March 14, 2012

3 Separated By a Common Language Part I

Normally the U.K. and the East Coast (Atlanta) are 5 hours difference
 and the U.K. and Pacific time (San Francisco) are 8 hours difference.
The U.S.'s "spring forward" for daylight savings this past weekend made me think of some of the common differences that exist between the U.S. and U.K.- 
we don't adjust our clocks to "British Summer Time" until March 25.

Here in the U.K., Mother's Day, or "Mothering Sunday"
depending on how old you are,
is this Sunday, March 18.
The U.S. celebrates this Hallmark holiday on May 13.

This is the reason for my blog title:
English As a Second Language.
Let's face it, we Americans have little grounds in claiming we speak "English."
Let's just call my native tongue "American."

Here are some examples,
 with the British English on the left and American English version or definition on the right:

lay in................ sleep in
whinging.............. whining
could do/can do.............. good plan
spot on............ precisely right
take the piss........ tease or make fun of, often sardonically
to be pissed....... quite drunk
shattered........... exhausted physically, often from a long day or activity
knackered.......... tired to the point of overall exhaustion, feeling like death
(per my English friend: knackered comes from "knacker's yard", where horses were taken when near death)

aubergine...... eggplant
full fat milk....... whole milk
semi-skimmed...... 1 % milk
take away............... take out
dinner......... lunch
tea...........the hot beverage/ an afternoon mid-meal of sandwiches, cakes, and the hot beverage/ and dinner
pudding...... dessert/ also Yorkshire pudding, a bread-pastry thing often served savory

And the real hackles-raiser for me, as a Georgia girl:
all Americans are called "yanks".

There will be more of these posts in the future, 
mostly because I want to remember this stuff,
but you're welcome to look over my shoulder!
Any topics or categories you're particularly interested in?


  1. Pretty funny stuff!

    I do have a question though... I've always heard that the English are not really known for their spectacular cuisine, but are there any English dishes that you're particularly found of?

    Hope you're well :)

  2. You might be interested in my blog (whose Google Alert led me to this), which has been recording these differences with some specificity for 6 years):

    Separated by a Common Language

  3. Adam, my answer to you got so long I'm going to save it for a blogpost! Now I've just got to go out to eat and get some pictures of food :)

    Long story short, to not keep you in suspense, British food does have a bland reputation, but we both love it! Not to say we don't miss some good Southern barbecue and Chinese food is MUCH better Stateside, but overall, it's pretty good eating!

    Thanks for commenting- I'm great, and loving your new posts on your work- can't wait to see your next piece!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I can't wait to read your comment!

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