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Help me teach DS to speak 'American'!

(39 Posts)
fishoutofchlorinatedwater Sun 16-Jun-13 14:20:45

Just that really. We are moving abroad, and 5 year old DS will be going to an American International school (class will be about 60% American, with an American teacher and a mix of other nationalities, but he will almost certainly be the only British child - they have I think 5 British students in the schools which has a role of about 400).

I don't want the poor little thing to be even more confused than he will probably already be, having moved continents the week before, when he starts school, so am trying to introduce a few American words to help him to find his feet. I have sneakers, faucet, sidewalk, eraser (!!), pants (also likely to be a source of hilarity), restroom.... what am I missing?

steppemum Wed 19-Jun-13 10:54:42

just saw soapnuts - was about to post rubber and eraser is most important one - the rest he will pick up

Oh and possibly pants and trousers (so he doesn't get a shock if told to take pants off for sports!!

ZZZenagain Wed 19-Jun-13 10:57:48

This is not relevant for your son but a long time ago I didn't realise that purse is handbag to Americans. I was baffled when a hostess said to me, "let me take your purse". I thought, "whatever for?!"

PointlessPost Wed 19-Jun-13 12:06:42

One for the adults.

Americans and Canadians really don't like the word bugger.

I noticed that eventually

fishoutofchlorinatedwater Thu 20-Jun-13 19:46:44

Brilliant, thank you. I've tried telling DS some of the 'different' words already, he is fairly amused (esp by "pants"), so hopefully they'll become less hilarious over the next 2 months, before he starts at the American school (which is actually in Africa, BTW - just to confuse things).

Bugger is very relevant to me, unfortunately (and, embarrassingly, has occasionally been repeated by the DCs blush). Thanks Pointless. Mouth now cleaned out with soap!

FringeEvent Thu 20-Jun-13 23:15:26

Try to have a look through some of the articles on as there's loads of helpful info here about words/phrases that are different between the UK and US - in fact one of the most recent posts is "How Brits Can Avoid Verbal Confusion in America".

Also there are a couple of Wikipedia articles worth looking at:
List of American words not widely used in the United Kingdom
List of British words not widely used in the United States

I know a lot of it won't be relevant to your 5yo at the moment, but still, hope this helps!

DH and I are hopefully moving to the US in a few months, so I'm also building up a spreadsheet of new words I need to try and remember when I get there!

wentshopping Fri 21-Jun-13 02:08:27

The word for bottom that your 5yo might hear is tush or heiny as opposed to fanny... as in "sit down on your tushy" - such bizarre words to use instead of bum.
And here they encourage the children to sit cross-legged in Kindergarten by saying "sit criss-cross apple sauce"(cross and sauce rhyme).

differentnameforthis Fri 21-Jun-13 06:30:16

He will pick it up, don't worry! My daughter did when she started school here, she uses lot Australia words/phrases & I didn't teach her any of them!

Salbertina Fri 21-Jun-13 09:00:33

Not a big deal. Don't worry, they pick up so easily! No need to teach

mignonette Fri 21-Jun-13 09:07:42

Don't forget the very hilarious Fannypack!

butterfliesinmytummy Fri 21-Jun-13 09:09:10

I wouldn't worry - the 40% of non American kids will speak probably British English.

We're moving to US this summer and it never occurred to me to teach the dcs American phrases. We got through 3 weeks there at Easter sounding very British grin Dds best friend is American actually and the fact that they speak differently has never come up....

InvaderZim Fri 21-Jun-13 09:19:57

The one that always gets me is a vest is a tank top and a tank top is a vest!

I think that since you are at an international school the teachers at least will understand different "correct" forms of English!

ICantRememberWhatSheSaid Fri 21-Jun-13 11:19:53

If it is the American School in Joberg then he definitely won't have a problem with Americanisms but he mights have a problem with South Africanisms. confused

Eg. Takkies, Trekkies, bokkies, bakkies.

I hadn't a clue smile.

Salbertina Fri 21-Jun-13 11:47:42

Hah! sosoeties (Sp?), chappies, meelie, naartjie, kokkie (sp?) as well as pants etc. As for dates, WHY do they use both US and UK system?? So confusing!

turkeyboots Fri 21-Jun-13 12:09:54

Chips are crisps.
Fries are chips.

Thoes are the ones which really confused my little brother when we moved to a similar school

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