Do you use any Britishisms or vice versa?

This is truly pointless, but what the heck! For some reason I’ve always said “skedule” not “schedule” as Brits are meant to. Even when it was pointed out to me a fee years ago, I didn’t change my practice. Not sure if I could w/o a really big effort.

So, any instances where you Yanks, Cannucks, Ockers, Kiwis use a word, or like me a pronunciation that is foreign to your own culture?

Well I do sometimes. I listen to Virgin Radio on the net at work, whiled I crusing the dope.

But I’ve picked up some here as well. Here in the US there is a movie that just came out that gives me the giggles when I hear the title and I wonder if they will use the same title in the UK. The Sisterhood of the Traveling PANTS. With the tagline of “Share the PANTS”. (emphasis mine) They handed out little blue wrist bands, like Land Armstrong’s, that said “PANTS = Love”.

I will sometimes say privacy with a Brit pronunciation but I can’t seem to use the word brillant as the Brits do. In the US brillant is almost always sarcastic.

Usually after reading Terry Pratchett, I’ll go on a British-ism binge for awhile. Or watching Spike on BtVS or Angel. Most of the time it is intentional, but sometimes I just fall into the habit of using the “foreign” pronunciation. :smiley:

Vice versa. Britishisms use me.

Not sure if they are Britishisms, but I prefer “holiday” for “vacation”, use “bloody” instead of a worse curse adjective, and say “good on ya”.

Some of this is supported by talking to my neighbor across the alley, who’s from Melbourne.


They are Britsihisms, but Melbourne aint in Britain. Then again Australians use those same phrases.

I added “bloody” to my repertoir of obscenities some time ago as a substitute for the all purpose F-bomb. Which is not to say I’ve completely replaced it…

I’ll also use more (Britishisms) after I’ve read something by a British author…

Two of my mom’s best friends are British-born and I’ve known them all my life. One in particular has a son a couple weeks older than me and when we were kids we lived a block apart. I spent oodles and oodles of time at their house. She was practically my second mom, and every once in awhile I’ll come up with some Britishism from her, especially when it comes to words relating to kids - like, sometimes I call a baby carriage a pram. And it was only recently that I realized that most Americans don’t call rubber boots wellies, which I always have.

I often refer to going on vacations as going on holiday, and I sometimes say “when I was at university” instead of “when I was in college”. These aren’t affectations, just phrases I have picked up.

I’ve read that people once thought that Americans and Britons would eventually become mutually incomprehensible, but with the advent of mass media our versions of English are actually growing closer (not to mention Canadians and Australians and all). It’s now quite common for Americans to use the phrase “good on you”, for instance, which I understand is Australian in origin. A friend of mine had a British roommate for awhile and we thought her use of the phrase “I couldn’t be bothered” was hilarious and very British. Now I hear it all the time.

I had a physics teacher who made 3 syllables out of vacuum. It was so elegant I find myself still saying it from time to time. Vac-you-um. Say it outloud. It will make you feel smart, I promise.

I write the schedule at work and pronounce it “shedule” as often as possible. I always got a kick out of that pronunciation when I lived in England. I need to add that to the Fun Words to Say thread. I’m lucky to have my favorite Britishism as part of my job title.

I still smile when I remember a Scottish friend’s reaction to a billboard we passed when we were in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“This Saturday - SHAG CONTEST! Big money and prizes!” I had to explain it was a dance competition. That was a fun day. :smiley:

I’m all over the place. Raised in Australia, i’ve lived in Canada and England, and i currently live in the US. I tend to “code switch,” often unintentionally, depending on whom i’m talking or writing to. For example, on this message board i use the term “asshole,” but on a UK-based message board that i frequent i tend to say “arsehole” (which is also the way i say it when i speak).

If i’m speculating about something to an American, i’ll probably say “i guess,” but if i’m talking to an Aussie i’ll more likely say “i suppose” (or even “i s’pose”).

Then there’s the whole range of single-word usage differences that i observe depending upon where i am and who i’m with.

Cookies or biscuits
Eggplant or aubergine
Fries or chips
Chips or crisps
Sidewalk or footpath
and so on, and on…

Also, when i called someone a “wanker” the other day on the SDMB, he asked who uses that term on “this side of the pond.” I also use “bloody” quite frequently, especially when i’m in company where “fucking” would be inappropriate, and where a proper adjective is insufficient.

As i said, all this switching is generally completely involuntary, although i will do it on purpose if i think it will make something clearer to the listener.

I use ‘toilet’ or ‘loo’ all the time (mostly toilet). That’s because American doesn’t have any good words for such a room. All the choices - restroom, bathroom, water closet, WC, all suck - too euphamistic.

But everytime i say loo, everyone looks at me funny. And if i say toilet, often i get stares of people thinking i’m some bloody asshole who can’t be bothered (heh!) to be more polite.

There really isn’t a uniform British pronunciation of this - I think I alternate between the two at random, but I’m not sure.

I’ve never heard anybody do that!

Now, now, don’t get all accurate on me in here! (You could say the same for virtually EVERY usage BTW.)

I could imagine Ralph Richardson or John Gielgud doing it. I do know a woman who pronounces sandwich as, well, sand-wich, so next time I’m in Shrewsbury (she’s not a Salopian, incidentally), I’ll subtly manoeuvre the hoovre into the conversation. Nothing like a bit of empiricism.

I say Bloody Hell, nutty as a fruitcake, “garridge” as often as “garage”, loo, wanker, can’t be arsed, and pram.
Some of these are mutually used by Brits and by Australians.
My dad, who is English, still says “Blimey!” when he’s really shocked or suprised by something, but then he also calls the radio the “wireless.” :o

My dad used to, but he graduated to radio after spending 5 years in Canada.

PS I thought you considered yourself English. Well, not American, anyway. Were you educated there?

I say ‘blimey’. And ‘wireless’. And ‘crikey’, and ‘motor carriage’. And I answer the telephone with ‘Ahoy hoy’.

(A worthless prize to the first person to work out which of those is true :stuck_out_tongue: )

It seems I have become old. I have got very pendantic in protecting ‘Kiwisms’ lately.

BUT… a couple of days ago, I found the BEST sign for you Yank types.

Down the end of a dead end street in the middle of Auckland is a building, said building has in foot tall letters…

“Auckland Old Folks Ass.”

The “Ass” was obviously short for Association but it made me giggle. I will take a pick oneday cause it is worth a giggle.

Pick=pic. Me=doofus.

I’ve picked up a few from my BIL, who lived 18 years in Britain: wanker, gone 'round the twist, bloody, and prat. I also have watched too much Crocodile Hunter, because I’ve also picked up “no worries”. I like that one! :slight_smile: