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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    Hi everybody,
    I don't know if this question should be posted here. It's not really about studying but I want to know ideas mainly from the teachers:

    Is it vexing when addressing the British people as "the Brit" and the American people as "the Yanks"? Will it cause vexation? Is it safe to say so?

    P.S: In my question, should I use "the British people" or simply "British people"? (I somehow feel that both are ok)

    Many thanks in advance.
    Newbie

  1. banderas's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie;297039
    Is it vexing when addressing the British people as "the Brit" and the American people as "the Yanks"? Will it cause vexation? Is it safe to say so?

    [COLOR=red
    Many British people call themselves Brits. It is informal expression best used only by the British.[/color] The same works for "Yanks", I believe.[/COLOR]
    Newbie
    k
    Last edited by banderas; 18-May-2008 at 15:39. Reason: typo


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    Hi everybody,
    I don't know if this question should be posted here. It's not really about studying but I want to know ideas mainly from the teachers:

    Is it vexing when addressing the British people as "the Brit" and the American people as "the Yanks"? Will it cause vexation? Is it safe to say so?

    P.S: In my question, should I use "the British people" or simply "British people"? (I somehow feel that both are ok)

    Many thanks in advance.
    Newbie

    Correctly it is "Britons", the British or the British people. We are becoming quite used to being called Brits, but it is slightly offensive.

    In what context do you want to use the slang forms?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    I have never heard an American refer to himself as "a Yank" with the possible exception of during a conversation with "a Brit."

    I wouldn't find it offensive, but I associate it completely with the U.K. It would sound odd to me to hear it from anyone else.

    Within the U.S., a "Yankee" is a northerner, and within the north, a Yankee is from northern New England.


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #5

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    In what context do you want to use the slang forms?
    Hi Anglika,
    Actually I've seen people use these short forms a lot, so I wonder if they are just a bit informal, but still able to be used without causing vexation, or that they are very offensive. (You know, just as you said, the British people seem to get used to being call "the Brits", so I just wonder if it can be an informal and friendly (or humorous) way of addressing them)

    Thank you very much one more time

    P.S: about the matter of "British people" and "the British people", could you please be a bit more specific? I think I've heard people use "British people without "the" quite commonly...


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    #6

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    The British people = all the British

    The British people are facing potentially disastrous economic problems.


    British people = some British people [unspecified number]

    British people go abroad on holiday often.

    As to the usage of "Brits", I find it faintly offensive and at times patronising. But as I say, we are getting used to it. I have also got to say that the Scots, Welsh and Irish may find it an extremely offensive term!


    • Join Date: Dec 2008
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    #7

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I have never heard an American refer to himself as "a Yank" with the possible exception of during a conversation with "a Brit.
    What about the U.S. Baseball Team, The New York Yankees..? They were Americans referring to themselves .


    • Join Date: Dec 2008
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    #8

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    The British people = all the British
    I have also got to say that the Scots, Welsh and Irish may find it an extremely offensive term!
    Would 'the Scots', referred as such, not be offended in the same way you are when referred as a 'Brit'? Just to play Devil's advocate a little . (By the way, did I construct that sentence correctly? Looks a little weird.)

    As a Welshman, I have no problem being referred as a Brit - but then I see myself as Welsh first, British second. When referring to my 'latter' nationality though, I'd generally refer myself as British. I'd only use 'Brit' if being rather candid, or even jokingly derogatory (e.g. "The trouble with us Brits..."). That said, I often hear Americans referring to us as Brits, particularly on television.

    I think it's possibly wise to also comment here that, as a Welshman, there are far more offensive terms I've endured than 'Brit' .

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Is it ok to say "the Brits" or "the Yanks"?

    I've personally never taken offense when a Brit referred to me as a "Yank." Likewise, being married to a man from Georgia (I was born and raised in Michigan), I'm accustomed to being referred to as a "Yankee" when I visit the deep South. It's not offensive, per se, but it is a term that defines you as being "different." For example, one time we were driving through northern Alabama in January and they'd experienced a very light dusting of snow (very rare weather for that area). When we were stopped at a gas station, a man walking by noticed our Michigan license plate and commented "I don't know how you Yankees can stand this [swear word] snow!"

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