Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I think everyone here calls them cellphones. I call them mobiles and everyone gets it. Handy... wouldn't work in Canada, and I suspect not in the U.S. either.



Handy (CA, US etc) == handjob (GB etc). Presumably handy is an abbreviation of handjob. I know blowjob is in common parlance at least on both sides of the pond. Perhaps it is just as well DE didn't pick blowey or blowie (those are in use over here in a similar way to handy on the left edge of the pond.)

Handy could work in the UK except that it is extensively used already as an adjective eg: "that's a bit handy" or "you'll find this handy" etc. "That's a handy handy" would be a bit weird and as we already have mobile then there is no need for it. I suspect that "cell" will creep in eventually but not yet.

Etymology can be quite interesting 8)


A mildly interesting dovetail to all that is that a vernacular for phone used to be "the blower". I suspect through comparison of early phones with [ships] communication voice-pipes.

Cf. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_tube#Domestic_use.


Good catch - "blower". I still use that term myself and so do several others in my acquaintance. Even kids understand what I mean so it is definitely embedded in the national conscience here still or at least they get the idea by reference and context.

Without any research whatsoever I'll also venture that "blowing" is what people used to do when they had to rush downstairs to answer the new fangled telephonic device and ended up out of breath. However, again without research, there is a good chance that the RN and co would have referred to the voice tubes on ships as "blowers" because that is the sort of word they would pick. I know a lot of modern matelots and that theory fits nicely.


> blowey or blowie

Although blower is slang for a phone in the UK.


Yeah, we have all of that here, adjective and all.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: