Britishisms: British English vs. American English
Since arriving in England, I started a running list entitled “Britishism”.
At first, it served more as a humorous list than anything else - i.e. how funny that they say this instead of that?!
However, as I’ve become more immersed in British culture in the last couple weeks (particularly via my new job), the list has not only grown (immensely!), but it has become a very important reference.
Although I fear pulling a Madonna (something my American friends back home have severely warned me against), simply switching up my vocabulary has already made made a slight difference in my vernacular.
And if my first week of work is any indication, it’s going to spiral out of control quite quickly.
A huge percentage of my role is writing, so now that I work in the UK, I’ve been trying my hardest to fit in with this group of “clever” chaps who “use their words” showcasing wit and modesty, elegance and simplicity, resulting in a completely different English language.
And although ex-pats who pull a Madonna make my skin crawl, in order to succeed in this new role (and not stand out like a sore thumb), I’m learning that I must forgo my “Americanitis” (the term used to refer to me when I say Got It or Awesome) and essentially, learn a new language.
Here’s the current list of British English vs. American English
- Pants = Underwear
- Massive result = Amazing
- Well tasty = Yummy
- Mind if I stroke him? = Can I pet your dog?
- Way out = Exit
- Pudding = Dessert
- Ropey = Not feeling great (usually self induced, i.e. a hangover)
- Touch wood = Knock on wood
- Diary = Calendar
- Bin = Trash can
- Let the battle commence = Let the battle begin
- Really nice = really good (i.e. John: How’s your lunch? Matt: Really nice)
General words used with much more frequency
- Darling (in reference to things and when directing people)
- Cheers (used as hello, goodbye, thank you, sorry, okay)