Skip to main content

On speaking English...

erexpat.jpg
I have had so many new visitors that are future expats that I thought it would be a good idea to offer some words of advise to those coming to live in the UK and learning to speak the language...
One thing to keep in mind - Add the word 'Trousers' to your vocabulary to take the place of the word 'pants'. In the UK, 'pants' means 'underpants' and people look at you funny if you ask them if they like your new pants! Last week, I told my trainer that all my pants are too big for me and he seemed a bit confused on why I'd be so forthcoming with such information. Unfortunately, it wasn't until later that I realized what I said! Lavendar
There are a lot of words that take on new meaning when you come to England. You'll soon find out that you don't really speak English - you speak American and you'll soon finding yourself translating in your head before speaking.


Examples:


Hair - bangs are called fringe & braids are called plaits.
Clothing - tank tops are called vests, vests are called waistcoats, sweaters are jumpers, sweater vests (for men) are called tank tops, suspenders are called braces and guarders are suspenders. Men's underwear are called pants and woman's are called knickers. Confused yet?? The good news is that socks are still socks. A bathing suit is sometimes a swimming costume, and if your invited to a fancy dress party it's not a black tie event - it's actually a costume party (I'm still confused by that one).
Household items - A trash can is a bin, a faucet is a tap, cabinets are cupboards, closets are wardrobes, vacuums are hoovers a couch is a settee (or sofa) and a comforter is a duvet.
Food related items - Cookies are biscuits. Pancakes are not anything like what we have for breakfast, french fires are chips and chips are crisps. Oh, if someone invites you over for tea - they are actually inviting you over for dinner so don't eat before you go - Unless they invite you over for a cup of tea - then you get tea!
I can go on forever! Scared? Don't be! Most people watch American television and lucky for us - they speak American and will get your meaning most of the time. After a while it gets easier and easier and you'll soon find yourself trying to remember the American terms for things when speaking to friends and family back in the states! It's then that you know you've really arrived! Lavendar

Comments

OHP said…
Word!
And yes, add me to your list!
Monique said…
TOTALLY! I've been here so long now that I can't remember which word is American, British or Australian slang - so confusing!
Andrea said…
I remember when I first met my fiance I told him I was going to get my bangs cut and he had no idea what I was talking about and after about 10 minutes we realized fringe and bangs are the same thing! Thanks for the comment Erren, I would love to be added to your list!
NiHao said…
You should start your own relocation agency! And don't forget the ever popular "cheers" - as a substitute for "thank you," "yes please," "goodbye," "smashing," and the list goes on...
Tanith said…
Don't forget the alternate meanings of fanny! ;)
bizofknowledge said…
And don't forget "trainers" instead of sneakers. Definitely don't call them "tennis shoes" no matter what you do! Thanks for the good laugh, its so fun to think about British American dictionary entries.

Popular posts from this blog

Vicks First Defence

I always catch something when I fly. Every time I get on a plane, I make sure I pack cold & flu medicine because I know I'll be sick for the next week. I told my doctor about it because I was wondering if I could get a hold of something over the counter to help. I know in the US they sell things that are supposed to help. He told me to buy Vicks First Defense (which is available in the UK over the counter, but as of last November, was not available in the US). It's a nasal spray that you don't inhale. You simply squirt it into the side of your nostril a couple of times and wait a few seconds before you take a breath through your nose (avoiding taking a deep breath for a few minutes - I once inadvertently inhaled it and let me tell you, it was painful so take my word for it - don't inhale it). The spray is supposed to form a thin layer of gel at the back of the nose, where it should trap the virus, disarm it and help the body to flush it out. I was hesitant w…

Kicked the habit with an e-cigarette

I quit smoking when I moved to the UK, mainly because I promised my husband I would.  I did it for him, but not because I wanted to.  I enjoyed smoking.  I missed it, but quit successfully for many years until I went through a stressful time and started again.  My relapse lasted over a year.  The whole time, I was ashamed of myself.  I hated the smell.  I hated how I felt, I hated the health risks and I hated my lack of willpower.
     I've known a few people who have tried e-cigarettes.  I was a skeptic.  I thought it was going from one habit to another.  The people I knew that tried it, always had it and were constantly sucking on it.  It seemed to me they were more addicted to it then they were cigarettes.  I don't know any smokers that constantly had a cigarette in their hand.
     Then in January, I saw a piece about it on the BBC News.  I watched with interest thinking they were going to say that they have found it to be harmful.  What they said was quite the opposite.…

Fight Club for Five Year Olds - Part 2

The other mother and I went into the school to meet with the teacher and the assistant head.  We both let them know how upset we were that we were not informed that our children were sent to the office and how much we were against the children being allowed to play fighting games on the playground.  I told them I wouldn't allow it at home and I'm really unhappy that it's being allowed at school.  They admitted it was a problem and explained that they are planning to introduce a a scheme to teach the children to play in a safe way.  They will be calling it 'Super Hero Training'.  They plan to give out capes & masks out to children who behave well as rewards at playtime.  They will have assemblies where they will teach the children to play fighting games without making contact.  I find this to be absurd.  The problem has gone on to long and I doubt they will be able to teach little children to change their games when they have sixty other children to look after o…