Put the kettle on

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Minukis, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. Minukis Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish and Catalan (Barcelona)
    Hi there!

    I'd like to know if this expression is something mostly used in UK? Are there other expressions that mean more or less the same? :) I have an English friend that uses quite often this expression, and as it's related with "tea" (well, kettle sounds to me as "tea, tea, tea" jeje) I thought it may be typically from UK.
     
  2. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Los Angeles, California
    AmEnglish/German
    If you're making tea, you would be putting the kettle on [the stove]. I believe we use this in AE as well, but as we drink much less tea (I drink neither tea nor coffee), you tend not to hear it as often.
     
  3. Minukis Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish and Catalan (Barcelona)
    Mmm, I am refering to the expression meaning you are going to do a unexpected visit to your friends, are we talking about the same? For example you can call a friend and say "Put the kettle on, we are arriving in 30min!". Do you use it?
     
  4. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Los Angeles, California
    AmEnglish/German
    Ah, I misunderstood you. I understand what the phrase means, but since tea is much less used in this country as a social centerpiece (whether a relic of the olden days in Britain or not), it's not a very common phrase here if at all. Sounds like something an old lady might say..
     
  5. Tresley

    Tresley Senior Member

    Yorkshire / United Kingdom
    British English
    Hola Minukis!

    When I get home from work the first thing I do is.....put the kettle on!

    I make a cup of tea and sit down in front of the telly (TV) and let the 'stress of the day at work' leave my body. It's my way of relaxing. I don't know what they do in other countries, but that's what I do!

    Do you have kettles in Spain? Do many other countries have kettles? I imagine most of the English-speaking world have kettles, but what about the rest?

    Let me know.
     
  6. Trina

    Trina Senior Member

    Sydney
    Australia (English)
    This is quite common here in Australia. Sometimes you hear, "put the jug on" as well.

    We are big tea and coffee drinkers here but it is used more as an expression than in the literal sense.
    As for "sounds like something an old lady might say", wash your mouth out, you young whippersnapper! ;)
    I just looked up Whippersnapper in WR: someone who is unimportant but cheeky and presumptuous. Please delete the "unimportant but" from the meaning of my post. I don't feel that this is correct.
     
  7. Yes, it is quite common in the UK but I too only hear that used in the literal sense. I think most people upon hearing that will understand it as if you are asking for tea.
    What Tresley means is that kettles are special kinds of "pots". One does not necessarily boil water with their help only.
    And...forgive Trina...age is for us ladies a heavy thing to bear;) :p
     
  8. Tresley

    Tresley Senior Member

    Yorkshire / United Kingdom
    British English
    I'm NOT an old lady! I'm a normal MAN. How dare you!?
     
  9. Oh my, oh my, oh my!! I hope he simply forgot the smilies!!
     
  10. Minukis Member

    Barcelona
    Spanish and Catalan (Barcelona)
    Jajja, nice to listen I can use this expression in Australia! (at least). Tresley, I see kettles as a very English thing, I don't know why but I do! I live in Spain and you can buy kettles, of course, but it's not something everybody have at home.
    In Switzerland they use a lot kettles, they have one in each kitchen; maybe it's like in UK or Oz? After living with a Swiss family and realising they use a lot the kettle (they were addicted to tea!), I moved to live with an English friend and what a surprise when one of the first things he did was "put the kettle on!" (by the way he is the one that uses it quite often refering to surprise visits).
     
  11. arggie New Member

    Barcelona
    Espagne
    Hey tea-drinkers! My name is Axel and I am from Buenos Aires (though I am currently living in Barcelona). In Argentina we do not have any expression using the spanish word for "kettle" but we use kettles very often so as to have a nice and warm "mate". It is a herbal infusion tipical from Argentina (I think in Uruguay and Paraguay people drink this as well). Even though we have a great coffee culture and in spite of the fact that tea is fashionable these days in the capital of tango, we still use our kettles to boil up water and enjoy an argentinean mate.
     

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