This is another post in an occasional series from my dear Aunt Doris, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 94.
When I came to this country I said to myself, “At least I don’t have to learn another language!”
Well, yes and no.
Just like there are difference between American and English hand gestures, our languages are slightly different too. There’s the matter of pronunciation.
I say “tomahto,” but you say “tomato.” No.
And unlike Americans, the English always sound out the letter “t.” So while we say “butter” and “Harry Potter,” most Americans say something along the lines of “budder” and “Harry Podder”!
To this day when I say “squirrel” my grandsons stare at me and laugh because I pronounce every letter in the word.
The English spell words differently too. Since coming to America, I now spell “tire” with an “i” instead of a “y.”
I’ve also learned to drop the letter “u” in lots of words like “color” and “neighborhood.”
English expressions are different too. My American daughter-in-law, Chris, loves to use the English idiom “half a mo,” which means “just a minute” — and she does it with a good English accent too!
There are other English expressions. Any one who is overdressed is said to be “done up like a dog’s dinner.” When somebody makes me mad, I like calling people “pompous twits” instead of “dummies.” Also, when something is rubbish I’ll get a few looks by saying “codswallop!”
I’ve often thought of writing an English-American dictionary. I already have a Cockney-English dictionary, but that’s another story!
One advantage I do have is whenever I “happen” to swear, people usually just smile and say, “Oh, the way you say that is so cute!”
Cheerio for now,
Photo Credit: Buck