Thursday, December 16, 2010

Share a What?

I'm continually fascinated by the peculiarities of British vs. American vocabulary -- or as someone put it, the fact that we are 'divided by a common language.'
My most recent discovery came from an American friend who had just recently returned from a trip to the UK. He heard a fine, upstanding Christian woman state that, after church on Sundays, they like to invite a few people home with them to 'share a joint.'
Knowing that certain standards can vary from one culture to another regarding things such as alcohol and tobacco, for example, my friend didn't dare react too strongly -- but as open-minded as he was, he had a hard time picturing this lady passing around a reefer after church.
It turns out, as you British readers must be smiling right now, that a "joint" refers to a cut of meat, such as a shoulder of ham or perhaps a leg of lamb.

I'd love to hear your stories about linguistic laughs within the English language -- please share them in the comment section!


Anonymous said...

That's hilarious! Now, here in Montana where I know live, "sharing a joint" WOULD mean toking up a bit. ;) (They legalized medical marijuana here.)
Having lived in three states in the past year, I'm also reminded of how different culture can be from region to region in the same country.
Thanks for the laugh this morning.

Rob Higginbotham said...

Brilliant! They might go for a fag afterward... :)

Jonathan said...

A week long stay in a London hotel with 100 American band students: the manger asked, "What time shall I knock you up?"