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 Posted:   Jul 30, 2014 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

...a fag?

A British writer theorized that the reason Americans disdain domestic service and other menial jobs, and would never care to have their children do it, while Brits hold it in reasonable esteem, is that many Brits had to fag*.

*Be a servant to an upperclassman in school.

Of course, he was writing in the early 1800's, so it might not be true any more. Did you ever have to?

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2014 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)



...that a contingent of Americans will trumpet how THEY don't disdain menial work.

...and the usual suspects will pick up on the double meaning of the word for the practice, comment on it in a way that will seek to de-rail this thread.

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2014 - 5:36 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Outdated - very outdated....and although I understand it does happen a little bit in certain "Upper Class" Universities, mainly as a punishment, I have never heard of it happening in a school.

Also waiting for the other meaning to be jumped on...though in the UK it's more to do with puffing away on tobacco than anything else...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 12:41 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

dave, you and your relentless gay pride threads!! ha ha.

this practice of having lower year kids serve senior school bullies probably stopped sometime after Dickens day.
check out michael palins Ripping yarns - Tomkinsons school days! must be on utoob.

morning school bully!
shut up you snivelling little tick!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 3:46 AM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

Oh FFS-what is this obsession you have with outdated UK culture and tying it to homosexuality?

It's something that only ever occurred to public school twits and I expect the number of those who read this board is infinitesimally small. Why don't you try some sort of weird fetish site that caters to perverts and/or MPs?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 3:54 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

David, there was an hilarious Man From U.N.C.L.E. episode where they went to London, & it was all gas lamps & fog & fake sounding cockneys & posh lords. I have a feeling you saw that, & it tempered your view of the old countrysmile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Some Americans are...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 4:25 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

If I remember Blackadder correctly, one of the abilities of a good fag is to take a hot buttered crumpet between the cheeks without blubbing.

And at the secondary school that I went to in Newcastle, the only fags were the ones had behind the bike sheds.

And that didn't come out as I intended, either.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 4:41 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjxF13KG5EU

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 4:42 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

DP.

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 4:42 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Actually one of the greatest movies of all time. Dear knows how it's here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmoHv8Mf_-o

 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

So then it sounds like the practice is long gone.

Has the American attitude toward domestic service crept into British society?

Or has the previous mentality prevailed?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

yeh, i was only saying to our butler last week, this outdated arrangement has got to stop!

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2014 - 9:57 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

So then it sounds like the practice is long gone.

Has the American attitude toward domestic service crept into British society?

Or has the previous mentality prevailed?





Fags were only ever in Public schools, (which are actually private schools). Watch Lindsay Anderson's 'If' and you'll get the full ethos of what that was really about.

The premise is false anyway. In the 1800s when this bloke was writing (who he?) domestics were positively looked down on and had separate 'tradesmen's entrances' round the back of houses (HEY, NO GAY EUPHEMISMS THERE PLEASE ...) so they wouldn't be seen and spoil the view. They were mostly well treated but on a lower level. WWI changed all that.

Today, it's eastern European immigrants who do the dirty work, and get attacked by the general public who don't want to do the 'our jobs they're taking'.

I suppose it might seem to Americans that UK people are keen to do menial jobs because of all the British students and young folk who queue up to be nannies etc. just to get some experience of the US. But students slum it everywhere, that's part of the lifestyle.

I remember reading somewhere that in WWII the young American officer classes had less mix with the lower ranks than in the British forces, and preferred a post as an aide to a general staff guy, whilst British all wanted heroic service at the front end. I dunno how true that is. Or even how smart it is, come to think on it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2014 - 10:23 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)


Fags were only ever in Public schools, (which are actually private schools). Watch Lindsay Anderson's 'If' and you'll get the full ethos of what that was really about.

The premise is false anyway. In the 1800s when this bloke was writing (who he?) domestics were positively looked down on and had separate 'tradesmen's entrances' round the back of houses (HEY, NO GAY EUPHEMISMS THERE PLAEASE ...) so they wouldn't be seen and spoil the view. They were mostly well treated but on a lower level.


The premise is different than you are discussing. Thomas Hamilton, known author in his time, wrote that the British did not eschew having their children do it even just entering the workforce. Americans of his time disliked the prospect. British did not.

You write that they were part of a lower class (undisputed by me or Hamilton), so I think we're in agreement there.

(Now whether the premise of making someone part of an acknowledged lower class makes for disdain generally.... well, that's a different discussion, one outside what this thread is about.)

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2014 - 10:54 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Ha, some wrote, tradesmens entrance in a DavidinBerkeley thread. For American readers, in a big house, the tradesmens enterence was usually downstairs & er...round the back.

Ooh, missus!

 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2014 - 11:40 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

Ha, some wrote, tradesmens entrance in a DavidinBerkeley thread. For American readers, in a big house, the tradesmens enterence was usually downstairs & er...round the back.

Ooh, missus!


I'm rolling my eyes now! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 1, 2014 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

Fagging was only ever really a thing in the elite boarding schools of the day - Eton, and so on. Basically, to put it in American terms, the fag was a freshman who attended to a senior's daily needs: shining his shoes, making his bed, and other menial tasks. It was a status/hierarchy thing. There were some elements of hazing attached to it too, and from what I have seen of the American college system parts of that live on through fraternities, pledges, and the various rituals that go alongside that. In fact, I'd be inclined to say that while it died in Britain some time ago, and variants of it are actually much more common today in American university society.

 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2018 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

Please, please, PLEASE tell me, my British brethren, that you have not never ( smile) nor never will use the following word:

"Blissikins"

as in "It was utter, utter, utter blissikins!"

 
 Posted:   Feb 25, 2018 - 12:49 AM   
 By:   dtw   (Member)

Please, please, PLEASE tell me, my British brethren, that you have not never ( smile) nor never will use the following word:

"Blissikins"

as in "It was utter, utter, utter blissikins!"


No ... nor have I ever heard anyone else say that.
I will very VERY occasionally say "spiffing" (even that in a sarcastic manner) but that's about as close as you'll get.

 
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