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Bangs vs. Fringe Login/Join
 
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Picture of Caterwauller
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Here in the States, we call the short hairs over our foreheads bangs. The Brits call it fringe. What is the origin of Bangs? Anyone know?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting, CW. I hadn't known that the Brits call them "fringe!" Some "bangs" are definitely "fringe-like," while others, those side bangs for example, are hardly "fringe-like" to me.

I found this on etymology.com about the possible origin of "bangs:"

"Bangs of hair first recorded 1878, Amer.Eng., though 1870 of horses (bang-tail), perhaps from notion of abruptness"

You Brits never say "bangs?"
 
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Some Americanisms are familiar, and even in use here, but not 'bangs'. I wouldn't expect people to know what it meant.
 
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Picture of Hic et ubique
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Richard, is your wife so coiffed?

I'm thinking of when you moved into your present home. That would be (ahem) when you took her out to Surrey with the fringe on top.

[You may now commence groaning.]
 
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Interesting, aput. I surely wouldn't have understood "fringe" either, as applied to hair. Now, are there different types of 'fringe?' For example, we have 'wispy bangs' or 'angled bangs' or 'curly bangs.'
 
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Hic,
Thanks for allowing me to sing privately all the words from my most favorite song in "Oklahoma"... Smile

I have no fringe!
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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It all started when the girl in Oklahoma ate gunpowder. Her hair grew out in bangs.

Now, shufitz, what was that you said about groaning? Roll Eyes
 
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My wife does have a fringe, yes. But we moved from Surrey to another part of Surrey. Now we're moving to Sussex.

Incidentally, isn't it interesting just how many forms of transport take their names from people and places?


Richard English
 
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I seem to remember a Human Resources observation by an old time comedian, something about "having fringes on her benefits."


RJA
 
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Robert, we have missed you. You must change your schedule so that we can see more of you! Wink

My wife does have a fringe

A fringe? Not just fringe? That's strange. I think of a sweater or an afghan as having "fringe," not a "fringe."
 
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quote:
I think of a sweater or an afghan as having "fringe," not a "fringe."
We'd say "having a fringe", or perhaps "fringed".


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.
 
Posts: 10941 | Location: LondonReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've followed this thread with great interest because this first came up in a conversation I had with CW. She referred to 'bangs' and I was completely clueless as to what she was on about. The differences in our use of English I find very amusing and no doubt there will be other threads established in the future as we continue to baffle each other.
 
Posts: 291 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I originally thought that bangs were pigtails, but isn't that bunches? If not, what do Americans call pigtails and ponytails?

And incidentally, why 'bangs'? I can see the logic of fringe, as certain fringes (the typical straight hair covering the forehead springs to mind) look like the fringe on a rug, jumper / sweater, or whatever. But I can't see a logic behind bangs - is there one? When I see the word, I think of those little paper bangers that explode when you throw them on the floor - great fun!
 
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Well I have no idea why they're called bangs over here - that's why I posted!

We call pigtails and ponytails . . . um . . . pigtails and ponytails!


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Well I have no idea why they're called bangs over here - that's why I posted!
Yeah, good point - I read your original post when it first appeared, and didn't re-read it before I posted Roll Eyes.
 
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The differences in our use of English I find very amusing
Doad, be sure to see our thread on British/American differences. We have had a lot of fun with the differences. I think my favorite is that you call the trunk of your car the "boot," and the hood the "bonnet."

As for your question, CW, this is hilarious. I put "bangs/etymology" in Google and guess what the second site is? Wordcraft! BTW, we are the 4th site for my favorite word..."epicaricacy."

Anyway, the first site for "bangs" is Maven's Word of the Day, and they say that it may come from "bangtail," which is a horse's tail trimmed horizontally so that it will lie flat. Now the origin of "bangtail," they say, may be the adverbial sense of the word meaning "suddenly, abruptly, completely, or directly." Maven's says that either "bangs" come from this adverbial use of "bang" or from "bangtail" which itself comes from this adverbial use.
 
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I put "bangs/etymology" in Google


Oh yes! Looking it up! I don't know why I don't look up more things. I guess it's a busman's holiday for me to research when I'm home. Besides, it's more fun to raise the question here and have you all banty about!


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Oh yes! Looking it up! I don't know why I don't look up more things.

That sounds so funny coming from a librarian! Wink
 
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Kalleh:
Doad, be sure to see our thread on British/American differences.


I had no idea you had a thread going on that so I either missed it or it's not on this page and I haven't yet worked out how to find it. Oddly enough I suggested a thread like that on a posting I made just a short time ago so I feel a bit of a prat now, Roll Eyes
 
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Here's a link to that thread.
 
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Thanks for that, it was indeed very funny. I especially liked the one that highlighted the fact that Americans didn't say Jaguar correctly because I always laugh at that American pronunciation when it comes up in American films.

Although it's abit 'off topic' from bangs and fringes, could somebody tell me why Americans insist on grouping the words 'off' and 'of' in a sentence?

Example: 'Get off of the table'

Why not just say 'Get off the table'
 
Posts: 291 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Get off of the table" vs. "Get off the table"

Well. . . "Get off the table" does seem more proper, but I do say "Get out of the car." Is that the same thing?

I know what you're getting at. Our local newspaper drives me crazy with its improper sentence structure, redundancy, etc. Maybe I can find some examples to post. The trouble is, I never know whether they're doing it on purpose, or it's just another mistake.
 
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Good point, Sunflower, about saying "out the car." Is that what you Brits say? I might say to the cat, for example, "Get off of the table" or "Get off that table." Now I'm not so sure...I will have to listen to myself! Roll Eyes

so I feel a bit of a prat now

That phrase is new to me. In looking it up "prat" is slang for "buttocks." Is it like calling someone an "ass" (arse)?
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I feel a bit of a prat now, Roll Eyes


I thought that was Boris Karloff who was a Pratt. Wasn't that his real nom de famille?

PS Kalleh: Have you never heard of a pratfall? I bet you have! Smile
 
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Originally posted by Sunflower:
"Get off of the table" vs. "Get off the table"

I've always heard it, "Get off the table, Mabel; the two bits is for the beer". Of course, two bits won't buy much these days.

Tinman
 
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Because "out of" is one preposition just "into" is.

I'm no expert on US English but maybe there "off of" is considered as one preposition corresponding to "onto".

Actually while no-one from the UK is likely to say "get off of the table" there's a good chance you'll hear "Get down off the table." and even "Get up onto the table."
 
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Yup, nothing wrong with the preposition out of. Nothing wrong with the preposition out. Just another one of those pseudo-problems that grammar mavens are so fond of. Some prepositions, orthographically, are written as a single word, (e.g., into, onto) and others are still written as separate words. It's also interesting that some of the prepositions may just be verbal particles (e.g., get down, get off) and can be used by themselves.
 
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Some more on off of's more famous cousin out of.

Some famous American authors who have used out of in their writing:

King Alfred: "Hie aforan ut af þære byrig." Orosius, ca.893.

Wm. Shakespeare: "These English are shrowdly out of Beefe." Henry V, 1599.

The OED (first edition) has an entry for out of that nearly fills a folio page. Many other English writers are cited. In fact, the rather short entry for the preposition out simply cross-references the out of entry for its meaning. The earliest use of out as a preposition cited is 1250. Seems it's the part of speech upstart. Some obsolete, double-barrel prepositions (or rather as the OED analyzes them adverb plus preposition) are down of and up of.

Then there's off to as in "He went off to sea."

Fun!
 
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Quoth the persnickety child questioning the adult's selection for bed-time reading:

"What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of up for?"
 
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Thank you so much everyone for such a strong response to my query about 'off of', if I'd known it would get half that response I would have chosen it to be the first thread I started! Still, easy to be wise after the event.
 
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I still want to know more about prat.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is the best I can do at the moment. It could be seen as a derivative of the word 'prate' and therefore suggests that what I said was mere prattle and therefore not worth listening to. It may also be defined as 'a fool, an ineffectual person' as it appears in my dictionary. The term also crops up in Shakespeares 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' in the form of Mother Prat. For this small contribution my thanks go to Luke Richards and Lee Nolan (aged 12) who researched this for me during their detention. They are now far more educated than they were!
 
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Letting your hobby leak into real life?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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The term also crops up in Shakespeares 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' in the form of Mother Prat.

It also crops up in the (often omitted) last verse of the following famous rhyme:

The Blind Men and the Elephant

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“ ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Moral:

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
 
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I"ve told a similar story to the children at the library many times, but didn't know about the poem. Thanks for sharing it, neveu!


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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For this small contribution my thanks go to Luke Richards and Lee Nolan (aged 12) who researched this for me during their detention. They are now far more educated than they were!

You must be a great teacher! What a great bit of detention research. Actually, I was surprised to hear that you call it detention in England too.

I remember once our we commented that we were irritated that the waitress didn't give us water with our meal. Our know-it-all daughter (about 12) said, "Well, that's because if they give everyone water, there will be a water shortage." Her very smart father asked her to research and write a paper for him on whether restaurants offering water at meals will decrease the water supply. Of course the answer was no, but she learned a lot along the way!
 
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[/QUOTE]
Actually, I was surprised to hear that you call it detention in England too.


I am curious to know why you would be surprised by this. What did you think we would call it?
 
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Well that's just the dilemna, Doad! What the hell WOULD you call it? Y'all have just whacked-out words for things, there is no way to predict.


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Now, CW...down girl! Wink

The fact is, many of our terms are so different that I was surprised you called it the same thing. I mean, we have elementary, junior high, and high school; you don't. We have undergraduate and graduate school; you don't. I just thought "detention" would be called something like "internment" or something.

Do you call college teachers professors?
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I just thought "detention" would be called something like "internment" or something.


Sounds like gaol to me! Wink
 
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But of all the dislocations between English and American, my favorite is the "everyone-take-one-step-to-the-left" string of:

marmalade/preserve/jam/jelly


RJA
 
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Oh, and curd...


RJA
 
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Whey is that, RA? Smile
 
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Don't forget jello (it's not just for bath tubs anymore!)


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Some of my pupils have found great amusement in hearing about the American habit of eating 'jello' with virtually everything. A lot of what you seem to eat we find very odd. In comparison to Americans I think the British approach to jelly/jam etc. is far more straightforward.
 
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I hope our respected colleague Doad is seated, when I reveal yet another culinary horror.

In the US, especially the midwest, a concoction of Jello(TM) compounded with various fruits, vegetables and plant matter, is called "salad."


RJA
 
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I haven't eaten jello in over two decades. I only approach jellies and jams when they are in their respective jars. In the wild, they are far two frisky and liable to get on your clothes. On the other hand, when I first visited the UK in 1976, its cuisine was world-famous for its straightforward non-oddness. Spotted dick, bubble and squeak, black pudding, fried tomatoes and baked beans for breakfast, kippers, etc.
 
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The thought of someone eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich has always filled me with horror. I'm sure it's very nice, but not for me...

One British food that is truly delicious is a trifle, although not made the way Rachel did in Friends, with a layer of minced meat...


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.
 
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One British food that is truly delicious is a trifle, although not made the way Rachel did in Friends, with a layer of minced meat...


It's surprising that for a nation that eats so much jello with virtually everything that trifle is new to them. I recently had this conversation with CW and was so horrified by her ignorance of trifle that I immediately went out, bought one and promptly posted it off (I hope you enjoy it).

The other thing that surprised me about the jello-obsessed Americans is that they don't appear to have Blackcurrant flavoured jelly. In fact, blackcurrant as a flavour doesn't appear very often in American life at all. No trifle, no blackcurrant jelly, what an uncivilised lot!
 
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Doad: If you are in the posting business...

I used to be able to get a good steak and kidney pie at the grocer "Food of All Nations" on Long Island (near NYC). I've searched the 'Net but not found a purveyor. Any suggestions?


RJA
 
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