I’ve been living in London for just about four months (WOW, right?) and I can’t believe how fast time has flown since September 24th! Living in London has been nothing short of an incredible experience, and I have fallen in love with next to everything about this beautiful and inspiring city. London is such a historic city - from the Tower of London, to relics from Britain’s imperial age in the British Museum, to winding streets, it is the perfect city for me. Also, who can resist a British accent? I’m still working on my own, but I did have someone say to me last week that she thought my American accent had grown stronger….#studyabroadfail. Despite this, I have picked up on a few phrases unique to Britain, and I love incorporating them into my everyday life. Here are a few of my favourite:
When your Oyster Card (the payment card for the Tube) runs low, one needs to “top-up.” Isn’t this phrase perfect? After living in New York City where we always say, “Oh, I need to put money on my MetroCard,” simply being able to say, “Oops, I need to top-up!” is quite the game-changer. It has a perky sound to it, and simplifies things, I think!
In the States, when we say, “revise” we mean to edit or change something in an essay or a piece of writing. To “revise” in British academia means to review or study for an upcoming exam. In a few months, I’ll be entering the period of revision for my exams, and I can’t wait to start saying it!
“Quite lovely” and “Rather"
It’s not that these words have a different meaning here than they do in the States, but I do like saying that things are “quite lovely” and that my reading was “rather difficult.” I’m not sure why, but it just sounds a bit (another British-ism!) more refined, don’t you?
What we in the States would call a “baked potato.” This is probably because the potato still has its skin, which would rather resemble a jacket, I think. In any case, it sounds adorable. :)
Bangs. I think I like saying “fringe” more than “bangs” because I can’t help but use the same voice inflection that Brits use when they say it. It comes out kind of like frInge with more emphasis on the “i”.
And for my number one favourite….
This phrase can be used for everything. When someone holds the door for you, just say “cheers!”. When someone gives you a compliment, say “thank you”, or be British and say “cheers!” It’s the perfect departure phrase, as well. When I was getting my coffee this afternoon, once I had paid the cashier, I said “cheers!”. It’s polite, and ends things on a good note, doesn’t it?
Oh, and in case you were wondering how I’ve managed to convert to British spelling - things like favourite, organise, etc. - I switched the language setting on my laptop to British English so it corrects everything for me. I’ve gotten accustomed to the spelling, but sometimes I forget. :)
Inspired to be,