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Old Sep 20th 2017, 2:45 pm   #1
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Default British Terminology

I have kindle unlimited and most of the books available for free reading are British. Some of them are kind enough to have a glossary at the end of the book so that unfamiliar terms are explained.

However, there is one phrase "belts and braces" that has thrown me and my husband who was raised by and travelled with his British Granny a bit of a problem defining.

When the copper said "Time to put on the belts and braces" what is he talking about?
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 2:54 pm   #2
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Default Re: British Terminology

It means "doubling up on a precaution", arguably unnecessarily.

A belt is used to hold your trousers up, as are braces (which Americans call "suspenders"), so wearing both a belt and braces is unnecessary, but will make dämn sure that your trousers won't fall down.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 3:42 pm   #3
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
...a belt and braces is unnecessary, but will make dämn sure that your trousers won't fall down.
Unless you are Brian Rix.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 5:55 pm   #4
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It means "doubling up on a precaution", arguably unnecessarily.

A belt is used to hold your trousers up, as are braces (which Americans call "suspenders"), so wearing both a belt and braces is unnecessary, but will make dämn sure that your trousers won't fall down.
We both got that part. But couldn't figure out why needing to doubly secure your pants is a necessary part of policing. Have no clue what you mean by "doubling up on on a precaution." Is this a criminal term as I know that cautions are a normal part of policing. Or is the author saying use caution when apprehending so there is no mistakes that can be found to dismiss the charges?
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 6:47 pm   #5
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Originally Posted by Rete View Post
.... Or is the author saying use caution when apprehending so there is no mistakes that can be found to dismiss the charges?
That bit, I think. The phrase has nothing to do with policing, or crime, it's just a figure of speech, an idiom. It is about being careful and cautious by have a duplication of effort, such a giving someone your phone number and email address - either is sufficient and effective for communication, but giving both makes doubly sure.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 6:58 pm   #6
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Originally Posted by Rete View Post
When the copper said "Time to put on the belts and braces" what is he talking about?
Sgt. Phil Esterhaus from Hill Street Blues

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Old Sep 20th 2017, 8:28 pm   #7
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Default Re: British Terminology

It's a slightly odd use of the idiom. "Taking a belt and braces approach" would be a more common expression.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 8:35 pm   #8
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Default Re: British Terminology

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It's a slightly odd use of the idiom. "Taking a belt and braces approach" would be a more common expression.
I agree, it sounds like someone trying to write using British idiom without understanding the subtleties of the actual usage in the UK.
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 4:57 am   #9
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Default Re: British Terminology

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It's a slightly odd use of the idiom. "Taking a belt and braces approach" would be a more common expression.
I'd go along with that.

I've never heard or read "Time to put on the belts and braces" which reads very odd to me , so I'm not surprised Rete and MrRete were thrown.
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 8:13 am   #10
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Default Re: British Terminology

Belt and braces approach used to mean a sort of 'Heath Robinson ' affair (ok -he was a guy who made fantastical nonsense machines out of bits and pieces) It mean't you were just patching something up.Not doing a professional job

Never heard of it used in the terms the op mentioned
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 8:57 am   #11
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Belt and braces approach used to mean a sort of 'Heath Robinson ' affair (ok -he was a guy who made fantastical nonsense machines out of bits and pieces) It mean't you were just patching something up.Not doing a professional job

Never heard of it used in the terms the op mentioned
No, I've always known it as taking more than the usual precautions, sometimes a bit to excess, when doing important things.
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 11:35 am   #12
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Default Re: British Terminology

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No, I've always known it as taking more than the usual precautions, sometimes a bit to excess, when doing important things.
Agreed.
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 1:01 pm   #13
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
Belt and braces approach used to mean a sort of 'Heath Robinson ' affair (ok -he was a guy who made fantastical nonsense machines out of bits and pieces) It mean't you were just patching something up.Not doing a professional job

Never heard of it used in the terms the op mentioned
And I've never heard it used in the way you suggest.
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 1:04 pm   #14
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Default Re: British Terminology

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
Belt and braces approach used to mean a sort of 'Heath Robinson ' affair (ok -he was a guy who made fantastical nonsense machines out of bits and pieces) It mean't you were just patching something up.Not doing a professional job

Never heard of it used in the terms the op mentioned
I would call that a 'bodge job'.
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 1:06 pm   #15
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Default Re: British Terminology

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Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
I would call that a 'bodge job'.
Agreed.
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