Search This Blog

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ask the Brit!

I’ve always been fascinated with Britain. I believe it’s because so many of our roots and traditions stem from there. America was birthed from British expatriates which sort of makes us Britain’s prodigal daughter. We’re so alike yet so different.

Since the British Invasion back in the 1960’s America has been flirting with the English… and poking fun at them. They’ve given us amazing writers, musicians, actors, princesses; not to mention arrogant talent show judges….the list is endless. So I’ve decided to invite, Kris English, a friend, and fellow blogger, who just happens to be thoroughly British, to do a weekly post answering questions on everything British.

Most of us remember the Royal Wedding between Charles and Diana…and its tragic ending. This Friday much of the world will watch as Will and Kate tie the knot, which may stir up some interesting questions about the Monarchy. No matter what your questions this should be fun. Remember…no holds barred! Ask the Brit...I'm sure he has some clever answers.

Ask the Brit 001

Ask the Brit By Kris English.

The United Kingdom has a long history and a great Alliance with the United States; however there are many differences between the two countries, especially lingual differences, so in this weekly guest blog I'll answer your questions or give you some news or a story from this side of the pond, giving you a little education on us Brits.

Lingual differences are major thing. I’ve often heard people speak of American-English and Americanism’s which are interesting. There are some things lost in translation, which make for some interesting comments. Living close to an American Base here in the UK we get a lot of Americans living in my town. Many visit the Take Away (fast food) place where I work. I had four Air Force men in a few days ago and it took them ages to find the right money because they weren’t certain if 20p was a 20p. So, for all of you Americans who have never seen British coins, this is what our money looks like:

From the left: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2.

I happen to work with a young American in the restaurant/take away and I had just swept when our boss said to him, with the mop in his hand,
“Are you going to do a clean sweep through the restaurant?”
“But Kris has just swept it,” he returned with a puzzled look.
“I meant are you going to mop through the whole restaurant?” she replied, and enlightenment finally came to my American co-worker. It’s these and other comments that make me like the American visitors even more.

Question time:

If you have a question you’d like to ask, maybe some differences between the British and American peoples then I will try and do my best to answer. No question is too silly or off limits. We’ll start with Leah’s question.

Question: What are Crumpets?
Answer: Crumpets are like bread; we toast them and have them at breakfast on occasion with Jam, marmite or Nutella (chocolate spread). Yes we also have Tea with them because a lot of people have a cup of tea for breakfast.

Thanks for reading, if you want to ask me a question simply post it below or you can email me at Just add “Ask the Brit” in the subject line.

Visit Kris’s blog:


Susan Orpilla said...

Many cities and towns in the U.S. (especially in the New England - LOL) are named after cities and towns in England. For instance, I live in Leah's hometown, Worcester, MA. Do you think they similar at all to their English counterparts or is in pretty much in name only?

Leah Griffith said...

Hi Susan,
When the first settlers came over from England they wanted something that reminded them of home so they named their new settlements and towns after their home towns. I believe there are many differences between the cities, and although they are named after English towns they are clearly defined as separate cities with different histories and architecture. For example, Birmingham City, in the heart of the West Midland Britain, is a culturally explosive city which began life as medium sized market town in the medieval period and is now one of our largest cities catering to people of all nationalities. Birmingham Alabama is different in that it is made up of three separate pre-existing towns that merged together. There are some similarities of the two cities; both were industrial centers for their separate countries.

I hope this answers your question.

Anonymous said...

why is it british people cant understand american people when i take their orders?

Kris said...

Thanks for the question Anonymous, I know exactly what you mean. Well I can point out at least two reason, first as I said in my post there is a lot of lingual differences between GB English and American English, I'll give the example of Fries and chips, Fries for an American are potatoes cut up and fried served in places like McDonalds however in the UK they are called Chips, which is what you Americans call your potato-based snacks.

The other reason is the actual variance in dialects. In both countries there are regional dialects and sometimes these can often be misunderstood, I know in the US they have to subtitle films made in Scotland or Ireland as the Dialect is strong there. The same can be said of America, there are some strong dialects like the Texan twang, a New Yorkers accent or even those from New Jersey.

Hope this helps,

Jayne said...

Marvelous idea, Leah! For Kris: I have a British friend (living in the states) who loves to make up limericks. Is this a common British pastime or is he just an odd duck? ;)

Leah Griffith said...

Thanks Jayne. I've missed you!

Kris said...

Jayne, I could say it's because he's an odd duck. But I would be feeding you False information, thinking about we do often like making up limmericks. I do it quite often and though it's not a common act amongst Brits there are certainly quite a few that'll make up the odd limerick.

Post a Comment