'That's, like, an umlaut. Or something' (on the American use of words like 'like')
Thread poster: Ellemiek Drucker

Ellemiek Drucker  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:18
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dec 1, 2003

Have a look at this article regarding the American use of words such as 'like'. Brilliant stuff!


[Edited at 2003-12-01 13:09]

[Edited at 2003-12-01 13:10]


Endre Both  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
Member (2002)
English to German
Thanks! Dec 1, 2003

Great link, Ellemiek, thanks. I'll be looking for that book.



Marcus Malabad  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
stupendous stuff Dec 1, 2003


Thanks for sharing this with us. I hear this all the time - even here in the tundras of Canadonia which is *way* removed from the denizens of the Valley girl.

Some illustrations on how "whatever" can be a pest to the translator:

1) Disregard for interlocutor's actions tinged with annoyance: "You don't wanna go with me to the movies? Yeah, whatever!"

2) Disregard for interlocutor's choice, neutral: "You don't want this carrot? Whatever."

3) A sort of do-what-you-like attitude, variation of 2 but with a tint of malevolence:
Pepe: Let's eat some tapas.
Pilar: I hate octopus.
Pepe: But you said you were hungry.
Pilar: I hate those oily things they put in them.
Pepe: You're being difficult again.
Pilar: No, I'm not. You're pestering me.
Pepe: Whatever!

and the ultimate put-down:
4) Disdain: "What! You don't like caviar? Whatever! (talk to the hand)

I'm sure there are lots of others.

Reminds me of the turtle character in "Finding Nemo", voiced by the director, Andrew Stanton: "Hey dude, you're, like, on the East Australian Current, dude, and it's, like, way cool, man.",


Katherine Zei  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:18
Italian to English
+ ...
Echt heel graaf Ellemiek!! Like, dank je wel! Dec 1, 2003

Marcus Malabad wrote:

even here in the tundras of Canadonia which is *way* removed from the denizens of the Valley girl.

Funnily enough though Marcus, I've found that the American accent that my speech patterns most resemble is central Californ-i-eh-speak. I've met a lot of pseudo-Valley girls here in Italy, and we actually sound a lot alike (apart from the odd "aboot"icon_smile.gif ).

I'm from the well-known Canadonian tundra of Toronto. Like.


John Bowden  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:18
German to English
Dat's grate dat, like Dec 1, 2003

In Scouse (Liverpool dialect) we use like a lot as well, like, but we use it different, like. Knowwarramean, like?

Thanks for a very interesting link (in Scouse: Ta ferra gear steer, like!


Saskia Steur (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
English to Dutch
+ ...
Nice One, Ellemiek Dec 1, 2003

I hear this a lot, too. Not as much as when I shared a house with chaps from south East Londen, like. Every other word was English,like... it or not.

Thanks for the link,


Ellemiek Drucker  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:18
English to Dutch
+ ...
like you know, thanks and all that! Dec 1, 2003

It's like so cool, you know, that all you guys are like thanking me and stuff. I was like, wauw, shall I post this, like you know, it's just kinda like putting yourself out there by like posting something, but then I thought like whatever, you know, like just do it and now it's just kinda like, OK, cool. Anyways, whatever, like thanks you guysicon_wink.gif)
(This brings back memories of my time in the US 10 years ago!)


HRiley  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
Spanish to English
+ ...
ken whit ah mean, likes? Dec 2, 2003

In eastern Scotland people use "like" a lot too, along with a variant form, "likes", as in "ken likes" = "you know"

This can lead to some confusion if talking about a man named Ken, of course.


Maria Karra  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:18
Member (2000)
Greek to English
+ ...
"like" in the wrong places Dec 5, 2003

Hi all. I find the frequent use of this word very annoying. It's, like, everywhere!icon_smile.gif Sometimes it's really inappropriate. For example, I recently heard:
-What time is it?
- It's like 1:00.
!!!!! Is it 1:00, or is it not 1:00? It looks like 1:00, but it's really 3:00??

Or, in my Physics class in college, a girl said something that I still remember after years:
-The acceleration is kind of like 5 m/s^2.
Now that's really ridiculous. The acceleration cannot be "kind of like" anything.

I thought I'd share these examples that make me laugh and "kind of like" upset me at the same timeicon_smile.gif


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'That's, like, an umlaut. Or something' (on the American use of words like 'like')

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