Create topic New topics

Forum

Chatter away, friends!  

A little help in understanding Jo and all our British friends

 
dustytoes
Posts: 1140
Message
on 03/31/2014

Little reading, mostly images:

20 British words that mean something totally different in the U.S.


Sheri_Oz
Posts: 439
Message
on 03/31/2014

This is cute - and brings back fond memories of spending a year in Reading and being puzzled that English English was so different from Canadian English.  Some of the choicer differences are left out of the list on your link, Pam, probably from a sense of delicacy and not wanting to offend the pure ears of one side or the other.


WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 03/31/2014

Gas in the US is petrol in the UK. Gas in the UK is either what you suffer when you eat too many brussels sprouts or what you use to cook with in your kitchen.

Sneakers in the US are something akin to tennis shoes or plimsolls here in the UK.

Fag is slang for a cigarette in the UK. It sure doesn't mean that Stateside!

A bumbag here in the UK is known as a fanny pack in the US. Fanny over here used to be a female name, but, unsurprisingly, has now fallen out of use.

Also the traditional nicknames for William as Willy or Willie and Richard as Dick are rather rare these days here, thanks to the slang connotations.

I wonder why?!

Thanks for that, Dustytoes. As I write for the US market on a daily basis, I appreciated that giggle.


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
dustytoes
Posts: 1140
Message
on 03/31/2014

I enjoyed it myself so I thought I'd share.

Thanks WordChazer for additions to that list.  I remember growing up that my mother had a friend named Fanny, and my sister and I thought that was hilarious.


JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 04/01/2014

This was hilarious!

It reminded me of that time on a forum, where an American lady complained that she'd been 'working my fanny off to make some money'.   Silence.

It was hours later before a bilingual US-UK lady came on and sussed how that had been misread in Britain. 


AlexandriaIngham
Posts: 109
Message
on 04/01/2014

Thanks for the giggle.

Just to be really confusing, I've always called trousers pants--and many people I grew up with did. I think it's a Northern thing since I know a few people from Newcastle who called trousers pants too. Panties are knickers and also sometimes called pants just to get really confusing ;)

I loved the last one!

RupertTaylor
Posts: 108
Message
on 04/01/2014

Back in the day, before electronic connections (Ah bliss) people were employed in British cities to get workers to the factory on time. They had long poles that they used to knock on bedroom windows and were called knockers up. When I lived in England people would ask for a wake up call by saying "Knock me up at 7 a.m." "I'll knock you up in the morning" has a whole different meaning in N. America.

And, while we are in the territory of the procreative faux pas, Australians often caused guffaws in offices by asking for Scotch tape or Cellotape by using the Oz brand name "Durex."

 

WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 04/01/2014

My German friend never did quite get the hang of English slang.

Trouble is that a letter written to your penfriend in Paris in her native language doesn't have much to do with a prophylactic, until you start looking at slang...


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
RupertTaylor
Posts: 108
Message
on 04/01/2014

Paula

Didn't, or don't, the French call them English letters? Not sure.

dustytoes
Posts: 1140
Message
on 04/02/2014

When I moved from Massachusetts where I grew up, to central Florida, I worked in a small grocery store.   The bag boy at my register looked at me like I had 2 heads when I asked him to go get a bottle of "tonic" for the customer.  In the south, and I guess most places, it is called soda or pop.

I learned a lot when I moved to the south.  Before that I never knew I had an accent, but suddenly everyone started making fun of the way I talked. 

 


AlexandriaIngham
Posts: 109
Message
on 04/02/2014

Ah, I remember a conversation surrounding the word "pop" with someone in Scotland when I first moved up here. Now, I can't remember whether I used the word pop and she had no idea what I meant, or whether I used something else and we finally figured out that I meant pop.

I used to have a newspaper clipping of some phrases that German doctors were given to deal with patients in Yorkshire. The slang there was too difficult for them to work out. A few people I was at college with at the time were laughing at me because I would say the slang words all the time and they finally understood what I'd been talking about for the last 18 months or so!

Loading ...
Error!