If you live in the United States and think you speak English, you are wrong.   I think George Bernard Shaw said it best when he said “we have two countries divided by a common language”.

It’s funny to arrive in England thinking there will be no language barrier, but the realization hits when you are directed to a queue and assume border control has decided to target you.   Instead, with ignorant smiles and relief we go wait in line like everyone else.  Our holiday waits.

While we know learning other languages will broaden cultural perspective, with England it becomes a game since we just need context clues to help us along.   Let me enlighten you, but first, mind the gap when traveling on the underground and mind your head from low ceilings, on the way out.

Need a lift?  You will be directed to the nearest elevator.

When ordering food take note:

  • Chips are fries, and crisps are chips.
  • Biscuits are cookies, and jellies are gummies
  • Yorkshire pudding is a roll/bread.
  • And gem? We still laugh to think of the waiter so diligently describing a lettuce leaf.

We  appreciate the friendly and polite manner in which with the British people tolerate us well-meaning foreigners. No matter what the day brings, a proper rain for instance, they remain quite dignified.


Even if there are signs to ward off tourists, the horses stand tall and the guard, alert, but I do wonder if the cheeky grin on the horse resonates his real thoughts and the story that he waits to bring to life.

Cheeky?  Mischievous to us Americans.

On another note, it is important to know a pint is a beer and a mate is a friend.

And be ever so careful to know the importance of the Crown Jewels.

So yes, in the United States we speak American, in England we speak English, and in countries we don’t know the language we speak…charades.  Got it?  Thumbs up.


Regardless of where we land in our travels, we love the adventure, what lands in its way, and we take pride in a most valuable lesson.

Everyone smiles in the same language.  

Do that, too.



Thank you for taking a moment to read my contribution to,

WPC: Cheeky
The Daily Post: Bite