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James Callow Folklore Archive

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Did I tell you about the time I embarrassed my uncle? We were
on a train in England and I asked the waiter for a napkin. He and
my uncle began laughing and asked why I would want a napkin. It
turns out that "napkin," the way the British use it, means "diaper"
for a baby. The correct way to ask for an "American napkin" if you
are in England, is to ask for a "serviette."

Submitter comment: Lillian is 86 years old; she was a woman before her time as she
was growing up. I would have liked to know her when she still
remembered everything she had done in her life; now her memory has
faded badly. She only has 3 stories which she tells you over and
over again, and 4 or 5 phrases which she constantly says. This
story is one of the stories.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
SPEECH -- Common Word
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