Monday, 25 April 2016


Yes, it's me, Carlton The Special One

For the duration of the A to Z Challenge, Carlton Cat will be taking over this blog. He's a little bit of a maverick moggie with strong views


THE Mrs was wittering on to the Mr about her blog (here). She's been loving the A to Z Challenge - I expect she has, I'm doing half her work for her - and said she was surprised that most of her readers were from the USA.

She's delighted with that as she has "visit America" high on her bucket list and loves the place, even though she rarely sets foot further from home than Catford. Yes, there is such a place; it's in London.

However, she frowns a little sometimes and not just because I'm lying across her lap when she's trying to read comments on her laptop. It's become obvious, she said, quoting George Bernard Shaw, that Britain and the USA are two nations divided by a common language.

You say tom-ay-to and I say tom-ah-to. You say butt and I say arse.

I too, of course, am a Brit (feline, ginger, devastatingly handsome)and I have been having trouble communicating with my New York friend (feline, tabby, hot babe). We e-mail regularly and although we both speak Catenglish we sometimes misunderstand each other.

She was talking about having a burr stuck to her fanny. WHAT!!! It seems a fanny in America  is an innocuous description of that thing you sit on but to we Brits, it's something much, much ruder - go forward a few inches and only women have them. So don't wear your tight skinny jeans here and tell us, "I've got a terrible itch on my fanny," because it'll mean something altogether different - cue the penicillin.

If I asked my American friends for a rubber they would assume I was on a promise with a sinuous Siamese. In fact, I was carted off to the vet at the age of five months (a treacherous act for which I have not yet forgiven Mr and Mrs). A rubber here in the UK is an eraser.

And you say sidewalk, I say pavement; you say pants, I say trousers; you say faucet, I say tap; you say hood, I say bonnet; you say trunk, I say boot.

Well, that's enough of that. I'm off to get pissed on catmint. Pissed: get drunk; not pissed: get angry.

God bless America and God save the Queen.

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  1. Ah, so true! And language is just one of the divisions -- measurements are also a point of confusion! The other day I was reading another Brit's blog, and didn't get the longing for the temp to be in the "upper teens" -- since here in the U.S., that'd be pretty chilly for April! But of course, then a quick C to F conversion, and I realized he meant "sixties" to me, which would be perfect, actually. :) Good luck finishing out the AtoZ challenge, Carlton, I'll go check out Mrs' blog next! =^..^=
    Jamie Lyn Weigt | Writing Dragons Blog

  2. Oh yes. Fun fact: South Africa's English is much closer to UK English. But then, I hope between US and UK English a lot because I know most of my readers are from the US too.

    No point to confusing them. Luckily for me, I went to an American school when I was a kid (and a Cambridge one in High School), so I'm good at translating between the two. :-D

  3. It is funny how very different the meanings of these words are! Even in the different regions of the USA there are varying terms that are used for things. For instance "soda"," pop", and "Coke" all mean a carbonated drink, depending on where you live, and a "Coke" might be any flavor/brand of soft drink, not necessarily only the one made by Coca Cola. I know, that doesn't make much sense, doesn't it?!

  4. If your Mom ever comes to the USA, I hope to meet her.

  5. Ah well Carlton, if you had emigrated like I have, you would be able to understand both languages. One of the ones they always talk about is "I will knock you up in the morning" over here knocking you up means making you pregnant. I thought it was Churchill who originally said "two nations divided by a common language". I might say, a lot of words used in Ontario, Canada, are not the same as those used in parts of the US. Lead and leash come to mind. Of course people have moms here, not mums. In fact mums are chrysanthemums. If you talk about a vet they mean a veteran, not a veterinarian, and so it goes.

  6. Ah yes, the minor language differences. I had not heard the fanny one, so thanks for that. (What we call it is actually cat friendly ;) ) Another commenter mentioned how things are differently named among regions as well. It's fun to watch.

  7. Oh, my goodness. I knew many of these, including the slang for a cigarette, though I'm not sure that one is still used. But rubber and fanny? I did not have a clue. Happy blogging!

  8. We love the differences in expressions between the two countries.

  9. I had no idea that fanny meant....there. On the other hand, we Canucks, are a combo of the language from the States and the Brits.


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