Saturday, 3 October 2009

And we're back!!

Okay, so obviously it's been a long time since I've updated this.  But good news!  We now have the internet in our flat, so updating should come at a much more timely rate, in theory.  (I did say at the beginning of all of this I'm terrible with keeping up with these things).  The other good news is that I did write down some of the phrases, words, random differences I've encountered.  So here they are:

First off, a recent discovery.  The World Wide Web is false.  It is not world wide.  Sites that don't work in the UK:  (maybe one of the things i'm missing the most.  that and my realization that it's pumpkin ice cream season at Whitey's back in the QC right now... sigh...)
and watching american TV shows online.  so no Bones for me.

Also, other sites that do work are different here than at home.  If you go on the Adobe site and specifically pick the US site, you get far less options of things you can do than normal.  But if I go to the UK site, and can find other things.  But the sites are still different.

So aside from the internet there's (British first):
holiday vs. vacation
paddling vs. wading?  (taking off your shoes and socks, rolling up your pants, and wading in the ocean)
private vs. public school (can't exactly explain this one, but they don't use these 2 terms the same.  I'll try to sort it out and let you know)
Well within that last comment.  They say sort it more often when we were say figure.  As in, "Did you sort it out?" vs. "Did you figure it out?"
skipping rope vs. jumping rope
ride vs. lift - In reference to being a a car.  "Can I give you a lift?" vs. "Can I give you a ride?"  And apparently, this difference is one in particular that should never be mistaken when a girl is talking to a guy as something ENTIRELY different is meant.
lift vs. elevator
surname vs. last name
courgette vs. zucchini
spanners vs. wrenches
toilet roll vs. toilet paper
toilet vs. bathroom
trousers vs. pants
pants vs. underwear
posh vs. fancy, rich, chic, etc.
brilliant vs. awesome, great
chemist vs. pharmacy
chips vs. french fries
crips vs. chips
cheers vs. thanks or see you later
proper vs. real, really As in, a proper
rubbish bin vs. garbage can, trash can
fortnight vs. 2 weeks (fourteen nights)
fringe vs. bangs
to let vs. to rent
give-way vs. yield (on a road sign)
jam vs. jelly
dual carriage way vs. highway
motorway vs. interstate - Now these two aren't exact comparisons because the dual carriage way means there's
oh dear me! vs. oh gosh, goodness, etc.
nip/pinch vs. steal
nappy vs. diaper
petrol vs. gasoline
prawn vs. shrimp
queue vs. line  Signs say Queue here, as in line up here.
stone vs. 14 lbs.
quid vs. a pound (as in the currency, not to be confused with the weight measurement I used in the last one)
English inch vs. American inch, it seems like our's are shorter
serviette vs. napkin
takeaway vs. take-out, carryout

Now there is some mystery of what exactly Christmas pudding is, so I'll work on figuring that one out as well.

Oh!!  And back to the education bit.  When you ask a child to spell their name, they do it phonetically.  Now, I understand that for learning how to read and spell this helps them, but Lord help me if I can tell the difference between any of the consonants, or s and c, c and k, etc.!  Meaning, I started spelling Simon as Cemoun...
But everyone says zed for the letter z.

Ok, now there is the entire mess of what different meals of the day are called.  I'll try to draw comparisons as much as possible...
breakfast vs. breakfast
brunch vs. brunch
dinner vs. lunch (it's been said if those Brits that do say lunch are very posh).
tea vs. dinner/supper
supper vs. midnight snack

With all of this said, a lot of this is much stricter with older generations.  If I say pants instead of trousers, most people I'm talking to understand what I'm saying and don't think I'm just that openly talking about my underwear.

Other little differences:  Their peanut butter is runnier.  The stereotype about tea is completely true, but be sure to make it the proper(real) way!  Meaning you must have boiling water, pour that in then add the tea bag.  After which you can add your milk (which almost everyone has in their tea) and sugar.  Now how I make my tea... start boiling the water (oh, you don't always have to use your stove because pretty much everyone everywhere has a electric kettle) put the sugar, tea bag and milk in the mug while you wait, because you are just standing there waiting anyway!  Then add the boiling water when it's finished.  Apparently, this stops the tea bag from properly letting go of it's flavor or something like that, but I think it makes the tea creamer, which I like better.  So oh well, I won't completely assimilate.

(and not every post will be this long...)


  1. I could write down a whole bunch of things along the lines of "not everyone does *this* and not every says *that*..." but you'll figure it out. I could add a few in though. Oh, you did spell crisps wrong. Just want all your american readers to know it's not crips. Anywho,

    Jam vs. Jelly is a confusing one because americans occasionally use both, but when Brits say Jelly they mean Jell-O (or gelatin, I suppose).

    buggy vs. stroller, has always been an interesting one to me. There is also:
    budgy (budgerigar) vs. parakeet

    You can find decent peanut butter if you look for it, but not great. They do like the "extra smooth" stuff.

    You mentioned courgette vs. zucchini, so you also get
    aubergine vs. eggplant
    manges-tout vs. snow-peas/snap-peas
    hmmm... I guess I'll be done for now. Enjoy your continuing linguistic journey.

  2. oops! thanks for the proofreading garrett!