Being Married to an Englishman

Picture this. He's from England where it's cold and wet, lush and green, and everything you want is within walking distance. Then he met me. I live in Texas, where everything is hot and dry, brown and browner and nothing is within walking distance.

For the almost five years we were together, every day a new word or phrase would pop up in conversation and we would spend at least half an hour going over why we call something what we do. It usually ended with him trying to remind me that he is English, therefore he must be correct. I jokingly reminded him that is one of the many reasons we left England to come to America.

I'm going to share with you a few of the things we've laughed about over the years. I hope you enjoy them.

Pooooooooor armadillo
Pooooooooor armadillo

Armadillos

Armadillos are funny looking creatures even to those of us who have been around them all of our life. But, to someone who hasn't seen them before they can seem like very big rats. Of course, it took months before he saw his first LIVE one. Most of them you see are dead in the middle of the road. What most people don't realize is that armadillos can actually jump incredible heights and that it's not actually the wheels of a passing vehicle that kill them. It's usually because they have jumped from fright and managed to hit other parts of the underside of a moving vehicle. Poor ‘dillos.

That's just about life-size to the one we had
That's just about life-size to the one we had

Spiders

Spiders are something the English do not see much of either. I have to admit, I didn't know we had so many varieties until I had to start paying attention to them more. I can tell you that he's not a big fan of our wolf spider. The one pictured here is pretty much life-sized to the one he first saw. We sprayed him with insect spray and he shriveled up into a tight ball.

I have written a separate hub about the Brown Recluse Spider that is often seen in Texas. Click here to read it.

Pepe......isn't he cute?
Pepe......isn't he cute?

Skunks

He had never seen a skunk in the UK, but you can find reports of them now being spotted in the UK. The first time he smelled one he instantly knew what it must be. A particularly strong one almost made him vomit. He's pretty certain he'd die if he should ever get actually sprayed by one. Like the armadillo, these are usually spotted dead in the middle of the roadway.

One observation he made was that they smell similar to strawberries. Before you disagree, think of strawberries the next time you smell a skunk and see if you don't see the similarity.

Words We Pronouce Differently

There are so many words we pronounce differently, such aluminum, vitamins, and herbs. Of course, as a Texan, I have a twang to certain words that make him laugh. Such as "vehicle", "fourteen", and "dang it". His accent makes any word with a short "a" sound different such as "plant". My "plant" is like "ant", where his plant is like ‘plont'.

Funny Phrases

I now know words and phrases I've never known, or needed to know, such as "bloody hell", "the dog's bollocks", "sussed out" and "skive". He now knows words like "fixin' to", "y'all" and "get 'er done".


Like walking in the rain, and the snow......
Like walking in the rain, and the snow......

Music Differences

Talking about music and bands is interesting even though we grew up in the same timeframe. Bands that were huge in the UK were often virtually unheard of here. At the same time, bands that were huge here he hadn't even heard of. We made it a point one night to look up some songs to see how they ranked in the charts in the U.S. and England and the difference was amazing.  Try some of your favorites and you'll see what I mean.

Look familiar?
Look familiar?

Guessing Where He's From Game

If anyone tries to guess where his accent is from, 75% of them guess that he's Australian. When they ask where in Australia is he from he replies, "A little island off the coast, called England". One lady guessed Germany?!

At Gatesville Drive-In
At Gatesville Drive-In

Drive-In Movies

He'd never been to a drive-in movie. There are still a few around. We went to the one in Gatesville, Texas. We saw The SImpsons Movie.

Yup....that's the snake on my porch...shortly before we killed him.
Yup....that's the snake on my porch...shortly before we killed him.

Cotton Fields, Long Horn Cattle, Roadrunners, and a Chicken Snake

He'd never seen a field of cotton, long-horn cattle, a roadrunner, or a chicken snake. He has now!

This lovely specimen of a snake decided to pay us a visit on Father's Day 2007. He had discovered some baby birds in the eaves of our porch that he thought would make a good snack. He did manage to get 2 of the 4 of them before we killed him.

Blinking Traffic Lights

He's adjusted to driving on the right side of the road much better than I would ever adjust to driving on the left side. The only things that threw him off when he first arrived here where flashing red lights and flashing yellow lights. They don't have those. We also don't light up intersections and curves in the roadways as well as they do.

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Comments 42 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

What an education for you both. May you have many more years of discovery.... separated by a common language.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks Rochelle! It doesn't get any better than this! Being with him is quite educational. Doesn't hurt that he's also handsome, witty, charming, and has an accent to die for!


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Sounds like a match!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"bloody hell", "bollocks", "sussed out" and "skive" - all essential words, don't know how you managed!

One of the things I like about the UK is the lack of snakes, nasty spiders, and smelly skunks (-: Armadillos look amazing, though!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

After being around my hubby for a couple of years now, I do find myself using more and more of his words and he's using more and more of mine. He doesn't refer to the place where we fuel the car as the Petrol Station or Garage anymore. He calls them gas stations and convenience stores like we do. "Sussed out" and "fancy/fancied" have entered into my vocabulary more.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

mutual adaptation, sounds great!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my hubs, LondonGirl !


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

KCC, I'm from a couple states north of you and *I* consider Texas "a whole 'nother country" (which is why I love to go there!). What a culture shock it must've been for your husband! But an Englishman at a drive-in movie cracks me up for some reason...maybe payback for the driving on the left thing! lol!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

What do you mean? He's STILL in shock! LOL He's been here 2 years the first of April and he still can't get over the differences. It's fun though! Never a dull moment. The weather freaks him out though. We had ice in the 20s just a couple of mornings ago and today we were up in the 70s.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Yes, that'd be hard to take.  Going from January in England to July in England in 2 days!  My sympathies - ha ha.  Wed morning it was ZERO (but no ice), today it'll be 60+.  We call that a normal winter in Kansas.  Bundle up one day, break out the BBQ the next.  ;)

Is he used to the one-finger farmer wave yet? (No, not *that* finger.)

btw, one set of however-many-great-grandparents were from your husband's stomping grounds, he from Bristol, she from Bedminster.  His family built and outfitted ships, no clue what hers did - have never located her maiden name. 


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I don't blame the poor chap, temperatures tend not to vary very much over a day, here!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LondonGirl: It's funny how my husband used to tell me that you guys in England have a saying "If you don't like the weather, just wait 10 minutes and it'll change". I told him we have that saying as well. I think he now realizes that that saying better suits OUR weather shift. We literally shift 40-50 degrees in 24 hours. He's starting to get climatized here. He now is beginning to feel cold when we do. Last year he still felt it was "a summer's day in Cornwall" as he puts it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Jama: He's gotten used to one-finger waves ok....but he hasn't gotten used to store clerks saying "how are you?" the moment he walks through their front door. He finds that intrusive. LOL Just good ol' southern hospitality I say.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

It works the other way, too. I'd gotten used to Brits being "reserved". On the Isle of Wight, I'd just sat down on a local bus when an older lady in the seat ahead of me turned around and asked "Where are you from, dear?". Oddly, I had the same reaction as your husband to store clerks saying "how are you?". But then IoW is on the south coast, so after I got over the shock, I found Brit "southern hospitality" delightful.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I think the most fun we had with that was when I took my teenage daughter to England and she and I would be talking at the cash register. My daughter is a cute girl even with her mouth shut, but once those English lads heard her Texas twang, they immediately asked where we were from. She was thirteen at the time and wasn't quite as interested in the boys as she is now. :)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

"He's starting to get climatized here. He now is beginning to feel cold when we do. Last year he still felt it was "a summer's day in Cornwall" as he puts it."

My other half, having been born and brought up in Israel, still recoils in horror at the idea of swimming in the sea in England without a wetsuit on.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I can imagine!  We don't go swimming AT ALL unless it's over 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside.  I realize some people would never get to swim if they waited for that, but I personally get chilled too easily for anything less.  Give me hot, hot, weather over cold ANY day!   When my husband tells me how excited they got when it was 70 degrees, I shudder.  I'd still want a sweater.  

We only have four indoor pools within a reasonable driving distance from us.  When I say reasonable, the shortest distance is about 25 miles one way.  These aren't public pools either.  These are membership clubs where you have to pay a monthly membership fee.  My husband has not been happy with that at all.  He used to be an avid swimmer and that has contributed to his weight-gain here.


seachangeqld profile image

seachangeqld 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

My husband is a POM too. He is from Manchester - when I first met him I could only understand about 50% of what he was saying as he had a very strong accent, having only been in OZ for 18 mnths. I must say, I said yes to a few things I should have been saying no too! We have been together for 15 years now and to me he sounds normal, but occaisionaly I have to translate for my friends. The thing I like best about having an English husband over an Aussie is his sense of humour - he is very funny.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I found that I'm starting to think my husband sounds 'normal' too! It has taken time though. He still trips me up if he gets to talking too fast. See, we Texans like to...talk....real....slow.....LOL

My husband is a hoot too. We're lucky gals.


Nikki P. profile image

Nikki P. 7 years ago from Oregon

I have been marriend for almost 6 months, and I have known my husband for about 3 years. We were both born in the same place and we STILL always learn something new about eachother, just in the differences of how we were reaised. I can't even imagine being from a completely different country!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for commenting Nikki. You're so right, it's sometimes a challenge when two people have different backgrounds but it does add another dimension when we come from different countries. I think it would be even harder if we spoke a different native language.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

My other half is both - born and brought up in Israel, moved to the UK as a child, and educated here.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Should make for interesting times as well, LondonGirl.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Good ones, too!


Nikki P. profile image

Nikki P. 7 years ago from Oregon

Speaking a different language would be crazy. My step dad was born and raised in Pakistan and he spoke broken english when he moved here. It was kind of like trying to understand a toddler when they are first learning to speak. Hahaha.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....I hadn't thought about it that way Nikki. I know from our experience with all the paperwork we had to go through for him to come to America, it would have been a nightmare for anyone who had trouble with English. The forms and processes are so confusing and we got caught up in a fee change in the middle of ours. They raised their fee for this particular set of documents from $395 to $1010.


Nikki P. profile image

Nikki P. 7 years ago from Oregon

Oh for sure. The fees and time it took to get him here was crazy. I helped my Mom out researching the most effective, and quickest ways to get him to the country. All in all I think it only took about 5-6 months. Which is awesome when you are coming from the middle east. Somehow I missed the part of this hub about the snake! That's a pretty good sized snake! My husband and I own snakes, but we don't have any cook species like that running around here in Oregon. Mostly just Gardener snakes and gofer snakes. If you go up in the mountains there are some rattle snakes too. We don't mess with them though.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Mr. Snake still resides in the bottom of my freezer.  LOL  He's a constant reminder.


Intuitive Advisor 7 years ago

LOL what a small world. I just became your fan and vice versa--and then I find you are married to an englishman too! Me too!! (we just had our five year anniversary.) I used to occasionally joke that it was more like being married to someone from another planet than another country, LOL. but I LOVE me some brits and I got so, so lucky. The immigration thing, I thought, was a total nightmare. We haven't been like "give us your tired, huddled masses" for ages.... if indeed we ever were... anyway, nice hub.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

It is most certainly a small world! You are right, it really is like being married to someone from another planet. And yes, the immigration thing was a huge nightmare. We're coming up on our second anniversary. Thanks for stopping by.


goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 7 years ago from Free and running....

I hate snakes, I really do. I'm always worried about them when I go camping.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I don't like them either, GT!


MindField profile image

MindField 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the armadillo it could be done. (I just read that somewhere and felt impelled to share - it's probably a really old joke in Texas!)


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL MindField! I had not heard that one! The chicken certainly could teach the 'dillo a thing or two! I have seen many a chicken on the side of the road, but never in the middle of the road. Can't say that about the 'dillo. Thanks for stopping by!


Oona Seckar profile image

Oona Seckar 6 years ago

A guy being funny in England is like mating plumage for other species. You might have trouble finding a lady friend without it, so it gets honed and worked on as a matter of pride.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

I think you're right, Oona. Thanks for stopping by.


thisisoli profile image

thisisoli 6 years ago from Austin, Texas (From York, England!)

Hehe me and Jade have encountered a fair few of these too!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL...I bet you have, Oli! Thanks for stopping by!


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Being from the UK and living in the USA this made me laugh! thanks.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 5 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL....glad you enjoyed it Gypsy Willow! :)


The Blagsmith profile image

The Blagsmith 5 years ago from Britain

Hi KCC,

I am an Englishman and I pronounce 'plant' so it rhymes with 'ant'. However, I come from up North where The Beatles came from. This is quite different, the closest comparison I can give to how we speak is if you watch the 51st state: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0227984/.

I suspect that your husband comes from down South of England. Anyway I have decided to include your link in my Obanagamori article on Blogger - http://theblagsmith.blogspot.com/ under the word 'Englishman'.

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it.


Debbie 4 years ago

I got a laugh out of your post about living with an Englishman and it reminded me a lot about my husband. He is from Colombia, but was married to an Irish woman for 35 years, and they lived in England early in their marriage. He is a beautiful mix of Latin and English/Irish. He drinks hot tea several times a day and has a very sexy Latin accent with his British English.

We have the same hilarious moments related to language and vocabulary. One day we were in the grocery store and I had written "Snow peas" on the shopping list. He took the list and took off to find some of the items. He came back later to ask me why I wanted to buy "Snoopys". I forgot about the snow peas and we spent 20 minutes in Walmart, me trying to figure out what he meant by "snoopys" and he trying to figure out what it was I wanted to buy.

Many such moments!

Thanks!

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