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March 09, 2009


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And I imagined a foamer was a talk-show host or caller-in!

The more direct UK equivalent is gricer, not trainspotter.

@Lance: Thanks for that tidbit! I'd never heard of "gricer," so I did a little research. According to this site http://www.geoffspages.co.uk/raildiary/gricer.html "gricer" derives from the sport of grouse shooting and the concept of a successful "bag."

Several readers have been finding this post via Wordcraft, where a thread about trains (http://is.gd/mC3E) includes a couple of references to "what we in the UK would call transpotters" (or more generically "anoraks").

I think there's some skepticism (or in Br Eng, scepticism) about the derivation for gricer.

Have a look at the scans collected on http://www.avoe05.dsl.pipex.com/GRICER.htm, if you want to get tangled in the etymological weeds.

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