The Case of the Missing “Brilliant”

A couple of weeks ago, I noted on this blog an ad that appeared in my local newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, with a suspiciously British “brilliant“:


But then, just a couple of days ago, I opened the Inquirer to find this:


Which made me wonder: Did Samsung suddenly realize that “brilliant” was a NOOB and replace it with the much more American “beautifully”? Or do they run the ads in rotation? Or is there some other explanation?

If by a remote chance someone from the Samsung advertising department reads this blog, do me a solid and let me know.





7 responses to “The Case of the Missing “Brilliant”

  1. Well…I came across your blog whilst searching explanarion for ..”not by a long chalk” …. can only say as a UK resident,,,`s post ..I think your blog is….brilliant!

    BobW .. Shropshire UK

  2. I’ve been a fan of the BrE use of “brilliant” for some time, but that aside, I was curious about the origin of that expression you used, so I decided to look it up.

  3. “Do me a solid”? Now there’s a new one to British ears. Most youngsters these days would ascribe a scatlogical inference to the phrase.

    • Indeed. But then, I had to have explained to me the joke in the name of the Charlie Brooker spoof cop show, A Touch of Cloth. (For those that don’t know, “touching cloth” means that you are in so need of a lavatory that you are in danger of soiling your underpants.)

    • It’s certainly new to me. I wondered but read “favour” into it.

  4. I am watching Twelve Angry Men (New York, USA 1957). Juror 3, played by Lee J. Cobb says, sarcastically “Oh, brilliant!”.
    I was surprised to see the word used in an American setting so long ago.

    • I have seen this movie but don’t remember the line or its context. However, “brilliant” does have a long history in American English of meaning “very intelligent” (a brilliant student) or “clever”(American sense)/”cunning” (a brilliant scheme). The later approaches the British meaning but is not quite the same. I suspect that Cobb used the word in one of these senses.

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