Americans Do Not Speak English

If you’ve spent any amount of time talking to a person from the United Kingdom and you are from America or vice versa, it soon becomes evident that we do not speak the same language. I’ve seen arguments in forums between people on either side of the big pond due to silly misunderstandings because of language barriers.

Because of this I believe change is needed. Instead of saying we speak English in America we need to call it what it is: American.


Here are a few differences that many aren’t aware of:

In America we put things like groceries and jumper cables in the trunk of our car but in England they call this a boot.

Americans call the cover on the front of our car that protects the engine and battery a hood but in England it is the bonnet.

In America if someone is pissed they are angry. In England if someone is pissed they are drunk.

In America during a heavy rain we might say it is raining cats and dogs but in England it is pissing. They seem to have a thing for piss.

If someone in England says they knocked someone up it means they went to that person’s home and knocked on the door. In America knocked up means a man got a woman pregnant. I’m sure a recent film confused a few English citizens.

A fanny in America is a person’s buttocks; in England it is a woman’s genitals. As you might imagine they find our fanny packs quite amusing.

When writing a statement in America we end a sentence with a period but in England it's called a "full stop."

I had no idea what some of these American words were.

In England a fag is a cigarette; in America it is a derogatory term for a homosexual.

English call an eraser a rubber while in the US a rubber is a condom. A condom in England is called a Johnny and a john in America is a toilet. You see how things can quickly get out of hand.

In America if we say, “we are rooting for you,” it means we are for your team or we hope you do well but in England rooting means having sexual intercourse. Brings a whole new meaning to the term, “rooting for you.”

In England a biscuit is what Americans call a cookie and a scone is a biscuit. And for you southern boys and girls you can’t get biscuits and gravy in the UK and if you ask for it you will get some interesting looks. Why on earth would you want some white sauce on your cookie?

Here in America some fast food restaurants started the trend of “biggie” meals meaning a larger burger and more fries but in England a biggie means a bowel movement.

Another meaning of the word “biggie” is a man’s erection, so you can imagine the amused look on their face when they come to the US and are asked if they want to biggie their meal.

Pants in the US are trousers in the UK. Panties are knickers and garter belt are suspenders.

In America a bum is a vagrant/homeless person but in England it is your butt.

What Americans call French fries the English call chips and they eat them with a fork and knife instead of their fingers. Actually, those silly English eat everything with a fork and knife with both in each hand throughout the meal; unless they are eating Chinese food, which they always eat with chopsticks.


In America if we say, “suck it up,” we mean be strong or don’t whine about something but in England it has a sexual meaning. I’m sure you can figure that one out.

In England if you ask for a restroom they will think you are tired. If however you need to relieve yourself you should ask for the loo. This is short for Waterloo a maker of toilets. Lavatory is a more formal request for the men’s or lady’s room.

A couple readers commented that "loo" is an informal term and in public most English refer to it as a toilet. In America we call them restroom, men's room or ladies room in public. Saying toilet is thought of as uncouth in the U.S.

On the other hand when English come to America and ask for the loo people here assume they are looking for a man named Lou and need his last name in order to help you find him.

In America if you are stuffed you are full of food but in England if you are stuffed you are pregnant.

In America some might say they are going out for a puff, meaning to smoke but in England a puff or poof is a gay man.

Slang for policeman in some areas of England is horny and, well you know what it means here in the states.


Urban Dictionary for those of us that need a little help.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/

More by this Author


Comments 195 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I must be Canadian cause I didn't know shawty or flossing,lol.;)


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I am also Canadian, and I think it's time we called we speak Canadian, because it too is different from either British or American.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I didn't know them either! I need to get out more.

We can also go to California, Kentucky, and places like South Carolina and be just as language lost with strange word meanings.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Mentalis & Lynda I've talked to people in Canada and they do have different ways of saying things.

Will, you are right. Here in Oklahoma our way of talking is like the south and I've had trouble conversing with people in California and New York. I often have to explain figure of speech or word usage.


Literary Geisha profile image

Literary Geisha 5 years ago from Philippines

quite entertaining, and i learned something too! it's like where i live, we have about 150 dialects/languages and some words from one mean something else in another. i never knew it would be the same in english!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Literary Geisha, it is why so many have trouble learning English it changes depending on where you live.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Excellent hub...informative, interesting and funny....all parts of a great hub......luckily I do not need a rubber to fix my mistakes on this comment....voted up


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Cogerson, thanks for reading. I enjoyed writing it.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

I was showing my friend Nellieanna, a children's story in which a very upset puppy was bemoaning the fact that he had lost his pencils and a rubber... she found it hard not to laugh out loud.

One that I have noticed since being on HP: When we shake our heads (side to side), it means no.

When we nod our heads (up and down), it means yes.

Don't change, though... I am amazed since being part of HP, how much better the Americans use and understand our shared language... so much better than many people in the UK.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Oh, my sides hurt from laughing.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I have an Old English friend, Annie. She is 80 something...and she is very funny!

Many of the phrases that you have mentioned above remind me of her! Great Hub and Thanks for Sharing!

JSMatthew


American Romance profile image

American Romance 5 years ago from America

very interesting, and good to know


ThunderKeys profile image

ThunderKeys 5 years ago

It's true. I think its the high quality BBC television that you guys grew up with in England. I've been there a few times and even the most backward cabbie is capable of the most eloquent diction. I think that Robert Patinson and the guy who play House in the video you show here, are not fully English linguistically. I think they have falsified a full English accent to market themselves as actors. What do you think?


Azure11 profile image

Azure11 5 years ago from UK

@Thunderkeys Hugh Lawrie was in loads of English tv stuff before House including the legendary series that was 'Blackadder'. If you want to hear him speak even 'posher' English then take a look at that!

@Pamela - great hub - one thing though I have never heard a policeman in the UK being called horny - that has the same meaning as in the US! Bobby, yes and some other unrepeatable names maybe!

One problem I find is when writing articles I have to change most of my spelling and some words even to cater to the Americans - hence one of my most recent hubs where I was torn between using the word movie (much more American) and film (I guess almost entirely British)


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

What a delightful read! They say that English is the easiest language to learn how to speak, but the most difficult to write. I have long thought it is also one of the most difficult to speak as well. Throughout the US, different words mean different things.


iburahimu profile image

iburahimu 5 years ago

Very interesting to know..

Thank you to bring it into your hub.. simply 'beautiful'


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Great hub Pamela,i did know most of them because i watch all the British comedy shows on PBS .


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Twilight, some of the differences are very funny.

Thunderkeys, I don't know enough about either one of them to make an educated assessment. As far as I know they are from England. Perhaps they are trying to sound American so they no longer sound English?

Azure I read the horny reference in another forum. Perhaps it is from a certain are of the UK. I don't really know. Words are spelled different here. We also say film so you could use it and most would know what you are saying.

Genna English is not easy to speak or write from what I hear. I grew up speaking it and still have trouble.

Thank so much, everyone else for reading. :o)


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Great hub! My husband is from England, born and raised, and moved here to the Midwest about 9 years ago. My children were about 7 and 11 at the time, and they thought it was great fun to make him pronounce words for them that he had never used back home to hear how he said them. He was like their very own show and tell!

A little boy who lived in the neighborhood came to the door one day selling Boy Scout popcorn. My husband answered. After listening to him speak the boy says to my husband "Can I ask you a question? What language is that you're speaking? Is it Latin?" LOL


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

AngRose, that is funny. Latin, that is about right. We do seem to speak a different language.


vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 5 years ago from New York State

funny and intresting facts. Enjoyed your hub

God Bless


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, vietamvet68.


Derek Slark profile image

Derek Slark 5 years ago

I have lived most of my life on the South coast of England but for the last six years have lived in the North of England so I am aware of regional differences in various parts of the country, and even in neighbo(u)ring towns and between different generations, but have not come across some of the meanings that you say we give to certain words. I have made some comments below regarding your statements. Where I say that I have not heard of a word being used in a way that you say, does not mean that it is not, but it is probably not in common use:

In England we sometimes also say it’s raining cats and dogs. The more polite will say persisting down instead of pissing down with rain.

Being knocked up also means being pregnant in England.

A Johnny is short for a Rubber Johnny; we have just dropped the ‘rubber’, and is more of a schoolboy term for a condom. These days since all the aids prevention advertising over the last twenty odd years, we are more likely to call it a condom.

Rooting for you means the same here in England. “To root,” means sexual intercourse.

I have never heard the word “biggie” being used for an erection.

We also use the term “French Fries” or “Fries”, though this tends to refer to thin-cut "chips" such as those sold by fast-food restaurants.

To “suck-up” means to try to earn favo(u)r; to “suck-off” has a sexual meaning, but “suck it up” has a similar meaning as in America; i.e. tough if you don’t like it, get on or put up with it.

The origin of the word loo is unknown. It may have derived from Waterloo as in the Battle of Waterloo, but Waterloo was not a maker of toilets.

In England if you are stuffed you are also full of food, I have not heard stuffed being used for being pregnant.

In England poof, not puff, means a gay man though you would only say it to his face if you mean to insult him.

I have never heard horny being used for a policeman. I can only assume it has the same meaning as in the states as you do not actually say what that meaning is.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I work with a guy who is from England, and I'm always ask him to speak American english. Thanks again for sharing.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Derek, I read a lot of mainstream novels by English authors and picked up some of these from there. Sometimes the younger generation has a different way of saying things.

A.A. there is a woman who works at Target who is from the UK and I have to listen close to catch all of what she says.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Hi Pamela, I loved this Hub, and most of the examples you give are totally true and very funny, but I do have to agree with Derek on the examples he gave which are wrong. I live in the Channel Islands (British), lived on the UK mainland (South England) for 13 years, had a Father who grew up near London, and a Mother who grew up in the North of England. We have friends and relatives from all over the UK, and he is correct in the examples he gave. I guess there is a still a load of misconceptions out there on both sides of the fence :)

PS. We would normally ask where the toilets were, not where the 'loo' was unless in a private home as opposed to a public place.


sergs_pogi profile image

sergs_pogi 5 years ago

Wow. Very nice hub. No more no less. voted up!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

mistyhorizon, I'm reading a book right now written by Sue Margolis and throughout the book they refer to the restroom as a loo. It's all I ever see in novels. That's what I'm basing my information on.

Sergs_pogi, thanks for reading.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I haven't heard of Sue Margolis, so can't say why she writes this repeatedly. All I know is we use the word 'toilets' more than anything else, and 'loo' is used only with people we know well, and then not in 'polite' company. Very strange, unless she herself is not English and was misinformed by others prior to writing the book. Not to worry, loads of the stuff you listed was true and hilarious, especially things like 'fanny' and 'pants'. :)


JLClose profile image

JLClose 5 years ago from OreGONE

I loved reading this...it made my night.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Misty, if I ever visit England I'll take note of what you said. She is English, born and raised.

JLClose, thanks for reading.


wilbury4 profile image

wilbury4 5 years ago from England I think?

Of course you speak English, though with an accent. Certain words are used differently and some have American replacements, though that can be said about different areas of England/UK. Cheers.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Even in America, wilbury4, we have misunderstandings among us. The south have trouble understanding the north etc.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

No worries Pamela, just don't go into a restaurant and ask for the 'loo'. If at a friend you know very well's house you can though, but ask for the toilet if in doubt :)


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

good hub,thanks for sharing.


Madama profile image

Madama 5 years ago from Harrisburg PA

lol, I enjoyed it!


Alex 5 years ago

Hi, I'm English and I would agree with both derek and mistyhorizon. Another word used for toilets is bog and toilet paper is bog roll. Mainly used by younger people.

Other young slag includes american ganster rap slang eg whip = car

Yard=home

There is also rythming slang

Pony=rubbish/crap from pony&trap

Scooby=clue from scooby doo

Pete tong= wrong (a famous DJ)

Current bun= sun

Although rhymming slang is mainly only popular with white english guys from london.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Love it! Not to mention you've got a clip of Hugh Laurie, the English lust of my life....lol

I personally find the differences endearing and entertaining. Heck, though, even in America, we don't all speak the same language. Ask for a pop in the south and see how quick someone punches you. Ask for a coke in the north, you get a coke. Ask for a coke in the south, and they ask you what kind (Pepsi, Sprite, Mountain Dew). Ahh, the joy and frustration of language.

Great hub!


Gra Go Deo profile image

Gra Go Deo 5 years ago

In Ireland, "knocked up" means called them on the phone. When we took my Mom to Ireland, whenever someone spoke to her, she immediately looked at me to translate. It is for sure NOT the same language!


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Amen to that, Gra! That's part of what makes communication so much fun, and sometimes SO funny. :-) Shoot, my husband and I don't even speak the same language sometimes...lol But, we manage to communicate and that's what matters. May take some sign language and a bit of extra education on either part, but it's worth it. Love, music, and mathematics are really the only universal languages. :)


bozwellmd 5 years ago

Excellent hub. And it definitely helps to know these differences before you take that trip across the Pond.


saideepa profile image

saideepa 5 years ago from kerala,India

dear me, I knew there were differences in spellings ,but this hub proved useful. thanks for the info. because I write I shall be more careful in future.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi Pamela I lived in England until i was twenty five and now live in Australia. Since i have been on Hubpages i have learnt about some of the difficulties associated with the English/American languages. I published some jokes and used the word queue instead of line. Also the word strife drew a blank with one otherwise well read American. It does make writing much more challenging when one is using seemingly normal terms. I have unwitingly used bum in one of my poems. How many more terms are indecipherable, i wonder? What a spiffing hub.


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

I knew there were differences and I knew some of them. But your list is much more complete and I found it not only interesting but very amusing too. There are so many things that are different between American English and British English it never ceases to amuse me. In American we "learned" how to do something. But in the UK we "learnt" it. Another thing is use of quotes. In America we put the closing quote outside a period. In the UK the period goes after the close quote. Okay, I guess I'm flossing. :)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, y'all. I've been in Texas a few days and just got back. I appreciate all the input.


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 5 years ago from India

In India we're brought up on English English and then we're bombarded by all things American from various sources...can you imagine how confused we are?!! :)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Feline Prophet that would be confusing.


youmeget profile image

youmeget 5 years ago

I agree with Feline Prophet, I'm having it though explaining and rewriting almost everything with my editor.

Thanks for sharing.


marshacanada profile image

marshacanada 5 years ago from Vancouver BC

Thanks for this amusing hub Pamela N Red-and to make it more confusing there are those accents.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Marshacanada the accents do make it interesting.


IamMaster profile image

IamMaster 5 years ago from USA

I'm American, yet I knew more of the British slang.

Oh well, the video was still quite hilarious, and all the tidbits after that were amusing as well!!!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, IamMaster. Reading English novels and watching their shows and movies teaches us some of these.


jwmurph profile image

jwmurph 5 years ago from Tennessee

We speak the American dialect of English which came from England in the early 17th century, then evolved on its own--as all languages do, even when some people try to stop this evolution, but can't.

Obviously Australian and Canadian and South African English dialects differ from the UK's--actually, England hardly exists any longer, being the leader of the United Kingdom group of cultures/countries which it is connected to--as do other countries in other parts of the world. Actually, only abuot 25% of English speakers of today are 'native' speakers. The other 3/4 are speakers of English as a second language. It's just the way it is.

To say that Americans do not speak English because after almost 400 years of being separated from the 'mother country' American English is different from England's English is to ignore four centuries of history, including linguistic history, with the change that always goes with history.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

We do mostly speak English but there are so many differences that Americans and English have misunderstandings from time to time due to the different ways we use the same words. And as you saw in he video we also make up some along the way.


KenWu profile image

KenWu 5 years ago from Malaysia

Awesome. How English makes a difference when spoken to an American and English.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Yes, Ken, I recently posted a peach cobbler recipe and have had the darndest time trying to explain measurements and ingredients to an English woman.


howcurecancer profile image

howcurecancer 5 years ago

Yes, you are so right, one vote from me.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, howcurecancer.


marimccants profile image

marimccants 5 years ago

I am so happy to read this.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, marimccants.


celeBritys4africA profile image

celeBritys4africA 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Hugh Laurie is one of my favourite! One awesome hub.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, celeBrity.


Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

Indeed, I am amazed that Hubpages spell check doesn't like flavour or favourite.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Phil, that's a difference I should have put in my story. Also colour. We not only use different words we spell them differently too. Good point.


jack 4 years ago

i'm english and too many of these are wrong. biggie? horny? eating chips with knife and fork? suck it up? puff? we don't say raining cats and dogs? if you're stuffed you're pregnant? knocked up means knocking on a door... no


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jack, I think it must be certain areas that use these. I've heard some say that "loo" is incorrect for bathroom and yet every book I read written by an English author has that in it.


grinnin1 profile image

grinnin1 4 years ago from st louis,mo

So true, so true. I had the same reaction after having a conversation with a London taxi cab driver who spoke so eloquently I was embarrased by my lack of a grasp on the English language- which, before, I had been quite sure of, given my Literature background- ha. Americans have absorbed everything, which is good and bad, I think, but you are right, we do not speak English.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Grinnin1, we speak our own rendition of it that has evolved and changed over the years.


Chris Neal profile image

Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN

I have English relatives so I know what you're talking about.

check out my poem "two peoples"


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Okay, Chris, will do. It's fun to try and communicate with people across the big pond.


Penny. A 4 years ago

I'm English and most of this is a load of tosh! (rubbish)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

lol And Penny, rubbish in America is called trash.


Patty O'Riordan 4 years ago

"Vatican Roulette" is a slange term for the rhythm method, popular in the Catholic church for swelling its membership.


Michael Chesler 4 years ago

Pamela, MAYBE this column started with a point, but it's degenerated into pettyiness. Close it up and move on.


Michael Chesler 4 years ago

Sorry, Pettyiness should be spelled PETTINESS. Chairs!


Tony Vinchezni 4 years ago

The reason Americans don't speak English is because we speak AMERICAN, capice?


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Patty, I haven't heard of Vatican Roulette. That's a good one.

Michael, work on your English or should I say American?

Tony, we certainly do speak American and not English.


Michael Chesler 4 years ago

Be nice, Pam. Cricism can also be constructive.


Michael Chesler 4 years ago

Sorry, Cricism should be spelled CRITICISM.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Sorry, Michael, I was making a joke. Online humor isn't always easy.


Michael Chesler 4 years ago

Apoplexy excepted.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Now whose being rude?


georgethegent profile image

georgethegent 4 years ago from Hillswick, Shetland, UK

I'm Scottish, living in Shetland. I've got my own problems!!!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

George, y'all speak your own version of English. I love a Scottish accent.


sasanka7 profile image

sasanka7 4 years ago from Calcutta, India

English is my second language eventually I could not write is perfectly. It is very difficult to keep in mind all the grammatical rules. If I did not read this it would remained unknown to me another side of important aspect of English language. thanks for sharing i want to learn more.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Sasanka, even Americans who speak and write English our whole lives have difficulties getting it correct every time. It's not an easy language with so many variations to the rules and slang that changes all the time. Thanks for reading.


ohhi 4 years ago

im american and i do in fact speak english thank you very much


ChasingAutumn profile image

ChasingAutumn 4 years ago from Machesney Park, Illinois

I feel proud to say that as an American I at least know each of the listed UK equivalents.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Chasing Autumn, I read many UK books and picked up several of these. It's interesting to see the difference like tins instead of cans.


ChasingAutumn profile image

ChasingAutumn 4 years ago from Machesney Park, Illinois

Pamela,

Sometimes I don't even realize I'm reading something from the UK until I'm halfway through it. But I also think that I had a slight edge during the 2 years I dated a man from England. :P


georgethegent profile image

georgethegent 4 years ago from Hillswick, Shetland, UK

Thanks Pamela, although my Scots accent is drifting to Shetlandic now. I enjoy the American accent myself, especially the people "Out of town."


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

ChasingAutumn, dating someone from the UK would give you an advantage.

Georgethegent, America is so big we all speak differently. I live in the south and have done my share of butchering the English language.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This is such a great hub! I am shocked by how many you put in here. Another helpful hub would be about Australian slang, which is so confusing for me when talking to my Australian relatives.

I also enjoyed the videos that you included. The last one is so funny. I often laugh when people say "I couldn't care less". Haha. Great work!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Brittanytodd, Australia is like America, even though we both started with English as our main language we have altered it a bit. I enjoy talking to Aussies they have a unique sense of humor.


Jimmy 4 years ago

I'm from England. We don't eat Chinese with chopsticks any more than you yanks. A policeman is a what???? Fag and puff are smoking and gay terms, we just assume people know what we mean when we fancy a fag!. Nobody says biggie. Stuffed means full of food here too(again never heard that to describe pregnant). An eraser is indeed a rubber, but we call condoms rubbers more than johnnys(although often "rubber johnnys") knocked up is the most common alternative way of saying pregnant here too, very few people use it as in seeing a friend. Never heard a biggie meaning a bowel movement either! Surely suck it up can sound sexual to an American as well? We just don't use it, but we would probably be able to figure it out without feeling the need to call the police(or horny as you seem to think!!). When it's raining we more say "it's pissing it down" rather than just pissing, as that indeed means urination. We also tell each other to piss off, which means go away(suppose we do like that word!) we have cookies in England, it is pretty much the same as our biscuits. A scone is absolutely not a biscuit in england( a biscuit is hard and dry like a cookie, I suppose a scone is more like a cake or could just be described as a bread. Believe it or not we also use our fingers to eat(mcdonalds arent any more sophisticated over here!) and finally I've never heard rooting mean sex! God you make us sound like a load of sex crazed piss artists(that means a drunkard!) we also say your a "streak of piss" as an insult meaning a tall and skinny(do you guys say lanky?) and useless person.


Jimmy 4 years ago

Also cats and dogs is believed to have been an English saying before America existed and Waterloo is not a maker of toilets!! It is a train station and the place of a battle in belgium.


Jimmy 4 years ago

Also we like to piss about with friends(have fun), take the piss out of people(joke) and if we get mad we might say "this is taking the piss". Basically forget everything above and just learn what piss mean. It's pretty easy or as we like to say in england "it's a piece of piss"(no I'm not kidding!


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jimmy, many of those seem to be regional words just like here in America we don't use the same slang in every part of the country. I didn't mean this as a jab at Brits in anyway but was pointing out the difference in our manner of speech. No, suck it up always means to stop crying or toughen up, never a sexual connotation.

Y'all do seem to be obsessed with the word piss. :o)


gkanekoa 4 years ago

This hub was too good. The two videos made me laugh so hard. I seriously did not know what "flossing" was

until I watched that Ellen Video. If people think the American way of using English is difficult to comprehend, one would have to come to Hawaii and learn how some people speak in HCE (Hawaiian Creole English).


Jimmy 4 years ago

Didn't think you were taking the piss(hehe) at all Pam. I'm sure the odd person has called their bowel movement or erection a biggie!, but then again it's probably been said over there too!..I would say that a lot of the things you think confuse us Brits, don't, because we get so much of your tv!. Cookies for example, yeah it's pretty what we call biscuits, but if it's got chocolate chips in it we like to give you guys some credit so we call em cookies!.. I suppose there are loads of double meanings over here, so things can only be understood in context, but things like knocked up and stuffed are just as British as usa(knocked up was being used in the 1500s to mean pregnant!), you underestimate us!. So yeah I'm sure if you came here and saw a child asking to borrow a rubber it would be quite funny, but it doesn't mean we don't know what else it means!. The knife and fork thing, hmm maybe there was something in that not too long ago, I've seen people eat burgers using them, but I think that's dying out now. although I'd imagine that's how the royals eat their big macs :). Chopsticks?, nah, yeah their in all the restaurants but that doesn't mean we know how to use em!.. If you only believe one thing I tell you, please never call the cops(or "rozzers" as we might say) horny, god only can imagine that misunderstanding!!. Every time most Brits come over there, we are mistaken for aussies for some reason, which explains why your impersonations of us really suck(thanks for the word!) more often than not, so please also listen to them, because we can tell them apart from us after one word(if not the cork hat!!).


Jimmy 4 years ago

Reading back I see what you mean about areas, I can't believe two English guys say puff isn't used to mean gay, one guy said it's poof?? Puff and puffter are very common where Im from(oops ;)


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Gkanekoa, I recently read a book based in Hawaii and found it very interesting. A lot of Polynesian terms and y'all also have so many Asian folks. I learned a while back that Hapa is a Hawaiian/Japanese word meaning half Asian and half white. I will visit your fine state one day and enjoy the beauty.

Jimmy, I picked up a lot of these words from reading books written by British authors and some others from talking online with English folks. I have noticed how people pronounce words quite different depending on where they are located. Puff and poof seems to be one of those.

I love an English accent and someday hope to go to England and experience the wonderful dialect first hand.


fannypackrestroom 4 years ago

I am English, I have never learnt another language. I read and understood this. Because it's in English :D....


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Fannypackrestroom, glad you could understand it. Love your name, by the way. :o)


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

In the UK the word randy means horny, so you can imagine my reaction the first time an American approached me and said, "Hi, I'm Randy!"


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

lol Mazzy that is funny. I had heard that Randy is an American name and not used in other English speaking countries, this explains why.


Ben 4 years ago

You're a complete idiot. For a start, most of those words are slang, and there are already categories established (Australian slang, Canadian slang, English slang, American slang, *insert country name* slang. Also, stuff like "It's pissing down"/"raining cats and dogs" are both said in England, and saying something like "They're pissed" can mean both that they are drunk OR that they are angry. "Fag" is both a cigarette and a derogatory term for homosexuals. Learn to understand context.

If you were travelling the UK or Australia or New Zealand and a person came up to you and said "Got a fag?", would you seriously think that they're talking about a homosexual? And would you seriously think that this individual word (a slang word at that) along with a handful of others calls for you to distinguish yourself from these other countries (that all speak English) and say that you speak...AMERICAN...All this would do is feed bad American stereotypes (which are already rife) in other parts of the world.


4 years ago

I'm English and a lot of the words here I've never used. Horny for policeman? Stuffed for pregnant? Biggie Is just not a word we use and rooting for has the same meaning here. Raining cats and dogs is completely English. I think you are picking on some of the slang words, we know the other words too. we ourselves have many ways of saying the same thing. Also fanny packs ARE hilarious


Dave 4 years ago

Ha this is one ridiculous articular, you definitely made most of that up. I completely agree with ben. Silly American not getting the facts write first, as usual haha.


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Dave, what is an articular? Is that another English slang word? I haven't heard that one before.

As some of my readers have mentioned these are different in some regions. Perhaps you are just from a region that do not use these terms.


I'm_just_me 4 years ago

Don't forget "pissy" eg she's in a pissy again (bad mood), or pisshead (drunkard), going out on the piss (going out to get drunk)... And a saying that's vaguely related "you couldn't organize a piss up in a brewery" which basicly means you're useless (although this is more older generation 40+). There is alot of slang for police (the old bill(police), copper(s) (police officer(s)), pigs (wouldn't recommend saying this one to their face though!) and don't forget "the nick" (jail), been nicked (arrested) but I've never heard of them being called horny... And I'm English, born and bred.


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I'm_just_me, age does seem to have a big difference in slang terms. Some of those words on Ellen's video I'd never heard before and I'm American. I read that "horny" term in a forum. I haven't ran across it in books like I do some other words so not sure where that one came from.


AmericansDontKnow 4 years ago

1. Horny means the same thing in the UK it does NOT mean a policeman.

2. Stuffed does not mean pregnant in the UK it also means 'full'

3. 'Pissing' as in rain is not from England its from Ireland...

4. Suck it up also means man up/ wise up in England it is not a sexual meaning.


CGreen 4 years ago

I have to say that most of the English terms you have mentioned in this article do not mean what you say they mean. I have lived all around the UK and, while around 50% of the terms you have mentioned do mean what you say they mean, some are just ridiculous!


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Loved reading this, along with the comments. LOL I'm sure that some of the terms you wrote about are used in different areas, just as you pointed out terms are in the US. There are lots of terms I hear from different parts of the US that I have never heard! People shouldn't get so offended. They don't know every phrase and how it's used in their country. At any rate, great hub! So interesting! I have heard a lot of those terms, and I'm sure they are used in certain parts or during a certain time period. Great hub. Many votes!


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Victoria. I enjoyed writing this but have since wondered if I should keep it up.


Mark 4 years ago

Thought this was Horse shit in England that means shit! Shit is what comes out of your arse, anus or posterior, butt is the waste portion of a cigarette which is what we all smoke or the majority of people.

Many of your slang versions of words you have mentioned are Australian English, or Ozzie, that's the large country we used to send our convicts ! Now you can't get in with a criminal record, we in England call that uncanny!


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Mark, it's a good idea to keep out the unsavory as we call them here in America. Uncanny has a different meaning here, unusual or out of the ordinary. Uncanny doesn't mean a convict in the States.


semere 4 years ago

i don,t understood uk english


liam bertie 4 years ago

as an Englishman i dont think that the slight difference in the way we spell or speak give you americans any right to claim it as your own language.


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Liam, you are so right. That was my point, we should call what we speak "American" and not English.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Interesting information, thank you for sharing.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago

I love the hub..so true..


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Amusing 60% accurate, a bit out of date. Fun to read.

Two countries separated by a common language - Shaw

And then there's Scottish...... Which I only speak occasionally when in Scotland.

Thanks


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Alex, we should all know a second language, it comes in handy.


Georgi-S profile image

Georgi-S 4 years ago

No offence. I'm English half of those things that the English supposedly mean ain't always what they mean most have many meanings and you need to learn more English sayings and slangs. No offence, but we have picked up American. And we ain't that dirty minded, it's like what people think of the 'crime' youth, we ain't all like that probably five out of every hundred-thousand. So please don't jump to conclusions and half of those sayings that the Eglish supposedly say I've never heard in that context.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Pamela: I mentioned needing to know a second language to someone recently and his dog looked at me and went "meow!!"


Rain Defence profile image

Rain Defence 4 years ago from UK

I think you need to visit England, then revise your hub a bit..


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Most of these are from books I've read written by English authors. I've also picked up some in forums from English speaking people from England.

I would love to visit England someday but it would be like you coming to America, unless you went to every state you would not hear every slang or accent.

Unless you've been to every part of England you couldn't possibly know every slang.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

Aye Pamela, and legendarily no one in the UK other than Geordies understands Geordies.

Then it changes again when you get to Scotland and yet again when you get north of Fort William.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

True, Alex, dialect is different as well as word usage all over the planet and no two regions are the same.

I've never heard of most of the words on that Ellen Degeneres clip and yet they are indeed terms used somewhere in the US. I am not going to call her or anyone else a liar simply because I have never heard it before.


puella 4 years ago

Interesting it is as a geography of English; however, any word that happens to be listed in any English dictionary, does do so after a team of 'experts' perform the required research and gather the possible different meanings, context-related and, yes, geography-related; but this does not mean that Americans do not speak English nor that in England or in the UK they speak a 'better' English. Any language can have a formal or an informal context; the informal use of certain words, if sustained for a certain period of time, may be a qualifying or considered a new word or meaning, regardless if American or British.

Also, as culture has its strong sways on language, American English may tend to be more 'flexible' even about creating verbs ;) like 'don't i-thought-you-did-not-want-that me", for example.

Spanish, in South America, has the very same cases mentioned in this hub...However, Spanish as such is greatly regulated by the Royal Academy of Spain (RAE) and the academy is very strict with the growth of language (vocabulary); of course, these honorary members of RAE sit for years as judges of language use, and they may aspire to be a member after quite an extensive experience and knowledge of the Castellano/Spanish.

English language never got to have an academy ruling the language intricacies, and I am sure this is also part of the cultural background and the flexibility exhibited in all that has been mentioned in this hub, which can be summed up as a philosophical approach to language, to life, to just go...


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Puella, interesting you should mention Spanish because I've talked to many Spanish people who say that Mexican people do not speak Spanish properly. After hundreds of years a language tends to change.


puella 4 years ago

Pamela, there is a reason why Spanish-speaking people not originally from Spain but from any of South America or Central America countries and from Mexico are called Hispanics, and there is a cultural/civilization reason/background to that. Before the arrival of Spaniards, America had, at least, three major civilizations, as advanced as any in Europe, and who even invented the basketball game (aztecs, Mexico, and the calendar, and the socio-economic organization with taxes, and laws, and traditions,etc; in Peru, there were the Incas, even more advanced than Aztecs, and there were the Mayas (Central America,) whose civilization was brilliant but of short duration. As you well know, in 1492, Colon, in the name of the Kingdom of Spain, 'discovered' America. After the discovery, came the conquest and the colonization with which Spanish was the language imposed, together with the religion, the food, the legal system (in turn set in Spain by the Romans). Therefore it is understandable that Hispanics do not speak Spain's castellano ;) in the exact way: there are a few differences, mostly in the pronunciation of 'c' and 'z'. But it is inexact to say that Mexicans do not speak a good Spanish and to base this statement in a change thru the years...This is a too-absolute statement. There is a famous Mexican Nobel in Literature (Octavio Paz) as there are others who got that very Nobel in Literature, such as Gabriela Mistral (a Chilean school teacher), Pablo Neruda (another Chilean, poet), Garcia Marquez (Colombian), and quite several more, not just a few. Mexico is also known by other fine arts. For many many years whoever wanted to be in the right place for poetry, philosophy, novels, acting, music, painting, sculpture,... you name it, that someone needed to spend a compulsory time in Mexico (and not in Spain, by the way) and Mexico had the organization and the specialist and the money and the guidance and all what was needed to support and project the arts; it is not exaggerated to say that Mexico was and it still can be the Place of Light, like Paris was in Europe for so long a time.

To say that Mexicans do not speak Spanish properly because of language change thru time does not represent the facts behind this not-so-approximately true statement.

In any place of our planet, whoever was unlucky enough to not have enough schooling, will be in no shape to speak properly, period. I'd say without a doubt that ignorance is lack of school (in the outward realm) and it is lack of self-analysis (in the personal realm) and it's a result of poverty, severe poverty, like the ones seen in many places in the Hispanoamerica, as it is called, and the reasons are everyday in the news ;)

I hope no to have been boring with the obvious :) and to help understand a bit better the world of languages. Thanks for reading till this period ;).

To judge that a social sector of the planet speaks or not properly a language is something that needs more reflection than just an opinion generalized. Something is either proper or not according to what? And how this 'opinion' is based in reality/facts and how was it measured to get the conclusion? Would it be precise to say or conclude that because the Caribbean English-speaking people do speak English very uniquely and misconstruct sometimes, we'd have to state that Trinitarians, or Barbadosians or St Thomasians, or else, 'do not speak properly the English language??


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Puella, darlin', I don't need a history lesson and fully aware why they speak a different dialect of Spanish. We live next door. If you stop and think about it it's also the reason Americans speak a different version of English. As y'all like to point out, America is the sweepings of Europe as well as every other country in the world. We are a melting pot and have more nationalities here than England could ever have mainly because of the amount of real estate we have.

Yes, I know London has a diverse group of people but our entire country has that. Go to any rural town and you won't find any two people with the same blood.

I wrote this article making jokes about how Americans don't speak English. We do not speak the King's English. This was not a poke at the English people in any way but quite the reverse. Oddly enough Americans have taken it in stride and it's the English who have taken offense. Go figure.


puella 4 years ago

Thanks Pamela ;)

Most probably, due to, again, a cultural stuff, I did not interpret your hubs as a matter of joking; I read a few hubers, like you say, that did not get it as a joking about either,..Like you say, go figure.

Anyway, bottom line is bottom line just because there is nowhere "bottomer" to go... :) Cheers and keep up that creativity up too..

I never got poked like you say; it's just that, to me, everything has its name and "properly" means to give everything its proper name. In Spanish, the rule of syntaxis requires that every proper name must start with a capital letter ;)... a formality to prepare the reader about, well, the formality ;) Thanks...


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Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Puella, I agree that proper names should be capitalized, with texting people hardly use proper grammar anymore or even complete words so who knows what the future holds for our dear language. Cheers.


puella 4 years ago

I still think that we should not confound a non-standard dialect that does not have its own grammar, vocabulary, and most of all, doesn't have institutional support,like school grammar books and tools for teaching in the portion of a region or in a region which happens to gather people speaking this standard dialect, which is a language on its own with a dialect. In general, dialects and languages do have a relationship of subordination, i.e. the dialect sprang from a particular language.

In this order of ideas, then, what is considered American or Canadian or Aussie or England/British English do have a common platform and share the grammar and vocabulary. So, we cannot say that American English is not English, as far as a dialect is concerned... All this variations will have a bit different pronunciation, but it is English grammar and vocabulary and etc etc and institutionally supported.So Mexican Spanish, or Chilean or else are not dialects; although each will exhibit its autoctonous jargon, just like there is a particular jargon in Medicine, in Information Technology, in Math, and even within a language expressions in literature, poetry, music, etc...and, please, let's not forget the operas and pantomimes, and etc that will only make sense in each locality, again, because of particular contexts socially and organizationally.

Indeed this subject is super and even when what some of us write here may sound weird or out of touch, it's still interesting and even helps us to be aware of the importance of.... being earnest ;);: sounds familiar?


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

It's true we don't hear all the variations of US English just as Americans tend not to hear much except the London versions of British English. I remember when Jerry Springer first arrived on British TV, I was puzzled to hear people trading insults by calling each other a garden implement ("You's a hoe!" "I aint no hoe, you's a hoe!") and yet at the same time they were so kind to each other's pet donkeys ("I took care o' yer ass for two years!" "So what, I was feeding your ass for five years!")

Nowadays a lot of American terms get taken over into British English. One that always throws me is calling stones rocks. Rocks in British English were always those craggy boulder-type things you saw on the beach. Little ones were called stones. Now on the BBC News they refer to children throwing rocks at soldiers - in my mind it conjures up a picture of them hurling boulders like Superman.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

lol Oh my goodness, Mazzy that is hilarious. When you take those terms literally they have an entirely different meaning.


puella 4 years ago

And what about measuring weight in 'stones' ? That's how I learned, while living in London, once upon a time...

If you read about BMI in any Brit. media or journal, you will see those 'stones'


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Puella, measuring weight in stones has always confused me. I found a website that gives a conversion and that helps.


AlexK2009 profile image

AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

I have a unit converter on my phone.

One stone = 6.35 Kg

Eight stone = 112 pounds = one hundredweight

20 Hundredweight = 2240 pounds = 160 Stone = One ton

One ton is close to 1000 kilo and that is, as I recall, a Metric tonne.

Hope that helps


puella 4 years ago

Lemme tell y'all I am 'stoned' by about, kinda, sort of, some... 12 stones!!!

where is that "mirror mirror on the wall...?"

Pretty..., I mean, soon, I maybe able to sing "16 tons" remember that song? ;)


coelocanth 4 years ago

As an English person, having just read this hub, I'd like to say thank you, it was a very enjoyable read. While it is true that different words and phrases can have confusingly different meanings to Americans and English people, surely that's what makes intercourse (the exchange of ideas and opinions in conversation rather than anything sexual) interesting and fun.

Everybody needs to just relax and slow down when talking to someone from a foreign land; meanings become clear from usage and context if we just pay attention to what the other chap is trying to say and life's far too short to get wound up about such things.

Keep your pecker up and have a nice day!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Alex, according to my conversion website I weigh 8.52 stones.

Puella, I believe Johnny Cash sang that song if my memory serves me well.

Coelocanth, we are all different and I enjoy smiling over some of them because they are fun but not to make fun. There is humor on both sides and the confusion can be interesting. Thanks for reading.


puella 4 years ago

Hmm, Coelocanth, you certainly scored a great goal!! The unique purpose of language is to, just, communicate! And communication means that both sides are paying attention; even if two (or more) spoke exactly, and I mean exactly, the same words and same meanings, etc, it still will not communicate and will create misunderstandings if we, humans, are not set to the second more important element in a successful communication, and that is that of listening. And there're other senses, among which the 'nous' (called the sixth sense or common sense or soul or the mix of soul/heart and mind=the ability to read what is not written (i.e.interpret) or what is not clearly said, and to react appropriately and positively ) plays an extremely important role in success: to be witty, to be able to stand in the other one shoes, to be really interested and not sort of roboting around, and, of course, to be aware of the semantics (reaction of the one listening) of what we say, specially if we mean what we say and we say what we mean. This takes a qualitative leap on any communication.

To ease the communication and somehow alleviate or ameliorate the incidence of ambiguity/vagueness in a communication, specially in the written communication (as when we are real-time interchanging it is easier to practice the inference processing of what we hear/see/feel and even smell, in a communication and better-than-guess/infere what the other one is trying to say or mean...) as a major purpose, it's why grammar rules and structures were created and developed and imposed.

Joking is different of being humourous...and in a written fashion is less fun sometimes, specially if the 'joking' intention is not clearly stated (specially when readers are possibly a mix of diverse backgrounds socially-economically and ethnias). However, we can always get it and clarify and enjoy, but it sometimes can go the wrong way ;) and create a misunderstanding unintentionally and sadly we waste energies into something that is not that something... misinterpreted.

Btw, did you guys know that there is a little town, a township, in Pennsylvania (I believe) that is named 'intercourse'...interesting no?

Hasta la vista ;) and cheers!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Puella, yes there is a town called Intercourse in Pennsylvania, it has a large Amish population and many like to make jokes about it.

Over time words take on new meanings and Intercourse is one of them. It originally meant conversation.

The name Gay and Dick are also now the butt of many jokes due to changes in meaning.


coelocanth 4 years ago

Not to belabour the point, but I believe the word conversation also originally had a somewhat different meaning to the one generally associated with it today. See, for example, the now virtually archaic offence of "criminal conversation", which simply denotes adulterous or otherwise socially unacceptable sexual practices. Context, not content, leads to mutual understanding.

If we all spoke the same there wouldn't be much point in saying anything.

TTFN.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Coelocanth, I wasn't aware of that definition. I'm pretty sure the Amish didn't mean sex when they named that town. Even if they didn't name it I wouldn't think they would want to live in a place associated with that meaning since they are so strict in their beliefs.


puella 4 years ago

Coelocanth. again, hats off... :)

Context is almost everything and everything is almost context.

I use "almost' because, of course, depending on the relevance of the interchange, will/intention do have a room/role to play in the outcome, that not always is success...although some may include the intention/purpose as part of the context...but that would be equivalent to say that probabilities are all statistically distributed under the 'normal' or bell-shaped function, and then... it would be so boring to interchange ;=0.. Cheers


jennie 4 years ago

How on earth do you have the right to comment on our language? all the words you used were slang and i didn't know half of them and im from the north of england. stick to your own language in future as its clear you AMERICANS have no idea about our language, no book can teach you that.......FACT!!!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for agreeing with me, Jennie, that Americans do no speak English. Have a great day.


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Incidentally, the phrase "knock you up" used to mean wake you up in the morning by knocking on your window/door. At one time, many people in Britain did not own alarm clocks. In fact, during WW2, it was virtually impossible to find one. So people employed a "knocker-upper" (seriously) who would wake you up so you could get to work on time - this was often the old chap who came round the streets at dawn turning off the gas lamps. He got a small fee for this extra job. It came to mean anyone who woke you up by knocking at the door and people would say "The postman knocked me up this morning". When the US meaning of the phrase began to catch on, this led to a lot of amusement.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

That is cool, Mazzy. It's interesting to read about history and how people did things in the old days.


puella 4 years ago

Nobody has to get upset; nobody here is imposing ideas, just having fan on a super topic...which happens to be highly researched with experts pro and con on this very real issue: is it really a slang what we are talking about? is it the way some expressions, with time, came to signify a quite different meaning than the original one, genuinely, a slang??is it not perhaps that whoever did not know the prior meaning (of some 500 hundred years ago, perhaps) just because the topic is only for those who are interested in etimology, and unfortunately, etimology is not as interesting as, say, knowing slang and so be cool...?

If we are saying that a broken English is a dialect, then this is a hypothesis that can be proved right or wrong...interestingly and there are formal qualifiers that will define the hypothetical either as dialect or as a language;beware, a standard dialect is a language itself ;);) So, what I have interpreted here, according to the prevalent literature on the topic, is that we are talking about a non-standard dialect which still has not been even proved for the definition...

And proving it right or wrong should not mean an offense or generate hard feelings...It's an academic discussion still growing since a long time ago... Actually, sin SamuelJohnson times, or perhaps before... However, we have a poet, e.e. cummings, who decided to please us all with a beautiful work of art, all written in ... lower case!!! did he speak a slang???? NO!!! he created art by going around the rule s of capitalization!!! Don't you love his works? and do not you understand it??? then it's not probably a slang!!! Or Emil y and her "a rose is a rose is a rose"...is that also a slang?

Let's have fun and bring more of those words and phrases to enlighten ourselves without the burden of the travelling expenses...;);)

Remember by definition, a language has several components: several kinds of words: nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions. Then, a language does have rules to a proper use of those words (the vocabulary) which is the grammar/ It's like a ball game: The ball could represent the vocabulary and the rules of the game the grammar; so, there are several ball games (base-ball, basket-ball, futball, volleyball, etc... Since every game is different, we can use the analogy of the differences straight to different languages; then also, languages do have 'prosodia'...which means pronunciation...Here, we do not qualify different pronunciatios as a dialect!!! maybe as an accent...And then there is the syntaxis, semntics, cases *ablative, dative, nominal, etc) which introduce the declinations (like, for example, 'am' 'are'...we can immediately know that 'am' means first singular person on present rense of indicative...right?), same thing for the use of some prepositions and conjuctions to generate clauses (for example, "If I know your arrival time, then I could pick you up..." (this is an if-then clause, used a lot!! in computer programming languages, for exaple)... And then there speech figures, nd...yes, I looooove this subject!!!! I loooooove it!!!

Thanks Pamela!!! for this lively topic with so many intringulis :):) and so exquisite!!!

Cheers


puella 4 years ago

On the other hand, ;) did you know that naming towns can be interesting too; there is a township in Pennsylvania called "Bird in Hand"...

And, I wonder, why is that almost everybody, when the word "Football" is heard, we immediately/automatically "click in the link" of the FIFA, and World Cup, and Pele', and Maradona, and Aravena, and La Cucaracha, and Manchester, Liverpool (with, in a different venue, its most beloved musicians of all the times!!! ladies and gentlemen, THE Beatles, cheered Ed Sullivan, at the time the show to be in)... hmmm I love Football (in SAmerica is called 'futbol'...is that a slang?? ;) ... whereas in the US there is "American Football" which is another language ;);) nor a dialect (OOPS... another sport), mind you, and the "Football" itself, is called "Soccer"...

C U lighter :)


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I didn't realize E.E. Cummings wrote all in lower case. He would do well with texting these days.

We have a lot of sports inspired idioms such as "first base," or if a person is talking off topic we'll say, "that's way in left field."


puella 4 years ago

Well, let me correct myself, not 'all' he wrote but a lot of it: he was back and forth from publishing his works in lower cases to what his publishers were happy to do ; his signature was just "ee cummings" no periods and no capitals... most of the times, and he wrote a lot, real lot!!

His biography has that when he was writing poetry when younger than 7 years old (all in capitals!)... and he was prized and priced and read and famous and left some very touching poetry and a superb prosa.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Artists truly are eccentric individuals.


puella 4 years ago

ee also painted and I like some of his works ;) but much prefer his writing


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I didn't know that. I'll have to check out his art.


4 years ago

I don't think just because of a few words you should change the name of American English to "American". By your standards then you would want Australian English to be called "Australian" as well. But the separation of each English "dialect" (if you want) is already differentiated by the "American/ Australian/ British/ Canadian English" the country of each place name in front of the word "English". You can't get away from the fact that all these are different variants of the same language. They speak Spanish in North America/ Mexico and Spain but these are all slightly different as well. Do you want them to call it different? How would you call North American Spanish? American also? because of the place? It's the same between Canadian French and normal French from France.

To be honest, we (from the UK) see a lot of American tv shows and movies here, there are so many on tv, so most of us have come across popular American slang and terms and have learnt the 2(+) meanings of words and even learned some new ones.

Even if people don't know and misunderstand it's no big deal, you just end up learning a new word. The only people who really care and get REALLY upset over things are when one person (it always only takes the one) who won't accept anything different and therefore won't listen and start an argument. Then, of course people would start fighting back. It's common sense, don't be a closed-minded person is what's important.


puella 4 years ago

Hi N!

I cannot agree more with your statements here; and also, there are formal qualifiers to define as a non-standard dialect, or as a dialect, or as a plain language the very core subject here. Languages that remain "pure" in time, become extinct.

Also, it's almost impossible, with a highly wired society/world, to expect/pretend a "pure" language anymore: this is a granted fact!!! as it is that so far there is a prevalent understanding/fact that English is the language, the "universal" language, specially for science, business, technology, in this wired commonplace; and when those ambassadors from England or Canada or Australia or the US are in official and formal interchange/business, they are not misunderstanding a bit of each other or of those speaking in their non-native language. There is a common sense background to make the interchange for real. I have never heard of any of those representatives referring to somebody else about a misunderstanding of that "English dialect" or even accents.

And I do not include here works of poetry or novels or operas, or playwrights, just because the inspiration of authors will be hindered by the any restriction, and to write in a different than his/her native language might just change the enchantment; that's why, in literature, reading a translated poem or novel or listening an opera in Spanish (if it was created in Italian or Speranto -are they any? why not? means that some of the touching words/inclinations/drama/implications/plots are lost in translation (like the movie), so the communication of the author results in some half-baked expression, yet it is not considered a dialect in its own language..talking about metaphors, an other figures of speech (culturally based/related). I personally lose interest in any literature translated.

This does not happen in science, though, because there exists a nomenclature universally adopted to treat the different subjects, and so, for example, everyone will know that a "stress" of a metal beam is not to be confounded with the "stress" as a psychological state of mind. Still both words are English, spelled the same, and widely known ad used, but with different contexts and there is no way that it means a new dialect, just because someone reading it is not a materials technician or a psychiatrist.

And, yes, common sense is the first and foremost need in any interchange, no matter the formal level.

The localities differences are just that, localities differences that in no way will determine a new dialect (so far) just because it does not have enough speakers for each differentiated so-called dialect, or because of words being used are not 'known' by a new listener. In those particular instances, if and only if, those misspellings and shortened words keep in use and a vast proportion of a country of several countries adopt them, then we are in brinks of a "new dialect or language"... In the mean time, we are in a kind of bad taste movie (and in these there is lot to place the source of those misspellings and language desecration), or, we are in front of fast-paced, careless/casual/ people/group, who do not pretend a new dialect but be funny and creative (in their view) and yes, perhaps, be of challenging attitudes...as those in the "texting" realm,; those who do texting while driving do challenge not only grammar rules; they also challenge the possibility/responsibility of keeping themselves and others alive and running, as there is more and more safety concerns and new restrictions arise everyday to make it punishable to texting while driving, for example. So for people who choose to do texting while driving, for example, I'd ask where is their common sense? Mine is right here; I understand that they are not trying to talk to me, they are talking to their peers who saw the same movie, heard the same songs, or play in the same team, or work for the same boss!, or sing in the same chorus/band, etc. Nothing else; and what is culturally impregnated in a society as the meanings of, for example, the expression "faith moves mountains", might not make any sense if those using it and those hearing it and understanding it did not have a common cultural background. Cultural backgrounds permeates to different ones, and so we have a medley today. I do not resist it, I embrace it, and so, differences are welcome and not interpreted to differentiate but to engage.

And what have we taught to our children when they face a word unknown? There are immediately available resources in the internet to get the different meanings context-related; for those lacking the service, hundreds of libraries and the most beloved dictionaries, which happen to include the old meanings, the new meanings, the different meanings according to localities, and some historical facts about them (ethimology) and even ethiology.

What else do we need to confirm that different jargons or meanings o spelling , or should I say 'misspelling", will not imply a dialect in itself.


Ovi Akpojotor profile image

Ovi Akpojotor 4 years ago

Pamela N Red, thanks for living up to the Americans are stupid and "self-centered" stereotype.

Americans do not speak English? So therefore Mexicans and Argentinians don't speak Spanish...and Brazilians don't speak Portugese.

The statement is not only ignorant BUT also arrogant...

Having different terms does not equal speaking a different language...OVERALL Americans and English people CAN understand each other...

I am english yet I watch many, many hollywood films and TV shows as does about EVERY other English or British person...so we understand MOST of your American terms.

Most English people can understand American people MORE than Americans themselves....LOL.

However because Americans are so self-centered and PROFITED from World War II they had decided to flood (or should I say force down) ALMOST every European country with their glossy OTT movies and lifestyle.

The result of this? Everybody knows about America and Americans know nothing about everybody.

Those who said most of your "English terms" are wrong are being truthful...

England is ALOT smaller than the USA therefore most terms DO NOT DIFFER from Region to Region.

Also how the hell can you tell anybody about English terms when YOU have NEVER been to England?

You say you have learned the terms from reading English literature...BUT, we ALL know reading literature and ACTUALLY going to England are two VERY DIFFERENT THINGS!!

It's the equivalent to perceiving ALL American women to be slim and attractive by ONLY WATCHING Hollywood movies...Yet we all know American is the FATTEST nation in the world and the average American is NOT attractive.

Like I said... Everybody knows about America but Americans know NOTHING about Everybody...


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

No, I haven't only learned English idioms from reading English literature, I also have several British friends who live in England as well as some who transplanted to America.

I'm glad you realize Hollywood's portrayal of the average American is a myth otherwise y'all might think we are all like reality shows which we all know are not real.

Yes, unfortunately, America is the fattest nation in the world. Sad really. I'm not an average American, read my other articles and you'll soon learn that.

Sorry if you took offense of my humor story. I was poking fun at American's speech and didn't in anyway intend to ridicule British people.

Cheers.


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Good heavens, Ovi, did you get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning?

I've lived in both countries and I can assure you that English vocabulary certainly DOES vary from region to region. There are close to 60 million people in Britain so, while it may be much smaller in area than the U.S., it has a sizeable population. If anything, there is more variation in Britain than in the States, but this is down to time and history.

In fact, if I hear someone from the Scottish Highlands talking, I can't make out a word, and I have trouble understanding Geordies (from the North-East). The vocabulary differs, not just the accents.

A trivial example, for instance - what Londoners call a jam sandwich, Mancunians call a jam butty and Glaswegians call 'a jammy piece'. Regional dialects are fading, but this is mainly owing to the influence of television with its use of standard southern English and US English.

I was born in Manchester in the North West, and what my mother called a slur, a form and a midden are now called a slide, a bench and a dustbin (US trashcan). What we called dinner is now our lunch and what we called tea is now our dinner. A 'motor' is now a car; 'the flags' are now the pavement; a 'gait' is a now a 'habit'; 'afore' is now 'before'.

As someone interested in linguistic traditions, I hate the way the variations are being leveled out into some bland linguistic soup. The world is more interesting if everyone doesn't speak the same everywhere you go.

Some regions, thankfully, are hanging on. A while back I had a conversation with a man from the West Country. I asked him if he had children and he said, "Aye, two chaps and a wench."


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

I live in Oklahoma and my family always said, "We can't get "shed" of him," meaning you can't get rid of someone or something. A friend of mine from another area here in the US grew up saying, "shut" instead of "shed."

She was convinced I was saying it wrong until I showed her a few books written by southern writers who also say, "shed."

I find language fascinating and it is interesting how people living in the same country can have trouble understanding each other.

People from Louisiana are some of the hardest for me to understand.


Ovi Akpojotor profile image

Ovi Akpojotor 4 years ago

Yes Mazzy Bolero I did get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning LOL.

I apologize for my anger earlier Pamela N Red.

It's just rare to find an American interested in other cultures (I heard most don't have passports)...I now realise you obviously meant no offense.

However I'd like to ask why do Americans think British people have bad teeth (I notice Hugh Laurie stating this in that Ellen video clip too)?

It's one of the strangest stereotypes I have ever heard...the health care here is run by the NHS and the NHS is FREE...health care and dental care (for kids at least) is FREE...

I'm 25 and have lived in London all my life and I know NO ONE with bad teeth.

The only people with bad teeth are bums (that's what you call homeless people right?).

Again sorry for my anger earlier...I love America really...I'm going to move to L.A. (permanently) one day..... : )


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Ovi, Americans are obsessed with looks: teeth and breast size to name a few. I believe he is referring to straight teeth and not dental health. Even Michael Jackson had braces put on his pet monkey's teeth. Funny the things different countries find important.

I do own a passport although these days it doesn't get as much use as I'd like.

I was born just outside L.A. Love the weather and if I had a choice I'd live in California.

Thanks for reading.


puella 4 years ago

Hi Mazzy, Pamela, Ovi...and all

Regarding Mazzy's coining of "leveling up...bland soup" ...if I understand her meaning though, I found in Wikipedia, regarding this subject of accents, dialects, languages, and variations etc, the following "It is the business of educated people to speak so that no one may be able to tell in what country their childhood was passed" A. Burrell, Recitation, A Handbook for Teachers in Public Elementary School, 1891.

To this quotation, I'd add a recommendation to check in Wikipedia the treasure of opinions by scholars and lay men about the same topics; for example, "Geordie or Geordy is referred to as a Received Pronunciation (RP) and is considered/defined as a standard accent of Standard English in Great Britain, and with a relationship to regional accent similar to the relationships in other European languages between their standard varieties and their regional forms; traditionally, RP was everyday speech in the families of Southern English persons whose men-folks had been educated at the greater public boarding schools and which conveyed no information about the speaker's region of origin prior attending the school"... and much more that would make us melted to this just great topic.

To this, I'd use also the first rule for addition: only strictly same-nature items can be added up towards a total sum. I.e. 2 apples plus 2 apples gives a total of 4 apples (same nature items) but 2 aples plus 2 pears is just the bland soup of 2 apples and 2 pears...still we have to define/describe apples and pears from each other...Cheers.


puella 4 years ago

Hi again ;)

I took ESL in my country of origin from 9 years old to 12 years old. The teacher only spoke English. Then I took English for 5 consecutive years in high school, and finally took two more years, at advanced level, in college, all in a non-English speaking country. Then the graduate studies in England, for which I was not required further English courses, given the tests results for admission (oral exams). My first English teacher was an excellent teacher and an excellent painter as well.

Now, if you check the paragraph above you will see that it is one paragraph with five periods (or dots or points, names used also to convey different meanings), being the last period at the end of the paragraph.

When I was learning English at young age, my teacher was from San Francisco, CA, and she taught us that the last period of a paragraph was named 'full stop', and the in-between paragraph's sentences, before ending that paragraph, the periods used, if considered appropriate by whoever is/was writing and within the syntactical and orthography rules, were also periods, sort of a "short stop'? I say syntactical rules, because a full stop implies a different meaning than the short stop, just like short breathing and deep breathing, when instead of writing, we are talking.

Colloquially, though, "period" has come to mean some expression equivalent to "this is final" or "not-open for discussion" or "do what you're told"... But this is colloquial use. Like 'Totally" or "what's up'. Is English in casual context, sort of adding pears and apples, but where everybody involved knows what to expect and do (final purpose of a language=communication, no matter if formal or informal context and, yes, no matter of grammar and style either (informal context) and yes, utterly important for formal context. The importance of... being earnest makes a real difference always; earnest in what? in having the sixth sense: common sense.

I hope I have not bored you with the obvious, and I guess what I say maybe out of the main ideas initially stated here; I try, usually to analyze, to disentangle/sort the mixed ideas behind statements to better get the right (as much as possible) and give the right (as much as possible) of our knowledge, when of knowledge we are disagreeing/agreeing. Thanks for bear with me and ... cheers.


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Puella, it is called a full stop in British English and a period in American English. It's the same thing.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

We call all dots at the ends of sentences, "periods." I've only known British people to call them full stops.


puella 4 years ago

Thanks Mazzy and Pamela,

I'd never get bored of chatting about this subject; I took the liberty to copy-paste some paragraphs from Wikipedia that, in my opinion, offer a brief academic explanation to why the different pronunciations, vocabularies, etc.

Since it's copy-paste, I am using the required quotation marks ;) so here it goes:

"Orthography is an official or correct way to write a particular language. It includes rules of spelling.[1] Orthography may also include rules about punctuation, capitalization, and diacritics (e.g. accents). In English, spelling is a problem for all learners, and is the main isssue in orthography. English orthography, or English spelling, is the way the 26 letters of the alphabet are used to write down the 36 (IPA) sounds of English. The first manuscripts in Old English were written using the Latin alphabet. It had 24 letters.[2]p16 "

"Vowels: No alphabet fits its language exactly. One reason for this is that there are always more sounds than letters. In English there are far more vowel sounds than vowels.[3] The ancient Greeks, who were the first to use letters for vowels, decided to use only a few letters for their vowel sounds. This choice influenced all later alphabets:"

"The importance of the Greeks in the history of alphabetic writing is paramount. All the alphabets in use in Europe today stand in direct or indirect relation to the ancient Greek".[4]

"English would need about 20 vowels to represent the vowel sounds in common use,[2]p237 and some languages do have more letters for vowels. The Georgian language has a total of 41 letters.[5] A shorter alphabet works by using two or three letters for a single sound, or one letter for several sounds.[6]

Dialects: The other reason that alphabets never exactly fit languages is dialect. A spoken language varies from place to place and from time to time. This is very obvious with English, as the pronunciation is so different in different parts of the world. A written language will always be less flexible than its spoken parent. It has a different function, and is produced mechanically. It must serve everyone who speaks the language, and it does this by keeping the spelling similar from one time to another. Therefore, all alphabets have sounds which are difficult to represent with the letters in use. That gives rise to problems of spelling."

"Differences between American English and British English spelling came about mainly as the result of one man. Noah Webster (1758–1843) wrote a Grammar, a Spelling book, and finally an American dictionary of the English language. In the course of this, he proposed a number of simplifications in spelling. In his dictionary, he chose s over c in words like defense, he changed the re to er in words like center, he dropped one of the Ls in traveler. At first he kept the u in words like colour or favour but dropped it in later editions. He also changed tongue to tung: that did not stick. His main reason was to help children learn to read and write. Webster's dictionary contained seventy thousand words, of which twelve thousand had never appeared in a published dictionary before."

"Webster did create a slightly different identity for American English. But, because his efforts left the most glaring problems untackled, his variations make little difference to the way the language is used. An example of the real problems in English orthography is the word ending -ough, which is pronounced several different ways: tough, bough, cough... The root causes of spelling variation are historical, and loan words come with their own (foreign) spelling. Either all French loan words should be left as they were, or they all should be changed. Either we should move wholesale to a more phonetic spelling, or not. This was proposed by many people since Webster, such as George Bernard Shaw, who proposed a new phonetic alphabet for English. In some cases Webster's changes have been widely adopted in Britain: the spelling programme came from the French; US program is clearly simpler, and more consistent with word endings in English. In our modern world, English orthography is still a problem. In some countries (notably, France) a national committee can give advice and direction as to spelling. English has long escaped from national custody."

"Spelling, though important, is less important than how the language is used in practice. The differences between British and American English in use are more to do with idiom, slang and vocabulary than they are to do with spelling. In this respect, spelling in writing or print is a bit like pronunciation in speech. They are the necessary outer clothes, but the inner substance is more important."

So, in brief ;) from what scholars state/post/contribute to Wikipedia in the above material, we can state some conclusions regarding what we have been reading and writing here and as follows:

*written language is less flexible than the spoken version because it has a different function: it is to be 'read' only by those who already 'know and speak' the language (very important indeed, right?, and we all know how 'culture' will influence language and hence....

*a spoken language changes from time to time and from place to place, hence some dialects come to light (mind that it's spoken language, for which spelling plays quite a different role than in written, where it has to be kept 'tidy' and 'in compliance'

*spelling is to writing what pronunciation is to speaking, therefore, efforts towards a 'phonetic spelling' (for example, to pronunciate equally words ending "ough' like cough, tough, bough"would alleviate the spelling nightmare...but, it has not been agreed upon as of yet, since English language still does not have a 'body of experts' to set directions and rules for proper use...like other kanguages do have (like Spanish, French, etc).

*English needs more vowels than 5 to represent all the different sounds in use, and that also generates issues in spelling and pronunciation.

I have been learning English since young age and I have been a teacher for awhile...Regarding the 'issues' of spelling and pronunciation, an immense lot can definitely be gained/advanced/'solved if our children start reading and make of it a joyful sport, instead of dull digital games, tv, and other nullifying modern 'sports' that have us at odds with culture and inner reflections and projecting our very best as humans, speaking sometimes Tarzan-like, or worse, robot-like (without any common sense nor nous or reading the reactions of our surroundings)... I love my generation!!! we did not have tv's but later in life, we did not have nintendos nor other ways to avoid talking about our dreams and hopes and purpose of life...I feel pity for the waste of time and its remedyless nature...Cheers


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

That is fascinating, Puella. I knew we spelled words like "color" differently but didn't know it was the work of Noah Webster.

I've always had trouble with words that start with "e" or "i" for instance "involved" or "encase." Thankfully, Microsoft Word helps keep me from making too many mistakes.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

This was great and the Ellen video had me cackling!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading, Jackie.


puella 4 years ago

Yes, Pamela, I know what you mean about ‘n’s and ‘e’s …I usually have to double check, for correctness, about it too.

And in straight line to this, I remembered once reading about George Orwell and his disliking of the “not un- formation” (used by unwilling-to-commit political speakers, according to Orwell’s opinions) of which Orwell expresses in a footnote; Orwell’s footnote (as read in Kingsley Amis quotes Orwell in his (Amis) book “The King’s English”

“One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.”

Ok ;) I should say that I am not uncheerfully, not uninterested, and not unneeding to smile about this really really very really (I know I know, two adverbs, no commas, not breathing?) real subject.

On a more serious line, Amis also quotes Alexander Pope, about accepting/adopting/adapting to language changes: “Be not the first by whom the new are tried; nor yet the last to lay the old aside,”

To what Amis adds “if you want to be understood as clearly and universally as possible”

If some wise words can be aligned to convey a significant meaning on ‘writing and reading in regards to the proper use of language, Philip Larkin (poet said to have disliked fame and to not having patience to the trappings of the public literary life), so understandably, said “No one will enjoy reading what you have not enjoyed writing.”

Interesting and pretty, and… pretty much about what Pamela brought to light here.

I have to tell you that, when I began reading this hub, I had a different understanding thru my personal experience with the subject and, understanding of the subject as a ‘whole’ as it has been discussed more currently. Reading you here made me go back to my books, somehow ‘asided’ for permanent ‘rush-hours’ in life and priorities ;) (who isn’t?) And enjoy utterly this exercise of life: to express feelings and thoughts through our most beloved language.

I will keep on my renewed interest for a while now ;) and perhaps, if it’s ok with you here, share some of it. Cheers.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

“No one will enjoy reading what you have not enjoyed writing.”

I like that and so true. If we are bored with our own words we can't expect anyone else to enjoy reading them.


puella 4 years ago

I interpret it from another viewpoint: if one lacks 'muse' (and this muse can show up not only in the art work or something 'supra'..., but at any job, chores, etc we can only do them with or without motivation/inspiration...this last I call 'muse' and may all the bunch of Greek muses forgive me ;)

Times have changed and we now engage/address multiple projects/tasks/duties; there is a big difference on the results for the maker and the receivers if there is or there is not that 'muse'....even in simple everyday tasks, like cooking (some call it 'culinary art'...btw).

Remember that song "I can't get no satisfaction" :) it was the sign of the times....

And btw again, I tried to get the definition of "cackling" that Jackie used in her comment, but did not find it, can someone tell me what does "cackling" mean...is it of the UK use? or Aussie? Well thanks in advance...Now I bid farewell, off to experiment and get results in one of my everyday arts ;);) = cooking...Today is pasticcio. Bon apetite, and like Italians say at the table..."buon apetito" and we here, straight to the purpose of the gathering, other than eating, we say "enjoy your meal' ;)


seotechnology profile image

seotechnology 4 years ago from India

This is a great comparison. In India, we are taught British English and when it comes to writing for the Internet, US English is required most of the time. I have learnt several new words today from the hub and comments.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Not sure about "cackling," Puella. Here in America if someone is cackling they are laughing but not sure if that is the same meaning in the UK.

Seotech, that does make it tricky since our spelling and word usage is different than Britain.


puella 4 years ago

Hi seotech ;)

Scholars (SUNY Geneseo’s guidelines) do recommend to follow just a few guidelines when writing in English, regardless:

• Be knowledgeable on the subject and make sure to use citations.

• Use your language instinct (the accumulated wisdom from cultural background and social conventions usually agreed upon by the large society)

• Make sure you mean what you say and say what you mean.

• Conciseness. (I add, please don't follow my example!!).

• Conservative (better be sure than the need to correct).

There is a ‘language instinct’ which makes one think twice when cloudy writing…

Remember that formal writing is more about who will read you and the correct grammar is easier to come by given the resources online and literature… Choosing words is like choosing how to get dressed for a particular event (church, bbq, movies, party, meeting with the boss, the beach, the children, etc); I hope this helps ;)

Thanks Pamela for the definition. I insisted in finding the meaning and gathered several sources which more or less lead to the same definition: yes, cackling means ‘laughing’ everywhere in the English realm across the planet, but it’s just a ‘particular’ kind of laughing ;), Cheers


seotechnology profile image

seotechnology 4 years ago from India

Hi Puella,

Thank you for these valuable suggestions. I am trying to learn writing skills every day. Your suggestions are very true.


HaleyMCruz profile image

HaleyMCruz 4 years ago from California

This hub was really great! I only knew a few of these, but the rest were cool to learn! And your format was great, and easy to understand. Thanks :)


Porshadoxus profile image

Porshadoxus 4 years ago from the straight and narrow way

Linguistically speaking, you have described a difference of dialects, not languages. Perhaps we can agree to say that Americans speak American English, the British speak British English, and the American Southerners speak Redneck English.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

That is true.


Ovi Akpojotor profile image

Ovi Akpojotor 4 years ago

What always annoys me is when people seem to think that the word "English" and "British" are interchangeable. British people speak British English? Really? First of all Welsh people (who are British BTW) speak an entirely different language, not to mention the Scotts who use different dialects also (but notice how they still speak English?). Oh and Americans speak English...note that this is the language we are communicating to each other now. If Americans speak a different language to English why are you Americans able to read what I'm typing. You want to own a language? Then make a new one!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Were working on it, Ovi. We already use many words made up here in America. I suspect over time it will evolve and be completely different.


Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

There are different dialects of English spoken all over the place, Ovi, both in Britain and in the U.S., but in this hub standard British English is being compared to standard American English. I think the title includes a little irony, that stuff the British are supposed to be good at. Of course Americans speak English, but the hub is looking at the differences. Lighten up, gal:)


Porshadoxus profile image

Porshadoxus 4 years ago from the straight and narrow way

Wow, Ovi. Obsess much?

And here I thought that the Welsh and Scots were keen to remain separate as far as culture, and you're saying that they are British and the other. Every Welshman that I encountered during my years in England wasn't too happy to be thought of as British. They preferred to be Welsh. I hear the same is mostly true with the Scots.


David 2 years ago

Amusing page... but the truth is that we Americans speak English. You're just referring to differences in dialect, just as there are different dialects in England - with different words meaning different things. It's still the English language - there isn't such thing as the American language - sorry!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 2 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Many of the words we use in America are made up and not part of English, that's why I said that.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 weeks ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

I found your article both interesting and entertaining. Thanks for writing.

Namaste.

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