Pre-Study Abroad Diaries: English phrases, and why you should never say sweatpants.

As chuffed as I am to be going to England for a semester, I’m still a little worried about the language barrier.

For example:

For a long time, I thought that the English word trouser was just a way of saying dress pants. Like how you might say slacks.

Something like this:

David Tennant in trousers.

However, at a pre-departure information session, UNC’s study abroad coordinator explained that pants and trousers were not interchangeable in England.

A pair of trousers is actually what you would call all types of pants. Because pants mean… underwear.

Which means sweatpants…is not a term  that you should use unless you want to conjure up a very unpleasant image.

Instead, if you insist upon wearing sweatpants, they’re just called tracksuit bottoms or “trackies.”

Which puts me in the mind of this:


Da Ali G Show (Sascha Baron Cohen)
Da Ali G Show (Sascha Baron Cohen)

It’s going to be a hard adjustment going from campus where I can wear yoga pants every day without judgment to living in the fashionable metropolis of London.

I guess I’ll have to change up my wardrobe AND vocabulary.


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