Sunday, February 9, 2014

They May Use a Different Word, But It's the Same Thing (England Vs. America)

We recently had a young acquaintance from England come and stay with us for a month. It was a fun and eye opening experience as we immediately noticed all the differences in products and in the terms we used to identify those products.

I guess I assumed that since we both spoke English, that there wouldn’t be that much of a difference in how we spoke. But I was wrong. There were so many different terms for things that I started to keep a list, and even then, I couldn’t keep track of them all!

My post on the differences between North and South America (You can find that here:) has been so popular with my readers, that I thought it would be fun to do one on the different names for things from England to America.

So here goes:

In America, we have turn signals. In England, they call them “indicators.”

In  America, we have Netflix. In England, they have “Lovefilm.”

In America, our kids go to school on a yellow bus. Have as long as I can remember. In England, they go to school on white and black busses and they are double decker busses!

I buy boxes of granola cereal at the store here in America. In England, they call it “crunchy nut cereal.”

In England, they refer to America’s “shopping carts” as “trolleys.”

In America, we cook on a stove. In England, they call it a “hob.”

Commercials in America are called “adverts” in England.

Popsicles? Those are ice lolleys.

A simple game of tic tac toe? That is called “nots and crosses.”

I get tons and tons of plastic bags from the grocery store. In England, they call those “packets.” And they fold them into triangles to save space and for neat storage. (I was taught how to do this and it really is handy!)

In America, we have q-tips. In England, they have “earbuds.”

In America, we have Chapstick. In England, they have “lip ice.”

In America, we have ping pong. In England, they have “table tennis.”

When I need to fuel up, in America, I go to the “gas station.” In England, they fuel up at a “petrol station.”

A simple piece of pecan pie (said as pee-kon pie) is pronounced “peekun” pie in England.

One of the funniest differences I ran across was when we were playing a game and our guest needed an eraser for his pencil. He looked at my husband and asked if he had any “rubbers.” You guessed it. An “eraser” in America is called a “rubber” in England. We had to explain to him that “rubber” means something entirely different here!

A trunk of a car in America – in England, is a “boot.”

A ketchup packet at your local fast food restaurant is referred to as a “sachet.”

“Posh” in England is simply referred to as “rich” in America.

And instead of getting the “mail,” – you go and get the “post.”

Lastly? “Just now” really means “later” if you’re from England. Try and wrap your head around that!

The differences are plenty. But it was fun to see that so many common items like band-aids are referred to by an entirely different word if you’re from England.

Oh, how the world gets smaller, the more we learn about each other though! And what deeper understanding we gain in the process.

We are all the same. We just come at life from a different perspective.


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Love it! Because of the English husband, we use a lot of British words and phrases in our home. And you're not hungry for a snack, you're "peckish". If something tastes really good we say it's "moreish" meaning, you want more of it. We say "dodgy" a lot for something questionable. My husband uses "fortnight" a lot instead of saying a couple of weeks (it means two weeks). I make Shepherd's Pie and Cornish Pasties. I have recipes from my FIL that include words like a "knob" (~2 T) of butter and a "rasher" (~one slice) of bacon.

What a fun experience you had!

Dionna said...

I didn't know your husband was English, Holly! It's fun to use different words, isn't it? It's so good to hear from you, by the way. :)

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Yes, he's English, although he's an American citizen now. How is Texas? That's quite the jump!

Dionna said...

Loving Texas so far! Still adjusting -- takes time. :)