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Language of London

- Caroline

I wanted to go to an English speaking country for my first trip “across the pond.” Luckily I was able travel to London, England a few years ago. I was surprised to find out that even though they speak English in London, there is a very distinctive difference between what we say in the States compared to London.

Here a few examples:

“Mad” is said to mean crazy. As in: ‘Have you gone mad?’

“Rubbish” is garbage or trash. As in: ‘Throw out that awful rubbish

“Fish and Chips” sounds like fish and potato chips, but it’s fish with French Fries – a very typical item you can find on most menus throughout London.

A few that took me some time to figure out:

“Underground” refer to as the subway in the States. Don’t ask locals how to find the nearest subway unless you want to head towards your next meal.

“Mind the Gap” is the announcement made at every stop on the underground. At first I was confused as to what ‘gap’ I was suppose to be mindful of. When I stepped off the train and noticed the 6 inches of “gap” between the train and the cement, I realized that mind the gap is what we would say “watch your step”

“Holiday” was said by multiple people during my visit in May. I kept thinking to myself ‘what holiday is coming up that everyone is talking about?’ It means vacation in London, not the typical “special days of the year’ that we use it as. I love any holiday I can take!

If you find yourself on a holiday in London be sure to mind the gap while on the underground. Don’t go mad and toss your fish and chips in the rubbish before eating it!

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