Wikia

Harry Potter Wiki

Talk:British terms

Back to page

12,127pages on
this wiki

Sherbet Lemon

It says sherbet lemons aren't the same thing as lemon drops, and yet they are... and the US versions are translated to lemon drops, rather than sherbet lemon.... AlastorMoody 07:41, November 24, 2011 (UTC)

There's actually a very slight difference between the two. From a bit of Googling, it seems sherbet lemons have a soft center, while lemon drops are completely hard. This is probably why they aren't referred to as lemon drops in the American version after Sorcerer's Stone, it's not accurate. -- 1337star (talk) 18:29, November 24, 2011 (UTC)
Forgive me, American ignorance yet again (I'm American). --AlastorMoody 00:56, November 28, 2011 (UTC)
Sorry that I've come to this party rather late, but — the above isn't completely accurate; "sherbet lemons" are so-called because they have a hollow centre which is filled with sherbet. (The shell is a hard boiled sweet in the shape of a lemon, and in composition and taste exactly similar to a lemon drop.) I also, in my childhood (nearly fifty years ago), came across "orange sherbets" which were what you can probably imagine from this paragraph, but those seem to have died out. — RobertATfm (talk) 21:21, October 20, 2012 (UTC)

Hand(s)

You are correct that "hand" is primarily a technical term. However, I would include it as a British term since while you will never hear it used outside of the horse-racing community in the United States, it is occassionaly heard in general conversation in the UK. This is probably due to the fact that horse racing permeates British culture far more deeply than it does in the US. The pertinent example of this is when Ollivander uses it in the course of the "weighing of the wands" in GoF.

Obviously, not something I fell strongly about either way, but on balance I think it is worth including for it's reference value.


Wva 01:09, March 29, 2012 (UTC)

Verb vs. gerund

There was a slight error which I've just corrected; in the phrase "fancy a flutter?", the word "flutter" was described as a verb. This is clearly wrong, since it's "a flutter", not "to flutter"; in this context it is thus clearly a gerund (a verb being used as a noun). -- RobertATfm (talk) 21:10, October 20, 2012 (UTC)

Nosh

I thought Nosh was a Yiddish term, not a British term. JohnnyLurg (talk) 01:17, January 15, 2014 (UTC)

Both are semi-true. Nosh is English, but it derives from a Yiddish word. Indeed, Yiddish does not use Latin script, so the word couldn't exist in that form in the language at all. -- 1337star (Drop me a line!) 01:23, January 15, 2014 (UTC)

Gateau

Gateau's hardly a British term is it? It's French. Roydon Namikaze (Talk) 00:36, June 4, 2014 (UTC)

As with "nosh" above, "gateau" is a loanword; it has been adopted into English from French. There are thousands upon thousands of such words in English. — RobertATfm (talk) 03:50, June 4, 2014 (UTC)

Public school

The explanation of this term is wrong; it comes from the fact that schools in England (there was no "Britain" back then) were originally reserved for the aristocracy. Then, sometime in the Middle Ages, they opened their doors to anyone (whose parents could afford the fees, anyway); hence the term "public school". State-funded schools didn't come until centuries later.

The above is also the origin of "snob" (someone who puts on aristocratic airs, especially if they do so falsely); the school registers had a column for (aristocratic) rank, and the kids of wealthy merchants had to be entered as "sine nobilis" (without nobility). This was abbreviated to "s. nob.". — RobertATfm (talk) 09:36, April 24, 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, this is incorrect.  Schools in England were orginally for the education of clergy.  The traditional English boarding schools were formed to provide education for poor students either as clergy, or for service as choristers (essentially the choir in large churches.)  It was only after a number of years that wealthier parents wanted their children to attend these schools and offered to pay tuition.  
For example, Eton - the protoypical English "public school" was founded by Henry VII to provide a free education for 70 poor students.  (The same holds for Winchester College, Harrow and Rugby.)  These students were and are still known as "King's scholars".  Later, students were allowed to attend who had not won a scholarship and who instead paid a fee to attend the school. These students are known as "Oppidans" from the Latin for town.  So the idea that schools were formed for the aristocracy is incorrect.  They were originally formed to educate very poor students, and only in very recent times (relatively speaking) would upper-class students attend.  The term "public school" is based on the distinction between the traditional method for educating aristocrats - a private tutor.  I am not aware of any reputable source that disputes this. Wva (talk) 01:46, April 25, 2015 (UTC)

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki