What is Different – Part III

(Part 3 of an occasional series on the lesser-known differences between the States and England.)

Hanging “do” at the end of a sentence. It exists in a few colloquial forms in the States, as in “No can do”, but it is much more common in England.

US: “Can you take care of this?”  “I can.”  
“Can he take care of this?”  “He might.”

England: “Can you take care of this?”  “Can do.”  “Can he take care of this?”  “He might do.”

Then there is this very strange phrase with a hanging “do” that describes an event: “Leaving do.” As in “Are you going to Andrew’s leaving do?” In the states, this is more expressively known as a “going away party”.

The Schrockinator

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4 responses to “What is Different – Part III

  1. That’s not a hanging “do”; that’s “do” as a noun. A hair-do is something you do to hair. A leaving-do is something you do when a person leaves. Dog-do is something a dog does. No wait that last one is different…

  2. You can also have a bit of a ‘Do’ (a party/event)

    ‘doings’ can also be used to a collection of activities, for example ‘how are your doings doing?’ to ask about progress on what-ever you are doing that can’t easily be described with a collective noun.

    Doings can also be used to refer to the process of waste removal from your body “are your doings playing you up?” (e.,g are you constipated’/ ‘have you got the squits’?)

  3. The Schrockinator

    That all makes sense although the word is still usually unnecessary.

    Thanks, Wendy, for my new favorite phrase: playing you up.

  4. The old farmer

    enough of this stiff upper lip stuff….i’m heading for a coffee do…….

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