top of page

Eight Brit Words/Pronunciations I Can’t Get Used To

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Hero Section” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ use_background_color_gradient=”on” background_color_gradient_start=”#a52a2a” background_color_gradient_end=”#ffe5b4″ background_color_gradient_direction=”131deg” box_shadow_style=”preset7″ box_shadow_horizontal=”0px” box_shadow_vertical=”-80px” box_shadow_color=”#ffffff” custom_padding=”80px|0px|0|0px|false|false” animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”top” animation_intensity_slide=”2%” animation_starting_opacity=”100%” locked=”off” next_background_color=”#ffffff”][et_pb_row custom_width_px=”1440px” custom_padding=”|||” _builder_version=”3.0.84″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_post_title categories=”off” comments=”off” featured_image=”off” text_color=”light” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ title_font=”||||||||” title_font_size=”50px” text_orientation=”center” /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_post_title title=”off” meta=”off” text_color=”light” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ title_font=”||||||||” title_font_size=”50px” box_shadow_style=”preset1″ text_orientation=”center” /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Featured Products” _builder_version=”3.0.78″ custom_padding=”0|0px|50px|0px|false|false” prev_background_color=”#000000″ next_background_color=”#ffe5b4″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.17.6″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.17.6″]

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.

2) 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.

5) 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.

7) 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.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”Footer” disabled_on=”off|off|off” _builder_version=”3.17.6″ background_color=”#ffe5b4″ background_color_gradient_direction=”131deg” max_width=”80%” max_width_last_edited=”on|phone” module_alignment=”center” custom_padding=”110px|0px|110px|0px” animation_style=”slide” animation_direction=”bottom” animation_intensity_slide=”14%” animation_starting_opacity=”100%” saved_tabs=”all” locked=”off” prev_background_color=”#ffffff”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.17.6″ background_color_gradient_direction=”38deg” module_alignment=”center” locked=”off”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_signup mailchimp_list=”|b8f5b2ea34″ layout=”top_bottom” ip_address=”off” name_field=”on” name_fullwidth=”off” first_name_field=”off” last_name_field=”off” email_fullwidth=”off” title=”Subscribe To My Newsletter” description=” ” form_field_background_color=”#ffffff” form_field_text_color=”#000000″ focus_text_color=”#000000″ _builder_version=”3.17.6″ header_font=”||||||||” header_text_color=”#a52a2a” header_font_size=”36px” form_field_font=”||||||||” result_message_font=”||||||||” result_message_text_color=”#a52a2a” saved_tabs=”all” global_module=”5644″ /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

1 view0 comments


bottom of page