When people decide to move to a new country they know their lifes are about to change. Even when they talk the same language, every country has unique expressions that define them.

It’s part of the process to learn to deal with these new expressions -that sometimes could vary from city to city- and get use to them.

British in the US are not the exception, there are  many expressions that are normal and frequent for Americans but not necessarily mean the same to British.

Let’s see some examples:

Wife-beater ¡do not panic! We are not talking about a man who beats his wife, this is the term British use for shirt or vest, a peaceful piece of clothing.

“The Mom and Pop Shops” mom and pop stores are not the stores where parents meet, we are talking about independent stores (some of them part of the family businesses). There are different categories: toys, comic shops, coffee shops, etc.

¿Cookie Cutter? No, sadly this is not a cookie. A cookie cutter is something that lacks originality, it is used to express other things, for example: products that are massive.

Cougar, yes, a cougar is an animal, but in the United States is also a middle-aged woman who likes younger men.

“You have the right to remain silent when questioned. Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.…” you may have heard  it on tv series or movies when the police stop criminals and try to get them in jail,; this words are known as part of the Miranda’s Rights.



And Jump the shark … this expression comes from the American series “Happy days” by an absurd scene that the writers made to try to lift up the decline of the history. Whenever a tv program begins to decline and the workers take desperate measures, this phrase takes relevance.

There are many American expressions that have different meanings to the British and other foreigners, which is why they engage to investigate and therefore facilitate the swift adaptation and also avoid awkward confusions.

These are small details that make easier the life of British immigrants in the United States, but certainly the first step is to reach for advice about ​​immigration laws.

In Beltran Brito LLP we are proud to have supported several British people in the immigration process.

For more information click here


Related Post