Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton
pne

More non-U-ishness!

Separated by a common language blog had an article on "diapers" vs. "nappies", touching on verbal inferiority along the way, and included a footnote on "napkin" vs. "serviette":

Then there's the old napkin versus serviette drama in BrE and related Es. In some (e.g. South African and some BrE speakers), the former is reserved for cloth table napkins, and the latter for paper. Elsewhere, serviette just marks you out as being 'non-U'--i.e. not upper class. Serviette is virtually unknown in AmE.

So since I grew up with "serviette" (even for cloth ones, which is what we usually had at home), there's yet another pointer that we weren't U :)

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