The Night Watch: 1940s vocabulary

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The Night Watch: 1940s vocabulary

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1lorannen
jun 1, 2015, 12:00pm

In addition to being set in the 40s, the vocabulary in The Night Watch is also appropriately dated—things like using "lino" for linoleum, etc. Were there any terms you learned or had to look up as you read?

2Cynfelyn
jun 1, 2015, 2:26pm

Sorry? "Lino", a dated word? No more dated than the product. I'd be surprised to hear someone say "linoleum" when they meant "lino". This is more likely to be yet another difference between UK and US English than dated vocabulary.

3mark.h.gregory
jun 2, 2015, 10:48am

Let us not forget that we are in post WWII London and that the vocabulary reflects that. However i am an anglophile with a sharp interest in the history of WWII and the early 20th century. Vocabulary has not been challenging as such.

4TimSharrock
jun 2, 2015, 1:23pm

>2 Cynfelyn: Yes, as another UK resident, Lino is the natural word for the product

5lorannen
Redigeret: jun 2, 2015, 8:04pm

>2 Cynfelyn: and >4 TimSharrock: Fair enough. I perhaps picked a bad example. I recognized it after a minute, but there were a couple of other instances where I didn't immediately pick up what was being talked about.

Is referring to "sponging" a jacket a similar American/Brit English split? That was a new one for me. I knew what was meant, but I'd never heard that turn of phrase before.

ETA for clarity: the phrase is used in a way that seems to mean cleaning a jacket, and as part of a routine of getting dressed for an event.

6Cynfelyn
jun 2, 2015, 5:46pm

A person can be a sponger, imposing on another person's generosity (US panhandling?), but personally I wouldn't use sponge as an active verb, so if I've got the intended sense, "sponging a jacket" doesn't sound right at all. I might perhaps use cadge instead.

7KayEluned
jun 3, 2015, 12:33pm

> 5 & 6 - In the UK, both now and in the 1940's, the word sponging can indeed mean 'imposing on another person's generosity' but it is also commonly used to mean cleaning something. So if you dropped egg on your tie you would sponge it off.

8TimSharrock
jun 3, 2015, 12:55pm

7> yes, I would be happy to use it today it that sense

9LynnB
jun 6, 2015, 10:13am

I was surprised they used Vim to clean the walls. I have some in my cupboard, and didn't realize it had been around that long.

10TimSharrock
jun 6, 2015, 11:25am

1904 according to Wikipedia :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vim_(cleaning_product)