Finding America

Me and Tarah

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Beautiful but misunderstood, English has endured quite the roller-coaster ride on its long journey around the world. New passengers have occasionally hopped aboard in the form of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and the United States of America.

Quite often, of course, it is the latter of those countries whose use of the language most commonly bears the brunt of armchair scrutiny.

However, it turns out that some Americanisms weren’t originally Americanisms at all, but the product of Britain. When the time eventually came for us to discard those words from our own vernacular, America didn’t get the memo. Hardly surprising, of course, given that Land's End and Massachusetts are separated by 3,000 miles of ocean. Britain’s revisions were lost in the Pond.  

And so, in this latest episode of Distant Words (a brand new Lost in the Pond series), here are five American words that were actually coined by the British.

If this episode of Distant Words was exactly what you were looking for, why not binge watch the entire series? Just click here, press "Play All", and let the good times roll. 

Laurence Brown is a British writer and YouTuber who somehow convinced the city of Chicago to let him in. He is an English Language graduate from Lancaster University and a passionate word etymologist, with a particular interest in British and American neologisms. Since moving to the United States, he has become increasingly curious about Britain's historical influence on American culture and about America in general.

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