1. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Americanisms

    Discussion in 'Research' started by cutecat22, Mar 16, 2014.

    Hi all, not sure if this would be research or the other thread that discusses words ...

    But, I have a line that includes the phrase 'before it kicks in full pelt'

    The book I'm writing is based in New Jersey, USA and I have been advised that the term 'full pelt' is not something that would be said over the pond. Unfortunately, the person who told me this has no other alternative to offer, do any of you lovely members have any suggestions for its replacement? Google does not understand what I'm asking it ...

    Thanks

    x
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    As a yank who's willing to help, I need you to tell me first what "full pelt" means. In America, a pelt is the hide of an animal.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Never mind, I looked it up. No, we would not use that phrase at all. "at full speed" is the way we would say it, but it also depends on the context. Is actual speed or velocity being referenced, or is this more abstract. If it's in the abstract, there may be many different ways to say it. What's the context? What is going to hit at full pelt?
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of this...

    'at full tilt' is the closest americans come... what does 'at full pelt' mean over there?... and how does an animal skin relate to fullness of anything?
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I was equally curious and found that the expression doesn't derive from the noun meaning of pelt, but instead from its verb meaning.

     
  6. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    It actually doesn't derive from an animal pelt, it's from something totally different but linked to jousting, cannot remember the entire thing but it's to do with speed.

    Over here, it would also be used when describing, erm, let me think.. If my son was to start having an argument, I would say something to 'stop him going full pelt' in other words, he's about to hit top speed with his argument and I dissolved it.

    Basically, one of my main characters is a little too overprotective towards another character. The first character begins to put foot down with firm hand until the second character says something to stop the first characters overprotectiveness kicking in.


    Oh, maybe I could use 'kicking in' ??
     
  7. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Full tilt would be an Americanism and probably derives from jousting when jousters would tilt their lance down and charge at each other full speed.

    Over here, we would say "shut down" or "shut him/her down." Other American phrasing would be "put a lid on it," and "put the kibosh on it."
     
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  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Interesting, I never knew that's British English rather than universal English lol. I don't think I've heard that phrase in years though. The thing I'm thinking about now is "It's pelting it down." :D

    OP, why don't you just use "top speed"?

    Or maybe, "before it gets out of hand"?

    I'm not a yank though so you'll have to wait for other members for more colloquial phrases.
     
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  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If the context is as you have given in the example to which @Robert_S responded, then I like his translation best of all. It fits the circumstance well, though "put the kibosh on it" has a kind of old-timie flavor, just so you're aware, where "shut down" is much more modern.
     
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  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    :eek:

    :D
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    minstrel, have you never heard 'put the foot down with a firm hand'? sounds funny I know, but we use it over here a lot, along with such others like 'you'll be laughing on the other side of your face' or 'if you don't stop laughing I will give you something to laugh about'

    :-D
     
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The last of the three is common over here, the second is not unknown, but the first is a strange construction indeed to American ears. ;)
     
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  13. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm familiar with "laughing on the other side of your face," etc. But I'm a sucker for a good mixed metaphor, so I pointed one out. ;)
     
  14. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    One my mother used to say was "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry for!"

    In our house, the foot/hand has been shortened to "foot down, firm hand, nuff said"

    which my kids know as "no and shut up about it"
     
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  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think the oddest of the more slangy Briticisms I've come across is pucker. Had I not looked it up, the meaning would been utterly opaque to me. Pucker does not make me think well, good, just fine, peachy, aces, couldn't-be-better... pucker makes me think butt-hole, and.... yeah. :oops::D
     
  16. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    'before it kicks in full force' ?
     
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  17. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I used to play an online air combat sim that had players from all over the world. Some Britishisms was smash for speed/energy. Blat for cruising.

    It always gave me something to do looking up the etymology of words, especially slang.
     
  18. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I think the oddest of the more slangy Briticisms I've come across is pucker. Had I not looked it up, the meaning would been utterly opaque to me. Pucker does not make me think well, good, just fine, peachy, aces, couldn't-be-better... pucker makes me think butt-hole, and.... yeah. :oops::D

    Pucker to me makes me think of "pucker up" which is like asking for a kiss, where you purse your lips. I guess you could say your mouth looks like a butt-hole when you pucker up!

    Like anywhere else, we have a lot of regional dialects too. I've lived in the North East of England for nearly seven years now and I still have trouble deciphering the Geordie accent! (Geordie is the language spoken in the area of Newcastle-on-Tyne, I say language but believe me, it is English!)
     
  19. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    If I "smashed it!" up here, it means the same as "I aced it!" or, I did good, perfect, better than expected.
     
  20. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    In America, we'd say we "nailed it" or "killed it."
     
  21. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you sure you're not referring to "pukka" as in "genuine", "the real thing"? A Hindi word derived from Empire.
     
  22. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Never heard that word before. A friend from the past told me about blat. We used to participate in a car forum dedicated to Toyota AllTraks (sp?). A Brit said he took his out for a blat.

    Smash came from a time I saw a P-51 Mustang zipping past and another plane behind him. I warned him about it and he said "yeah, I saw him, but I have a lot of smash, so I'm not worried about it."
     
  23. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I've never heard smash used for speed.

    I've heard pukka used a lot by people from London, especially from the mouth of Jamie Oliver to mean something that worked out great or tastes great. But then we also have a pie manufacturer over here called pukka pies which you mainly find in chip shops up and down the country.
     
  24. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    talking of chip shops, don't get me started on bread cakes/bread rolls/barm cakes/baps/rolls/stotties/buns/bread buns/butties.

    Incidentally, in some parts, baps is slang for breasts and buns is slang for bumcheeks!
     
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  25. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    It may be regional. In the US, bag, sack and poke mean the same thing, but spoken in different areas of the US. Same for carbonated soft-drinks: soda, pop, cola, coke.

    Yeah, I've heard buns used in the US to refer to butt cheeks. You guys say bum, we say butt. Baps is new and funny. I can't count the number of slang words we have for breasts: boobs, boobies, cans, headlights, jugs, warheads, grips, etc. So many. Americans seems to like slang.
     
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