Sunday, September 8, 2013

More word games

There are British words that don't have American equivalents. Then, there are British words which aren't really used in American English, but which Americans readily understand (or vice-versa.) There are British words that Americans THINK they recognize, but they aren't what they think they are.

The following nouns, things, are interesting because most of them don't even mean anything at all to an American - at least they don't mean what they mean to a Brit.

Americans have their own words for all of these common items, though. Can any of you (Americans or non-Americans) list the American versions of these words?

Note: Wikipedia says all these words are in common British usage. I don't always trust Wikipedia, so let me know if they are lying.

drawing pin


full stop






kitchen roll



reel of cotton






electric fire


The answers (American versions of the above words) appear below. Don't look until you've tried to translate on your own first. :)

thumb tack

wash cloth

period (punctuation)


kitchen stove burner



freeway overpass

paper towels



spool of thread

megaphone, bullhorn

stub (as in ticket stub or check stub)


slice (of bacon)

cuffs (on trousers)

space heater

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Is this letter genuine?

There is a letter circulating on the internet today, purportedly from the Syrian Parliament to the U.S. House of Representatives, in which the Syrian side of the current conflict is allegedly put forth in an attempt to persuade the U.S. Congress to approach the Syrians diplomatically before they vote on a unilateral attack this week.

I don't know if the letter is genuine, and the fact that the only website it appears to be on is the British National Party website makes it even more suspect by some. The Mail took the letter down but the Guardian still shows the link in their comments. I'm not impressed by any of those three websites, but just in case the letter is legitimate, I share the link for your consideration and comments.

Here is the link to the PDF via the BNP website.

The PDF takes a while to load.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

10 more British words and their translations by me

1. Tosser.

The guy who throws the ball to the batter in cricket. Not the same as the wanker guy.

2. Bloody.

Soaked with blood.

3. Chuffed.

All scraped up. Derivative of scuffed.

4. Fancy.

Something special, as in "I hope you don't fancy a fancy dinner tonight."

5. Fortnight.

When tourists spend the night at the Alamo.

6. Sorted.

Revolting. Americans say "sordid."

7. Anti-clockwise.

Not in favor of being on time for appointments.

8. Zed,

Jed's brother. As in...

Fabienne: Whose motorcycle is this?
Butch: It's a chopper, baby.
Fabienne: Whose chopper is this?
Butch: It's Zed's.
Fabienne: Who's Zed?
Butch: Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.

9. Twigs 'n berries 'n bits 'n bobs.


10. Sod off.

A mudslide.

11. Whinge.

What you do when you slam your finger in a door.

12. Fiver.


13. Tenner.

A male opera singer.



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