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We brought high school groups to Europe for 30 years. On one occasion we’d spent two weeks in France and Belgium and arrived at our hotel for two nights in London on our way home. One young man remarked that at last we’d be in a place that spoke English. The woman at the desk winked at me and started talking in the broadest Cockney accent possible, slang and all. His expression was priceless.
- I was visiting my Grandson’s in Scotland one time and the eldest wanted to go play on the swings. He really didn’t know how to get the swing to move so I was encouraging him to pump his legs back and forth. I got the strangest looks from the other adults in the park when I shouted, “PUMP NOAH, PUMP!” Turns out PUMP means FART in their part of the world! So there was this crazy Canadian Gramma encouraging her Grandchild to fart.
- I was asked that exact question in 1969 by a grocery store cashier in Mineral Wells, Texas while my husband was training at an Army flight school. I had the same reaction you did. Perhaps she was originally from England! I’ve been to all those towns and there are no words to describe the ancient charm and historic aura that surrounds you in each village. I’d go back in a second!
So true!!! Graham Rich, Maddie Lynfield, Elise Fletcher, I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “We may be speaking the same language and often we still need an interpreter!” I’ll never forget when my boss visited me in the hospital in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 and told me to “Keep my pecker up!” I laughed so hard! I implored him to never say that in the United States.
Another word we use for “pocket book” is a “purse.” Does that help? When I was in the United Kingdom last summer, I had to ask the shopkeeper what a “jacket” was. She was selling them to eat. In the United States we wear our jackets usually during the Spring and Fall. I was chuffed to bits to read this brilliant post! And don’t forget the famous London Tube recording as you exit the train, Mind the Gap!
Love the differences! One of my favorites of traveling and netting new friends outside of the US (and within). Though be careful and study what signs mean in places you travel. That was the most challenging hurdle driving abroad. I never found a clear definition of “national speed limit”