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Two Countries Separated By A Single Language - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Something as simple as asking for “loo” in America is not as easy as it sounds. For instance, if you do get “caught short” you will need to ask for the “Restrooms” or the “Bathroom” - NEVER the toilets, that is considered far too vulgar. You walk on the “Sidewalk” not the pavement when you are out for a stroll. If you have your baby with you, you will be pushing a stroller not a buggy and when you get home you will put the baby in a crib, not a cot - that is a camp bed. If you wish to throw away some rubbish you need a garbage can or a trash can, not a wastepaper bin or a dustbin.

If you have hired a car, the boot is the “Trunk”, the bonnet is the “Hood”, the bumper is the “Fender” and if you ask for a manual they will think you want an instruction book for the car, you actually need a “Stick Shift”. When you fill up you use “Gas” not petrol.

In a restaurant there are many differences: “broiled” means grilled and a fillet steak is pronounced “fillay”. If you ask for a “Jacket Potato” you will get a very blank look, they have never heard a “Baked Potato” called a “Jacket”. Chips are crisps so you need to ask for “fries”. Crips are “Potato Chips” a sandwich is anything served in a burger bun, a “Garden Salad” is a mixed salad and at the end of the meal you ask for the “Check” not the bill. (Oh, and don’t forget, you may need the “restroom”. Don’t ask for the “Ladies” or they may direct you to the nearest hen party table)!

Then out shopping, if you want cotton wool you will have to ask for “Cotton” and if you want cotton - ask for “thread”. If a gentleman wants to buy a vest, they will sell him a waistcoat, if he asks for “pants” he will get shown trousers. American men wear t-shirts and underpants. If you ladies would like some nice new underwear or lingerie you will have to look for the “Intimates” department (pronounced innermuts). To go to another floor you cannot use a lift, you need an elevator.

I hope I have given you some idea of the dangers that await the unwary English traveller when “Two countries are separated by a single language”

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Page added on: 7 November 2015
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