Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.


Language barriers are common - and are becoming more and more common as our world shrinks due to cheaper holidays, more emigration and immigration and the internet.

I've covered this before, about how when I moved from Dubai to Toronto to London, I experienced a sort of rollercoaster of language changes. I am focusing on English here, where simple phrases and words mean very different things in different countries.

So, for those of you still looking to move to London from North America (and for my Canadian buddies especially), I am keeping a record of all the things I have heard here that may mean something different or may be entirely new to you. I will update as I catch more and more. 

  • Elevator = Lift
  • Bathroom = Toilet, WC or . . . loo.
  • Gas = Petrol
  • Soccer = Football
  • Highway = Motorway
  • Chips = Crisps
  • French fries = Chips (though something to note here is that they DO have French Fries and they refer to the really thin cut McDonald’s style ones that apparently are North American and not very English. So, in light of this difference, they were given a different name, almost as if they are not authentic)
  • Kiss = Snog, Pull
  •  Monged out - Spaced out, usually after a night of heavy drug use. But it is also used just as a way of saying that you are being lazy and doing absolutely nothing. Often this is paired with watching television all day in PJs.
  • (Afternoon) tipple - Having a couple of drinks. Let's be honest, no one REALLY uses this but you might see it on some ironic advertising (Pitcher & Piano, a popular bar here, does this).
  • Taking the piss - This works in two ways. You can "take the piss" when you make fun of someone, and you can "take the piss" when you do something that is a little bit insulting to someone else's rules or expectations. Example: She went on a date when she said she was too sick to come to my party. That's just taking the piss. 
I will continue to update this page as more things come up. And please feel free to comment and let me know what else you have heard.

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