Some of the British media, being either too lazy or too drunk to care, have taken to referring to Sarah Palin as a Hockey mom and her soon to be son-in-law (whether he likes it or not) as a redneck.
All very international but most of us here haven't got a clue what a Hockey Mom is or what she does or indeed what makes her a hockey mom. To make it a bit simpler for Brits to follow the news about the US Election, allow me to explain a few of the terms and pass on the closest British equivalent that you will hear dribbling from the keyboards of the press between now and when Obama is elected in November.
Hockey Mom: The British version can be seen each weekend at the side of their kids pitch screaming and bawling at the referee and other parents. 'Pushy parent' would be our equivalent and you just know that if there offspring scores, you will hear about it for the next six weeks. No, i don't know why it is seen as a good thing for Palin to be pushing either but then the only time my parents came to see me play netball i was too busy waving to them that i ran into the post and spent the evening in the casualty department.
Redneck: The nearest i can get to for a British equivalent of redneck is a Country Bumpkin. Someone with very little savvy who spends all the day outside in the sun getting burnt and ending up with the tell-tale 'red neck'. The South of the States is redneck country where as the British countryside is seen as more the preserve of the wealthy so it's not perfect but a big, clumsy farmhand who spent more time learning how to drive his father's tractor then learning his multiplication tables is about where we have an equivalent.
Gate: Seems that anything of a dubious nature has the word 'gate' stuffed on the end of it. 'Gate' tagged on to a word simply indicates a scandal and is named after the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. The most recent example is Lipstickgate where Obama said "putting lipstick on a pig" during a recent campaign trail speech. Simply -gate means scandal and the word before it tells you who, where or how.
GOP: You would be excused thinking it stood for Grumpy Old Person when you see John McCain doddering up to the stage but its actually another name for the Republican Party.
Commander-in-chief: Term for the President as commander of the nation's armed forces. Our own Prime Minister also has other titles but most of them would involve typing crude Anglo-Saxon words although he is also referred to as the First Lord of the Treasury.
I am sure that there will be other words and phrases we won't know the meaning of by November and i will do my best to ask other people and pass them off here as if i knew what they were all along.