Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Brilliant! Remember you heard it here first...British Words from A to Zed (Week 6)

So….ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL??? I’m pretty sure you have to yell whenever you use that phrase. And let me go ahead and call it by its pet name here and rephrase that question…ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTIE??? Not quite the same, is it? Footie sounds like a game you play with babies but here when we say footie we mean football and by football we mean soccer if you’re an American and, if you are and you refer to football as soccer you will not win any friends.

Daugher1 and a friend met two British boys one evening as they were riding into downtown Greenville on their university’s shuttle bus. These two boys are attending her university in South Carolina on a footie scholarship (‘cept I’m pretty sure in South Carolina they call it soccer). When daughter1’s friend realized these boys were British she told them that my daughter lived in England so a conversation followed. And when I asked Daughter 1 what they said she reported, ‘You know mom...the usual questions…where am I from and who do I support? And I said, ‘Did you make sure you looked at their clothing before you replied?’ Because when you live in the UK it is critical to know who you support. As in which UK football team do you follow because you must follow a football team if you live here. I’m pretty certain it’s a requirement for obtaining a resident visa. And my two girls can do a brilliant rendition of the Manchester United cheer but you don’t want to break into the Man U cheer if your audience is full of Arsenal fans…or Chelsea fans…or fans of anyone other than Man U. And just fyi, my girls never want to break out in the Man U cheer and will only do their totally brilliant version in the privacy of our home when my hubs and I beg and plead with them because they’re so cute when they sing.

And speaking of brilliant…that word comes a close second to gobsmacked in the listing of my all time favourite British words. I bet I hear the word brilliant at least seven or eight times a day. And it may be used to describe a football match, an economic summit, or a fine Cheddar. And often it’s ‘brill’ as opposed to brilliant. Actually as much as Americans love slang I’m really surprised they haven’t latched onto the word brilliant. I think I’m going to use it once I’m back in the US… I’ll let you know how it goes. If you start hearing it around America you’ll know where it started.

Rugby is also huge here and I’ll go ahead and admit that I find it a lot more fun to watch than football (that’s soccer people!) I like to call it rugger because that’s the informal word for rugby here and I’m all about keeping the blog friendly-like.

Then there’s the sport known as Cricket which is officially England’s national game. If you’re going to a match you must go with someone who understands the bazillion intricacies of this sport because I gotta say the game is a bit confusing. It’s not anything like baseball with the exception of the fact that there are bats and balls and great uniforms. Sometimes a Cricket match can last more than one day. Huh??

One last thought about sports…my girls attended an International School and our sports teams were part of an International league. This means they competed against other International Schools in places like Munich, Brussels, Paris, Franfurt, and even Cairo. Daughter2 was on the swim team and twice went to meets held in Egypt…if you tell kids the championship meet will be held in Cairo suddenly lots of kids are trying out for the swim team!

Daughter2 is funny. We couldn’t wait for her to ring us to tell about all she was seeing on her visit. (Did you notice I said ring and not phone? It’s always ring here…as in ‘I’ll ring you later.’) Anyway, when she finally did ring she was very excited. We asked if she had seen the pyramids and her reply was, ‘Yeah, yeah, but guess what???!’ And we’re on pins and needles waiting to hear something fabulous and she says, ‘Guess what they have here….Cinnamon toast crunch cereal!!!’ What? You’re in Egypt and you’re most impressed by the fact that the family you are staying with is feeding you cinnamon toast crunch cereal??? It’s important to note here that we cannot get Cinnamon Toast crunch in the UK and that it is her favourite.

My cutie pie is second from the right smiling really big. It might have something to do with the fact that she is in Cairo with her friends.

Or it could be the memory of her breakfast cereal.

You know what they say...You can take the teenager out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the teenager….or something like that.


  1. My daughter likes cinnamon toast crunch too. It must be a girl thing! That sports lingo can get confusing. LOL! Have a great day. Love & blessings from NC!

  2. Wow-I am fascinated by this post. It's not often I learn a lot in Bloggyland, but I did here. My dauther who is in Australia was supposed to visit Egypt, but they changed the plans. She was Ok with the change, I think. Thanks for sharing so much!

  3. For the record... I'm a Man U fan! Go Manchester United!! Actually, in all honesty, I've never seen an entire game. I've see "bits and bobs" of them, though. My son proudly wears his jersey that we bought for Christmas.

    Your daughter getting to go to Egypt is amazing. The whole cereal focus was funny.

    Our 15th wedding anniversary is coming up on May 29th. Thanks for asking. We are taking the kids to Mallorca (aka Majorca) next week for a short break. Can't wait!

  4. That's too funny about the cinnamon toast crunch.
    I like the word brilliant. I think I'll start using that too!
    Fun post...thanks for sharing!

  5. When my daughter was asking to go on a trip to France with a school group, I made her swear that she would not step one foot inside of a McDonalds while she was there. She now has second thoughts about going! I guess Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Big Macs are comfort foods after all.