UK: Put the Kettle On????

Old Jan 4th, 2005, 11:54 AM
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One phrase I did learn recently is when one of our neighbors invited me in for tea, she apologized and said, "sorry, all we've got left is builder's tea," meaning the cheap stuff, not the quality teas she'd usually offer guests.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 11:55 AM
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My kettle goes right on the stove as well. I did however, manage to conveniently lose the whistle! I can't wait to get out of this office, run home, put the kettle on and sit down with a nice cup of tea!
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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I know! All this talk of tea has me really wanting some. I think I'll go home and put the kettle on.

The electric tea kettles are relatively new here in the US. A few years back, they were extremely difficult to find. Now they are a little more common, but I think most Americans still have the old fashioned tea kettles.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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<i>&quot;Please, would someone explain what C2,D and E mean?&quot;</i>

Glad you asked, Judy - because I was going to. Is it a job class distinction - like &quot;blue-collar&quot; and &quot;white-collar&quot; workers in the US?
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Still done in my circle every day of the week.

Polly Put The Kettle On was published in 1797. The origin of &quot;Polly put the kettle on&quot; was based on the author having five children - two boys and three girls. There were constant arguments as the boys wanted to play soldiers and the girls wanted to play house! When the girls wanted to play without their brothers they would pretend to start a game of tea party &quot;Polly put the kettle on&quot; and the daughter, called Polly, would put the toy kettle on! As soon as the brothers left Sukey (or Susan) would take it off again! Their father was so amused by this ploy that he set it to words and added the music which were subsequently published.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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On the class thing, sociologists now categorise from A to E with C broken into sub-classes.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:29 PM
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C2: skilled working class - skilled manual workers

D: working class - semi and unskilled manual workers

E: those at lowest level of subsistence - state pensioners or widows (no other earner), casual or lowest grade workers

A, B and C1 are upper middle, middle and lower middle class, respectively.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:30 PM
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There is a detailed manual classifying every possible occupation into one of these categories, but broadly the groups are divided as follows:

A - Professionals such as doctors, surgeons, solicitors or dentists; chartered people like architects; fully qualified people with a large degree of responsibility such as senior editors, senior civil servants, town clerks, senior business executives and managers, and high ranking grades of the Services.

B - People with very responsible jobs such as university lecturers, heads of local government departments, middle management in business, qualified scientists, bank managers, police inspectors, and upper grades of the Services.

C1 - All others doing non-manual jobs; nurses, technicians, pharmacists, salesmen, publicans, people in clerical positions, police sergeants/constables, and middle ranks of the Services.

C2 - Skilled manual workers/craftsmen who have served apprenticeships; foremen, manual workers with special qualifications such as long distance lorry drivers, security officers, and lower grades of Services.

D - Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers, including labourers and mates of occupations in the C2 grade and people serving apprenticeships; machine minders, farm labourers, bus and railway conductors, laboratory assistants, postmen, door-to-door and van salesmen.

E - Those on lowest levels of subsistence including pensioners, casual workers, and others with minimum levels of income.


The first three of these, the ABC1s, are usually grouped under the heading &quot;middle class&quot; and the remainder, C2DEs, as &quot;working class.&quot;
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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LOL, this is so fun and interesting!

The work that goes into keeping up with all those classes

&quot; I will put the kettle on &quot; was what my grandmother would say the minute she saw me with a weepy face or if she heard my mother yell at me There was nothing that a cup of hot tea and a cookie wouldn't fix ..sigh.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 12:45 PM
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Hmm, I've heard middle class Scots referring to the evening meal as &quot;tea&quot;.
I'd say that nowadays the evening meal is commonly referred to as &quot;supper&quot;. To me &quot;dinner&quot; would have three courses and wine.
&quot;Builders' tea&quot; is cheapish blended tea and comes in bags.
 
Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Suki and Sheila!!!!

I have such fond memories of my daughter, little more than a toddler then, dressed up in an apron and cap her great-grandmother made, singing that over and over with her Little Tykes kitchen kettle!
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:05 PM
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Mention of the teacozy brought back the memory when my employer brought over British engineers to assist in a project we needed to complete. Right there beside our Bun coffeemaker, was an electric kettle wrapped in the tea cozy. Very civilized!
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Does anyone remember the Second World War skit in &quot;Beyond the Fringe&quot; where an old chap keeps popping up to reminisce about his wife coming out to the garden to deliver terrible news, and invariably his reply is &quot;Never mind, my dear, you put on the kettle and we'll have a nice cup of tea.&quot;

Her final piece of bad news is &quot;Rationing has been imposed with all that that entails&quot;, to which he replies: &quot;Never you mind my dear, you put on the kettle and we'll have a nice cup of steaming hot water!&quot;

By the way, I've used an electric kettle for forty years or so, and still say &quot; Put on the kettle&quot;
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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So if the ABC1s are middle class, where does the upper class figure in the continuum? A+, A++ etc? Here in Australia we like to pretend that there's no upper class per se. Has a discreet veil been laid over their existence in the UK too? What will Fleet Street do without regular royal scandals, bonking bishops, expired aristocrats found hanging in fishnet stockings and the Heir Apparent's latest pronouncement? Is nothing sacred?

Anyway, this might be pedantic, but how can you have a middle unless it's sandwiched between an upper and a lower?

oldie, when I left the telecoms industry 5 years ago it was still common to refer to the gizmos that provide a circuit to the exchange (for Americans, central office) as &quot;switch hooks&quot;, and the process of securing a line as &quot;going off-hook&quot;. We still use the term &quot;hang up&quot; even though these days most handsets rest horizontally. Likewise many people say they'll ring someone up instead of call them, from the days of manual exchanges when you had to wind a magneto handle to get the operator's attention.

I wonder how many people here have experienced a manual telephone exchange? My wife remembers growing up in a rural area where the local postmistress was also the telephone operator, and routinely listened in to the locals' calls. She suffered from asthma, though, so it was possible to detect a tell-tale wheeze on the line, at which point you'd break into your conversation and say &quot;Isn't that right, Mrs D?&quot;, ending the problem (for now).

I wasn't aware that Coronation Street was still going - it stopped being screened on Australian TV years ago, presumably because we've become adept at making our own dreary soaps. If we want to watch an interminable British soap we tune in to &quot;The Bill&quot;.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:48 PM
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I can't imagine putting a tea cozy around an electric kettle--the cozy beongs on the teapot to keep the tea warm after the water is added. However, leaving a tea cozy on for a long time can cause the tea to become &quot;stewed,&quot; unpleasantly strong to the taste. You can always tell when restaurant iced tea is not freshly made because of the stewed taste it acquires.

I just wish American restaurants would learn to serve hot tea in a pot WITH THE TEA BAG ADDED BEFORE THE HOT WATER!

At home I've used an electric kettle for years. I like the current model so much that I bought a second unit as a back-up. It comes in very handy when I need to boil water in a hurry for something other than tea, too.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Oh Neil, you are wrong about Corrie not being on TV in Australia! Granted it is running behind the UK and even here in Canada but they've just put it onto 5 nights per week so it'll catch up at some point.

It looks to me like the new alphabet class system is a movement towards a more North American view of things.. basing class on job and salary rather than social background. Maybe aristocracy (upper class) aren't included because presumably they don't work (??) Although I remember reading a few years back that with the new classifications, Princess Anne (as an athlete at the time) rated amongst the lower classes.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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I use loose English Breakfast tea and pull it out of the tea pot after it has steeped for 3 minutes, and it never tastes stewed. My daughter made me three tea cozies for Christmas. It is amazing how much longer the tea stays hot in the teapot with the cozy wrapped around it. Here is the URL for the pattern she used. Each side is a different material, and so they are reversible.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Oops, posted too soon! Here is the URL for the tea cozy:

http://www.safeplaceministries.com/T...ozy%20Page.htm
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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<b>laverendrye</b>

YES! That sketch is the first thing I thought of when I saw this thread. The late (great, I say) Dudley Moore: &quot;I'll never forget that dark day war was declared. I was out in the garden at the time, planting up some chrysanths...&quot;

I saw them on Broadway in 1963 on my way to Europe for the first time.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Message to Dr Do Good:

I was just flipping through an old copy of the ghastly Nancy Mitford's compilation &quot;U and non-U&quot; and the more recent &quot;U and non-U Revisited&quot;.

I was struck how all that old class-identifier stuff and the preoccupation with class sounded positively ante-diluvian.

Maybe such distinctions (serviette, lounge, etc) are still made today -- but are they made so religiously and with such deep feeling, I wondered.

On a lighter note: I recall a cartoon from Punch of 30 years ago, in the days when Butlin's holiday camps decided they would establish a division or product-line for a classier crowd. In the cartoon, a posh Butlin's client is telling her son, who is playing with working-class Butlin's regulars:

&quot;Come inside Reginald -- It's time for your lunch and their dinner&quot;.
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