Since day one in this country I’ve been taking notes of new words and phrases I’d never heard before. Yes, we both speak English. But do we really speak the same language? Sometimes I wonder. I’ve lost track of the number of occasions I’ve been in conversation with English colleagues and had to be the ignorant American asking, “could you please explain that expression?”. Or even better, the number of times I’ve unleashed an American phrase and faced blank stares. “More bang for your buck”, “good job!”, and “hitting a home run” scream AMERICAN ON THE PREMISES.
As a throwback to my former obsession with flashcards (among other office supplies) here are a few words and phrases to study before your next conversation with a Briton.
If that isn’t confusing enough, you also have to pay attention to underlying meanings. See this insightful translation table to understand British politeness. Please standby while I try and recall how many times I’ve been told “that’s a brave proposal” at work…
What other British phrases do I need in my vocab? Help me become proper British.