Transitions aren't easy.  Sometimes I wish I could leap forward in time, skip the whole bumpy road of transition and go right to the change.  Here in England, it has been a slow journey of learning new spellings, new words, and sometimes even a new language.  I enjoy most of it (maybe it's in the blood), but there are words/pronunciations that still feel weird and foreign.  Some are even downright uncomfortable. Here are just a few:

1) Pants - this word hits the top of my list.  Pants mean underwear here, pants my whole life in the US meant trousers.  Granted, I never describe someone's trousers as 'pants' anymore, and even laugh when American visitor friend does.  BUT I just can't use the word to describe my undergarments (nor can I use the word knickers).  Doesn't work for me.

pecan pie2) Pecan - The Brits sound a little Alabama backwoodsy when they pronounce this word. I say 'peh - cahn'.  My friends say 'pee can'.  A PEE CAN folks? Maybe because they don't have many pecans here (I do miss the pecan pie sometimes), they just pronounce it differently.

3) Fillet - The Brits sound so smooth in many of their pronunciations, and considering they live right across the water from France you would think they would pronounce it 'fil - leh' like Americans do.  But no, they say 'fill - it'  with a big, hard 't' on the end.   Even in a small town USA McDonalds they say 'fil - leh' 'o fish.  Huh?

4) Trump - Having children I learned fast that this word means 'fart'.  Makes sense especially when your 8-year-old rips one out and it sounds like a trumpet, followed of course by hysterical laughter.  I used to say 'trump' to sound a little intelligent, such as 'and I trumped his argument with my wise comeback', or I used it in card games.  Now I just sounded like I farted.  Hmmm.

spiderman5) Swimming baths/swimming costume -  This is a swimming pool and swimsuit.  But when I hear someone say they are going to a swimming bath  with their swimming costume, I mentally picture spiderman fighting crime in a bath tub, or something like that.  I just can't get used to it.

6) Aluminium - Pronounced 'al-u-min-ee-um' There is an extra 'i' in the Brit way of using this word.  I forget all the time, it just doesn't roll off the tongue.  So I now say foil, or tin foil - saves the effort of trying to remember.

basil7) Oregano/Basil -  As a decent cook (but I am a horrid baker), I love my fresh herbs.  I can't  force myself to pronounce these the Brit way:  'or-ee-gone -oh'  and 'bah-zill' .  OK, may I can do 'bah-zil', but 'or-ee-gone-oh'? Nope.

And last, but certainly not least . . . 

8) Rubber - When I first heard this from my kids, I almost went into panic mode, 'Look mummy, I got a new rubber!'.  What are they giving four-year-olds at school???  But no, they call pencil erasers 'rubbers'.  Seriously.  I have to keep from smirking every time one of my kids ask for 'a rubber' when they are doing their homework.

So there you go - - another cultural confession of an American in the UK.

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