tasted good but were expensive.

When I went to the UK in 1990, I was staggered by the varieties available.

By the time I returned to Australia, things had changed and there was more choice. Names are different in the other States though, which can be confusing.

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vee_new

Annpan, I think the huge variety of potatoes is partly because the plants are so susceptible to blight. so scientists are always developing new strains to over come this problem. We find many of the new/improved varieties are little different from their older cousins and the really quirky ones (bright red/blue throughout) have little or no flavour.

Btw we always grow a few rows of spuds here, usually 'second earlies' or 'salad' rather than 'main crop' and find if we don't get them out of the ground by August they start to develop blight, the first signs being blackening of the leaves; because we live in a dampish climate almost at sea-level. As you know all our UK 'seed potatoes' are produced in Scotland with its cooler climate.

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annpanagain

I was remembering the wonderful taste of New potatoes from the Channel Islands and unusual small ones like fir which I found in packets.

The trend here is for supermarkets to display labels and other information to advise which is the best use for a particular potato. Some are sold in light-proof bags to slow deterioration.

A bit of a change from the ones from my childhood which usually had soil clumps attached!

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friedag

Vee, do you cook with barley very often?

I ask because I remember my Scottish landlady did. She would throw a handful of 'pearls' (as she called the barley grains, never measuring anything except by eye and hand) into soups or stews. She also made barley 'side dishes' -- barley with onion and barley with apricots (? not sure if apricots are right, but it was some sort of dried fruit, minced). She used barley in lieu of potatoes, if I recall correctly.

I developed quite a liking for barley dishes in Scotland, so that when I moved back south I missed them. I got the impression that barley is not liked very much in England. I just commented casually to an English landlady about barley. She curled her lip with a sneer as if I were insulting her with the suggestion of using barley. Was her reaction just an idiosyncrasy or a wider spread disdain? I don't think I ever had barley as solid food in England. One English person told me barley was only good for beer brewing or distilling spirits.

Barley is not commonly eaten in the U.S. either -- at least not in the parts I know best. John Barleycorn is the personification of liquor (strong spirits) here -- or once was -- however.

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vee_new

Frieda, re barley. I always have a packet of pearl barley in the store cupboard and use a handful in soups and stews to add a bit of 'body'. Regarding its popularity I think these day with people having neither the time of the inclination to prepare 'proper' meals as in our Mothers' day many of these slow cook grains have become a thing of the past. On the other hand there is this new phenomenon of getting back to natural ingredients veganism etc that in some quarters is encouraging us to use these cheap and wholesome grains. Porridge oats for eg. has become a popular breakfast food over here.

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astrokath

I love pearl barley and add it to soups and stews too, especially with lamb.

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yoyobon_gw

I like farro even better than barley as it doesn't tend to get "mushy" like barley does. All these grains are so nutritious, I'm happy to see they are having a comeback in recipes.

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woodnymph2_gw

Here in the US, the older healthier grains are indeed having a comeback, such as farro, barley, and others. Here in Charleston, there are a number of vegetarian restaurants with very creative menus. It used to be that various forms of pasta were used in ethnic recipes. But recently, I've noticed that its substitute can be couscous or in particular, Israeli couscous, both of which I like. There are some Middle Eastern restaurants, as well, here in the city.

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vee_new

I'm not familiar with 'farro' and don't know if it is available over here, unless in specialist shops. Is it just made up of wheat grains? My daughter has introduced us to couscous and a friend swears by quinoa although it didn't tickle my taste buds when I first tried it.

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colleenoz

Farro is grains of one of the ancient early wheat species, spelt, emmer or einkorn.

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vee_new

Thanks colleen.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee, farro may go by a different name in the UK. This link might be helpful:

https://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/2012/04/09/farro_is_a_trendy_grain_that_goes_by_many_names.html

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yoyobon_gw


A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's social rank and status. She holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles, but historically, she does not share the king's political and military powers. The late Queen Mother was a queen consort. A queen regnant (Elizabeth) is a queen in her own right (oldest heir to throne when Daddy George died) with all the powers of a monarch, who has become queen by inheriting the throne upon the death of the previous monarch.


The question concerns Phillip. Why isn't he a king consort?

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vee_new

yoyo, I don't think there is any law that says the husband of a queen (in her own right) cannot be a king/king consort . . . but . . . by tradition this has never been the case with the few queens who have been on the English (later British) throne. Queen Victoria was very keen for Albert to be made king consort but her ministers would not agree. They saw the possibility of him wielding too much power, and not just 'behind the throne'. From their point of view they felt they would have far more 'say' over a then unworldly young woman who needed to be led by their wise old heads. They certainly didn't want a German prince telling them how to run the country.

I don't know if HM Queen ever felt that Prince Philip should take over the role of 'King'. I doubt it, as by the 1950's precedent (ie what had happened in Albert's case) was well established. It is often claimed that P Philip has had to 'carve' a role out for himself. After a very active time of duty in the Royal Navy it can't have been easy to play second fiddle to his wife but he has involved himself in a wide range of interests/causes, travelled all over the world and seems to have kept the Palace officials on their toes . . . and doesn't take fools gladly!

And slightly off topic did anyone in the US hear that the Prince of Wales (also with a wide range of interests) had a possibly one-sided conversation with Pres T. recently on the question of global warming and associated matters?

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yoyobon_gw

Thanks Vee !

Here's a link that might answer your question:

http://time.com/5339439/donald-trump-queen-elizabeth-piers-morgan/

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astrokath

I always thought that a king outranked a queen, therefore if someone married the queen regnant, he couldn't be king.

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kathy_t

In a couple of the books I've read lately, there have been references to people wearing jerkins. Is a jerkin the same as a vest? Or something other than a vest?

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vee_new

Kathy, in the UK a vest is an undergarment, although we have now taken on the US meaning of the day-glow yellow outer clothing worn by by what you call construction workers and we call builders. A jerkin was/is a hard-wearing sleeveless strong longish waistcoat often made of leather mainly worn by country people for hunting/shooting etc.

Of course there is a sub-set of folk who dress up as country dwellers, wearing tweeds, expensive wellingtons and so-on. They are usually seen outside London at weekends and they make sure they never come into contact with anything as unfashionable as mud. There may be fashion-house designs of jerkins designed with them in mind.

From what I understand, in the US 'country folk' are looked down on as as straw-chewing, grunting beings (rather like Cletus Spuckler in 'The Simpsons) and there are a few like that over here but 'country-living' is considered quite chic . . . especially if you have a pad in the city for the rest of the week.

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kathy_t

Vee, thanks for the info on jerkins. I was surprised that you have the impression US country folk are looked down on. I am acquainted with and rub shoulders with a number of country folk, and in general, I like them just fine. They don't always think the way I do, but from my perspective, they seem to be salt-of-the-earth type folks who you can count on for honesty and assistance, no matter who you are. Just plain good people.

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vee_new

Kathy, thanks for the country info. Perhaps I shouldn't look at Hot Topics where so many hate-filled folk regard themselves as all-knowing, East Coast elite graduates (with a few from CA) who cannot even accept other folk might have a different p.o.v without being the Devil's spawn.

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yoyobon_gw

Country folk are the backbone of our country ! I know of no prejudice against them. I believe the US is a country of many different types and consequently we embrace all law-abiding folk regardless of where their roots are :0) The US is too large and diverse to get picky !

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carolyn_ky

Although the New Yorkers and Californians refer to rest of us as living in fly-over country. I'm a real country girl born in a rural part of a poor state before electricity and indoor plumbing reached us. I did, however, take to the convenience of city living quite easily. Sidewalks are nice (pavements, Vee),

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vee_new

Thanks for putting me right on town mouse v country mouse. I shall take it that unflattering comments about 'rubes' on the HT thread are by puffed-up people with little comprehension of what made/makes your country 'tick'.

I too come from a small-town/edge of country community and now live with fields all around (though unfortunately with a very busy main road running through our village) and enjoy the conversations with 'old-timers' about a way of life now largely gone and a gentle sense of humour that 'gets back' at the slick 'townies'.

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woodnymph2_gw

I have to jump in and defend Hot Topics. Not everyone who posts there is elitist, snobbish, or insulting. I post there myself and I've lived in both country and city. I've found a surprising diversity at Hot Topics threads and there are many who post there from "fly over country."

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vee_new

Woodnymph/Mary of course not all the people at HT are rude/insulting but maybe it is because I am from England where, although politics can become heated it is not usually to the degree of not being able to see the other p-o-v or where everything is either black or white. Nor do we 'discuss' subjects such as abortion or religion in this way. They are considered private and in no way political. But as most of the 'members' at HT are Americans with a smattering of polite Canadians and a vitriol-fuelled English female who is a dyed in the wool Marxist and 'drug grower' . . . I think it better that I keep a low profile and let others put the world right!

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kathy_t

I'm reading my first Susan Hill mystery (so far, so good!) and I've come across the expression "po-faced" which I'd never heard before. I looked up the meaning (having a solemn, serious, or earnest expression), but I am curious as to whether it is commonly used in conversation. Anyone know?

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vee_new

Kathy, yes po-faced is an expression most English people would be familiar with. It might be considered a slightly derogatory way of describing a person's 'look' maybe in a "we are not amused" way as is claimed to have been said by Queen Victoria.

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kathy_t

Thanks, Vee. And yes, it was used in a slightly derogatory way in the book I'm reading.

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woodnymph2_gw

Can anyone here tell me what a "lamington" is? It was used in connection with a tea served in Australia.

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annpanagain

It is a plain sponge cut into bars then rolled in runny chocolate icing/ frosting then in desiccated coconut.


"Lamington Drives" are popular ways to make money for schools and charities etc.

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woodnymph2_gw

Thanks, ann. It was praised by Jill Ker Conway in her memoir.

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yoyobon_gw

Here's the recipe for Lamingtons.....it looks YUMMY !! :

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/17201/lamingtons/

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carolyn_ky

Yum, my kind of dessert.

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annpanagain

Carolyn, not so much a dessert as a small cake served mainly at tea time. The shops sell them either as the traditional bar in a pack or a whole Lamington style round cake.

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colleenoz

A good lamington is my fave! I have baked hundreds in my time :-)

Often they are sold in bakeries split through the middle and filled with red jam (usually raspberry) and whipped cream, or just the whipped cream but I prefer mine plain. Pink lamingtons are made by dipping the sponge in raspberry jelly (US jello) that has been made with a little less water and allowed to get to the thickening up stage of setting before rolling in the coconut.

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