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Nov '06

Velveeta and Trash Cans . . . in Britain!

I was just thinking about a stand-out moment from my study abroad in London in 2002. We were at a theatre (can’t recall what we were seeing…). During intermission my bunkmate, Melanie, wanted to find a trash can to throw away some wrappers. Only in Britain it’s not a trash can, it’s a bin. And the wrappers aren’t trash, they’re rubbish.

Since we lived in London we were always trying to talk the British lingo so we didn’t stand out so much as Americans. Melanie walked up to a handsome British usher and said in her finest almost-English accent, “Pardon me, where is the nearest rubbish bin?”

She said it pretty fast, maybe to sound more naturally English, but the usher didn’t understand. So she tried again, “The dustbin?” The usher gave her a confused look. Finally, in frustration Melanie said in the most twangy, ultra-American accent you can imagine, “Where’s a traaaaash can?”

It wasn’t British lingo, but the guy got it.

(If you’re reading this Mel, it’s still one of my favorite London memories…) :)

P.S. I saw on an American-to-British Web site (which is supposed to help the British understand what American-English words mean) the following definition of Velveeta:

Velveeta: a toxic orange, pasty, cheese-like product (see “American cheese”) that comes in huge, cheap slabs, snubbed as trailer trash food but enjoyed in even the finest homes. Usu. served melted.

Velveeta box

1 Comment »

One Response to “Velveeta and Trash Cans . . . in Britain!”

  1. Mel Says:

    Lol! Thanks for remembering that, Shannon! That was pretty funny. I couldn’t tell if it was me or him that was being obtuse! :)

    I like the definition for Velveeta, too!


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