Lingo Thesaurus

Lingo Thesaurus

One of the strangest things I’ve had to get used to is the different lingo in America. The confused faces I’ve seen after I say some words are hilarious, and I’ve quickly had to adjust to using different terms for words that are commonly used in SA.

Bin = trash or garbage. Using rubbish bin makes them even more confused.

Serviette = napkin. Don’t use the word serviette unless you want them to attempt your “English” accent and pretend to be fancy.

Jol = party, good fun kinda thing.This was a hard one to explain. Still haven’t met someone who can even pronounce it the same.

Robot = traffic light

Jersey = sweater

Cool drinks = soda

Sweets = candy

Trolley = wagon

Bill = check

Lift = elevator

Pavement = sidewalk

Chips = dried potato chips like Lays. Hot chips are fries or french fries here. I ordered chips at Burger King once and the next thing they asked me was where I was from. Do not ask for chips they WILL laugh at you.

Cozzie/ costume = bathing suit. A costume here is what you dress up in for Halloween.

Just now = huge confusion to Americans. There is no such thing as just now. To them that means now. But to South Africans just now means in a bit, sometime in the near future or the near past, but not necessarily immediately. Also one of the harder ones to explain.

Now now = right now but not literally now. Trying to type out an explanation for this has made me realize how complicated these expressions actually are.

Chunder = throw up/ vomit/ puke. Using this word only leads to one thing. *Insert a terrible attempt at an Australian accent* “Aaahh I’m gonna chunder mate!”

Dof = dumb/ stupid.

Siff = gross. I’ve only used this one a couple times since being here but each time people think that’s a great word for something disgusting and claim they’re gonna start using it.

Takkies = sneakers/ trainers

Boot = trunk

Petrol = gas

Varsity = college/ university

Autumn = fall

Chune = I literally don’t even know how to explain what this means. Chuning someone means chuning someone. Can be used to say ‘chune when you’re finished’ (let me know when you’re finished) or ‘he was chuning me’ (speaking badly about him/ giving him shit). Very difficult one to explain.

Chop = dumbass. ‘Don’t be a chop’.

Shot = thanks. ‘Shot for coming’

Howzit = hey how’s it going.

What’s worse than having to think of different words that you use all the time is having to pronounce things with an American accent so people actually understand you. For example:

Bathroom. This one is very annoying.

Sprite. Basically pronounced as Spraat with my Durban accent. Literally had a bartender say I was adorable after having to try pronounce SPRIIITEE better so many times.

This list could go on forever.

Another thing I’ve had to get used to is how American’s write their dates wrong. My birthday is the 19/05/93 but here its 05/19/93. Still gotta get used to using pounds, miles and fahrenheit

This all might take awhile.

“South Africa, that’s by Argentina right?”

“South Africa, that’s by Argentina right?”

Yes, somebody genuinely asked me that.

Moving to a different continent was not easy. It still isn’t easy, but I’ll get there. The people I’ve met have been fascinated by my “accent”, my stories of living in SA, and my love for snow. It’s been over a month since my family went back home and I can’t believe how fast the time is flying. It still doesn’t feel real that I actually won a greencard and am living in America. It’s a weird feeling knowing your friends are still at Rhodes studying and partying it up while you’re on the other side of the world,  and my family being at home without me.

I’m so lucky to live in this day and age where I’m only a whatsapp or skype call away from everyone back home. I’m even luckier to have such amazing and supportive friends and family.

Mal & Tom are my new family here and they are absolutely incredible. With their huge hearts, amazing connections around the community and Tom’s cooking skills; I couldn’t ask for more! I don’t know what I would do without them here. They have given me a place to call home, their amazing dogs to love, and unexplainable kindess.

After my family left I needed something to be doing. Chilling in bed watching tv, drawing and walking the dogs was great for a couple days until I started losing my mind. So I started looking for jobs. Application after application,  interview after interview and thanks to my uncle’s connections in Asbury Park, after a week I had a part time job! But when you convert dollars to rands, and you think about how much you could be earning as each hour goes by doing basic jobs here, I needed to find another job for the days I wasn’t working.

I’m now working as the assistant manager at the Showroom; a little independent cinema in Asbury, and loving it! Part time I work at Tao Massage as a wellness assistant/ receptionist kinda thing. It’s been a super busy month but it’s great having something to be doing and accomplishing everyday.

In the couple months of being here I have experienced the following:

Had t

he most amazing times with my family. Taken the train to New York.

Seen the Empire State building.

Ti

mes Square,  Soho, Noho, East Village, Upper East & West side, Brooklyn, Liberty Island.

Central Park.

The Met.

Ramen noodles.

Bagels.

S

tarbucks. J

ohnny Macs (an awesome bar).

Had to say goodbye to my family.

Received my Social Security card.

Opened an American bank account.

Got a gym membership.

A

merican sim card.

Started working for two jobs. S

urvived my first “blizzard”.

Met awesome people.

Met ignorant people.

S

hoveled snow.

B

ecame a regular at America’s Cup – the local coffee shop conveniently situated near my two jobs.

H

ealth insurance.

E

xperienced freezing cold weather.

Shoveled more snow.

Gotten used to constantly being covered in dog hair (living with 5 dogs).

I’ve had amazing times,  and I’ve had hard times.

For some reason this post feels like annoying me and won’t work so ignore the random spaces, lack of spaces and messed up sentences. I’ll work it out eventually.

It’s been an adventure so far, and I cannot wait to see what is to come.