Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fanny pack? Bum bag?

Let's call the whole thing off!

I've been living in LDN now for eight months and I'm no closer to thoroughly understanding what the English say to me than when I landed.  I think it all comes down to word choice.  We say 'wrench', they say 'spanner', and that really puts a spanner into the mix, as some might say.  I feel like I've filled up my Brit Vocab Bag reasonably well and I now say with confidence things like, 'you could do...' as a response to many questions directed at me, and 'go on then' when offered another biscuit/pour of wine/most things edible.

I'm fairly sure that I haven't fucked it all up and said, 'thanks for the ride' when stepping out of someone's car, and, if I did, you know I didn't mean it that way.  Speaking of all things sexual, I may have inadvertently referred to the big, refillable jug at Whole Foods as a 'growler'.  Yes, I did actually know that that word is slang for vagina here in the UK, but, in the moment of my sampling good beer (which may or may not be synonymous with 'real ale'), forgot and said it.  The beer dude at Whole Foods kept a straight face.  As well he should have cuz if he's such an authority on beer that he gets to wear the badge and pour the brews, then, well, he should just know that a big-ass jug with a thumb-hold is a growler in No. America.

Most challenges I usually deal with well even if they do take more time to figure out than normal.  Just the other day, some woman of indeterminate middle-age came into the shop where I work and asked if I had an 'egg lifter'.  Mind you, I visualised some tong-like device one might use to pull a boiled egg out of a pot, so I asked her if she were needing something for boiled eggs.  She looked at me as if I were speaking Martian, yet I wasn't the one who'd just asked for an 'egg lifter'.  She tried again while I asked her pointed questions as to how the eggs in question where to be prepared.  'I'm looking for something for fried eggs, you know.'  Oh, I thought, you need a spatula!  I ventured forth with something not terribly crushing that highlighted my being from somewhere else, so that she shouldn't think that asking for a 'lifter' was completely lame even though it was.

Eight months have gone in a second and I'm about to celebrate my first Christmas in England.  What I need to get straight is understanding the differences between Christmas Cake and Christmas Pudding, and why, in general, pudding here isn't like this:

I've eaten (see link above) already more than anyone's reasonable share of Xmas Cake and won't need to refill until 2014.  And, to use the British expression, if I'm honest, if the pudding here is anything like the cake, then I'll pass, thanks very much.


  1. OoOoOo that would be hard to do, I'd mess it up all the time. Hells I live (born and raised) in No America and still eff up all the time. I love instant pudding, so yummy, I hate the kind you have to cook, it gets that weird film on it. YUCK!

  2. @Doria: we share a language, but not always how we use said language. It's so wacky!
    "Pudding" here is, usually, synonymous with the word "dessert". I had a waitress ask me once if I were ready for pudding. It sounded so weird. :D

  3. Yule tide learning:
    a Christmas 'hamper' is not something to put clothes into.
    'The proof is in the pudding' is an expression that finally makes sense to me.

  4. Drat! I think that the 'fat, hairy bikers' of telly fame also say 'lifter' when referring to a 'turner' or 'spatula'.


A piece of your mind here: