8 Dec 2011


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

Although English was the origin of the today's American, with the centuries there are a few differences in the languages now. For example :

Eiderdown - Before Brits started to sleep under duvets, they would cover their sheets and blankets with an eiderdown. Similar to a comforter it does not have a removable cover and is just there to add extra warmth and to look nice.

En-suite - If an American looks at Bed & Breakfast listings in the UK he might see reference to an en-suite. This is the bathroom and means that it is connected directly to the bedroom and therefore not shared.

Bathroom - Again, the clue is in the name. In a British house, you will find a bath in the bathroom. (In smaller houses there may also be a toilet). So when an American asks for going to the bathroom - he is not answering a call of nature - he is going for a bath ! Always causes problems when Americans visit the UK.

Toilet - For Americans, the Brits are not so shy about their use of the word toilet. In fact, it is perfectly reasonable to ask for the toilet in the most classy of establishments. An American visitor asked for the bathroom, shortly to return complaining there was no toilet there. Of course there wasn't ! That is in the toilet ! For some reason, it's also called a restroom although nobody is resting in one yet!

Couch - Sofa for Americans. America has some of the largest furniture in the world, yet the only sofa too small to make love in, is called a Love Seat !

Garden - is not the vegetable patch or the flower beds. The garden is the yard. Americans may think it was odd that Brits spend so much of the summer sitting in the garden!

In one anecdote, a young man, in the course of a passionate courtship, tells his American girlfriend, "I'll give you a ring tomorrow." All he meant was that he would call her by telephone. But she understood him to have offered betrothal, and the relationship didn't survive the misunderstanding.

Then there's the hotel that failed to understand an English guest who called to say he had left his "trousers in the wardrobe." Translators had to be summoned before the hotel staff finally cottoned on: "Oh, you've left your pants in the closet. Why didn't you say so in the first place?"

The English drive on a Motorway, while the Americans use the Highway which is exactly the same for a car. And if your car has problems the English opens the bonnet, while the American opens the hoot.


  1. Some people have problems but I never did .I like the term sweets for candy for example .I find the Aussi dialect harder cause it mixes with the native lingo

  2. Two countries divided by a common language!
    Good post, Happy A-T.

  3. Another difference is directly above my comment. It is the use of the word "bin" for "trash."

    One thing that really annoys me is when people use the Aussie expression "no worries." They think it sounds clever, I suppose, but I don't.

  4. Language is fun, isn't it? I enjoyed this E post!


  5. My fave...the loveseat...too small to make love. Fun posting. Ta ta.

  6. This was a fun post. It's interesting how language differences can create confusion or conflicts. Thanks for sharing!

  7. English in its many forms... In the Philippines when you want a toilet you ask for the comfort room. Now that I think is clever! :-)

  8. Superb ‘E’ post – language is truly such fun!

    Have a great weekend too,

    Here’s mine

  9. Fascinating observations of those word comparisons....if we lived in colonial times or near Williamsburg, Virginia, one would ask for the "necessary room."

    What a fun post!

  10. That was fun. I have learnt the American version of words now after 8 years living with a Yank :)

  11. Don't get me started on the restrooms, washrooms or whatever they want to call it: it's a toilet!

  12. Nice to learn about all these differences!! must be the same between France and Canada!

  13. This was a fun read. I remember being in England and using the adjective "spunky" and finding myself in an embarrassing situation!

  14. Great post, having travelled and lived in different countries is amazing how different the English language can be.

  15. You are all wrong...it is the toot or the loo!!!!!
    I did enjoy this thank you

  16. It's amazing how the same language can be so different from one place to another! Very fun post.

  17. Hello Gattina.
    I smiled all the way through this post. I'm American, my wife British. Sometimes, she'll come up with the weirdest things & I'll ask her what she means...her reply (I quote) "It's an English thing, you wouldn't understand!" Drives me crazy! I shouldn't complain though, because it's all her English mannerisms & that beautiful accent that I love.
    lol...Julienne is right too...toilet in English is the loo!
    Fun post.
    Thanks for sharing.

    For ref:
    Eleven Roses And You

  18. What an entertaining post! My first boyfriend was English and his Mom Scottish. I loved hanging out at their house even though much of the time I had to keep saying, "Ummm....what?"

    Language differences are really fascinating.

    This was such a charming link!

    Thanks for sharing it.



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