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What was it called the last time you saw it?

Travel Forums General Talk What was it called the last time you saw it?

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1. Posted by SuperBrat (Full Member 107 posts) 10y

Has anyone realised how one thing can have so many different names (and sometimes even uses) in different countries?
This could range from anything and everything - everyday words, household items, clothes, accessories, food and the list ... is a long one

Which ones makes you break out in hives by stopping yourself saying what you think is the right term for something?

I still can't get over how "dinner" is "tea" in the UK, but its "dinner" if you're asking someone out. Or why "Japanese slippers" are known as "flip flops" to the western world. And its "backpack" to some and a "rucksack" to others.
And my favourite -"a pint" vs "a schooner" vs "a mug"!

2. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

I get all confused with the supper/tea thing. If someone tells me we're going to tea, I'm expecting a big pot of Earl Grey and maybe some cupcakes. Not steak and potatoes! (And not at 4 in the afternoon!)

In Montreal, we call the corner store a "dep" - which is short for depanneur (meaning, roughly, something that gets you out of a jam). I find the word half-way out my mouth before I realize no one in, say, Dublin will get what I mean.

Here are some others that I've discovered:

Hoover vs vaccuum
jumper vs sweater
trousers vs pants
pants vs underwear
aubergine vs eggplant
fizzy pop vs soft drink
lorry vs truck
bin vs trash can (and bin man vs garbage man)
rubbish vs garbage

I know there are more! They'll come to me!

3. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

A sofa is a couch and soda is a pop in Minnesota - a couch is a sofa and a pop a soda in Illinois! I only need to cross the Mississippi River to find differences. River is still "river" on both sides of the Big Muddy!

The one most recently brought to my attention (sorry to steal your example, Tina) - pants in the US and Canada means trousers, in the UK - it means underwear.

In metropolitan areas (in the US) dinner means supper or the main evening meal. In rural areas, dinner means the equivalent of lunch and is called dinner because it is the "biggest" meal of the day. In many other places outside of the US, dinner is the evening meal and supper is a late night (after theater) repast. (Personally, all of them should all just be called "meal time" - early, mid-day and evening.)

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

trousers vs pants
pants vs underwear

Damn - you beat me to it!!!

5. Posted by SuperBrat (Full Member 107 posts) 10y

Nice one! And then there's also

Mobile phones vs cell phones vs handphones (and SMS-es vs text-es)
Trunk vs boot of a car
A queue vs a line
10.30 vs "half past ten" etc etc
Beanie vs a woolly hat
Umbrella vs brolly
Girl vs bird vs a Sheila / Girl vs lass
Guy vs bloke

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

More to add to the list:

prawns vs shrimp
kebabs vs souvlaki (or brochettes)
crisps vs chips
chips vs french fries (or, if you must, freedom fries)
brown sauce vs HP sauce
half-ten vs 10:30 (to add to yours, SuperBrat!)

Come to think of it, how in the heck do Neal and I manage to understand one another??

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting SuperBrat

A queue vs a line

The first time I heard that term was on vacation. An English couple told me I'd better get "in the pasta chef's queue quickly" if I wanted to get the pasta before they ran out. I had no idea what they were talking about... (I followed them and got the pasta - it wasn't too bad!)

Am I that much of a traveling neophyte??? Okay - don't answer that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Quoting tway

Come to think of it, how in the heck do Neal and I manage to understand one another??

It's a public forum - we can't say those things here!!!!! And, if you need it explained...

[ Edit: Fixed the confusion... ]

10. Posted by SuperBrat (Full Member 107 posts) 10y

A duvet is a dooner is a comforter
A dummy is a nipple
Sunglasses vs shades
Singlet vs vest top
Bucket vs pail
"Glad rags" would be your best party dress

More will come to me...!