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Rhyming Slang

Rhyming Slang

Rhyming Slang

(OP)
In a thread in Pat's Pub, someone referred to Americans as "Septic". When the term was questioned, it was explained that "Septic tank" rhymes with "Yank", so to refer to a U.S. citizen it is appropriate to just say "septic". Another individual said that it was common and no offence was intended, and claimed that "at least half" of Americans would take less offence with being called "septic" than being called "yank". I assumed that he meant that people in the states that left the union in the 1860's would resent being called "Yankee" and that he thought those states represented half the country (instead of about 30%) and that attitudes in those states were somehow homogeneous.

My question is, how would other Americans feel about the choice between being called "septic" or being called "yank"?

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Rhyming Slang

i'd bet 99% would understand the "septic" reference (and maybe take umbrage as a default), and probably those in the southern states would resent being called "yanks" (being associated with the northern states).

RE: Rhyming Slang

I guess being a septic tank is better than being a merchant banker.

Lighten up David, it'd just fun. No malice anywhere. The Australians have many terms for us Brits that could cause offence, if we really wanted to be offended.

- Steve

RE: Rhyming Slang

(OP)
I'm light. I was just wondering if other yank's would have a similar reaction to the term that I had. I'm not upset or mad at all. Just looking for information. "Need the Data".

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Rhyming Slang

limie !

RE: Rhyming Slang

(OP)
I think "pomme" is more offensive.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Rhyming Slang

any nation that calls chips (bought in a bag) "crisps" (pronounced with a lisp) gets what they deserve ... (the envy of the world ?)

RE: Rhyming Slang

Quote (rb1957)

i'd bet 99% would understand the "septic" reference (and maybe take umbrage as a default), and probably those in the southern states would resent being called "yanks" (being associated with the northern states).

I doubt 1% of Americans would understand the "septic" reference. I used to work for a British company and am somewhat familiar with their odd rhyming slang but I never heard that one used. There was a lot of good natured bashing of each other's countries and culture so I would have expected it to come up. Perhaps it is a more recent development.

Americans from all states are used to being called Yanks oversees, it dates back to the Great War or perhaps earlier. I don't think anyone takes offense to it no matter which side of the Mason Dixon line they live on. It's quite another matter to be south of said line and be called a Damn Yankee. That's a Yankee like myself who has moved south and won't leave. You never hear the term Yank in the south.

The southern term I still find amusing is "The war of Northern Aggression" referring to the US Civil War (1861-1865). You won't find that in any Yankee text book. It's still being fought down here.

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Rhyming Slang

Quote (zdas04)

My question is, how would other Americans feel about the choice between being called "septic" or being called "yank"?

Depends solely on the person who hears/reads it. I have one neighbor who would consider either word to be a term of brotherly love. He'd think it implies a relationship that is freindly enough to toss barbs (darts?) at each other, even if the tosser is a complete stranger. He's a good guy.

I have another neighbor who would immediately chamber a round in his Walther PPK and set out looking for you if you weren't already nearby, no matter which word. Heaven help you if your skin is not the same color as his, or your language is not American English. He's a bad guy. We give him a wide berth.

I personally enjoy when a Brit refers to us as "The Colonies."

Best to you,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Rhyming Slang

Sorry zdas04, but sticks and stones may break my stones, but thy words shall not hurt me. i would simply ignore the names and even more likely chuckle a little bit. Heck, good ole USA sent the rejects back to England many years ago . . .

RE: Rhyming Slang

If memory serves 'septic' dates back to WWII when lots of US servicemen came to the UK. There certainly is a little bit of needle in it but nothing too offensive - I'd say more cheeky most of the time.

I'd be fine with it though I say that as a fairly new Septic/colonial.

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RE: Rhyming Slang

I didn't get the septic reference in the thread until you brought it up, but I'd rather be called a septic (or associated) than a yankee. My family's been in South Carolina for about 350 years. Yankee is about the worst insult you could say.
I was 12 years old before I knew damyankee wasn't one word :)

RE: Rhyming Slang

(OP)
pmover,
"Sorry"???????????? I don't have an agenda here, I'm just interested in reactions, I really couldn't care less what those reactions are,

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Rhyming Slang

I have never, and will never, use the term Septic Tank to refer to an American. Considering what septic tanks are normally full of, if I were a Yank I would interpret the term as an insult. Although if I were to judge Americans by those I met saw/heard while travelling through Europe, the analogy would be quite fitting; but as Pat mentioned before, it's only the brash, loud ones who are noticed & remembered. The good, normal ones just blend in.

RE: Rhyming Slang

Quote (dgallup)


The southern term I still find amusing is "The war of Northern Aggression" referring to the US Civil War (1861-1865). You won't find that in any Yankee text book. It's still being fought down here.

When I was in officer's training in the Army the Major who taught Military History was from the South and while he pretty much stuck to the approved material, when we got to the Civil War, he made sure that all of us knew that there was much more to the story than what we had learned in our 'Yankee' schools and that while he never denied that the Union had legitimately won the war, you could tell that this remained a tender issue with him and I assume his family and the other people whom he grew-up with. But even the 'approved material' described the Civil War as being the result of the secession of the Confederate States and the Federal government's response to preserve the Union, NOT as an attempt to abolish slavery, as many high school text books had put it.

BTW, I also worked for a British company for 14 years and at times we did enjoyed the manner in which our co-workers from across the sea mis-used the 'English' language.

As George Bernard Shaw has been credited with saying (although some claim that it was Oscar Wilde and others say Churchill): 'England and America are two countries divided by a common language.'

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

RE: Rhyming Slang

The beauty of rhyming slang (in a language context) is that it it is so often left-field and takes a while to work out. When I was a septic (by visa only), I heard the phrase "Taking it up the gary". That took several pints to sort out and when we did, it became the joke of the evening. Ditto "council". It's a bit like a crossword puzzle, you only get a clue, not the whole thing.

I have The Sweeney box set and still like Minder. Both good viewing for those studying us Brits and our weird habits and language.

- Steve

RE: Rhyming Slang

Hints for the colonials:

gary -> Gary Glitter
council -> Council gritter

Should be enough to get the meaning.

- Steve

RE: Rhyming Slang

Nope, means nothing to me. And I don't care.

RE: Rhyming Slang

Funfact: (which may not be true)

The term "yankee" is derived from the names "Jan" and "Kees". Two very common dutch names.
So "yankees" are originally a bunch of Jan's and Kees's, or a bunch of Dutch immigrants.

NX 7.5.5.4 with Teamcenter 8 on win7 64
Intel Xeon @3.2GHz
8GB RAM
Nvidia Quadro 2000

RE: Rhyming Slang

@ CorBlimeyLimey

Quote:

The good, normal ones just blend in.
Ah, you mean the Canadians?


[Ducks and runs]

RE: Rhyming Slang

There's a British phrase that I used to find confusing, but once I learned it, I've used when a co worker leaves my office: "see you next tuesday!"

Fortunately, he never figured it out, and assumed that I was being friendly.

RE: Rhyming Slang

Being from the South and knowing what a septic tank is full of, I'd prefer neither, thank you. And, for those that claim the term septic tank or septic is in no way meant as offensive, as I said in the other thread, that is ignorant. Open your eyes! And, that's not a U.S. word game that means pull your head out of your ass, but do that before you open your eyes.

Good luck,
Latexman

RE: Rhyming Slang

Kenat, "and the horse you rode in on."

Good luck,
Latexman

RE: Rhyming Slang

JohnRBaker,

I am currently reading Gone With The Wind, written during the 1920's. Margaret Mitchell had a ear-full of Civil War stories. Old fiction provides you a fascinating look at the contemporary culture.

--
JHG

RE: Rhyming Slang

It would be no more offensive than calling someone a honeywagon or honeydipper, though these terms sound more endearing.

RE: Rhyming Slang

There are some guy ritchie movies that have helped educate US americans w.r.t rhyming slang,. I always figured calling someone a Yankee as an insult was akin to making fun of someone for having a full set of teeth and college education...not all differences are to be ashamed of.

RE: Rhyming Slang

I'm a newcomer.. never saw any original thread. Just responding to a question.

Quote:

My question is, how would other Americans feel about the choice between being called "septic" or being called "yank"
As an American living in southern states, I have never heard the term septic or the rhyme context mentioned. I think I'd tend to view it as an insult whether the rhyme was explained or not.

I would not be offended at being called a yank by someone overseas. (ok, I did grow up in the north if that makes a difference, but I doubt my lifelong southern friends would be offended either)

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: Rhyming Slang

Quote:

(ok, I did grow up in the north if that makes a difference, but I doubt my lifelong southern friends would be offended either)
Sorry, disregard the bold part. I cannot speak for others and I can see there are others that disagree even in this thread.

=====================================
(2B)+(2B)' ?

RE: Rhyming Slang

Septic to me means a caustic, diseased personality. If DISEASE is septic, the connotation is infected, not a complement in my opinion. Infectious could be taken two ways here, but I do not think that the intent is to give a complement.

The use of "Yank", however is just a slang colloqualism, no different than "Aussie" or "Brit" in my opinion. Definitely not derrogatory to me.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
http://mmcengineering.tripod.com

RE: Rhyming Slang

Mike,
You mean "compliment" (it is the language forum). I don't like "septic" either, but consider the source. When I'm called a "Yank", I just assume ignorance and make the correction.

RE: Rhyming Slang

Mike,

Just words. No nastiness involved, or even implied. I grew up in Cornwall, the land of the infinite cousin chain (like Norfolk), so aspertions are my daily diet.

- Steve

RE: Rhyming Slang

Quote (StompingGuy)

the land of the infinite cousin chain

Is that like a West Virginia family tree - no branches? Do you go to family reunions to pick up women?

----------------------------------------

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Rhyming Slang

"Stomping"? It's "Sompting". BN15

And yeah, there's not a lot of forks in some of the family trees where I grew up.

- Steve

RE: Rhyming Slang

My wife's family goes back about 250 years in West Virginia and my side of the family settled in WV right off the boat from LimeyWorld. Some times they don't have sisters and had to ask Aunt Mom set them up with a cousin.

RE: Rhyming Slang

SomptingGuy,
On the other hand, perhaps there was too much forking around. lookaround

RE: Rhyming Slang

My wife's family can trace the family-tree back over 350 years from when their first ancestor arrived from Wales, but they seemed to have migrated to Kentucky (at least that's where her grandmother was born), which suffers from those same shallow gene-pool issues. However my sons are doing their part to deepen that pool, the oldest is married to a gal who's mother came from Korea and our middle son in engaged to a girl who immigrated (legally) from Mexico some years ago.

John R. Baker, P.E.
Product 'Evangelist'
Product Engineering Software
Siemens PLM Software Inc.
Industry Sector
Cypress, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

To an Engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

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