Sunday, December 22, 2013

How the USA Taught Me To Love Coffee, by a British Expat

My standard reaction to the question can I get you a coffee? had always been "no thanks", accompanied by a vague feeling of disgust.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10 Jokes About The English Language

As the world's third (second, by some estimates) most spoken language, it is perhaps appropriate that there should be so many jokes about English. After all, it is more honorable to pick on one of the big dogs, right? Here are 10 jokes about the wonderful English language - a language that both my British and American readers reluctantly share.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

21 British Slang Words for Money

We Brits have a slang expression for seemingly all aspects of daily life; food, drink, sex, work, education etc. And the concept of money is by no means an exception to this rule, with various money-themed slang terms being used across the entire country. Here are 21 such terms.

Monday, December 16, 2013

6 Christmas Songs That Are More Popular In the US Than The UK

Following on from an earlier list that looked at 7 British Christmas songs that somehow never made it big in the US, here are 6 Christmas songs that are more popular in the United States than the UK. Some on this list were a wonderful revelation to me after relocating to the US in 2008, while others prove an annual source of irritation.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Day My Parents Lost Me In Disney World

It was 1990.

Ahead of our stay in Florida that year, my parents had been weary of an inordinately high number of kidnappings in Orlando. It was impressed upon the three of us - my two brothers and me - that we should stay close by.

Monday, December 09, 2013

5 British Christmas Words and Phrases They Don't Use in The United States

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And while Christmas is a time of celebration, it's also a time for Brits and Americans to show their differences once more. Here are five British words and phrases not used in the United States.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

A Comparison of British and American Toilet Euphemisms

There are certain articles that, during the process of writing them, force me to revert back to a fourteen-year-old version of myself. This is one such article.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Why Brits Should Stop Giving Americans A Hard Time About Obesity

We've all heard the stereotypes: Americans eat too much; Americans have bigger portions; Americans are all overweight.

As someone who was born and raised in the United Kingdom, I've heard my fair share of these stereotypes; some Brits are very quick to formulate generalized opinions about a nation or its people based on sound bites, media representations or one-off personal experiences.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

7 British Christmas Songs That Somehow Never Made it Big in the US

Growing up in the United Kingdom, one of the more memorable elements of Christmas was the music that bombarded the airwaves day-in-day-out from November onward. And I'm talking huge hits, many of which shot to number one and continued their popularity some twenty, thirty, perhaps forty years after their release. And yet, as I embark on my sixth Christmas in the United States, it has come to my attention that these same hits - ones I initially assumed were likely just as big in the U.S. - are nowhere to be heard.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5 English Getaways That Will Remind You of Downton Abbey

 Information provided by

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

23 Words The United States Gave to the English Language

For a country that only gained its independence less than 240 years ago, the United States has been responsible for a surprising number of neologisms that have remained in the English language on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps as a sign of the times, many of these words pertain to technology, while others - such as motel - are portmanteaus of other words. Here are 23 such words:

Monday, November 11, 2013

5 Years In the USA: A British Expat Looks Back

This past Sunday officially marked five years since I hopped on a plane and headed 4,000 miles west to the Midwestern state of Indiana to start a new life. It has been a journey like no other.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The English Pork Pie Company Celebrates Historic British Annual Event with Sizzling Free Banger Sausages Offer

“Remember, Remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot”

To commemorate the great British annual tradition of Guy Fawkes Night, November 5th, The English Pork Pie Company is giving away a pound of original recipe Banger sausages with every online order over $50.00.  This offer is valid through November 5th 2013.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

21 International Ways of Saying “England”

Monday, October 28, 2013

Stocking Up On British Food in the USA, By A British Expat

As any British expatriate will tell you (myself included), it is almost impossible to adapt to life in the United States without occasionally indulging in the odd British chocolate bar, savory item or drink. Indeed, following my transition to the United States in 2008, I spent the first couple of years bemoaning (as Brits are wont to do) the very absence of these things.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

8 Crucial Things the USA Could Learn from Scandinavian Nations

Having moved to the United States from Britain in 2008, I have often pondered how this large country of more than 300 million people might improve (certain) aspects of itself simply by taking a look at Britain. Indeed, I have written numerous articles on the matter.

Monday, October 14, 2013

8 Amusing American Quotes About Britain

Friday, October 11, 2013

4 Weekend Activities That Are Bigger In America Than the UK

It is often said (by people like me) that everything is bigger in the United States; the same is true of specific weekend activities, at least in so far as said activities are more widely practiced. Whether it includes a fun day out with the family or a day of dedicated application, here are 4 weekend activities that are bigger in the United States than they are in the UK. Note: this list purposely omits American holidays, such as Fourth of July weekend or Thanksgiving weekend.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

8 American-English Words You Didn't Know Were Coined By The British

As someone who has experienced both British English and American English on a wide scale, I have heard plenty of my fellow Brits lambast Americans for using "made-up words," when "more British" alternatives would apparently suffice. What virtually all of these people do not know is that a lot of these words were in fact coined by the British themselves. Here are 8 such words.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

UK Vs. USA: Road Statistics

The following statistics were taken from various sources, including the CIA World Factbook, World Health Organization and Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobiles.
Side of the road
Total number of automobiles produced (2012)
Number of vehicles per 1,000 people
Total network road size
3,519 km
75,238 km
Minimum driving age
14-21 (varies by state)
Road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles per year
Road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year
Total road fatalities (2012)
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Thursday, October 03, 2013

How the USA Made Me More Self-Assured, By A British Expat

Whatever you might think of the United States of America, it still has the potential to become as great (whatever that means) as some Americans already perceive it to be.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

32 Thought-Provoking Comparisons Between The United States and the UK [Data]

In alphabetical order - listed in the pink table below - are 32 statistical comparisons between The United States and the United Kingdom. The figures were taken from various international studies and the presentation of them on this page serves no agenda, other than to highlight certain, almost randomized, facts pertaining to these demographic differences.

Please leave comments below.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

5 Interesting Differences Between British Autumn and American Fall

Located in the northern hemisphere, both the United States and Great Britain (from an astronomical point of view) enter autumn at the start of the September equinox, as opposed to countries in the Southern hemisphere, who welcome this transitional season during the month of March. However, while the U.S. and Britain might enjoy autumn at the same time of year, there are a number of interesting differences in how the season plays out from one country to the other. Here are 5 such differences.

Monday, September 30, 2013

5 American Food Items That Are Popular with the British

Though some British people like to ridicule America for its perceived culture of excessive eating, those same Brits will nonetheless indulge from time-to-time (sometimes more often than that) in traditionally American food items. Whether they are frequenting one of the many imported fast food joints or simply (and perhaps unknowingly) enjoying American confectionery, millions of Brits consume American food on a daily basis. On that note, here are 5 American food items that are popular among the British.

Friday, September 27, 2013

32 American Slang Words for Drunk

Following on from a list I compiled recently of British equivalents, here is a list of 32 American slang words for drunk.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why Do Americans Spell 'Colour' Without a 'U'?

It is quite common for British prescriptivists (people who don't welcome change to the language) to bemoan the American spelling of words like colour. They will often comment that "Americans have dumbed English down", that the simplification of the language only came about because "Americans are not cultured."

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Things I Won't Miss About the USA, By A British Expat

Disclaimer: article contains wild generalisations and stereotypes.

As I have stated on numerous occasions, I love living in the United States. However, sometimes - and I'm going to be honest here - there are things that, should I ever leave, I won't miss in the least.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How Numbers Are Used Differently in Britain and the United States

Regular readers of this blog will no doubt be familiar with my language-based posts. It is well known that Britain and the United States are two places divided by a common language. However, these differences are not just to be found within the words of each place. The two have some known and lesser known numerical differences too: that is, a variance in the way numbers are used and formatted.

Monday, September 23, 2013

5 British Food Items That Are Surprisingly Easy to Find In the USA

Since I began this blog I have written fairly extensively about the British foods I miss most. But something I have noticed over the previous 5 years is that the United States - a country with a well documented love affair with all things British - actually offers a surprising amount of wonderful British food items. Here are 5 to get you started.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Brits and Americans Cannot Pronounce 'van Gogh' Correctly

Something that drives British people absolutely bonkers is hearing an American "mispronounce" the name of Dutch post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh. Pangs of rage fill up the collective consciousness as the nation retorts in one voice: "it's VAN-GOFF, not VAN-GO!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

5 Things I Don't Miss About The UK, By a British Expat

Those who read my blog on a frequent basis understand that, since moving to the United States, I have retroactively grown to thoroughly appreciate the UK - specifically my homeland, England - more and more with each passing year. But occasionally, reminding myself that not everything is always greener on the other side (and other cliches), I like to ponder the things I don't miss about the UK. Here are 5 such things.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

4 British Swear Words That Are Slowly Creeping Into The American Vernacular

One of the things I cherish most about living in the United States - especially as someone with a deep interest in language nuances - is witnessing the linguistic evolution of the American vernacular. And one of the most interesting (and often hilarious) recent developments in this area is the emergence here of British swear words. There is something wonderfully unnatural about hearing otherwise harsh-sounding words uttered in an American accent: more so when it becomes clear that the speaker has no idea what the words mean.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

10 Major Star Wars Characters That Were Portrayed By Actors From The UK

Even though the Star Wars saga bears all the hallmarks of an American film franchise - explosions, an all-encompassing musical score and, well, the fact that it was distributed by a 20th Century Fox - the films employ a surprising number of actors from the United Kingdom. And we're not just talking about bit-part roles. British actors made up some of the most important characters in the entire franchise. Here are just 10 (there are many more) major Star Wars characters that were portrayed by actors from the UK.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Britain vs. America: Portion Sizes

Something that stands out to both UK and American expats is the considerable difference in portion sizes between their respective countries.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

When British Politeness Meets Southern Hospitality

This past Labor Day weekend, I was fortunate enough to enjoy a three-day weekend in the hills of West Virginia. Anyone who has visited the winding, sloping terrain of Appalachia, will tell you that there are few places more majestic. There are a number of reasons for this deserved praise: the plush green mountains that roll on for hundreds of miles; the lakes and rivers that seem to spring from nowhere; the roads that move in an apparent circle, while simultaneously bending in every direction.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dear Britain and America, Please Don't Bomb Syria

Dear Britain and America,

I am writing this letter in the hope that one, if not both, of you will come to your senses and kindly refrain from bombing the hell out of Syria. The reasons are straightforward, and have been discussed many times over the past two years.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What I Love About Living In The USA, by a British Expatriate

A couple of weeks ago, in my column for Anglotopia, I wrote a heartfelt post about the things I miss most about Britain. I never intended it this way, but my list included virtually every aspect of British life.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

5 Words Brits Cannot Pronounce When Attempting an American Accent

Those of us Brits who like to think they can nail a perfect American accent might want to think again. There are certain words that, for whatever reason - be it unfamiliarity or language complexity - are just blooming difficult to get your head (and tongue) around. And there's no need to feel ashamed: even the great Hugh Laurie insists he had trouble at first. With that out of the way, here are 5 words Brits cannot pronounce when attempting an American accent.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

British Vs. American English: Telecommunications Terminology

British English (BrE)
American English (AmE)
Dialing code
Area code
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
National Security Agency (NSA)
Hash mark
Pound sign
Mobile phone
Cell phone
Pay-as-you-go phone
Prepaid phone
Transmission Tower
Video recorder

Sometimes, it's better hearing me in a British accent. Click the red button below.

Laurence Brown is a British man writing his way through the truly bizarre world of America - a place he sometimes accidentally calls home and a place he still hasn't quite figured out after seven years. Thankfully, his journey is made 12% easier by the fact that his accent makes him sound much smarter than he is. For evidence of this, subscribe to his popular Lost in the Pond web series over on YouTube.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

5 Wonderful British Food Items All Americans Should Try - Part 2

Following on from last week's list, here are 5 more British food items that all Americans should try.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Why Do Americans Call It A Fanny Pack?

During the 1980s and early 1990s, it was fashionable among tourists of all ages to wear what is now considered somewhat of a fashion faux pas: the bum bag.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

American Accents: There Are More Than Most Brits Imagine

Growing up in England, you get to know a thing or two about accents. In my case, from a relatively young age, I would secretly practice various incarnations of British English - often using the speech style and dialect of British celebrities.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

5 Wonderful British Food Items All Americans Should Try - Part 1

Whether you love or hate British cuisine, there's no denying that some food items are simply too delicious for words. While the items on this list might not necessarily offer great nutritional value, they are some of the tastiest things either side of the Atlantic. Here is part 1 in a series of lists looking at wonderful British food items all Americans should try.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

6 Major Differences Between British and American Public Toilets

When you've gotta go, you've gotta go. But if you're a British expat living in America - or vice versa - you may want to tread the water carefully (pun intended). One of the first things I noticed upon arriving in the United States 5 years ago was the breathtaking disparity between public toilets in England and the U.S.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

30 British Words for 'Drunk'

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Opinion: Why do Americans Care so Much About The Royal Family?

Amid the widespread media coverage in the United States of Kate Middleton's pregnancy and subsequent labor, we were reminded once again that America's enduring fascination with the Royal Family shows no sign of abating.

In 2011, all eyes turned to the Royal Wedding; in 1997, there was widespread grief following the death of Princess Diana;

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kate Middleton Pregnancy: A List of Likely Baby Names

With the birth of Kate and William's baby imminent, I thought I would take a look at some of the more likely baby names on their list. 

While Alexandra is the bookies' favourite, here's a look at some of the more traditional Royal first names.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

7 Reasons Why America Needs A British-Style Transit System

I've lived in the United States for 4 years, 7 months and 8 days.

In that time many people have asked me what I miss most about England, and my answer is always the same:
1. Sausage rolls
2. The British people
3. The transit system.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

British Vs. American Nursery Rhymes: Pop Goes The Weasel

British Version
   Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
    Half a pound of treacle.
    That’s the way the money goes,
    Pop! goes the weasel.
   Every night when I get home
    The monkey's on the table,
    Take a stick and knock it off,
    Pop! goes the weasel.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dear Britain, Not All Americans Have Perfect, White Teeth

Dear Britain, I am writing to let you (and a certain number of your population) know that, contrary to popular belief, not all Americans have perfect, white teeth.

Though there are plenty of high profile celebrities who take considerable pride in their dental make-up, we have to remember that people like Steve Buscemi exist.

Steve Buscemi - one of the most popular character actors of his generation - is by no means blessed with favorable dentures. As a matter of fact, his teeth lend themselves more to a certain British stereotype than an American one.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top 3 Emigration Destinations for Brits

Guest post by John Rooney.

Whether it's to take up a new job, experience a new culture or simply to escape the often miserable British weather, every year thousands of UK residents take the decision to start a new life abroad. In fact, the Home Office suggests that as many as 4.7 million Brits are living abroad, with over 100 countries being home to more than 1,000 Britons.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

15 British Sex Words They Don't Use In America

If the British are good at one thing, it is this: creating sex words. So prolific are they, in fact, that America - arguably still the world's largest superpower - cannot keep up.

Sure, one might occasionally hear an American rattling off a phrase or innuendo he or she heard on