Really? Literally?


I admit it: I’m addicted to “The Antiques Roadshow,” both the British and the American versions. The other night, an American appraiser was so excited to be seeing an item that he, with uncontrolled excitement, practically shouted,“When I saw you come in with this, I literally was blown across the room!”

I can’t even remember what the item was because I was so fascinated by the image of him taking one look at the piece and then flying across the room, arms a-flappin, a look of amazement on his face. Did he actually fly across the room? Obviously not. Maybe he virtually flew. Or maybe he just got really excited and felt his heart pound. However he reacted, one thing is certain: he was not literally blown across the room. That would have meant it had really happened.

Incidentally, if you watch the show, you likely have noticed that almost every American who receives an good appraisal responds with, “Wow!” For years the Brits have been far more reserved, politely smiling and nodding or saying something along the lines of “Lovely.” Very understated. But recently I have noticed that Wow! has now made it to the British Isles although it is uttered, as you might expect, with great poise and restraint.


Filed under All things having to do with the English language

4 responses to “Really? Literally?

  1. Stephen Mesi

    Love it! I’m only familiar with the American version, will have to “pop in” on the British one. The appraisers and people they interview are even more interesting than the antiques. My wife and I have fun trying to guess what the appraisal will be.

    Best regards,

    Stephen A. Mesi
    Deputy Attorney General IV
    California Department of Justice
    EAM Section
    300 S. Spring Street, Suite 1702
    Los Angeles, CA 90013
    Tel: (213) 897-2102
    Fax: (213) 897-1071
    Cell: (213) 713-7181
    [Description: cid:image001.png@01D179DE.E5CA3530]


    • If you enjoy the appraisers on the American version, wait until you see the British ones. It’s on Monday nights and is reshown at odd times over the weekend. My husband and I, I am embarrassed to admit, often look at the Brits and moan in unison, “The teeth!” Apparently, good dentistry and orthodontia were not common in the British Isles.

      It’s especially fun for me to guess whether an object has increased or decreased in price when they show the “Vintage” American programs. Sometimes the fluctuation is minimal, other times gobsmacking.


  2. “Brilliant” as the Brits would say.


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