Joined: June 15, 2012

Number of comments posted: 22

Number of votes received: 5

Modern Antiquarian

Retired lecturer and book seller

Recent Comments

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  January 2, 2013, 12:53pm  •  0 vote

What I am sceptical about is the suggestion of an early origin for the Edinburgh gardyloo. The OED does not seem to know of it before the late 18th century. I think it might be more of a genteelis

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  January 2, 2013, 3:25am  •  0 vote

@WW Sorry. I sounded a bit grumpy there. Actually I am a Northumbrian and am familiar with several of the words you mention there. Dinna fash yersel I think is more typically NE English than cont

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  January 2, 2013, 2:40am  •  0 vote

So what this boils down to is that between the mid 17th and mid 18th centuries 'gardyloo' was a warning cry in Edinburgh. No earlier. No later. And no connection with WCs.

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  January 2, 2013, 1:29am  •  0 vote

@WW Northumbrian indeed. I am not sure a couple of French speaking royals would have led to slops-servants shouting warnings in French to passers-by a century later. There was probably more German i

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  January 1, 2013, 7:01am  •  0 vote

Why would 16th century Scotsmen shout a warning in French? Unless, of course, they didn't want it to be understood. The OED doesn't seem to know any examples before the 1930s. I suggest the si

Re: Hey  •  December 15, 2012, 2:45am  •  0 vote

I can remember losing a mark at school for writing 'hello' instead of 'hallo' in a dictation exercise. The teacher pronounced it as 'hello', but insisted the spelling was 'hallo'.

Re: Where used you to live?  •  November 26, 2012, 3:10am  •  0 vote

But in what sort of situation would you ask "Where did you use to live?" without a time expression such as "before you lived here"? Wouldn't you be more likely to say "Where have you lived

Re: Where used you to live?  •  November 25, 2012, 10:10am  •  0 vote

“Where used you to live before you came here?” “Where did you use to live before you came here?” I find both these a bit odd sounding. I'd use "Where did you live before you came here? "

Re: “This Wednesday” vs. “Next Wednesday”  •  October 19, 2012, 12:28pm  •  0 vote

I agree with Josef. I might also use 'this Wednesday' to mean the one just past, as opposed to 'last Wednesday' which would be the one before.

Re: “Bring” vs. “Take” differences in UK and American English  •  October 19, 2012, 12:20pm  •  0 vote

Bring / take Could this be another example of the German 'interference' in American English which also accounts for 'fill out' rather than 'fill in' and conditional 'If I would . . .' constructio

Re: Pronouncing “mandatory”  •  September 26, 2012, 10:53am  •  0 vote

@Warsaw Will - I agree reg- u-LAT-ory probably cons from regulation. But don't you think mandate has an equal stress on each syllable rather a stress on than the first?

Re: Pronouncing “mandatory”  •  September 25, 2012, 12:42am  •  0 vote

Although I'm not sure how reg-u-LAY-tory came about.

Re: Pronouncing “mandatory”  •  September 25, 2012, 12:33am  •  1 vote

This is not pretension, it is just the reasonable, but incorrect, assumption that forms of a word are all pronounced the same. Mandate is a commoner word than mandatory, so the pronunciation of the l

Re: Heaven or heaven?  •  August 30, 2012, 9:02am  •  1 vote

In Genesis 1.1 God creates heaven, but in verse 8 he names it 'Heaven' - then it reverts to being heaven at least in the Authorized (King James) Version. I suppose as there is only one heaven and o

Re: Anglican  •  August 16, 2012, 12:56pm  •  0 vote

But it is a fact that 'Anglo' is often used to mean 'British' for example in Anglo-American. A couple of other points. England never conquered Scotland, and the American colonies fought for indepe

Re: Anglican  •  July 28, 2012, 11:25pm  •  0 vote

Perhaps in Anglo-Catholic, though that might have originally signified 'English' as opposed to 'Roman' Catholic. But otherwise not.

Re: changed history  •  July 25, 2012, 12:34am  •  0 vote

Same sort of thing. Classic refers to quality; classical to a historical period. In the West the classical period is the era of Ancient Greece and Rome. A classic is the one of the best of it

Re: changed history  •  July 24, 2012, 1:51am  •  3 votes

There is a difference between the historical and the historic. The former is everything that happened; the latter what is considered to be significant. The former is fixed; the latter is a matter of

Re: Pronouncing “gala”  •  July 24, 2012, 12:32am  •  0 vote

. . . as you would if you said Garla-shields (which is in Scotland not NE England).

Re: Pronouncing “gala”  •  July 23, 2012, 10:09am  •  0 vote

Gey-la is the usual pronunciation of gala in the north-east of England as in the Durham Miners' Gala (gey-la).

Re: Anglican  •  July 23, 2012, 10:07am  •  0 vote

'Anglican' only refers to the Church of England and churches derived from it - most of which are members of the Anglican Communion. 'Anglican Church', although often used as such, is not a synonym for

Re: The Best Euphemism for Shithouse?  •  June 15, 2012, 5:46am  •  0 vote

I remember an American newspaper article explaining that what Americans call the 'John' is known as the 'Claude' in Britain.