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DICKS – American vs British

October 27, 2014


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Oh yeah, DICKS. We haven’t done one of these in a while. Let’s do one now!


Don’t be afraid of the hanja! In the video we didn’t really explain too much about what hanja are; hanja are Korean words that come from Chinese characters. Nowadays people just spell everything out using 한글 but in our parents’ generation, newspapers still used hanja and you wouldn’t be able to read a book without knowing several thousand characters. That’s right I said thousand, which makes them super scary sounding.

And they are scary. They’re complicated looking. And many of them are confusingly similar. But they’re also really elegant, and interesting, and if you kinda sorta generally know about them, they’ll make your life loads easier.

For example, in the video, we taught you that 방학 is the word for the kind of vacations (holidays?) Korean students take. We also learned another word for vacation, “휴가” which is when you take off time from work. That 휴 in 휴가 is also hanja, which looks like 休 and means to rest. If you know that, it makes remembering all these other words that use the 休 hanja a scrillion times easier.

휴학 is a gap year, or a semester taken off school. 휴 means rest, and 학 means school, so 휴학 literally means “rest from school”
연휴 is a long or holiday weekend
휴게소 literally means resting place, like pit stop on the road. 소 means place, like how the word for laundromat (laundrette?) is 빨래 + 소, which means “laundry place”
휴무 means day off, or when a place will be closed

See what I mean? Hanja is cool, right? And it’s even cooler on account of our epic hanja hats, amirite? Yes? Hello? Are you guys still there?

We’re not really sure if y’all are interested in hanja. Since you can live your life in Korean just fine without ever learning a single one, maybe we should pitch our hanja hats and forget this ever happened. What do you think? More hanja? No hanja? Let us know.

Even More British-isms

Speaking of pitching things, there are loads of words we wanted to share that didn’t make the final cut. We got a bit carried away and filmed about 30 minutes of this, but sent most of it to the bin. “The bin” (and the whole concept of binning your rubbish) is one of them, since Americans don’t bin things, they throw them away. In the trash. Maybe in a trash can. But never just a can. Or a bin. We also don’t hoot our car horns. We honk them. And who hoovers their carpets, besides the British? Do the Aussies also hoover? Or do you vacuum like everybody else? What about queuing? Or using torches? Do you use aerials or antenna?

There are a few phrases we’re not so sure about either. Apparently British people can “be pulled up” or can “do a bunk,” whatever that means. I swear, we’re not “having you on.” And we hear that in England even ladies can “knock up,” but in America only men can knock you up, and usually only when shagging (which we also don’t really do). We bone, or boink, or schtupp, or do each other, or maybe even make love, but we definitely don’t shag. Shag is a kind of carpet.

Still, you guys taught us lots of lots of great slang from all over the UK that should totally be part of Americans’ vernaculars. If you liked this episode, let us know, and hopefully we can do another one in the future. We didn’t even talk about accents! Suiyoubii told us we can’t do an accent episode without talking about the Geordies, which means if you want to hear us butcher the Geordie accent in the future, you definitely need to subscribe, so you won’t miss it. Click the button below to make it happen!



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Korean Slang


DICKS – American vs British


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  1. I know so much food stuff, because I’m a cook!
    So like you get fish and chips- chips are french fries in England. Chips are thinly sliced potatoes that are fried in US. Oh, those thinly sliced fried potatoes that you get in US? In the UK they are called crisps. Whaaaaa. Also, the other one I know is cookie vs biscuit. To the US and probably Canada, a cookie is a sweet snack hopefully without raisins that is flat and round, and a biscuit is something savory and fluffy. In UK cookies are referred to as biscuits, and I believe sometimes what I think of as a biscuit is called a scone (and US scones are usually triangular breakfast/tea pastries). How crazy!

    As far as other slang goes- I work in kitchens, and I hear a lot of Spanish (Mexican) slang. I can try to get those figured out (like how to spell them because my Spanish isn’t the best) for you guys if you want. It’s a lot of names to call people basically. Lots of dick jokes. So many dick jokes. I love it. If you want to learn some nasty Spanish or even English slang, just work in a kitchen.

    6 years ago
    • I’m studying linguistics at the moment… Found this info before…

      “What’s the difference between biscuits & cookies?
      Excellent question! The answer is an interesting buffet of linguistics, history, and technology.
      The original term “biscuit” derives from the Latin “bis coctus,” or “twice baked.”
      Ancient Roman armies were issued biscuits as part of their rations. Small cakes and delicate wafers were gradually added to the family of biscuits. In most English-speaking countries, the traditional definition of biscuit remains. But in the United States the term “biscuit” was reassigned to denote a small, soft, quick-leavened bread product served piping hot.

      According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “biscuit” debuted in the 14th century. Primary definition here:
      “Biscuit: 1. a. A kind of crisp dry bread more or less hard, prepared generally in thin flat cakes. The essential ingredients are flour and water, or milk, without leaven; but confectionery and fancy biscuits are very variously composed and flavoured.

      The OED states “cookie” was introduced to the English language during the 18th century via the Dutch:
      “Cookie: 1. a. In Scotland the usual name for a baker’s plain bun; in U.S. usually a small flat sweet cake (a biscuit in U.K.), but locally a name for small cakes of various form with or without sweetening. Also S. Afr. and Canada.”

      So Why do Americans choose “cookies” over “biscuits?”
      The answer to this is probably twofold: (1) Early Dutch heritage and (2) Revolutionary tradition of separating from “all things British.”

      Also in terms of Chips / French Fries….. In England Chips are usually quite thick. So a lot of people call the very thin McDonald’s type ones “Fries” and the fat English ones “Chips”

      6 years ago
  2. Something that I’ve noticed is that English words written in Korean are spelt with an American accent. Take 크레용팝 for instance. That, 팝, part would definitely be spelt differently if it was say, in a British accent.

    6 years ago
    • And Teen Top. Transliterated literally, it’s Teen Tap, which made me laugh the first time I saw the name.

      6 years ago
  3. It would be cool to talk about acronym slang in America like MILF (mother i’d like to fuck) or bae (before anyone else- used like the term baby). Also dating/relationship terms like rain check, sugar daddy, or a ‘thing.’ I guess item or going steady are worth learning but a bit outdated. Oh, and this may be too nastyy but you could also talk about how the word fuck can be used as any type of word in the english language i.e. noun, adjective, verb. Is there a korean word that can be used as any type of word as well?

    6 years ago
  4. People do learn how to drive manual in Korea. The only way you can get a licence (or ‘license’ in American) only knowing how to drive automatic is if you have a 2종 보통 licence, where you get tested using small cars. The people you see getting tested with the slightly bigger vehicles are for 1종 보통 licence, which is only for manual transmission. I don’t know the stats but at least when I got my 1종 보통 licence some years ago, the majority of people applied for this category meaning that most Korean drivers at least took their tests driving manual. I think women are more likely to apply for 2종 보통 though, which only requires knowing how to drive automatic. Technically you can also get a 2종 보통 licence for manual transmission, but I think this is very rare.

    6 years ago
  5. England is the only country in the world to use the word pineapple :) everywhere else they are called ananas and similar words to that.


    5 years ago
  6. Flat is used in parts of America, too. It USUALLY refers to apartments in duplexes and converted-to-multi-family homes. Big parts of the older cities in the US have a lot of 2 and 3 story homes that have been converted into multi-unit dwellings.

    Lots of people in America still drive manual trans cars and trucks – mostly older ones now, though. I miss driving stick, but, the Filipina Bride can’t so we’ve been buying automatics.

    Filipino’s often call the toilet a “CR” or comfort room.

    My wife calls a whole lot of small crackers, breads, cookies, and rolls as “biscuits”.

    5 years ago
  7. I have a friend from England who told us that “spunk” means “sperm” in British English. That was definitely not what we had intended when saying that someone was spunky!

    6 years ago
  8. “…newspapers still used hanja and you wouldn’t be able to read a book without knowing several thousand characters. That’s right I said thousand, which makes them super scary sounding. And they are scary. They’re complicated looking. And many of them are confusingly similar.”

    Welcome to my life lol. I was planning to learn Korean or Japanese after I finished with Chinese, but it kind of never ends.

    6 years ago
  9. I agree with Harriet Elizabeth. Her response was exactly what I was thinking when I was watching.
    I was actually really interested to watch the video and check out the comparisons but the majority of it felt like it was just ‘taking the piss out of’ (there’s another English phrase – in American English “making fun of”) English terms. Pulling screwed up faces every time the English term was presented like it’s stupid and asking “Why!?”
    I’d never even heard of the term “perambulator” – after looking it up on google – it says it is an old-fashioned term. In my whole life I’ve only ever heard and used the term Pram.
    And I agree about the accent – it’s so witless and weird because I’ve never even heard anyone talk like that in England, only an extremely small percentage of the entire population speak like the queen. It would be like if an English person made a video that looks like they are generalising that the majority of Americans spoke like they were from the deep south. Of course, America has many different diverse and wonderful accents, and we do too in England, even though we are only a wee (small) island. The “Geordie” accent was referenced above.
    Noticing the differences is fine and dandy but we should enjoy the differences in our languages and dialects.
    It reminds me of a fantastic podcast by our national treasure Stephen Fry.
    OK finished rant lol. Just seems like something I have come across so many times over the past few years of travelling around.

    6 years ago
  10. I’m from New Zealand but I lived in Australia for the first half of my childhood, so some I use some Australian words as well as New Zealand words. Here we use more British English than American English, but some of our words are completely unique as well…

    -Swimsuits in New Zealand are called ‘togs’. In Australia I called them ‘swimmers’ or ‘bathers’.
    -Flip-flops in New Zealand are called ‘jandals’. In Australia they are ‘thongs’but in New Zealand (and pretty much everywhere else) a thong is a g-string!
    -In regards to sneakers vs trainers, I actually say ‘runners’, as in running shoes. I think I picked it up in Australia, but I have never ever heard someone else call them that.

    And some naughty ones ;P

    -In America if you are supporting someone you say “I’m rooting for you!” but in New Zealand and Australia ‘rooting’ is another way of saying having sex!
    -In America ‘fanny’ is the butt, but in New Zealand and British English in general it is female genitals.

    6 years ago
  11. There is not even a thing like a license for just automatic driving in most european countries XD In Germany everyone has to learn to drive manual cars, the reason is very simple…. whoever can drive a manual can also drive automatic, because its so freaking easy lol

    5 years ago
  12. Wow! This one’s really interesting and entertaining!! great job Sozee and Leigh!!!

    6 years ago
  13. This was really fun XD since I spent a semester abroad in both Korea and England (and now live in Korea, but still have lots of friends from the UK) it was super interesting. I knew all of ’em. ^^

    Also, most interesting slang I learned from my friend from Scotland: washing up powder. And washing up liquid (aka: laundry detergent and dish washing soap).

    6 years ago
  14. You guys didn’t even get into the whole cookies and crackers thing!

    6 years ago
  15. The number of ways you can say that you’re drunk in Australian-English is truly staggering. You can be munted, maggoted, hammered, marinated, plastered, pissed, on the piss, off your face… the list goes on.

    6 years ago
  16. Hi! Girls! I wanted to leave you an article about Mexican phrases which can be really weird but make perfect sense here hahhahaha Saludos desde México :3


    6 years ago
    • These are hysterical! My brother in law taught me chacharas, which I really wish there was an English language equivalent for. Thanks for sharing :D

      6 years ago
  17. Hey guys, here is a link to a great quiz that will pinpoint your American dialect. It is rather interesting to look at the possible responses – I’ve lived in the US my whole life and I’d never even heard of about half these words/phrases! I’d love to see a video in a similar fashion that goes into differences in slang in Korea based on region. Thanks for the great content :)

    6 years ago
    • I second this test! I’ve taken it a few times (it asks a few different questions each time) and it’s always fairly accurate! It’s pretty cool.

      6 years ago
  18. Even if you are in the US, there are differences between Norther and Southern words. For example, people in the South people call paper bag: a sack, or soft drink: pop. Heck, some Southerners call every soft drink a Coke.

    6 years ago