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Question for the English people
Storm
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2005/1/2 12:40
From close to Antwerp
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Hi guys...

A question : what does 'braw' (as an adjective) mean ?

I heard it in a Malcolm Middleton song.

Thanks

Posted on: 2007/3/13 10:43
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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I'm not English, but I found an English dictionary:

http://209.161.33.50/dictionary/braw

Main Entry: braw
Function: adjective
Etymology: modification of Middle French brave
Date: circa 1565
1chiefly Scottish: good, fine
2chiefly Scottish: well dressed

Posted on: 2007/3/13 11:09
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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I didnt remember seeing the word before, but I probably had come across it in a Burns poem, such as this one:

http://www.robertburns.org/works/392.shtml

So yeah, looks like this is just Scots English. Not sure why it'd be used outside of such a context, except perhaps as reference to a poem or other work in Scots?

Posted on: 2007/3/13 13:30
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Re: Question for the English people
HNN Forums Admin
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Maybe he talked of bra's

Did you buy a CD at the Sophia concert from Malcolm Middleton? Well he was support act in germany.

Posted on: 2007/3/13 13:51
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Quote:

Cassander wrote:
So yeah, looks like this is just Scots English. Not sure why it'd be used outside of such a context, except perhaps as reference to a poem or other work in Scots?

Well, Malcolm Middleton is a Scot, and a song lyric is similar to a poem to me. So when this word is used in a poem, why not in a song lyric?

Posted on: 2007/3/13 13:53
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Quote:

gerd wrote:
he talked of bra's

Indeed. I knew "bra" and "brew". But "braw" was new to me, too.

Posted on: 2007/3/13 13:57
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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Here are the lyrics :

I'm too cold to be alone this winter, I'm too old to be alone
I just want to hold you this winter, I know you get so cold
I just want to call you this winter
Where are you tonight? Why aren't you here? You should be looking after me this winter, I sure as hell can't
Behind everything I do stares the cold truth I don't have you
I still love you, I must be the world's biggest fool
Everyday I wish you weren't so braw coz I miss you
How am I supposed to unmake the world's biggest mistake
I don't want to be your open wound all winter; you don't need to see me cry
I think I need professional help to get better, this may take some time
My life is dead and I can't see a future, I never could and I still can't
Do you still think I'd make a terrible father? I guess his blood still runs in me
Behind everything I do stares the cold truth I don't have you
I still love you, I must be the world's biggest fool
Everyday I wish you weren't so BRAW coz I miss you
How am I supposed to unmake the world's biggest mistake

*********

No Gerd, I didn't buy his cds at a concert, but online.

He's doing a free gig in Antwerp next month ! I'll be there.

Posted on: 2007/3/13 23:48
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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Quote:
johandeman wrote:
A question : what does 'braw' (as an adjective) mean ?

I heard it in a Malcolm Middleton song.

Chambers 20th Dictionary

Braw: Fine, attired (dressed) in finery
Braws: fine clothes

Posted on: 2007/3/14 11:38
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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The rest of the poem isn't in the Scots dialect particularly, which is why I said braw might be an allusion. But he might just be throwing it in cause he's Scottish as a heritage sort of thing. Or maybe he really uses this word a lot and didnt think about it, but I doubt that.

Posted on: 2007/3/14 12:47
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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I use some words often, as I just consider them part of my own vocabulary... or because of who I mix with... for instance, I say cellphone and not mobile phone.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 9:24
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Quote:

Darren wrote:
for instance, I say cellphone and not mobile phone.

In Germany, it is called "handy", believe it or not.

Posted on: 2007/3/15 9:56
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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Hug me!

Posted on: 2007/3/15 17:14
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Re: Question for the English people
Wonderlust
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Quote:

Christina wrote:
Hug me!


Just about to post a comment then this command jumped off the screen

Anyway, Johandeman, me being a SCOT, not an ENGLANDER, I'm familiar with the word 'braw'. Which isn't surprising seeings as Malcolm Middleton is another Scot... he often plays music in Glasgow, if it's the same one, not that I'm into his stuff.
'Braw' simply means 'good' : 'aye, it's a braw nicht the nicht' which sounds half-German, come to think of it; 'yes, 'tis a good night tonight' for which read 'plenty of cheap beer'.

Posted on: 2007/3/16 4:23
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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How often is "braw" used these days in Scotland? How often is it used in otherwise perfectly standard English, as this songs seems to be?

Shoulda thought to ask you about this!

Posted on: 2007/3/16 12:29
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Re: Question for the English people
Siren
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Quote:

Darren wrote:
I use some words often, as I just consider them part of my own vocabulary... or because of who I mix with... for instance, I say cellphone and not mobile phone.


I found when i moved from Ireland to UK that words i had grown up with had not the same extended meanings in the UK. For example, what I call a "press" English people call a "cupboard".

Posted on: 2007/3/16 14:30
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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Really?

That's interesting, as "press" for me, means "the press and/or media" or a tool used to "press one's trousers"

A Cupboard in England is still a Cupboard.

You'll find by observation that people use the same language, phrases, and so on, when in general conversation with others... mimicry is almost an automatic behavioural pattern with people, especially when they get on with each other...

Posted on: 2007/3/16 15:20
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Re: Question for the English people
Wonderlust
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Quote:

Cassander wrote:
How often is "braw" used these days in Scotland? How often is it used in otherwise perfectly standard English, as this songs seems to be?

Shoulda thought to ask you about this!


I don't actually know these days, Cassander, since my social life is more-or-less confined to work and that's something of a middle-class bubble in which local dialects don't play a prominent role. I would guess that the education of the middle classes world-wide tends to focus on book-learning as opposed to verbal-learning from the local environment, hence the traditional link between class and language: upper class tends to wide-geographical-range culture, whereas working class tends to local culture.
I know we're all supposed to live in a classless society these days but, even if it's no longer perceived, amongst right-minded folks, as a high-to-low status thing, it still has reverberations into present day affects of all sorts...

Posted on: 2007/3/16 21:11
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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Meaning, the "environment" you're in, determines your language/communications range/skill-set.

Posted on: 2007/3/16 22:00
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Actually, by these days, I kinda meant the last 30 years or so!

Posted on: 2007/3/17 12:46
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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It still applies, that the "environment" you find yourself in, normally dicates your language, communication, social and intelligence skills... so if you watch a lot of television or movies, depending on what type...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 12:48
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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Well, Rouss, you linking dialect to non-educated people or poor people, it's not 100% the case over here.

Lots of politicians, movie directors, business men... still speak their local dialect in Flanders, which can vary a lot, even if you travel as little as 30 km.
But if they are on tv, they try to speak Dutch, so everybody can understand...

And even series on tv (VTM - commercial tv) are spoken in the Antwerp dialect.If it's in the Antwerp dialect, people think 'this must be a comedy' .
Well, most Flemish people understand the Antwerp dialect, but most people from Antwerp don't understand (or make fun of) people from Hasselt or Ostend.
It's not just a funny accent, but a completely different language.

Posted on: 2007/3/17 12:52
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Well, sure. I find myself picking up some "Germenglish" here, with the phrasings and ways to use words and so (forth ).

Posted on: 2007/3/17 12:54
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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Zwaanst na nie hej gast !

Posted on: 2007/3/17 12:57
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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The other issue with linking dialects to a certain class is it presupposes that one is better than the other... which isn't the case... Middle and so-called Upper Class usually have innate qualities of being human whitewashed out of them by the education system, that focuses on learning information, and presenting a certain image... it's shallowness is underpinned by the fact that these same "classes" are generally unable to function outside their own bubble (without a car, they're incapable of walking, etc.)

Posted on: 2007/3/17 13:05
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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It's not wrong to speak dialect, in my opinion, but I know people who speak ONLY their local dialect, and cannot speak proper German at all, which definitely shows poor education and low interest then for me, like they never came out of their small village.

And sometimes, they can speak proper German, but they are just not willing to! I think that's pretty rude - especially when they speak some strong local dialect (for example "oberpfälzerisch") that is very different to proper German. Just 50km away, nobody understands it anymore. And then they are angry because nobody understands them...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 15:53
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Re: Question for the English people
Wonderlust
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Of course the association between class and linguistic usage locates language in a power structure quite independent of its intrinsic merits.
One thing formally 'educated' people learn about language are certain techniques for clear enunciation and projection, presumably so that one's servants can hear from across the length of the library that one wishes one's whisky served hot, with a dash of cinnamon.
Then again, I can go down the Barras market this afternoon and hear stall holders project their intended meanings every bit as clearly and across just as great a distance, but by entirely different means.
The combination of both provides a wonderfully rich range of human experience and emotional nuance. That's why, over the last thirty years or so, people have come to respect the fact that the loss of regional dialects and so on would be a great loss. But inevitably, the way one speaks, like the way one dresses, is always going to be used by others in their formation of a first impression of who you are. Sometimes they'll be correct in their assumptions, sometimes half right, sometimes entirely wrong...

When I was a student I was involved in organising a short conference-type get-together, to which were invited a number of guest speakers. The day came for me to book rooms for them all in one of Edinburgh's more expensive hotels. So I had a bit of fun in not shaving nor brushing my hair, wearing a skanky T-shirt and ripped jeans before wandering in off the street and up to the reception desk...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 16:02
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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Interestingly, when I worked in my first job, as an office clerk at 17/18 years-old, I wore a shirt and tie... and ALL the managers reacted and interacted with me... one weekend's working overtime, I went into work wearing jeans and T shirt... and got completely ignored... go figure...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 16:29

Edited by Darren on 2007/3/18 14:30:51
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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I guess that's more the case in the UK than in Belgium...

If you look at 'the Office', everybody (well, the men) wears a tie.

Until recently , our managers/chiefs wore ties, but that's been abolished, now they just wear a shirt and a jeans mostly.

Posted on: 2007/3/17 17:13
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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Depends on working environment... even at IBM, they relaxed the "dress code" sometimes... now at HBOS, it's pretty much a relaxed atmosphere of dress on shift every day/night...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 21:49
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Ties are evil...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 23:40
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Re: Question for the English people
Redbird
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Blood ties are thicker than water...

Posted on: 2007/3/17 23:56
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Quote:

Darren wrote:
Interestingly, when I worked in my first job, as an office clerk at 17/18 years-old, I wore a shirt and tie... and ALL the managers reacted and interacted with me... one weekend's working overtime, I went into work wearing jeans and T shirt... and got completely ignored... go figure...

That's exactly my observation, too. When you wear a tie, everyone talks to you, when you don't wear a tie, you get ignored by some people.

In my insurance company, it's a bit relaxed, though. Even my boss doesn't wear a tie. In the same building was a bank, and really every man was wearing a tie.

Posted on: 2007/3/18 12:46

Edited by Darren on 2007/3/18 14:30:27
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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Question for the English and US-Americans:

Do you have something similar to the German "Unwort des Jahres"/"Faux-pas word of the year"? In Germany this is elected by a jury at the end of every year, often it is a bureaucratic or political neologism; examples: Unwort
e.g. "ethnic cleansing" or "human capital".

Posted on: 2007/5/8 11:18
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Posted on: 2007/5/8 13:34
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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or this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dialect_Society

Interesting is the last sentence: "The society also selects words in other categories that vary from year to year, such as most original, most unnecessary, most outrageous, and most likely to succeed."

so maybe you look at the webpages of this Society.

Posted on: 2007/5/8 13:36
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Yep... Bernd's already linked to what I was thinking of.

Posted on: 2007/5/8 14:26
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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Thanks a lot to both of you!

Posted on: 2007/5/8 14:55
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Re: Question for the English people
Storm
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My boss (prof of German language) asked me some days ago if it was possible to combine a wh-question with the (sort of) question tag "do you assume", e.g. like "Where will they go do you assume?" or "What did she mean do you assume?" - I was sceptic if this is good English and I could find no evidence on google, too.

But maybe it could be used more colloquial?

Posted on: 2007/8/24 12:33
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Re: Question for the English people
The Jasmine Flower
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Hmm, sounds a little odd, but I might have heard it... don't think it's standard. Ususally, instead of "What did she mean do you assume?", you would just say "What do you assume she meant?" Or "What did she mean... what do you assume?" But it's quite possible this is used in some dialects.

Posted on: 2007/8/24 14:26
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Re: Question for the English people
Wonderlust
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2005/5/20 17:23
From Philly
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If I want to receive [American] potato chips, how do I order chips so that I do not get french fries instead? [i.e. "fish and chips"]

Posted on: 2007/9/24 8:00
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