British English is not American English

March 15, 2015 § 1 Comment

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I’ve spent enough time in England before my recent move to know that there are a lot of words and phrases used by the English that truly puzzle Americans. While not extreme, there is a language barrier to be overcome here.

As such, I’m going to endeavor to post a new phrase or word I learn each day. It certainly makes for good conversation with strangers. Everywhere but the Tube, of course. Some expressions will be more intuitive than others. For instance, when Americans use the word “braces,” they refer to devices used to straighten teeth. In England, this word refers to what Americans would call suspenders.

Already in my first 48 hours, I’ve heard a certain odd phrase used several times to describe being in London.

The Big Smoke.

This is a phrase that refers to any big city, though especially London. Its origins can be, apparently, dated to the pollution that engulfed London in the 1950s and 1960s.

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