Thanks jpcher -- all is clear now !
Some Brits are serious, about an issue akin to the one re which your lady was jesting. They consider that people who pronounce the name of the tilting-at-windmills chap, in the correct Spanish way -- "Don Kee-hoat-ay" -- are off-puttingly parading what expert linguists and general culture-vultures they are. The British-isolationist view is that in Britain, the novel's hero should jolly well be mispronounced English-wise, as "Don Kwick-soat". Afetr all, we've thought up an adjective, "quixotic" (English pronunciation) -- "acting like Don Q".
Well, I've learned something new. I was aware of the word "quixotic" and what it meant, but I've only seen it in writing and always assumed that it was pronounced kee-hoe-tic since it is derived from Don "kee-hoe-tay". (I don't think I've ever heard someone seriously pronounce Don Quixote as Don Kwick-soat, although granted, I don't have all that many conversations about Don Quixote. ) But sure enough, I went to look at the dictionary entry for quixotic and the only pronunciation listed is kwick-sa-tic.
I'm with Onyx - I've never heard anyone seriously suggest that Don Quixote should be pronounced Kwick-soat, or that it is elitist to pronounce it correctly. I have heard it pronounced that way as a joke. I've come across people occasionally who didn't know how it was pronounced, but never anyone who argued for the incorrect version. Cabbage Weevil, did you get into a conversation about Spanish literature with your local UKIP canvassers, or something?
Lamb - it's very common here (Mutton is much harder to find - I think a lot of people don't like the stronger flavour) It's the meat I would be most suprised to find people didn't associate with the animal as it does have the same name - I mean, there's no reason to associate 'veal' with a calf, or 'venison' with a deer, unless you have already learned that that is what it is, but if you are offered lamb, or rabbit, it seems you might have more of a clue to what you are being served. . .
(My grandmother used to tell a story about one of my aunts realising the connection between the rabbit they regularly ate, and Peter Rabbit. Rabbit was very cheap at the time, they were not well off, and she could not afford to stop serving it to the family. So for the next year or so they used regularly to have 'Lapin Pie' 'Lapin Stew' etc.. . )