Before we left for England, many of my friends from South Alabama told me that I would now have to learn to speak English. Well, part of learning any language is learning the vocabulary. Here are some of the ways my vocabulary is increasing:
Savoury–noun–something yummy. For example, Meg was invited to a Halloween Party at the Community Centre. Everyone was asked to bring an item for the food pantry and something savoury to share.
Biscuit–noun–no, this is not what your grandmama made and then you covered it with sausage gravy. A biscuit it simply a cookie.
Toilet–noun–some of my English friends laugh at the way Americans try to find euphemism for this necessity–which is another euphemism, by the way. We have many of them: bathroom, washroom, lavatory, powder room, little girl’s room. I am sure you can think of more.
In England, it is perfectly acceptable to say Toilet. However, I do find they have their synonyms too. For example: Loo “I’m going to pop in the loo.” and Water Closet, or WC.
Chips–noun–this is not a bag of Ruffles (see below). Americans know these as French Fries.
Crisps–noun–this is what Americans know as chips (see above).
Footpath–noun–that paved or concrete area that runs alongside the road. Maybe you’ve heard it called a sidewalk in the US?
Subway–noun– When we first arrived in London we decided to take a quick look around. We were looking for the Tube to take us back to our hotel. We saw a sign that said “Subway.” So we headed that way. As we walked down the stairs, through the tunnel and back up the stairs, we found ourselves simply on the other side of the street. We learned that a subway is an underground street crossing. The train that goes underground is, well, the Underground.
Cooker–noun–Don’t confuse this with the person who does the cooking. This is what Americans would call the Stove/Oven. Makes sense to me.
What words have you discovered when you learned American/British English?