Separated by a Common Language

I feel like in some ways I am going through culture shock all over again because since we moved here, I have worked for Americans, befriended Americans and mostly surrounded myself with Americans who were in the same situation as I. Working with the British has been quite the experience. Here are some of my favorite quotes from my first few weeks on the job:

Andrea: Looks like we got rooked on that one
M: rooked?
A: It is workplace speak for we got screwed.
M: oh, you should have just said that.

A: We’ve got all our ducks in a row.
S: ducks? Why would you say ducks? What does ducks have to do with anything?
A: It is an expression for got your business together.
S: Still, why ducks?

A: we need to find more chairs, I am not popping a squat for two hours.
M: popping a squat?
A: sitting on the floor.
M: really? Well, let’s go pop a squat. (very very British pronunciation)
A: don’t say that.

A: answering the phone- Good morning, insert name of association.
Person: Why are you American?
A: ummmm how can I help you?

I am sure there have been more but those stuck out to me. There is so much going on over here and it has been really weird adjusting- not to working again as much as just not being home all the time. Who will wait on the packages? When will we go to the grocery store? How will we get the laundry done? Why is that alarm going off SO EARLY!?!?! But these past few weeks have been very challenging and some of my favorite weeks of living in London. I am learning so much and even if this is just a temporary thing I am so glad I did it! Also, I am trying to think of more Texas phrases to use to confuse my coworkers so feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments!


About fishandchipsandsalsa

This is the story of a newlywed-ish couple in Dallas about to pack up their lives and pups to move to jolly ol' England. They will miss good family, good friends and good fajitas.
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6 Responses to Separated by a Common Language

  1. How about I’m “fixing” to do something? My not-so-lucky-to-be Texans friends make fun of this one!

  2. Chris Coker says:

    Try “that dog won’t hunt” or “this ain’t my first rodeo” and see those British faces go all sqiuggly!

  3. jiji1 says:

    Here are some phrases that I often heard my grandfather use: sure nuff, come hell or high water, whomperjawed, fit to be tied, frog strangler, nu-uh, over yonder, dumb as a box of hammers, tend to your own rat killin’, warsh – what you do before you rench, the Lord never closes a door without opening a window,

  4. T-Nutts says:

    I’m laughing more at the idea of you saying these things to them than what they say to you. You are our perfect ambassador! And I really love “Why are you American?”

  5. lynneguist says:

    Your post came to me through my Google Alert for the name of my blog…you might find it interesting, as it’s on differences between American and British English, and the experiences of me as an American in the UK.
    (Lots of good expat blogs out there, if you’re interested…)

  6. Lollie says:

    Well, where I come from. Pop a squat meant take a pee. so you definition caught me a little off guard. Have you given up “ya’ll”
    One of my mom’s favorites was “Right now, in a minute.”

    Being from the deep south, I still demand an answer of “Yes Ma’am.” I love having my foreign exchange students comply and have them make the statement about 4 syllables long.

    I still marvel that I reply to every instant message with a thank you or you’re welcome.

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