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Thread: old girl, what?

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    #1

    old girl, what?

    Originally Posted by Piscean I say, ems, that was a spiffing response. Jolly good show, old girl, what?
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/threads/244332-I-say!
    Jolly good show is used to express admiration for what someone has said or done.
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/zht/...olly-good-show
    What does old girl, what mean?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: old girl, what?

    It's an expression of endearment from many years ago.

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    #3

    Re: old girl, what?

    In the delightful animated French film Astérix chez les bretons ("Asterix in Britain"), all the English characters speak heavily accented French larded with exclamations like je dis ! ("I say!") and quoi ? ("what?") while sipping hot water with milk (as tea hasn't yet been discovered). It's France's revenge on the scene outside the French castle in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


    "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."
    Last edited by GoesStation; 19-Dec-2016 at 14:43. Reason: To fix an egregious error.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: old girl, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It's an expression of endearment from many years ago.
    If I am talking to a man, should I change old girl to old boy?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: old girl, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by sitifan View Post
    If I am talking to a man, should I change old girl to old boy?
    Yes indeed, old bean. ("Bean" is another option in this long-obsolete locution.)
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    #6

    Re: old girl, what?

    And, helpfully (?), "old bean" can be used to both sexes, as can "old thing".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: old girl, what?

    The last time anybody addressed me as 'old boy' was in late November 1973. I had acquired a VCR (not very common in those days) for the school I ran in Stuttgart. At the request of a friend in the British Consulate, I had a colleague in England record the wedding of Princess Anne and send me the recording. I showed the recording at a packed meeting of the Consulate social club. As the champagne was being passed round after the viewing (really!), one elderly chap came up and said "Good show, old boy.We British can still show the world how to do it, what?" I thought for a second that he was extracting the urine (both the 'old boy' and the 'what' were at least two decades past their expiry date) but, fortunately, realised just in time that he was deadly serious, and agreed that we certainly could show them.

    That was the year a new Commercial Consul took up his post. I was a guest at the meeting with local German businessmen at which he tactfully introduced himself with the words "This is not my first tour of duty in Germany. I was here in 1946 with the army of occupation".

    Those were the days!

    ps. I have to admit I have been known to embellish the truth in my anecdotes on occasion. Not this time, sadly.

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    #8

    Re: old girl, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    The last time anybody addressed me as 'old boy' was in late November 1973. I had acquired a VCR (not very common in those days) for the school I ran in Stuttgart. At the request of a friend in the British Consulate, I had a colleague in England record the wedding of Princess Anne and send me the recording. I showed the recording at a packed meeting of the Consulate social club. As the champagne was being passed round after the viewing (really!), one elderly chap came up and said "Good show, old boy.We British can still show the world how to do it, what?" I thought for a second that he was extracting the urine (both the 'old boy' and the 'what' were at least two decades past their expiry date) but, fortunately, realised just in time that he was deadly serious, and agreed that we certainly could show them.
    What does what mean in the quotation?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #9

    Re: old girl, what?

    It's a fairly meaningless question tag. I suppoe you could take it to mean "What do you think?"

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    #10

    Re: old girl, what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    The last time anybody addressed me as 'old boy' was in late November 1973. I had acquired a VCR (not very common in those days) for the school I ran in Stuttgart. At the request of a friend in the British Consulate, I had a colleague in England record the wedding of Princess Anne and send me the recording. I showed the recording at a packed meeting of the Consulate social club. As the champagne was being passed round after the viewing (really!), one elderly chap came up and said "Good show, old boy.We British can still show the world how to do it, what?" I thought for a second that he was extracting the urine (both the 'old boy' and the 'what' were at least two decades past their expiry date) but, fortunately, realised just in time that he was deadly serious, and agreed that we certainly could show them.
    A packed meeting is a meeting extremely full of people, isn't it?
    I need native speakers' help.

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