I can’t help but mumble “Sorry” when I’m inconveniencing someone in any way, say, by entering their peripheral view at the grocery store. If you hold the door for me, I’ll probably say “sorry” and “thank you.” It became such a habit, uttering “sorry” upon any human contact, after three years in England. At least the east of England was filled with deferentially polite people who offered up a “sorry” for such offenses as selecting an item from a shelf next to where you are looking to see if the bread expires tomorrow. The nerve.

My Americanized version is said with a smile. It most certainly makes me look like a dope.

“Lovely” is another word I’ve brought home. I reserve it for legit complimentary purposes, i.e. “That sunset is lovely!” (because it IS.) I do not miss it as a stand in for “thank you,” as is the case when you hand a cashier any amount of money to pay. A £20 note for a £2 LEGO figurine? “Lovely.” Exact change? “Lovely.” Always with the same tone, mind you.

My Americanized version is said with an inflection that only us emotionally reckless Yanks can muster.

“Bits.” Walden likes to point out this bit or that. He also doesn’t like for us to get “cross.” His trash goes into a “bin.”

Alas, he does not call me “Mummy.”

From time to time I ask myself if I’m driving on the right side of the road, as in the RIGHT side, which is the correct side here. I always am when I do.

It won’t be long before our time in England becomes simply a place in the photo books that I’m going to make one day. The morning tea habit may stick, but I have a feeling the lingo will be gone in no time. That may just be the result of generally having no idea what they were saying most of the time anyway.

4 thoughts on “Englishican

  1. Yes! So many brilliant phrases I want to keep up with saying. Poor kids, though, mine had to explain to she wanted a turn after asking politely to have a go at the swing…grrrrr American playground etiquette

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