Speaking British in Hong Kong

As an American in Hong Kong, I am a minority. Duh. But even amongst the Westerners here, still a minority. Most of my foreign friends/colleagues/neighbors are British, because for those of you who don't know, Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997. We drive on the left side of the road here, and Microsoft Word tells me I am spelling 'behavior' wrong on my work computer (no, that student did NOT have proper behaviour!)

So I've been learning some new words and phrases while here that I'd like to share.

Trainers- Sneakers. Running shoes. Why trainers?

Trousers- In America, we use this word, but not as commonly. Here, if you say pants, if may mean underwear. Oops.

Fancy Dress- Costume party? Not cocktail attire in England.

Diary- Planner or organizer (no, not an organiser, damn you Microsoft Word!)

Take The Mick Out Of- Make fun of someone. Like I'm taking the mick out of the British right now.

Girlie Bars- This one I kept hearing in relation to the Wan Chai neighborhood (redlight district). It's not quite a brothel, not quite a strip club. Basically, a girlie bar is both.

To all my English friends who I have insulted, I apologise.


  1. Thank you! Even as a Canadian who is used to sticking the "u" into neighbour, colour, etc., I'm still struggling to get used to this British English. For some reason, the worst is saying "nappy" instead of diaper. I just won't do it. It sounds dirty.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Scopolamine: AKA Fairy Dust or Zombie Drug

A White Girl in Hong Kong