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例如我們在香港讀了許多年書,都知道「男孩」一詞叫做Boy。看許多荷李活電影,知道美國人一開口就稱You Guys-----You Guys的意思,可男可女,意指「你們幾個」、「你們這班友」。


英國人不太喜歡說Guy這個字,而Boy也略嫌太正式。在寄宿學校,我們當年第一個學到的字是You Lads,而Lads是英格蘭北部和蘇格蘭一帶Boys的代名詞。當年一位來自約克郡的男教師說這個字,帶有地方口音:He’s a good lad,他這樣誇讚他的狗。有一位同學仔告訴我他以為Lad是Dog的俗稱,後來才搞清楚,老師養的是公狗,誇讚他的小公狗很出色,意思就是He’s a good boy。


此外還有Bloke,以及Chap。Bloke這個字比較斯文,Chap在工廠和基層比較常用,兩者都是British English。香港學生去了英國讀寄宿學校,我會勸喻不要一開口就說You guys。


還有晚餐,寄宿學校不叫Dinner而是樸實一點的Supper。基督的最後晚餐就是The Last Supper。Supper有宗教意味,而且家底越厚,豪宅越大,家中的女管家叫小王子一樣的男主人的少爺吃飯,也只會說Supper is ready而多於說Dinner。


還有Tea,我去到英國才知道,Tea可以指晚飯而不是下午茶。Come at tea time,意思是「黃昏來我家」而不是下午。這些涇渭分明、等級有別有稱呼,由校長、教師、女舍監,以至學校的女清潔工才慢慢適應其中的分別。


至於廁所更五花八門,相信大家都熟悉。Toilet這個字是屬於比較低俗的,難以宣之於口。Loo是「滑鐵盧」的縮稱,還有Restroom和Go to the gents. 意指男廁Toilet這個字為何被視為有點粗俗?因為發音響亮,太過張揚。紳士和淑女即使要上洗手間,試想在中國清代一個故宮裡的貴妃是不會對太監說:「我想去茅廁」的,雖然那時確實沒有抽水馬桶。


在英國學英文,學出許多不同的文化層次。例如「破產」〔Bankrupt〕,這個字從意大利文轉化而來,叫做Banca Rotta,意思指「斷了的長凳」。不懂意大利文也不要緊,從字面上猜,Banca可以當做銀行,而Rotta可以猜想就是腐爛〔Rot〕的轉音字。








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Education Experts

With an entrepreneurial spirit spreading across online, print and broadcast media, Samuel is an award-winning educational consultant and celebrated columnist.

As a leader in the field of education, he was honoured with the British Council’s Study UK Alumni Award and his most prestigious achievement to date includes the founding of Hong Kong’s premier educational brands - Britannia StudyLink, Anglo Belgravia and Ascent Prep.

In addition to streamlining the UK independent school application process for Hong Kong families and spearheading the first official UKiset-accredited educational centre in Hong Kong, Samuel has led his company, Britannia, to becoming one of Asia’s leading brands with diverse clients and distinguished institutions ranging from Radley College to HSBC Bank and Hong Kong Telecom.


Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.


MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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Considering its reputation, Oundle School may not catch up to Eton, Wycombe Abbey and else top elite schools. However, Oundle’s academic performance is among the best in the United Kingdom. As a traditional top boarding school, Oundle pays huge attentions to student’s holistic development, by providing them diversified extra-curricular activities. In addition, Oundle still implements the House Dining System, which is rarely remaining among uk boarding schools. It is also one of the reasons why Hong Kong parents making a beeline for.
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Brighton College is Britain’s premier private school and one of the Hong Kong parents’ favourites. To understand a boarding school, despite of looking at its educational tenet, diversified extra-curricular activities and academics results, it is essential to observe the boldness of the principal. 10 years ago, after Mr. Richard Cairns taking up the duty of the Brighton College’s principal, the school ranking raises from the 150th to the top 20th. In addition to promoting educational reformation, Mr Cairns is such a good principal, that he still strives for maintaining students’ curiosity at the same time.
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