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Northern English Humour - Do Americans 'Get It'?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by GrumpyCabbie, Aug 24, 2011.

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  1. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    It's my understanding that some Americans enjoy, or at least are fascinated by English humour such as Monty Python and Top Gear.

    But do Americans get it and understand the humour or do they just enjoy the fact that they're confused by it?

    I've got a joke from the North of England and wonder if you get it and think it's funny? Or does it just go over your head?

    "Started my new job as a Bus Driver yesterday but it didn't go too well. This stunning blonde with huge firm tits got on and said "Are you going to Oldham?" She didn't have to ask me twice! Oh well, back to the Job Centre tomorrow"

    Just curious :D


    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldham"]Oldham - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
  2. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Oldham = between the sheets ?

    :noidea:
  3. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    I think I get most of the humor/humour, but that joke definately didn't make sense to me.
  4. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Ok, this sort of explains it...
    Urban Dictionary: Oldham
    The implication that if she's from Oldham she's loose/easy/low morals, etc.
  5. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    Maybe, but I think it's more likely Oldham = 'hold em'.
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  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    And the frog gets it*.

    (I hope it didn't hurt* ;) ).

    * it = 'it
  7. tonyrenier

    tonyrenier I grew up, but it's still red!

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    Cabby,
    I think I've said before, I used to subscribe to some British Motorcycle magazines. There were clearly times when humor was injected in articles and write-in stories and letters.
    No, I didn't get it. I wish I did. George Bernard Shaw said; "England and America are two countries separated by a common language."
    I know he's right.
    Have a good day.
    Tony
  8. Bica2go

    Bica2go New Member

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    I expect I missed the subtle British connotations, but I got a chuckle taking it as a typical blonde joke and male reaction (any where you want to go baby, who cares about my job!). Given I'm a naturally blonde female, I've heard many of these jokes over the years.

    side note: One year it was just my mom (a minister) and I together for Thanksgiving. We decided to go out to a movie - Life of Brian. We were in tears laughing so much. Fortunately for me, she explained some of the biblical twists I missed. It's a memory that always makes me smile.
  9. ursle

    ursle Gas miser

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    What she means is "are you having a mid life crisis"
    But she was using a double entendre, she was also asking if you(he) were going to the gay pride parade at Oldham...
    BTW most roads have traffic traveling in both directions.
  10. Bica2go

    Bica2go New Member

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    My dad was an engineer. He had a business trip that took him to Italy, France, Germany and the UK. As he told it, despite the language barriers, they had no problems in Italy, France or Germany. However, once they got to the UK there was a significant failure to communicate and the meetings were very frustrating.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
  11. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    I love English humor and base most of my retorts on it. The turn of a phrase, the double meanings, the quick wit. Not only the English humor but also the English dramas. I will skip over American television for a good English show any day. As a kid I watched "Are You Being Served" and through college laughed at "The Young Ones." I'm a Dr. Who and Torchwood fan who's watched every BBC production of every Shakespearean play. I've read all Dr. Holmes adventures.

    I know that I do not represent the average American (which actually speaks well for them) but I for one get it and appreciate it.
  12. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Mr Frog did get it. :eek:

    Generalising here but a lot of Northerner's miss off their 'H' so Oldham could also be 'old 'em.

    Oh and our friend Jeremy Clarkson is from the North so this could be another reason why some of his humour doesn't work t'other side of t'pond.
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  13. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    Not just Monty Python; I love Red Dwarf, Blackadder, The I.T. Crowd, The Young Ones, The Goodies, etc. etc.

    I don't like Benny Hill, though.

    Edited after qbee's post to add I got it right away, too. More Yanks would have gotten it right away, too, if you said a Cockney accent since most of us are more familiar with that.
  14. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Got it right away, but perhaps that's because I am accustomed to that sort of accent.

    Tom
  15. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    I have a collection of The Young Ones, Bottom (favorite), Saturday Live, Jeeves and Wooster, Are You Being Served, Black Adder, League of Gentlemen, etc. I enjoy the subtle turns of phrase, even when there is slapstick. The thing about Britcoms, is they spend time writing them, not just throwing some crap out and putting a laugh track on it.

    The one thing I am most curious about, however, is the British penchant for the costume walk-on. In many episodes, one of the characters merely walks on in some outrageous costume at the appropriate time, the audience breaks up, and the scene changes. Remarkable.
  16. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    I got it ... but it just isn't funny.
  17. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    We watched all the Monty Python movies in college... they were so freaking funny back then. Not so much today. :)
  18. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) Aspiring Hypocommuter.

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    This is probably a friendlier room than most in America.

    Americans and their British cousins are just about polar opposites where humor and many other things are concerned.
    We overdo everything. No understatements here.
  19. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    There were some one-liners that got great laughs on English tv that wouldn't make it past the American censors these days. Case in point: Neil from "The You Ones" walks across the living room with a full-size cross over his shoulder, dragging behind him. The two guys in the scene stop whatever conversation they were having and stare at him. He stops and says in his dry, depressed manner, "don't try crucifixion for suicide; you can never get that last nail." Then he just continues plodding out of the scene and the other two pick up exactly where they left off.
    3 people like this.
  20. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Eeek I hope this was some time ago :eek:

    One thing I have noticed about my American customers (and I take quite a few due to a local US Airforce Base) is that they can appear to be very blunt, bordering on rude.

    Example; "Take me to the airport" or "Gimme one of those". Whereas a Brit would usually say "Could you take me.." or "Can I have one of those please". Anyone not using please, thank you, could or would when asking for something will end up with a very very curt response and/or very poor service.

    Tipping is not expected here but manners are. Pehaps an American cabbie or service worker would be happy to ignore lack of manners in exchange for a tip? A British cabbie or waiter not expecting a tip and thus nothing to lose, may be tempted to offer substandard service instead?

    Now I know Americans are not trying to be rude and will open up and be very friendly once they start chatting. Unfortunately not everyone has the same regular exposure to our American friends as I and maybe that's where the misunderstandings occur? :(
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