Most other nations in the world, except for the United States, consider learning another language not only normal but necessary. Their place on the world stage is enhanced by being conversant in their own native tongue but also French or Spanish or Chinese or English. We Americans who travel abroad are so used to finding someone who speaks English that most don’t understand that to be a considerate tourist it helps to know at lest a few basic words in that foreign language.
Well, tables are turned sometimes. It is pretty funny when you consider what regular English words mean in other places around the world.
InkTank has a funny article about ten English words that mean something very different in other nations. Their #6 spoke to me, since I am a commerical food processor and make many jams and jellies.
6. Preservative In France, a préservatif isn’t quite what you might expect. If you tend to have many conversations about jams and jellies, it might be useful to be aware that préservatifc actually means condom. In fact, many European languages have variations of preservative that all mean condom.
However, the funniest situation was something I learned yesterday. First the back story.
Many immigrants, when coming to Castle Garden or Ellis Island, ended up with a family name different from the one they had known. Some names were changed by the immigration officer to make it Americanized or simpler. Some people opted to change their names at that time.
We all know by now that Donald Trump’s grandfather changed their German family name from Drumpf. I assume the information about British slang was not widespread. The verb to trump has been used extensively across Britain to refer to the breaking of wind. It is especially the case in the North, in Wales and certainly in Norfolk, simply “To give forth a trumpet-like sound; spec. to break wind audibly (slang or vulgar).”