English-isms pt. 1

Now that I’ve been here for a little over three months, I’ve learned a few things about how the locals work, play and rules to living like an English person.  Currently I’m working at a small local coffee shop named Coffee & Co. since I’ve received my residential permit and mil spouses are allowed to work on the economy.   I’m still looking for employment elsewhere, but for now I’m perfecting my craft to make cappuccinos and lattes.  Here is a small list of things that I’ve learned to do/ not do:

fanny pack

More words to add to the English vs. American English:

cuppa: cup of tea / coffee

pants vs. trousers:  here in England, pants refer to “underwear” and trousers are what Americans would normally refer to as “pants” or “slacks”

ie)  I’m not wearing pants = I’m not wearing any underwear 😉

fanny:  something to make sure you don’t call your fanny pack is this word which actually refers to a woman’s private parts.  they call these “bum bags” here instead.

torch: flashlight

biscuits vs. cookies: whether you have these with tea or with milk and chocolate chips, cookies are referred to here as “biscuits”

smarties: M&M candies, not our American powdery candies

vanilla pods vs. beans: what Americans usually call vanilla bean is actually flavored vanilla pod ice cream.

veggies: courgettes are cucumbers and aubergines are eggplants

lift: elevator

toilet vs. bathroom: if you’re looking for a place to tinkle in a restaurant, make sure to ask if they have a public bathroom or wash closet.

hob: stove

carriageway vs. motorway: carriageways refer to non-local roads that Americans might call highways, and can be single (one lane) or dual (two lane) roads.  Motorways are designated with a letter M before the road number and are usually 3-4 lanes across on one side of traffic.

layby: shoulder on a road

Short stay vs. long stay: when trying to find a car park or public parking lot around here, make sure you know how long you are going to stay in one town.  Short stay lots are usually for 2 hours maximum and long stay can be 3 or more hours.  There are some odd closing hours, however, depending on the town, which could mean that your car could get locked into a parking lot so beware!

Eating in vs. take away: typically English restaurants don’t do doggy bags or have containers for leftovers so make sure that you can finish most of what is on your plate.  If you do ask to take something home, be sure they offer that service for customers. If not, you might have to take your leftover food in an unusually large container or a plastic bag.

Tip waitresses extra: when dining out taxes and what not are included into the prices for the food because waiters and waitresses are paid on a salary, so there’s no need to leave a tip behind.  If you feel like they were exceptional in service, you can leave a few pounds behind but it isn’t typical to add 15-20% on top of your bill for the people waiting on your table.

Bookings/ call ahead: if you’re planning on going out in town for dinner on Friday or Saturday night, it would be wise to make sure you call ahead for a booking or a table reservation.  Restaurants usually have limited spaces available and calling ahead insures that you won’t have to wait long to get seated.

Closing times for restaurants: similar to my experiences in Spain, restaurants and occasionally stores or boutiques will close during the afternoon hours 2-5pm to allow waiters/ chefs or workers a time for break when there is usually a lull time for customers.   Depending on the location, places will open up again for dinner or will be open much later into the night.



More observations to come in a later post.

-the tan bunny ❤


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