“Keep Calm and…”: A slideshow of a meme

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(Note: To start the slideshow, click the image at left or the words “Continue reading,” below. If it moves too fast, you can click the “pause” button at the bottom and advance it one slide at a time with the right-facing arrow.)

If by some chance all this excites you, you can create your own “Keep Calm and” online poster at keepcalmandposters.com or keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk. Both sites let you order actual paper versions of your work; at keep-calm-o-matic, you can also get a t-shirt, a mug, a keychain, or an iPhone 5 case.

At this point, “Keep Calm and” is everywhere. It cannot be escaped. That is all. Carry on.

7 thoughts on ““Keep Calm and…”: A slideshow of a meme

  1. There are lots of other very British terms we use and many that only Londoners, especially Londoners who know cockney slang which you couldn’t begin to understand. And never mind about how they speak in Yorkshire! Here’s one:
    Putwood in ‘ol. Or uttered clearly: put wood in hole. But what does it mean? Anybody know?

  2. I’m surprised no one has responded to this yet. It means ‘Close the door,’ as in ‘Put that large rectangular piece of wood in that rectangular space’. I haven’t lived in Britain for forty years, but I heard it a lot when I was growing up, and I lived over a hundred miles from Yorkshire.

  3. “Sidewalk signage seems to be a trend at the moment. (Not sure what this one means.)”

    I’m surprised you don’t get the meaning of this sign – as a verb, to frolic is to move around in a playful or joyful manner. Such activity may be termed frolicking, or merely frolics.

    In my mind there are two particular associations, both of them somewhat springtime related.

    First the gambolling of new-born lambs may also be called frolicking – there’s something suggestive of innocence and the joy of running/jumping around in the sun after a long dark winter spent huddled indoors.

    Secondly (and as so often with the British) there’s a slight undercurrent of sexual behaviour. Two people of the opposite sex “frolicking together”, or “engaging in frolics” would probably considered romantically linked – you certainly wouldn’t want your partner to be frolicking with someone else (unless you were very open-minded). Interestingly the implied innocence is not diminished in this sense. Sexual frolics are the healthy, playful behaviour of two people who are fond of each other and happy to be together.

    The closest synonym I can think of is “cavort”, but that (to me) implies some level of inappropriateness (either in time or place), if not outright impropriety.

  4. Just love the posts on the birdsong of wild colonial boys. I’m convinced that the “language gap” played a role in the late entry of the U.S. into both World Wars. For example, Churchill hoped that his literary arias in Parliament would sway Roosevelt to commit to saving Britain – Roosevelt seemed only interested in the siren song of the American press (public opinion) – plainly stated in the colonial syntax of NEW York state.

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