From: MatCoward@aol.com
Date: 03 Jun 2003

<< Okay, "Jack and Danny" must mean no hesitation or right away, but where
 does it come from? Who were Jack and Danny and what does their last
 name rhyme with, assuming it's rhyming slang? >>

It means fanny, as in mess around, but I don't know who Jack and Danny were, if anyone. Jack Daniels, perhaps?

<<"They're living in big drums, two new motors parked up outside, flashing the cash and even signing on the Kid Creole every fortnight. Balls they called it. Rank stupidity and greed I'd call it." I get that it means they are living large, being conspicuous and calling attention to themselves. But what about the specifics. Drums mean house, right? Where's that come from? >>

I've always assumed that drum kit rhymes with pit - the place you sleep. The US equivalent, I think, would be crib, which is your bed (your pit), and by extension, your flat.

>>And I'm guessing that "Kid Creole" means public assistance, rhyming with
"dole"? But why Kid Creole? >>

Dole, yes; a knowing updating (but not *very* up to date, which i suppose is the point) of the more common "Nat King [Cole]". It's worth mentioning that most of these terms are used in fiction (especially TV) a donald duck of a lot more than they are in real life (or what passes for real life in The Smoke). I lived in London for many years (albeit North not South) and never heard anyone say "I only left me drum once all day, and that was to sign on the Nat King - spent the rest of the time Jack'n'Dannying about."

<< Decoding UK slang leads me to wonder if there is a similar problem with US slang for non-natives. Do those of you from other cultures find yourself struggling with US argot or is our exported culture so ubiquitous that you are already fluent in it?>>

I'm not sure it's the ubiquity; I think it's more that the UK is much more cosmopolitan than the US, and therefore finds foreignness generally easier to read. I know from personal experience that some USian readers go into a state of near-catatonia, or else righteous rage, when faced with any word or concept which they havent grown up with! (While others, of course, love it).

- Mat C
<A HREF=" http://hometown.aol.co.uk/matcoward/myhomepage/newsletter.html"> http://hometown.aol.co.uk/matcoward/myhomepage/newsletter.html>

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