@RCArmitage is a Cold Man

I think he is, but I think his tweet may also be a pun. At first I thought it was slang or dialect for cold face.

But then I found this.

Pshaw. That’s just a sprinkling of snow – though 15° F is not weather one wants to stay in. Could it be worse than standing naked in the frigid Toronto moonlight?


27 thoughts on “@RCArmitage is a Cold Man

  1. I’m surprised that people on the net are having trouble with this one because it is very common in the UK (although I suppose that’s being a bit arrogant – to imagine that all non Brits understand every expression). But, it means what it says on the tin: he is going back to work as hard as he can, like a miner at the coal face : ie someone who is expected to work very hard indeed.


    • I took it as a joke. -15 or -9 is shorts weather for some guys in Winnipeg. I read that tweet in layers, a guy forgetting it’s a two-seat on a bus and not his own seat. We had some biting winds, but it’s a mild-ish winter.


    • You should assume the opposite, jaydee09. Unless it’s an expression that was in a script for a production RA was in (which merely means I did my research back when I saw that production), his use of British-isms sends this American diving for Google every time, to wit: “British slang” + “coal face.” Or I just wait for someone else to post the translation, as this fandom is full of helpful people. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Being an ex-pat Brit I had no problem with what he meant. Such a familiar phrase to me. Even after living in Canada for almost 40 years I’m inclined to forget that some, if not many, people may *not* be familiar with it. It’s a bit similar to the expression “Nose to the grindstone”.


  2. Just got to show this fandom is so educational on many levels.
    Here in Denmark the weather is very similar to that of Berlin, -9 may not sound like much, but then there’s the chill factor because of the wind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the background info. on the term “coal face.” I am glad no one thought he was using the term in a derogatory sense, since he does not seem like the type of person to intentionally insult others.
    Anyways, I am glad he’s back hard at work as always. I could imagine being a slacker in anything he does.
    Hopefully, he doesn’t have to be naked covered coal in Berlin Station. It’s bad enough he was Hannibal naked flaunting how much better he looks than most of us regular people.


  4. It would be a damned shame if he were naked covered in coal. Forget the coal, I say. I think the description you’re referring to is most commonly “black face” in American English, although I did notice that the same term with illustrations ( a la Al Jolson) was also listed as a definition. And the oddest thing is that the original meaning didn’t seem to apply to the color of the coal miners’ faces, but rather, the face of the wall made of coal, down in the mines.

    And BTW – hello everybody – none of us here is making fun of or criticizing Armitage, other than he might be a wuss in the cold. I’m figuring he has a nice warm, heated trailer or some respite.

    Sometimes I wish he would have just one role, as in The English Patient, where he could spend all or most of is time in bed, ( though we might hear too much about the daily bandage wrapping)


  5. thanks for clearing this up. the reference left me scratching my head when I first read the tweet. I’m a coal miner’s daughter so I took it literally, which didn’t make much sense!


    • The UK’s last deep coal mine closed a few weeks ago. We’ve got tons of the stuff left but it’s cheaper to import foreign coal. But when I was young, the coal mining industry and its parlance was a part of everyday life – even for those who lived outside the mining areas – and had been for hundreds of years. Everyone knew what the ‘coal face’ was and would use ‘back to the coal face’ as regularly as ‘back to the grindstone’. Then, as the industry waned, I was shocked to find that teenagers no longer knew what ‘the pits’ were – the common term for coal mines. ‘There’s trouble oop at t’pit’ was laughingly used in my time as was ‘There’s trouble oop at t’mill’, both in offices and places of industry, whenever the workers got restless and threatened strikes. And yet, young people now blinked when I spoke about ‘the pits’ and wanted to know what ‘pits’ were.

      RA’s father, from Leeds, would doubtless have used ‘back to the coal face’ when he spoke. This was the area where miners crouched before a seam of coal and hacked away with picks for hours on end: they were respected for their endurance, their strength and their industry in one of the worst working environments in the world. And, no matter what job you did, even if you were just pen-pushing, you would use this phrase to indicate how hard you were working too.

      We shall have to see when the show comes out to find out if RA meant any more when he used this phrase, but I doubt it.

      And, yes, any minus temperature is considered cold by the Brits, partly because it’s a damp cold in the UK which seeps right through to your bones. The weatherman has just warned that it will be very cold next week when temperatures are likely to be, on average, about +5 degrees, LOL.


      • THANK YOU, Esther. Google failed me badly on this one. The Google translator says “camp” for “lager,” and I couldn’t figure out what “camp” one would put in a cabinet. I even did some googling on “brand name” + lager + Germany on the off chance that lager was a brand name of a cabinet manufacturer (like Steelcase, et. al, in the U.S.), but the results were detailed descriptions of the differences between lager and pilsner beers. Sigh. How hard we fangirls work to understand his jokes. Do you think he as any idea???


  6. I have an advantage here: No problem for me with his joke as I’m German ☺. Reminded me right away of this much-loved cracker from the nineties (Trainspotting) Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ aka ‘The lager, lager song’!!! https://youtu.be/TlLWFa1b1Bc. Dance away, ladies and enjoy! 😁 surely Richie would do….


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