Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hello America!

Plotting for Beginners was published in the US at the beginning of July. The US edition contains a glossary at the back for American readers. This is to explain the English phrases in the book which some of my American friends didn't understand. As I know that some of you live in the States and yet bought an English edition, I thought I'd post the American glossary here. If any British readers have any comments on my definitions, I'd love to hear them.

Glossary for American readers

p.12 Jon Snow a liberal, widely respected television news anchor

p. 17 "poxy" local paper sub-standard/ poor quality (poxy is not a polite term)

p. 19 Badedas bubbles on the aubretia bubble bath on a rockery plant

p. 19 VSO Voluntary Service Overseas - like the Peace Corps but work done overseas in developing countries

hot flushes hot flashes

p. 25 tartan trews trousers made of Scottish plaid fabric – (shows poor dress sense to wear them - in Sally’s eyes. )

p. 26 off-piste the term is a European ski-ing term – which means off the normal designated area

p. 29 John Lewis a department store found in big cities – good quality products and customer service and after care…possibly like Macy’s

spaghetti hoops are like "loops" or circles, canned spaghetti in sauce

p. 34 "Barbour" jacket a hard wearing waxed cotton waterproof jacket with lots of pockets - originally for country wear - such as for farming or shooting. Barbour is the original brand and is now the generic name for such waxed cotton coats.

p. 40 Mary Wesley a bestselling popular novelist who was first published at the age of 70

p. 71 mammoth "trug" A trug is a shallow basket for holding flowers when you're actually picking them in the garden.

p. 81 hot slog hard work

noughties refers to the first ten years of the century

p. 99 titivating making very small adjustments to improve appearance

p. 145 plumped for vouchers chose a gift certificate

p. 153 crack on continue on

p. 154 Toffos A brand of toffees/sweets

swot work hard at learning something - cram. Wendy was swotting up on her astrology for her astrology exam.

p. 155 stottie cake This is a regional type of bread - made in the north east of England. It's flat and round.

p. 156 Quilts far too much "tog" Tog is a rating of insulation

P. 165 mugging up Learning about

p. 170 jammy dodger type of cookie - round and sweet, with jam (jelly) in a hole in the middle

Corr A member of The Corrs - a band of glamorous girls who sing folk rock music

P. 175 whinge whine

p. 220 piffy on a rock bun very, very obscure north of England expression (which I adore, so I've used it in my next book Zuzu's Petals, as well.) It means "superfluous" or "out of place" - piffy is icing sugar and it's unnecessary on a rock bun.

P. 233 clobber stuff

p. 236 naff In this instance it means "in poor taste"

p. 245 Mariella Frostrup journalist and broadcaster who hosts a Radio 4 programme called Open Book

p. 251 Carol Vorderman a highly intelligent and glamorous presenter of a television programme with anagrams and maths puzzles

p. 271 Swarfega This is a well known (in England) brand of gas-based green gel which mechanics and other manual workers use to clean oil off their hands. American equivalent is Fast Orange.

p. 297 Charlotte Green a well-spoken Radio 4 newsreader with a sexy voice

p. 307 tannoy loudspeaker

p. 309 John Prescott a much lampooned politician from Hull who was Deputy Prime Minister at the time of writing.

p. 318 cossie abbreviation derived from bathing costume - i.e. swimsuit

p. 320 rammel clutter

p. 332 blagged a column Blagged means persuaded (often by bullshitting or just good salesmanship). In this case, persuaded the editor to let her write a column in the newspaper.

doddle Something that's very easy

p. 344 Tony Benn widely respected and venerable left wing Labour politician

Clare Short left wing Labour rebel, who resigned over her opposition to the Iraq war.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, makes you realise how little language we share with our American friends! Glad it's a glossary rather than changes to the text, though.

I believe spaghetti hoops are called 'spaghetti Os' in the US - something I only learned recently. xx

Unknown said...

Coming from the North I've always taken 'piffy on a rock' as waiting around for nothing/ being ignored. As in 'thanks for leaving me stood here like 'piffy on a rock'.