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Gotta ask, certain words I don't understand

Gotta ask, certain words I don't understand

Old Sep 30th, 2000, 08:38 PM
  #1  
Bearwithme
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Gotta ask, certain words I don't understand

Ok, I've only been peeking into this forum for a few months, so forgive my stupidity, please! There are a few words being bandied about that I'm not too sure of, and if those who are in the know would clue me in, I'd really appreciate it.
-"expats"
-"touts"
-funicular
and finally, "pension(e)s" and "hostels"( I always thought "hostels" were for students...?
And since I've got your attention, what's the deal about Gypsies? I am serious, I am not a troll or anything(maybe I read too much fiction), but I've always thought of gypsies as the American Indians of Europe(IEisplaced...?) Then again, I skipped out on most of my history classes back in High School(there's a PSA for the young'uns!)
 
Old Sep 30th, 2000, 09:03 PM
  #2  
Katie
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The answers to all your inquiries are within the messages posted here.
 
Old Sep 30th, 2000, 09:13 PM
  #3  
A local
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Expat: a citizen of one country who is living (and perhaps working) in another country for an extended period of time.

Tout: a person who approaches unsuspecting people (usually targetting tourists) in the street or the airport and tries to get them to use a particular taxi/visit his uncle's carpet shop/stay at his brother's hotel/take a "free" educational tour etc. Usually a scam or rip-off.

Funicular: as in funicular railway, a special train used in mountainous areas where the carriages (coaches in US-speak) are pulled up a steep incline by a steel cable running between the track.

As for gypsies, there is no comparison with native Americans. There have been "genuine" gypsy populations in most European countries for centuries, but particularly in E and S Europe. While they share a strong cultural identity and some times come into conflict with local residents, they are only "displaced" by their own volition and have no political aspirations for a designated homeland, only fairer treatment in the countries they live in.
 
Old Sep 30th, 2000, 11:55 PM
  #4  
Sheila
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To add to the helpful post above, in the Uk a tout is also the equivalent of a "scalper" with tickets for big events.

"pension" is a low grade- which doesn't mean bad- hotel.

"hostel" these can vary from place to place, but are commonly chaep accommodation ofen in shared rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms. Can be great' can be awful.

As to Gypsy, as I've said before here, I hate this use of the word. Gypsies are a migratory people who have spread all over Europe in the last 2000 years. Many are good and honourable and work hard and seek to maintain their lifestyle. Some are not. But pickpockets robbers and touts are just that- pickpockets robbers and touts. they are not necessarily gypsies or (to use an example which is prevalent here in the UK at present) Abanians. It is a racial term, and to use it as it is sometimes used on this forum is rascist. There! Go that off my chest.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 07:42 AM
  #5  
Webster
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"Expat" is short for "expatriate," one who is an "ex-" citizen of somewhere else. "Tout" is related to that silly term used by people who write newspaper headlines: "Dems Tout Gore's Deeds" -- in other words, a combination of praising and promoting. "Gypsy" is a generic, denigrating term for a nomadic group and the source of our (US) term to be "gipped" or "gypped" as in "it's a gip/gyp!" as in "rip-off."

There will be no quiz on this.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 09:26 AM
  #6  
elaine
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Hi
Good answers above. I'll just add:
funiculars don't have to be only in mountainous areas. Some cities have them to get up steep hills; until relatively recently, Paris had one to take you up the Montmartre "butte".
A pensione is a relatively simple place to stay. Sometimes it is on one or two floors of an old building, sometimes it is a few rooms in someone's home, sometimes it is in a small stand-along building. It can be shabby, or well-kept and charming. Meals are sometimes available but not always. Only very rarely is there an elevator; almost never is there a bellman or a front desk that is staffed 24-hours. Often you will be given a key to the front door so you can get back in at night when the owner is out or asleep. Some similiarities clearly to a bed-and-beakfast, but with an Italian
flavor.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 11:51 AM
  #7  
lola
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Have nothing to add--just impressed with the answers. This forum at its best!
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 01:18 PM
  #8  
Art
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The origional gypsies migrated out of northern India approx 2000 yrs ago when the Huns invaded. They became known as gypsies because people thought that they were Egyptions because of their darker skin tones.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 02:50 PM
  #9  
Liz
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Here in Northern Ireland, a tout is someone who squeals to the police.
 
Old Oct 1st, 2000, 08:34 PM
  #10  
nickie
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To local in U.K. - just a historical note for you- the "gypsies" have not always been "displaced" by their own volition.Check out the number of "gypsies" that were exterminated in the concentration camps, the very little publicized number is astounding. In addition, countless numbers were taken from their homes and shot. Not such a far stretch to compare to the Native Americans.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 12:38 AM
  #11  
karen
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As an expat (living in Russia for almost 7 years), just want to clarify that we are not "ex" citizens as Webster suggests - we're still citizens of our native countries, and, in the case of US expats, also usually tax payers!
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2000, 08:13 AM
  #12  
Art
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Who is a native American. One who was born here (in which case most of us are native) or a species indigenous to the continent (in which case there is no such thing).
 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 11:50 AM
  #13  
frank
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In Spain, "hostales" are not hostels but small hotels, quite decent places really.Often causes confusion.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 12:14 PM
  #14  
Julian
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Gypsy in the UK has been superceded in PC and official circles by 'traveller' as the word acquired racist undertones, as mentioned above. A much less used alternative is Romany, but I am unaware if this is also now deemed inappropriate.
 
Old Oct 8th, 2000, 08:25 PM
  #15  
Diane
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When did they stop running the funicular in Monmartre? I used it in May?
 

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