You Say Potato…..

It has come to my attention that us Brits have a totally different turn of phrase to people in the rest of the world in many occasions, so I have decided to compile a page completely to my friends from across the sea. If there is anything I have said that you don’t understand, please comment and I will add it to the ever growing list of phrases. Likewise if one of you says something that is a bit out of the ordinary to me or I just find downright strange, it too will be added.
Soon you’ll all speaka my lingo!!

Skint (UK term) to have no money in ones wallet, bank account or the shoe box under ones bed.

Brew (UK term) slang for a cup of tea. Also called cuppa.

Cling film (UK term) in America my cousins call the annoying plastic wrap ‘Suran Wrap’. Why, I dont know.

Cilantro (US term) we call it coriander. Makes anything taste funny.

Courgette (UK term) means zucchini apparently. And in the US they put it in cakes?! The mind boggles.

Scouser (UK term) a native of Liverpool.

Geordie (UK term) a native of Newcastle.

Knickers (UK term) underwear, pants etc. What you are wearing should you not be going commando.

Going Commando – is this international? Not wearing any knickers.

Pants (US term) trousers. Pants in the UK means undies.

23 Responses to “You Say Potato…..”

  1. Tooty Nolan September 2, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    I write in totally English colloquial – but only North Americans buy my books. How do they undertstand me? Duh? Glad they do though.

  2. Alex M September 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    One to watch out for is US “Could care less” for “Couldn’t care less”…totally threw me the first time I heard it!

    • reppelmann September 9, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      “Could care less” absolutely drives me insane (I live in New York). There are a billion things i could care less about; only a few I couldn’t care less about. Dear Americans: They aren’t interchangeable!!

    • releaf1954 September 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      This drives me crazy, too — and I’m American. It’s just a stupid mistake and I hate that it’s become so common that other English-speaking people think it’s an Americanism. Some of us know better!

  3. Christie Nix September 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    “Cling Film”….I like the Brits term better! Worst smell (in my opinion) cling film in the microwave…YUCK!

    Enjoying your blog! Great laughs 🙂


  4. paintmepicasso September 15, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    As far as the zucchini (or courgette) cake goes – very tasty, not dissimilar to putting carrots in cake! Watch this space for a recipe soon! (besides, who doesn’t love getting of their 5-a-day by eating cake?!)

    • tinkerbelle86 September 15, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      i think i might try it. my housemates keep buying courgettes and letting them rot in the cupboard. always seems like a good ides at the time…..

      • claire September 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

        Is cupboard the same thing as refrigerator? Because if not, you may have found your problem.

  5. truelibertarian September 27, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Zucchini… sorry, “courgette” (I’m sorry, but something similar to a cucumber doesn’t deserve a fancy French sounding name) cake/muffins/bread is actually delicious. It’s mainly for texture and health, because it doesn’t have much of a taste. Especially when you add lots of sugar and cream cheese frosting (but don’t worry, there’s zucchini in it, so it’s healthy).

  6. Slowvelder October 26, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    In South Africa we call corgettes/zucchini “baby marrows”

  7. danthonia October 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Brilliant. You make my life seem so much better (:-p) but seriously this is funny stuff.

  8. lowercase living October 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    I have learned lots from this! I did not know “pants” were undies in the UK. Very interesting! Also, I call it Saran Wrap because that is a common brand of it here ( I am also guilty of calling “Ramen Noodles” ( “Top Ramen” because that’s the kind my mom would buy when I was a kid (

    All the little differences are so funny. =)

  9. Jacob Spire November 2, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    I’ve had some funny incidents with you Brits…
    Such as the time when I was told the my clothing looked smart.
    “Yeah,” I agreed, “they cover the exact right places, and keep me warm. And they’ve got these holes so I can stick my limbs through them. That’s pretty smart of them.”

  10. thedairymaid November 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for checking out my blog and thought I would exchange the favor. Your posts are very entertaining! I liked “You Say Potato…” What people say in different countries has always been very interesting to me. =)

  11. alisonamazed November 8, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    Saran Wrap – er not Suran Wrap – is brand name for plastic film. Like Kleenex is for what the Brits call tissues. 🙂

  12. SighYuki November 11, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Hahaha reading all this reminds me of the same sort of differences that I discovered between the UK, US, and Aus. With Australia, we took some things from US, some from UK, and then made up some things on our own…

    “Wtf do you mean by ‘lolly’?” – asked by both a UK and US friend at the same time.

    Sometimes we hybrid names too, seemingly. e.g. Cling wrap 🙂

    And sometimes, we use *everything* to describe something, especially potentially vulgar things. I dunno if this is Aussie specific but damn I have heard so many words that mean ‘toilet’ in my lifetime it’s crazy (and not all of them i’m sure of how to type, haha).

  13. louisesor November 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Hi! Thanks for ‘liking’ my story Paradise ll. It brought me to your wonderful and most pleasant blog. : )))

  14. inherchucks November 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Thanks for liking my post. I am happy it gave me an introduction to your blog. I love this page. We have some good friends who just moved back to the UK from the states. We would always sit around and laugh at the differences in names of things…

    When we were helping them pack they asked us to get the “bin liners”…we call them trash bags here in the states. I love how my girlfriend would always refer to her son’s diaper as a “nappy”. I had heard of the coriander one because my mom lives in Ireland and that is what they call it there as well.

    This page definitely had me laughing…thanks for sharing!

  15. inherchucks November 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    ps: speaking of courgette…here is a recipe for sweet zucchini cupcakes…I promise it don’t disappoint…

  16. tashsn November 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    How thoughtful! There are many times when people just look at me questioningly when I say certain things.. British english is different from the other types of English and its really hard to explain to friends certain things. They’d just enjoy ignoring the words after a while, and i have to sit and think of an alternative since my return from Oxford. Tee hee! This is very thoughtful though 🙂

  17. singingbones February 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Just to say that I agree with everybody else, the differences are quite funny. I am American living in Denmark, and the similiarities / differences between Danish and English are also sometimes quite amusing. Glad to find your blog!

  18. NobblySan March 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    Zucchini is an Italian film director isn’t he? Whereas courgette is an old French word meaning ‘one who kneels and peers under the door in the gents bogs’.

    English English and all its fantastic colloquialisms (try saying or typing that after a couple of pints!) is far superior to the Yanks’ version. Only the Aussies come close with some of their terms.

  19. mariner2mother July 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I love this section! I’m from the US, but have gotten to spend a little bit of time in several countries around the globe when I was working on ships. Another one for you is what you call chips (ie. fish and chips) are what we call french fries. Why they are french, I have no idea.

    Little tidbit about me: my grandfather was born in Newcastle, back in the late 1800’s, and was brought over to the US as a young teenager. And these days, my younger brother with his family, lives about an hour outside of London.

Speak Your Mind.... Laughter is Catching!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: