That’s Not English by Erin Moore


I enjoyed reading this book, one of the better non-fiction collection of essays I read in 2015. The author, Erin Moore, is American by birth growing up in Key West, Florida. She has always been a self-professed Anglophile so moving to London must have been a fulfillment of a childhood dream. Moore married into a British family and eventually relocated to London.

In the introduction the author corrects some popular misconceptions about what it means to say England versus Britain or The United Kingdom.

Evidently Great Britain includes the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom includes not just Great Britain, but also Northern Ireland.

There are 31 terms explained and compared in separate chapters. Some words have the same meaning on both sides of the Atlantic while others are way off. The chapter titled Tip means to leave a gratuity but in England it could also mean garbage dump. I suppose one would know which meaning was inferred by how it was used in conversation. As the author explains, tipping isn’t the norm in England while Americans find it compulsory.

Other words that are different from our cultures are:
Elastoplasts = Band-Aids
“to go potty” is obviously a trip to the bathroom here while in England it means “to go a bit crazy.”
A child goes off to nursery in England and goes to preschool is the U.S.
Getting used to your child calling the letter Z zed and not zee
Diaper vs nappy
Sneaker in the U.S. is a trainer in England

The selected bibliography is excellent providing the reader with a lengthy list of book titles, blog addresses, periodicals and websites. This is handy as she mentions a few of the books in the various chapters. Also a good reference for the Anglophile seeking more reading material.

That’s it for my 2015 reviews!

Since Joy read this book and gave me me motivation to read it too, I will be linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday.


9 thoughts on “That’s Not English by Erin Moore

  1. I’m glad you liked it! I want to read Kate Fox’s Watching the English now. I read it once before but there’s a 2nd edition out.


  2. Oh, and the reason I called my meme British Isles Friday is that the British Isles are home to all of the United Kingdom and to the Republic of Ireland. I was originally going to call it Anglophile Friday, but someone pointed out that really limits it to England. Once I decided to expand it, I went for a term that included the whole archipelago.


    • Sure, that wrI didn’t think the British Isles don’t include all of Ireland, just northern Ireland. I suppose I can now include my Tana French novels in the lineup this year!


  3. Pingback: Calendar Girls #FilmReview #BriFri | Joy's Book Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s