Hello to The Siberian American readers! I'm Kristen, and I blog about books, cats, stuff and life over at See You In A Porridge (unrelated to Golidlocks). First off, wanted to say thank you to Olya for having me over at her place while she is off holiday-ing. I just love her blog (obviously you do too) because we have tons in common - the biggest thing being that we are both expats. Expats are like runners - you can have nothing else in common but you become instant besties because no-one understands expats like fellow expats.
Sometimes I don't feel like a real expat because most of the (blogging) expats I know are Americans living elsewhere- Iceland, Australia, France, England.. and I live in America. Most expats have to learn another language, and I thought I would have it easy because I was going from an English speaking country to another English speaking country. Should be easy as pie, right?
Technically, Americans and Australians speak the same language. But we all have our own words and slang. I thought I had a pretty good grasp of American words thanks to reading tons of American books growing up. I knew bangs meant fringe, crib meant cot, pacifier meant dummy and diaper meant nappy. I live in Kentucky, so some of these might not apply to you and you might be as clueless as me - I was born in Victoria, but lived in Sydney and some of the things Victorians say were just as foreign to me as the ones I am about to share.
A bunch of people from work were supposed to do a race the other weekend, but everyone said they were bailing because of the weather, and I bailed as well because I didn't want to do it alone. My boss ended up doing the race, and my other boss sent me a text saying 'what a sandbagger!' and I had to google it before responding. My mind went to tea bagging, so I was obviously quite confused and freaked out.
40 acres and a mule
I learned this playing Cards Against Humanity. Everybody laughed at me, but really - how am I supposed to know what this meant? I thought it was slang for a unit of measurement until everyone stopped laughing and my husband explained it. I don't even know what an acre or a mule is, let alone together.
For the win
Yep, never heard this before and my husband sent me a text one day saying 'FTW' and I was like.. feeling this way? So confused. A lot of the time, he thinks I am trying to be funny but I think he forgets I didn't grow up here so I really don't know or understand things. He explained it meant for the win, but I was still confused - what is for the win? What does that mean? You won something? You are doing this to win something? So confused. I eventually said 'ok, I understand' but I still don't really.
I am still not over this. I learned this pretty quickly but it still annoys me. What you call peppers, we call capsicums. Sometimes we will have 'hot peppers' which I think are chili pepperss, but I wouldn't know because I don't do spicy. Pepper to me is the black stuff that I hate, and it is so confusing when a name means 2 things. A menu says 'pepper' and I'm like hot, spicy pepper or red and green peppers that go in a salad? Why are they called peppers? It makes no sense to me!
At home we say 'al-u-min-i-um'. You say 'aloom-i-num'. I am so confused, I just say 'foil'.
Again, I learned this pretty quickly but to me, lemonade is sprite. To you, lemonade is real stuff made with lemons. I almost vomited the first time I made that mistake.
I thought I knew what this meant - just hard candy. But it's all called candy, right? Skittles, jelly beans, sour worms etc. We call them all lollies. Want a lolly? Kiss a dolly.
Silverware / Flatware even when it's not silver or flat
No matter how I ask for it, someone is confused. We call it cutlery but if I ask for that at a restaurant, I get blank stares. Silverware, flatware, I give up. I say 'can I please have a knife and fork?'
Ahem. The first time I saw this I was so confused. It was in a bathroom and you could get a tampon for 25 cents, or 25 cents for a napkin. I thought maybe it meant like a face wipe or something. My friend soon set me straight.
The first time my husband asked me where his toboggan was I looked at him like he had 2 heads. It snows here but we have never gone sledding. It doesn't snow where I am from, but we go sand tobogganing. Either way, I was like wtf dude I have no idea. He found his beanie right in front of me and thought I was being a jerk. I still can't comprehend toboggan meaning beanie IT MAKES NO SENSE.
I thought this meant all Americans. Apparently not, but it's not my fault! Blame the media and stuff. I bet you pronounce Aussie 'oh-see' so we're even. Just kidding.
No, not that one. The one that you put at the end of a sentence. To me, that is a full stop. It's what I learned in school and that's what it's called. Period.. why with the one word two meanings?
We call it hash like 'press hash for more options'. So I guess that means hashtag was invented by an Aussie or a Brit? I don't understand where the pound comes from.
I only just learned that this stood for Pretty Hot And Tempting. I'm not kidding. I thought it was just a different spelling for fat, like we used to spell 'cool' like kewl. Kewl.
Ok, I knew this one but I still don't understand why it's called mail and not post, especially because it's called the post office. Ok, now I'm just being silly.
I hope you enjoyed my confusion - I have been here for a few years and it still happens! Did you know all of these things?