But it's also the case that one can say I feel [NOUN PHRASE] in BrE and mean 'I feel like [NOUN PHRASE]'. Ben's example came from The Telegraph, in a story about a man who was injured while using Twitter:
"I guess you could say I feel a right Twit," he said.For the grammar geeks out there, I'll quote Algeo's British or American English on the topic, "A group of copular verbs (...) have predominantly adjectival complements in common-core English, but also have nominal subject complements in British more frequently than in American." In other words, in AmE or BrE, you could say I feel old (because my students told me yesterday that Brad Pitt is 'a sexy old man'). You could also say I feel like an unsexy geriatric case, because the like phrase in that case plays an adjectival role in the sentence. But in BrE, you can also forgo the like and just go straight to the nouny part of the description. [In the Twit example, we also have the BrE noun-intensifier right, but let's save that for a rainier day.)
Here are some examples showing more of this pattern:
sound: He sounded a complete mess. [Jeremy Clarke in The Independent]Smell and taste are not found as regularly in the 'smell/taste like' sense, but a BrE expression one can find with them (and look and sound) is to [PERCEPTION VERB] a treat. So:
look: Joey Barton has made me look a fool. [Oliver Holt on Mirror.co.uk]
appear: I was trying to appear a total gentleman! [on ducatisti.co.uk]
The honeysuckle shampoo is just gorgeous and she smells a treat. [customer feedback for a dog grooming salon]And if something looks or tastes or is a treat, then it can also (BrE) go down a treat--i.e. be received well.
Do you love cooking simple, no fuss meals that taste a treat? [ad(vert) on FilmBirmingham site]
Nokia E63 Handset Looks A Treat [digital lifestyles]
BSC Seminars Go Down a Treat at Health and Safety 09 Show [British Safety Council]If we were to to say any of these in AmE, we'd probably have to put a like in (and get rid of all the other Briticisms in the examples)--i.e. it looks like a treat, made me look like a fool, etc. The one that really confuses AmE speakers is (BrE) go down a bomb, which is not only ungrammatical for us without the like, but also means the opposite of what we'd think it means. If a performance bombs in AmE, it is horrid and no one likes it. But if it goes down a bomb in BrE, it's fantastic and gets a wildly positive reception. Ben sent me an example that had to do with Susan Boyle--the now-famous also-ran in the Britain's Got Talent television (BrE) programme/(AmE) show, and he's blogged about it here.
There are other things one could say about going down in BrE (you stop that sniggering right now!)...but we'l just leave that on the ever-increasing backlog of stuff to write about.
But if you want to know what really goes down a treat, check out this review of Better Half's work from today's Guardian! Then go and buy the entire SmartPass back catalog(ue), so that we can keep Grover in shoes!