Is “Feeling a …?” a thing?

A while back, I discussed Donald Trump tweeting that his political enemy Bob Corker “was made to sound a fool”–the Britishism being the omission of the word  “like” after “sound.”

Soon afterwards, my friend and neighbor Nanette Tobin alerted me to this sign in our town grocery store:


Nanette wondered if the first line were a similarly British elision–the meaning being “Feeling like having a treat?” (Obviously, the more common way of expressing this on the other side of the Atlantic would be “Fancy a treat?”) I tend to think that it sounded British to the signmakers, but it actually isn’t. What do you lot have to say?

24 responses to “Is “Feeling a …?” a thing?

  1. I think it is an error. An equivalent BrE usage for this would be ‘Feel like a treat?’.
    I would love to know if the writer does not have English as their first language.

  2. Just run out of space?! Agree with Nick.

  3. Nick T is right but ‘Fancy a Treat ?’ would be more common

    • brianbutterworth

      “Felling a treat” … feels wrong to me. The “feel like” to “feel” contraction only really occurs when the comparison is to another thing, not an event.

      So, “Fred felt a plonker” is OK because “a plonker” is a nominal person.

      But “Feel a treat” isn’t because you don’t drop the metaphor introducing “like” when the metaphor is an event (“consume something nice”).

      I would suggest British people would go for “Need a treat?” and move from discussing an emotional state (urgh!) to simple decision-making.

      IMHO, of course!

    • It follows a pattern used in Br En with a range of other verbs, especially ‘look’, but I’ve never seen or heard it with ‘feel’.

  4. …but ‘feel a treat’ in BrE doesn’t mean ‘feel like having a treat’. It means ‘feel good/special’. Works with other perception verbs too, as in the post I link to above.

  5. That just sounds like someone’s going around squeezing the goods on display. ‘Feel like a treat?’ or ‘Fancy a treat?’ would both work fine, tho.

  6. Yes, I agree with lynneguist here. In BrE, ‘feeling a treat’ would mean feeling very good about oneself. As one might also be ‘looking a treat’ –looking very good, and especially nicely-dressed and/or made-up.

    • But if you -were- feeling a treat, you might well be in the mood for something sweet (and the sign made perfect sense to me and my BrE with that context.) I agree this nuance might not be what they intended, however.

    • I agree, but it would also be rather an unusual, perhaps old-fashioned thing to hear.

  7. I am reminded of the words of the song –

    “Any, any, any old iron?
    You look neat. Talk about a treat!
    You look so dapper from your napper to your feet.
    Dressed in style, brand-new tie,…”

    • “…and yer father’s old green tie on!
      Oh I wouldn’t give yer tuppence for yer old watch-chain
      Old iron! Old Iron!”

      Also I think it’s ‘brand new tile’ in line 4 – as in a new hat. Forgive the pedantry.

  8. Except, I’ve heard people say someone “looks a treat”. But I’ve never heard someone say they “feel a treat”. I agree with lynneguist that it looks like a valid usage, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say it. Then again, I’m from the home counties. Could it be a Northern expression?

  9. This just sounds odd to me, I agree with the comments above, especially that it sounds like something a person who does not have English as their first language might say.

  10. I too, tend to agree with the comments above, although I lack the expert knowledge of most of “us lot.”
    My immediate reaction to this was to stop and read it again. Suddenly, I feel like a treat, and Lindt chocolate could hit the spot…. Good advert…

  11. Glad that other people also e contradict Ben’s oft’ repeated and frustrating misinterpretation of what is and isn’t BrE.

  12. I think lynneguist has it nailed here, except that I believe the sign is deliberately playing on the dual meaning of “feeling a treat.” Translation: Are you feeling good (about yourself) today? Reward yourself with sugar!”

  13. It’s odd. Context would suggest it could be intended to mean “Do you fancy a treat?” but maybe they meant something else.

  14. Totally unfamiliar in the UK.

    In all honesty, we’d just have “Fancy a treat”.

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