Thursday, 12 July 2012


It isn't often any more that I get tripped up by word meaning differences, but the other day I had the following conversation.

First, let me set the scene:

Ross and I took our nephew to Katsouri's for lunch.  Katsouri's is a very tasty deli in Manchester (there's also one in Bury) that we like to frequent.  We'd go in for lunch maybe once a week when I was pregnant and have been in once since Linus arrived.  There's one lady in particular who usually takes our order and was very excited when we brought Linus in and made a big fuss over him.  The deli is pretty tightly packed at lunch time with not much room to manoeuvre a stroller, so I was wearing Linus.

We arrived and were standing by the refrigerator case picking out our freshly made sandwiches.  (Side note: I recommend The Olympus [hummus, feta, grilled peppers, olives, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers] or the Bacon, Brie and Cranberry [those things plus lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers].  Delicious!!)  The woman came rushing over to say hello with a big smile on her face.  She coo-ed over Linus' adorableness and how sweet he looked in his sling.

Woman:  He's been sick.
Me:  No.  He's been fine.
Woman:  (looking confused) No.  He's been sick.
Me:  (even more confused) No.  We've been fine.  Just haven't been in for awhile.
Woman:  (so confused, firmly) He has.  He's been sick!

I finally look down and see some spit up on Linus' shirt.  The woman hadn't been telling me that we hadn't been in because Linus had had a cold or something.  She was telling me that he'd spit up.  I forgot that "sick" here means vomit.  As in "Oops.  You've got some sick in your hair!"  The way Americans use sick is usually called "ill" here.  So if you say to a Brit "I feel sick", don't be surprised if they hand you a trash can.  

Anyway... we had a nice laugh when I explained my confusion and then I grabbed a rag and cleaned Linus' shirt.  Then I ate a tasty Bacon, Brie and Cranberry sandwich, a few olives, and split a caramel chocolate square with my nephew.

The end.


  1. There's also the quite recent phenomenon of using the phrase 'that's sick' to mean that is good/brilliant.

  2. I know this was a sidebar, but those sandwiches sound AMAZING. I feel inspired to make my own Olympus at home!