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British vs American Phrases

Today’s post will be more on the shorter side I think. This particular thing has just happened to come up a lot recently so I thought I would clarify as a fun American vs. British terms/phrases quirk.

So. For everyone out there let’s just get one thing straight:

When a British person says: “You alright?” to an American, the American hears “Are you ok? You look like something’s wrong, what’s wrong?”

Because in my mind that’s similar to, “Are you alright?” which implies there’s a noticeable problem. Naturally, when I first came to Portsmouth I came across this phrase a lot and probably confused several people by my very delayed reaction time due to thinking, “Umm why does it look like something’s wrong?” I was able to figure it out eventually though that this is the really just the equivalent of the American greeting, “Hey, how are you?”

This doesn’t however help too much with figuring out what the appropriate response is. I’m still working that out. Should I treat it as if they had asked, “How are you?” by saying, “Yeah not bad, you?” or maybe just “Hey” in response to just a greeting. I honestly don’t know. Ah dilemmas. I shall figure this out eventually!

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