Stars and Slang

Vera Iwankiw
November 20, 2013

Last Tuesday, a group of us decided to go out and see the Oxford Street Christmas lighting, even though it still feels much too early to start celebrating Christmas. We started off just wandering and then saw a large group of people all huddled together and decided to go see what was going on. Before we knew it, we had been engulfed in this crowd and there was no way out- we didn’t even know what we were supposed to be waiting for or watching. Eventually, we got up to a barrier and slowly pushed our way through, and there was the stage for the lighting. We saw James Arthur, Conor Maynard, and Jessie J perform live right in front of us! The lights were slightly underwhelming, even though they reportedly spent 1.5 million pounds, but the experience was amazing, and I finally got to see some famous people around London.

Other people in my program have been seeing stars since they got here. People have seen Paul McCarthy giving a free concert in Covent Garden, Rupert Grint in his new play called Mojo, Daniel Radcliffe at dinner by Leister Square, and just this morning Will and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were literally right across the street from our dorm building. And I was in class. I still am very upset, especially because seeing a royal was on my London bucket list! I suppose I will have to stalk Will and Kate until I accomplish my goal.

One of the other students snapped this picture and I am so jealous!

Another item on my London bucket list was picking up on British slang and I think I have accomplished that. Here is a list of some of my favorite British words followed by their American equivalents:

  • Pissed = Drunk
  • Hundreds and Thousands = Sprinkles
  • Fit = Hot (physically)
  • Tea leaves = Thieves
  • Queue = Line
  • Car park = Parking lot
  • Knackered = Tired
  • Miffed = Upset
  • Advert = Advertisement
  • Rubbish = Trash
  • Barrister/Soliciter = Lawyer
  • Prawn = Shrimp
  • Toilet/Loo = Bathroom

That last one might seem obvious, but if you ask for a bathroom, they will look at you funny and explain that there is not physical bath tub here. Same language, huge differences, especially when you add accents into the mix.

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Vera Iwankiw

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I was born and raised in Chicago, where I grew up learning about my Ukrainian culture and language. I currently attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and am studying Human Development with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. I play on the university&rsquo;s club water polo team and synchronized swimming team and am active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I have traveled internationally to Ukraine, Canada, and Mexico for vacation and Cape Town, South Africa for a service learning trip. In the future, I hope to continue my studies in law school, with the hope of one day practicing as a family law or child advocate lawyer.</span></p>

2013 Fall
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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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