Factoid #10

You’ve probably heard that British people have different words for things than Americans do, even though we all speak English. Even in the Harry Potter series, they say “mate” for friend, and “have a go at” when they mean “pick on someone.” Some of the most confusing ones come from really basic nouns, like a kitchen counter: in England, it’s a “bench.” So if someone tells you, “Hey, don’t sit on the bench”–well, isn’t that kind of weird? What are benches for, after all? Another one is a car’s trunk: that’s a “boot.” NO CLUE why.

I learned this from living in New Zealand for a year, where they speak a British-style English (although with a VERY different accent, and plenty of slang of their own–don’t get me started!).

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