When we made the decision to move to England I was excited and a bit relieved that we'd chosen an English speaking country. Having lived in France for 5 months during my last year of undergraduate, arriving with z-e-r-o French language was exciting, but exhausting. At least in relocating to England I'd have mastery over the language, right?
Most everyone speaks a form of English that I can understand, however there are the occasional strong accents, phrases of speech, vocabulary words, and pronunciation differences that trip me up from time to time. I especially notice differences when I'm placing our online grocery order and type a product into the search box and it returns zero results. Really? Or I type "paper towels" and only get toilet paper as the result. (they're called "kitchen towels" FYI)
Despite these differences we've managed to adopt certain vocabulary words and phrases of speech without even realizing it (until the other person notices you doing so and rightfully teases you). As we approach our one year expat-iversary Devin and I still take great joy comparing British English to American English and we crack ourselves up almost every time.
Since I can't possibly remember all the differences in one post, I'll just start you off here with a list of things in the hope that I'll do another "Speaking English in England" again soon.
If you want to say _______ you should say ________.
Hello = Hi-ya!
Potato Chips = Crisps
French Fries = Chips
Sandwich Bread = Bloomer
Bike = Cycle
Bladder (where you hold your pee) = Water Box
Colon = Midnight Soil Box (Devin and I just made this one up based on Water Box)
Pap Smear = Smear Test (ew, way to make it more gross than it already is England)
Sneakers = Trainers
Pants = Trousers
Underwear = Pants
Sweater = Jumper
Shopping Cart = Trolly
Truck = Lorry
Median = Verge
Stovetop = Hob
Oven = Cooker
Post (as in, something you'd tie your boat to or block traffic with) = Bollard
Eraser = Rubber (Imagine my confusion walking into the supply room at the elementary school and seeing a box with the word "Rubbers" on it. I thought, "My aren't they progressive with their birth control in this country!")
Markers = Felt Tips
Glue Stick = Stick of Glue
Garbage Can = Bin
Garbage Bag = Bin Liner
Thanks = Cheers
Doctor's Office = Surgery or GP
Bathroom = Loo
Toilet Paper = Loo Roll
Toothbrush = Tombstone Polisher (FALSE! Just seeing if you were paying attention)
Umbrella = Brollie
Pancake IS NOT = to Flapjack
Bye = Bye-Eee! (to be spoken in a high pitched voice)
Hope you enjoyed your foray into British English. More on this later!