"Cup of coffee" - universal or American?

So, in my experience (which, actually, is fairly sadly limited to crappy chick-lit and listening to friends), if someone asks you if you’d want to get a cup of coffee or something, there are two possible meanings. Meaning A is that they’re a buddy, you want to hang out and chat a bit and both like coffee. Meaning B is a bit more than that, with “getting coffee” being more a way to ask a harder question: Would you like to go on a somewhat-casual first date with me?

Of course, my experience could be entirely wrong, thus, this thread. In your opinion, is my assessment correct? Also, is this a particular American cultural thing? If, say, I were to go to England, meet a cute guy, and ask him this, would the meaning be conveyed? Randomly curious minds want to know these things.

We use it as a casual first-date line in Canada too.

I always assume it means “let’s go to a café and have some coffee for half an hour or so”. I certainly always use it in that sense.

It’s funny you should mention this, as I just had this very conversation today:

Platonic Male Friend: I’m bored.
La Llorona: Me, too.
PMF: Want to go have coffee or something?
La L: Sure!
PMF: But it’s not, like, you know, a date or anything.
La L: Natch.

So yes, NinjaChick, you’re quite right in your premise that “have coffee” has a dual meaning, at least in ye olde U.S. of A.

It’s also important to note that “having a cup of coffee sometime” does not necessarily have to involve an actual cup o’ joe at any point in the process.

same applies in australia. its actually a useful way of broaching the subject that youre attracted to someone without flat out admitting it to their face. you can ask them for a cup of coffee, if they ask if its a date you can say yes or ask fi theyd like it to be, etc. etc. bit of an icebreaker. of course its all in context, if i asked a long time female friend for a cup of coffee thered be nothing extra implied but a cup of coffee and a chat.

I think the typical UK equivalent is probably “you want to go for a drink?” Meaning very much the same things, but in a pub and with alcohol. :smiley:

Having said that, I’ve heard the phrase used in countless American TV shows and films, so if you did come over here and ask me if I wanted to go get coffee, I’m pretty sure I’d pick up the implications exactly as you said. Probably most people would, but I wouldn’t count on it having universal recognition.

Same thing in Tokyo. If fact it’s a pretty classic pick up line.

Hey! I came in to say this! Fess up, we’re really the same person, aren’t we? It’s some weird temporal shift. Did you reverse the polarity of the phlebotnum again? :smiley:

In my mother’s generation, the “go for coffee” equivalent was “go for drinks” and the alcohol was understood But asking someone out for alcohol leads to too many issues (Is he an alcoholic? What if she doesn’t drink?) - coffee is safer. Everyone drinks hot tasty beverages, even if not of the java variety.

Damn. Caught. Well, before they manage to fix the transporter and try to re-integrate us, I think I’ve just got time to post this:

Nobody here seems to worry too much about being thought to be an alcoholic (possibly because we all are) – but on the other hand, I seem to be running into more people (especially younger ones) who don’t drink hot beverages, however tasty. Which seems somehow… unBritish – if there can be such a thing.

It’s possible that with the spread of American-style coffee shops everywhere, and the consequent fashionability of coffee drinking, “going for coffee” might be gaining ground here. To be honest, having been married for thirteen years, I’m hopelessly out of touch with these things.

Not that I had a clue before that, either.

Aparently, it does not have the same meaning in Burundi. :slight_smile:

We were discussing this, and we decided that two people of congruent genders getting coffee has a high probability of being at least a pre-date.

This was too bad, because the boy I was discussing this with was deadly fine and I planned to ask him to coffee after. :smack:

Then offer him coffee; but with his breakfast the next morning.

Over here in the UK, I think most people would know what you meant. But the following conversation occurred when we were younger.

Friends- What did the hot girl say to you?
Friend- She asked me to go for a coffee with her. But I don’t like coffee, so I said no…
Friends- :eek: :smack:

And because no one I know seems to like coffee, “lets go for a coffee” actually means lets all go get a hot chocolate. But ‘coffee’ just seems more grown up. :smiley:

Je suis le président de Burundi.

“Would you like to come up for coffee?”
“Oh, I can’t drink coffee this late, it would keep me up all night”
/the hapless George Costanza

When I was young I used to worry that I would get asked out like this and would have to say no because I didn’t drink coffee. Now I realize that hot chocolate and cheesecake is a handy substitute. :slight_smile:

You know, I’ve always used “smokin’ hot” but I think I’m switching to “deadly fine.” Will it make me sound Canadian?

When I was young and stupid, I refused an offer for a drink because I don’t drink alcohol. sigh

(And yes, I have since mastered the phrase “c’est ben fin de ta part, m’a prendre un Coke s’te plaît.”)

I was almost caught in the same situation last week, but worse, because he was ordering a round of shooters for me and my friends. Fortunately, my bona fides was already assured by his having just bought me a coke, so I was able to stick-handle my way out of that situation.