3.30.2011

Greek English

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"Would you like a biscuit with your tea?", she asks. I am a little bit confused at first. I wonder, what kind of biscuit is she talking about? Is it a bisquick biscuit? If so, why isn't there any butter on the table? Is it a corn muffin perhaps? Maybe she is talking about a cracker. I am not sure, so I say, "yes please."

The last thing I expected her to hand me is a chocolate bar, wrapped in it's little plastic wrapping. It's similar to a Snickers bar and I look down at it thinking, "what the heck am I supposed to do with this? Aren't we about to have dinner?"

This happens a lot when you are traveling. You misunderstand people all the time. However, you would think that since we speak the same language as the British, we would understand each other better. But sometimes this is not the case. Sometimes the English (aka British) are speaking Greek.

Below are a few words you may want to know before you go to the British Isles.

- The first one I learned, and you probably know this one, is pissed. No, I am not mad at you, I am drunk!

- "us" -- this does NOT always mean more than one person. An example -- A- "give us a call later on". Me - "oh, who will you be with?" A - "I will be by myself". Me - "huh?"

- Biscuit - this can actually be a chocolate bar, a cookie or a bunch of other things, but they are always sweet. Don't be fooled. You will probably be getting cake, so get ready.

- Tea - this doesn't always refer to the drink. It refers to dinner. If someone says, "do you want to meet me for tea?" this means, "do you want to meet me for dinner?" The act of drinking tea IS included but it is not the only thing that will be happening.

- Cracker - Nope, not a Saltine. This means "excellent", as in "that party last night was a cracker." This also means "foxy" in terms of a woman, as in "whoa, that Sally is a cracker!" (aka "she's HOT!")

- Slapper - Basically the opposite of cracker. This is a woman who is a slut. However, I have an Irish friend who basically uses it as a term of endearment. I am not sure if other people do that or not. This is not a very nice thing to call someone.

- Fanny Pack - Do not say this in Scotland, as a Fanny is a bad word for a womans privates. They will look at you really funny, and I found this out first hand. You should  call it a Bum Bag. Just so you know. (ps by the way, the P word for a lady's bits is conversly okay to say there. It means Cat, and nothing more).

- Have kids? Do you have a babby? Or a bairn? To be honest I am not completely sure of the difference, but I think babby is younger than bairn.

- Some Foods: courgette = zucchini, coriander = cilantro, capsicum = bell pepper

- Some with moving parts: lorry = big truck, trolley = shopping basket, spanner = wrench

- In Scotland you may be confused about your Pants. That's becuase Pants means Underpants, and Trousers are what we would consider pants. Underpants are also referred to as Knickers.

Of course there are hundreds more, but I can't think of them all right now. For more information about weird words in British English, you can check out this site. Here are a few I found there that I hadn't know about before that are pretty funny.

- cabbaged Adj. 1. Intoxicated, by alcohol or drugs, to a state of uselessness. From being in a vegetative state. 2. Exhausted, extremely tired.

- septic or seppo Noun. A person from the U.S.A.. From the rhyming slang septic tank meaning Yank.

After looking around that site, it is a little bit lewd, so excuse me for that. However there are several non-lewd funny ones (as well as, if you are looking for them, several lewd funny ones!)

I have one last thing to add as a sidenote. When I was in China, I heard all the Chinese saying the N word! All the time!! You know which one I am talking about. THE "N" WORD. So I finally looked it up, and apparently "niga" means "that" in Chinese!! Imagine how many times a day you say "that!" They were dropping N bombs all over the place!

Do you have any to add? Are there words that you have heard and just thought, "huh?!" Have you ever been confused in a foreign country? Are there any English folks out there who think the Yanks talk funny?

2 comments:

  1. This was great! I have lived in America and I now live in London and there are some very clear differences when it comes to certain words, like pissed. It is actually very funny how different it is. Great post =)

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  2. Oh this post makes me think of my time in Australia! Some of the words the threw me when I was there:

    Togs = swim trunks
    Eski = cooler
    How are you going? = how are you?

    I kept a list of all the different words they used... I should try to find the journal w/ that list!

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