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Handy

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July 11, 2006, 20:52
Beth
Handy
This just in from my husband via a German colleague in an international company: maybe someone else has heard of it and knows the origin. In Germany, a cell phone is called a handy, clearly an English word and not a German one, yet I know of no English-speaking place in which that term is used. Does anyone have a clue as to the origins of this?
July 12, 2006, 19:36
Kalleh
We have several here who know German. How's about it, guys? In the meantime, I found this "Handy" Glossary.
July 12, 2006, 20:12
Seanahan
I believe the term "hand-held" has been used as a synonym for cellular phones.
July 13, 2006, 06:58
zmježd
Another English word not used by anglophones is beamer for (LCD) projector. (I always thought handy 'mobile phone' came from the English adjective handy 'ready to hand'.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
July 13, 2006, 10:24
Beth
quote:
Originally posted by zmjezhd:
(I always thought handy 'mobile phone' came from the English adjective handy 'ready to hand'.)


I think you are probably right, but what I would like to know is how the Germans got started using it, since they clearly didn't pick it up from an Anglo country. That is what seems so odd to me. Likewise with beamer. Who/where do these things come from? An English-speaking native? Magic? What?
July 25, 2006, 15:16
neveu
Here in northern CA beamer means a BMW.
July 25, 2006, 17:10
zmježd
Here in northern CA beamer means a BMW.

Yes, my German friends laughed nervously when I told them that. They were astonished that beamer was not a proper English word.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
July 29, 2006, 07:48
Beth
quote:
Originally posted by zmjezhd:
They were astonished that beamer was not a proper English word.


Yes, that's what my husband reported about handy as well. The Germans had just assumed that we all called our cell phones that.
July 29, 2006, 12:40
Richard English
Of course, in England we don't call them cell phones, although we'd know what that means. We refer to them as "mobiles".


Richard English
July 29, 2006, 21:46
zmježd
we don't call them cell phones

Well, technically, there is a difference between a cell phone and a mobile phone.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
July 31, 2006, 10:00
Richard English
quote:
Well, technically, there is a difference between a cell phone and a mobile phone.

Which is...?


Richard English
July 31, 2006, 10:16
zmježd
Which is...?

The earliest mobile phones (aka car phones) did not use cellular network technology.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
July 31, 2006, 10:49
Richard English
True. Which is why I prefer the expression "mobile" since is describes any type of mobile phone, not just cellphones.


Richard English
August 01, 2006, 02:58
arnie
According to Wikipedia "handy" is
quote:
a German pseudo-anglicism for a mobile phone; the term may have originated from the term 'hand held transceiver' or Motorola's Handie-Talkie, a World War II portable military radio; reappeared as a slang term for mobile phones in Germany in the mid-1980s, and was popularised there by advertising campaigns for miniature GSM phones in the 1990s



Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
August 02, 2006, 06:30
zmježd
Motorola's Handie-Talkie

Intereesting. I've heard of a walkie-talkie, but not a handie-talkie. Seems that walkie-talkie was an earlier name for what became known as the handie-talkie (or SCR-300-A). And today, one of the soldiers carries a rugged laptop.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.