10 Things Americans Say… and What They Really Mean

 

Don’t be confused — this is not a place to lay down and have a rest!

When it comes to the spoken word, Americans are a truly baffling bunch. So we’ve decoded their most irritating idioms.

1. When an American shop assistant says, “Have a nice day!”
Translation: “Honestly, I don’t care what kind of day you have. But please tell my manager I was friendly so I get extra commission.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I will sob myself to sleep if I subsequently learn that you had a less than adequate day.”

2. When an American you’ve just met says, “Let’s have lunch sometime.”
Translation: “Let’s never ever eat a meal together.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I urgently need to see you put food in your mouth.”

3. When an American friend says, “I hooked up with…”
Translation: “I had sex with/kissed/hung out with…”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I attached myself to someone with a metal clasp.” 

4. When American parents say, “Good job!”
Translation: “Hey! Everyone! My two-year-old is a genius because he split an infinitive, then corrected himself! Also, he went pee-pee in the potty.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “Excellent career choice. Well done son.”

5. When a drunken American says, “I’m actually Irish.”
Translation: “My great great grandfather was part Irish. Or at least that’s what I heard.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I’m Irish.”

6. When a sarcastic American says, “You do the math.”
Translation: “Work it out, fish brain.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “Please do some long division immediately.”

7. When an annoying American says, “Your shirt is so cute!”
Translation: “That’s one good looking upper body garment, be it a vest top, a t-shirt or an actual bona fide shirt – with cuffs and a collar.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I’m sexually attracted to your blouse.” 

8. When an annoyed American says, “I could care less.”
Translation: “I couldn’t care less.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I could care less.”

9. When an American with a full bladder says, “I need to use the restroom.”
Translation: “I need the loo.”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “I need to find a room where I can have a quiet lie down.”

10. When a festive American says, “Happy holidays!”
Translation: “Happy culturally non-specific celebration in late December/early January!”
Definitely doesn’t mean: “Have a nice time in Ibiza.”

What Americanisms bother you?

  • dw

    “What’s up?”, “What’s goin’ on?”, etc. are usually just greetings, not requests for information.

    Best reply is simply to repeat the same thing back.

  • Emma

    They call a bum/arse, a fanny.. That’s just wrong!

    • Jelene

      Emma,
      Did you know we sell “fanny packs” too? ; ) !!! I love all the differences in our shared language, it keeps things interesting if nothing else!

      • Emma

        I’ve lived in AZ for just over a year now, and my husband & I still giggle at our lingo barriers :)

        • Jelene

          We spend 2-months a year in England and after the first week, we’re speaking YOUR English! Wheelie bins, kitchen roll, loo roll, spanners, etc….it’s such a hoot! Cheers to our differences, I love all of them!!! And welcome to the USA, I hope you are having a lovely time!

      • http://www.facebook.com/AmyACollins Amy Collins

        And don’t get me started on Fanny Farmer Candy!

    • Lisa

      I have never ever ever used the term fanny. Bum , butt, booty (with my kids and rarely!), rear, backside, but FANNY?????

      • Emma

        I had my 20 week scan 4 weeks ago, found out it’s a boy & my mother in law said “I can see his fanny!”.. I was confused having just been told it was a boy! LOL

        • Ethan Gilbert

          lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/michele.gustafsson Missy Gustavsson

      i’ve never called a bum/arse a fanny. it’s an ass.

    • http://www.facebook.com/duodave David Good

      No one uses the word “fanny” in the US!

      • Emma

        They do in AZ…

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Woodruff/1080993349 Michael Woodruff

        We refer to those stupid belt pouches all the time as Fanny Packs.. totally different meaning in UK

      • Jelene

        Mostly mothers of small children use the word fanny, i.e., I’m going to smack your fanny if you run out in the road without looking….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1543735750 Jennifer Burnham

      Er, a “Fanny” is not a backside. It’s a lady’s squishy bits.

      • Emma

        Exactly! thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1543735750 Jennifer Burnham

      Oh sorry. I thought you were American’s talking about British slang. Got it completely turned around.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      Only old ladies say fanny

    • Zo’s Mum

      You mean a butt/ass? We don’t say fanny at all. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/chet.carman2 Chet Carman

    “Bitchin’”

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      no one has said Bitchin’ since about 1987

  • http://www.facebook.com/chet.carman2 Chet Carman

    “I’m the shit!”

  • usa

    Yeah… cause when British people say ‘You alright?’ when you’re in a shop, they’re really concerned about you and not how they can sell you things… And ‘ta’ is totally a thing that means ‘Thank you.’ And ‘pissed’ means ‘drunk,’ and not ‘angry’ but in either places rarely means ‘covered in urine.’
    Did you get paid to write this…?

    • Me

      If I got that offended over that kind of thing, I would have a very unhappy life.

      • Ethan Gilbert

        American here – Why would someone be offended by this? But you did miss the boat on “Bless your heart!” Means: You seem mentally retarded to me. Does NOT Mean: God keep you in good cardiovascular health.

        • Marilyn

          “Bless her/his heart” usually proceeds a “but,” and then the diss. Yes, I do that, here in one of the middle states.

        • http://twitter.com/Talulla Becca B.

          Bless her heart is the polite way of ending an insult.
          “She can’t help being stupid, but she doesn’t have to open her mouth. Bless her heart.”

        • Jamie

          My grandmother (a Southern gal) always said “Bless your/her/his heart,” and not in that sense, nor with a “diss” added on. She used it all the time in a positive context, i.e: “you’re adorable.”

          • Kim Morgan

            Yeah, I live in the South and this is one of my least favorite phrases. It usually isn’t malintentioned (I think I just made up a word), but there is a condescending nature to it.

          • Paul

            My southern Grandmother went a step further…Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart…

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026233656 John H Harris

            My Alabama-born mother used the “Bless your little ol’ heart” form…

        • marco_slinger

          I’m originally from the East Coast and I have lived in the south.. “Bless Your Heart” can be used in multiple contextual situations. However it’s usually used as a Passive Aggressive way to either conclude or commence an insult.

          Trust me, I wasn’t used to that phrase, being that that up East, we were a tad bit – to say the least, direct and abrasive.. LOL

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      hahahaha

  • http://twitter.com/FixingMyDrawers Andrea Mc

    The use of the word restroom amuses me. I’ve actually seen Americans flinch if you ask where the toilet is. And the Americans I’ve met seriously hate any kind of swearing.

    • Tstys913

      Well, I don’t know what Americans you have been talking to but I live in America and am full on American. Everyone I know swears in normal conversation. I also don’t use the word restroom, ever. We have different people here just like you do in the UK, each have differing nuances of speech.

      • Moeyknight

        You’re correct. Americans have many more regional differences than Britain because it’s so much larger. And we all swear except maybe my grandmother.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michele.gustafsson Missy Gustavsson

      i am american born and i love swearing!! :D

    • RogueSquid

      A friend of mine is terrified of saying toilet, or anything that references ‘pee’, so she has to say restroom haha. But, I don’t mind loo or bathroom.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sandy.rabinowitz Sandra Little Rabinowitz

      Once upon a time in America, there were actually rest rooms in large department stores, where ladies could take a break from shopping, freshen their makeup, etc. there were couches and comfy chairs and countertops with stools for these purposes. Beyond the rest room were the toilets. Now you know. :-)

      • lindsey

        They do still have those in some of the bigger/older department stores in NJ. And also in the casinos there is a sitting room with a counter and mirror and chairs before the actual toilets and sinks and such.

    • http://www.facebook.com/evolheather Heather Blank

      HAH I love swearing! ;)

    • http://profiles.google.com/brainlock72 Brain Lock

      I usually use “bathroom” with the occasional “I gotta hit the head”, meaning I have to whiz so bad my back teeth are floating! “Seeing a man about a horse” or other animal does not mean he is headed to the pet store/zoo/farm to purchase said animal.

      While “dropping the kids off at the pool” is one some friends use to “drop a deuce”, not leave the kids to their aquatic playtime. I have been known to start singing “Boom boom boom boom”, tho. LOL

    • american swear

      swearing in america is like anything else. just depends on the person. i myself love inserting swear words into the middle of other words i.e that is fan-fu#$ing-tastic.

    • ChibiOkamiko

      You should meet my sister then, or me if I’ve worked third shift recently. We swear like sailor. :D

    • gin

      “Restroom” is the public loo. I was informed that they’re called that because many of them used to have a “lounge” or waiting area with chairs and a mirror in one room that you passed through to enter the room with the toilets. A “bathroom” is what you have in your home that has a sink, shower and/or bathtub, and the toilet.

    • Skankardly

      you’ve never been to Boston then. Swearing is our first language.

  • Doug Bermingham

    And “snog” and “wocher” aren’t just as confusing? I STILL don’t have a consistent definition of either of those, FYI :)

    • Mike

      what’s a snog or wocher????

      • http://www.facebook.com/JeckylDraco17 Jeckyl Draco

        snog = making out usually
        wocher = what’s up

        basically is how i understand it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/lizcarrico2 Elizabeth Carrico

          Wocher is: how are you.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      I know what snog is. :) What is Wocher?

    • Erika L. Statler

      “Snog” means make-out of kiss, I believe.

      You totally have me on “wocher” — maybe, it means, “Hey! What’s up?!”

  • http://twitter.com/FixingMyDrawers Andrea Mc

    Doug, ‘snog’ is a full-on kiss and ‘wocher’ is a greeting, probably short for “What you up to?”

  • Lisa

    That. is. fantastic. (Says the American who is, by the way, a little Irish and a little English.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/adorsey1 Aaron Dorsey

    When an American From the South says: “Bless it’s heart”
    Translation: That is the dumbest/ugliest thing I have ever heard/gazed upon
    Doesn’t mean: I hope that an ordained minister visits you and blesses just the circulatory organ of your child

    I’m a self hating American… sue me, everyone else does here haha.

    • http://twitter.com/Jadestoneishere Jadestone

      Simple solution: Move out of the USA if you hate it so bad.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      yes, that’s true, but not always. Sometimes “we heeraya in tha souwth” really do mean it when we say things. We’re nice. Sue us. Everone else does :)

      • Sara

        Southern hospitality is a myth. I lived all over the south for a few years and all I saw were racists and bigots. A few decent people here and there, but my experience in the south was primarily bad. I’ll never understand why people constantly say people from the south are nice. People are people. Some are nice and some aren’t. The fact that there are way more racists and bigots in the south seems to make the southern hospitality thing a huge joke.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nina.dee.10 Nina Dee

          Bigots and racists are all over. I’m from the South, member of one of the groups oft target by said bigots and racists, and I still woudn’t be from anywhere else. Always a few bad apples, but we are mostly a hospitable bunch.

          • dorthy

            Personally? As someone from Texas, I’d rather go to the NorthWest. Part of that is because of the climate and scenery and part of that is that it’s hard to get to really know more of people than what they want to show you. I know that’s something that happens everywhere, but I’ve just come across a lot of people that only stick with pleasantries because they don’t want to really deal with people.

            I don’t know if I really explained that well, but…I hope it makes sense.

        • Jamie

          A myth? No, but there are always exceptions to everything. Southern Hospitality is just not as prevalent as they would like you to think, is all.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134731394 Timothy Ace Holleran

            I’m an American and agree with Jamie. I have encountered rudeness in the South more often than ersatz “hospitality.”

        • Transplant

          Maybe you need to try the North to have a proper comparison for the South. Having lived in all of the above, I can say honestly that Southern Folks do have more manners, and are overall nicer than those in the North. Children in the South routinely use, “Ma’am” and “Sir” To the extent that it becomes ingrained and they also use those terms as adults.

    • http://profiles.google.com/johnwcowan John Cowan

      Oh, for heaven’s sake. “Bless your/his/her heart” *can* be sarcastic, but so can anything else. As someone said upthread, it can have a perfectly positive meaning as well.

  • Larry

    Can’t stand “dude!” and “awsome!” Just writing this, I can feel the bile welling up in my throat. And I’m American!

  • http://www.facebook.com/melissapaganoleech Melissa Pagano Leech

    I am not sure why this person is on the BCC america site… this person HATES americans and while I am not saying that there is not a place to make fun of americans if you want to, but it it starting to really just piss me off that its on the BBC AMERICA site… have a nice day

  • Jackie O

    This list is kind of silly. Having lived in London for about 5 of my adult years (I am American). I have never had to explain myself when saying “have a nice day” “Let’s do lunch” “I like your shirt” or “I COULDN’T care less”. “Happy Holidays” is pretty self explanatory too. Not all Americans are idiots and not all Brits are confused by us.

    • Laurie

      I agree. I am American and love to visit England. I know people who would be baffled by British comments just because I know Americans who are idiots. I am not one of them. British people have been very accommodating whenever I visit their country.

    • I could care less

      You couldn’t have said it any better! People like that make American look inadequate…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.ruivo Joe Ruivo

    And just think what “we” in New England did to butcher the King’s English. “Wicked Pissah”

  • Jeanette318

    You got mine with number 8, Could care less? Well, try it and get back to me.

  • Pieda

    I was talking to my cousin who’s American, and her friend was there, and she sounded like a sterotypical Valley girl… She said ‘shut up’ like how it’s said in ‘The Princess Diaries’, or how the character Regina from Mean Girls says it.

  • Kristen

    When people in Britain kept asking me “you alright?” I thought I must look upset or sickly–that one confused me a lot. Once I realized it was meant as more of a greeting or “how’s it going?” I found myself using it too.

    • Rose

      Same here! I still find it an awkward greeting to respond to. Are you supposed to say “yes, I’m fine”? It totally feels like the person is actually asking if I am all right, as though something might be wrong.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.luscombe.7 Joe Luscombe

        No you say ‘alrite?’ back. It’s a way of acknowledging someone who you know.

        • Amanda

          I would confuse some Brits rather bad. I have a bad habit of asking people if they’re alright when they’re quiet, probably because it starts verging on feeling like they’re ignoring me (even when they aren’t intending to) and that feeling unnerves me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/liz.m.kerr Liz Musselman Kerr

        Kristen and Rose, same with me! “Ya’reet?” confused me for a long time. I found myself running to the loo and checking my face in the mirror to see if I looked sick or upset in some way! It took me two months to discover it was a greeting, the way we American college youths say, “Hey”.

      • Britannia

        It’s a bit like when I first came to California and people greeted me with “Hi. How are you”? Before I started to tell them how I was, they were off on their merry way. Now I realize “how are you?” is just a form of greeting. It doesn’t mean the person actually wants to hear how you are. And I’m afraid that now I use the phrase that way myself.

      • dork

        It’s exactly the same as the way an American would say “How are you?” while walking past at fifty miles an hour and not stop to hear your reply. i.e. just a greeting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1017442067 Brent Rossow

    This just seems bitter and insulting.

    • Laura Lynn

      I agree with you Brett.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Janes-Howe/1591152967 Mary Janes Howe

      I’m an American and I find it really funny. Also, number 8? So very true, and so very maddening.

      • Jamie

        Some of these are a bit condescending, but I TOTALLY agree with number 8, as well! I HATE when people say that!

    • Laurie

      Brent, I agree!

  • Martin

    Swag. Sick of it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584918879 John Wright

      s.w.a.g. = American for “scientific wild assed guess”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/valorie.fisher.35 Valorie Fisher

        Also means “stuff we all get” for example goodie bags at the Oscars and birthday parties.

    • Jessy

      To quote Inigo Montoya “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • Carrie

    I can’t get used to “Cheers”! I’ve been to England a dozen times and whenever I go anywhere everyone’s saying “Cheers”. I feel like I should raise a glass in salute. Even when I’m leaving a pub and the barman says it, I want to return to my seat and tap someone’s glass with mine. A note on the toilet thing… when someone says that, to me it means they have to go NOW. It’s an SOS type moment. Forget the formalities, they need to go! And a restroom just sounds more polite. No one needs to know what I’m doing in there (as I could just be fixing my hair). And I always say, “I’m Irish!” Drunk or not.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      YES! and me too. My ancestors (some of them just 2 generations ago) were from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, and Switzerland :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nickclift Nick Clift

    Hey Ruth, how are these Americanisms ‘meh’ and ‘lame’. You dug about as deep as BBC America does in its programming. We’ve started calling it the Top Gear channel, used to be awesome, now ‘it sucks’.

    • Pat Chandler

      Nick we call it the Gordon Ramsey channel. Wish they would have covered the Olympics though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jessicathraen Jessica Thraen

        they CAN’T legally cover the olympics in the US. NBC bought the rights for that for $1.2 billion.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      I agree with that statement

    • http://www.facebook.com/anicrotophaga Ani Crotophaga

      The “Top Gear/Filthy Mouth” channel.

    • Riki B

      Couldn’t agree more about BBC America. Whoever does the program scheduling needs to be fired because the never ending repetitive stuff is extremely insulting to the viewers. Can you imagine the uproar if the BBC in the U.K. dished up Top Gear night after night. I rest my case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marie-Faith-Dougan/505693791 Marie Faith Dougan

    It really depends on the American, and what part of the country they are from. I am from the Pacific Northwest, and we dont talk the same way here as they do in the south. I find many phrases that are used in America silly, American English is a funny language, and most Americans dont even speak it well.

    • http://twitter.com/Jadestoneishere Jadestone

      Agreed. I lived in several states and am told by everyone that I have an accent. I’ve picked up a little here and there. What bothers me most about this site is not some of the misconceptions. (Which is okay, we all have them about places until you live there) it’s the people saying that they are Americans and hate America. Simple truth: If you don’t like where you are (in life, geographically, etc.) then make the change to go where you want to. (Move, get a better education for a better job, etc.)

  • Joseph DiCrisotofano

    And when an American says, “the author of this article is out of touch with the underlying context of language, ” what he means is that she ignorant.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      good one!

    • http://www.facebook.com/joanna.carmel Joanna Carmel

      Uh-oh. They’re on to us!

    • skeptical

      Oh Joseph. Did your feelings get hurted?

    • marco_slinger

      I couldn’t Agree Less.. She is VERY Ignorant. Not sure she has actually stepped foot in America to make sure @$$ backwards comments

  • Sara

    The first couple of them are just unnecessarily insulting to Americans. Basically, you’re saying they’re just liars.

    • http://twitter.com/Jadestoneishere Jadestone

      Number 2 and 7 are so off. If someone wants to have lunch with you it means they actually enjoy your company and want to spend some more time with you and if someone says your shirt is cute that is a compliment of your style and should always be followed with a “Thank you, I got it at …” as that can sometimes be a way of further socialization.

      • http://profiles.google.com/johnwcowan John Cowan

        #7, though very crudely put, is actually warning of an important confusion. When an American compliments someone, it’s meant sincerely, but doesn’t go further than what is said. If I say you play the tuba well, I really do mean that I like your tuba playing. However, I am not trying to flatter you, suck up to you, or get in your pants by saying so; I’m just trying to find a single point of connection between us. This is obvious to Americans but not to others, who tend to only use compliments in the three situations I mentioned.

        • spadina

          Yes, this one would’ve confused me (an American) until I lived in Toronto and discovered that compliments are not merely friendly, but are pretty much only used in the above delineated situations. I accidentally misled a few people–and was “pre-emptively shot down” by people I was not interested in dating/sleeping with–before I figured that out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/thuban1123 Amanda Renfer

        In some cases, like high school though, “What a cute shirt” often leads to an insult about the person wearing it, or some type of action done out of pure spite (such as dumping juice on it). It can also be veiled as “oh what a cute shirt” (on you, I wouldn’t be caught dead in it though).

        Let’s have lunch sometime can simply mean “let’s hang out and chat” or “I’m afraid to ask you on a date, so i’ll ask if you want lunch to see if you like me”.

    • You

      It’s true though. Canadians say the same two phrases. So the hypersensitivity is a little dramatic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.kent.9659 Michelle Kent

    I work in an ‘American Shop’ and when I tell people to ‘have a nice day,’ I actually mean it. Life is too short to be negative all the time and I say what I mean, not the opposite.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ssakuras Katey Newman

      My day gets super boring if I don’t get to chit chat a little with customers every now and then. :) I like talking to them.. I work in two different locally owned stores, and we get some very regular customers that I could very easily be friends with outside of just talking to them while I work.

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        • David

          No one cares that has nothen to do with anything get a blog…

          • c-bitch

            who cares now i know how to immediately lose some weight lol -wink wink-

    • Daven

      Yes! Same here. I used to work at a retail store as a clerk in the Tanger outlets in NY. I know some employees just say it because they have to, or are only generally helpful/polite to customers because they have to be, but I never see a reason not to be polite and helpful, on my own. Why shouldn’t a person actually mean it? It’s not like the customers are the cause of all personal woes… lol

  • http://twitter.com/sinisterblogger Ethan

    Oh you Brits…you’re so bloody adorable, with your pluralizing words that should be singular and vice-versa (e.g. sport and maths) and other stuff. We’re two countries separated by a common language.

    • Dave

      We say maths because the word mathematics has an S at the end. By the way America, not all English people are from London and Britain is 4 separate countries, we all speak different languages and different versions of English. Just like America, you speak a different version of English, but let’s not forget that we invented the language, to say were wrong is like someone from Mexico telling someone from Spain that they’re dialect is wrong.

      • Rachelle

        I’d like to point out that the dude was complementing ‘Brits’ in a way, and that historically speaking we invented English too,sense although not everyone in America is English the country founded itself with English people,furthermore the correct terms for certain areas in the U.S are New England,[Giving us leeway to adapt the language] The South, The Midwest, The Mid-Atlantic :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=529241957 John Abreau

        The way I was taught, “Britain” was 2 separate countries (England and Scotland); “Great Britain was 3 countries (England, Scotland, and Wales); “United Kingdom” was 4 countries (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland); and “British Isles” was 5 countries (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland).

      • http://www.facebook.com/mike.netty.ornce Mike Netty Ornce

        Actually the Germans and the Romans and the Vikings “invented” English…. because it is a sloppy whore of a language that takes all of the easiest pronunciations (damn the spellings) of words and turns them into one langauge…. so, if you’d like to take credit for “creating” the bastard child of a language from 3 different countries who made you their bitch, as your own brilliance…. go right ahead

        • ZUmber

          Totally incorrect. The original lanuage probably originated in Turkey. However the standardisation of the English bible gave us the modern English language.

  • random

    When Americans say Happy Independence Day
    Translation: We fucking kicked ur ass brits.
    Doesnt Mean: God Bless the Queen.

    • random

      Olympic Medal Count: SCOREBOARD!!!
      TEAM USA!!

      • Chris

        Calculate the proportions here.. population v. medals.. and then do your smug comparison.

        • Billyp

          Okay, then why is the US on par with China? oooorrrrr… Grenada! Grenada! Grenada!
          Lost empire. Gotta sting.

          • Trevor Hope

            this entire chain of replies in unneeded.

          • Paul

            We also can see America is full of A$$holes. And I’m American.

    • You

      Because your use of expletives and appropriate syntax really shows how awesome you are.

    • Skankardly

      nice.

    • Nancy

      Never, in my 32 years of living in the US, have I EVER heard someone say, “Happy Independence Day!” Maybe a “Happy 4th.” Besides, anymore it’s about our current soldiers and their efforts. That and barbecues.

      • Sandlapper

        And fireworks….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=568468052 Anne Noble

      Also Doesn’t Mean: sorry we took your land Native Americans and marginalized you all.

      • taylorrr

        lmao.. that’s a good one! i’m american,even..

      • Jo

        Ahh yes, because we all know that throughout history England would never take over someone else’s land.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134731394 Timothy Ace Holleran

      I’m guessing maybe 30% of us Americans know the actual name for the holiday we celebrate on July 4. ( was tempted to write 4.7).

      • Brittania

        In England we call it Thanksgiving!

  • Lala

    What retailers pay on commission these days? Did you just see Pretty Woman for the first time?

    • http://www.facebook.com/lizcarrico2 Elizabeth Carrico

      Ah, Nordstrom for a start.

  • random

    oh and Olympic Medal Count: Scoreboard!!

    • random

      TEAM USA!!

  • Abbie

    These are all absolutely true, I am an American and I really wish that I was British!

    • Skankardly

      move.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.netty.ornce Mike Netty Ornce

      move!

  • IrishAmerican

    american military term “head” does not mean the block of skull three feet above your back end. it mean loo, restroom, bathroom

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      I believe that’s a Navy Term, No?

      • yankdyke

        “head” is used to refer to a toilet on a boat by thosein the nautical world

  • Hannah

    I’ve been to england and i must say you have some very obscure words yourselves.

    • Michael

      Check back soon…

  • Maureen M. Connor

    I’m not happy with the first one on this list. I am an American and I do mean when I say “Have a good day” We’re not all ass holes here. Thanks a whole bunch for putting all of us in one giant lump group. Also My family has Irish heritage that we can trace back so I am comfortable saying that “I am an Irish American” and “I’m Irish” When some one asks what my heritage is. So how about an article about “What British assumptions on Americans bother you?”

  • Aaaargh

    A bit cynical, no? I have this feeling that the author recently interacted with an American that irritated her.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      or it was spurred by the general attitude that we’re all stupid idiots.

  • http://www.facebook.com/graypilgrim James Estes

    When this American says, “zzzz.”
    Translation: “Good Lord, what a tedious list.”

  • Jeckyl

    They are just making the translations people. You are over offended because you know its true lol. It may not be about commission as much as customer service, but most people in the WORLD don’t care so much for others they don’t know personally. It’s just a greeting.

  • Denise

    Wow, That was a little mean spirited wasn’t it? Sometimes “Have a nice day” really means Have a nice day. Clearly from the tone of this article you are not having a nice day. I’m sorry someone pissed on your parade. Perhaps as an expat in the US you should embrace the colloquialisms with some humor instead of assuming Americans don’t really mean what they say and running us in to the ground.

    • Jamie

      I agree. Not all Americans are this mean-spirited…this makes it out that we are lying jerks who care about no one. If I don’t want a person to have a nice day, I say nothing, haha.

      • YankeeGoHome

        And she is misrepresenting reality. You are lying jerks who care about your own egotistic selfs. LOL

        • Lois

          You are just pissed because you got left behind. You missed the boat bitch!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584918879 John Wright

    A lot of these have to do with overworked, frantic people trying to remain polite in the face of exhaustion. If your writers want some very funny examples of idiosyncratic speech, then they need to explore the expressions used in the Southern States. One of many of those are, “if a Southerner says “bless his heart”, he is actually saying, “what a blooming idiot”.

  • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

    OK this was funny, but if I tell someone to have a nice day I genuinely mean it. In fact, if I say any thing to you, I mean it. If I don’t (i.e. a joke) you’ll know it. Also if I don’t have anything nice to say, unless you’ve pissed me off, I generally won’t say ANYTHING to you, because you’re not worth the waste of oxygen. :)

  • lindsey

    I don’t agree with some of these. There are nice Americans that actually try to be friendly with other people. Some of these are really silly… do all Brits take everything literally… you really don’t know what “good job” means? which could definitely mean you did well on something… maybe not your career, but on a school assignment or something like that. It’s equivalent to “job well done.”
    And “happy holidays”? I realize you call your vacations holidays but things like Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, Halloween, etc are called holidays. So saying Happy Holidays is akin to saying Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
    Restroom is really just the polite way of saying bathroom. Some people also say “Where is the ladies’ room?” if they are looking for one at a restaurant or something.
    And telling someone you like their shirt or shoes… could really just be someone saying they think another person’s clothes look nice…

  • http://www.facebook.com/DryWhiteToast Tara Lackey Johnson

    Should you ever have the interesting experience to visit Texas, “Bless your heart” means they think you are an idiot and only Jesus can save you from your own stupidity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/valorie.fisher.35 Valorie Fisher

      Tara, you nailed it!

    • Kay

      “Bless your heart” means that you feel badly for the person for whatever reason; it’s a way of expressing sympathy or empathy for him/her. I’ve only ever heard it said with positive overtones, and most people aren’t actually alluding to God or Jesus when they say it. It’s just a saying here, a colloquialism, to show the other person you care about what he/she is going through…but maybe you already knew that and were just being facetious.

  • Mm

    This is certainly not a culturally interesting piece. Educated people usually enjoy differences between their country and a foreign one. We are talking about differences in expressions not female circumcision after all! Maybe the author needs to travel more.

  • Laura Lynn

    You’re a wanker!

  • WhateverYouSayFool

    I love the “I could care less” one. I hate when people say it like that. Idiots.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tauruswright Taurus Wright

      Why. Perhaps they are being up front about the fact that they actually could care less ( you know, they have not reached the pit of their ability to care).

      • WhateverYouSayFool

        Because it makes no sense as a statement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nixie.albright Lindsey Albright

    I don’t see why these things would actually bother you. I think this is funny, and awesome. Differences between cultures and what they say is very interesting. It can make for a good laugh. Next time I use the phrase “I hooked up with…” (which would be the first time I would be using that phrase) I’m definitely going to mean that I attached myself to someone with a metal clasp, lol. Just Awesome!

  • Doom

    Good God people this is satirical in nature. I can’t believe so many Americans are getting their panties in a wad over this. I’m American but your reactions to this is just pathetic. No wonder most people in the world hate us.

    • Ethan Gilbert

      Thank You! We’re not all hypersensitive dumbasses.

    • http://twitter.com/TeriNall Teri Nall

      I knew it was satirical. I am not mad. Still disagree with some of it. I think people are mad because it’s no secret how the rest of the world views us.

      • Jamie

        This is my stance on it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nixie.albright Lindsey Albright

      Exactly! I’m an American too, and I thought this was funny. I couldn’t even relate to some of these sayings personally, because I don’t use some of them, but I know other people that do. It’s not like it has to be taken to heart. :)

    • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

      There’s plenty of material here for another post about how thin-skinned Americans are.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Red.VonMunster Red VonMunster

        Even more material about how ignorant the English are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=88201439 Sandy Conley

    True about the commission – as in, there isn’t one. Not in an ordinary shop. We say “Have a nice day!” because it’s been drilled into us to say it since at least the 1970s and the era of the yellow smiley-face. It comes out smoother than “Thank you for your patronage” and we can’t say “Thanks, Mrs. Smith!” because nobody knows your name anymore. And, sometimes, we do say it because we care about what sort of day you’re having, because we crave a couple seconds of actual human interaction and we think possibly you might too.

    And as for greetings, my favorite is the old traditional one the Yats say in New Orleans – “Where y’at?” Makes no sense at all logically since they can see you and know where you’re at, but it’s still awesome. :)

  • Erika L. Statler

    I know the post was meant to
    be funny, but I’m getting irritated by my foreign friends who assume
    that almost all Americans are rude. It’s posts like Ruth Margolis’ that
    perpetuate stereotypes and breed intolerance.

    For #1, when I
    say, “Have a nice day!” I actually mean it. I like to conclude
    conversations with people I’ve spoken with a happy feeling that wishes
    them a great day.

    #2, I would never invite a perfect stranger
    to lunch, but when I do invite someone to have a meal with me, I mean it
    and actually make plans for it.

    #3, I don’t “hook up” because I don’t have casual sex. Not everyone uses that slang, “mate”.

    #4, “Good job!” is a nice way of congratulating someone on doing
    something they had attempted before and not accomplished or is reluctant
    to accomplish.

    #5, I have nothing for this one because on
    March 17th, there are far too many drunken douchebags who claim to be
    Irish that actually aren’t. I, on the other hand, know my ancestry and
    don’t need to bandy it about on that holiday. So I’ll give her that one.

    #6, “You do the math” is not always said sarcastically. I’ve said it
    when trying to express how difficult a situation is. I certainly don’t
    say it in a mean way, I say it as though the situation seems rather
    desperate and I’m feeling helpless.

    #7, this goes along with #1. When I compliment someone, it’s not as code for sex as the definition of this phrase.

    #8, not all Americans have poor grammar!

    #9, and “loo” is a better word for using the toilet? Pardon out modesty
    and use of polite wording for what goes on in the bathroom.

    #10, “Happy Holidays!” is far more polite that wishing someone a “Happy
    Christmas!” — especially when they don’t celebrate the Christian
    holiday. Do all Brits wish their Jewish friends a “Happy Christmas!” or
    wish their Muslim pals that sentiment? We’re a little more sensitive to
    cultures than Brits seem to be if “Happy Christmas!” is the phrase used
    across the pond in the month of December.

    Just because Americans and Brits have different slang doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.

    The assumption that all Americans are snarky (and almost every one of
    those have a snarky “definition”) is rude and unfounded. That assumption
    is on par with Americans assuming all Brits are stuck-up, emotionless
    zombies who have bad teeth.

    • Erika L. Statler

      Sorry about the odd formatting, I was copy/pasting my reply to this on facebook to save time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bob.simms Bob Simms

      Best of luck asking for the bathroom in my house. it’s a room with a bath in it. The loo is a seperate room, because who wants to keep theri toothbrush in close proximaty to the loo?

      • Nancy

        You know, that’s something I wish was more prominent here in the US. It’s not very often that the toilet is separate from the rest of the . . . bathroom? . . . restroom? -Whatever you wanna call it. Bottom line: It’s a cleanliness issue. That’s also why there’s lids to toilets!
        One thing I do wonder about is the refrigerators. Why so small? Wouldn’t that mean you have to go to the store more often because you can’t keep as much in there? Is the answer in the question there? Americans are food centered? Whatev. Just wonderin’

    • Ninja_Penguin

      Brits use the term “Merry Christmas” at Christmas time because it’s Christmas. It is said to people that celebrate Christmas, not to people that don’t. It will often be said by those that don’t celebrate Christmas to those that do.
      We also wish our Muslim friends happy Eid, they don’t say it to non-Musims because non-Muslims don’t celebrate Eid. How is that not sensitive to other cultures?
      Think of it as wishing somebody a happy birthday, . It is said to the person who’s birthday it is, not by them.

    • Cerigachu

      So Americans say ‘Happy Holidays’ in the mistaken belief that only Christians celebrate Christmas?
      For most people in the UK Christmas is an almost entirely secular festival, based around family, fun, food and great telly, which you’ll find celebrated not only by Christians and atheists, but by many other people from other religions who choose to do something to mark the day.

  • Ethan Gilbert

    not all Americans say “I could care less.” That annoys the shit out of me. (Does the cursing help illustrate I’m an American?)

    • Paul

      true that!

  • Anonymous American

    Take a step back and breathe, people! Maybe you should try counting to ten. I hardly think the author was seeking out to make enemies of us all, it’s just a little harmless ribbing. It’s meant to be funny, not insulting. Just assume that some of the humor was lost in translation and move on.

    • http://www.socalautoblog.com frazgo

      If it was meant to be funny its an epic fail.

  • mizlee

    And when an American says, “Bless your heart” they are really saying, “Poor stupid Brit, who can’t figure out simple slang. How sad to be that narrow minded and slow.”

  • Jessy

    At first I laughed but then thought that you could have found better examples .. and.. yeah.. all americans aren’t sarcastic New Yorkers…I am .. well actually I am sarcastic Long Islander but.. others aren’t…. so, um’… have a nice day :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Annette-Bryant/767687859 Annette Bryant

    Why are people so upset about a humor column? If you can’t enjoy it, don’t read it, you made the choice to come to this page!

    • Sara

      What a ridiculous statement. You can’t know you were offended or didn’t like it until you have read it. When I clicked on this link, I thought I was going to read a humor piece, not a list of insults which mostly call me a liar.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bob.simms Bob Simms

        Ooh, you did so think that, you liar!

  • Texan to the core!

    Bless Your dear hearts darlin’s, you most definately don’t have a clue about American. How bout I make it bit dificult and add a bit o Texan n Southern to it. Please kiss my grits if you think that the speak above is even an inclinling of translation. you’d be in Hot water if you came across your pond and believed even a bit of above. Sweethearts – If a shop attendant in the Southern Bit of these states offers you a blessed day – Please, Let GOD above, the one and only bless your day. But when we bless your dear hearts, Dude – You be nuts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Livana007 Yvonne Cousse

    I HATE HAPPY HOLIDAYS! THere’s nothing wrong with saying Merry Christmas. Thank God the Brits still use that custom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.ellis.7 Lori Ellis

    GOOD JOB Ruth!!! What about when an American says “God Bless You”? I have yet to see an American insult the British. I’m sure there is some bad in all countries like the one who wrote this article. But I prefer to see the good at heart and in people. An up-most percent of Americans have more respect for all people everywhere than to post something so disrespectful and insulting to the British character. For the very talented British that wrote “Merlin” My hat goes off to you! Have a nice day Ruth Morgolis… :)

  • The best you could do?

    Clearly not the best list….being “Irish”, born in England, and having lived in America for 30 years, I found this one lacking in cleverness and rather “cheeky” and I love taking the piss of Yanks! They are an easy target. But this is a “load of bullocks”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Alan-Glazier/683275130 Jason Alan Glazier

    this person should be canned and fired

  • Rick Eidson

    I say have a nice day! unless I don’t mean it then I say Die have a nice Decay.

  • http://www.socalautoblog.com frazgo

    Wow, there certainly is a lot of animosity against us Yanks. For the record 1 & 2 I use with sincerity as do most folks I know.

  • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

    When an American says, “I’m not a racist.”
    Translation: “I am a racist, but it’s fully justified, for reasons I will now relate in exhausting detail.”
    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I bear no ill will toward anyone based solely on their social, economic or ethnic group.”

    • Nancy

      This makes me feel sad you believe this. Really. And it’s not true.

      • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

        I’m genuinely curious why you would say that.

        • Nancy

          I’m not racist. I bear no ill will towards anyone for their color of skin, economic status, hair color, weight etc.
          Those are all attributes having nothing to do with their soul; and that’s what I’m interested in.
          And I rather crave diversity. I grew up somewhere where there wasn’t much AT ALL. I live somewhere now where there is GREAT diversity and I can’t get enough of it!
          I love the variety & how it enriches my life; makes it better. And I can only hope I can begin to return the favor.
          Also: I love that there are others with different skin tones as mine, different eye color; I love that there are those that are tall and willowy and those that are smaller and more supple.
          My husband and I are almost nothing alike and while sometimes there are compromises to be made ( I always have sweats on in the house because he likes it far cooler than my comfort level ) I would *never* give up the differences because he makes my life interesting, broadens my horizons, opens my mind further and I learn to appreciate that which doesn’t come naturally to me.

          • http://msmith13.wordpress.com/ Mark

            I have no reason to doubt you. I was only observing that most of the time, people who aren’t prejudiced never find themselves in a situation where they feel compelled to protest that they’re not prejudiced. When they do, there’s usually a reason for it, and they usually proceed to demonstrate what that reason is. In real life I’ll bet you never have to point out your lack of prejudice to people, you simply show it with your actions.

  • Mongo

    Y’all are just jealous.

  • CoffeeGirl

    Huh… while intended to be funny, it came off a bit bitter sounding. All I can say is, bless your heart.

    • Jessy

      “like”!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1053644091 facebook-1053644091

      Yes! LOL! Anyone who doesn’t understand “bless your heart” needs to look up Southern American colloquialisms.

    • marco_slinger

      “Bless Your Heart” – Translation:- Passive Aggressive way of saying that you are freaking ignorant and I would not acknowledge your worthless article with a proper response,,, LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/tauruswright Taurus Wright

    “Have a nice day” and “Happy Holidays” are idioms? “Holy Cow” is an idiom (because, in general in the US, cows are not considered holy. This is an expression of alarm. I do believe this would be an example of an idiom, a phrase that expresses a meaning other than the literal translation of its words). Those two phrases are just that and mean what they say. Nothing to decode. Let’s not get started on English phrases and idioms. “Pick up the bone”, really? Really? The lift = elevator, a fag = cigarette, fanny = female genitalia, the torch = flashlight. None of these are idioms either by the way, they are just slang.

  • Michael Greer

    I truly hate when a wait person hears you say “thank you” and they answer, “No problem”.. like fageddabotit…could care less, would’ve done the same for a sheep dog… What happened to “You’re welcome”? same amount of work to say.. more polite. When I hear “no problem”, I answer, “Yeah, well actually, there is a problem you rude sonofabitch… just say “you’re welcome” and I’ll let this go the next 5 times I encounter one of you young assholes…”

    • http://www.facebook.com/tauruswright Taurus Wright

      Maybe they don’t want to lie and invite you to partake of their time and energy again. Is that OK?

    • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.mccarthy.733 Rebecca McCarthy

      Aw, now I don’t think that is quite fair. Sometimes you say “no problem” as in, “Oh, no need for thank yous, happy to help.” I certainly never mean to say that helping you was equivalent to helping a sheep dog!

      I think benefit of the doubt is kind of needed when it comes to that phrase.

      In fact, in Chinese, there IS no term for “you’re welcome”. Their form of you’re welcome is very much a “no need for thanks!”, and that is considered very polite.

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.molinari.52 Laura Molinari

    i thought this was funny – not insulting at all! the haters who posted negative comments obviously have no life if THIS is causing them so much drama.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tauruswright Taurus Wright

    Oh yeah and “the garden” = yard and not a place where one cultivates special vegetation for food and/or beauty. Jumper = sweater, The Underground = The Subway,

  • http://www.facebook.com/anicrotophaga Ani Crotophaga

    What is a “loo”? that is definitely not a real English word…
    “I like your shirt” means I want to see what is under it…

    I’m sorry to say but the British butcher the language much more than Americans, in fact they don’t even bother to pronounce English words properly.

    That is one you should include… “I’m sorry to say”
    means “I want you to think that it pains me to say this, but I couldn’t give a crap what you think”

  • Skankardly

    11. When an American says “Go fuck yourself.”
    Translation: “Go fuck yourself, especially if you write derogatory articles about Americans.”
    Definitely doesn’t mean: “Don’t go fuck yourself.”

    • Erika

      What means ‘Get over yourself’ to you??

      • Skankardly

        Depends on if you agree with me or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.mccarthy.733 Rebecca McCarthy

    Eeek! Well, THIS inspired some controversy.

    BBC, I love your shows! I really really do. Granted, I was kind of hoping this article was more about REAL phrases that get misunderstood, like the our different slang words and how “a rubber” means two very different things here vs. there.

    Some of these were funny, but I can also see how some people may feel insulted. Really, I think the different translations of these terms depends more on who the person is than whether or not they are American.
    In other words, I was disappointed but not insulted. I like reading about real language barriers, which is what I had kind of hoped this was. It seems we both like to poke at stereotypes, so here we are. At least no one called us fat, right?

  • Michael Greer

    Half my family thought we were Irish, the other half thought we were French… For some reason, I’ve always felt comfy in the UK… sure enough, we be from the UK, Runaway nephew settled in New Brunswick, CAN… ah… So THAT’S why I love the humor of Benny Hill, Monty Python, Dudley Moore AND Peter Cook, Mr. Bean, etc. And I found the food in London just delightful… Oxford too… Manchester… and of course, the real beer. We’re still the babies in the family over here… ha.

  • Erika

    Come on, people! Why are people so annoyed by this?! It’s just a funny list, which points out DIFFERENCES between the same language in 2 countries. I don’t see it as a big insult from a culture that sees itself as better, at all. As a linguist and speech-language pathologist, I find it interesting and amusing, regardless of who does or does not agree with it. As an American married to a Brit, I realize this author is just making fun of the fact that sometimes we really don’t understand each other. To be honest, when I hear someone yell ‘TEAM USA’, outside of the Olympics, I hear, ‘I’m a xenophobe’.

    • Sara

      It points out differences in a snide and snarky manner, which also basically accuses Americans of being liars and not meaning what they say. I guess that’s funny?

  • Carolinagirl

    Silly article, but do get this right as a Southerner here, as in North Carolina and when we say bless your heart, it is not a concern or compliment, but a very polite way of telling you off. Also, I can trace my paternal ancestry back to 800AD in Wales, through England and my maternal grandmother straight off the boat from Ireland, so yes Im an Irish American….and very proud of it. Now, BLESS YOUR LITTLE PIG PICKEN HEART Y’ALL and HAVE A GOOD DAY ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.grooms Dana Grooms

    My first time in London, it was a bit unsettling to be asked what time I wanted to be “Knocked Up” in the morning.

    • Nancy

      lol! Depends on who’s going to be doing the knocking up! ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/liz.m.kerr Liz Musselman Kerr

      Yep, definitely unsettling the first time you hear it. However, I would rather be knocked up English style than woken up by an alarm clock any morning. (Nod to Nancy’s comment)

  • Quinn

    Well, #2 is a little off, it’s more like, I’m going to say we should have lunch so it sounds like i’m being nice even though i know we won’t actually have lunch

  • MK

    And when a passing American that you’ve met says, “Hey, how are you?” or “Hey, what’s up?” what they really mean is, “Hello,” and definitely not, “As we are walking by each other without stopping, we clearly have time to exchange more than just greetings, so please tell me how you are feeling/what is happening.”

  • Julia

    Who really cares? Every language has slang..live and let live people.

  • FP

    This is a mean spirited, cynical, ethnocentric article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=902995646 Ariel Koiman

    Butthurt Americans are butthurt. No need to get your jimmies rustled.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christie.bradley3 Christie Bradley

    I love this! I am an American and several of these have never made sense to me, especially number 8. I have to add that as a very small child (3 or 4), I remember being confused by the whole “restroom” thing. During a very very long church service at a relative’s church, I was asked if I needed to use the “rest room.” (In my family we did not use that phrase). Thinking that a rest was exactly what I needed, I said yes, only to be dismayed at the sight of an ordinary bathroom with no beds to lie down in at all. I was scolded for “not really needing to go” and brought back in for the rest of the sermon. Ugh.
    For the record though, when I was working behind the counter, I really did mean it when I wished folks a nice day. Yes, we were required to do that at most places I have worked. But that does not mean that none of us meant it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.simms Bob Simms

    Nobody is going to tell me what sort of day I have to have. If I want to be a miserable old git I have every right to be one. My Grandad fought in the war to give me the right to complain about the weather and to give people dirty looks when they light up under no smoking signs.

  • Scott

    Yeah, #8…when did that start? How soon can it stop. Also, I’m as American as apple pie and a loaded semi-automatic weapon but I’ve found restroom and bathroom odd, yet anything more specific sounds like, “I’m off to the sh*tter.”

  • Scott

    Cheers! makes me look around for a drink and Brilliant! makes me feel mendaciously clever. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.simms Bob Simms

    Awesome
    Means OK
    Does not mean full of awe
    We drive on the right side of the road
    Means we drive on the wrong side of the road
    Does not mean we drive on the correct side of the road, the way Britain, Australia and, um, um Japan(?) drive
    British Accent
    means English,Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Canadian accent, with all their variations.
    Does not mean Bronx or Chicago accent
    Europe
    Means anywhere they have a funny accent but no turbans
    Does not meanThe EU (whichever state that is)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.simms Bob Simms

    And in the interests of balance

    When an Englishman says:

    Wotchya

    Means Here’s looking at you, kid

    Does not mean I’m watching you.

    .

    Yank

    Means American, Canadian or sometimes
    Irish, depending on what we think your accent is

    Does not mean someone north of the
    Dixie

    .

    Gor Blimey, Guvnor, I’m orf up the frog
    for a gold in the rub-a-dub with the trouble

    Means I’m trying to confuse/ amuse/
    entertain you with Cockney Rhyming Slang

    Does not mean I’m Cockney

    .

    Oh, you’re American

    Means I am about to berate you about
    gun control/ Iraq/ Driving on the right/ destroying the language of
    Shakespeare/ how you spell ‘colour’

    Does not mean Thanks of much for
    helping us out in World War II

  • Erik Anderson

    As an American, when I tell someone to have a nice day or that I would like to have lunch, I definitely mean it. And incidentally, while I was living in Dublin for a year, no one had trouble understanding me.

  • Lily

    Wow, okay, I think everyone needs to calm down. This was supposed to be funny and you are all acting like you have been personally insulted.

  • Dave

    The only one that is true is #8. It is ridiculous to say “I could care less” when in actual fact you mean the opposite. I’m English by the way, married to an American. All the others are pretty obvious. Oh and a shirt has cuffs collar and buttons. The others are T-shirts.

  • Erik Anderson

    Also, all of my mother’s ancestors have their roots in Ireland, but I have never uttered the phrase “I’m actually Irish” even while I was drinking in Ireland.

  • Lizzie

    Agree with most other comments here. With the exception of #8 which bothers me when said by anyone, American or British, this list is silly and not really that clever. Like everyone else here, I can also think of plenty interesting British sayings! Though some sayings might be strange to us, none of it has to be stupid, annoying, or confusing- it’s just different and that’s what makes it interesting!

  • http://twitter.com/JillyMcBoP Jill McLaren

    Funny, I don’t have some deceptive, hidden meaning when I say any of those things. And it’s not JUST Americans that say “weird” (translation: culturally acceptable) phrases.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susie.martin.925 Susie Martin

    I don’t like it when a British person hates an American for some non specific irrational reason. I don’t like when an American makes a comment such as your nurses when blue belts and the British person takes offense to simple statement and says,”well at least they have waists.” carol

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.netty.ornce Mike Netty Ornce

    This coming from a country that calls the toilet… the Bog, the Khasi, the loo, the lavvy, the throne, the john, the WC (short for water closet) and the privy.

    You say that “Hooking up with someone” is a strange way to say, “had sex with”…. how about some British euphemisms for copulation….

    Rumpy Pumpy….. Shag….Rodgering….boff….bonk….get your end way….having it off… to romp….and to knob (or nob)

    What really amazes me is how many different slang names Brit’s have to call someone an idiot….

    Numpty… a prat…. a spacker… a spazmo…a barnpot…. a spanner…. a smeghead…a berk… a twonk… a wally… a wazzock…a divvy… a duffer…. gormless…. a muppet….pillock and a plonker.

    To me Ruth, you sound like you’re OFF ONE’S ONION or OFF YOUR TROLLEY and you’re speaking all SIXES AND SEVENS…. but before you THROW A WOBBLY, SLAG OFF, or TAKE THE MICKEY about the dialect of Americans…making yourself sound a little CHEEKY… You may want to proof read your article and see if it makes you seem like a WITTER, and also see if you WHINGE and sound a bit like a MARDY.

    When you openly attack an entire county for there dialect you present your readers with an image of you as being a SCRUBBER and of one who needs revenge because of their spitefulness of being born a MUNTER or even a MINGER

    We can all read that it is apparent you don’t know a SWEET FA about American English…. nor the people you were so openly trying to slam.
    I do have to agree with you about one of your points through…. Most Americans do say they are Irish…. because they are! You see, America is a melting pot of cultures… our gene pool runs very deep… unlike, oh I don’t know…. an island where over thousands of years, the chances of inbreeding would sky rocket (not to mention the Royals who only marrying other Royals……… “smart thinking there William!!!!”)

    Soooooo…. BOBS YOUR UNCLE bitch!

    And to you, may I say a very American…. Have a nice day, and let’s do lunch someday!

  • Nancy

    You know what’s always been weird to me? Saying ‘bathroom’ about a public restroom. What are you bathing in there?
    At least saying ‘restroom’ is a little more appropriate. I AM going in there to relieve something.
    I will say I’m surprised that Brits say ‘toilet’. It’s just so graphic! It paints such a clear picture ;)

  • Moeyknight

    There is no cohesiveness to these examples. For example #1 and #2 is just saying that Americans are all rude and never literally mean what they say. Others, such as #9 are colloquialisms that would confuse those that even though they speak the same language, don’t live in the US. An example of this is the British saying, “Taking the piss.” That would confuse an American that was not familiar with British colloquialisms.

  • Dejaycee

    It’s so obvious none of you are English, the idea of this article has gone right over your heads. Instead of being insulted you could have just gone with the concept and discussed things said in England (or Scotland etc) that don’t have sense to you, with levity.

  • Jglassdude

    was waiting for the funny, i didn’t realize it was a rant. thanks for wasting my time!!

  • AnaNg

    Kind of hacky, if it’s comedy, isn’t it? For an encore can you tell us how men and women sure are different (eh? EH?!) and how bad airline food is?

  • TheFizz

    Some Americans can’t distinguish between “I could care less” and “I couldn’t care less”. I make a point of using the correct one. (I’m American)

  • http://www.facebook.com/renee.margaux Renee Margaux

    I, an American, find this FUNNY. Those of you ranting and finding yourselves insulted or bent, I would suspect don’t do well at comedy improvs and scream back at comedians… It’s embarrassing. I hope when/if you travel outside the US, you don’t behave like the “ugly American”

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.netty.ornce Mike Netty Ornce

      Had this article been written to be a form of comic relief, not so many people would have been offended….. when Graham Norton, Russell Brand or even Benny Hill makes/made fun of the U.S. no one was upset because it was all in good fun…. but this bitter bitch that wrote this article is in no way trying to poke fun at the U.S., she only has hatred in her words….. AND I AM VERY SURPRISED THAT SHE IS WORKING FOR B.B.C.A.
      If this kind of dribble is what this author thinks comedy is, then she definitely needs to find another line of work.
      Perhaps a career at the DMV or Air Port Sercurity!

  • Fred Alan

    “Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.” i.e., She’s in one of the more demanding environments of the USA, so she’s going to use it as a measuring stick for the rest of the country.. since she obviously has nothing better to do. Seriously, BBC? Can I get employed, er, hired, by you? I’m even willing to move TO London! And, I promise to write more thought-provoking nonsense/poppycock than this. Heck, I’d even invite you over for tea & biscuits at 4! Awaiting your consideration. Good day! Pip-pip! Cherrios! And all that sort o’thing. ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/liz.m.kerr Liz Musselman Kerr
  • http://www.msmariah.com/ msmariah.com

    I’m not thin skinned, nor do I care if this is what others think of Americans, but this list is just not accruate. In fact, after reading this list, I’m quite certain that the author has come to these conclusions after watching American reality television, namely ‘The Jersey Shore’ and ‘Real Housewives.’ Neither of which are good represenations of our culture.

  • Lily

    I’m an American, and not all of these are true. Although English is spoken in both Britain and America, there are quite a few differences, and those differences are not accounted for in this article.
    1. When I say “have a nice day”, I either am trying to be polite, or I really would like the person to have a nice day.
    2. “Let’s have lunch sometime” means “Let’s get together again and talk” or is just expressing interest in being friends with the person.
    3. “I hooked up with…” this one is true. “Hooked up” is a phrase that means the same thing as the article says.
    4. “Good Job” this one merely means that the parent is happy with the child’s achievement.
    5. “I’m actually Irish” America is known as the “Melting Pot”, where nearly everyone is of several different nationalities. This just means the speaker is of Irish heritage.
    6. “You do the math” this one, I thought, was mostly accurate.
    7. “Your shirt is cute” Speaker is just complimenting on the person’s shirt.
    8. “I could care less” means “I really do not have any interest”
    9. “I need to use the restroom” In America, “restroom” is a synonym for toilet/loo/bathroom.
    10. “Happy Holidays” is a word people use in case someone will get offended by “Christmas” Personally, I think it’s a bit dumb.
    Once again, these are just cultural differences. There are plenty of idioms used by British people that annoy Americans.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michelle.debari.7 Michelle De Bari

      “I could care less” is actually incorrect. You can care less about anything you care about, so you’re not saying anything meaningful. Saying “I couldn’t care less” means you don’t care at all so it is impossible to care any less.

  • Russell

    Time was when little booklets, explaining a strange old world, were given to each GI getting off the troopship in Liverpool.These lists mean much less these days than they did even in the 70s or 80s. Now there is so much more communication. Though a list such as this written by a high schooler might be interesting to high schoolers.

  • sophie

    laurie you are super stupid.

  • Ninja_Penguin

    The only one of these that annoys me as a Brit, is number 8. It’s just plain wrong. If you disagree, then think about it for a little while.
    Sometimes you just don’t realise what you say until it’s pointed out. I say “you alright?” as a greeting & I can see how that would be confusing for somebody not familiar with that usage.

  • Ariel McClellan

    I have to agree with JACKIE O… This is pretty stupid… (I am an american.) I would think if I was in London right now and I said “Have a nice day..” I wouldn’t have to explain myself. And you are right Jackie because most Americans are smart. We are the strongest country in the world. We landed our men on the moon before anyone else.. So before you start criticising Americans, start thinking about yourselves first…

  • James

    I hate the greeting “What’s up?” I used to check the ceiling… and it has become so meaningless. They actually expect you to always answer “not much”.

  • snarkypants

    1. I say “have a nice day” to customers. Not so that they tell my manager I was polite, but in the hopes that my obvious sincerity will actually make their day better.

    8. I guarantee you, the intelligent Americans are just as annoyed by “I could care less” as you are.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1290250366 Jae C. Grady

    This article made me cringe, as an American. Embarrassed for the (unfunny, snarky, and inaccurate) writer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lindzy.meclaf Lindzy Meclaf

    I’m American and number four is completely wrong

  • Evangeline

    Haha, speaking from the point of view of an American, I can verify that that these are mostly true. Except number five. I guess it could be true sometimes, but I know people who are first generation Americans because their parents were born in Ireland. Usually if our great great grandfather is Irish, we’ll say, “I’m part Irish.” Article was still good for a laugh though. xD and, please, fellow American commenters, CALM DOWN. It’s all in fun, and you have to admit these are true in general even if they don’t apply to you specifically!

  • trynee

    LOL! #8 – It annoys me to no end when people say “I could care less” because that is precisely NOT what they are trying to communicate. But no one ever seems to think about it. Another one I’m hearing a lot lately: For Christ’s sakes. Sakes? Plural? REALLY PEOPLE! (for the record I’m an American)

  • http://twitter.com/CaraSaysNo Queen C

    This article is condescending, but on the flip side is also extremely funny. I do agree that the author missed “bless your heart,” though that one can be sweet and/or a jab at someone. Number 8 though is a massive problem, and so true. I’m from New Jersey, and I absolutely hate it when people say that, because obviously they mean “couldn’t.” I also have to say, though most don’t confuse me (and even mean the same thing over here), I also enjoyed the very toungue-and-cheek ‘Things Brits Say’ article as well. Have a laugh everyone, and calm down. No need to get so uptight over an obviously humorous article or two.

  • Carlos

    Wrong on several counts.

    You can say, “I hooked up with a friend for some basketball” for example. Which means a friend and I got together and played a game of basketball. It does not have to be just for sex.

    When a drunken American says I’m Irish. It has not a thing to do with his ancestors. It is really an ethnic, stereotypical, slur-of-an-excuse that says its okay that I am drunk, because I’m Irish. Any insensitive drunk person can say it, even if he is Black or Hispanic, the ethnic link to alcoholism is understood.

    The word restroom probably came down from Victorian England’s prudishness when it was considered impolite in the US to mention bodily functions in public or mixed (male/female) company. Same Victorian roots regarding the dinner table a generation ago in the US when one was asked if he wanted white meat or dark meat (chicken). Because it was considered scandalous to say breast or leg at the dinner table; not for the chicken, for the people.

  • Denny

    I watched a Wimbledon shopkeepers face go totally baffled when my sister in law, inquiring about the price of an item, asked “how much does this run?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/camberwellbeauty Barbara Whitlock

    I’m a little bit offended personally! I’m an ex-pat… and quite
    frankly, I find Americans much more sincere than Brits. And regardless
    of what the deliverer of “have a nice day” is thinking, it’s better
    than the usual surly “piss orf” body language of most shop assistants in
    Eng. nowadays. I don’t care what they might be thinking, at least they
    are being superficially polite!

    And….most Americans really do mean “let’s get together for lunch” and
    “hooked up…..: definitely doesn’t mean what you’ve said here…..I’m
    an ‘older’ person, and I’ve had people say that all the time…friends
    hooking my husband and me up with let’s say a waiter or bartender (in
    order to get some special service…..)…and I think GB created
    political correctness, so let’s not get into the Happy Holiday bit!
    Most people again, that I know say “Merry Christmas”

    Don’t be so bloody shallow!

  • http://www.facebook.com/camberwellbeauty Barbara Whitlock

    I think number 8 needs some degree of thought….I usually say couldn’t, but “could care less” means that the person could care even more less than they are expressing or caring at the time….oh dear, how do I put this in to words? but I do think it could be a valid way to say it???? Put me right someone….

  • vachicago@hotmail.com

    I am an American who has lived in the UK for several years and traveled here for business for years before that. I must say this is exactly what I have come to expect from the BBC. Disguised as “a bit of fun,” it is really an anti-American polemic designed to make American looks stupid so that Brits can feel inherently superior. Thankfully, most Brits I know can laugh at both the pluses and minuses of both the US and the UK, without the need to put someone else down to feel better about yourself. In the end BBC, somehow, like magic, the United States has produced a remarkable society of great achievement and one with has been a good friend to this country. All this despite being the lot of backwards morons we all appear to be in your consistently slanted coverage. When will you ever acknowledge the US may have done just a thing or two well?

  • offhandmanor

    And some of us mean it’s not a place to LIE down and have a rest! (photo caption) LIE LIE LIE not LAY down unless it’s your burdens. Glad I laid that one on yez.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1154034165 Barbara Berman

    right on the nose, you’ve been here a while.

  • WF

    Your explanation for #10 was literally a LOL as it applied to me!

  • Katie

    People need to stop taking this so seriously! I think the point of this article is simply to illustrate that there are phrases Americans use frequently that may be foreign to a Brit. Sure, they can probably figure out what we mean, but it could throw them off momentarily. Haven’t any of you heard a new phrase and thought it meant something it didn’t?

  • _oasis_

    When an American says, “I’m going to the dentist.”
    Translation: “I am having my teeth cleaned, straightened or fixed”
    Definitely doesn’t mean: That puzzled look on your face.

  • http://twitter.com/DocWheat David Wheat

    When an American says “your majesty” it is always sarcastic. When an American says “your grace” he or she refers to your elegance or beauty of form or action, not to a duchess. Those crazy Americans!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134731394 Timothy Ace Holleran

    One of the more nebulous Britishisms I’ve encountered is the various forms of the word “sorted.” “Well-sorted” seems to connote excellence, while “sorted” can mean “finished,” as in “Well, we’ve got the ticket situation all sorted.” I enjoy the differences the pond has created.

  • namelessanon

    The only one that is annoying is the ‘I could care less’ one; which, let’s be honest, is totally incorrect, gramatically speaking.
    Asides from that, they’re not really that hard to work out. Even ‘I could care less’ isn’t hard to work out, it’s just irritating as heck.

  • Shivangi Narayan

    Now that colonising people is no longer in vogue, is this how you spend your time? Claiming superiority over a language that has grown extensively and has transcended the domains of the “right” and the “wrong”
    Accept it, o great UK, more and more people speak a variant of English that is far removed from the Queen’s English today. The language has moved on, high time you do too.

  • SUppA

    I am neither British nor American. But I can definitely say that regardles of what americans say, they have great herats wile british were always arrogant and hating

  • Chris T

    Guys, this article is obviously idiotic. The BBC is just trolling us for page views and ad revenue. I say we stop commenting and let Ms. Ruth Margolis get back to her bitter and obviously unsatisfying life as a hack journalist.

  • Dave Van Dam

    Sorry you have been placed in a such a horrid country. I’ve got another expression for you: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/KevinJFK Kevin Matthew Hall

    Someone actually got paid to write this mean-spirited, pointless piece? It’s a shame that trying to be civil and polite is viewed by this writer as being “irritating” and “annoying”. The Bristish have a beautiful word to describe this article: “Rubbish!”

  • Uncle Samuel

    An American reads this article, and thinks, “What a cunt.”

    Translation: “The author is clearly a poor excuse for a woman, one for whom only the most foul and crudely misogynist descriptor is appropriate.”

    Definitely does not mean: “I am chiding the author in an offhand, friendly/sarcastic manner.”

  • http://btwnworlds.tumblr.com/ Lou G

    Me doth think England is still bitter…

    What this means: England is still P.O. they lost a war to a bunch of upstarts and to sign a treaty recognizing they had done so 229 years ago.

    What it definitely doesn’t mean: England tastes a little sour.

  • Joe American

    Can you figure out what an American means when he or she says “Suck it, you pretentious British twat”?

  • Johnatan

    The article depicts the observation of a spiritless person unable to get the touch.

  • elder

    When in the UK I found that many people who work with the public have developed a “very polite” way of being nasty. They also won’t volunteer any info like most Yanks do if asked a question. So things are not all rosy there. Yes, as some Yanks are rude…but more often I find my day passing more pleasantly because of cheerful employees in the retail stores. Must be the big cities where the writer lives…. too sad.

  • Amy

    This was amusing. I’m American. I say “I couldn’t care less” believe it or not. And when I say “Have a nice day!” I mean it. :)

  • Rich Bessey

    When I hear: “Have a nice day!”…I say: “Only if you insist”

  • William Carlin

    I have to agree with this, having lived in America my entire life, the only other country I’ve been to was Korea. I didn’t even have to speak the language to understand that they were on a much more sincere level of respect between each other. Unlike here where it’s more like, “Hey, if you don’t do anything for me I don’t want you near me f*ck off”

  • William Carlin

    Also, I’m not one to get upset over other countries criticism of america. I know very few places you can go to and actually meet a majority of Sincerely Kind, Heart Warming people. I’ve lived in lot of different places and I think I only found one. It was right outside of a military post. On the plus side, I’m not offended by next to anything except for people who insult my cooking. That’s the only time I get upset LOL

  • Lev

    Hilarious, apparently a few Americans ain’t as open to being lightly mocked as we are. Number 8 had me in stitches.

  • Jenn

    Huh. Sounds like someone put on their grumpy pants the morning this was written.

    Actually, I prefer the “have a nice day” to the local shop girls who don’t stop their gossipy conversation while I wait for someone to help me with a purchase.

    Also, “let’s have lunch” or “let’s have coffee” often means just that, at least with my friends. Huh. Could be the problem.

    And I don’t see where my “good job” back in the US is any different than my “well done” here in the UK, but whatever.

    And yes, I “get” sarcasm (surprisingly, it ISN’T limited to the British) but this verges on bitter, bless your heart.

  • Missy Carmean Burr

    Whoever wrote this is an idiot and an embarrassment to both Ireland and anyone who came from there!! How sad!!!

  • dude.

    LOL @ americans making commission. maybe if you work at a cell phone store. or a car dealership. have a nice day is just way to be polite and nicely see someone off rather than to just say goodbye.

  • http://twitter.com/samanthamcgarry Samantha McGarry

    Work it out, fish brain!! Haha! Having lived in the US for almost 13 year, I still come across sayings that don’t translate. I blogged a few months back about what I think are really silly American words – like catty corner and pocket book! Feel free to give it a read: http://samanthamcgarry.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/10-silly-american-words/

  • http://www.facebook.com/sethamize Seth Mize

    Although this is accurate for a majority of Americans, there are the exceptions. But, yes, pretty accurate and funny stereotypes! Now, could you do one for the British?

  • I could care less

    I don’t know what kind of people you’ve met, BUT NOT ALL Americans are like. Wow…

  • ClemenceDR

    BBC America being snide about, er, America: 200 comments. BBC America unable to parse the difference between “lie” and “lay”: PRICELESS.

  • im irish

    lol :D

  • kim

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  • KidVersion

    Hey! I say “have a nice day” because they were nice, If they aren’t I still say it, but with a sarcastic tone… And I rarely say “good job” so if I do, that means you REALLY did a good job…. And I live here, so if someone has a problem with it, go somewhere else.

  • Don Rohn

    Have you lived in America? I just ran across this and was born here. It looks like you have no idea what you’re saying. #3, 8, 9 and 10 make sense, but the rest seem like you’re being a cynical dick.. (cock chops probably makes more sense to you..)

  • Samantha Ventura

    how are you gonna say what we mean? i live in New York City and I’m pretty sure you don’t read minds and know what everybody is thinking

  • Samantha Ventura

    this is so pathetic

  • Samantha Ventura

    didn’t know you could go inside my mind and know what i actually mean, I’m a New Yorker i live in the city and i find this stupid and retarded

  • Uncle Sam

    One reason not to read this article.

    1. It’s Bollocks!
    Translation: Testicles.
    Definitely doesn’t mean: It’s worth reading.

  • CupcakeDon

    Whoa Ruth Margolis, you got us all wrong. We’ve baffled you again from the looks of your list. I’ve fixed your translations since you seem to be lost in it…

    1. When an American shop assistant says, “Have a nice day!” (This varies by region)

    Translation: “F*ck you” or “Thanks for not acting like a douchebag and saying that everything had a lower price on the shelf.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I hope you have a better day than me.”

    2. When an American you’ve just met says, “Let’s have lunch sometime.”

    Translation: “You would look good holding that take out box while completely naked.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I would like to eat lunch with you and hear everything you have to say.”

    3. When an American friend says, “I hooked up with…”

    Translation: “I had nasty sex with “fill in blank” while rolling over chinese take out boxes laying on the bed”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I casually hugged someone”

    4. When American parents say, “Good job!”

    Translation: “Thanks for choosing a career with a pay scale above a janitor, unlike your father.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “Someone in the UK could have done better.”

    5. When a drunken American says, “I’m actually Irish.”

    Translation: “F*ck me, I’m Irish.” or “I may be prone to beating you when drunk, if we get married”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I’m Irish, I can hold my liquor better than anyone else.”

    6. When a sarcastic American says, “You do the math.”

    Translation: “Do I have to f*cking explain to you why the UPS guy comes to your house for an hour everyday.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I forgot my calculator.”

    7. When an annoying American says, “Your shirt is so cute!”

    Translation: “You’d look better if you’d take it off.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I prefer you keeping the shirt on.”

    8. When an annoyed American says, “I could care less.”

    Translation: “Go to hell in a handbasket and I hope you hit your head on everystep on the way down.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I could care more.”

    9. When an American with a full bladder says, “I need to use the restroom.”

    Translation: “I need to piss or take a dump.”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “I need to powder my nose.”

    10. When a festive American says, “Happy holidays!”

    Translation: “Happy I’m not sure what religion you are so I’ll say holidays so you don’t get all pissed day!”

    Definitely doesn’t mean: “Enjoy your boring Pagan day.”

  • Aby

    Number 2: Actually does mean let’s have lunch sometime.

    Number 5: Is actually is a pick up line they are referring to the saying “kiss me I’m Irish”

  • Amy

    When I say ‘Happy Holidays’ I always mean Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

  • Lincoln

    People who aren’t American should avoid trying to play the expert in deconstructing what Americans really mean when they speak.

  • http://twitter.com/LoveMac33 Emma Maria

    This is late, but I figured I’d add it just in case some innocent little Brit browsed this comment section prior to going to U.S. – when someone says “we’ll hook up later” it means “we’ll see each other later” not “we’ll have sex later.” Basically, “hook up” has a few meanings.

    And just a side note, as a non-British European who has lived in U.S. for almost two decades and spent quite a bit of time in England as well, I’d like to say that Americans, as whole and in general, make an effort to be nice to people. I know, shocking! To us – crusty Europeans – it’s borderline annoying. But in America when a lady smiles at you and says “have a good day” she actually wants you to have a good day. I know that’s hard to believe, because it took me a while to get used to it. It also used to freak me out when I was shopping in a store and a complete stranger would make eye contact and smile or say “hi” – now when I’m in Europe I do the same thing out of habit, and I feel like one of these days I’m gonna get arrested for it, especially if a child is involved :) And while “bless your heart” can be used in a sarcastic way, it is also used in a genuine way. Europeans think it’s cool to be rude and depressed, Americans are unapologetically happy and polite – in general. As a result, the list is off, even if it was meant to be funny, it’s pretty much just wrong (#8 should be punishable by law :)

  • Derek from Florida

    when someone uses the interjection “Hey” when starting a conversation, we all know this injection is used to get someones attention but when i use another simple injection to reply such as “yeah?” indicating “yes you have my attention how may i help you” they are completely baffled as how to respond. many become rude and ignorant as they obviously werent prepared for an intellectual conversation with someone who knows the english language.

  • victoria

    You have obviously never been to America…..

  • Veronica Hernandez

    Dope smoke

  • Sara

    Ha! I’m American and I’ve definitely used 7/10 of these as listed. The most interesting one to think about is the (Insert nationality one) because I can pick and choose from a good many, but at the end of the day I’m American and it’s a lifestyle too. Fun article though. It made me think of all the Engrish websites I’ve ‘surfed’ for English in Japan. :)

  • Julia

    As an American….this is a kind of offensive

  • Destiny

    I believe that you have the title ALL WRONG.
    It needs to be “10 things people all over the world say and what they really mean”. It’s bull malarkey to only associate what you believe Americans say, and what it means. You must be that type of person that says things that you don’t mean. Further more, there are more people that genuinely mean exactly what they say in Every region of this WORLD, Not Just The Americans as you put it. I am a proud American that says what I truly mean. I treat people the way I want to be treated. If I don’t mean what I’m going to say then I DON’T say anything at all.
    I MEAN EVERYTHING I JUST WROTE EXACTLY THE WAY I MEAN IT!!!!!

  • Kay

    This entire article makes me wonder if the author ran out of things to talk about and thus decided to insult a whole nation to buy herself a couple of weeks to think of a more quality story. Sad.

  • Christian Vivar

    When americans say “i love europe” they really mean ” man it must suck to not matter anymore and spend your time talking about how dumb the only remaining superpower is” yes lots of americans say stupid shit…. every country has idiots. stop telling yourself what makes you feel better about being our bitch. oil is a dollar backed comodoty for a reason, we print the dollar. its the new world, its our world and you all are guests in it. china may challenge….. maybe. stop telling yourself you matter.

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  • Tanya

    1. Saying “have a nice day” is just common courtesy and a friendly gesture.
    2. That just means “I want to see/talk to you again sometime soon”
    3. “Hooked up” just means arranged, or getting together
    4. “Good job” means “whatever you just did, you did well.”
    5. In America, just about everybody has a lot of different racial backgrounds, so that’s what being “Irish” means. As an American, I agree that it’s dumb.
    6. This is a sarcastic comment and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
    7. That’s just a way of saying “I like your shirt.”
    8. COULDN’T care less.
    9. Restroom is an American word for bathroom/loo

    10. I, and most people I know, think the phrase Happy Holidays is dumb and don’t use it.

    People, remember that Britain and America are two different countries, and naturally there will be several linguistic differences. British sayings sound just as weird to Americans as American sayings do to Brits.

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