Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The English Language vs. The English Language

Before I met and married a Brit, I never really thought about the language barrier. that might be a bit strong because we both do speak the English language.  However, there are some words that are the same and pronounced so differently, that they become a new language.  And then there also is a totally different vocabulary to learn.  Even after 15 years, every once in a while one of us will say a word or phrase that we never have used before and it is still surprising to us both.

Let me just give you some examples:

At the grocery store, which is what I call a Kroger, a Piggly Wiggly, etc. it would be more of a store like a little corner market that sells bits of this and that and some food.  It is the super market that a Kroger would be in the UK.  On with my story.... when I went to the grocery my husband asked me to pick up some al - u' - min- em.  Pronounced with a long u.   Not seeing it written down on paper, I did not know what he meant until he described foil.  Other items that we have had to learn when shopping at the grocery are:                       mince          -        ground beef
                                                                    biscuits        -        cookies
                                                                    crisps           -        potato chips
                                                                    chips            -        french fries
                                                                    aubergine     -        zucchini
                                                                    bangers        -        sausage
                                                                    rash              -        bacon
We have become used to words such as carpark for parking lot, feeling peckish for feeling a bit lightheaded because you are hungry, turn signals instead of blinker lights and going to the loo instead of going to the bathroom.
When I am working out, I am asked if I have my good trainers on. (sneakers)  If I get hurt, I am asked if I will need a plaster which is a bandaid.  

At a restaurant the waitress always looks confused when she is asked for a serviette (napkin) or if she can bring us some tomato sauce (ketchup.)  Sometimes, I am told that unless we have enough dosh to pay for the meal, then we will be charging it.  (cash)  Some people are totally gobsmacked (shocked) at the differences in the two languages.  

A couple of other words that are spelled the same, yet pronounced differently would be gair'  -  ag   instead of garage, con  - trov'  - e  - sy   instead of controversy.

 More vocabulary differences:    clicker                         -          remote
                                                    wrong                          -          dodgey
                                                    delicious                      -          scrummey
                                                    bachelorette party        -          hen party
                                                    gas                               -          petrol
                                                    eraser                           -          rubber
                                                    resume                         -          CV  (curriculum vitae)
                                                    commercial                  -          advert
                                                    big mistake                   -         cock up (nothing lewd)

Lastly, there are expressions, one that is from the UK, "Bob's your uncle" meaning "You got it!"
And these last two, which I admit are mainly known for in the South, "I am 'fixin' to go to the store." I would even confuse people I lived around in the northern part of the US when I said that.  Then, I had to teach my husband the difference of when you say, "Bless her heart."  It is all in the intonation of how it is said as to if it a truly meaningful bless her heart or if it is more of a sarcastic bless her heart. 

There are numerous other words and phrases...............maybe enough for another blog in the future.  If there is something that you have heard or that I did not mention, please feel free to add a comment for me to take note of and I will be sure to include it for a future blog.  

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