8/14/09

Causing confusion everywhere I go!

I've had one of those days today, where it seemed like I was speaking in a foreign language all day!!

Incident #1 - I tell the Superintendant's Secretary that "I'm missing some of my stationery" and she says she'll "check on it for me". When I call her back later to tell her I have found it, she tells me she "has a box out to send me". So I say "no you're okay I have found all the things I was missing". Her response "Sarah, what do you mean by stationery"? Me "I mean office supplies"! Laughing she says "well I was sending you a box of letter headed paper, as that's stationary to us"! We got a good laugh out of it anyway.

Incident #2 - Chatting with 3 colleagues after work, I asked one of them if she was "taking the p"? They all start giggling and two of them say "what did you say, is she taking a pee"? Whilst the one I was talking to says "Noooo, how can I be taking a pee sitting here"! So I say "nooo, I mean are you taking the Mickey"? More blank expressions and giggles, they think I mean something to do with drugs now! I then struggle to explain what I mean, as I only ever say "take the p" or "take the Mickey" and suddenly find myself stumped to explain them! Finally I say "I mean are you kind of being 'funny' in a sarcastic way" the best I could come up with. When I left though they were still laughing about "are you taking the p" and still didn't seem to quite get why we say that.

Incident #3 - with the Hubster of all people, who it appears I can still catch out after years together! I call to him "Something's really honking in the garage"? The next thing I know I hear his Pickup horn honking!! So I look into where he is and see him pressing his remote and exclaiming "I must have hit this when I was taking my pants off"! I burst out laughing and say "nooo, I mean't really honking as in really smelling, not your Pickup horn"! Apparently he has never heard me use this before.

I think this was maybe a record day of confusion for me!

22 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Well Sarah, maybe someday you'll learn to speak English. I mean American. LOL! Just kidding. And maybe you got things straightened out, except for the p.
Have a good weekend.

gigihawaii said...

Funny! And, yet, you were speaking ENGLISH like the rest of those Okies.

...mmm... said...

hee. love those.

Just checking in on your total number of cuppas thus far. 277? Ok, I might win yet! :)

MikeH said...

Funny! I love it when our two languages collide. And "Taking the P" is a really difficult one to explain as there is no exact US equivalent.

Kay said...

Aha! So that's why you've got the Brit Word of the Day.

I should start a Pidgin English Word of the Day so everybody can learn Hawaiian pidgin.

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh Sarah, that is so funny. You can brighten a day I can tell you. Have a great weekend! Carla

Sandi McBride said...

And they were all new to me, Sarah...even after the few years we lived in England, I'd never heard those! Thanks for the English lesson!
Sandi

Storyheart said...

I have it all the time myself. The number of times I've sat in meeting and said something like. "They didn't say a dickie bird" and got looks like I had 3 heads.

I write about that part most Sundays in my UK blog, check it out if you get the time..

Daren't go into Cockney Rhyming slang lol

Barry

CheamCommoner said...

Whenever i'm with my friends in the USA i try to find a new word or phrase to stump them.. My next one is going to be Gubbins.. as in "would you look at the gubbins in that". Thing is... how do begin to explain what it means ?

Sherri said...

Sarah, you had me giggling with your story! We had a friend from Ireland over and we sent to a dance. The music was loud and I asked Walter if he drives. He looked at me rather strangely and said yes do you. I said yes silly how do you think we got here. He looked at me rather strangely again and said we drove here. I asked him what he thought I said, he repeated it with his Irish brougue and he thought I asked if he jived (dancing). I was cracking up and so was he when he found out I said driving! He later told me that with my accent he thought I said jiving!! My accent mind you!!

Sherri said...

That should be went to a dance not sent to a dance! Can't type today!!

Jo, a retired teacher said...

I'd say these are further examples of how here in the US we speak American--only somewhat related to English.

Iota said...

What do Americans say for 'taking the Mickey'? I'd be interested to know.

Just as well you didn't do that ha-ha English ting of saying 'extracting the Michael'.

Strange Mamma said...

Too funny. I haven't heard those yet, either. I'm taking a cue from you and going to be doing a semi-regular post called "A little Brit different" where I mention all the things that I run into that I don't understand or that are totally unexpected and different. I'd like to link back to you as being the inspiration.

Lisa E said...

It goes both ways! One night, we went out with a friend and her English husband (who'd only been stateside for a matter of weeks). As we walked down the street, he suddenly got a look of total shock followed immediately by a huge grin. When we asked him what was so funny, he pointed to the sign for the Aerosoles shoe store. He admitted, "I thought it said 'arseholes'."

Pam said...

Oh too funny! Some of those are just too hard to explain. But I haven't heard the stationery term before used for office supplies! Stationery is specifically letter-writing paper! As you know now!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I saw where you are 80% evil, now I believe it.

I remember my one and only trip to Great Britain. We landed at the airport and a man come on to explain customs procedures. I panicked. I thought Britain and the US shared a common language. I had no clue what he was saying.

Oz Girl said...

Oh those are all too funny! Esp the one with your co-workers. :)

Pat said...

Has anyone been able to trace back to what the "p" originally stood for?

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Pat - no tracing required, it stands for piss. in fact some just say "are you taking the piss", which confused my colleagues totally!

Babooshka said...

The minefield of the English language. the one that always gets me is, and if you can do this on your Brit word that would be a scream is fanny pack.

tracy said...

Speaking of office supplies, you should have seen the looks I got when I asked for a tablet at work (I'm an American expat in the UK). Where I come from, a tablet is a pad of paper. The response I got from my work colleagues (aside from the puzzled looks) was, "what, like a valium?"