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harry

English translation: US: redneck

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12:40 May 10, 2002
Norwegian to English translations [PRO]
Slang / Slang
Norwegian term or phrase: harry
I have never really been sure what was meant by "harry", but then I came
across a series of articles in Dagbladet
(http://www.dagbladet.no/kultur/1999/06/19/168403.html), which attempt to
throw some light on the issue. It seems to have something to do with the
perception by educated middle class town-dwellers of a particular taste or
lack of taste exhibited by some working class rural dwellers who share
certain preferences in style of dress, home decoration, holidays, motor
cars, music, etc. I am sure that the "harry" lifestyle is not restricted to
Norway, but I am at a loss to know what it would be called in England or the
USA.
Richard Lawson
Local time: 22:58
English translation:US: redneck
Explanation:
I think redneck is a fair equivalent, although the history of the words are quite different. The name/word "Harry" (and his female pendant "Doris", a word that has gone out of use) was coined in the 50's and used to denote a fan of rock'n'roll/rockabilly music and the subculture associated with it. In time, the word came to have increasingly negative connotations, and is today used in the sense described by RMGL in his/her query.
As for a British equivalent, I do not know. In popular English culture (comedy), the scouser is often portrayed in a way that reminds me of the Norwegian Harry, but that amounts to little more than a shallow cultural stereotype.
Selected response from:

Eivind Lilleskjaeret
Local time: 22:58
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +2hillbilly
Vedis Bjørndal
5Chavpseudochav
4 +1yokelLyngstad
4shallow, nerdy,
Per Bergvall
4bumpkin
Andy Bell
4US: redneck
Eivind Lilleskjaeret
4 -1(an ordinary) Joe
Sven Petersson
4 -1boganEKM
4 -1every Dick, Tom or Harry
swisstell


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
every Dick, Tom or Harry


Explanation:
is the saying here in the USA, meaning that the everyday average guy does it or has it

swisstell
Italy
Local time: 22:58
Native speaker of: German

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  _andy_: Harry in the Norwegian context does not mean "average" like every Tom Dick and Harry - the meaning is different, it is a very local phenomenon and doesn't translate well. The best I've found is redneck, it conveys the essense in different cultural context
1199 days
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
(an ordinary) Joe


Explanation:
See reference!


    Reference: http://www.nba.com/suns/news/crispin_feature.html
Sven Petersson
Sweden
Local time: 22:58
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  _andy_: This is also not correct. It does not mean ordinary, it means more someone who lives a particular lifestyle, and someone who tends to think they are really cool.
1199 days
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55 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
US: redneck


Explanation:
I think redneck is a fair equivalent, although the history of the words are quite different. The name/word "Harry" (and his female pendant "Doris", a word that has gone out of use) was coined in the 50's and used to denote a fan of rock'n'roll/rockabilly music and the subculture associated with it. In time, the word came to have increasingly negative connotations, and is today used in the sense described by RMGL in his/her query.
As for a British equivalent, I do not know. In popular English culture (comedy), the scouser is often portrayed in a way that reminds me of the Norwegian Harry, but that amounts to little more than a shallow cultural stereotype.

Eivind Lilleskjaeret
Local time: 22:58
Native speaker of: Native in NorwegianNorwegian
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Elaine Scholpp: For the U.S. this is probably as close as you'll get.ever, redneck Another common term is 'white trash' or 'trailer trash'.
54 mins

disagree  Vedis Bjørndal: This is so wrong! A harry person is not prejudiced or aggressive at all, he is ignorant, and he doesn't know it.ll
17 hrs

disagree  Hege Jakobsen Lepri: redneck has far wider-going connotations... even if in these FRP times being harry may come to imply the same -giving it time
19 hrs

agree  _andy_: The proper defintiion of redneck (by people living in America) is someone that is ignorant and doesn't know it. So if that's the definition then it certainly fits
1199 days
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
bogan


Explanation:
I'm at a loss as to what the expression would be in America; I suspect you might have to explain the cultural context to give it justice.

However, the word "bogan" is used for the small-town, leather-jacketed idle underclass white males with a preference for motor vehicles and status symbols in New Zealand.

Grease boys? Homer Simpsons? :)



EKM
Sweden
Local time: 22:58
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  _andy_: This term is too local to use. Nobody reading it would know what it means, just like nobody would know what Harry means if they are not Norwegian.
1199 days
  -> In the explanation, I did indicate that this term applies to New Zealand. Moreover, the question has already been graded, so I cannot quite see why you feel it is so vital to put a 'disagree' here, over three years after the question was asked... Bored?
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
bumpkin


Explanation:
......... It's difficult to find an English (GB) equivalent to "redneck" - altho' I like Eivind's "Scouser" - especially as I was born in Merseyside!!! I've read the Dagbladet article - and know exactly what you mean. There was even a character on a late show on NRK - who was dressed in the same style - white socks - slipon shoes, "mullet" haircut" and dodgy leather jacket. Nowadays in England we'd surely refer to someone as a "Sun-reader" or similar to imply a certain level of income, or education. You're more likely to see regional sterotypes in the UK now - than to see a coverall label for people of a certain type. "Working" or "Upper" class - are becoming somewhat outmoded terms. Very interesting chain of thought tho'. Cheers

Andy

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Note added at 2002-05-10 13:52:51 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

...... I wonder about \"hick\" or even \"white-trash\" tho\'???

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-05-10 15:59:39 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

A new addition to the vernacular in UK English ... \"Scally\" came to light following the Northern music explosion in the eighties. I think this might be the term that most equates to a Harry - especially given the Shell suit and ropey Haircuts.....I\'m sure Eivind would agree (nothing to do with his hair!).
Cheers
Andy

Andy Bell
Local time: 04:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eivind Lilleskjaeret: hick and white trash are good alternatives, methinks. Øyvind Blunck's character on that NRK programme was definitely an "Harry" :-)
27 mins

neutral  Elaine Scholpp: "Hick" is very much like redneck, and "white trash" is also good. However, I don't think "bumpkin" has the same negative connotation as harry. I've heard bumpkin used in a more pleasing reference to country ways.
40 mins

disagree  _andy_: I haven't heard anyone been called a bumpkin either, and even so it does not convey Harry.
1199 days
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
yokel


Explanation:
Eg. local yokel. Not so much a reference to the way the dress but more a - smalltown original reference.

Reference: American husband.

Lyngstad
Local time: 22:58

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Vedis Bjørndal: This is the term I would use. In my upbringing a person who was named "Harry" (an English boy's name ) had parents (or a mother who tried to rise above her class and was ignorant of the real signal it produced). Any equiv. in English?was the
16 hrs

neutral  _andy_: This could work, but still doesn't convey the meaning of the word entirely.
1199 days
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
shallow, nerdy,


Explanation:
Have read other offerings with interest, and one sorely missing fact is that harry is not a noun or even a person - it is an adjective or adverb, describing people and people's actions - as in "it's completely harry to <go shopping in Sweden, drive convertibles top-down in bad weather, wear sunglasses inside, eat supermarket pizza>". To translate harry is to translate the meaning - a simple, country bumpkin kind of soul; hick probably comes closest.

Per Bergvall
Norway
Local time: 22:58
Native speaker of: Native in NorwegianNorwegian
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  _andy_: A Harry person is often shallow, but it is not enough... Nerdy is not really the same as Harry because Harry people usually wear cowboy boots and drive American cars honking their horn while blasting their radio. Nerds don't do that.
1199 days
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18 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
hillbilly


Explanation:
This is a very good term for "harry". A person named Harry thinks he is better than others because his parents (or mother) reads books/magazines where there may be a character named "Harry". She likes this character and names her son after him. She tries to make him different or better than other boys with Norwegian names. "Harry" is in daily use in our household, f.ex. if I have a pair of new pants and my daughter tells me they're "harry" she means they're completely out of fashion, but I think they're grand.
People who go to Sweden to buy meat/beer are people with moderate income who tries to have the same lifestyle as affluent people, that is eat well and drink well.
But, may be the use of "hillbilly" has other connotations in the US that I am aware of.

Vedis Bjørndal
Norway
Local time: 22:58
Native speaker of: Native in NorwegianNorwegian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Hege Jakobsen Lepri: actually "harry" is aregional term used around Oslo, which can be substituted freely with "høkkert" in Trøndelag... so I would'n go to much into the etymology... Agree with this translation as a possibility, thougho
2 hrs

agree  _andy_: I've stumbled on Harry in many a translation and a common denominator is that it conveys a hilbilly mentality transfered to Norwegian conditions. I second this suggestion for lack of better terms to use.
1198 days
  -> Thank you, Andy! 'Hillbilly' is still what I would use for 'harry' as I know him/her. Alth. the expr-n 'every tom,dick and harry' may have been the origin of the Norw. one.
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923 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Chav


Explanation:
A harry is what we would describe in the UK as a norwegian chav. For an understanding of the full implications of the phrase chav (derived from the gypsy/Romanian for child) I suggest you turn your research to The Sun published by News International.

pseudochav

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  _andy_: Now the question becomes whether we are translating into UK or American English. Being a speaker of American English, if you told me "Chav" I would not know what on earth you were talking about. It may be suitable in the UK through, I wouldn't know.
275 days
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