One of my reasons for studying abroad in London was “everyone speaks English.” Of course, it was slightly more complicated that that – I wanted a large program, in a big city, through the UF College of Business, that spoke English AND that was culturally least different – so I wasn’t completely overwhelmed. I can’t handle a lot of change, and I’m aware of that! Anyway, this was my only option, and that’s fine, because I thought it was a lovely option!
I wasn’t delusional – I knew language would be a bit different here. But hey, I studied! I got through like four seasons of The Only Way is Essex, which you should probably watch because it was hilarious and terrible and incredibly, awfully scripted. Still, I probably should have looked up a list of words to know… so here’s a quick cheat sheet of the ones I’ve encountered most often!
- Excuse Me: Pardon Me
- I haven’t really figured out when I should use one or the other, because I’ve heard both, but people are not always very receptive to any kind of excuse.
- Pants: Trousers
- French Fries: Chips
- Apartment: Flat
- Though there are apartments, they just typically refer to luxary flats.
- Line: Queue
- Eggplant: Aubergine
- You will get a seriously funny look if you ask what aubergine is at a restaurant. “How do I explain aubergine?”
- Zucchini: Courgette
- Any Legal Holiday: Bank Holiday
- Nothing to do with banks…
- Private School: Public School
- Public School: State School
- Drugstore: Chemist
- Heavy Cream: Double Cream
- (There is no half-and-half.)
- Busy: Engaged
- First Floor: Ground Floor
- 5 years of Spanish and I can’t speak it, but I did learn this…
- Cell: Mobile
- Acetaminophen: Paracetamol
- My favorite medication!
Here’s a nice cheat sheet for you: http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/british-and-american-terms
Then there are the pronunciations… aluminum foil (al-u-min-ee-um, each syllable enunciated), glasses (glosses), and so much more!
Also, this (Grumpy Guide to Class) is interesting and funny and worth watching: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_words_having_different_meanings_in_American_and_British_English:_A%E2%80%93L
Most of the words I discovered through context clues but some I had to look up or ask about… and I’m sure there are more to be learned.
Do you think you’d have figured these out immediately? :p Heard any other fun ones?