Jailed by the British

wha002

Senior Member
Chinese
Yes Minister season 2 episode 2

And as you know the letters JB are the highest honour in the Commonwealth.
JB?
Jailed by the British.

What does it mean? why it is a honour?

Thanks.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It depends on who said this. It would have different meanings if it was said by an Englishman, a Northern Irishman, an Australian, and others.

    So, please tell us more about the context: that, and also when, what was being discussed, and what else was going on.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, it’s meant to be funny, of course (the intimation being that in the days of the Empire, it was an honour to be jailed by the British!). This is from a classic British TV comedy series that revolves around an incompetent prime minister and the guy who really calls the shots – his cabinet secretary, Sir Humphrey. I don’t think there’s any real honour abbreviated to JB, so maybe this was supposed to be an in-joke at Westminster? Sir Humphrey’s whole line in the dialogue is:

    Hacker (the prime minister): JB?
    Sir Humphrey: Jailed by the British. Gandhi, Nkrumah, Makarios, Ben Gurion, Kenyatta, Nehru, Mugabe, the list of world leaders is endless, and contains several of our students.
     

    wha002

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Well, it’s meant to be funny, of course (the intimation being that in the days of the Empire, it was an honour to be jailed by the British!). This is from a classic British TV comedy series that revolves around an incompetent prime minister and the guy who really calls the shots – his cabinet secretary, Sir Humphrey. I don’t think there’s any real honour abbreviated to JB, so maybe this was supposed to be an in-joke at Westminster? Sir Humphrey’s whole line in the dialogue is:

    Hacker (the prime minister): JB?
    Sir Humphrey: Jailed by the British. Gandhi, Nkrumah, Makarios, Ben Gurion, Kenyatta, Nehru, Mugabe, the list of world leaders is endless, and contains several of our students.

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I am learning English with "Yes Minister", and I always found myself studying difficult words that I may never use in my conversation.
     
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