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You are a foreigner with heavy accent living in the UK. If you want to be polite getting off public transport, you can say a number and a letter to the driver. Which number and which letter?

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  • $\begingroup$ F U N E X? C V F X. M N X 4 1. T? $\endgroup$ – Mawg Nov 26 '18 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ Why haven't you accepted an answer?  Were you thinking of an answer that hasn't been posted yet? $\endgroup$ – Peregrine Rook Dec 3 '18 at 4:30
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"10 Q" = "ten cue" > "tenc ue" sounds like "thank you" for some accents.

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    $\begingroup$ And if you don't care about being polite you can say 4Q $\endgroup$ – Kruga Nov 26 '18 at 12:03
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    $\begingroup$ Why is this, of all answers, getting so many upvotes? I'm not complaining, just noticing that it is a strange one to attract that much positive attention. My answer is not as interesting as @JanusBahsJacquet's. $\endgroup$ – WAF Nov 26 '18 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ And when getting on you can say L0. (pronounced Ell-ow) $\endgroup$ – nl-x Nov 26 '18 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ @WAF Yours was the first answer and already about ten upvotes when I wrote mine; top answer privilege is very much a thing. People read and upvote the first answer, then lose interest and move on. $\endgroup$ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 29 '18 at 6:46
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In a very similar vein to WAF’s answer, you can also say

3Q, assuming you are not just any foreigner, but specifically a Chinese or Japanese foreigner.

This is in fact a very common way of writing ‘thank you’ in textspeak in both languages. The number three is 三 sān in Mandarin (and san in Japanese, which borrowed it from Chinese), and the name of the letter Q is borrowed from and pronounced as in English. Chinese and Japanese both lack interdental sounds, so /θ/ usually gets substituted for /s/, and syllables can only end in one consonant (a nasal). Put together, thank you ends up sounding like san kyu when pronounced by most Chinese or Japanese speakers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ha. I was going to give the same answer... but saying a Japanese foreigner. +1 $\endgroup$ – tmgr Nov 25 '18 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ @tmgr Do you know, I never thought about that before, but it’s just as likely in Japanese now that you mention it – more likely, in fact, since /kjuː/ is a valid syllable in Japanese, which it isn’t in Mandarin. So even as said by Chinese people, it’s not entirely phonotactically possible in Chinese as such, whereas it would be in Japanese. Answer edited! $\endgroup$ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '18 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ Mandarin's outside my bailiwick but I did think it looked a rather Japanesey transliteration. As you probably know, 3Q is also used in Japanese text speech.... and I think I've seen both 三九 and 三級. But now we're well off-topic! $\endgroup$ – tmgr Nov 25 '18 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ @tmgr Thanks for that – Japanese is far enough outside my bailiwick that I’m not familiar with its textspeak; good to have corroboration that it’s used there too! $\endgroup$ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '18 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ Just a bit of additional info: based on my extensive Japanese research (i.e., watching lots of anime), "sankyuu" is also acceptable in informal Japanese $\endgroup$ – Ben Sandeen Nov 26 '18 at 18:38
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If you really want to show your appreciation, you could always give the driver a

Ten A. A ten pound note is popularly called a "tenner", and in London and much of the South is pronounced "ten-ah".

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    $\begingroup$ Considering this is about the UK, which is mostly non-rhotic, R might even be a better option here. $\endgroup$ – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '18 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ That'd work too - good point. And of course the number 5 would work as well. $\endgroup$ – Graham Nov 25 '18 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ ... I don't think you've ever tried giving a bus driver a tenner. Congratulations if you get anything that isn't a scowl/grump. $\endgroup$ – Tharglet Asimis Nov 26 '18 at 10:04
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probably the answer should be combination of the above answers. 10Q M8

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3
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You could give the driver a

M 8 - Said together these sound like "Mate"

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Not sure how polite, but 0 and i (0 pronounced O, and i as in the imaginary/complex number). Oi!

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If you speak Belorussian, Russian or Ukrainian and notice the driver is about to miss your stop, you may end up yelling

100P! /sto p/

Not very polite but straight to the point.

If you speak Japanese and thought the bus ride was the best thing ever, you'll probably throw up the horns and shout

U6! /juː roku/ (though a much more neutral 1000Q /sẽ̞ɴ kjuː/ would work, too)

If you are French, you may choose not to go to either of these extremes and settle on

5U /sɛ̃k ju:/

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