December 8, 2014 § 43 Comments
It is kind of complicated every time I meet an English person. They sound funny right away and I always try to guess where they’re from and I’m always wrong. I figure it’s got to be one of the former English colonies like South Africa, New Zealand, Austria, or even England itself, but I always pick wrong and the person is always mildly annoyed.
Then when they say they’re English I try to show that I’m a knowledgeable fellow and so I say, “Oh, really? What part?”
Then they get this look like “This bloke [that’s an English word meaning ‘fellow’] isn’t going to have a clue where my little corner of England is,” but they go ahead and tell me in order to be polite, somewhere like Leeds, or Glasgow, or Cardiff, or Dublin or one of the other major cities in England.
Of course I’m never sure where any of those places are so then they’re still trying to be polite and they’re like, “So have you ever been to the U.K.?” and I’m always like, “No,” and I explain how I’m not good with foreign languages and I’m always too embarrassed to ask them what’s the difference between the United Kingdom and Man United.
It’s also pretty awkward when I ask them what’s their favorite football team (that’s to show I know it’s not called “soccer” in England) because they kind of already know I don’t know anything about it and it’s probably the 400th time this conversation has happened this week, usually at the checkout stand or while buying some coffee, but most of the time I don’t tell them that I’m related to the queen.
However, one guy I sometimes ride with, Nancy, really can’t stand English people. “Fucking I hate ’em,” Nancy will sometimes say if an English dude shows up on a ride. Of course he tends to say that to anyone new, but he specializes in English people because the ones that hang out over here tend to be complete badasses on the bike and they drop him immediately, which he doesn’t much care for.
“Really? How come?” I asked him one day.
“Fucking arrogant bastards, that’s why.”
“Arrogant about what?”
“Fucking act like they invented the fucking language.”
“Well, didn’t they?” I asked.
That didn’t sit very well with Nancy. “They act like they fucking know everything,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said, “I kind of see where you’re coming from. But you know, they have a pretty badass tradition of being, you know, pretty smart.”
“Smart about what?” he snarled.
“Not that it’s a lot, but you know, Shakespeare, Dickens, the first novel, pretty much all the books worth reading in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries that weren’t written by Mark Twain, and I’m pretty sure they discovered DNA, oh, and the Rolling Stones.”
Nancy got livid. “The Rolling Stones? Those fuckers stole our music!”
“Fuck yeah! They just ripped off our American blues masters and commercialized it!” Nancy is super white.
“You mean the music of the black Americans who Elvis ripped off and commercialized?”
“Yeah!” he yelled.
“Seems to me that the English did what everyone else was doing on that score, they just did it better.”
“What the hell are you? Some English lover? I bet you drink tea.” About this time a group of riders pedaled by in the other direction.
“Man, that’s a pretty big group of wankers,” I said, trying to change the topic.
Nancy went ballistic. “Don’t you ever use that stupid fucking word around me again!” he screeched. “Do you even know what it means? It’s English talk for a jerk-off! It’s the worst thing a British person can say about someone! I hate that fucking word and now it’s everywhere because somebody on a stupid fucking moronic blog started using it like a cutesy word and now it’s wanker this and wanker that and wank the other and it makes me so sick I could kill someone! It’s like calling everyone ‘cum-face.’ You think that’s cute? Plus it’s English and it makes me fucking sick so for fuck’s sake don’t ever use that word again!”
Nancy’s veins from his excessive drinking had popped out all over his face and teeth and he was shivering from anti-imperialistic fervor. About this time Rodley pedaled up, as we had stopped at a red light so that Nancy could take his seizure pills. Rodley is the nicest guy you will ever meet. He put his foot down and smiled the friendliest smile. “Hey, wankers!” he said. “What’s up?”
I’m not sure what happened to Nancy because he got off his bike and began moaning, and a couple of English guys I know rolled by and they started explaining that the U.K. wasn’t a football (soccer) team. I hope Nancy is okay.
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Chalk one up for the blokes from blighty…
It’s easy to hate the English. They abolished slavery before we did (damn them!) and socialized every single thing they could before we did, effectively reversing the whole slavery thing, putting the whole country in chains…..And they even set India free. Plus, they’re not Scottish.
What a bunch of wankers.
It’s easy to hate the English, but it’s difficult to outsmart them.
Speaking as a Limey, (do you still call us Limey’s?) I loved this.
But, yeah, the whole use of ‘wanker’ as a term of endearment is hard to take. Imagine if you were using the word ‘cunt’ in the same place. That’s pretty much how is loyal subjects of Her Maj see it.
Hey, cunts! Let’s go for a pedal, shall we?
There’s a big difference….let’s face everyone is a wanker, deny it if you like but we all know it, whereas we do not all have a (that most offensive term that women have ever heard but blokes from the antipodes call each other, anyone who pisses them off or just that bloke who works with Barry but you cant remember his name eg “Crikey..sum cunt stole me Falcon mate!”) Don’t ever get caught using the C word in front of a Sheila though or “she’ll have ya guts fer garters”.
“Everyone is a wanker.”
Truer words were never writ.
Woody — shoot me your email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll add you to my mailing list so you’ll know what’s going on when you’re in town.
Or… we could just use what it means in its place. But it sounds less jolly that way.
Wank is uber-jolly. Another example of the British mastery of their own language.
He who doth wank.
But not everyone likes to talk about it!
There are things the Brits say that are offensive to Americans, too. The thing to remember is that we’re two proud groups of people, separated by a common language. And centuries spent, well, actually accomplishing things I suppose.
Actually, you’re separated by the Irish 🙂
Maybe you should embrace the use of “tosser”
It’s just not as cutey-cutey as “Wanky.”
somewhere like Leeds, or Glasgow, or Cardiff, or Dublin or one of the other major cities in England.
Haha. That’s the way to attract Scots, Welsh, and Irish readers.
FYI for the casual reader, some of the above would take exception to being lumped in with “England.”
Really? There’s a difference? Who knew…
Yes, that was a brilliant add, perfect compliment to the conflation of Australia and Austria. 🙂 Love it!
You may mean complement.
And the Austrians. Don’t forget the Austrians!
An Austrian once told me he was “pissed.” So to smooth things over, I bought him a beer.
I bet that made his day.
Who gives a hoot what Wanker means to the English/British? It is what it means to us that counts, and to us it means a special badge of honor bestowed mainly on this blog, but by a lot us simply because we like the way it rolls off the tongue. “What a Wanker!”.
I had some exposure to it starting back in 2005 when I joined a group a Lucent that had colleagues in Swindon (Home of the infamous Magic Roundabout http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Roundabout_(Swindon)), and I spent a lot of time over the ensuing years in conversation, and the wanker term came up a few times in private asides.
Then my daughter went to King’s College in London, and she started bringing the wanker phrase across when she would write text home about some wanker driver that buzzed her that morning when she was riding to school.
Anywho, I am happy to see Wankerdom alive and well and cultivated on this blog. To the Wankers!!
Wankology is a growing field of study, swelling by the minute.
Excuse channel_zero for his irony deficiency.
Ohh yes. Chris Horner is teaching me how to fix my irony defficiency with some fancy supplements he assures me are safe. 😉
I’ve always noticed that Channel Zero’s irony is quite robust!
Hey Now..I resemble that statement… but on a side note…what are you using… 🙂
Are you sure that dude Nancy wasnt that guy Sally?…. If so, what a wanker.
Can you give a little history lesson on how the wanker Nancy got named Nancy?
When I run across someone that’s English I always ask if there’s a translator around. :-))
My lawyer says, “Don’t even think about it, Wanky.”
I just heard that Nancy (in between his/her “wankings”) just signed up for AYSO spring soccer in an attempt to enhance the U.S.’s mastery of U.K. football.
Be sure to shout “Come on, you wankers!” from the sideline.
Yes, Yes indeed. Time for a cup of tea.
I’m surprised this hasn’t been mentioned yet, but a mate is not considered a sexual partner. So don’t get alarmed if you hear someone referring to someone of the same sex as a “mate”. Granted I don’t get alarmed if someone does have a sexual partner that is of the same sex. I’m just saying the above as an example.
OK back to Wankerdom.
You bring up a very good point leif. There’s even fish nose people that can’t stand other’s life style! Sometimes it feels like you’re in the mid-west or something!
It’s a term of endearment.