The Expat Diaries: Another Instalment of My Guide to Speaking British

K.Rothman(Sarah)-1277.jpg
K.Rothman(Sarah)-1277.jpg

Thank you so much about all of your kind words on my video from last week. It seems like most people could hear a bit of a British lilt while I was talking, but there was a consensus that I still pronounce most things in a North American way. And a few people just heard a Canadian gal through and through. But whether my accent has changed much or not, I've definitely been adapting my vernacular. Sometimes it happens unintentionally - a British expression slips out without me even thinking about it. With others, I prefer the 'new' phrase and started incorporating it into my everyday speech. I take out the "rubbish" instead of the "trash" and when I'm feeling down, things might be "a bit rubblish." I'm more likely to refer to something unsavoury as "dodgy" instead of "sketchy" and I "fancy" things instead of "liking" them. On Sunday afternoon I might go watch a "film" at the "cinema" instead of heading to the "movies."

But there are still so many British phrases that I'm still learning. And whenever I hear a new one, I whip out my pink Filofax and jot it down (much to the amusement of my friends). So, I thought it was time for another instalment of My Guide to Speaking British. Here's what I've learned since last time:

rucksack: backpack paracetamol: acetaminophen soft cheese: cream cheese nail varnish: nail polish mouth ulcer: canker sore plaster: bandage cling film: plastic wrap knickerbocker glory: ice cream sundae bobble hat: toque push chair: stroller ladders: runs (in your stockings) kirby grips: bobby pins ladybird: ladybug gig: show (as in concert) badge: pin (as in the kind you might buy at a gig) bug bear: pet peeve the tip: the dump a tip: a mess slap up feast: "a big meal with all of the fixings" (I'm not sure we have an everyday translation for that) coach: bus (the ones that take you between cities - the city buses are still buses) loud hailer: megaphone (apparently not everyone uses this one)

And as for those of you who requested I make more videos - thank you! I'll be doing my best to figure out the technical side, so that I can do something a bit more snazzy soon. Is there anything in particular you'd like me to cover?

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For now, here's to all of this sunny weather - which is perfect for spotting ladybirds & eating knickerbocker glories,

Photograph by Katherine Rothman.