You Say Tomato, I Say Everything Differently

I had my first cultural language mishap the other day.


I had spilled tea on my host family’s comforter (surprise) and had to take it to the dry cleaners on my way to school. That evening, my host mom said that she got a call from the cleaners asking what kind of stain it was so that they knew how to clean it.  Confused, I told her that I had explained to the lady that I had spilled tea on it and that I needed help with the stain.  Well, remember how I said they call dinner “tea?” She thought I was eating dinner and spilled something unknown to her all over it. Not a cup of tea.



Other phrases I’m getting used to:


Good on ya = good for you

Cracker = very good, funny, or a crack up (I was VERY confused when a student called me this)

Two sammies short of a picnic = calling someone fat

Suss = to figure out (“Oh, he’ll suss it out”)

Lost his plot = got really mad

Heavy = drunk

Pissed = drunk

Good morning = used to greet and dismiss

Apologies = absences

Bloke = stranger or boyfriend (confusing)

Holiday = vacation

Buggered = exhausted


Biscuits = cookies

Tea = dinner, or any other meal they decide to use it for

Candyfloss = cotton candy

Chips = French fries

Mince = ground meat

Crisps = chips

Hokey Pokey = honeycomb-like candy

Lemonade = 7up or Sprite (they don’t have actual lemonade)

Lolly = candy


Park = parking spot

Diary = planner

Timetable = schedule

Chemist = pharmacy

Push bike = bicycle

Zed = the letter “Z”


Togs = swimsuit

Jandals = sandals

Jerseys = sweaters


And my personal favorite: Give your ferret a run = have sex



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