Richard Osman’s been explaining stuff to Americans and it prompted lots of funny replies
To be filed under ‘two nations divided by a common language’ and all that comes this tweet from Pointless guy Richard Osman who went viral with this tale of trying to explain stuff to Americans.
Just explained to a delighted American that we call ‘crosswalks’ ‘zebra crossings’. Then she asked what we call ‘crossing guards’, and I said ‘lollipop ladies’ and now she thinks I’ve just made the whole thing up.
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) October 27, 2019
And it prompted lots of funny replies, many from people who have found themselves explaining something similar. Here are our favourites.
@dahellsbells this reminded me of you telling your American mate you'd be meeting at half 4….. sooooo 2?
— Sarah (@sarahdunn1988) October 27, 2019
I gave up trying to explain what a fortnight was
— helene sandy (@dahellsbells) October 27, 2019
In South Africa we call erasers rubbers. My dad still cracks me up telling me about the time he did some teaching in Salt Lake City and told his school students he wanted to see a pen, pencil and a rubber on each of their desks the next day. 😂😂😂
— Madeleine Fullard (@mfullard2) October 27, 2019
We call them rubbers in the UK too. I’ve still got my childhood rubber collection — that’s not a sentence that goes down well in America.
— Neville (@catherinebuca) October 27, 2019
tell her about ROUNDABOUTS!!!
— 🤷🏻♀️* ᴵᵗ’ˢ ᵃ ˡᵒⁿᵍ ˢᵗᵒʳʸ, ʲᵘˢᵗ ᶜᵃˡˡ ᵐᵉ ᴰᵒᵗ (@alloneworddotie) October 27, 2019
You totally should have explained about sleeping policemen… That's my favourite.
— Sam Margrave (@SamMargrave) October 28, 2019
Painted give way triangles are called shark's teeth in The Netherlands
— Sven (@Nevs1993) October 27, 2019
Many years ago my mum asked a man in Toronto, " have you got the time?" He walked away disgusted. Later my mum realised that he probably thought he was being proposition. #misinterpreted
— Craig Armstrong (@armstrong_66) October 27, 2019
In a very amusing conversation an older lady told me in great detail about finding the right suspenders for her grandson for his wedding. I finally realised that braces were called suspenders in the US. The conversation made much more sense after this revelation.
— Gemma Harling (@gemmaharling) October 27, 2019
Americans think all of these things are made up to confuse them: "Why call the trunk a 'bonnet', like it's a hat?" "So 'it's bollocks' is bad, but 'it's the dog's bollocks' is good?" They'll think we made up Pelican crossings as well…
— 🕷 Matt Sears 🇬🇧🇪🇺 🔶️ (@MattSears96) October 27, 2019
A friend who visited from Canada once asked me why everything here is a metaphor.
— Rachel Steinberg (@rae_steinberg) October 27, 2019
Because it tickles our fancy
— Paddy Mayhew (@PaddyMayhew) October 27, 2019
Bill Bryson’s ‘Mother Tongue’ abounds with delightful examples of how US English differs from English English.
e.g. the US Postal Service delivers the mail, while the UK’s Royal Mail delivers the post.
A wonderful book, including a great chapter on the history of swear words.
— Paul Craven (@CravenPartners) October 28, 2019
Zebra, Pelican, Puffin, Pegasus…
Toucan play that game.
— AndyK 🇮🇲🇪🇺 (@TheFilmOracle) October 27, 2019
This is a genuine favourite area of pointless information of mine.
Two-can cross? PEdestrian LIght CONtrol?
Someone had way too much fun with the names.
— Rebecca Acres (@Dr_R_Acres) October 27, 2019
Is this true? If so I am gonna go to a pub quiz on the off chance it comes up.
— Phil Howard (@PhilLHoward) October 27, 2019