Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

A vocabulary exercise

I've learned a number of new words and phrases on this trip, some new, some old, all unfamiliar to me. Do you know these?

(Italian) plaid
(British) flannel, buffet, catarrh pastilles, adverse camber
(In Wales) plant
(British +) pelmet

(Italian) plaid: a lap blanket of any color or pattern. A plaid can come in solids or floral designs.
(British) flannel: (American) wash cloth
(British) buffet: (the final t is pronounced) a foot rest
(British) catarrh pastilles: cough drops
(British) adverse camber: This is a road sign commonly found in road construction zones. The camber is the shape of the road, curved for rain water runoff and for ease of driving. Adverse cambers are not correctly shaped for usual driving patterns, and often occur when temporary lanes are used.
(In Wales) plant: a child
(British +) pelmet: a ruffle framing the top end of curtains


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2005 12:37 am (UTC)
I found a number of differences in terms used whilst living in different locations in the UK, so I'm not overly suprised to find that I don't know all of these items.

I've not heard of buffet or plant in that sense. I've never heard anyone use the word pelmet even though I think we've got something of that nature at my parents house. We tend to just refer to that bit as part of the curtains. Perhaps I'm just uneducated...^_^

Jan. 8th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
Do you know any alternative terms for any of these from other regions then?

I think pelmet is one of those technical terms that most of us have no reason to know. I'm deeply certain, based on no evidence whatsoever, that it must be the only English language term for such a specific thing, for surely our collective language doesn't require more than one term for it.
Jan. 12th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
I couldn't think of any immediate alternatives off-hand but then when I googled pelmet I found that apparently the American term for it is a valance. This rang a bell and I remembered that my mum referred to it as a valance.

I've come across people using variants of the American terms in other parts of the UK. e.g.

pouffe or foot stool instead of foot rest (or buffet).
face cloth instead of wash cloth.
cough sweets instead of cough drops, which, to me would be hard things you suck whereas pastilles are chewy.
plaid - I always thought this was a fabric pattern.

You man find this interesting
Jan. 7th, 2005 08:16 am (UTC)
Hmm...I've heard of a flannel and catarrh pastilles (anything that Americans would call a "lozenge" is a "pastille") but the others pretty much not.

Jan. 7th, 2005 01:43 pm (UTC)
I knew all of these except buffet. Plant is a Welsh language word, rather than being some weird slang. But I'm sure you guessed that. :)

Jan. 7th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
Well, "camber" is an engineering term:

So these aren't signs themselves so much as they're signs warning drivers that the road isn't cambered the way one would expect. "The road is cambered adversely" sort of thing, as in: not to your benefit.

I'm curious about flannel... I don't know if this is a Canadian colloquialism but usually flannel would indicate a type of fuzzy, warm material. E.g. "There's nothing nicer on a cold winter night than flannel pajamas and jumping into a set of flannel sheets". Oddly enough I don't think I've ever seen wash cloths ever made from flannel! Wash cloths are usually more of a cotton/polyester type material, no?

The "plant" one is funny, maybe it *stems* from the old adage that "the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree"!
Jan. 8th, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC)
Re: camber
In my life, flannel has always been a warm, cozy pair of sheets or pyjamas, just like in yours. I've never seen a washcloth made from it either: washcloths are usually more textured, the better to scrub with. Flannel's always been a smooth weave in my experience.
Jan. 8th, 2005 12:29 am (UTC)
It strikes me as strange that you have not heard flannel or buffet before--I could swear I have heard Colin use both of those in conversation (though I must say that, though I knew a flannel meant a cloth, I always thought a buffet was a table, not a stool). I could be mis-remembering, however.
Jan. 8th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
I'm familiar with buffet in the sense of a table laid out with a variety of foods, but not with a word meaning a foot rest of any sort. That was new. I'm sure I must have heard flannel/wash cloth before, but it rang absolutely no bells with Colin's mother used it.
Feb. 14th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
re: buffet
Just thought id make a comment to you to tell you that a buffet is not a foot rest, a foot rest is called a pouffe and a buffet is a selection of food laid out for guests at parties. Hope this helps you.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )