Discussion » Nonsense » How to talk like a Brit

  • Time Out Beijing
    Time Out Beijing wrote:
    <p><a href="http://bit.ly/iNQaVy"><img src="http://img.timeoutbeijing.com/201104/20110425123921353_Medium.jpg" alt="" width="482" height="298" /></a></p> <p><strong>Spend a penny</strong></p> <p><strong>Meaning: </strong>I need to leave so I can urinate.</p> <p><strong>Usage: </strong>&lsquo;Crikey, this tea&rsquo;s going right through me. Back in a minute &ndash; I need to spend a penny.&rsquo;</p> <p><strong>Explanation: </strong>Hurrah! We actually have a concrete origin for this one. Back in the distant past of the 20<sup>th</sup> century, British ladies&rsquo; toilets (not the men&rsquo;s &ndash; that&rsquo;ll teach <em>them</em> to demand the vote) had coin-operated doors that would literally cost one penny to unlock. The first recorded usage is in the 1945 Hilda Lewis&rsquo;s book <em>Strange Story</em>: &lsquo;&ldquo;Us girls,&rsquo; she said, &lsquo;are going to spend a penny!&rsquo;&rdquo; The practice is still in use in some places in the UK today &ndash; usually in train stations and the like &ndash; although both sexes are usually charged these days, and it now costs around 20 pence to &lsquo;spend a penny&rsquo;&hellip;</p> <p><strong>Chinese equivalent: </strong>我得嘘嘘去 (<em>Wo dei xu xu qu</em>; &lsquo;I need to go whistling.&rsquo;)</p> <p><strong>Literal translation: </strong>花一便士 (<em>Hua yi bian shi</em>; &lsquo;Spend a penny&hellip;&rsquo;)</p> <p><a href="http://bit.ly/iNQaVy">Read more here</a>!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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