My friend who lives in the USA sent me this. Her daughter sent it to her and said, Can you ask Kazz about this. Well, of course, it made me laugh too.
It also got me thinking about the way the British, me, and my friends in the US use words differently, and how they mean different things.
I am familiar with many American words now, but in the past they have left me speechless. I once read how ‘they shagged under the pier.’ I almost choked on my food. They did what?? For a long time I wondered if I had imagined it before I learnt that The Shag was a dance.
A couple met in a bar for a drink in a novel I was reading. She sat on a barstool and put her pocketbook on the bar. Was she going to take notes? Or did she intend to finish reading her book? I later found out a pocketbook is what we call a handbag.
One of the first words that caused hysterical laughter when I tried to repeat it, was fanny bag. We call them bum bags. Fanny is a lady’s genital area.
When the characters in a book I was reading, sat down to eat and were given biscuits and gravy, I almost retched, imagining gravy over custard creams. The Americans use the word cookie for biscuits, which I believe are a savoury snacks as opposed to what we think of as a biscuit.
I had the same thoughts when jelly was put on bread. Jelly??! I think jelly refers to their marmalade or jam, but don’t know what they call jelly in that case.
My sister, who lives in the States came to visit and she wanted creamer for her coffee. I had trouble knowing exactly what that was. We scoured the local supermarket, but couldn’t find it, or anything similar. Now I hear creamer used in books, television, and by my American friends. It’s a standard item found in most food cupboards, apparently, and available in shops and cafe as an alternative to milk. So, I suppose any American coming here would find it odd that we don’t use it at all.
I’m you have come across some oddities that have amused. Let me know.