When I emigrated to America, I managed to land myself a job in a school! But there’s a slight problem…there are words we say in England that aren’t used in America which has resulted in several strange looks from students wondering what on earth I’m talking about! I’m trying my hardest to say the ‘correct’ word but there’s some that are just stuck and I say the British word out of habit!
British = American
- Trousers = pants
In England, pants are what is worn UNDER trousers, I just can’t get the hang of saying pants when quite rightly at school they aren’t technically on show!
- Jumper = Sweater
- Bin = Trash Can
Lets face it, bin is a much quicker word to say that trash can!
- Rubbish = Trash
So leading on from a bin…rubbish goes inside it!
- Throw Away = Dump It Out
I’m sorry, dump is slang for having a poo, I can’t help but think of poo whenever I hear ‘dump’.
- Half 10 = 10:30
In England, when telling the time I’ll often say half 10, 20 past 10, quarter to…whereas here it’s more 10:30, 10:20, 10:45…it’s said more in its number form.
- Play Time = Recess
I guess recess sounds like a more grown up/mature version of playtime?
- Path = Sidewalk
I can see how sidewalk is logical, you walk to the side of the road/grass, but I’m still stuck saying path!
- Crisps = Chips
Crisps are crispy potatoes…not chips…
- Chips = Fries
…chips are fries.
- Tissue = Kleenex
OK, so they are still tissues but it seems like more people refer to them as Kleenex, the brand, rather than just calling it a tissue.
- Plaster = Band Aid
Again, I THINK Band Aid is a brand? Either way I still keep calling it a plaster. They do seem to have a lot more stick than the English counterparts. Stick on a plaster in England, if it gets a tiny bit wet it’ll probably fall off…stick a ‘Band Aid’ on in America and it is likely to pull off 5 layers of skin at the same time.
When it comes to my home life, I still talk the way I always have. Technically I feel like I should adapt to my new country because this is where I’m living but then I still want to stay true to myself! I’ll just try REALLY hard while I’m at work!
Are you an expat? Are there any ‘home land’ words you still say in your new country?