the Top Gear British phrases explanation thread

alihaig

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Not sure about the MRSA thing, I guess it was something else as MRSA isn't really a soldier thing. If it was MRSA then it's a drug resistant superbug most commonly caught in hospitals. Unless they mean some other MRSA but I can't think what that would be without watching the clip.

Wayne, Lee and Tracy are stereotypical "chav" names and the Impreza is a bit of a chav car. I think chav is already explained somewhere here so I won't go into it again.
 

Tdh

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Thanx alihaig. Now I get it. They were talking about Blunt's army days and all the controversy in the army. That soldiers get wounded badly and Jeremy meant that all they're "granted" with is that bloody MRSA thing.

Thanx again.
 

shad_68

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Giving the fingers
http://thumb.armedcats.net/t/th/the_interceptor/2009/01/04/giving_the_fingers.jpg
person: James May
episode: miscellaneous
explanation: Holding your fingers like James nicely demonstates there is the British version of giving someone the middle finger. In short, it means "Fuck you!". There's an urban legend that this came from the British Archer's fighting the French, but it turns out this is not true. The origin of the gesture is unknown.

I always thought it was a reference to Churchill's famous "V"ictory gesture in defiance of the nazi threat. I think in the pictured scene he talked about how motorcycles aren't affected by speed cameras because they've got no front plate, so he'd speed past them, falshing the sign of his personal little "V"ictory in defiance of the camera. :blink:
Is it really used as a general insult in the UK?
 

brydie76

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I always thought it was a reference to Churchill's famous "V"ictory gesture in defiance of the nazi threat. I think in the pictured scene he talked about how motorcycles aren't affected by speed cameras because they've got no front plate, so he'd speed past them, falshing the sign of his personal little "V"ictory in defiance of the camera. :blink:
Is it really used as a general insult in the UK?

Correct on that part (episode 4 of season 5- my screencap :D), but I don't know about the rest. I think he was just doing an "up yours!" to them (dept of transport) because he could flout the rules and not get caught on his bike.

I think it is generally used in the same way the middle finger is used throughout the US and Australia (although you do rarely see the "V" being used over here, normally from some idiot with road rage issues). But you might want to ask somebody who is actually british on that one :D
 

Matt2000

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Hmm, might need some help from Wikipedia to explain this one. :D

The V sign, when the palm is facing toward the person giving the sign, has long been an insulting gesture in England, and later in the rest of the United Kingdom; its use is largely restricted to the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It is frequently used to signify defiance (especially to authority), contempt or derision.
 
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Carrie

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When I was at school (in bonny, mucky Middlesbrough) I got detention for giving a teacher the "reverse peace sign". Since starting to watch Top Gear, I've started using it again instead of the middle finger. Confuses the 'Mericans no end ;)
 

dragonboy3000

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I've been watching random episodes and i want to know why does Jeremy refer to the interior of some cars such as the Astra VXR and the new Fiat Abarth 500 as being like " a man's washbag" which always seems to be red and black?
What does this mean.
 

MWF

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I've been watching random episodes and i want to know why does Jeremy refer to the interior of some cars such as the Astra VXR and the new Fiat Abarth 500 as being like " a man's washbag" which always seems to be red and black?
What does this mean.

It used to be the norm for a man who was travelling to carry his razor, hairbrush, soap etc in a zipped pouch, usually made of leather or a leather-look synthetic. Often these were two-tone eg black and red or two shades of brown hence the reference when referring to car with a similarly coloured leather interior. I used the same phrase about the interior of the MX-5 I just bought which is black and dark tan inside. Hope that helps.
 

Matt2000

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He means the patterns on the seats are always stripey, or chequered red and black which is the kind of thing you would see on a wash bag. Pretty much all I can say. If someone else wants to find a picture that might help, but I cant be arsed.

^Or what he said.
 

Origin

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If someone else wants to find a picture that might help, but I cant be arsed.

Behold. A man's washbag, the colour scheme of which often comprising of black and one other colour, like the 500 Abarth's interior.

wash-bag-blk.jpg
 

shad_68

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Can somebody explain what they're actually on about when they talk about the "Institue of advanced Motorists" as "the wheel shufflers"?
What's that supposed to mean? And/or why is it apparently so funny (laughs from the audience every time they mention it)? :blink:
 

Origin

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"Wheel-shuffling", I would assume, is the act of keeping your hands in the same (or a similar) location on the wheel while turning it, instead of reaching over one hand with the other to pull around (which could end up with the arms/hands colliding, preventing someone from turning the wheel mid-turn). Then again, I don't drive (yet), so I'm probably going to get corrected on this one.

A possible and likely reason why it gets laughs from the audience is the "imaginary steering wheel" gesture that Jeremy uses is pretty much a double-handed version of the derogatory "wanker" gesture (especially when he moves his hands up and down). The fact that Jeremy chooses this way to refer to the "wheel-shuffling" tendencies of the Advanced Motorists (or the Institute in general) could be seen as a "subliminal message" of sorts. ;)
 

Cobol74

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You have just about got it.

You are taught to drive with your hands at '10' to '2' if you imagine a clock face. You turn by shuffling the steering wheel between your hands - this is really the lowest common denominator and safest approach for those with no experience or understanding of car control.

Steering 101 to borrow an American phrase.
 

hidea

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Question: Someone from TopGear used the term Soggy "Blancmage" before. I'm not sure if it's Blemonge or Blancmage?

What is it anyway? I looked it up on google, it's some sort of pudding.
 

Soup?

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What is it anyway? I looked it up on google, it's some sort of pudding.
If you're going to answer your own questions, this thread won't work.:)

Blancmange is indeed a desserty puddingy foodstuff. As I recall, it's sort-of halfway between custard and jelly.


ETA: When they say a car handles like a blancmange, they presumably mean it's... well, imagine steering a waterbed-on-wheels.
 
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Wyvern

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Blancmange is indeed a desserty puddingy foodstuff. As I recall, it's sort-of halfway between custard and jelly.

That's a really good way of describing it - it's like a set custard, but unlike custard it doesn't usually contain eggs, and like a jelly it can be set with gelatine, though usually it isn't.

A typical recipe for blancmange would just be milk, sugar, cornflour and something like almond, lemon or rosewater to flavour it (because otherwise it would be even more disgusting). It's made in a mould, like jelly or creme caramel, and it is very wobbly when unmoulded.

It was a popular sickroom food in past times, because it's very bland and easy to digest.

This is what a blancmange looks like...

2775.jpg


If a car handles like a bland, wobbly pudding, it can't be a good thing :lol:
 

MWF

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That's a really good way of describing it - it's like a set custard, but unlike custard it doesn't usually contain eggs, and like a jelly it can be set with gelatine, though usually it isn't.

A typical recipe for blancmange would just be milk, sugar, cornflour and something like almond, lemon or rosewater to flavour it (because otherwise it would be even more disgusting). It's made in a mould, like jelly or creme caramel, and it is very wobbly when unmoulded.

It was a popular sickroom food in past times, because it's very bland and easy to digest.

This is what a blancmange looks like...

2775.jpg


If a car handles like a bland, wobbly pudding, it can't be a good thing :lol:

Actually that particular blancmange looks a lot like the skirt from a hovercraft, but then you wouldn't want your car to handle like one of those either!!!
 

biggestmexi

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Why do they Say "Zed", instead of just Z.

Like 350Zed. Its 350 Z. thats all.

also is spotted dick any good?
 
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