Britspeak, part 1

I work for a British firm. Well, technically we’re “global” but the firm originated in London and the top brass and the lion’s share of the staff are in England.

Yesterday, one of the senior partners gave a presentation on half-year results (British firms’ fiscal calendar runs May 1-April 30th, so Nov. 1 is mid-year) and along with his presentation, we were treated to some chuckles over the differences between the Queen’s English and this bastardization of language we use here in America (wait: is it still ok to blast the U.S. now that we have a cool President Elect?).

But I digress.

redundancies: Not what you think it is. Where the phrase in the U.S. is “layoffs” in the UK they say “redundancies.” Sounds almost non-threatening.

rubber: Totally not what you think it is! It’s an eraser.

“get a flavour for”: starting to hear this spoken by Americans more often now, but means “to get the gist of.” A favorite saying of Brits.

trousers: pants

pants: really, really bad, as in “that tart she made was pants.”


~ by Lola on November 14, 2008.

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