Today I had my administrative staff in stitches (again, after the “pants with pockets” debacle of a while back). I ran up to their office to get some thumbtacks to post some posters on a cork-board. I asked for thumbtacks, and got a blank look. “Thumbtacks?” I said again. I pointed at the board hanging above the desk with colorful pushpins. Laughter. Apparently there is no such word as “thumbtacks” in Brit-speak, and it was thought that I was celebrating the new VAT reduction by requesting a tax on their thumbs.
Earlier by about two hours, I had a young Scottish student in my office asking why there was no “tick mark” in Microsoft Office’s clip art. I thought for a second, and realized, well, Microsoft is an American company, and thus would have them down as “check” marks. Sure enough, a search on “check” brought up what was needed. Imagine my surprise on arriving home tonight to find that Brit’ Gal had posted “Tick” as her British word of the day!