Please Excuse My Awful English Accent
I have a confession: I lapse into an English accent from time to time. A pretty bad one.
I’ve done it for years. Whenever I’m talking to someone from England, I automatically start imitating them. I did it all the time when I worked for a London-based company, and I do it all the time with my English friends here in Southeast Asia.
To be honest, this habit is not that uncommon. People automatically imitate people they’re talking to in both voice and body language. God knows started speaking Backpacking Matt’s Midwestern-Scottish-Kiwi patois after traveling with him for a few weeks!
But this time, it’s more than just imitating it…on this trip, I became a full-fledged anglophile. The anglophilia is now taking over my life.
But I’m happy with it…and I really want to develop a “passable” English accent. I told my lads that I wanted to become a proper English girl. And for now, some slang has made it into my American vocabulary.
My New British Slang
Uni – has all but replaced “college” in my vocabulary. Uni is here to stay.
Mate – now replaces “friend” quite often.
Can’t Be Arsed – After croaking this out while half-asleep when my mates knocked on my door, asking if I wanted to go to breakfast, I knew it had taken up permanent residence.
Holiday – I can’t remember the last time I used the word “vacation.”
Lads/Gents/Blokes – While I say “guys” far too often, I much prefer these alternatives now.
Chips – For fries? Sure. I can get behind that.
But I Will Never Say
Crisps. I can’t not call them chips.
Biscuits. Cookies and biscuits are so different from each other that those words aren’t merging anytime soon.
Lollipop men/ladies. We call them crossing guards. And Dave had the nerve to tell me that our expression was the weird one.
Of course, as an American girl traveling with a host of lads from northern England, we had our share of misunderstandings. My favorite was when Ste told me that he hated mayonnaise until his sister put it all over her body.
“All over her body?! WHAT KIND OF SICK, TWISTED RELATIONSHIP DO YOU TWO HAVE?!” I shrieked.
“Butty! Not body!” he explained. “Her sandwich!”
And there you go. I’m no proper English girl yet…but I’m on my way.