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Updated by Graeme Thomson on Sep 25, 2017
Headline for 9 Other Things Americans Shouldn’t Say to the British
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9 Other Things Americans Shouldn’t Say to the British

There’s been a lot of social media reposting of The One Thing Americans Shouldn’t Say to the British. http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewgauthier/one-thing-americans-shouldnt-say-to-british-people

However, when it comes to trans-Atlantic no-nos, the fanny pack is not alone. Here are 9 other words or phrases that American visitors to the UK might want to avoid using.

2

“Pants.”

“Pants.”

Oh dear. In Britain, the word “pants” has two meanings: neither of which is remotely connected to what you think of as a pair of trousers. To our British cousins, “pants” means (1) Underwear, frequently female; (2) Crap. No, not the brown stuff that comes out of your bottom – crap as in useless.

1

“Can I have fries with that?”

“Can I have fries with that?”

Just try to remember: American fries are British chips. And American chips are British crisps. And don’t even think about ordering a soda.

3

“I’d like to purchase a pair of suspenders.”

“I’d like to purchase a pair of suspenders.”

Not if you’re a guy you don’t. Not unless, that is, you’re in a UK branch of Victoria’s Secret. Of course, you may actually be shopping for something lacy to hold up your nylons. In Britain, suspenders are what Americans call “garter belts.” So, if what you’re really after is a pair of over-the-shoulder straps to keep your pants (see above) from falling down, then in Britain what you need are “braces.” And, while we’re on the subject, try not to go to the dentist.

4

“He/She has a lot of spunk.”

“He/She has a lot of spunk.”

Why? Because in Britain “spunk” means…how should we put this?...cum, jism, semen, man juice; you know, the stuff that comes out of a chap’s stimulated penis. If you’re trying to express enthusiasm, gumption, and fortitude when on vacation in Britain, try to avoid saying spunk; instead just say enthusiasm, gumption, or fortitude.

5

“I can’t meet him tonight; I’m going to have to blow him off.”

“I can’t meet him tonight; I’m going to have to blow him off.”

An easy, but potentially awkward, social mistake to make. In America, to blow somebody OFF is to cancel or postpone a meeting with them. The usual British equivalent terminology is to blow somebody OUT. To blow someone OFF is, in Britain, to take their penis into your mouth and suck on it until it ejaculates. Of course, it all depends on how spunky you’re feeling (see above).

6

“Hi. I’d like a packet of gays, please.”

“Hi. I’d like a packet of gays, please.”

If you’re trying to buy smokes in Britain, do try and remember that the proper slang term for cigarettes is “fags”. This will save you a lot of time being laughed at and/or having your head banged repeatedly on the counter of the tobacconist’s emporium.

7

“Erb”

“Erb”

Need to refer to some part of that Simon and Garfunkle parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme thing? Try and remember, on the eastern side of the Atlantic, these edible green things are called “Herbs”. That’s because (a) they’re not French, and (b) “Herb” has a fcking H in it! Oh, and “fillet” has a fcking T in it.

8

“I’m going to get pissed!”

“I’m going to get pissed!”

If you’re getting angry about something, the phrase you want is “pissed off.” Unless, that is, you want to say you’re going to get drunk. As in intoxicated. Not like what happens to a glass of water.

9

“F*ck off, you Limey Bastard.”

“F*ck off, you Limey Bastard.”

For reasons that still puzzle philologists, the British seem to find this otherwise casual and totally commonplace American expression curiously offensive. Tourists need to be aware that overuse of this expression while on vacation in Britain (overuse being defined as any number more than zero) is likely to result in their receiving the time-honored British response of a punch in the face.