When I return to the UK after my Stateside expat experience this year, I’m pretty sure I will still be slipping out all the Americanisms I’ve adopted during my three years here. How easy they doth slip from my British tongue.
I give it 2-4 weeks back in Blighty for all this to cease, but I guarantee that I will be saying the following without thinking when I converse with friends and family and in my new job. Here are some examples of what I might say, and I offer my response when I do so….
1. ‘What’s your cell number?’ So sorry, I mean mobile!
2. ‘I’ve got to get some gas.’ Oops, I mean petrol!
3. ‘Put it in the trunk of the car.’ Yes, I mean boot. Yes, I know.
4. ‘When is garbage day?’ Very sorry, I mean rubbish day!
5. ‘Let me just put the trash out.’ Gosh, oops, yes, again, I mean rubbish.
6. ‘Don’t fall off the sidewalk.’ Forgive me, I mean pavement. And honestly, don’t fall off.
7. ‘Would you like a bag of chips?’ I totally meant to say packet of crisps. Totally did.
8. ‘Would you like fries with that?’ Haha, I know I did mean to say chips. Woops!
9. ‘My car is in the parking lot.’ Oh my, what I mean is car park!
10. ‘I put some soda in my shopping cart.’ Double whammy! I totally just meant fizzy pop in my trolley!
11. ‘Does your kid want jello for dessert?’ Sorry, let me say that again. Would your child like jelly for pudding?
12. ‘Watch out for that truck on the highway!’ Oops, I hope I didn’t distract you with my Americanisms, I meant ‘Watch out for that lorry on the motorway!’
13. ‘I totally hate wearing pants.’ Oh, hahaha! I mean trousers. I really do mean that, too.
14. ‘Do put a sweater on if you’re cold.’ Or a jumper, of course. Whatever.
15. ‘I love your sneakers!’ Doh, I mean trainers, I do!
16. ‘I must get an eraser for Harry’s pencil case.’ Oh, I mean rubber! At last I can say rubber again without anyone sniggering!
17. ‘I think I’m going to love my new co-workers.’ Ha! I mean colleagues. Bless them.
18. ‘What time do the kids have recess?’ I mean playtime, yes, playtime, just like the good old days!
19. ‘Splitting headache, must nip to the drugstore.’ Actually, yes, I do mean the chemist. Correct.
20. ‘Halloween candy anyone?’ Oh right, yes, we don’t do Halloween in the UK and yes, it’s sweets, I know.
21. ‘I’m just knocking something up with the old eggplant and zucchini.’ Splutter, sorry, you probably wonder what I’m feeding you. Naturally it’s just the old aubergine and courgette veggies.
22. ‘Hey, would you like a popsicle in the yard?’ Woa, double whammy again! Ice lolly in the garden. Phew!
23. ‘Can I get the check?’ Oops a daisy! So sorry. May I have the bill, please.
24. ‘When are you playing soccer?’ Aha, it’s fine to say football. Yey!
25. ‘Take the elevator to the first floor.’ WTF? I mean take the lift to the second floor. Go figure! Argh! I mean ‘work that one out’!
26. ‘I’m good.’ Woaaaaa! I mean I’m well / fine, thank you.
27. ‘ROADTRIP!’ Oh, yes, it is just a car journey, you’re right.
I apologise in advance for all this to my British buddies – oops, there I go again - I mean chums! ;)