British Expat Parenting: The Trial of Having American Kids

Children with dual citizenship get the best of both worlds. (Fotolia)

Children with dual citizenship get the best of both worlds. (Fotolia)

Like many Brits in the U.S., I have children who, while being dual citizens and very comfortable in the U.K., are essentially American. (My use of “trial” above is a bit tongue-in-cheek.) With that comes the eye-rolling, giggling and general mickey-taking about some of my British habits and sayings, showing a complete disregard for the “Not Wrong, Just Different” approach I have always taken.

Oh, not the usual ones like aluminium, tomato and basil (although they’ll throw that in when necessary), it’s words like “squirrel” for crying out loud. “Mom, say ‘squirrel,’” they beg, eagerly awaiting the careful enunciation of both syllables. My kids claim to be pronouncing both syllables too, but to anyone with half an ear, it comes out more like “squirrrl.”

“Sloth” is another one. The other day I rhymed it with “both,” and all three kids turned and stared at me, before the little guy just said, “Sloth – rhymes with broth, mom.” Jeez, give a Brit a break would you? And I’m not the only one who rhymes it with “both,” so there.

Although I don’t eat my pizza with a knife and fork, I do put out both when it’s dinner time chez nous. I put them out at each place setting, and, if anyone looks like they’re struggling with just the fork (cutting lettuce, for example), I helpfully remind them of the other utensil sitting just to their right. Again, mucho eye rolling at the very Britishness of it all. But I’m not the one chasing chicken around my plate or trying to roll gigantic pieces of lettuce into my mouth while slapping salad dressing all over my face.

Fortunately, at various times during childhood palate-development stages, at least one of my kids has liked traditional British snack food such as beans or scrambled egg on toast, sausage sandwiches and so on. (At the moment, two out of thw three will have any one of the above for lunch. Score!) However, no matter how I doctor up the Brussels sprouts, they’re having none of it and cannot believe their own mother eats the dreaded things. Ditto black pudding, which I recently purchased at a British specialty store and ended up having to share with the dog. Mind you, I know just as many Brits who wouldn’t touch that either.

Not that I have the mouth of a sailor, but I do find the odd swear word somewhat cathartic. My favorite, not well-known around these parts, is “sodding,” an adjective that lends just the right amount of angry emphasis without being too offensive. My kids think it’s hilarious and mince around the kitchen, vaguely mimicking the Queen while repeating whatever the “sodding” thing was that I had uttered. When my eldest was but a toddler, she delighted in saying “baddy ell” when in company, knowing that our fellow Americans had no clue what she was saying but Mommy did!

Are you a Brit raising children in the U.S.? Tell us about it below! 

See More:
Toni Hargis: What I Miss About British Summers
8 Reasons to Raise British Children in America
How to Fly With Kids: A British Expat’s Guide


Toni Hargis

Toni Summers Hargis is a British author who has lived in the USA since 1990. Toni blogs as Expat Mum and is the author of Rules, Britannia - An Insider's Guide to Life in the United Kingdom and The Stress-Free Guide to Studying in the States; A Step-by-Step Plan for International Students. She has made frequent appearances on radio and TV discussing US/UK matters.
View all posts by Toni Hargis.
  • Evie C

    I am a British expat raising a 3 1/2 year old in Virginia and already I’m being asked to repeat ‘garage’ and ‘tomato’ and relish at my daughter laughter her back side off at me! Karma will get her on the trips that we’ll be taking back to the UK each year as she grows up and she’ll be the minority and might even learn how to speak properly!

    • Tobi Sandoval

      I’m not sure using a more American vernacular qualifies as ‘improper’ speech…

      • Anon

        I believe that was said tongue-in-cheek. 😉

        • Tobi Sandoval

          My mistake, if it was. I hear too many fellow Brits with the “We invented the language” attitude, and it grates on me. I was maybe a little hasty in my response :)

          • Spotted Feather

            The americans don’t have an accent. It’s the british that have an accent. Up until the late 1700s/early 1800s, the english sounded pretty much like americans do today.

          • Doxter

            There are dozens, if not hundreds of accents in England. You have the Liverpudlian accent, Mancunian accent, West Country accent, Brummie accent, Geordie accent to name but a few. This may come as a shock to you, but we ALL have accents, including you.

          • Spotted Feather

            I never said you didn’t have accents in England.

          • Bt210

            There are dozens of accents on Long Island. (I can do them all. I’m not particularly proud of this fact, but I admit it.)

          • Balls

            Utter crap

          • Spotted Feather

            Have you studied language ? Unless you do research about this, don’t talk about things you have no idea about.

          • Dan Bruckbauer

            Yes we do…many in fact, regional of course, except the midwest, where we have none ;).

          • Spotted Feather

            What I said was, was that until after the revolutionary war, americans and british sounded pretty much the same. But then the british changed the way they speak. So THEY are the ones with the accents in the english language. I’m NOT making this up, here.

          • Autymn Maas

            How did you find this out? I’m curious.

          • Spotted Feather
          • Anon

            Ah, you read it on the internet, which was of course a popular form of sharing information back in the 18th century. In addition, the language is called English, therefore those who do not speak it with any one of the dozens of English accents can be said to have an accent.

          • moviemaven2

            I visited each of the links provided by Spotted Feather, and while we could easily argue the credibility of these sources, the main problem seems to be the misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation of the aforementioned reader. Careful, thoughtful, critical reading seems to be a sorely lacking skill these days.

          • expat

            Interestingly enough, a friend who went to university in England taking linguistics courses, told us the same things as those links. :-)

          • Anna

            What is he lacking or misunderstanding? Please do tell, armchair linguist.

          • Anna

            You asked for sources online;the person in turn gave you online sources. You doth protest too much. Livescience is pretty reputable.

          • anglophileFilipino

            I’m not English or American but I’m an anglophile from the Philippines (I know all English-to-British kings and queens from William le Batard down to the German Elizabeth II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha/Windsor). Just a hypothesis, though, I think the non-rhoticism of the British RP comes from the Hanoverian royals of the 18th to 19th century, they being Germans from Hanover — first king was George I. Of course, you’re more aware than I that German also is non-rhotic as the Brits’ RP. Maybe, the scheme came from the upper society in London during the period. I also believe that before the Hanovers — during the Plantagenets, Tudors, and Stuarts — English then was rhotic. So, ‘hard’ before the non-Hanoverian period was similar to the AmE hard and not the stereotypical Brit RP ‘hahd’. I think Lalands Scots is more conservative than the RP down south. Lalands is as rhotic as the AmE (of course, with a different accent). Reckoning and opining only.

          • anglophileFilipino

            So, ‘hard’ before the Hanoverian period was similar to the AmE hard and not the stereotypical Brit RP ‘hahd’.

          • Autymn Maas

            Thanks! I love the study of accents.

          • William

            When, why & how did the British change their accents? And why not in uniformity as they have some of the most diverse accents on a very diverse continent? Who did they sound like? The Southern States, the East, the West, the Canadians?

          • anna

            Try Rhode Island. Please do your research. Spotted Feather is correct.

          • Conuly

            Yes, they changed how they speak. Absolutely – AND SO DID AMERICANS.

          • Spotted Feather

            Nowhere near as much as the english did.

          • Taylor McK

            As someone with a formal linguistic education, I can promise you that this statement is riddled with fallacies. Language is very organic and always evolving. I encourage everyone to learn about the history of our beloved English.
            Also, I am a Texan who uses a fork and knife while eating her food! We’re all different down here, I can assure y’all 😉

          • Spotted Feather

            What I said is correct. I find it hard to believe that someone that supposedly has studied language doesn’t know this. The only thing that you said is true is that language evolves. Again, what I said is correct. Up until the late 1700s and early 1800s, british people sounded, basically, the way the americans did. You REALLY need to do some research on this before you say what’s true or not.

          • Daniel Justin Antone

            The thing is, that neither Americans nor British sounded the same as they do today. They may have indeed spoken more similarly than they do today, but both groups’ dialects have altered as they linguistically diverged.

          • William

            I stuggle to believe that as the US expanded Westward and large and diverse immigration flowed into the US, the American language didn’t experience evolution whilst the UK accents and language did. This was some time before the immigration was experienced from the Empire and Commonwealth, in recent times. Australia shares numerous similarities and customs with the UK (a lot more than the US) but their language has changed with phrases, names and accent against the UK despite a lot cultural exchanges and the £1 Pommie scheme of recent history too.

          • William

            Sorry I misread you comment!! So ignore below. But you must be aware that the UK has many different titles, words, phrases and literature. The Scot’s were spoke, wrote, used different English words to the English and English regions against English. To say American were the same as the British accents if broad and vague. Travelling around the UK you experience huge regional varieties. My wife if from the North East that is very different to my families London linguistics let alone some US family that grew raised and lived in (Anglophile) Southern states. Sadly I can not correct my grammar and spelling on the ipad. So please excuse (especially as we’re taking about language).

          • Anna

            This is mostly correct. What is now known as Queens English was manufactured by the British aristocracy in the early 1800s. The fact is educated Americans of British parentage in the colonies did not sound much different from their British counterparts and would sound similar to someone from the East Coast today.

          • joespivey

            What are you on about? Are you seriously suggesting that some mythical way of speaking in the 18th Century was how English was always spoken, and that the mythical UK accent changed and the mythical US accent did not?

            It is said that accents in the US stem from a particular accent in the UK (there is not, nor ever has there been, a universal UK accent) – however, both accents have developed. That accent in the UK changed a lot more than the US ones changed, but there’s no suggestion that the GA accent today was the UK accent, or even a UK accent, in the 18th Century.

            It’s important to point out that nobody knows exactly the accents that were spoken during the 18th Century, and there is a lot of debate on the issue.

            There is no such thing as not having an accent – an accent not being regional or being a prestige accent doesn’t mean it’s not an accent.

            By the way, I’ve studied language and linguistics.

          • Toni Hargis

            According to the brilliant PBS book “The Story of English”, in 1776 English spoken on both sides of the Pond sounded pretty much the same. In fact “a contemporary diarist reported that the Americans “in general speak better English than the English do. No country or colonial dialect is to be distinguished here”. “In 1802 the US Congress recorded the first use of the phrase “the American language”.

          • Mark Smith

            You do have to wonder though how broad the experience of this diarist was to be making such sweeping claims about either country.

    • Mark Smith

      :-) I have all this to look forward to. We’re in VA as well, in Manassas. My MIL recently drew it to our attention that our two-year-old says “water” in my northern English accent. No-one ever thinks it’s a bad thing tho! An accent will get you far in this land :)

  • Gill

    Banana is the one that gets them laughing.
    And I do have to confess there is nothing like throwing out a good old bloody hell…or plonker when you are mad…or even a bugger…lol
    My kids usually never notice most of it…and once in a while I hear their British impressions….my son never realised until he was in 1st grade that I had an accent..when someone else told him…what can I can take the girl out of UK..but never take the UK out of the girl!!

    • Toni Hargis

      My kids are always really surprised when their friends comment on my accent. Although they take the mick all the time, they really don’t “hear” it on a day to day basis. Similarly when we’re in the UK and people talk about my “American” kids it always sounds really weird to me.

      • Christine

        I never heard my father’s accent until after we were reconnected after 17 years of estrangement. As soon as I got off the phone with him, I turned to my mom and said he must have gone back home (England) because he has an accent. She then said that he always had an accent. But I did notice the way he pronounced certain words like aluminum. Also, there were times, as a kid, when I would say something that would have an English accent. I wasn’t trying to sound that way. I guess it was just a part of who I was.

  • Markm1811

    I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks about these. It drives me mad when i go to meals with no knife out or my wife puts a knife for spagetti… And so what if I eat a burger with a knife and fork..

    • Toni Hargis

      Half the time I have to eat sandwiches with a knife and fork ’cause they’re too big to get my jaw around. Seriously (and it’s another thing my kids find hilarious) I have a very small mouth and jaw; there’s no way I can eat massive burgers or sandwiches without some deconstruction and “tools”.

  • Megan Kohtz

    I am an New Zealander/Australian living in North Carolina, raising 11year old daughter and 8 year old son. I can relate to most of these! But not the repeat “such an such”. My kids spoke with an New Zealand/Australian accent like me until they went to school. :-(

  • Nabela L. Hamm

    I’ve lived in Tennessee for nearly 20 years, and while my accent has “flourished” with a southern drawl, I absolutely refuse to refer to those flying rats as “squirrrls.” Just ain’t happenin’. As for swearing, I’ve had “bloody” slip out a time or two, but the kids knew I was mad enough that they could raise eyebrows, although they daren’t say a word. “Bugger” is another favourite (or favorite, as my spell checker insists).

  • jabezvancleef

    what do you do to advise them about the extra letter U in words like honor and color?

    • Milkeebar

      That they should be ‘honour’ & ‘colour’ perhaps?

      • Mimi

        My two American children have excellent table manners, using knife and fork the correct way. They are proud to be British passport holders, and go mad for Wimbledon! The think it’s very funny when I say bloody or bollocks (even bugger). They also love to shop at the local British shop for maltesers, walkers crisps, etc. I stock up on tea!

    • silentnonrev

      it is not extra! Noah Webster excised it a couple of centuries ago.

      I would have been in *deep* doo doo if I would have said “bollocks” around my parents…and in my *very* young days, a “bloody” on the telly elicited letters of complaint to the BBC

  • Jwb52z

    Doesn’t black pudding have actual pig blood in it? It was my understanding that “pudding” in the UK was a word that described something eaten for a dessert. I have yet to hear about someone eating meat, or something meat related, as a dessert.

    • Milkeebar

      Pudding is usually a dessert but can be savoury.
      It does have blood in it (some Americans call it ‘blood sausage’) but it isn’t eaten as dessert but as part of the good ol’ full english (breakfast).

    • Kelly G.

      There’s also Yorkshire Pudding…not a dessert either. More of a “sunken” biscuit with gravy on it (and sometimes sausage which makes it toad in the hole). Tasty either way and surely didn’t know what I was missing until I met my British hubby. :)

      • joespivey

        Though in Yorkshire you’ll still get people spreading some treacle on the left-over Yorkshire puddings for afters – though I’ve never done it as I hate treacle!

    • silentnonrev

      don’t forget the steak & kidney pudding too

  • hebec

    I didn’t realize how American my daughters were until we went back to Englandshire last summer. They are VERY American!
    I don’t use the word bugger as much as I’d like, try explaining the meaning of that to your child!

    • Toni Hargis

      I know! I didn’t even really think about it till I came over here!

  • Ashley Ellis

    I was raised in the states by a British Mom and Dad. It was strange when we went back to London to visit!

  • Patty

    Oh so true! My kids laughed at me when I used the ‘reverse V salute’ if we were out in the car – it just came more naturally to me in the heat of the moment that the middle finger!

    • Kenneth Jones

      Ha ha I do this too. Did it today actually

  • Nate, the traditional American

    Hello Mrs. Hargis. Although I do admit I read this in a distinct British accent, I felt a like you may be seeing some of your kids’ behavior wrong. Treating you like an alien or “she just does it because she’s British” doesn’t make sense when it comes to liking brussel sprouts, rhyming sloth with both, or setting the table with utensils. If they blame it on the British, they are being ridiculous. It is unfortunate they can’t see that you are teaching them good manners, etiquette, not being picky, or good habits without thinking it’s the British side of you. I’m a young guy who was raised in a traditional American home that meant good manners, eating foods I didn’t like, and it wasn’t because my mom was a quarter Swede or my dad was a lawyer.

    • Toni Hargis

      Thanks Nate, I got it.

    • pottymummy

      Of course, when you have kids Nate, they will always behave perfectly and NEVER give you reason to write a tongue-in-cheek blog post.

  • Barbara

    A few years ago I found I have a very extensive British heritage which explains my love of the UK. I love the pronunciation of the words. They just sound better. I’ve even had black pudding shipped express through the mail and found I loved it (served it to unknowing relatives during the Christmas holidays). An Aunt that married into my family was a war bride from London.

  • Tobi Sandoval

    I think the Brussels Sprouts/ Black Pudding thing might just be a ‘kid thing’ in general. I hated them both when I was growing up (in England) as did the a lot of the other kids I grew up with.

  • Mary Walker

    What is the deal with the word “squirrel”? Is it difficult to pronounce? Honestly, that one threw me a bit.

    • Scott

      It’s just different if you’re British or American. The British tend to pronounce the “i” like you do in “begin”. Americans tend to pronounce it like a schwa (imagine the “e” in “taken”). Also, the British pronounce it as two syllables, (“squir el”) while Americans generally use one (“squrrl”)

    • Toni Hargis

      I must admit, until recently I thought perhaps I just pronounced it in an odd way, but it came up on a discussion thread elsewhere and I couldn’t believe the number of Brits who had had the same experience. It’s the little things……

  • Spotted Feather

    Squirrel only HAS two syllables. And it DOES rhyme with broth.

  • Txmeerkat

    The last time I was in London, a friend told me it was very easy to identify Americans just by watching them eat. She pointed out that Americans have a tendency to cut things using their knives in their right hand. They will then put the knife down and switch their fork to their right hand and use it to eat and place their left hand under the table. She found this very mysterious and wanted to know what people were doing with their hand under the table.

    • DK

      It’s rude to eat with your left hand!

      • EnglishBob

        Nonsense! But then in TX, I imagine you’d consider it rude to eat with anything other than JUST your hands, i.e. no cutlery required for that chicken leg or burger?! 😉

        • Lori Scarmardo

          Well, this Texan prefers to eat with proper utensils. Contrary to popular belief, we’re not all a bunch of backwards heathens.

          And if you’re left handed, you eat with your left hand. Simple as that.

      • JennyWren

        Wait, what? I’m left handed. It’s not practical when the alternative threatens to be messy and time consuming.

    • Jackson

      I hadn’t thought about it before, but after your comment, I realize I do that very thing. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because most people in America (and I assume in general) are right handed, and thus are more comfortable with using their right hands. Either way, I only really eat meat with a knife and fork, and unless the meat in question is steak, I tend to put it in a sandwich, thus reducing the need for utensils. Oh, and cube steak, I also prefer those as sandwiches.

    • Alyssa

      I’m American, but I am ambidextrous, so I don’t swirch hands. I cut with my left, eat with my right. Simple as that. Right handed people cut with their right, eat with their right. Same with lefties and their left hand.

    • Rachel

      Well, I eat “backwards”, by having my knife in my left hand and my fork in my right. And I have to admit that when I’m not using my knife, for meals such as spaghetti bolognaise, for example, I do rest my left hand in my lap, simply because it’s convenient there. Also, putting your joints on the table is rude and resting the hand on the edge of the bowl looks creepy. And I still eat backwards, so I suppose my (very British) father’s jam sandwich table manners lessons when I was young really didn’t work. My mother, being Australian, thought it was ridiculous, but then, she’s left-handed, so she eats the “right” way, with her fork in the left and her knife in the right. I can do it the “right” way, too, if I have to (for example, when we go to England and stay with my very proper aunt or great-aunt), I just don’t like doing so.

    • creatifiny

      This is considered American style – only found in the US, I believe. It is how I was taught proper manners although I have adopted the European or Continental style as an adult. Most British profanity seems quite civilized and amusing to US ears. Well, let’s face it, almost everything British seems civilized and amusing to us Yanks.

    • chuck

      I grew up in the south, where at an early age we were taught that we should only have 3 pieces of meat on our plate at any time – the main piece, and two that were cut off to eat. as for the switching the knife / fork thing, I found this: “Originally, the traditional European method, once the fork was adopted as a utensil, was to transfer the fork to the right hand after cutting food, as it had been considered proper for all utensils to be used with the right hand only. This tradition was brought to America by British colonists and is still in use in the United States. Europe adopted the more rapid style of eating in relatively modern times.” Thank you, Miss Manners.

  • kmeghan

    I grew up in England and came back to the states with a nice little accent. Took me a long time to like brussel sprouts…wish I’d taken advantage of them during my years in the UK!

  • Colin Smith

    I get all of the above from my kids, “Dad, say…”. Great thing now is that my 7 year old daughter is getting into acting and, she’s getting VERY good at taking the piss out of me so, that should help her get some roles somewhere down the road.

    Loved the bit about the cutlery as well…still haven’t gotten the hang of just using a fork to eat, even after 14 years over here. My kids are slowing coming over to the English ways when it comes to meal time, even to the point of them both setting a full table for each meal, and doing it the right way!

    Swearing is always a giggle for us, The staple being Bollocks! I throw that around, but not too casually, however, if the kids try to retort on occasion, I’ll give ’em a wry grin, and the lowdown on the appropriate use of the word, along with phrases that it can be used with, which always ends up with them rolling around on the floor, especially when it comes to “the dogs bollocks, the mutts nuts, the dogs danglies, the pups privates” etc. I only get a little miffed when they start calling me a wanker…I have the wife to thank for that one!

    • Toni Hargis

      When my youngest was about 6 he came out with “gentlemen’s vegetables” – blame Jeremy Clarkson. LOL

      • Colin Smith

        LOL, you can always rely on Jezza to come up with a golden nugget to corrupt the minds our young ‘ uns.

  • Kenneth Jones

    Here in Massachusetts you can get Marmite in the local supermarket. Although, in far too small containers and too expensive, there is always a jar in my pantry. My daughter adores the stuff. I didn’t think there was a British population sufficient enough to stock the brown salty nectar of yeastyness. Apparently there is. I doubt any American even Andrew Zimmern would enjoy such an ethnic treat. Aside from the missus of course.

    ‘Garage, tomato, aluminium’ all classics it is more the vernacular people find amusing about me. I do swear, I am a tradesman, I constantly hurt myself, break equipment etc… Therefore, am constantly getting fed up. “OH Bugger” or “Bloody buggery” seems to be of some amusement to the yanks. Even though there are many words that just don’t hold enough vitriol when uttered by an American. it is in fact the simplest that gets the most attention, one I use in every situation from gaining my childs attention across a play park or during mild road rage. “Oi”

    The Aforementioned missus constantly complains that I give her a knife with every meal, how are you ment to apply the brown sauce to your breakfast if you don’t have a knife?

    Side note – Yes we all hate Piers Morgan why do you think we exiled him to the new world!?

    Celebrate your Britishness, English, Irish (Northern), Scottish whichever. I celebrate every time a Starbucks employee asks my name so as to write on my 2 tea bag hot water… I always give the same name ‘Pike’
    Try it they’ll wonder why you are giggling to yourself and singing “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler”

    • Velocitygirl

      You are fantastic! I may try the Pike thing myself, just for simple amusement.

    • Jim

      That reminds me of one of my favourite Tim Vine jokes. I won a competition the other day. The first prize was a year’s supply of Marmite. One jar.

  • Ronkaguy

    Just have to say “Caramel” said as “Carmel” is my bug bear. Although even some Americans seem to find this annoying.
    Here on Long Island NY they tend to say “akse” (sounds like axe) instead of “ask” no idea why but very annoying.

  • DK

    It’s the trunk and the hood, not the boot and the bonnet!

  • EnglishMark

    Hi all, I’m a Englishman living in the States, and I write a monthly blog for an American friends’ website underlining the differences (typically, with a more humourous bent) between the UK and the US? I was wondering if folks might be interested in checking out some of my entries? This months topic is ‘comedy’. My name is Mark Turner, and I’m a guest writer here >
    Thanks in advance for your interest and support! :-)

  • Velocitygirl


    All this aside, I love that my 3yo dual national still has something of an English accent (“daahnce with me!”) and love the way she delights in saying things both ways to amuse me (“Oh May-an!”/”Oh Maan!”) and that my 2 US Step-lovelies now constantly use the words “Bin” and “Garden” and always eat “Risótto”.

    That said, I’ve given up trying to teach the older ones to use a knife and fork! I just have to tell my mum to avert her eyes when she visits. ;o)

  • Jo Beaufoix

    Like you say Toni, not wrong just different is what I get from this post. That and that I love the relationship you have with your kids. Laughter and occasional parental mocking is a regular event in most people’s homes I would have thought?

    That’s not rude, it’s just daftness, and daft is good.

  • Heather

    I am a South African living in the USA and thank goodness my kids can use a knife and fork properly…I have been here 20 yrs now and I still have pronunciation problems at times….can get hilarious still….

  • Charlotte

    Hehe this is me. I’m forever side eyeing Americans who use eating utensils like they are prehistoric cavemen. My lovely kiddos are schooled in strictly British phrases. “Mum, where’s the bog roll?!” “You plonker!” haha

  • Anne

    Why are we offended by an observation ?
    We are all different and we each see things as we want , not as they are meant. By the very fact we are different makes the world a more interesting place .
    May you continue & keep.up.the good work Mrs Hargis.
    I’m English and live in Australia next door to a Canadian whos next door to a Croatian whos next to an Australian whos next to Italian and so on

  • Jennifer Howze

    Great piece, Toni. I confess, when my English husband pronounces “squirrel” I do find it quite funny. The first time I heard it, I giggled for 10 minutes. Then again he and my daughter (we live in England) love to get me to say things especially names. I think my American ear just can’t hear the difference with “Lotte” (Charlie & Lola’s friend) and “Anya” when I say versus when they say it.

  • Ellen Tyson

    My 8yr old proudly tells her friends her mom does trumps not farts. Sigh 😉

  • Ryan E

    I’m an American with children in the UK, and I have to say, it is no easier this way around.

  • Its Mummy!

    you did not just say ‘Mommy’ did you? thats something i just can’t stand and I’m not sure why, it just sounds so wrong!

  • MontanaRed

    Aw, peeps, stop taking it all so seriously and end the scratchin’ and fratchin’!

    And then check out this link, which is a certifiable hoot:

  • Marie Shanahan

    Cute article, but I finally do realize that most Britons actually don’t like us, at all. They don’t, they don’t, they really don’t! LOL
    Guess we are considered a “necessary unpleasantry” to most. “Yanks”, they will sneer. It’s nice to see that somebody, somewhere, is not being cursed at and condemned for simply “being American.”

  • MindTheRant

    “British specialty store”

    Is that how the British spell “specialty”? I was under the impression it was “speciality” — and that these are two more words whose pronunciation in Britain and the U.S. is miles apart. Without that added “i” we toss off the inelegeant SPESH-al-tee while you bring your full powers of enunciation to bear on SPESS-ee-all-i-tee.