In preparation for our trip across the pond, Lady Suzanne and I watched a couple of travel DVDs. We just had to laugh at the overuse of the word “quintessential” in describing British landmarks, traditions, and customs. It turns out that the laugh was on us! Upon arriving in England, it didn't take us long before we caught ourselves using the word to describe what we were seeing and hearing.
Three quintessentially quintessential phrases used more than a brolly (a.k.a. umbrella) on a typical day in England – and now enduringly recorded in my American mind – are:
“Mind the gap”
“Mind the gap” is a direction we heard innumerable times in the tube (subway). Basically, it means to watch your step and not fall down the crack between the platform and the train. Though I've always said “watch your step,” I believe the word "mind" is more, well, mindful. I mean, it's one thing to watch and see, it's quite another to be mindful and do.
Most everything in England is “lovely.” Lovely means everything thing from very an enjoyable or pleasant event (as in “Oh, what a lovely war.”), sensory quality of something, thank you, or even something that you're completely annoyed about (as in “Lovely, the tube is flooded and I'll have to walk 52 blocks to the hotel!”).
All and all, I believe that I will mind my language and use “lovely” more often. Above is a photo or the first KMSA coaster being displayed in an English pub (our first stop in London). Lovely!
Finally, “No worries” (is Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman British?).
This phrase seems to be used for saying that you will be able to do something easily or also as a response to a seeming unpleasant event (as in “I'm sorry I accidentally jabbed my brolly into your groin.” “No worries!”)
I love the phrase “No worries” and will bloody well try to use it more often.
“Bloody well”? (I'll have to defer to Sir Dayvd on the use of “bloody” in his language).
Bloddy hell, look what time it is. Time to get off my arse and sally forth with my day!
I hope you found this little blog to be lovely. If not, no worries.
Sir Bowie “off to mind the gap” of Greenbriar