Fun with language

and in this instance, I mean English, not French. We know that my French is funny, but I am learning and trying. Just to give you an idea of the diversity even within the staff, our director is from Canada, one principal is from England, the other principal and I are from the US, we have an Athletic Director from New Zealand, and the business manager is from Belgium. So we all have little ‘quirks’ and idioms to our language that others find different. Or interesting. Or down right funny.

I’ve taken to writing down any of the little expressions or phrases that I hear from them in conversation. I so enjoy it when I hear them say a phrase that they think of as normal and I think of as unique and sometimes hysterical. Here is a sampling:

Today’s gem was, “Bish, bash, bosh.”

We’ve had a fun conversation about what people call ‘couches’. I say couch, one says ‘chesterfield’ and another- ‘davenport’.

An amusement park is called a ‘Fun Fair’ in some English-speaking countries.

You can be “gobsmacked” and I’ve heard a “tickety boo” as well.

Those aren’t to mention the “Cheerio” or the “Ehh?” or just words that we use in different English-speaking countries that are different. I just love it when they say one and I notice so I can quickly write it down.

US English-British English 

A Christmas Cracker

schedule-‘schz-eg-gule’ (butchered phonemic attempt at how they pronounce it.



trunk-the boot


candy-a sweet








About bestbookihavenotread

Kristine has been in education since 1993. She taught fourth grade in Ohio from 1993 - 2008. She has been a Curriculum Coordinator for four years. She is relocating to Dakar, Senegal to be the Director of Curriculum for the International School of Dakar in August 2012.
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6 Responses to Fun with language

  1. Janet Herring says:

    Kristine, I got a real kick out of this posting! Having been born a Canadian and still have family and close friends in the land up north, I know what you mean about different English words for the same thing. I might guess that the “chesterfield” came from either your Canadian or UK friend :). I think of you often and love to read about your experiences.
    Janet Herring

    • bestbookihavenotread says:

      Thanks Janet! I hope you are enjoying “retirement” had have had some great trips with your aunt. Hope you are well 🙂

  2. Karen Sheaffer says:

    Everyone knows a couch or whatever is really a sofa. My relatives are from Minnesota, and my kids, growing up in Boston, thought their language was funny, “Tell your mom, I’ll give her a jingle later.” “Would you like some pop?” Marje knows how to do this accent to a T.

  3. juliryan says:

    I adore different accents. SWOON.

  4. Karen Treece says:

    Hi Met the Denison student from Senegal last night at PEO mtg. She asked for your blog and may write to you. She has only been in the USA for 4 years and her English is amazing. She also speaks Wolof, French and Arabic. She hopes to work for women and children in the UN when she graduates. Love to all

    Sent from my iPad

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