Train spotting, is a very British thing. It's a hobby of sorts where people used to (perhaps still do?) collect the registration numbers and details of trains that they had spotted. They used to sit around railways stations looking excitedly at the trains and clutching their little train spotter's diaries. ;)
Obviously it was a certain kind of person that was attracted to this "hobby" (it was never going to be an Olympic event). Metaphorically speaking it has become a term to describe weird, nerdy sort of people. For example, "He's a bit of a train spotter".
This is a bit like saying, "He's a bit of an anorak", which was a term used in a similar way, as these people tended to favour the wearing of anoraks.
Please, pleeaase don't let there be a trainspotter on this forum. If there is I've had it.
UK... don't worry about it. Just remember taking vacations with mommy and daddy and collecting license plates... same kind of thing.
Bee Dee, One thing leads to another! What in the world is a Anorak?...KF
An Anorak is a kind of ladies jacket, as far as I know; and I've been kicking myself for half a year for letting one get sold out before buying it at the low, low clearance price. Simple GREED it was, I was waiting for the price to drop even lower.
Just goes to show that sometimes cheap choosers are losers. You snooze, you lose; what more is there to say?
Both men and women can wear an anorak...
Just looked up the word in the New Shorter Oxford English dictionary, and this is what it says:
anorak n. E.20 [Eskimo (Greenlandic) annoraaq.] A skin or cloth hooded jacket worn by Eskimos and so by others in polar regions; a similar weatherproof garment worn elsewhere.
Eskimo in origin - didn't know that.
Trainspotting: interesting article from Wikipedia [en.wikipedia.org] on the subject. Known in the USA as rail fans, foamers and FRN's apparently!
[edited by: Syzygy at 9:58 am (utc) on Aug. 17, 2008]
So is train spotting just about the same as spotting the makes of cars as they pass by? I remember when car-spotting was very popular, but I never did such a thing. I considered car-make-spotting to be in about the same class as mooning on the Hollywood Freeway.
I'm something of a rail fan and I know about the British train (and plane) spotting. But I've never seen anyone in US rail stations writing down car numbers.
As for license plate collecting, that's more something you tell the kids to do to stay occupied when you're driving cross country.
"Trainspotting" was a major movie:
The movie title is an ironic title for the subject matter. If you watch the movie (which is excellent) do not expect it to be all about watching trains.
|But I've never seen anyone in US rail stations writing down car numbers. |
Becuase Homeland Security would probably pick them up for a 48-hour questioning session. :)