Thursday, January 29, 2009

English-American Translations

For Professional Mommy (and any other mystified Americans) ...

Hedgerows - small trees and bushes forming a boundary around fields, with associated plants and wildlife. Many are very old

Radio 4 - BBC radio's main news and talk channel. Certain aspects of Radio 4 - Big Ben chiming the hours, the weather forecast for shipping, The Archers (a long running serial) - are British institutions.

Marmite - a savoury yeast extract spread. Love it or hate it.

Jam roly-poly and custard - a suet pudding with jam (looks like a jelly roll?) with custard sauce. Hot and filling comfort food.

Pork pies - meat pies made with chopped pork.

Clotted cream - a very thick cream with a "clotted" yellow crust, characteristic of western England.

Tea urns - a large hot water boiler for making tea. Like a massively oversized electric kettle.

Leaves on the line - one of the classic (and regular) excuses for delayed and cancelled trains in the autumn. "The wrong kind of snow" is a winter excuse.

Blue Peter - a children's TV show that has been running for over 40 years.

Village fetes - like a fair? Typically to raise money for something local. Usually has stalls selling used items, displays, competitions and eclectic entertainment. And a tea stall.

Morris dancing - country dancing by men dressed in white with bells on their legs. Very ... um ... jingly!

Bonfire Night - November 5th. Also known as Guy Fawkes night, it recalls the failure of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Bonfires are lit, effigies of Guy Fawkes are burned, and people let off fireworks. Nowadays it is mostly organised firework displays.

Marks and Spencer - the most English of store chains, selling mostly clothing and food. Hard to find anyone who doesn't possess at least some M & S underwear. Known colloquially as "Marks and Sparks".

If anyone would like more translations, please leave a note in the comments and I will add them to this list.

6 comments:

Missus Wookie said...

Jelly Roll - is a vanilla sponge yule log, a bit like a home made twinkie using jam rather than cream. And custard is a hot sauce (bit like hard sauce) that you pour over rather than bake.

Remembering when I first started to make sense of the cookery lessons I got at a UK school and marrying them up to the US cooking I'd done.

And marmite is yuck but DH loves it! :)

Professional Mommy said...

Thank you! I LOVE learning about different cultures. Now, let's see...I thought it might be fun for me to post what I think of about the English...(If I'm totally wrong, don't kill me! My knowledge comes from tve mostly and we all know the portrayals)...

1. Tea has to be number one. I've always thought tea time sounded pleasant. Does everyone really stop for tea time?

2. I agree about English cottages. I love them so much!

3. Of course Big Ben.

4.I don't really know what Spotted Dick is except it is some kind of custard but well the name is funny to us Americans and I think of it because my local grocery store has had one can of Spotted Dick on the grocery shelves FOREVER and I keep waiting for it to be purchased. Part of me wants to but I rather enjoy the anticipation.

5. Driving on the left side of the road of course.

6. Cricket of course.

7. Double Decker Buses

8. Royal Family of Course

I enjoyed this post and love that I learned something today!

Professional Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pixilated Mum said...

Yay! Thanks for the translations. This American blog reader needed to have some clarifications ... You're sweet to think about your international readers. : )

Sarah said...

Professional Mommy: 'tea-time' has so many different meanings dependent on the context and region. For example, in Lancashire 'tea-time' is the evening meal (archaically known as 'high-tea' - 'high tea' sometimes mistakenly believed to be some kind of upper-class 'fancy' tea).

Afternoon tea, is a completely different kettle of fish, being a break with a pot of tea and small sandwiches (cucumber or the like). Or sometimes a cream tea, which is pot of tea, scones, jam and clotted cream.

Sarah x

Sarah said...

...opps, do you use the expression 'kettle of fish' in the States?...that could sound confusing. Lol!