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

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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.


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.


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.


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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#Britishwords #culture #Humour #Pronunciation

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