Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two Nations Separated By A Common Language

My sister and niece came for supper yesterday evening. We can always count on my niece to lift our spirits by saying something funny, and as usual she did not fail us. She recalled a story over three decades old, about a visit my sister's best friend made to England.

It was back in the seventies, and at the time there was a very popular unisex hair style, worn by many of the popular rock stars of the day. It was a layered cut that was known here in the US, as a shag. Now as I'm sure most of you know, in England the word shag has a totally different meaning.

While there, my sister's friend decided she needed a haircut, so she went to a local salon. While seated in the stylist's chair, the stylist asked her what she wanted. Without thinking she replied, "I'd like a long shag, with bangs." You can imagine the laughter that ensued!

Melissa XX


Jenny said...

There's a road in Calgary, Canada called Shaganappi Trail. The best I could explain it to my mother-in-law was "Perform lewd acts with a diaper" :)

You might appreciate this lady's blog:


Anonymous said...

Shag...Austin Powers' favorite word...lol.

Caroline said...

Is that what your bored mind and body are dreaming of at the moment!?

Can your body take that kind of strain just now?

To bang someone means to be "very intimate" too!

Calie said...

I love this, Melissa! Funny!

@Jenny - Even funnier!

Unknown said...

After a long flight and a longer night (we were out until 4AM in Washington DC, but that's another story), I once told my boss, while we were standing at a hotel check-in that I would "knock him up in a bit".

Fortunately he'd lived in London for a few years... :-)

Stace said...


In holland 'shag' is a type of tobacco.


Dru Marland said...

...tobacco in UK too. And a seabird, of course...

"Three queer, black, ugly birds
Too large, by far, in my belief, for cormorant or shag
Like seamen sitting bolt upright upon a half-tide reef...."

...and a form of address, male to male, regional- I've heard it used mostly by Scummers (natives of Southampton). As in "Orright, shag?"

Hello, Melissa. Just catching up on your news.

Lucy Melford said...

Yes, a US citizen could get into bad verbal trouble over here in the UK! Don't for instance go talking about your fanny. It doesn't mean the same thing here!


Melissa said...

@ Lucy

Thanks for the warning. I just looked fanny up, to get the British version. Yikes!

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

@ Jenny

My mother got a kick out of your interpretation of Shaganappi Trail. :-)

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

@ Caroline

I'm not a wanton woman.........but I do love wontons! :-)

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

@ Carolyn Ann

Good thing your boss wasn't a woman! :-)

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

@ Dru Marland

Hi Dru!

Melissa XX

Becca said...

Sounds like I will have to be careful next time I visit America!