Sunday, December 21, 2014

Nurses; Hopitals v. GPs; Spanish prices & inflation; Scotland; Nationalists; Vikings in Galicia; & US v UK terms.

As you know, it's a mad world. Especially in the UK's ("Envy of the world") British National Health Service (NHS). While 80,000 applicants a year can't find places on nursing courses, thousands of nurses are being recruited from overseas. In particular, it turns out, from Spain. The suspicion is that this is because it costs the NHS 3 times more to train a nurse than it costs them to recruit a foreign one.

Talking of hospitals . . . Young Brits, it seems, are turning to the Spanish model of GP consultation - they're not bothering to try to get an appointment with their doctor but are going straight to the the Emergency Department of their nearest hospital. In Spain, the consequence of this is that the Urgencias are huge, crowded and slow. But at least you see a doctor (or 3, all with the same questions) within a few hours and any necessary tests will be done while you wait. Who can blame anyone, though I'd be more impressed if I ever saw anyone reading a book or magazine while they wait. Rather than just chatting to the 2 or 3 relatives that came along. But whatever rocks your boat, I guess. And the Spanish do love to talk.

Prices and inflation continue to decline in Spain. On the surface, this is good news but the economists say it ain't. For it heralds deflation and its concomitant reluctance to spend, leading to more layoffs. The good news is that the European Central Bank is going to tackle this EU-wide problem by 'pumping liquidity into the financial system'. God knows what this means but, whether it works or not, we can be sure the bankers will benefit.

With the oil price at 60 dollars a barrel, it's fascinating to recall that Alex Salmon predicated Scotland's economic future on twice this price. No wonder he quit the Scot Nats as quickly as he could. Before he was Roubled.

Talking of nationalists . . . My daughter went to a tango class in Vigo last night. One of her partners spoke to her in Gallego and - when told she didn't speak it - continued to do so. Thus can ideals stupidly override politeness. In contrast, the mayor of Pontevedra speaks only in Gallego to everyone in Pontevedra except me, to whom he does the honour of speaking in Castellano. Lovely man.

You may not know that, almost inevitably, the Vikings reached Galicia and may even have established settlements here. There's been little archeological research, apparently, but the University of Aberdeen has stepped into the breech and has set up a project. More info here. Maybe I can get a piece of the action myself.

Finally . . . In 1942, American UK-bound military personnel were given a leaflet aimed at helping them understand their strange hosts and fellow combatants. It makes fascinating (and amusing) reading as it describes a Britain which now barely exists. I'll be posting sections over coming weeks and here's the first, the wonderful Glossary. Suffice to say, many of the British words have since fallen out of use - sometimes completely, sometimes in favour of the American terms. I've italicised these as best I can. Of course, I've no idea how many American words were wrong back then or how many have changed or disappeared over 70 years. Perhaps someone could let us know. Meanwhile, have fun.


aisle (theater) – gangway
alcohol lamp – spirit lamp
ale – beer, or bitter
apartment – flat
apartment house – block of flats
ash can – dust bin
ashman – dustman
atomiser – scent spray
automobile – motor car or car
baby carriage – perambulator, or pram
baggage – luggage
baggage car – luggage van
bakery – baker's shop
bathrobe – dressing gown
bartender – barman, or pot man
bathtub – bath
battery (automobile) – accumulator
beach – seaside
beer – lager
bill (money) – banknote, or note
billboard – hoarding
biscuit – scone, or tea cake
bouncer – chucker out
bowling alley – skittle alley
broiled (meat) – grilled
business suit – lounge suit
call up – ring up
candy (hard) – boiled sweets
candy store – sweet shop
cane – stick
can opener – tin opener, or key
carom (billiards) – cannon
chain store – multiple shop
check baggage – register luggage
checkers (game) – draughts
chicken yard – fowl run
cigarette butt – cigarette end
closed season (for game) – close season
conductor – guard
closet – cupboard
coal oil – paraffin
collar button – collar stud
cookie – biscuit
cop – bobby
corn – maize, or Indian corn
cornmeal - Indian meal
cotton (absorbent) – cotton wool
cracker – biscuit (unsweetened)
daylight saving time – summer time
deck (of cards) – pack
derby (hat) – bowler, or hard hat
dessert – sweet
dishpan – washing-up bowl
drawers (men's) – pants
druggist – chemist
drugstore – chemist's shop
drygoods store – draper's shop
elevator – lift
fender (automobile) – wing, or mudguard
fish dealer – fishmonger
five-and-ten (store) – bazzar
floorwalker – shopwalker
frame house – wooden house
fruit seller – fruitierer
fruit store – fruterier's
fresh fruit – dessert (at the end of a meal)
french fried potatoes – chips
freight car – goods wagon
garters (men's) – sock suspenders
gasoline or gas – petrol
gear shift (automobile) – gear lever
generator (automobile) – dynamo
ground wire (radio) – earth wire
guy – bloke, fellow
haberdashery – men's wear
hardware – ironmongery
headliner (vaudeville) – topliner
highball – whiskey and soda
hood (automobile) – bonnet
huckster – coster or hawker
hunting – shooting
ill, sick – ill, poorly
instalment plan – hire-purchase system, or hire system
intermission – interval
janitor – caretaker, or porter
junk – rubbish
lawyer – solicitor
legal holiday – bank holiday
line up – queue up
living room – sitting room
lobby (theater) – foyer, or entrance hall
long distance (telephone) – trunks
low gear (automobile) – first speed
mail a letter – post a letter
mail box – pillar box
marriage certificate – marriage lines
molasses – black treacle
monkey wrench – screw spanner
movie house – cinema
movies – flicks
mucilage – gum
muffler (automobile) – silencer
necktie – tie
newsstand – kiosk
oatmeal (boiled) – porridge
oil pan (automobile) – sump
okay – righto
orchestra seats – stalls
package – parcel
pebbly beach – shingle
phonograph – gramophone
pie (fruit) – tart
pitcher – jug
poolroom – billiards saloon
potato chips – crisps
private hospital – nursing home
push cart - barrow
race track – race course
radio – wireless
railway car – railway carriage
raincoat – mackintosh, or mac, or waterproof
roadster (automobile) – two-seater
roast (of meat) – joint
roller coaster – switchback railway
rolling grasslands – downs
round trip – return trip
roomer – lodger
rooster – cock, or cockerel
rubbers – galoshes
rumble seat – ****ey [????]
run (in a stocking) – ladder
saloon – public house or pub
scallion – spring onion
scrambled eggs – buttered eggs
second floor – first floor
sedan (automobile) – saloon car
sewerage (house) – drains
shoestring – shoelace, or bootlace
shot (athletics) – weights
shoulder (of road) – verge
rubberneck wagon – char-a-banc
silverware – plate
slacks – bags
sled – sledge
smoked herring – kipper
soda biscuit (or cracker) – cream-cracker
soft drinks – minerals
spark plug – sparking plug
spigot (or faucet) – tap
squash – vegetable marrow
stairway – staircase, or stairs
string bean – French bean
store – shop
subway – underground
sugar bowl – sugar basin
suspenders (men's) – braces
sweater – pull-over
syrup – treacle
taffy – toffee
taxi stand – cab rank
telegram – wire
tenderloin (of beef) – under-cut, or fillet
ten pins – nine pins
thumb tack – drawing pin
ticket office – booking office
toilet – lavatory, closet
top (automobile) – hood
transom (of door) – fanlight
trolley – tram
truck – lorry
undershirt – vest, or singlet
union-suit – combinations
vaudeville – variety
vaudeville theatre – music hall
vest – waistcoat
vomit – be sick
washbowl – washbasin
washrag – face cloth
washstand – wash-hand stand
water heater – geyser
window shade – blind
"you're connected" – "you're through" (telephone)
windshield (automobile) – windscreen

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