[Vocabulary] Rover = bicycle

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JarekSteliga

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We have no other word in Polish to describe a bicycle, but ... rover (spelled rower). Is anybody here aware of similar phenomena in other languages with British brandnames serving as a starting point?
Also Electrolux is often substituted for vacuum cleaner (though vacuum cleaner in its Polish form also exists). Is (or was) Electrolux a British manufacturer?
 

Grumpy

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I think Electrolux is actually a Swedish company, although we have many of its products in the UK. The generic name for a vacuum cleaner in the UK is a "Hoover", which is an American company. I'm sure there are many other examples, but I can't think of any at the moment - sorry!
 

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Xerox and Jell-o are two that spring to mind.
 

JarekSteliga

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Xerox and Jell-o are two that spring to mind.

I quite forgot about this. Yes, we never copy anything, but "xerox" it or make/take a "xerox" of this or that. It is so funny to observe how the borrowed/appropriated verb functions in a language with a very elaborate verb declination system, as Polish is.

Here is how it goes, so perhaps you can have a laugh or two:

I ja kseru
you ty kserujesz
she/he ona/on kseruje


we my kserujemy
you we kserujecie
they oni kseru


And this is just for the Present Tense! :-o
 

emsr2d2

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Another example in English is "biro" (a type of pen) which was originally "Biro" because that was the name of the man who invented it.
"Hoover" is now uncapitalised and is just a "hoover".
Normal sticky tape is generally referred to as "sellotape", even though it is still the major brand name.
Apparently, "rollerblade" was originally a brand name so was capitalised but certainly isn't any more in BrE.

We don't use "xerox" (any more) in BrE. We just say "photocopy".
We also don't use "jello". It's "jelly" (which, confusingly, is used in AmE to describe what we call "jam".)
 

Rover_KE

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Then there's 'kleenex' for facial tissue and 'elastoplast' ('band-aid') for sticking plaster.

Rover
(Not a bicycle)
 

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In Canada many people call sticky tape Scotch tape, a brand of 3M Corporation.
 

emsr2d2

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In Canada many people call sticky tape Scotch tape, a brand of 3M Corporation.

If they wrote "Scotch tape", would they capitalise the first word though? In my opinion, something has genuinely become a generic name for something when it loses capitalisation.

That is exactly what has happened with hoover, biro and sellotape.
 

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If they wrote "Scotch tape", would they capitalise the first word though? In my opinion, something has genuinely become a generic name for something when it loses capitalisation.

That is exactly what has happened with hoover, biro and sellotape.

I think "Scotch" would be capitalized no matter what, because it is a nationality.

The process by which words become "generic" is fought by corporate lawyers who have to defend their trade names from such use.

Product Catalog: Scotch® Products

Note all the little "circle-R" trademark use on this official site.

Mot people use "photocopy" here now as well. Whether this is because Xerox's lawyers won the battle or because Xerox lost market share is a question.
 

emsr2d2

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I'm sure if you went through a stationery catalogue in the UK, all sticky tape products made by "Sellotape" would be capitalised. But in general usage by the public, we don't capitalise it because we no longer think of it as a company name.

"Scotch" is very rarely used in the UK to describe the nationality of people. "Scottish" is the most common word. "Scotch" is still used to describe food with Scottish origins: Scotch whisky, Scotch eggs.
 

bhaisahab

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If you called a Scottish person "Scotch" they would be offended. "Scots" is acceptable. To the best of my knowledge Scottish people don't call whisky Scotch, they call it whisky.
(Only distantly Scottish)
 

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The entire "Scotch" tape thing started as an ethnic slur anyway, so the Scots should be offended. According to legend, the original tape was not very good, hence considered "Scotch" meaning "cheap."
 

Tdol

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How about google as a verb?
 

BobK

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...
"Hoover" is now uncapitalised and is just a "hoover".
...
:up: Not only is it uncapitalized - to the horror, perhaps, of the lawyers - but it's even a verb: 'Leave that, I'll hoover it up when you're finished'. MrsK says this when I'm putting up shelves - even though the appliance that she does the hoovering with (yes, it's a back-formed abstract noun as well) is in fact a Dyson.

b
 

emsr2d2

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:up: Not only is it uncapitalized - to the horror, perhaps, of the lawyers - but it's even a verb: 'Leave that, I'll hoover it up when you're finished'. MrsK says this when I'm putting up shelves - even though the appliance that she does the hoovering with (yes, it's a back-formed abstract noun as well) is in fact a Dyson.

b

It's been both a verb and a noun for as long as I can remember. We use the verb in other ways too. For example, if someone eats a plate of food very quickly, almost just sucking it into their mouth, never to be seen again, you can say "Wow! He hoovered that up!"
 

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Another one: the makers of adhesive tape designed for repairs to air ducts, noting that users assimilated the first /t/ anyway, coined the brand-name 'Duck Tape'. I don't think users nowadays care about the particular tape they use bearing the 'Duck' brand (although 'DuCk' has a pretty large market share).

b
 
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emsr2d2

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Another one: the makers of adhesive tape designed for repairs to air ducts, noting that users assimilated the first /t/ anyway, coined the brand-name 'Duck Tape'. I don't think users nowadays care about the particular tape they use bearing the 'Duck' brand (although 'Dusk' has a pretty large market share).

b

That's one of those things that you suddenly discover you've been mishearing/mis-saying for rather a lot of years. Until about six months ago, I believed the generic term was "duct tape" and thought it was simple coincidence when I noticed a brand of "duct tape" in the DIY store called "Duck Tape". I was then told that whether talking about that specific brand or not, I should have been calling it "duck tape" because that was the generic name that had stuck (no pun intended).
 

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We have no other word in Polish to describe a bicycle, but ... rover (spelled rower)...
Returning to the first post, I believe in Ireland, or in a part of Ireland, or in the imagination of Flann O'Brien, there was a brand of bicycle that was used generically. It's a while since I read The Third Policeman so I forget what the name was.

b

PS Incidentally, that book examines the possibility of the transformation that Rover feared (a man turning into a bicycle);-)
 

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Portakabin/portacabin
 

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That's one of those things that you suddenly discover you've been mishearing/mis-saying for rather a lot of years. Until about six months ago, I believed the generic term was "duct tape" and thought it was simple coincidence when I noticed a brand of "duct tape" in the DIY store called "Duck Tape". I was then told that whether talking about that specific brand or not, I should have been calling it "duck tape" because that was the generic name that had stuck (no pun intended).

Duct tape - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interesting article. I've always known it as "duct tape" and assumed people who thought it was "duck" were simply mis-hearing things.

Turns out that it was originally "duck," but "duct" is the term in common use since the 1950s.

There is a brand "Duck" but they call it "Duck brand duct tape."
 
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