Robin's Space

















Divided by a Common Language

Living in England has been a bit of a eye-opener for us, or rather an ear-opener.  Someone once said that England and America are two countries divided by a common language and we're finding out that it's true.  The common language makes us forget sometimes that we're in a foreign country, but sometimes it's hard to forget.  Here are a few things that I've learned recently...

A school-leaver is not a drop out, but someone who has recently finished school and has not yet had a full time job.

A Blue Peter task is one that a six-year old could do.  Like stamping envelopes.  It comes from a BBC children's television show that gives children crafty projects to do.  Here is their website:

A courguette is just a zucchini...but that does make your bread sound much fancier.

A jacket potato is really just a baked potato, which is pretty common for a quick lunch.

drawing pins = push pins / thumbtacks

biscuits = cookies, but scones = biscuits

"Moreish" means something (usually food) which is very yummy and makes you want more.  I learned that word from the back of a cereal box.

ASDA is the English version of Wal-Mart.  They have the smiley face and everything.

A queue is the line you stand in to wait for something.  (It is pronounced like "cue" not pronounced "quay".  I already knew that.)

An OAP is an "Old Age Pensioner", but they'll never tell you that in the newspaper, you just have to deduce that from the article.

Hematology, pediatrics, anesthesia, and other such things are spelled with a diphthong: haematology, paediatrics, anaesthesia.

In an office you send letters to be franked, not stamped or metered.

An answer phone is an answering machine.

Sellotape (i.e. cellophane tape) is the equivalent of Scotch Tape (though they have that as well).  Sellotape is a trademarked name and Blue Peter (see above) is notorious for calling it "sticky-backed plastic".