It used to be when I lived in the UK, the Americanisms in language used to drive me insane. I’d be a total English pedant. I’d go through work documents labouriously and eradicate Zs, or Zees as they say over here (yes, i’m now in the US – karma for being the Zee Eradicator I expect).

So, having started to get used to living in the US, I’ve noticed Americanisms are not only confined to language. There is a great deal of other stuff different over here. That’s something I overlooked massively when moving. You think English-speaking country to English-speaking country. Not much different, right? Wrong. It’s a whole lot different. And to be honest, it’s been quite tough to settle in. A bit of a mind f***. But that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

Some observations so far…

“First floor” – If you enter a building here in the US at ground level, you’re actually on the first floor. In the UK, you’d have to go up a floor from this to be on the first floor. It’s confusing for us Brits. Maybe that’s why I’ve spent so much time visiting the basement here…

Beetroot. This has been a killer for me. I LOVE beetroot. Cooked beetroot. It’s my breakfast staple (yeah, yeah, weird I know) or it was until I got here. My quest for the holy frail of beetroot kept me going for a whole six weeks… checking each grocery store… multiple times.. (yawn)…And then.. Trader Joes came to the rescue 🙂

“Good night” – You pack up to leave work for the day. As you go, you hear calls of “Good night”. Thats a little freaky to a Brit. We would say “see you tomorrow” or “enjoy your evening”. Good night is reserved for when you’re going to bed.. it means “sleep well” – a bit too familiar when you’re leaving the office. So no need to freak us out!

Grocery stores (or supermarkets as we know them in the UK)… it’s great, they pack the shopping for you! Good in some shops (like Trader Joes of course) and some badly (Target – they think each item should have its own bag – the good side of that is that at least they don’t charge you 5p per bag like in the UK, you’d be skint after a couple of shopping trips!

There’s lots more… bubble bath – can’t find any, unless body wash is the same thing?, everyone seems to be related back in their past to a Scottish person, self-flushing toilets, “broil” setting on the cooker – what IS that?, being able to turn right on a red light, and don’t even get me started on clothes sizes and shoe sizes, or going to a grocery store and not recognising any brand names, or American TV…… So no, it’s not the same, not even close. It was strangely different for a while and very unsettling (again, that’s another story in itself) but it’s feeling kinda cool now. Dude.

2 thoughts on “Americanisms…..

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  1. Tip from the top. If you have a craving for something other than ketchup or mayonnaise to put on your chips (fries) No. 1 Steak sauce is your friend. It’s basically Daddies broon sauce with a different label, and is freely available. Don’t get me started on that stuff Americans call cheese, though! 🙂


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