Интересные факты об английском языке. Interesting facts about English


Afternoon tea [ɑːf.tə’nu:n ti:] a small meal eaten in the late afternoon, usually including cake and a cup of tea
In the UK afternoon tea is traditionally a rather formal meal where you drink tea and eat small sandwiches (especially cucumber sandwiches), scones and cakes. Not many British people now have this type of meal at home, but it is still served in hotels and in special tea rooms that serve tea in delicate, finely decorated cups.
Beard [ bɪəd ] the hair that some men allow to grow on the lower part of their face
In the UK, people sometimes use the phrase “beards and sandals” in a joking way to describe the type of person who is interested in protecting the environment, achieving peace, and eating organic food. It is a stereotype used to make fun of people who have beards and wear sandals.


Commuter [ kə’mju:tər ] someone who regularly travels between work and home
In the US, people mainly think of commuters as people who spend a long time driving to work because of traffic jams. In the UK, the stereotype of a commuter is of a person wearing formal business clothes who sits and reads a newspaper on the train to the office and does not talk to anyone else.


Dodge City [ dɒdʒ sɪti ] city S Kansas on Arkansas River population 25,176
If someone in the US compares a place to Dodge City, they mean that it is very dangerous and full of crime. The phrase “get out of Dodge” is sometimes used to mean to leave a very bad, dangerous and unpleasant situation.


Exterminate [ ɪk’stɜːmɪneɪt ] to kill all the animals or people in a particular place or of a particular type
In the British television programme DR WHO the DALEKS, evil creatures from another part of the universe, said “Exterminate! Exterminate!” in a machine-like voice when they wanted to kill someone. British people sometimes say “exterminate” in this way as a joke.


Fish and chips [ fɪʃ ə n tʃɪps ] fish covered with batter (= a mixture of flour, eggs and milk) and then fried and served with pieces of fried potato
Fish and chips are very popular in the UK, and are considered to be a typically British meal. They are bought in a fish and chip shop rather than cooked at home, and they are a quick, fairly cheap meal. The food is usually wrapped in paper and eaten at home or in the street. The chips usually have salt and vinegar and sometimes tomato ketchup on them.


Gallon [ ‘gælən ] a unit for measuring volume
In the US, the gallon is used as standard liquid measure. Gas is always bought by the gallon, and milk, water, and ice-cream are usually bought in gallon of half-gallon sizes. In the UK the gallon was used in the past, but now the litre is the standard measure of liquid.


Hitchhike [ ‘hɪtʃhaɪk ] to travel by getting free rides in someone else’s vehicle
When someone is hitchhiking they stand at the side of the road and put out their thumb, or hold up a sign with a name of the place they want to go to written on it. Hitchhiking is less common in the US and the UK than it used to be, and many people think that it is dangerous because there have been cases of hitchhikers or the drivers who picked them up being attacked or killed.


ID [ aɪˈdi: ] any official card or document with your name and photograph or other information on it that you use to prove who you are
Most people in the US have either a driver’s license or an official ID card. ID cards and driver’s licenses have your photograph, date of birth, height, weight, eye colour, hair colour, permanent address, and signature printed on them. You are usually asked to show your ID when you are buying alcohol in order to prove your age, or when using cheques to pay for something.

In the UK people do not have official ID cards, and many people think that it is wrong for the police and government to force people to carry ID with them all the time. When people in the UK need to prove who they are or how old they are, they show their driving license, birth certificate oк passport.


Judge [ dʒʌdʒ ] a person who is in charge of a trial in a court and decides how a person who is guilty of a crime should be punished, or who makes decisions on legal matters
In the US, Supreme Court judges are chosen by the President and must be approved by the Senate. Many judges in the lower courts are elected by people living in the area. In the UK, judges of the High Court are chosen by the Lord Chancellor from barristers. Solicitors who have more than thirteen years experience can be appointed as judges in the Crown Court and the County Court.


Kansas City


[ ‘kænzəs sɪti ] the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri
When people in the US mention Kansas City, they usually mean the city in Missouri.


Leasehold [ ‘li:s.həʊld ] the legal right to live in or use a building, piece of land, etc. for an agreed period of time
In England, Ireland, and Wales many apartments and houses are leasehold, especially in London. If you buy a leasehold property, you own it for a fixed amount of time which is stated in the lease, and typically you pay ground rent to the owner of the freehold (the right to own a property permanently). A lease can last for a very long time, sometimes hundreds of years. In Scotland, almost all property is freehold.




[ ‘meɪlbɒks ] in the US, a box outside a person’s house where letters are put, or a postbox
In the US most people have mailboxes, either next to their front door or in front of their house. Each mailbox has a small flag on it that can be raised, and people can send mail from their home by putting a stamp on a letter and then putting it in their mailbox and raising the flag.


Nursing home [ nɜː.sɪŋ həʊm] a place where very old people who are ill live and receive medical treatment and care
In the US and the UK, it is common for people to put their parents in a nursing home when their parents are too old to take care of themselves.


Ordination [ ɔːdɪˈneɪʃən ] the act or ceremony of making someone a priest or other religious leader
For many years most Protestant churches in the US have allowed women to ne ordained, and there are also some women bishops in the US. In the UK, however, many people have apposed the idea of women becoming priests, and the Church of England did not allow the ordination of women until 1992. There are no women priests in the Roman Catholic Church, and some Protestants who appose women’s ordination have become Catholics because of this.




[ ‘pɪdʒ.ən ] a large usually grey bird, which is often seen in towns sitting on buildings in large groups, and is sometimes eaten as food
In the UK, people often think of Trafalgar Square as a place where you can go to feed the pigeons. There is also a stereotype about people from the North of England who keep pigeons and race them, to see which pigeon returns home first. Pigeons are generally disliked in both the US and the UK, however, because large numbers of them live in towns, causing a lot of dirt.


Rolling pin [ ‘rəʊ.lɪŋ pɪn ] a tube-shaped object that is used for making pastry flat and thin before cooking it
In old cartoons, women are sometimes shown holding a rolling pin while chasing their husbands or a mouse.


Sign language


[ saɪn ‘læŋgwɪdʒ ] a system of hand and body movements representing words, which is used by and to people who cannot hear or talk, or the movements which people sometimes make when talking to someone whose language they do not speak
Although people in the US and the UK speak and write in a very similar form of English, the British and American forms of sign language are very different from each other.


Television license [ ‘telɪvɪʒən ‘laɪsənt s] an official licence required in many countries for the reception of television (and sometimes also radio) broadcasts
In the UK, it is a crime to own a television if you do not have a television license. People must buy a license every year, and the money collected from this license is used by BBC to pay for all its programmes.


Uncle Sam


[ ʌŋkl ̩ˈsæm ] the United States of America, or its government, sometimes represented, especially in political cartoons (= funny drawings), by an image of a tall thin man with a white beard and a tall hat
Uncle Sam first appeared in 1800s, especially on posters asking people to join the army. He is usually shown pointing his finger and saying “Uncle Sam needs you!” His top hat and clothes are always decorated with the stars and stripes from the US flag. Political cartoons use his picture to represent the US, and newspapers often use the expression “Uncle Sam” to mean the US government.




[ ‘vɪlɪdʒ ] a group of houses and other buildings, such as a church, a school and some shops, which is smaller than a town, usually in the countryside
When American people use the word “village” in American English they are usually talking about an old, attractive, small town in Europe or a small area of simple houses in a less developed country, for example Africa. “Village” is not usually used to talk about places in the US. In British English, however, “village” is used for small towns in general, whether they are new, busy, old, or quiet.


Window cleaner [‘wɪndəʊ ‘klinər] a person who maintains the cleanliness of windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces
In the UK, some people make jokes about window cleaners because they imagine that window cleaners see a lot of interesting and strange things while they are cleaning windows, such as people who are not wearing any clothes.


Yellow [ ‘jeləʊ ] a colour like that of a lemon or gold or the sun
The colour yellow is often used to represent lack of courage.