Could You Fall In Brit Love?

Hot, contemporary romances with a distinctly British flavour. Gorgeous heroes, beautiful heroines and iconic locations.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Hair Raising

An occasional lesson in American / British English

Brits and Americans may share a great many things but occasionally we're divided by a common language.   In order to help my US author friends who write books set in England, I occasionally highlight cases where words don't translate exactly.

Very often, particularly in historical novels, the heroine will have "braided hair", and I'm assuming the authors mean the style in the photo on the left.  In England, braid is a decorative cord or ribbon used to trim, for example, uniforms or furniture.  To us it's a "plait" and hair is plaited, never braided.

Alternatively, whilst uniforms might also have fringes on them, we in England have them on our heads.   What Americans call "bangs" we call "a fringe" and it's always used in the singular.

American ladies might keep their braids in place with a "barrette" (a term I've personally never come across) but plaits are only ever tamed by a "hair slide".   Smaller curls are kept tidy with "hair grips" not "bobby pins".

Everything might then be finished of with "hair spray", "lacquer" as a word is rather dated and rarely used.   And when it comes to colour (note the extra "u"), if anyone were described as having "red" hair, we'd expect to see something crimson or cherry.   Your "red" is our "ginger".

And where might one go to get their hair done?   To the "hairdressers", not the "hair salon" or "beauty parlor".

Hope this made sense.  And if you think of any more, please forward them to @avisexley on Twitter and why not give me a follow at the same time?

Have fun!   Avis xx

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