The comment Greg made on Dave’snotes, that he needs and English American translator on his toolbar, got me thinking. Now I’ve been to the States, quite a few times, and had to learn some new words for common or everyday things, or sometimes just new pronunciations (tomato – tomato) so I’ve done a bit of research and came up with some translations
So let’s look at a few common words
Sorry guys what you do isn’t football, it’s akin to Rugby, but with lots of armour plating
|Motorway||Expressway or Freeway|
For an American man in England to say “I’m wearing suspenders today,” to a male colleague, may result in the colleague stepping back a couple of feet, and looking worried, for a woman to say it may result in the very opposite happening – Suspenders in England hold up a womans stockings/nylons or hose.
Of course Americans hold up their trousers or pants with suspenders, or braces
For an English man in the states to say to a colleague, “would you lend me a rubber, I’m going out for a fag.” Would probably cause some consternation! (this actually happened to friend of mine visiting relatives in Massachusetts, Not the rubber bit, the rest though)
In English that phrase means “Would you lend me an eraser, I’m going out for a cigarette”
In American, “Would you lend me a condom, I’m going out for a gay man!”
Americans wear a fanny pack, you can see from the list why this would make kids snigger, English wear a bum bag (Actually we don’t anymore, it was a passing fashion!)
In England a man would wear a vest under his shirt, in America a man would wear it over the top!
In America, if you tuck someone up – you make them cosy in bed.
In England you fiddle them or make them look stupid!
|Text||SMS (I think)|
|Lift||Elevator (thanks Bob)|
A Car boot sale, is a little like the American garage sale but we take what’s in our garage and sell it somewhere in a field out of our car boot or trunk!
To make matters worse for you American’s/Canadians we also have
Cockney Rhyming Slang,
(“Just going up the frog and toad, or apples and pears”!) Sorry, guys, we don’t speak like that anymore,and probably never did, In anywhere but the East end of London and deffinitely not with that accent!!! But whilst we don’t all talk like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, we still use a certain amount of rhyming slang!
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
Shakespeare as spoken by Dick van Dyke
But, soft! wot Isle Of Wight through yonder burnt cinder breaks?
it is the east, and juliet is the current bun.
arise, yogi bear current bun, and kill the envious moon,
who is already Uncle Dick and pale wif Omar Sharif,
(Yogi bear, Omar Sharif, would NOT have been in there as they are comparatively recent additions, to Rhyming slang)
I might tell some one to “use their loaf”
“Loaf of Bread” C.R.S. for “head”
“he’s a bit ‘mutt’n” from Mutt and Jeff ….deaf!
“ Nice legs shame about the boat” from boat race …. face
“he’s been telling porkies” from pork pies …..lies
And what started me thinking about all this in the first place ……………….“YONKS” an English expression for “AGES”
It is apparently modified back slang, (Rhyming slang turned around and abbreviated) coming from the Cockney Rhyming Slang “donkey ears” meaning years. or just from “Donkeys years” because they live long and fruitful lives!
I’ve probably taken a few liberties here, please forgive any mistaken or wrong translations, also feel free to add any of your own colloquialisms!