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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 122

street-cleaner is a crossing-sweeper. 8 The parish poorhouse is a workhouse. If it is maintained by two or more parishes jointly it becomes a union. A pauper who accepts its hospitality is said to be on the rates. A policeman is a bobby familiarly and a constable officially. He is commonly mentioned in the newspapers, not by his name, but as P. C. 643 A—i. e., Police Constable No. 643 of the A Division. The fire-laddie, the ward executive, the wardman, the roundsman, the strong-arm squad, the third-degree, and other such objects of American devotion are unknown in England. An English saloon-keeper is officially a licensed victualler. His saloon is a public house, or, colloquially, a pub. He does not sell beer by the bucket or can or growler or schooner, but by the pint. He and his brethren, taken together, are the licensed trade. His back-room is a parlor. If he has a few upholstered benches in his place he usually calls it a lounge. He employs no bartenders. Barmaids do the work, with maybe a barman to help.
  The American language, as we have seen, has begun to take in the English boot and shop, and it is showing hospitality to head-master, haberdasher and week-end, but subaltern, civil servant, porridge, moor, draper, treacle, tram and mufti are still rather strangers in the United States, as bleachers, picayune, air-line, campus, chore, stogic and hoodoo are in England. A subaltern is a commissioned officer in the army, under the rank of captain. A civil servant is a public servant in the national civil service; if he is of high rank, he is usually called a permanent official. Porridge, moor, scullery, draper, treacle and tram, though unfamiliar, still need no explanation. Mufti means ordinary male clothing; an army officer out of uniform (American: in cits, or in citizen’s clothes) is said to be in mufti. To this officer a sack-suit or business-suit is a lounge-suit. He carries his clothes in a box. He does not miss a train; he loses it. He does not ask for a round-trip ticket, but for a return ticket. If he proposes to go to the theatre