Friday, September 30, 2005

English As She Is Spoke: Two New Expressions

In a hilarious NY Times story about English lottery-winning petty criminal Michael Carroll, I learned two great new expressions:

Chav. The Times gives a wordy explanation of its meaning, but I think it boils down to "English trailer trash," without the trailers of course -- Brit's don't have 'em. (They live in Council houses -- public housing -- instead.) Look at the Times' photo of Carroll and his house and you'll get the idea. But as Carroll demonstrates, you don't actually have to be poor to be a chav -- just tasteless and rude. If Jeff Foxworthy can change his accent, he may have a second career awaiting him on the other side of the pond.

Council-house facelift. I love this one: it's what you call a really, really tight ponytail often worn by women living in public housing. In America, I notice that this style is favored by female gymnasts, often accompanied by a stiff, poufy forelock and a lot of face glitter.

Read the whole thing.

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