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  1. #11
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by SanMar View Post
    Perhaps it's just Canadian culture but unless you are talking to your pets or really young children, using diminutives in Canada usually comes across as (and I say this as nice as possible) idiotic.
    Undies and Ozzies are the only two that I can think of that are seen as "normal".

    I know that diminutives come across very different in other cultures so honestly no offense is intended here.

    Not a teacher.
    +1000

    People who talk like that make me want to slap them.

  2. #12
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    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by SanMar View Post
    Perhaps it's just Canadian culture but unless you are talking to your pets or really young children, using diminutives in Canada usually comes across as (and I say this as nice as possible) idiotic.
    Undies and Ozzies are the only two that I can think of that are seen as "normal".

    I know that diminutives come across very different in other cultures so honestly no offense is intended here.

    Not a teacher.
    It's definitely a cultural thing. It's more common in Polish but obviously you can overdo it. My friend picked up some Polish from his ex-girlfriend who happened to be a big fan of diminutives, so now he pretty much softens everything. ;)

  3. #13
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    It's definitely a cultural thing. It's more common in Polish but obviously you can overdo it. My friend picked up some Polish from his ex-girlfriend who happened to be a big fan of diminutives, so now he pretty much softens everything. ;)
    I assume Polish is like Russian/Ukrainian. In those languages making diminutives is much more natural than in English. In English (Canadian at least) it has a bigger potential for sounding idiotic because it doesn't sound natural.

    Disclaimer: just an opinion!

  4. #14
    SanMar's Avatar
    SanMar is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    I definitely think it is culturally based. In Portuguese diminutives, if not really overdone, are seen as sweet and gentle.
    Diminutives in general really do stand out in Canada and not in a good way.


    Not a teachie.

    (My attempt at a diminutive and jokkie!... Did someone say something about a slappie?... )


  5. #15
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    I'd take a cuppa to mean tea not coffee. I don't know if other BrE speakers would do the same.

  6. #16
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'd take a cuppa to mean tea not coffee. I don't know if other BrE speakers would do the same.
    Always.

  7. #17
    SanMar's Avatar
    SanMar is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I'd take a cuppa to mean tea not coffee. I don't know if other BrE speakers would do the same.
    In North America it is almost exclusively referred to coffee.
    a cuppa java
    a cuppa joe

    But this was a bit of a phase, it's popularity TV derived I think, and it's not really hear that much anymore. Well at least I don't hear it anymore.

    Not a teacher.

  8. #18
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by SanMar View Post
    In North America it is almost exclusively referred to coffee.
    a cuppa java
    a cuppa joe

    But this was a bit of a phase, it's popularity TV derived I think, and it's not really hear that much anymore. Well at least I don't hear it anymore.

    Not a teacher.
    Tdol was referring to the word 'cuppa' on its own -

    I could do with a nice cuppa now.

    When followed by a type of drink, we do pronounce 'cup of' as 'cuppa' - a cup of coffeee - but that's different.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    Sorry for an unrelated post but...

    My Aussie friend get really upset when I type Ozzie to refer to her. She keeps saying, "I don't bite the heads off bats!"
    Yes, I'm sorry. Ozzie is another peurile spelling of Aussie, which is a serviceable diminutive.

  10. #20
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I had a bikkie and a cuppa for brekkie - diminutives

    What do you think of 'all righty'? The word crept into my vocabulary after watching Sex and the City, where one of the characters kept using it. I wonder if it sounds somewhat idiotic to you; it sounded nice to me :)

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