30 of your Britishisms used The Magazine's recent article about the Britishisation of American English prompted readers to respond with examples of their own here are 30 British words and phrases that you've noticed being used in the US and Canada.
Autumn, n. The season between summer and winter. "'Autumn' is being used a lot more now instead of 'fall'." Alan, New York, US Bloody, adj. and adv. An intensifier: absolute, downright, utter. Sometimes in a negative sense. "There have been several instances where I've heard the term 'bloody' in regular conversation. I understand the urge to say it in certain situations, but I react with a jolt when I hear it. It just seems so. indecent. The use of 'bloody', in my view, is iconically British. When Americans try to use it, I think they're trying to sound like Michael Caine. I feel it's a deliberate contrivance to associate themselves with some perceived prestige in sounding British. Some Americans think that by saying 'bloody' everybody will assume that they have four more IQ points than everyone else. It's understandable. And completely true." Marshall McCorcle, Dallas, Texas, US Bum, n. The buttocks or posteriors (slang). "I have seen an increasing use of 'bum' for a person's backside here, both from local friends and from Americans on the web. While I am still perfectly fine with sitting on my butt, everyone else is getting all fancy talking about their bums." Jim Boyd, Des Moines, Iowa, US Chav, n. Pejorative term to express young person who displays coach outlet umbrella price loutish behaviour, sometimes with connotations of low social status. "The word 'chav' is starting to catch on in the US, thanks to YouTube videos. I overheard someone say, 'Nah I'm not buying those sneakers man, they are so chavvy' at a sports retailer." Jeff Bagshaw, US "Chav is becoming rather noticeable as a few Americans understand that not 'all British people are posh'. Boston/Cambridge is rife with international college students, so it may just be a blip, but I've heard it in a suburban grocery store in reference to some hooligans outside the store." Elaine Ashton, Lexington, Massachusetts, US Cheeky, adj. Insolent or audacious in address; coolly impudent or presuming. "I have loved using the word cheeky for about 10 years now." Daniel Greene, Phoenix, Arizona, US "Sometimes the British expression just says it better. I particularly like 'cheeky monkey'." G Griffin, Wethersfield, Connecticut, US Cheers, sentence substitute. A drinking toast, goodbye, or thanks. "I am hearing people say goodbye to each other with the British 'cheers'. Since I have always had a fondness for the Brits and things British, I enjoy hearing it instead of the worn out 'later' or 'see ya later'. Like it or not, the Yanks and the Brits are cousins, and that's that. Cheers!" Paul Phillips, Marblehead, US "Use of the word 'cheers' in place of 'thank you' is on the rise, perhaps among young people who have spent time with British people." Roddy McCalley, Joshua Tree, California, US Fancy, v. With reference to fondness or liking. "Our US friends really enjoyed fancied, as in 'she fancied him', and an item, as in 'are you two coach outlet atlanta 2 day walk an item?'." David Fryer, Muscat, Oman "Fancy, as in I really fancy a pint." Paul W, New York City, US noun. A quality regarded as characteristic of British people, Britishness; (also, esp. in early use) pro British influence or allegiance Variant of Briticism a custom, linguistic usage, or other feature peculiar to Britain or its people Briticism in Collins Dictionary The Britishisation of American English Flat, n. An apartment on one floor of a building. "Just as British people are increasingly calling (particularly posh) flats 'apartments', my American friends report that property developers are now selling 'flats' in order to make them sound grander than they are." Beth, London Frock, n. A girl's or woman's dress. coach outlet albertville mn mn "Until very recently, 'frock' only appeared in North America in British books. I first read it in the Narnia series. No one ever said it, and no one ever used it in print. No one outside of readers of British literature would even have known what it meant. Now I see it in print media about fashion all the time. This just started happening in perhaps the past five years, certainly no more than 10 years." Lee Boal, Toronto, coach outlet purses by nicole Ontario, Canada Gap year, n. A year's break taken by a student between leaving school and starting further education. "We didn't do gap years much until recently, so we didn't have our own term for it other than 'year off'. The point of language is to communicate. If a new word or term fills a sorry gap, then it doesn't matter where it's from." Alden O'Brien, Washington DC, US Gobsmacked, adj. flabbergasted: struck dumb with awe or amazement. "I left the UK for the US more than 40 years ago. I first heard the word 'gobsmacked' about 10 years ago while visiting the UK. Perhaps because of the popularity of the programme Top Gear in the US, I now hear this used in the US." Duncan Connall, Rhode Island, US "I heard President Obama use the word 'gobsmacked'. How's that for a Britishism?" Stuart Hamilton, North Vancouver, Canada Holiday, n. A period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation. "As a child I read Enid Blyton, and as an adult I was pleased to notice, at least in advertising, the use of the word 'holiday' to replace the less preferable, in my opinion, 'vacation'." Vicki Siska, Fort Collins, Colorado, US Innit, adv. A contraction of isn't it? Used to invite agreement with a statement. "I can't stop saying 'innit' it's the perfect sort of ('sort of' in this usage is also a popular Britishism) ending to an informal declarative statement." Carolyn, Las Vegas, US Kit, n. A collection of personal effects or necessities. "I've noticed the adoption of the British term 'kit' for what athletes wear, in the place of what we Americans would generally call a 'uniform' or 'gear'. I notice it among those who follow tennis closely. People will refer to a player's 'kit', which often changes several times a year depending on the surface." Ana Mitric, Richmond, Virginia, US Knickers, n. An undergarment for women covering the lower trunk and sometimes the thighs and having separate legs or leg holes. "My American friend just recently said 'I got my knickers in quite a twist'. I was amazed she didn't say 'panties'." Nadine, Seattle, Washington, US Loo, n. An informal word for lavatory. "Many of my friends now call the restroom 'the loo', although they haven't converted to saying 'loo roll' it's still toilet paper. Funny, since most of us won't say 'toilet' for the American 'bathroom'." Heather Revanna, Colorado, US Mate, n. A friend, usually of the same sex: often used between males in direct address. "It seems that Yanks enjoy English swear words but I don't believe British people are using typical Americanisms. I've never heard a Englishman say 'dude' but I am hearing Americans say 'mate'. I also don't believe British people are so overtly conscious of foreign influence as much as Americans care to be, especially in the Midwest." Paul Knight Kirby, Rockford, Illinois, US Mobile, n. Short for mobile phone; a portable telephone that works by means of a cellular radio system ('cellphone' or 'cell' in standard American English). "I think the use of 'mobile' is a consequence of more international travel and wanting to be understood. I use mobile while elsewhere and it is creeping into my US based language as well." Stuart Friedman, Middlesex, Vermont, US Muppet, n. A stupid person; from the name for the puppets used in the TV programme The Muppet Show. "I am a Brit living in Idaho. One of the biggest Britishisms I see, and have helped perpetuate, is the term 'muppets' to refer to brainless individuals.
I love this term as it conjures images of the loveable Muppets but in reference to a person it definitely conveys a lack of intelligence or substandard education. In this state there are plenty of 'muppets'." George Hemmings, Idaho, US.
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