Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Tigger_MK4

Past Britain ..a foreign country to even the Brits

Recommended Posts

Quiller

In the Britain of the 1920s - and to some degree even today(!), it wasn't just the colour of your skin that set you apart from honest John Bull. Anyone with a foreign sounding name was fair game for suspicion and, in some cases, torment.

 

With the memory of the Great War still fresh in people's mind, anyone with a German sounding name was regarded as a foreigner. In fact, many were forced through percecution to change their names to something less 'Aryan.' Even the Royal family considered it wise to change from their traditional Saxe Coburg to Windsor.

 

So none were exempt.

 

Quiller

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FunGuyfromYuggoth
Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu stories are also hilariously bad in their racism: without an exception, anyone, anyone, who is foreign turns out to be a bad 'un. Anyone from Asia is automatically evil.

 

Being of Asian ancestry myself, I find these stories to be interesting artifacts of their time. It's a shame that this lingers into the latter day (see Chaosium and Pagan's take on the Tcho-Tcho).

 

Now excuse me while I plot to enslave white women and smoke some dope, err, opium. Yeah... :lol: (Oh dear where is my hatchet?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
deuce
Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu stories are also hilariously bad in their racism: without an exception, anyone, anyone, who is foreign turns out to be a bad 'un. Anyone from Asia is automatically evil.

 

Being of Asian ancestry myself, I find these stories to be interesting artifacts of their time. It's a shame that this lingers into the latter day (see Chaosium and Pagan's take on the Tcho-Tcho).

 

Now excuse me while I plot to enslave white women and smoke some dope, err, opium. Yeah... :lol: (Oh dear where is my hatchet?)

 

Hey FunGuy! Not to derail this thread (I toured the British Isles in 2002 and find it all fascinating) but...

 

I initially had no use for the Tcho-Tchos until I realised that Derleth didn't create them. Near as I can tell, Chambers turned the historical Mongol "Tchortos" into the "Tchortchas" of Slayer of Souls. From that, HPL or Derleth (not sure which) "created" the Tcho-Tchos. However, there is something of an actual historical precedent for them (as there is for Lemuria, believe it or not). Around 2050BC the Chinese emperor received tribute from "the mountain dwarves" called Tsiao-Yao. Not an exact phonetic match, but close enough.

 

To me, the Tcho-Tcho are the offspring of humans and the "men of Leng". They are the source of the "stunted aborigines" of Central Asia mentioned in REH's The Hyborian Age. They, along with the degenerate serpent-folk they found there, are the progenitors of the "Worms of the Earth" of Britain. That said, "Asians" are the proud scions of Lemuria and Mu who threw off the yoke of the Khemites (proto-Stygians) and drove them westward. If the Tcho-Tcho are "grotesque stereotypes" of Asians, one could also argue that the inhabitants of New Dunwich and Innsmouth are also inaccurate representations of non-urban New Englanders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tigger_MK4
Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu stories are also hilariously bad in their racism: without an exception, anyone, anyone, who is foreign turns out to be a bad 'un. Anyone from Asia is automatically evil, anyone from closer to home is revealed to be a traitor. The notion that the West was under the threat of a Yellow Peril at that time is also laughable, it was probably the weakest point in China's entire history outside of the Mongol invasion.

 

Yes. I must admit that when I got my hand on an omnibus edition of them I was extremely disappointed in how poor they were...

 

My take on Tcho-tcho's is that they're evil cultists (with potentially mythos crossbreeding) who just happen to originally come form asia ...in the same way that the Whiteley just happen to come from america ( etc.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeC
[i initially had no use for the Tcho-Tchos until I realised that Derleth didn't create them.

 

Now who's being predjudiced?....;-P

 

I had a PC play a veteran of the Michael Collins IRA faction in

a game once, but her character had a bunch of other baggage

apart from this ('his' parents were missionaries, he was raised

in Japan and the South Seas, was posted to Rutgers University

to work on their exchange program with Kyoto University) and

even though the part of the campaign was set in England, the

PC's heritage didn't play much into it.

 

Although I try to minimize the impact of historical racial attitudes

in my games (I almost exclusively run 20's and 30's era games),

the all pervasiveness of them are unavoidable, and in any case,

I fall into the camp of believing that to ignore history is to

repeat it, and that if you acknowledge these attitudes and realize

they are wrong it will go further to eradicate them. Or, make

them a narrative asset: that old sharecropper farmer who

emigrated from Jamaica would know exactly how to combat

the zombies, but the police are unwilling to listen to him because

he's just an old darkie. The PC's hopefully would be willing to

listen.

 

Now, FunGuyfromYuggoth: where's the white women at?

 

MikeC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
justadame

Something I always find amazing is just how catching Britishness can be.

It's most apparent in the arts and media, where some of the most British,(even iconic) Actors, originated from overseas !

Even in Rock & Roll there has been this tendency.

Freddie Mercury (the lead singer from Queen) was born in Zanzibar, but in interview, he sounded like he had been educated at Eton & Harrow !

But we all live in an everchanging world, and we don't all conform to stereotypes even if we know what the stereotype is expected to be !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr_Lin

Even in Rock & Roll there has been this tendency.

Freddie Mercury (the lead singer from Queen) was born in Zanzibar, but in interview, he sounded like he had been educated at Eton & Harrow !

 

According to his wikipedia entry he was educated at "St. Peter's boarding school at Panchgani near Bombay (now Mumbai)." I'm guessing said establishment was quite posh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WinstonP
Something I always find amazing is just how catching Britishness can be.

 

I do know of a few student who studied abroad in the UK who somehow developed an accent upon return... though I think what they caught was pretension rather than any actually speaking pattern. :) (I should confess that I'm a Yank who moderates a forum here called Cthulhu Britannica, so I don't have any room to talk...)

 

I do fondly recall watching a cricket game on campus between a group of South Asian and African students. My companion turned at one point to me and said "Ah, Empire."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Hallett

For my 500th post (yay!) I would like to point out that this is partly just a matter of cultural blindness/sensitivity.

 

Americanness, or indeed Australianness, is also very catching, but if after a week in the States I start to sound more American (and I do), the Americans mostly don't notice - to them I still sound "British". British friends of mine would note the change immediately.

 

My wife, who was born in the US, but has now lived over here for about 8 years, now sounds British to the Americans, and American to the British. Presumably there is some point about halfway across the Atlantic where she would simply go unremarked. :D

 

I would suggest the Azores, but they speak Portuguese there. Maybe Bermuda?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeC
For my 500th post (yay!) I would like to point out that this is partly just a matter of cultural blindness/sensitivity.

 

Americanness, or indeed Australianness, is also very catching, but if after a week in the States I start to sound more American (and I do), the Americans mostly don't notice - to them I still sound "British". British friends of mine would note the change immediately.

 

From times when I've visited relatives in Ireland, I will testify

to this phenomena of picking up the local accent immediately.

 

I like to think I'm pretty good at doing accents (though, perhaps,

not as good as PoC....;-) ), but the one accent I can't do

credibly is any Irish one (much to my shame, given that my

mother was born there and still has traces of her brogue)

unless I'm in Ireland. Then within a couple of days I sound

like a native.

 

Language is a virus, as William S. Burroughs declared.

 

My wife, who was born in the US, but has now lived over here for about 8 years, now sounds British to the Americans, and American to the British. Presumably there is some point about halfway across the Atlantic where she would simply go unremarked. :D

 

As long as she's not like Madonna, who started talking like a

posh tart the minute she signed her marriage certificate to

Guy Ritchie.

 

Better to be more like Chrissie Hynde, who after 25+ years

in England has a good mix of midwestern US and English accents.

And more musical talent, but that's not really 'ere nor there....

 

I would suggest the Azores, but they speak Portuguese there. Maybe Bermuda?

 

I always suggest Bermuda, but they're a member of the

Commonwealth, aren't they?

 

MikeC, Jamaica always works, too....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jathromir
Something I always find amazing is just how catching Britishness can be.

It's most apparent in the arts and media, where some of the most British,(even iconic) Actors, originated from overseas !

 

America has a similar phenomenon the best American comedians are almost to a person Canadian. :D

 

 

the Americans mostly don't notice - to them I still sound "British"

 

I had a friend in college that had a Sydney Austrailian accent and it did indeed sound very British to me, but that is probably for the lack of comparison. To be honest though if the accent doesn't nail "Crocodile Dundee" or the late great Steve Irwin, it will probably sound "British" to American ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeC

I once worked with a guy who had the weirdest accent I've ever

heard:

 

His parents were Chinese (born in Hong Kong), but had moved to

Australia for a while. Then he was born, and they moved to South

Africa. Though he was extremely well spoken, his accent was the

strangest mix I've ever heard, and couldn't reproduce it if you

paid me.To this day, I always get South African & Australian

accents mixed up because of him. Great guy he was, too.

 

MikeC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ThothAmon

Odd. I've observed this happen in reverse i.e. the further from Scotland (e.g. LA) the more pronounced the Scottishness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Hallett
As long as she's not like Madonna, who started talking like a posh tart the minute she signed her marriage certificate to

Guy Ritchie

Heh. :) No, Debby's accent has shifted very slowly, and I don't think her British colleagues have really noticed. It's the fact that she can understand a cricket score sheet and explain the offside rule that takes them aback!

 

I find Americans just don't understand common words spoken in an English accent. If you ask for a banana with long a's, people just won't know what you mean. So the visitor has to learn to adapt. Whereas over here you can pronounce things like an American all day, and people will just think you're American! No-one will fail to understand. Maybe partly because we watch so much US TV.

 

The biggest problem for the American visitor. OTOH, is the enormous wealth of slang/idiom we use. Words like chuffed, narked, dodgy, sussed. Phrases like "at the coal face". Subtle shifts in meaning whereby "the dog's bollocks" means the opposite of "bollocks". Most people in this country have no idea that most Americans don't know what most of this means, and will happily chuck three of them into the average sentence. Which can be a bit confusing for a while!

 

Americans do have such slang, but most of it is well-known over here, and there's less of it, in my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mr_Lin
Odd. I've observed this happen in reverse i.e. the further from Scotland (e.g. LA) the more pronounced the Scottishness.

 

Same effect can be observed with Scousers. Apart from Clive Barker, obviously.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jathromir

The biggest problem for the American visitor. OTOH, is the enormous wealth of slang/idiom we use. Words like chuffed, narked, dodgy, sussed. Phrases like "at the coal face". Subtle shifts in meaning whereby "the dog's bollocks" means the opposite of "bollocks". Most people in this country have no idea that most Americans don't know what most of this means, and will happily chuck three of them into the average sentence. Which can be a bit confusing for a while!

 

Americans do have such slang, but most of it is well-known over here, and there's less of it, in my experience.

 

I get bollocks and I think sussed (suspected?) but the rest goes over my head. I think though that people from the south (like me) in America tend to flavor thier speech more than the rest of the country. While in Kansas (midwest) I had to explain my phraseology to people quite a bit. The phrases "used to could" and "spitting image" seemed to be big points of confusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Hallett

Almost. "Suss" is to know, to understand. "I sussed him out at once"="I immediately realized what sort of guy he was".

 

Over here, "spitting image" means "uncanny likeness". Not sure about Southern US, though.

 

"Used to could" - no idea! What the dickens does that mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mulciber
Almost. "Suss" is to know, to understand. "I sussed him out at once"="I immediately realized what sort of guy he was".

 

Over here, "spitting image" means "uncanny likeness". Not sure about Southern US, though.

 

"Used to could" - no idea! What the dickens does that mean?

 

I've also heard suss (maybe it should be sus in this case) used as a contraction of suspicious - "He looked a bit suss to me".

 

There's a proper term for what's happened to "spitting image" as it's mutated from the original "spit and image" through use, but I can't remember what the term is.

 

"Used to could" - I'm guessing at "I was once able to.."

 

Love slang, especially rhyming slang, very funny and inventive at times and great for puzzling seppoes, not that I'm at all listerine myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aurelius
I've also heard suss (maybe it should be sus in this case) used as a contraction of suspicious - "He looked a bit suss to me".

 

That usage was commonest when we had a very 'freeform' piece of legislation that effectively allowed policemen to stop anyone they considered 'suspicious', sometimes referred to as the 'sus' rules - the power was formally withdrawn when it was noticed that hugely disproportionate numbers of ethnic minority groups were being regarded as 'suspicious' on incredibly thin reasoning (one of the classics was a combination of being black and driving an expensive car - which almost certainly led to the driver being stopped and questioned... ).

 

Possibly the attitudes have changed, but the term 'sus' still keeps that meaning in a lot of places.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David_Hallett

Yes, that's true. Not heard as often these days as back in the 80s. But if it's a noun, not a verb, then it means "suspicion" :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeC
Yes, that's true. Not heard as often these days as back in the 80s. But if it's a noun, not a verb, then it means "suspicion" :)

 

I've heard 'suspish' used for suspicion, but never suss.

 

Here's a phrase that will get stares from 'merkins, but which brits

won't bat an eye to:

 

"I'm going to knock her up for a fag"

 

MikeC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mulciber
Here's a phrase that will get stares from 'merkins

 

Erm, Mike, it would be easy to miss that apostrophe..... merkin is an extremely amusing word!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MikeC
Here's a phrase that will get stares from 'merkins

 

Erm, Mike, it would be easy to miss that apostrophe..... merkin is an extremely amusing word!

 

Why, Mr. Mulciber, I have NO idea what you're saying.

 

I mean: It's not like the word "merkin" has any other

meanings that might cause someone familiar with the

various decency laws in various jurisdictions to capitalize

on for a cheap laugh at the expense of his own country's

name.

 

MikeC, I mean REALLY.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jathromir
Almost. "Suss" is to know, to understand. "I sussed him out at once"="I immediately realized what sort of guy he was".

 

Over here, "spitting image" means "uncanny likeness". Not sure about Southern US, though.

 

"Used to could" - no idea! What the dickens does that mean?

 

Well I was close. :)

 

Spitting image is spot on.

 

Used to could is something that I could do in the past but no longer. "I used to could run all day without being tired. Now I start wheezing after a block." Maybe that is just a southern thing though. :D

 

The "knock her up for a fag" I knew. Ask her for a cigarette. But you are right if it wasn't a Brit saying it I'd die of laughter. It's funny how our language has diverged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mulciber
It's funny how our language has diverged.

 

Yeah, bleedin' seppoes messin' wiv are lingo, makes yer bleedin' tom dunnit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...