Monday, 22 February 2010

Different sides of a word

Yesterday I wrote about the purse that I bought - a tiny 3 inches by 3 inches gorgeous thing.

The very astute fairyhedgehog made me realise that the purse I was referring to translated as something akin to a handbag to the wonderful bloggers from across the pond.

Which made me think about other words that perhaps gets lost in translation as it travels betwixt the ocean.

Pants is one.

:-)

And "across the pond" words that mean the same thing:

Whiteout - tippex
Eggplant - aubergine
Zuchinni - courgettes
Sidewalk - pavement
The letter z- the letter zed
Jello- jelly
Diaper -nappy

Oh I'm sure there's more but it's gone past midnight and The Cat is eager to have the whole chair to herself...

:-D


33 comments:

KarenG said...

And maybe you have some kind of ballpark resemblance to a shoplifter who frequents their store? Since clearly you couldn't fit anything in you "purse" lol!

Not to mention water closet. Tram. Vest. So many kinds of interesting words it's a wonder we American & British bloggers can even understand each other!!

P. S. My hubby and I visited a British store near here and I bought some hobnobs!! I read a book and couldn't for the life of me figure out what Hobnobs were! They were quite tasty.

Love Meow said...

I love your posts :). I learned something today.

Theresa Milstein said...

Old Kitty, when I saw the pictures, I knew you meant coin purse, but then I pictured your broken bag as a big bag.

My husband's best friend is British, and when he first moved to the states, it would astound me how many words are different, like the hood and trunk of cars are bonnets and something. And I know knocked up has two very different meanings, depending on which side of the pond you're on! Now the friend is in Canada, and I wonder if that causes even more confusion.

This post is perfect timing because I'm writing an English character and wanted to ask about a certain word. Would you mind e-mailing me at tmilstein@gmail.com?

Jenny Woolf said...

Karen's post is interesting and also I notice Karen you say "quite tasty". Does that mean "very tasty" or " a bit tasty". It just dawned on me that maybe it means the latter to Americans.

I was ever so slightly offended when I sent a gift to an American friend and she said it was "quite nice" - which to me means, "Well, it's all right, I suppose."


(not that I have any right to protest if she's lukewarm about my gift, except she is normally a tactful person)

fairyhedgehog said...

My husband was amused once to take a call from my boss, asking me to bring needle and thread to work because she'd torn a hole in her pants! She meant it as trousers, he heard it as knickers.

He also once asked for an eraser on a a visit to the States. Only he called it a rubber...

stacy said...

Fairy, that's hilarious! I'm proud to say I do know the difference between the "pants" Americans wear and the "pants" the British wear. When the time comes for me to visit England, I will always remember to say "trousers." Unless, of course, I mean pants.

womagwriter said...

Lol to all! This is the reason we Brits struggle to sell women's mag stories in the US. We just don't speak the same language!

My contribution - I have never understood why Americans refer to public toilets, eg in restaurants, as 'bathrooms' when they clearly do not contain a bath.

Kea said...

A purse is a purse to me. :-)

Being Canadian, we have a mix of British and American expressions and words, I think.

"Quite" tasty means very tasty to me. "Quite" nice as in a gift means very nice.

But now I want to ask about couch versus sofa. Most people I hear refer to that piece of furniture as a sofa, but I grew up calling it a couch. Is one British and one American?

P.S. Loved the video, it was so dead-on!

Kea said...

Oh, and bathroom versus toilet: I've always referred to a public restroom as a washroom. Bathroom is for your private bathroom!

KarenG said...

This was funny, the comments as good as the post lol! Yes, quite tasty means very tasty. Actually, it means "I didn't know what to expect, and wasn't sure I'd like them, but was pleasantly surprised to find them quite tasty!" Using "quite" instead of "very" or "really" has its own subtle meanings.

Ann said...

When we first moved here my 13 year old son, asked his new American classmates if anyone had seen his jumper...which brought on howls of laughter and jesting. Jumper in American is a dress. Jumper in Ireland is the American equivalent to sweater Poor young fella nearly died of embarrassment.

hampshireflyer said...

Today I completely confused a bunch of North Americans on a Facebook group message thread by referring to a 'wodge' of something!

I've gone on to add insult to injury by talking about Buggin's turn :)

wildcatwoodscats said...

We have several friends from UK and we are always asking what was that word! But then here in US diferent parts of the country have different words for the same things!!!

Old Kitty said...

Hi KarenG

Awww I love, love, love choccie hobnobs! Love em!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Love Meow

Thank you and you have a really cute avatar!

It's very sweet!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Theresa Milstein

Oh my broken purse is just as tiny. It's just when I whipped it out of my jeans pocket, I didn't know the zip was broken and out came my coins flying everywhere!

I was most embarasssed!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Jenny Woolf

oooh I hope quite nice is very very very very super nice!

:-)

take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi fairyhedgehog

LOL!!!!

that's just so funny!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi stacy

Oh yes you must say trousers here. But of course pants if it's absolutely no good!

:-)

take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi womagwriter

Bathrooms - restrooms! You are so right.

It's always bathroom in Friends and Fraser! I do like how it's "The John" mind. I still don't know why..

LOL!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Kim

Washrooms! Yes that too!

LOL!

couch/sofa... ooooh it's more sofa but then again couch-potato is a phrase here so maybe couch - but mainly sofa I think!

Oh now I'm confused..! Easily done!

LOL!
Take care
x

Noir the Texas Tabby said...

Old Kitty: Tommy thought you meant a handbag too! And I'm across the pond? Hmm. I looked outside and all I see is pavement. :) Tommy explained you meant an ocean. And I guess an ocean is bigger than our bathtub! And we say jello and kitties in England say 'jelly'--really? So what do you call the grape stuff you put on peanut butter sandwiches...? :)

Noir

PS. Thanks for saying all those fun thing about my Uncle. He burst with joy!

Old Kitty said...

Hi KarenG

Oh so glad to know that quite nice is very nice! Yay!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Ann

Oh your poor son!!! Bless him.

Awww! But that's a new thing for me to learn. Jumper is a dress in America? Wow. I must remember that.

Thanks!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Wodge I understand.. buggin's turn I had to google!

LOL!!!

Excellent! That's another thing I've leart today. yay!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi wildcatswoodcats

That's just amazing, isn't it? Great stuff!

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Noir you gorgeous creature!

Jam!

LOL!

Oh and your Uncle IS a cutiepie even when he's all hissy and not wanting to share his personal space! What a sweetie.

Take care
x

fairyhedgehog said...

Noir, we don't put grape stuff on peanut butter sandwiches! I suppose might use jam...

Oh, and when I was growing up we called a sofa a settee. I've googled it and it looks like it's rather an archaic word. I didn't grow up in the eighteenth century, honestly!

Kea said...

"Jumper" is really a sleeveless dress under which you typically wear a blouse or perhaps dressy tee-shirt. At least that's my understanding! I used to wear quite a lot of them! I thought "jumper" meant "cardigan" in British jargon. But it's just a regular sweater then?

Sorry, everyone else has moved on from this post and I'm still here catching up on comments!

Old Kitty said...

Hi fairyhedgehog

Settee! My mum says Settee! and she's older than me. obviously!

LOL!

:-)

Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Hi Kim

A jumper really is a dress huh? Now if a sweater doesn't have buttons then yes, that's a jumper.

I think.

LOL!! You see the most baffling word from this post has got to be "jumper" hasn't it?

:-)

Take care
x

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

elevator -- lifts

truck - lorry

fries -- chips

TV -- telly

fuhgeddabouit! -- ?


LOL! The last one is me ..I live in Brooklyn, New York and we all use thsi expression for some reason. Example: "Did you have a nice weekend?" "Fuhgeddabouit! It was great!"

Old Kitty said...

Hi Pat!!

Of course lift/elevator! Oh and fries/chips!

But fuhgedaboutit is CLASSIC new york isn't it?? love it!!!

Take care
x