Lexicon top
Home page

U

Last update:
  1-Oct-200
1996-2004
  Mike Todd

T V A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Where it's not obvious: BE = British English, AE=American English and ext-link indicatorindicates an external link

Uncle Sam
  The United States Government
There are numerous explanations of how and when Uncle Sam came to stand for the US government. The most common explanation is that it came from "Uncle" Sam Wilson, a government inspector during the 1812 war, well known for his patriotism. Yet Uncle Sam was associated with US well before the war. The image of Uncle Sam as a behatted and bearded gentleman, dressed in red, white and blue, comes from the World War II recruiting posters of James Montgomery Flagg.
Unlisted
  Ex-directory
An unlisted number is exactly the same as the British ex-directory numbers
Undershirt
  Vest
Not to be confused with the US vest, which is a waistcoat
Undershorts
  Underpants
United States of America
  Obvious, perhaps ... but not necessarily. Although the United States is normally considered to consist of 50 states, it is rather more than that. There are the 50 states, plus the federal District of Columbia, and 11 Territories. The legislature, in the form of Congress, formally represents only the 50 states - the upper house (The Senate) has two senators from each state, making a total of 100 - the lower house (The House of Representatives) has representatives from each state depending on the state's population. However, the District of Columbia, and four of the territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) each provides a representative in the lower house who can take part in debates but who has no right to vote. A territory only gets the right to a representative if there are more than 5,000 inhabitants of voting age, and if a territory has a population of more than 60,000 it can apply for state-hood.

T V A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z