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ESL forum > Ask for help > Help needed!    

Help needed!

Czech Republic

Help needed!
Hello everybody, Smile
Id like to ask you for help. But, ladies, it is about English! It is not my personal ad! Wink  In one of my textbooks there is a unit about people and the relatationships. In one of the exercises there are several personal ads. And in one of these ads I cannot fully grasp one word. Here is the ad:
Write me - if you are cultured lady about 40, with an attractive figure - if you have lots of free time and are bored - Id like your company for travel, clean fun, friendship without pressure or complications. I am Sagittarian gentleman, early 50s, London resident, continental, slim, fit, average heigt, independent means, cosmopolitan lifestyle, cultured, distinguished with old-fashioned values and elegant manners. Photo please. Box no 5199.
So, the word is CONTINENTAL. This is a real ad from the Rendez-vous section of a London paper. The man is Londoner. He is distinguished with old-fashioned values, but he is continental?!? Confused What does it mean?
Thanks for your help in advance.

14 Jan 2011      


It means that he is from the European continent and not from another origin (Africa, India...)
He hasn t got a dark skin !!

14 Jan 2011     


yes it means "from Continent Europe", and not from Britain I suppose. Italian, German, French or something like these ;)

14 Jan 2011     

United States

From Oxford s dictionary:
2 (British English) following the customs of countries in western and southern Europea continental lifestyle

14 Jan 2011     

United States

Since I m from America, I can t completely answer this question about a London ad. In the States, continental has the connotation of being suave, debonair, confident, and sexy. These are qualities that we associate especially with France, Italy, and Spain (maybe Portugal). We don t tend to use continental about Northern Europeans, at least not in the USA (sorry Germans, Netherlands, and Scandinavians.) We certainly don t associate continental with former Soviet bloc countries (sorry Russians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and other Eastern Europeans).

14 Jan 2011     


There are two main differences: continental - Continental

The capitalized adjective refers to the Continent ( Europe as seen from Britain). e.g. I had Continental breakfast.
The other one means: part of one of the seven land masses.

Since your ad does not really make it clear, I would say this gentleman is of "white" origin and a sophisticated Brit.

Hope this helps.

14 Jan 2011     


If you notice something in the ad... it says he is a "London resident", not that he is English. A huge difference and I suspect that he is probably of a "Latin European" ethnicity: i.e. Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese since I wholly agree with Moody that someone "continental" brings to mind old World Europe... 

In fact, I can see a little French Poirot behind this ad! LOL

14 Jan 2011     

Czech Republic

I would also appreciate some British ladies comments. Are there any? Big smile 
Nevertheless, thanks a million for everybodys answer. Thumbs Up Hug
Oto (who is not continental Cry in spite of the fact he is from Central Europe)  Wink

14 Jan 2011     


Well, I m not a British lady but an Aussie lady so maybe my interpretation may be close given that we are a colony of the Commonwealth.
In this context I intepret it to mean that the gentleman is from Europe and currently living in London.
We don t usually use the word continental in that context any more but when we did it usually meant someone for Central Europe.
Maybe you could PM some of the UK ladies here

15 Jan 2011