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  1. #1
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    I heard people in England say "lovely" instead of saying "Thank you" or "wonderful." Do Englishmen also say "lovely" in that case?

    Or if you say "lovely" too often, could that possibly suggest that you might be gay?

    Anne: We will go on a day trip sailing around the Mediterranean Sea on
    Thursday.
    Mr. Smith: How lovely!

    Do you have an impression that Mr. Smith in the above dialogue could be gay? Or is it quite normal for Englishmen to say "How lovely!"?

    A man would be taken for a gay man, if he uses "lovely" too often in America, wouldn't he?

    Thank you for your help

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    A man would be taken for a gay man, if he uses "lovely" too often in America, wouldn't he?

    Thank you for your help

    He would be taken for gay in the US if he uttered even one "lovely."


    (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course...)

  3. #3
    DavyBCN's Avatar
    DavyBCN is offline Member
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    He would be taken for gay in the US if he uttered even one "lovely."
    (Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course...)

    Absolutely no problem in using lovely in the UK. No sexual orientation assumed.

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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavyBCN View Post
    Absolutely no problem in using lovely in the UK. No sexual orientation assumed.
    I think perhaps it's becoming less common though - it sounds rather old-fashioned to me. Also, I can't help thinking of Windsor Davies saying "Come on, you lovely boys...", but perhaps that's just my age .

  5. #5
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    It is used in NaE to sarcastically state the opposite of lovely.

    Isn't that lovely!

  6. #6
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    It is used in NaE to sarcastically state the opposite of lovely.
    Isn't that lovely!
    Yup, that's definitely a common usage in the US --- used sarcastically to mean the opposite of "wonderful".
    .

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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    In the US, I have heard people say "beautiful"
    or "That's beautiful, man" but I
    don't think that is an expression used
    in/by the mainstream. I have the impression
    that it was perhaps used more in the 60's
    and is connected with the hippie (sub)culture,
    similar to "groovy" or "That's groovy, man"
    though I could be totally wrong about this.
    And I didn't get the impression that sexual
    orientation had anything to do with it.

  8. #8
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    Much would depend on the tone of voice, in BrE. "How lovely!" or "What a lovely X!" might well suggest either an older male speaker, or a female speaker of any age.

    On the other hand, "lovely" as a straightforward adjective might be applied by a BrE male speaker of any age to pints of beer, wads of banknotes, goals, mechanical devices of engrossing intricacy, etc., without unduly startling the onlookers.

    (It's also quite common in BrE regional dialects, as a term of approbation.)

    MrP

  9. #9
    Yoshio is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    I didn't know that "lovely" can be used in so many ways. The Japanese word for "lovely" that most Japanese come up with is something like attractive or pretty. I wouldn't use the word to describe wads of banknotes.
    And "lovely" could mean the opposite of wonderful, which is surprising to me
    But doesn't it depend on how you say it? If so, I think I understand a bit of it.

    I really appreciate your help. Thank you so much.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Do men often say "lovely" in England?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    I didn't know that "lovely" can be used in so many ways. The Japanese word for "lovely" that most Japanese come up with is something like attractive or pretty. I wouldn't use the word to describe wads of banknotes.
    That is what makes language so interesting. :)
    There are so many ways to express your feelings and emotions.
    According to the OUP dictionary link that someone recently
    posted (perhaps it was MrP), "lovely" is informally used to
    mean 'enjoyable, pleasant, wonderful'.
    Sometimes, we may understand the meaning from the context.
    At other times, we may know the meaning, but we may
    still not feel very comfortable using it, even though we may be
    able to use it correctly. Then there are some words that feel
    natural to us, and we like them and use them, or actually
    enjoy using them. So, if you hear it often enough, you may indeed
    say "lovely" if someone gives you a wad of banknotes.

    BTW, may I ask what are the Japanese words that you mentioned above?
    Is it "kawaii" for "lovely"? And what would you say in Japanese
    if someone gives you a wad of banknotes? Would you say, "sugoi"
    or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    And "lovely" could mean the opposite of wonderful, which is surprising to me
    But doesn't it depend on how you say it? If so, I think I understand a bit of it.
    It is part of many cultures (if not all) to say something and
    mean something else. This is used as sarcasm or as humor.
    (Sometimes saracasm is used as humor, and at other times,
    humor is used to pass off sarcasm. The complexity of
    language, and of human nature is amazing indeed!)

    Sometimes, you can get small clues about the real meaning,
    from the intonation or from the context.

    For example,
    Friend1: I got promoted today.
    Friend2: That's great! Congratulations! (expressing joy)

    In a meeting to discuss the release of a product for sale:

    Project Manager: Are we ready to release XYZ (software/product) tomorrow?
    A: Actually, B has found a bug/glitch. The team thinks it will
    take at least three more days to fix it. And we need two more days to test it again after that.

    Project Manager: That's just great! That is going to make us late,
    now that the holiday season is coming up.

    (expressing displeasure/frustration)

    I had not realized this earlier, but people use "actually" to indicate to the
    other person that something is not according to what the other person thinks, or to say something that somebody may not like. In
    the above example, you can see that by using "actually", A lets the
    project manager know that the product won't be ready as he is expecting.
    In other words, "actually" is used to prime (prepare) the project manager
    to hear the piece of information that is not what he expects.
    In Japanese, there is something similar - "chotto" - it primes the
    other person that what he is suggesting/expecting is not OK,
    although it is not said at all, because of all the non-verbal communication
    that happens in Japanese and other Eastern cultures.
    (Please correct me if I am wrong about this, Yoshio. Onegaishimasu).

    A: getsuyoubi ni aimashouka. (Shall we meet on Monday?)
    B: getsuyoubi wa chotto.... (Monday is somewhat .....)
    Last edited by englishstudent; 31-Aug-2006 at 21:31.

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