Two Nations separated by a common language

Andy131

Well travelled
Location
Manchester UK
I know how some words / phrases don't travel well for example:
A Brit can happily call a pound (sterling) a quid, but it just sounds wrong when an American says quid, the same is true of Dollar - when I said "buck" when working in Portland it caused laughter and cringes.
Reading another post (regular Unleaded....) and the poster calls America US, as a Brit it feels wrong not to say USA - is this another case of the locals saying one thing that doesn't sound the same coming from across the pond?
 

Aitrus

Well travelled
Location
Georgia, USA
Being originally from Alaska, I noticed a lot of differences too. For example, the "Lower 48" are what Alaskans call the rest of the US states (excluding Hawaii).

I've had tourists come to my hometown and ask if we accept US money, or if they needed to exchange it for Alaskan money first.

I get confused when people refer to a snowmobile when they mean the type of tracked single-person snow vehicle, like a Ski-Doo or something similar. To me, that single-person vehicle is a snowmachine, and a snowmobile is the kind of large tracked vehicle that has a cab and is suitable for driving in Antartica. Going for a ride on your snowmachine through the woods and having fun, or to the store, or going to school on one is "going snowmachining".

To further complicate things, a lot of people call that Antarctic vehicle a "snow cat", but to me a snow cat is a bobcat or a lynx. In addition, when a lot of people hear the word "snowmachine" they are thinking of those machines that make snow on ski slopes or hollywood movie sets. That's a snow maker in my lexicon.

Also, in answer to Oregonstaffy: if you asked me what what my favorite kind of coke is, I'd answer Mt. Dew or Dr. Pepper. 😄
 
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Eatmore Mudd

Moderator
Staff member
I know how some words / phrases don't travel well for example:
A Brit can happily call a pound (sterling) a quid, but it just sounds wrong when an American says quid, the same is true of Dollar - when I said "buck" when working in Portland it caused laughter and cringes.
Reading another post (regular Unleaded....) and the poster calls America US, as a Brit it feels wrong not to say USA - is this another case of the locals saying one thing that doesn't sound the same coming from across the pond?
US or USA ? Which one is preferable depends upon where one is over here. Both are acceptable.

I've worked jobs with folks from the UK over the years. The language thing never failed to amuse us all. Aluminium, cuppa and cheddar sound fine to my ear when spoken by 'mericans. Fag, pastie, and fizzy pop sound, off, in our accents but damn near musical in various UK accents.
 

El_Guapo

Getting there...
Location
Melbourne
This can grow exponentially when you factor the demonym of the people of the United States of America.
and how it all started by confusing people using the same name of the continent in the country.
Geographically speaking "America" is a continent not a country. The big continent was subdivided in North, Middle and South America.
A bit of background

Amerigo Vespucci
Vespucci claimed to have understood, back in 1501 during his Portuguese expedition, that Brazil was part of a continent new to Europeans, which he called the "New World". The claim inspired cartographer Martin Waldseemüller to recognize Vespucci's accomplishments in 1507 by applying the Latinized form "America" for the first time to a map showing the New World. Other cartographers followed suit, and by 1532 the name America was permanently affixed to the newly discovered continents.

So all people from all countries in the continent America are part of the demonym Americans.
In the same way people from Western Australia , South Australia , New South Wales, Victoria , etc.. are all Australians
Any person born in any country in Africa, are known as African . Any person born in any country in Asia .... Asians
Nobody is more African than the others even if your country is named South Africa.

Full name : United States of America

THEN we had ..
- and therefore We are 'Merica ...
- wait , the continent or the country?
- Nobody will notice , leave like that mate

And the language confusion started 😂
 

Aitrus

Well travelled
Location
Georgia, USA
Here’s a couple more:

the bathroom, the powder room, the washroom, the loo, the water closet, the head (for those who were in the US Navy), the latrine

lorry, cargo truck, boxtruck, bread van /bread truck, step van

Have those from outside the US heard of a semi / semi truck, 18-wheeler, or tractor-trailer?
 

Stig57

Getting there...
Location
Wigan
From my travels : Phrases for an old fashioned oven bottom (flat loaf made from leftover dough at the bottom of a bakers oven for those who don't know)
Barm cake = Lancashire
Bread Cake = Yorkshire
Tea Cake = Norfolk
... and that's only a few miles apart. God knows what they're called in t'USA.

Knickers/Panties are keks where I live.
 

fatal

Well travelled
Location
Lancashire UK
From my travels : Phrases for an old fashioned oven bottom (flat loaf made from leftover dough at the bottom of a bakers oven for those who don't know)
Barm cake = Lancashire
Bread Cake = Yorkshire
Tea Cake = Norfolk
... and that's only a few miles apart. God knows what they're called in t'USA.

Knickers/Panties are keks where I live.
Don't forget Bap. Lord knows you can't beat a nice pair of Baps :D:D

I always thought 'Keks' was a Liverpool expression?
I've also heard a barm cake, Bap, Bread cake referred to as a Tea cake in Blackburn, that led to a rather heated but humorous discussion in the chippy as I asked for a chip Barm. To me a Tea cake has fruit in it and is often toasted and has a copious amount of butter on it.
 

Stig57

Getting there...
Location
Wigan
Tea cake has currants in it where I Iive also (all of 10 miles probably).
I could have got that list wrong. Baps are available down south, tea cakes over the other side of the hill.
Some of the women round here wear keks. The rest can't afford them or answered to screams of 'get yer keks off' . I never saw it as scouse as it was common usage round here in my youth.
 

Aitrus

Well travelled
Location
Georgia, USA
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