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The Word Police continued

July 23, 2008


Words I refuse to use as an inhabitant of a former British colony:


“Nappie” for “diaper”—feels like you’re trying to be cutsie about something that just isn’t cute

 “Crisp” for “chip”—and as a result, my dinner guests last month thought I was serving deep fried fruit when I told them we were having apple crisp for dessert

“Chip” for “French fry”—with the obvious exception for fish and chips

“Jumper” for “sweater”—because when someone says “Oh, dear, I wish I’d brought a jumper for Harry,” I’ll never stop envisioning those matching pinafores with a reindeer on the front that my sister and I wore for Christmas pictures one year

“Football” for “soccer”—I can’t really explain this one, since in American football the ball is only actually kicked about 5% of the time…I guess I’m just stubborn

“Knackered” for “tired”—it’s too abrasive a word for what it’s supposed to mean; seems like you could say “Mike Tyson plans to knacker the competition tonight” or “The blender really knackered that carrot, didn’t it?”

 “Tea” for “dinner”—I think this might be just an Australian thing, but either way it’s bizarre to refer to a meal by a beverage that doesn’t even get served at that time of day.  Now if we started calling it “beer”…

 “Mobile phone” for “cell”—remember, more syllables = bad


And I’m certain to come across some more.  I already have one to add to the “Words I Use” list:

“Proper”—the way people use it here, it doesn’t really have an American equivalent, which is why it’s so great.  The closest option would be “real.”  However, that doesn’t convey the right tone of either disdain or approval.  For example, “Laura, why don’t you get yourself a proper job instead of sitting in front of the computer brainstorming about things that no one cares about?”  Or “Now there’s a proper cup of coffee.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    July 25, 2008 2:40 am

    But you’ve started replacing “Mariner” with “prat”, right?

  2. Natalie permalink
    August 6, 2008 9:38 pm

    Just be careful how you use “knackered” Laura. You don’t want to be mixing it up with the Aussie slang word for testicles!


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