clerk - US vs. UK

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Setetres, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Setetres

    Setetres New Member

    I found this dialogue:

    - Say, what you do?
    - I'm a clerk, actually.
    - Gee! You mean you go 'tic-toc' all day??

    I don't actually understand the joke cause I don't know the differences between being a clerk in the US or being a clerk in the UK.

    Could sb help me here? :confused:

  2. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    In the British pronunciation of clerk, you don't hear the r. That makes it sound a little like the American pronunciation of clock. Tic-toc is the sound a clock makes.
  3. Setetres

    Setetres New Member

    Thanks, now the joke makes sense.
    It is still not funny, but now at least I understand it :)
  4. AnotherStephen Senior Member

    Northern England, English
    I can't agree that the British pronunciation of clerk sounds like clock, but yes the joke (such as it is) is based on someone mistaking the word clerk for clock.
  5. and what is the synonym for "clerk" (as a shop assistant) in UK?
  6. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    Just for the archive, I'll add that clerk is pronounced closer to "clark" in the UK, while in the US it rhymes with "work."
  7. how odd!! English as a language fascinates me more evey day.
    Since in Spain we pronounce as we write, it's pretty tough for us to pronounce English unless you or your parents are natives and they teach you...
    I can pronounce German better than English due to the same thing. They pronounce as they write.
    I don't know if this makes sense and sorry for my spelling mistakes, I'm a Spaniard.

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