Thursday, 9 February 2012

Guest Post: What Happens When You Mix an American with a British?

Hello my lovelies, we bring you another guest post from the lovely couple who are Sarah &  Laura. Like us they are an American & English lesbian couple *high 5* They discuss what can go wrong when you mix the American & English language and the funny consequences... Plus we are meeting up with them today! BLATE! (Blogger Date). We can't wait to hang out and swap stories. Make sure you go visit their blog- it's truly a great read, and follow them on Twitter.

Hi, Wegan fans! :)  My name is Sarah, and i'm one half of the writers of Sprezzatura: The Wonderful World of Us.  With the amazing, beautiful Laura, we are an international girl-girl couple, and our blog features our many travels, loves and any news we find interesting. 

Now, if you've read our blog, you will know that, like Wegan, we are a British and American couple.  Before Laura and I got together, I had never been Stateside - so not only was our relationship all new (and the first time either of us had been with a girl) but there were all sorts of cultural differences - some funny, some that got lost in translation, and some just causing CONFUSION!

Laura is the American half of this relationship, but she has the advantage of understanding the 'English way' because her Dad was born and raised in Brentford, not far from where we now live in London.

We've watched Wegan's videos and have noticed that they have similar conversations to us about their cultural and 'word' differences, and some of the simplest topics of conversation can end up being the most confusing!  For example - how can the USA spend a season in 'Fall'?  That sounds dangerous - surely Autumn makes far more sense!  Also, why would you ever try 'pants' on in a store?  Surely pants should remain on (in public) at all times....or is that called underwear?  Aaaahhhh it's all so confusing!

Now, I could fill this blog post (and more) with our language struggles, but I'd be sure to cause trans-Atlantic conflicts!  Laura finds it awkward when I really want 'sweets' (instead of 'candy'), and wonders why I would need my 'fringe' trimmed when clearly I am talking about my 'bangs'!  How dare I want a 'fizzy drink' instead of a 'soda', and why on earth would that drink need to be 'topped up' instead of 're-filled'!

Fancy a top up?

Then there is the 'chip' topic - that'll confuse just about any waiter - let alone us - as British 'chips' are served with a meal at McDonalds (they'd never call them fries!), and American 'chips' are British 'crisps' - they come in packets and aren't served in fast food places.  Phew!

The age-old question

Then there's the (grocery/food) shopping situation.  Laura won't move unless I request the shopping cart (Where are we, old England?  There are no horses, let alone 'carts' at our supermarkets - only 'trolleys')!  Of course, the shock of having to park in a multi-story car park and walk to a shop, instead of driving to and parking right out the front of a shop, is just an odd concept for a lot of Americans.  After you've maneuvered your car down the 'tiny' UK roads, you deserve a car parking spot right outside the shop - surely?!  Oh, to come from a country with space!  We here in the UK have to work with what we've got. Roundabouts are essential - if we were stopping at 'traffic lights' (instead of 'stop-lights') the whole time, we'd block our roads!

As a Brit, I think we have it great here on our island - we may not 'go big' like the Americans do, our medium drinks may be a small for the Yanks, our Starbucks may not stock quite the array of flavours, and our stores may not be open all night - but that's just fine.


 However, my life here will never be complete knowing there is one small difference that literally blows my the States, you can fill up your car with petrol (sorry,  gas) without standing in the cold!  I mean, whoa!  I was stunned when Laura got out of the car, paid the amount she wanted to put in, put the pump in the car, and then came back and joined me and my stunned open mouth.  You can pump 'gas' without standing there holding it - how in all that is sane is that possible?!  Oh America, you really do make life so wonderful!

Going big - that really is a unique American-ism that we, as a couple, have adopted.  Now, 'going big' in the UK might not be 'going big' American style, but we do what we can.  Laura has us dressed up for every 'holiday' - and I don't mean packing our bags and taking a holiday!  If I said that to an English person they'd presume that's what I meant, but I actually mean 'holiday' like Halloween, or Thanksgiving. or Easter or...well let's just say we dress up a lot!  I tell you - that's why we take so many vacations (what an uncomfortable word) to hide from the photos that then circulate!

Or maybe I'm missing the point - maybe I should 'go bigger' - maybe I'm lacking 'spunk'....hahahahahaha!  OMG 'spunk' - in case you didn't see 'Sorority Girls' (on E4 in the UK), it was a show where five American sorority girls started the first sorority in the UK with girls from Leeds.  Anyway, a few of the girls were told they didn't make the sorority because they didn't have 'enough spunk'!  You CANNOT tell a British person they lack 'spunk'!  How do I explain this.... in the US 'spunk' means 'pep' or 'spirit' where, as a British girl, it's a good thing that don't I have spunk....spunk is exclusively for men, and it should be kept that way!

Apologies if the spelling in this post has caused confusion - I've used my English dictionary, so if I've got 'u's' where you didn't expect them or 's' instead of 'z', that's how I roll!  A good way to spot who wrote most of a blog posted on our site is by checking the spelling!

I hope I've made you smile a few times while reading this, as I have been chuckling away trying to work out the best way to explain our differences.  So, as I hug my cuddly toy (while Laura is trying to tell me that I should call it a 'stuffed animal' - really - this is not taxidermy!), I welcome you to the world of our trans-Atlantic relationship - it's certainly never dull!

Thanks to Wegan for asking us to Guest Post, we hope you are having a wonderful time together! Please come over and visit us at Sprezzatura sometime soon!

Love, Sarah (and Laura) xo

P.S Please follow us on twitter @whatwegandid , subscribe to us on youtube, & 'like' us on facebook!


  1. This post totally made me smile! I love all the word confusion and misundestandings - although I've got to say, I'm English and my girlfriend is Scottish (we both live in Scotland) and we still confuse each other with some of our sayings and pronunciation. For example - 'hauld yer wheesht' is a Scottish way of saying 'shut up' or 'stop complaining' and 'Ah dinnae ken' is 'I don't know'. My favourite is 'daen be wide' - a way of telling someone to stop being annoying. Guess it proves that even when you grow up only 400 miles apart, lexicon can be different!

    (As an aside, I grew up not far from Brentwood - small world, huh?!)


  2. I laughed so hard at this that I have TEARS rolling down my cheeks right now because my girlfriend and I go through the same stuff!! I'm still trying to catch on to the British ways even after seven years. I think my state in regards to petrol would REALLY baffle a Brit because it's ILLEGAL here to pump your own. (I'm in New Jersey.)

  3. On the few times I've traveled out of the USA, I've always been excited to go somewhere where "bigger is not always better". I find the UK very charming!

  4. Fun post.... Love the photos.... Xx

  5. I love this post because I can only imagine! I hardly ever know what my wife is speaking about and we are only from separate American coasts!

  6. Aww, adoring this post. Very fun and funny :)

    Hope all your girls are having a great weekend and V-day coming up!!

  7. Thanks so much Megan and Whitney for asking us to guest post, and we are glad that you all enjoyed reading it!! Being in an International couple has a whole new set of challenges, misunderstandings, and funny situations along with it!

    Laura & Sarah xo


Thank you so much for reading our blog and taking the time to leave us a lovely comment. We read them all so keep them coming! Wegan X

Blogger templates by pipdig