Oh, the confusion that British and American vocabulary can cause! I spent the first 8 years of my life in the United Kingdom. I’ve spent the last 18 years in the United States. (There were another 10 years sandwiched between in Bangladesh, but English isn’t the primary language spoken there, so we’ll set Bangladesh aside for now.)
While American English and British English are generally mutually intelligible, vocabulary differences can cause some awkwardness. When I arrived in the US at age 18, I received a compliment on my pants. I was mortified, thinking that my underwear was visible. Only later did I realize that my American friend was referring to my outermost layer of clothing, the thing I would have called my “trousers”. A British coworker here in the US likes to tell the story of having needed to change something he’d written in pencil, and thus asked for a rubber, not knowing that the thing he wanted was called an “eraser” around here. His innocent office supplies question was interpreted by some as a request for family planning assistance.
I’ve been reading more British mummy blogs (translation: “mommy blogs”) of late and my latent vocabulary has been returning. For those of you reading blogs across the Atlantic, in either direction, allow me to offer you a translation guide for terms relevant to a parent’s life.