Differences in Terminology, Behaviour & Real Life – The Gospel according to the Stented Wan.
They say size isn’t important (emmm, many men & women may argue with that one hummm!) but in America, holy shit does size matter! Everything – and I do mean everything – is feckin HUGE.
For those of you who didn’t know or follow me on Instagram, we’re back home in Dublin after spending the last 6 weeks of summer in various parts of California & Oregon (which I’m writing about in a separate post).
San Fran / Oakland City / North Tahoe / Squaw Valley / Portland. Jesus, it was amazing. Absolutely amazing and I loved every second of it. In fact, I’d go back tomorrow in a heartbeat if given the chance.
That said, there are aspects of America / Americans / American culture that made me raise an eyebrow or two that’s for sure. I’m sure it happens in reverse too so it’s not that I’m saying ‘Our shit don’t stink‘ – it’s just……well, different shit.
So let’s just kick the elephant in the room one swift kick to the goolies (em, I mean ‘sack‘ for my new American friends!)
How in fucks name can we speak the same language (supposedly) yet there is such a huge difference in how we speak, the words/spellings we use and our understanding of them?!!!
It’s not the accent – maybe!
I found I had to change so many words to be understood it’s not even funny. I’m not even talking about something that sounds ridiculous different. For example….
- Good morning Sir, how are you? What can I get you today?
- Hey, I’m great thanks. So I’ll have the poached eggs, toast & tomatoes please
- ‘I’m sorry SIR – the eggs, toast and what?’
- *shake of their head …. as if I said a completely different word altogether*
- ‘Ta-may-toe‘ …… I go thinking ‘Seriously?‘
- OK, thank you Sir. And would you like pepper jack, sour cream, jalapeno or ‘ta-may-toe‘ salsa with that?!
- Just some brown sauce??
- I’m sorry Sir, I don’t know what that is. We have pepper jack, sour cream, jalapeno or ‘ta-may-toe’ salsa. Which one would you like?
- ……Oh dear !!!!
VS in Ireland…
- Hey man. I’ll have the full Irish yeah. Beans, mushrooms, pudding …. the lot.
- Tea or coffee?
- Yep, white.
- Nice one.
Every american is irish!
I shit you not my friends – literally every person from America we had the pleasure of chatting with said they were ‘Irish‘!! I was thinking – ‘No you’re not! I’m Irish. You’re American!!!’ But that’s not what they say. Not one of them said ‘I’m American, from California or Oregon etc’.
Instead, the folks we spoke with always replied with something like ‘Oh, I’m Irish. I’m also part Dutch, part Scottish & part Australian!‘ The gas thing is they were born and raised in America, fly an American flag proudly outside their house, have an American passport and for the most part, they’ve never been to Ireland (or know where their Great Great Grandfather comes from in Ireland or wherever else they say they come from). Obviously I’m not painting every American with the same brush here, I’m specifically talking about the people we met. Absolutely bananas & so funny!!
No Irish person would ever say anything like that. Irrespective of where their Great Great Granny originally came from. I’m from Longford Town, Ireland and always will be, end of.
the charm of the irish!
The highlight of saying I was from Ireland happened when we were in a beautiful small town called ‘Trukee‘. I badly needed a hair cut and I found a barbers there online. There was brilliant banter between the two barbers and their customers which I sucked up like a sponge while waiting my turn.
When in the chair, I love a good chat with the barber so I started burning the ears off him who’s name was Russ – which was ironic because most Americans replied Russ to me when I told them my name was Ross. Tomato / Ta-May-Toe all over again.
So we had a great yap along with the waiting customers. Turns out Russ’s wife was half Irish & he was half Scottish (see paragraph above!!).
When they came to Ireland he told me how much the people of Ireland looked after them so well and that he’d never forget it.
Jokingly I replied ‘on behalf of the entire population of Ireland, you are most welcome‘! This and the fact that they couldn’t get enough of me & my accent really worked in my favour as when I was finished, I got up to pay to which Russ replied ‘You’re good to go my friend, your money is no good here. I told you Ireland looked after me & my wife and I’ll never forget that‘. The man wouldn’t even take a tip off me. How sound is that? Absolute gent. The charm of the Irish ha?!!!
I’ve a few mates living in the U.S. for years. Mick lives in New York City for the last 15 yrs. While I didn’t get to meet him, we were chatting on FB Messenger. I asked him for his take of some of the differences between Americans & Irish to add to the ones I’d picked up on.
Man his email made me laugh out loud. I’ve taken the best bits and added in some of my own observations which I think will give you guys a giggle. Check them out below. Comments at the bottom please !!!!
American Vs Irish 'Ism's'
|Terminology / Saying / Spelling / Differences||America||Ireland|
|I'm Irish (i)||Every person we met said 'I'm Irish' (once we said we were from Ireland!!!). They'll also say 'I'm half Irish, part Scottish, part German, bit Latvian' but very seldom say 'I'm American' !!!!||Means I'm actually Irish. 100% Guaranteed Irish!.....From Ireland ya know.|
|I'm Irish (ii)||Means you're a chronic alcoholic. You're Catholic. You live to drink & fight. If living in Ireland, you live in the arsehole of nowhere with a couple of spring-lambs for company & talk like 'Agh be Garra, where's me leprechaun'.||Yes we like a drink no more than any other country. But we don't sit on a stone wall in the arse hole of nowhere with a pint of Guinness talking to imaginary little people with orange beards dressed in green!!! (Look, some headbangers might do but the majority don't!).|
|Weather||West Coast gets mega Forrest Fires & Earthquakes. The East Coast gets Hurricanes & Bizarre Snow. Other parts get Twisters & Tornados. Life changing weather. Fire Fighters are Super Stars like you wouldn't believe.||We get rain. Lots of rain. We're feckin weather obsessed 'Jaysuz, shockin weather ha?!'. Farmers are never happy. But we don't get Earthquakes/Forrest Fires/Tornados etc etc. Most Fire Officers are part time believe it or not.|
|Sarcaism||Americans just don't seem to get it - or at least they don't get Irish sarcasm. They'll take it literally & in some cases personally.||Irish are wittier for sure. We've a fantastic sarcastic sense of humour. We love to 'pull the piss' out of anyone just for the crack. In fact, the closer a friend you are, the more you'll get slagged & have the piss pulled out of ya (just not literally ......D'uh!)|
|Food Portions||Seriously - WTF?!!! No wonder there's an obesity issue. In 6 weeks there, I've put on a whopping 8kgs. Jeepers!||Normal sizes. Some give more than others.|
|Cup||Any open top liquid holding vessel, more often than not it means a glass!!!||A cup is a fucking cup right?!?|
|Military Veterans||God like people. Discounts left, right & centre. Skip queues. Get thanks in the street by strangers.||The Irish Army - sure that's not even a real army.....is it?!!!! (Messing of course)|
|Awesome||Awesome. Everything is awesome. Literally everything.||Fuck I hate that word. But it's everywhere now. Even my girls are using it which I correct every time with 'Amazing' or 'Class' you mean!|
|Spelling||Come on lads.... 'Thru' / 'Color' / 'Favorite' / 'Behavior' / 'Busses' ..... my oh my.||Proper spelling 🙂|
|'Handy'||Hand Job - yes, as in sex.||Something is useful !! E.G. a Mini Funnel 'Agh - jayzus that's a handy one isn't it?'!!|
|Use of the word 'C*^t'||American's hate it. It causes a reaction like nothing my mate Mick has ever seen "Hey what's up ya C*^t" = it's fight time....||Loved by a fair amount of Irish it has to be said "Hey, what's up ya C*^t" = term of endearment!!|
|Prices||They don't include the tax. Huh?!!! The price you see is not the price you pay at the till. What's the deal with that??!!!||What you see is what you pay generally.|
|Tips||Tips for absolutely everything. It's built into the tills. It even gives you a 'Fair / Good / Average / Best' rating under each %. Not tipping is frowned upon even if you only get a bottle of water and say 'Hi' to the person serving.||In restaurants for example, rule of thumb is 10% on top of total unless specifically stated on the bill. Most places will have a tips jar but it's not compulsory especially if you're only buying a bottle of water or something small. It's become more popular in pubs & taxies though.|
|Insinkurator||Absolutely brilliant device which every home should have. Chuck any left over food down the sink, press the magic button and BOOM, it's history. Genius.||Stand to be corrected but it's a relatively new product here which I think was banned until recently? Anybody?|
|Pay by Card||Everywhere. Shops / Pubs / Restaurants as standard. But is also available from Food Trucks to Car Parks attendents to Pop Up shops all via their phones which you sign your name with your finger. Brilliant. Not all have Contactless though.||All highstreet shops, bars, cinemas and everywhere you would naturally expect. Usually not pop up shops or food trucks that I've ever used. Cash is still king with them. Outside of cities? Forget it pal.|
|Wine||Huge 1.5L bottles of wine everywhere and very good price in the major superstores. 5L boxes of high quality wine too for like $15-$17. Might have had a few of those while I was there!!!!||Buying a bottle of wine here is like being stung by a swarm of scorped wasps multiple times. The Government take a huge % of each bottle. Average bottle of decent wine will set you back €12-€20 for 0.75L bottle.|
I could list a shit load more but I think this gives a good jist of the differences, most of which I find very funny. Let me know what you think below.
Agh America – such a brilliant & bat shit crazy place in equal measure. But I genuinely can’t wait to go back. Thanks for having us. U-S-A … U-S-A … U-S-A 🙂
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