Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm becoming more familiar with British expressions and getting much better at muddling my way through the accents. What's really bad is when I like a certain expression but can't pull it off without the accent! An example of that is "Hiyya!" That's the equivalent of our "hi" and doesn't sound right at all with an American accent.

Here are some random observations on British English:

  • It's common to be greeted with "Hiyya! Y'alright?" "Are you alright" is like our "How are you doing?" It unnerved me at first because until you're used to it, it seems to imply that something is actually wrong.
  • Americans say "Good job", the Brits say "Well done".
  • My friend V laughed so hard when I mentioned that we would be eating pasta. I couldn't guess what was funny about it that. She had to explain that with a British accent "pastor" sounds like "pasta" so when I said we were eating pasta her mind heard "We will be eating Pastor."
  • Americans say "alot" or "lots", Brits say "loads".
  • Today when I was trying on clothes at the store, I asked Ian what he thought. He responded, "It's brilliant!" He's only 3 and picking up on the local language very quickly.
  • V also laughed when I described something as "thick", as in the opposite of thin. They use the word in that way too, but also to mean "stupid".
  • Zach doesn't ask for cups or dishes of stuff like applesauce and yogurt, he asks for "pots" and "jars".
  • Buns: rolls or donuts
  • biscuits: cookies
  • chips: fries
  • crisps: chips
  • boot, or car boot: trunk. Car boot sales are popular over here.
  • Some people say "yeh?" at the end of sentences in the way we would say "right?" As in: "Reese is always trying to change her hair color, yeh?"
  • Hands down, Scottish accents are the best. Our worship leader at church is Scottish and I could listen to him talk all day... well, him and that Scottish DJ on BBC Radio One. They roll their "R's" so my first name becomes "Cauddie". If only all the world spoke with a Scottish accent, I'd be Carrie again!
  • Hot dogs are "sausages" and corn dogs aren't appreciated over here. I babysat for V one day and all 3 of them turned up their noses. They call breakfast sausages the same as we do, even though the sausages themselves are really different. I'm not a fan of British sausages; they are mushy on the inside. On the other hand, their bacon kicks our bacon's butt! It's thicker with much less fat. When we took N on base and he ordered a sandwich with American bacon, he actually pulled the bacon off and asked us what it was!
  • "Nice" is often used to describe pleasant food. "Have you tried the crumpets? They're really nice."
  • When R told me she was feeling "a bit rough" she meant she was sick. I asked!
I'm sure that once I post this I'll think of loads more examples, but that's all I've got for now! Cheers, mate!

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  1. I loved this! I'm always amazed at the differences!

  2. I think a "fire" is an electric heater if I remember correctly.

    We have friends who came from England three years back or so and I often go HUH????

    I always laugh when he calls his friends "blokes"

    Too funny!!!

  3. I love British brogue. I have a few "online" friends from England, and I wish I would hear them talk all the time! My favorite is "wonky"...I love saying something is a bit "wonky" or I'm feeling a bit "wonky"...it always makes my hubby go, "huh"? But I think it just captures the feeling sometimes.