Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Here's my translation guide to letting Americans know what people are saying when English is spoken in their presence (courtesy of two weeks with Mrs. Red Squirrel).

What is said:
"We need to stop at the petrol station."

What is meant:
"We need to stop for gas, and no you can't smoke on the forecourt without being told off."

What is said:

What is meant:


What is said:
"Ha ha, how many biscuits did you just inhale?"

What is heard:

"You're fat."

What is said:
"So this bridge was designed by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel who was one of the greatest engineers whom ever lived. In fact he also built the SS Great Western - one of a series of the biggest ships ever made at the time."

What is understood:

"Blah blah blah blah blah biscuits blah blah blah blah."

What is said:
"So this is the oldest pub in Bristol - as you can see it's existed since about the time your continent was discovered."

What is meant:
"No offence like, but your country is the Haley Joel Osment of the world.*"

What is said:
"It's freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing."

What is meant:

"We like to moan about the weather here, it gives some meaning to our otherwise empty lives."

What is said:
"Do you want HP sauce with your bubble & squeak?"

What is meant:

"Unbeknownest to you, our relationship is on the line if you say no.**"

What is said:
"No really, it's not embarrassing to take a photo of you on the zebra crossing in Abbey Road while you hold up traffic and wave at the camera."

What is meant:
"At some unspecified point in the future, I shall be cashing this chip in."

*Spectacular success at a young age but really the rest of the world is sitting back and waiting for the hooker-fuelled coke overdose in your teens....
**She said yes, then ate all of mine.


Irish Gumbo said...

Yes, I will take some HP sauce with my bubble and squeak!

and crisps are potato chips, is that correct?

I nearly fell of the couch laughing at that Haley Joel Osment quip. Funny, funny stuff!

Anonymous said...

Bubble and squeak sounds like something Mr. Cheeks would do to me and the sound I would make immediately following....


Glamourpuss said...

Ah, it must be love...


Pearl said...

I would be willing to try the Bubble and Squeak, with or without said "HP" sauce -- if that is indeed what it is called -- if we can go on that giant ferris wheel afterward.

Oooh. And the Tower of London.

p.s. I reserve the right -- especially following several pints -- to giggle like an American if you step outside for a fag.

Dash said...

fair enough old cobber, good enuff stuff hey?

Red Squirrel said...

IG - crisps are indeed what you call chips. And chips are what you call fries. Although we have fries too.

Sweet Cheeks - Bubble & Squeak is all the chopped up vegetables from christmas day mixed together and fried in butter. Tis yummy.

puss - you may be right ;-)

Pearl - HP sauce (or Houses of Parliament sauce) is the true food of the gods. I've been known to have HP sauce sandwiches :)

We did the London Eye and strangely Mrs. RS wanted to see the Tower of London (why?) and also announced in a scary cockney accent that she was 'Going for a faaaaaaaahhhhhhgggg' every time she went for a smoke.

Dash - indeed :)