Yes, this post is all about knickers. Or, if you are American, panties. Because knickers and panties are one and the same thing, divided only by the Atlantic separating the UK and the US.
Last night, whilst on twitter, one of my American friends posted a tweet about her husband's friend turning up at her house forcing her to run upstairs and put some pants on. Cue much hysterical laughing from me and an English friend. In England, pants are the male version of knickers. Boys wear pants and girls wear knickers. After much merriment we all agreed that in our next blog posts we would have to drop the word 'knickers' in it.
I decided to take the challenge one step further. After an email from my Entangled editor the other day, the language barrier between the US and the UK had been playing on my mind, and this twitter hilarity solidified it for me. We speak a common language but there are many occasions when we might as well be speaking Martian to each other.
My editor stressed that they are keen to preserve the authenticity of the voice, which in my case is English. I am English, I think in English and I write in English (apart from a couple of books I have written in which the heroines are Irish - in those books I thought and wrote in Irish. Which is English but with it's own living quirks). I go to the cinema to watch films, my kids wear trainers (although my eldest referred to them once as sneakers. Only once mind. He never made that mistake again ha ha ha) and when I was a kid I had a fringe. When I was a kid I also devoured Sweet Valley High books. It was through these books that I first became aware that, despite sharing a common language, there were many words I did not understand. What the heck was a twinkie? And a jock? And a barrette?
So here is my (brief) rundown of commonly different words:
Pants Jocks *
* Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that one as I know a jock in America is also a sporty-type.
I would love to hear about any I have missed, not forgetting the other countries that also have English as its common language, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Language is a wonderful, fluid, living thing and we should celebrate it in all its forms. But I should stress now I will never watch a movie, my kids will never wear sneakers and when I was a kid I did not have bangs.
Thanks for reading and take care xxx