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About Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis' Articles

7 Movie and TV Titles That Changed After Crossing the Atlantic

Masterpiece’s new period drama Home Fires was inspired by the book Jambusters and is about Britain’s Women’s Institute and the work its members did during the Second World War. The book’s title was based on a pun of the name “Dambusters,” the British squadron that beat the Germans in 1943. Now, however, the book has […]

Is It Necessary to Say ‘Please’ in America?

Lynne Murphy is an American linguist who has lived in the U.K. since 2000. She is a Reader in Linguistics & English Language at the University of Sussex and writes the extremely popular blog “Separated by a Common Language” where she examines word usage on either side of the Pond. Lynne recently wrote about the […]

In Quotes: What Do Brits Think About Americans?

Several months ago, I was intrigued to read the following comment in The Economist, (December 20, 2014): “To be snooty about Americans, while slavishly admiring them; this is another crucial characteristic of being British.” While technically a quote about Brits, I do agree that we can be terribly snooty about Americans and their culture. Many of […]


Brits Put What in a Sandwich?

Never let it be said that Brits aren’t serious about their sandwiches. Oh yes, we Brits (well, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich) invented the sandwich and take enormous pride in our skills. Just ask the Daily Mail editors who, when posing the question “Is there no one left in Britain who can make a […]


10 Weird Things Brits Do in America

So we come over here and assimilate nicely (so we think), but there are some things we British expats find ourselves doing that may raise American eyebrows anyway. Half the time we’re not even conscious of our oddities. Watching old British television shows just to get a taste of the Mother country. Many of them […]


Brits in America: 7 Written Communication Pitfalls to Avoid

It’s accepted that we have British English and American English, but, in written communication, there’s more than just language differences. Especially in a professional environment, Brits in America need to learn to write like the natives. Why? It’s so easy to convey the wrong meaning or tone with the written word, and using British English […]


Spring Holidays: Ideas for Brits in America

For some, American winters have us yearning for above-freezing temps (no gloating, you warm-weather Brits). Given the variety of destinations in the U.S., it’s always nice to plan a short trip in the spring to dust off the cobwebs and, for many, the icicles too. Skiing However, if you’re a ski bunny and want to […]

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Attend Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets

2014: A British Year-in-Review

Well, what a year for Ameri-Brit relations. Despite a few hiccups in the “special relationship” (see August in the list below), the U.S. and the U.K. loved it up and even swapped a few words. Americans, it appears, have adopted the British words “gobsmacked” and “dodgy”, while Brits had a shopping list of Americanisms about […]

Carved Beef Wellington

How to British Up Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Although we don’t grow up with Thanksgiving, Brits in the U.S. are often charged with the task of “doing” Thanksgiving dinner anyway. It’s stressful enough for Americans, but, for Brits, it’s compounded by strange food and the inevitable American in the wings intent on explaining how Thanksgiving is “usually done.” (Cause for the first family […]


10 Words and Phrases That Cause Confusion Between Brits and Americans

There are many opportunities for linguistic confusion between Brits and Americans—slang, Southern slang and pronunciations can all cause blank looks, but there’s a whole category of words poised to confuse, of which we’re often not aware. Chat up In the U.K., this verb means “to hit on” or “talk flirtatiously” with someone. In the U.S. […]

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