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BellaOnline's English Culture Editor


English words and Americanisms!

Guest Author - Nicola Jane Soen

WARNING: This is a humorous piece. It is meant to be light and fun! No offence is intended.

We in England hear words from the States that have very funny meaning's to us,
as I know American's find many of ours. I mean, you guys call a trolley a cart. For the English carts went out when cars were invented! We think of you walking around with horse and carts. Ahh! I hear, BUT you English call a glass a beaker, what’s all that about? Well for one, a beaker is NOT a glass. Its plastic (so there!) and yes, it is a receptacle one drinks from, but how can you possibly call it a glass when its not? In the US, would it then be called a plastic?!

But, you say; you call pants, trousers HUH! Yes but we wear our pants under our trousers! That’s your word for panties! And you call Petrol, Gas! What on earth is that about? Gas is flammable, are you suggesting methane in a gas tank? Cos that is what the Brits would think! I know, sometimes we can be silly!

BUT then you guys do it again. What we call Toilet you guys call a Potty! We only use the word potty for two year olds, training to go to toilet, so hearing a grown adult announce he needed the potty had us potty with laughter! (We also use the word potty for some one who is slightly mad), and believe me the adult asking for the potty sounded it!

Ahh! you say, BUT why do you give your children Dummies? They are not stupid! Yes, I admit, pacifier is a better word. I do bow down in repentance on behalf of us Brits. Why do we call them dummies? Especially as we also call mannequin shop figures, dummies too! The mind boggles!

But then we have a sensible name for big roads, we call them motorways because motors (cars!) drive on them; this makes good sense to the plain speaking Brit. However Americans call it the Highway. When we hear that we look for Dick Turpin the famous highway robber of old; in the days of the cart!

Then you guys call a garden, a yard. To us a yard is a measurement. A garden is where we relax, you grow produce in yours. Produce? What is that? We call it Fruit and Vegetables!

You Guys call secateurs, clippers! Clippers are what you shave your head with! Secateurs are for cutting branches and light pruning! HA you say; BUT you English call the cell phone, a mobile! That makes no sense. But it does, it is a mobile because IT’S mobile! It is not attached to anything!

However it gets worse. We call a Television, a telly. Why? I have no idea. Knowing us, it is sheer laziness. Again I bow and repent, turning to your wisdom. I like the word television. Then, we call it a strimmer, you call it a weed whacker; why does it beat up the weeds? It’s a strimmer to us because it cuts every thing!
And how can you call mince meat hamburger? A hamburger is a round pattie that you buy in MacDonald’s! How would you then call shepherds pie or spaghetti bolognaise? Hamburgernaise and Hamburger pie? Sacrilege!

And why do you call it a butt? That’s what a cigarette end is! And Buns are what you eat for tea!

However I think Americans have the last laugh. We English are supposed to speak properly and we do not. Do not became don’t, Television became telly, Toilet became loo or lav, bottom became bum. Our language, which used to be so correct and proper (Heard the adage, every child knows ‘I before E accept after the C?’) has gone down hill. Slang and text words litter our literature.

Now instead of ‘Good morning Sir, How are you today?’ one hears ‘Hey m8 wus that 4? U k? m2!’ America, we have no excuse! English was our language and look what we’ve done to it!

I hasten to add my Brother in law is American, and that ‘No American or English person was hurt or intentionally offended during the writing of this article.’!!! Famous quote by P. Lang.

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Content copyright © 2018 by Nicola Jane Soen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Nicola Jane Soen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Sarah V Monaghan for details.


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