Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The "British" Colloquialism I Won't Say ...

... is "cheers".

Not "cheers", as in clinking glasses together, but "cheers" as in a substitute for "thanks". It just sounds so awkward coming from an American's mouth. So cringe and inauthentic. Like hearing a Brit say "awesome".

I'm sure Brits would disagree and wouldn't think twice if I uttered "cheers" at the bar when handed a drink, but it honestly makes me shudder.

When I lived up north in York while studying for my MA, people would say "ta" as a substitute for "thanks". I sometimes hear it in London too. I especially love the phrase "ta very much". But as endearing and sweet as I think it is, I would never even think of using it.

And you know what? Brits rarely say "you're welcome". When you say "thank you," they'll either say "thank you" back (repeat x 4) or "that's alright" or "[my] pleasure" or "not at all". It's almost like they can't accept your thanks* (*of course, if you're in London, you'll probably only get thanked for your business 50% of the time in shops and cafes, since this city tends to cultivate some of the worst in customer service).

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