More "divided by a common language" stuff

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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by busterbill »

With the Covid-19 virus crisis fueling my appetite for information I've been reading the BBC news website more regularly. I find it interesting that the word scheme seems to be used when referring to a well laid plan such as procuring PPE equipment or income loss relief. Here in the US the word scheme still does refer to a plan, but usually a nefarious one. :D
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

Ohhhh ... it took me a while. Since "scheme" wasn't in quotes, what I was reading at first were the words "word scheme" taken together, and I kept saying to myself, So what's the word scheme you're talking about? I can't find it.

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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

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Nanohedron wrote:Ohhhh ... it took me a while. Since "scheme" wasn't in quotes, what I was reading at first were the words "word scheme" taken together, and I kept saying to myself, So what's the word scheme you're talking about? I can't find it.

It's all right; I'm fine, now. :wink:


I did contemplate quotes, but rejected them for simplicity's sake. Cadence is sometimes critical. HaHa
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

busterbill wrote:I did contemplate quotes, but rejected them for simplicity's sake.
... And the opposite effect was achieved. :poke:
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

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Nanohedron wrote:
busterbill wrote:I did contemplate quotes, but rejected them for simplicity's sake.
... And the opposite effect was achieved. :poke:

:poke: Often the story of my life... :tomato:
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by brianholton »

Just to further muddy the water, in Scotland "scheme' usually means a housing scheme. That's to say, (publicly-owned) council housing - "housing estate" in England, "project" for USAians.

Hence the characters in Trainspotting could be called "schemies', i.e. people who live in or grew up in a housing scheme. NB: this is often a derogatory term used by lower-middle class snobs and bigots, unless it's used humorously by folk like me who grew up in a scheme.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by benhall.1 »

brianholton wrote:Just to further muddy the water, in Scotland "scheme' usually means a housing scheme. That's to say, (publicly-owned) council housing - "housing estate" in England, "project" for USAians.
"Housing estate", in England, usually doesn't mean an estate of council houses. Most housing estates are of private houses. Actually, where I grew up, in South Wales, the term "housing estate" would always have meant an estate of private houses, often reasonably upmarket. Estates of council houses were distinguished by the use of the term "council estate".

I hadn't come across that use of "scheme" - the Scottish use - before. I've looked it up now. Interesting.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by brianholton »

I stand corrected. Thank you.
You know, I can remember the days - up to the early-mid '70s - when professional people like doctors, teachers, lawyers etc., lived in council houses. A scheme was for all classes, not just the poor. [political stuff deleted - Mod]
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by benhall.1 »

I was pulled up short whilst reading a Facebook post just now. The poster referred to someone as a "nimrod" and clearly meant it as an insult. I had to look up what was meant. I don't know about other Brits, but, if it was used at all here in the UK, I would expect it to be used to mean someone who was strong, a mighty hunter, possibly a rebel. Big, positive stuff. I'd also expect a capital 'N', but apparently not in the States. Apparently, the US use it sarcastically to mean the opposite: a weak, dim-witted person. This, I'm told, comes from 1932 when both Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny referred to Elmer Fudd as a "nimrod".
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by an seanduine »

Webster´s third definition, the opposite of the Mesopotamian Hero. Probably analogous to ´numpty´.

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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by fatmac »

Nimrod by Elgar - hardly whimpish..... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhnMd1Jl7SA
Why did Elgar call it Nimrod?
....identified by the composer as “Nimrod.” The name is a play on words, as the biblical Nimrod was a great hunter, and the German word meaning “hunter” is Jaeger.
(My emphasis) - certainly not Elmer Fudd.... :lol:
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by benhall.1 »

fatmac wrote:Nimrod by Elgar - hardly whimpish..... :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhnMd1Jl7SA
Why did Elgar call it Nimrod?
....identified by the composer as “Nimrod.” The name is a play on words, as the biblical Nimrod was a great hunter, and the German word meaning “hunter” is Jaeger.
(My emphasis) - certainly not Elmer Fudd.... :lol:
Why Jaeger though? I feel I should know this ...
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by david_h »

benhall.1 wrote: This, I'm told, comes from 1932 when both Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny referred to Elmer Fudd as a "nimrod".
For those of us who don't know/recall anything about Elmer Fudd, Wikipedia is helpful in mentioning how it was ironical.
Wikipedia wrote: In modern American English, the term is often used sarcastically to mean a dimwitted or a stupid person, a usage first recorded in 1932 and popularized by the Looney Tunes cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, who both sarcastically refer to the hunter Elmer Fudd as "nimrod",as an ironic connection between "mighty hunter" and "poor little Nimrod", i.e. Fudd.
I think I would have understood it in the original context as, presumably, did folks in the USA at the time. Did the person who used it on Facebook understand it, I wonder.
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by fatmac »

benhall.1 wrote: Why Jaeger though? I feel I should know this ...
Name of a friend of his. :)
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Re: More "divided by a common language" stuff

Post by Nanohedron »

david_h wrote:Did the person who used it on Facebook understand it, I wonder.
If it was your average Yank, odds are that the Mesopotamian connection is long lost or at best a dim memory from Bible readings in Sunday school. In the States, "nimrod" is now overwhelmingly a disparagement, such that the name Nimrod would be met with snickers. It was even that way back when I was a kid.

And you know, I always wondered how that came to be. I didn't know the Elmer Fudd connection was its beginning. Just goes to show how far the public is able to sustain literary subtleties. But I think the change makes sense in the popular sphere, in that "nim" brings to mind both "ninny" and "dim", and a rod has purpose only as a blunt tool.
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