Thursday, May 29, 2014

E is for the English Language

“England and America are two countries separated by a common language.”

George Bernard Shaw

I am beginning to understand that more and more as we are here and using a common language but not saying the same thing.

Miss K was very confused when we were staying with a teammate and she served tea. Later Miss K was looking for dinner. She just didn't understand that tea was dinner. It does sound funny to my ears to hear someone say, "I am going to eat my tea."

One word that we have heard quite a bit is pop. We were in the bank filling out forms and we were told to, "Pop a signature here." Then we were told, "Pop on in if you have a question." We are planning to pop in on Friday with some questions.

When we were signing papers for our house, the agent went to "pop the card in the machine."

When my husband was on the phone, the lady told him, "I am going to pop you off."

The cashier told me, "Cheers" yesterday when I bought my groceries. I am still trying to learn when I use cheers.

Then there is lad, chap, and mate. Who is a lad, who is a chap and a mate and when do I use those words?

Bob had begun to call me mum. That didn't take long.

We eat biscuits for snack and enjoy crisps.  Pudding can be cake or other dessert. It is just a word for dessert though I have learned the usage might be based on class.

We are slowly learning and adjusting. I know that when I open my mouth it is confirmed that I am not from around here. I am afraid some days that we will be a confusing bunch to talk to as we add in the Chinese words we use with a few Russian words.



  1. I was a bit shocked, yesterday, to see that someone had posted a picture of her child with "her pants on her head". Of course, the child had trousers on her head.

    I hadn't thought about how often we say "pop" but yes, you are right. Of course, there are regional differences too.

    1. Yes, I forgot about the trousers and pants. I am really trying to say the correct thing with that one. I think the regional differences has been one thing that has really surprised us in a way.

  2. I just love popping in here to learn more about England. :)

  3. I spent just as couple days there back in March and fell in love with the city. It's been months, but the phrase "Please mind the gap" still pops out of my mouth. I love the different wordings. Queue and till were two more words that made me smile. We never lined up, we queued. It took me a moment to understand a sign that suggested I check out my items "at till". Till when? what?? Oh! the register!



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