Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 470

Mooching USA stylie

The other day I wrote a blog post about living in America as a Brit and I used the term ‘mooching’, as in I was going to mooch around the new Whole Foods supermarket that has been built in my little ‘burb of America-land. (And, for the record, it is very nice indeed, and I ate a whole meal there with all the tasters, but it is still JUST A SUPERMARKET, ya know 😉 )

For us Brits, the term ‘mooching’ is a pretty general term, used in the same way as ‘meander’ or ‘browse’ or even ‘plod’. Not so for my American readers. This was the response that I received when I wrote said blog post:

‘I just read a UK article where a woman suggested “mooching around the shops”. I thought that was pretty brazen; then I learned that in the UK that means what we call “browsing”, just aimlessly walking around seeing what’s to see. Be forewarned (if it isn’t too late) in the US a ‘mooch’ is a sponge, a leech, someone who never pays for anything. Always shows up at dinner time, doesn’t have their wallet at the restaurant or the theatre, etc. Don’t tell people you want to go mooch at Whole Foods. You’ll end up with your Polaroid by the cash register.’

Well, how funny that one word can have such a different meaning. But what other words do I use in the USA that have a completely different meaning for my American chums?

Bangers? Probably! I am either referring to boobs or sausages. Fact. 🙂

These are bangers :)

These are bangers 🙂

My son has encountered sniggers at school when he has asked for a ‘rubber’ in class, that I know. Yes, even in First Grade, the old Johnny jokes are appearing. And in our first week here my husband ordered a burger and chips and was devastated to see that there were crisps, not ‘fries’, on his plate. We have, of course, since learned many things are not the same and yes, we’ve become used to it. Cos that what’s happens when you integrate as an expat, innit.

School’s in!

Yep, school started in the USA on Monday and I am fairly (okay, very) happy about it. UK schools don’t start till next week and they only got 6 weeks summer holibobs (lucky buggers!).

Schools in session!

Schools in session!


I am already preparing the for inordinate amount of days off there are during this term though. Gordon Bennett, can’t we just have them at school?! 😉

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4 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 470

  1. jackie says:

    Don’t say you want “pud” Or as who has the best “pasties”.
    Less dangerously, talking about “slap” for make-up or cosmetics will confuse people. “Washing-up liquid” seems to be dish detergent in the UK; if someone in America says “go wash up” they mean wash hands before the meal. The stove has a “burner” here, not a “hob”.

  2. jackie says:

    Just going off topic, but in your summer travels have you seen this public service ad? http://38.media.tumblr.com/c67416f44a9df1592ba53910b65d3cea/tumblr_mkt3k9dJtA1qzbs6po1_r1_500.jpg

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