Proof Americans and Brits speak a different language

Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
https://www.facebook.com/helphelensmash/videos/2283376581923278/?t=146

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Comments

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I had an Austrian German teacher when I learnt German in my 20s.

    I was visiting friends of friends in Lower Saxony and we went for coffee and cake. I pointed at the whipped cream and professed, in German, my love for whipped cream and cake --referring to the former as Schlagobers. The two people my age looked stumped, while one of their parents explained I was speaking Austrian and I meant Sahne. I think I used the "wrong" word for Saturday [Samstag/Sonnabend] at one point too -- but that's a variation within the country.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Back to English:

    "Root" means to have sex in Australia. Not go for a sport's team.
    A "thong" is what you call a "flip-flop". [it also goes for the underwear]

    Bringing Germans back into it, they seem to suffer with our non-rhotic [non-r pronouncing] ways. I had to say "car" [ka] several times before a German friend got the meaning.
  • AthrawesAthrawes Shipmate
    I really hope that was set up, or I don’t see that relationship thriving... I’ve been caught with the jumper thing, I admit, but most of the time I’ve heard both usages and can work out what is meant.
  • The thing they called a pacifier or a dummy is a soother.

    The sort of jumper/ sweater they discussed is a bunnyhug.

    Never heard the term onesie and whatever it was for the English chap, that's a sleeper.
  • That video was so funny. I think there are so many everyday differences that TV does usually cover or glosses over.
    I remember someone saying it was “so cute” when I asked if it was the end of the queue in New Jersey once. To me lines are for geometry or when you are naughty at primary school.
    & do even get into asking where the loos are!

    @NOprophet_NØprofit bunnyhug is such a cute term for a jumper! Love it.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    A "thong" is what you call a "flip-flop". [it also goes for the underwear.]

    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs". I still have a hard time remembering "flip-flop". Fortunately, I rarely have occasion to say it.



  • SpikeSpike Admin
    On a trip to the US some years ago I was telling a joke about a cockerel. I realised nobody knew what I was talking about so had to start again but instead talking about a rooster
  • I find it funny when Americans refer to their gardens as 'yards', over here in the UK yards are small grubby areas, often containing a bit of junk, or an old outside loo. All those small Victorian terraced houses in smoky industrial cities had 'yards'. I gather that our American friends are talking about something a lot more charming.
  • I have fond memories of a US priest and his family coming to stay for a while when I was a child.

    Asked where the bathroom was I remember showing them to the bathroom, splendid 7' bath, basin, shower: after about 5 minutes they re-appeared, had a whispered conversation with their spouse, and then asked where they could go to "make myself comfortable" - so shown by another child to their bedroom. After another(by now pink-faced) reappearance Mama asked me to show around the house...
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs".
    Really? Maybe that was a regional thing. We called them flip-flops when I was a child in the 1960s.

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs".
    Really? Maybe that was a regional thing. We called them flip-flops when I was a child in the 1960s.

    I remember calling them "zories" also back in the 60s. I don't know where that came from. Maybe a brand name?
  • When I first flew out to Australia, I changed flights at Sydney. On the door of the posh airport lounge was a sign saying: "Smart casual clothes only. No thongs." I wondered who would wear a thong in public, remembered what Sydney was famous for, and decided I'd come to a very strange place!
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs". I still have a hard time remembering "flip-flop".

    Same here! Maybe it's a coastal thing?
    I find it funny when Americans refer to their gardens as 'yards', over here in the UK yards are small grubby areas, often containing a bit of junk, or an old outside loo. All those small Victorian terraced houses in smoky industrial cities had 'yards'. I gather that our American friends are talking about something a lot more charming.

    The yard is that part of one's property that isn't paved or underneath the house. A garden is a part of the yard specifically set aside for growing vegetables or ornamental plants/flowers.

  • I don't know if this is a British usage too but my Australian cousins introduced me to the term "fairy floss" which is a much more interesting term than "cotton candy".
  • mousethiefmousethief Shipmate
    Although far less descriptive.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    edited August 9
    As a Canadian who has read many British mysteries, most of the language in the FB post was quite familiar. That said I wonder if I could adapt my usage if I lived in England for any substantial period of time.
  • mousethief - thank you!
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I shared the video with a colleague from Australia who is married to a Canadian. She says it is her daily experience.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    The video is a staged couple. They are not married. The woman, who is the producer, will take on the oddities of language. This is one of her funniest videos.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I know it's staged; it's still the lived reality of my colleague.
  • AravisAravis Shipmate
    Some years ago an American pastor was visiting the church my parents attended (in the UK) and began his children’s talk by saying he was going to tell them about a boy called Willy. Half the Sunday school started giggling. The pastor looked confused and said “Is one of you children called Willy?” By now all the children were falling about laughing.

    I don’t know whether any of the adults felt able to tell the pastor what “willy” means for most younger UK children...
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    As a Canadian who has read many British mysteries, most of the language in the FB post was quite familiar. That said I wonder if I could adapt my usage if I lived in England for any substantial period of time.

    I have found that just visiting England for a week or two I tend to start using their way of saying things on many occasions.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    Willy would be a known expression in Canada.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    Hence this transgressive rhyme from childhood
    Mary had a little lamb,
    She thought that it was silly.
    She threw it up into the air,
    And caught it by its…
    Willy was a watch dog,
    Sitting on the grass.
    Down came a bumble bee,
    And stung him on the…
    Asssssk no questions,
    Tell no lies,
    Have you ever seen a policeman,
    Doing up his ...
    Flies are a nuisance,
    Bugs are worse,
    And that is the end of my silly little verse.
    ( there are a number of variants.) It was used as a skipping rhyme, among other things.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    mousethief wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs". I still have a hard time remembering "flip-flop".

    Same here! Maybe it's a coastal thing?

    Maybe. I did a little poking around under "US dialects flip-flops thongs". Besides sandal-selling sites and some discussions of dialects, I found this: "A Guide to Sandals | Flip-Flop, Slippah" (Hansen's Surfboards)." (Short article.)

    I think I've known "zoris" to refer to flip=flops with a straw footbed. IME, comfy, once you get used to it.

    Also this discussion:
    "Slippers Vs Flip-flops ? (also: beach slippers vs thongs)" (WordReference.com Language Forums).

    Interesting site.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The video is a staged couple. They are not married. The woman, who is the producer, will take on the oddities of language. This is one of her funniest videos.
    That's a relief. If they were a real couple and they carry on relating to each other the way they do in the film, that relationship won't last till death them do part.

    @SirPalomides I think you may be describing what we call 'candy floss'.
  • Not long after moving to Canada, I talked about something that was going to happen in a fortnight's time. This was greeted with blank looks. I had to explain that this meant it would happen in two week's time. "Oooo!" they said, "why didn't you say that?"
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    edited August 10
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs". I still have a hard time remembering "flip-flop". Fortunately, I rarely have occasion to say it.
    I was certainly thrown for a loop the first time I heard the underwear explanation. Really? (It looks uncomfortable, too.)

    (ETA: "Thongs" is not a coastal thins; I grew up calling them that in the heart of the Midwest. But we also called them "flip-flops," and that's what I use these days.)



  • Not long after moving to Canada, I talked about something that was going to happen in a fortnight's time. This was greeted with blank looks. I had to explain that this meant it would happen in two week's time. "Oooo!" they said, "why didn't you say that?"

    Don't Americans and Canadians read English literature? Or, for people of my generation, didn't they listen to the Beatles and other "British Invasion" bands?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    I read Brit lit.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    So do I, and as a result know most Britishisms fairly well I think.

    BTW, another who grew up calling the beach sandles "zories", but I don't know why because no one else I knew did. Once I realized that I switched over to calling them flip-flops.
  • Yup, re looking uncomfy.
  • fortnight- understood, but considered quaint.

    A curious one is "at the weekend" which presumably means on the weekend.

    willy - understood, not used. It seems there's a number of possible male names for penis: dick, peter, johnson, john thomas. Most of them used in making jokes by the young.

    thongs - this is one of those changed meaning words. Was footwear now is underwear. Which are panties for women, boxers or briefs for men. "Gotch" is a local word for them. Not pants. No one wears trousers => we wear pants (long pants in my youth), and shorts are not underwear.
  • Re: fortnight: this word is becoming better known among US video gamers!
    Golden Key wrote: »

    I have never heard the expression "beach slippers." California thing?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Aravis wrote: »
    Some years ago an American pastor was visiting the church my parents attended (in the UK) and began his children’s talk by saying he was going to tell them about a boy called Willy. Half the Sunday school started giggling. The pastor looked confused and said “Is one of you children called Willy?” By now all the children were falling about laughing.

    I don’t know whether any of the adults felt able to tell the pastor what “willy” means for most younger UK children...

    We have German visitors staying with us. We had fish, chips and mushy peas. German sniggers ensued as ‘muschi’ is their childhood slang for vagina.

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    edited August 10
    Golden Key wrote: »
    mousethief wrote: »
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Here (US), "flip-flop" sandals used to be "thongs". I still have a hard time remembering "flip-flop".

    Same here! Maybe it's a coastal thing?

    Maybe. I did a little poking around under "US dialects flip-flops thongs". Besides sandal-selling sites and some discussions of dialects, I found this: "A Guide to Sandals | Flip-Flop, Slippah" (Hansen's Surfboards)." (Short article.)

    I think I've known "zoris" to refer to flip=flops with a straw footbed. IME, comfy, once you get used to it.

    Also this discussion:
    "Slippers Vs Flip-flops ? (also: beach slippers vs thongs)" (WordReference.com Language Forums).

    Interesting site.

    I did a little googling, and GK is right zoris is the Japanese name for those flip-flops with neatly woven foot beds and often black velvet straps. This is the kind of sandal a Japanese person would wear to some special event with tabi socks and a nice kimono. So, of course us 60s Californians would call our dusty, rubber beach sandals zorries.
  • As a person from Melbourne I find it very difficult to understand people from Queensland, but I can talk with them in shops and stuff.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited August 10
    As a UK person, one US usage that sounds really weird is 'hutch' for what we'd call a sideboard. A hutch here is what a pet rabbit lives in.

    'Fortnight' is normal English to me. Nothing quaint about it. It would not have occurred to me that it isn't universal.

    A slight Australian oddity to many of our ears is the Australian pronunciation of yogurt as yoe-gǝt. The 'o' is short here, to rhyme with 'jog'.
  • A US border guard once asked why we wanted to enter his country, and I told him it was for a holiday. "This isn't a holiday!" he snarled, as only US border guards can. Fortunately, I knew that one and corrected myself, "I meant vacation", and he allowed us in.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Wow. I'd have been caught by that one. Does 'holiday' in the US mean specifically and only, an official public holiday/bank holiday?
  • Not a language difference but a cultural one: my biggest american shock was when I was staying in a holiday appartment and they asked if there was anything else they could provide and I asked for a kettle as our previous appartment with the same company hadn’t had one. The lady said,”oh, a tea kettle, certainly” and once we let ourselves in there was a little stove top whistling kettle like I use for camping. In the UK even cheapo hotel rooms supply an electric kettle as standard! I did appreciate it though.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited August 10
    Enoch wrote: »
    Wow. I'd have been caught by that one. Does 'holiday' in the US mean specifically and only, an official public holiday/bank holiday?
    Yes, only we don’t call them “bank holidays.”

    What you do when you take a trip is a “vacation.”

    Of course, one would think a border guard would have encountered the British usage before.

  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    I know enough about American slang from TV that "the Holidays" is used explicitly for the Christmas period, where in the UK it is a summer thing, either a vacation or the six weeks or so that school is out for summer.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  • You’re right. “The holidays” is the Christmas–New Year’s period, or maybe the Thanksgiving–Christmas–New Year’s period. When school is out in the summer is usually “summer vacation” or “summer break.”

  • EirenistEirenist Shipmate
    I once wrote a children's book published in the UK. Thee rights were sold to an American publisher, who insisted on all British terms such as 'torch' (flashlight) being translated. No surprise if Britishisms are misunderstood in the US.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited August 10
    'Vacation' is a bit pretentious here. Universities have vacations. It means the times when they are closed. Schools though call those holidays and holidays are what people go on.

    'Flashlight' isn't a word much used here. If it's got a meaning at all, it would be the light used on ships for flashing messages by morse code from one ship to another.

    It's virtually universal these days for UK hotels etc to provide an electric kettle and facilities for making tea, coffee and chocolate in your room, tea bags, little phials of instant coffee powder etc. Is that not the case in the US? That would be a cultural shock.
  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    I think most North American hotels have kettles - but definitely not “phials”. Vials, maybe. :smile:
  • Marsupial wrote: »
    I think most North American hotels have kettles . . .
    Though we wouldn’t call them “kettles.” Almost all hotels I’ve been in over the last 20+ years have small coffee makers. Of course, you can just run water through them without coffee, so as to heat water for tea.
    . . . but definitely not “phials”. Vials, maybe. :smile:
    Probably packets, really.

  • “Kettles” usually = teapots in American. And I have noticed that the electric kind do appear in more hotels.
  • Eirenist wrote: »
    I once wrote a children's book published in the UK. Thee rights were sold to an American publisher, who insisted on all British terms such as 'torch' (flashlight) being translated. No surprise if Britishisms are misunderstood in the US.

    This is why I (an American*) bought the British editions of all of the Harry Potter books.

    *But, of course, the original Pigwidgeon, is not!
    :wink:
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