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  1. #1
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    Dear all,

    Are these idioms understandable for non British ( ordinary non English teacher American, Australian ) ?


    Dunkirk spirit


    on Carey Street

    set the Thames on fire

    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Dear all,

    Are these idioms understandable for non British ( ordinary non English teacher American, Australian ) ?


    Dunkirk spirit -- I have no idea what this means.


    on Carey Street -- I have no idea what this means.

    set the Thames on fire -- I don't know this, but it sounds like "Paint the town red." What does it mean?

    Many thanks
    I read a reasonable number of British novels, and I don't know any of these.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Dear all,

    Are these idioms understandable for non British ( ordinary non English teacher American, Australian ) ?


    Dunkirk spirit


    on Carey Street

    set the Thames on fire

    Many thanks
    While I've never heard the latter two, I think the term "Dunkirk spirit" or the "spirit of Dunkirk" would be understandable to some older Americans.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    'On Carey street' ("Carew"? - but with the same pronunciation) is pretty obscure, even over here; I think it's something to do with bankruptcy, but I've never used it.

    'Set the Thames alight' is the version I've met. It's a bit like 'painting the town red', Barb, but more flamboyant (the idea of flames is there - that is,you needn't actually set light to anything, but you have to 'make a bit of a splash').

    'Dunkirk spirit' is the only common one.

    b

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    What does it mean?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?


  7. #7
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    I am just wondering if these idioms are not popular even for native speaker from UK

    Why does usingenglish.com put the list of these idioms in this website ?

    Does it mean that learning these idioms ( Idiom Category: Place name - UsingEnglish.com ) is carrying coals to Newcastle or flogging dead horse ?

    Idiom Category: Place name - UsingEnglish.com

    Many thanks

  8. #8
    duiter is offline Member
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?


  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Are these idioms understandable for non British ?

    The clever link, which ought to take you to the right place, doesn't. Scroll down to the Contents box and click on 6 "Dunkirk Spirit".

    The term is bang up-to-date, widely used in 21st century media of all kinds.

    b

  10. #10
    Vidor is offline Member
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    Default not a teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by duiter View Post
    Dear all,

    Are these idioms understandable for non British ( ordinary non English teacher American, Australian ) ?


    Dunkirk spirit


    on Carey Street

    set the Thames on fire

    Many thanks
    As an American...no, no, no, and yes. I know what "Dunkirk spirit" is, but my bookshelf is filled with books about WWII. No idea of Carey Street. I know what the Thames is but don't know what the idiom means. "Many thanks", however, is very common in American speech.

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