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NEVER say these EVERYDAY American words in the UK!
Hello everyone, and welcome back to English With Lucy. Today, I’ve got a fun but very important video for you. I’m going to talk you through some everyday words which are actually offensive in Britain. Yep, that’s right, as if life nowadays wasn’t offensive enough, I’m going to make even more paranoid about offending people.
So, today, I’m going to talk about some everyday words. They are predominantly American words, but you can hear them elsewhere, but they mean completely different things in Britain and in British English, and you should be extra careful with them. Realistically, it’s unlikely that you’re going to completely offend people, although who knows nowadays, honestly. It is just a bit of fun, but it would be really good for you to know these words so you can make you’re extra clear in every situation.
Let’s get started with number one. The first word is thick. In American English and in popular culture nowadays, if someone is thick, it means they’re fuller figured. But in British English, if you are thick, it means you are stupid or idiotic. Thick, when we’re talking about figures is normally a complement. So, if someone said, “Wow. “Your wife is thick.” in everywhere, apart from England, that would be a complement, as in your wife is curvy, your wife has a great body. But in Britain, it could mean your wife is dumb as hell. Your wife is stupid. So, you’ve got to be really, really careful with how you use that one. Make sure you give enough context. Number two. Period.
Now, across the world and especially in America, the word period is used to indicate a full stop. But in British English, well, I, at least, remember growing up and not understanding what period meant in American cartoons. For me, period meant a specific amount of time or menstruation. And so, it always makes me laugh when people are having an argument, and then someone shouts, “Period!” at the end, as if to say full stop. And I always think, “What a bizarre thing to add into an argument. “Why are you bringing periods into this?” (laughs) You know, what you’re trying to say could be misconstrued in Britain. If you say, “I’m not going, period.” I might think you’re saying, “I’m not going because I’ve got my period.” not, “I’m not going, full stop.”
So, that’s one to think about. Number three. This one tickles me pink. (laughs) Number three is randy. And Randy is a fairly common, not ridiculously common, but it’s a well-known American male name. I have never met anyone in the UK called Randy. Randy to us means physically aroused. If you say to me, “Oh, he’s Randy.” you might be meaning to say his name is Randy, but I might understand that as, wow, he wants some loving. He needs it. (laughs) Number four.
This one is a whooper. You might hear everyone talking about Trump quite a lot. Trump is obviously the president of the United States, but a trump for me, a Brit, will always be a fart. To trump, to fart, a trump, a fart. So, when people say, “I love Trump. “Trump is great.” what I understand is, “I love fart. “Fart is great.” And it cracks me up when they were voting him in, and he was all over Twitter, I just saw fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, fart, and my immature side found it particularly funny. Number five. I think I’ve mentioned this before I a previous video.
It is pants. In both the US and the UK, pants means an item of clothing worn on your bottom half. However, they are very different. Pants in the US are trousers, and pants in the UK are your underwear, mainly referring to male underwear. So, if you say, “Oh my God, my pants are wet.” well, in America, you might just be saying, “My trousers are wet. “I stepped on a puddle and they got splashed.” But in the UK, in British English, it means you have literally wet your pants. It might be wee, it might be something much worse. Who knows? Let’s not talk about it, but keep your eye on that one. Number six, a bum. Now, a bum is American slang, and I think it’s quite derogatory for a homeless person. But in British English, it means your butt or your bottom. So, if someone would say to me. “Wow, I visited England, “and there were bums everywhere.”
so they might mean to say to me, “Oh my God, the homelessness problem “is really severe in the UK.” which it is. But I might understand it as everybody had their bums out. Everybody was wearing booty shorts. Oh my god, the weather is too cold for this type of clothing. We’re not in the same page. And the last one, possibly my favourite, fanny. In the US, your fanny is your back bottom. In the UK, it is your front bottom, and it is normally female. So, when people talk, when American talks about their fanny packs, which we in the UK call bum bags, it does make me laugh.
Oh my god, you hit my fanny. It sounds like front bottom. It doesn’t sound right. Just bear in mind when you’re talking to Brits. Right. That’s it for today’s lesson. If you can think of any other words that are rude in another language or in another dialect, please comment them down below, I think it will be hilarious to hear all of your thoughts and ideas.
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