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15 May 2010

"The Queen's English"

First and foremost, Americans may speak “English”, but people in the UK speak “The Queen's English”. Following are some of the colloquilisms of the Queen's English that I have recently “learnt”.

**Take note, some of these may only be local colloquialisms and are meant lightheartedly and in good fun!**

A Diary is not equivalent to a journal, it's a schedule or calendar.

There is no such thing as a trash can, it is a rubbish bin.

Cars don't have windshields, they have windscreens. They also don't have trunks, they have boots. AND, they don't have floor boards, they have foot wells :).

One does not leave a car in a parking lot, but in a car park. If said car park has multiple levels, it is not a parking garage, it is a multistory car park.

Englishmen do not put their “ducks in a row,” in fact they look at you like you might have 3 heads if you mention anything about your ducks or them being in line!

Horses do not necessarily receive injections, they are administered “jabs”.

Mares do not foal out, they “foal down”.

In order to truly appreciate a snowy slope, one should utilize a “bumwhizzer.” That's right, a toboggan.

A street performer is known as a “busker”.

Nasal discharges are referred to as “bogeys”. Not to be confused with the American “booger”, though the connotation is identical.

Horses are not “painted”, they are “coloured”. In fact, most horsemen do not really even know what a “paint” horse is unless it is described as coloured or piebald/skewbald/etc. “Cobs” are very common horses who are often big headed (oddly enough since the smaller halter/bridle size in the US is a cob, between pony and horse/full) and frequently coloured and with feathers, quite similar to the expensive imported “Gypsy Vanners” marketed in the States.

The pharmacy at the clinic is a “dispensary”. If you mention a pharmacy, you are directed down the road to the nearest town to an apothecary/pharmacy to see a chemist/pharmacist.

There is no Diet Dr Pepper, but there is a Dr Pepper Zero!

Stainless steel travel mugs are oftern referred to as “American mugs."

Bananas must be the national fruit, or something, because people here seem to eat them like candy!

Wireless internet is not provided by a wireless modem, but by a “dongle” which is a USB device identical to a wireless modem in the US. And Wi-Fi is hard to find and expensive when located. Grr!

One does not ride in an “outdoor arena”, they ride in an “outdoor school”. Horses reside in “boxes” within a “stable” or a “yard” not in stalls in a barn. A boarding stable is a “livery yard” and individuals doing DIY care (very common over here as full livery is very expensive!) of their horses are individual “liveries”. Incidentally, horse wear “rugs”, not blankets, and lots of them. They also wear “headcollars” and not halters. One would use an “adjustable spanner,” not a wrench, to put in studs.

And some more basics, pants are “trousers” and underwear are “pants”. Not a good idea to confuse the two!

A “bap” is a hamburger bun. Shrimp are “prawns”. Zucchini are “courgettes” and squash are “yellow corguettes”.

An argument is a “row”.

“Ta” means thanks.

The “ and the @ are switched on the UK computer keyboards. Very frustrating!

A cell phone is a “mobile” and text messages are often referred to as “SMS messages”. It is not legal to talk on the phone and drive unless it is done hands-free. And, like in Georgia now, texting and driving is certainly illegal!

An ultrasound machine is a “scanner”. (pronounced "scanna")

2000 pounds is not a ton, it's a “tonne”.

A coaster is a “drink mat”.

One doesn't mail an item, but “posts” it to its recipient.

Someone is "stroppy" when they have a difficuly personality and are frustrated.

Horses are not referred to as "hot" if they are excitable, they are "sharp". Incidentally, if one mentions that a horse looks sharp, i.e. well presented, it will be mistaken for it being difficult.

Another expression for a brat is a "twat."

If one receives a strong reprimand, it might be called a "bollucking."


Of course, there are plenty more, and certainly different pronunciations of similar words, but I'll leave you with those and I'm sure I'll come up with more over time. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! The differences in expression would likely make for some amusing interpretations of normal American comments :)

    ReplyDelete