...down-home part of America, like England.


Senior Member
A girl goes to Chinatown in Frisco and she finds out that in many shops she visits they don't speak any English. She comments to herself:

"Don't they understand that they should speak a real American language from a real down-home part of America, like England?"

There 2 things I don't get:
1) down-home - is the southern part of the US, right? How doeas England fit here?? (well, there's a lot of humour in this novel, so it might be a joke I don't quite get)
2) the whole sentence in bold: what meaning does it have?
  • MissFit

    Senior Member
    It is possible that she is referring to a town in the U.S. which is named England, but it's not likely. This is probably humor, especially if it was printed in bold. If she thinks that England is in the United States, then she is far more ignorant than the Chinatown residents who haven't learned English.

    Down-home does not necessarily refer to the southern U.S., though the phrase is probably used there more often. It can refer to any rural area or small town. Down-home can also refer to the atmosphere of a place or the attitude of a person or a group of people. It's a descriptive adjective more than a geographic one.


    Senior Member
    English (England)
    from a real down-home part of America, like England?"
    For the "like England" comment two possibilities occur to me -

    - the speaker is jokingly suggesting that England is a part of America (most likely I think)
    - the "like England" is short for "like the way they do in England", eg "they should speak a real American language like they do in England. Same joke from another point of view, I suppose.


    Senior Member
    A third possibility--

    England is located just 20 miles southeast of the Little Rock / North Little Rock metropolitan area in Lonoke County, Arkansas. We are a small rural town of approximately 3000 new and long-time residents who have chosen to live in the country...


    Senior Member
    Just a side note - many people from San Francisco are annoyed by the nickname "Frisco". They prefer SF or even "San Fran" (another unpopular nickname) to "Frisco". At least that's what several natives tell me. :)

    Locally, it's most often referred to as just "The City."
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