Monday, July 10, 2006

British English *tee hee*

British English. Why is it so intriguing? Maybe because I've only seen mass quantities of people speak like that in the movies, so I somehow assumed "real people" don't speak it. Oh, but they do. It's different, it's proper, and it's hilarious. I'm going to list some BE words with their American English equivalents, for your reading pleasure.

boot: trunk (of a car)

lovey/darling: sweetie/honey
(what you'd call a child)

nappy: diaper

rubish bin: trash can

right: ok

fortnight: two weeks

Mum: Mom
(yes, they really spell it with a 'u')

coffee: cheap, watered-down instant coffee

tea time: dinner/supper time

biscuits: cookies

give way: yield
(street sign)

motorway: highway

to collect: to pick up
(as in a child or someone from the airport)

to wash up: to do the dishes

washing up liquid: dishwashing soap

plait: braid
(a hairstyle)

trousers: pants
(for either men or women)

pants: men's underwear

knickers: women's underwear

Ok, now for a rather embarassing conversation I had with a man I'd just met... background information is that Gladys had a birthday party with the Sound of Music as the theme, which means that some people dressed up in Dirndls and Lederhosen.

Brit: "Is this ok to wear to the party tonight?"
Mary: *jokingly* "Don't you have any Lederhosen? The theme is Sound of Music."
Brit: "Lederhosen? What's that?"
Mary: "They're leather pants... it's the traditional clothes for men in Bavaria and Austria."
Brit: "Leather pants?"
Mary: *wonders why he's looking at her weird* "Yeah... leather pants. I think they'd look good on you."
Brit: "Oh... I have to run and check on the barbeque."

I later realized that in BE, 'pants' specifically means 'men's underwear'... what I should have said is 'trousers.' So... yes... I'd told a man I'd just met that I think he'd look rather nice in leather underwear. Scandalous!


Anonymous said...

wow, that is pretty scandelous ;-)

helmut said...

...I think you do very well. And this little differences are not so bad in my opinion. I think it's much worse if I was there and emphasize all the words in a wrong way, particularly mixed with my black forest dialect.
cu later...

Mary Elizabeth said...

Anonymous - yes, indeed. :)

Helmut - nah, it wasn't bad at all... I just like to dramatize silly irrelavant things in my writing. And I'm sure you'd do fine in England. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow...pretty darn hysterical! I'll have to ask Kenny if he's read this particular post. Signed - friend of Shelby, assistant to Kenny.

Mary Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the comment! Hehe, it cracks me up that everyone calls him "Kenny" now. :) Aww, I miss you guys and working at the church!