Guest Post: Rhys Wynne

May 16th, 2008 | by TJ |

If you follow my Twitter stream at all, you might be familiar with my fake internet boyfriend, Rhys Wynne, from The Gospel According to Rhys. You’ll have to get your own fake internet boyfriend, but I am lending you mine for the day. See if you guys can be helpful, as he is preparing to come over here to the US for a little while and seems completely ignorant of what makes a good french fry and how to properly curse out a rude American.

I expect to come back to you myself shortly and things might even be a little bit different when I do, so thanks for your patience while I sort some things out.


Hello TJ readers! My name is Rhys, and – despite being TJ’s scary fake internet boyfriend, I’m also a six year blogger at The Gospel According to Rhys, and the owner of, the world’s first blogger dating site.

With that said, I am from the UK, and – by the looks of this (and I am assuming) a lot of you lot are Americans. I am heading to the States at the end of the month. As a result I’m examining the differnce between proper English, and American English, so I don’t look like an utter pillock.

You see, for us, chips are the warm potato sticks you call french fries (ours are thicker, but that’s a three pint storey). We call what you call chips crisps. Which makes sense, as – unless you get rubbish ones – they make a crisping sound.

A contentious issue, what you call beer (Budweiser, Coors, Miller, the tasteless gnats urine basically) we can call beer, but technically most people call it a lager. And you should try the Belgian stuff, it’s ace. Beer, as in traditional beer in the UK, is a lot darker, a lot bitterer, and a lot heavier than lager, which was originally a girls drink, but now men drink it to get pissed.

Yes, pissed. Pissed doesn’t involve being angry, pissed is our word for drunk. Either way, the sentance “I was so pissed I smashed a chest of drawers” has the same result, even though the method of getting there is the same.

I’m not sure what you call our Gas. We call your gas (the stuff you put in the car) petrol. And stop complaining about prices – we pay $10 a gallon. But what do you call our gas? Gas for us is the stuff you use to heat up an oven.

The greatest word in the English language. Fact. Brits will try to get anybody with an American accent to say it. It is the equivalent of “fuck”, and is worse than the c-word in terms of swearing. A wanker is somebody who…ahem…pleasures themselves. Wankered is another word for pissed too.

There’s more, but those are all I can think of. If you’ve got any questions to ask a Brit, feel free, I’ll answer as many as I can in the comment.


Go visit Rhys, add him to your feed reader, and what the hell, join Shagablogger, too. I did – I don’t expect to… er… shag anyone, but Americans are sorely underrepresented.

26 Responses to “Guest Post: Rhys Wynne”

  1. By Morane on May 16, 2008

    You forgot ‘fanny’.

  2. By Arrens on May 16, 2008

    Rhys, while stationed in the U.S. Navy, most of my port visits were to places west of the states (or VERY far east, depending on which way one traveled). One such place was Dubai, UAE where we were introduced to a Sailor’s club in the middle of nowhere. Nothing much to note about the club, except for the large amount of Aussies there. A fellow sailor made the mistake of confusing the Aussie accent with a British one and the Aussie was offended to the point of taking a swing at my shipmate. My question to you is this: Do Brits take the same offense at being mistaken for an Aussie by we Americans? I ask because, as you’re probably aware, we’re the only English-speaking country that utterly lacks an accent (except for the folks in the southern states. And the northeast. And probably the midwest, too).

    (I keed, I keed. I know perception and all. But the question itself was quite serious.)

  3. By sonvar on May 16, 2008

    Are there any american phrases you like to say?
    Is “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” really a british phrase or just something the writers of Austin Powers came up?
    Are the Austin Powers movies actually liked in England? And along with that what about the James Bond movies?

  4. By Evil Sheep on May 16, 2008

    Just to help out Rhys, what you call Football is actually soccer, and most Americans don’t enjoy playing it, watching it, or talking about it. What we call Football, however, is a subject that can lead to barroom brawls and riots around the right people.

    Enjoy America while you’re here :D

  5. By For the Pie on May 16, 2008

    Dang wanker British folks messing up the English language….. :D

    By the way, we prefer you not to refer to the USA as “the colonies”

    Apparently we might perhaps owe you for some tea…hrm..uh..

  6. By ArmsandFury on May 16, 2008

    Ok… here to help.

    We have your Chips here as well. They are called Steak Fries if you get lonely for them.


    No see here! We drink heavy Lager as well. When you are here, I insist you try the following Abita Amber or Abita Turbo Dog. They are made in my home state of Louisiana and they are not the girly beers.

    Gas… This is just to common anywhere. Too many jokes that are far to easy to appease TJ caliber… like the Poop.

    Wanker… Now, I went to Paris, France once. I say Paris, France because there is a Paris, Texas. While I was there I realized something… if you are at all paying attention or care… whatever word anyone uses at you… you can tell the context far sooner then repeat the word.

    Now I have a question!

    Is it true that you have roving gangs that have latched onto a specific Football team and constantly fight each other?

  7. By Ego on May 16, 2008

    1) Agreed with Armsandfury – Steak Fries, Pub chips, American Fries – we do have the thicker ones, but almost anything that’s only referred to as “fries” are the little wimpy things like you’d get at mcDonald’s. Avoid ‘fries’ and ‘french fries’ if you’re looking for something that still tastes like it remembers what a vegetable is.
    2) Americans don’t have accents. Duh.
    3) Do you like Americans to say ‘wanker’ because it’s funny that they swore and didn’t realize it, or because it’s funny to hear someone without an accent say it?

  8. By Odius on May 16, 2008

    I’m going to have to say the c-word is worse thank wanker. It’s just got a more dirty guttural sound to it.

    Another good one is when my friend from Scotland came to visit and he constantly says fanny balls and ball jaws. of course it come out like fanny baws or baw jaws with his accent it was funny hearing my friends saying his patter without the accent.

  9. By Maebius on May 16, 2008

    One very important distinction to remember is that we Americans wear Pants to work (on the outside). From my understanding European-english’pants’ are the boxer/brief things worn under our “trousers”.

  10. By Vronak on May 16, 2008

    I got lost right off the bat…

    And are you coming to see TJ? (we’re nosy!)

  11. By Tygo on May 16, 2008

    Beer: While you are correct in your assertion that the standard “beers” like Coors, etc are colored fizzy water, there are a lot of American microbrews and regional beers that are really good.

    I’ve had some microbrewed lagers that were 6+% ABV and tasted excellent.

  12. By Tigersoul on May 16, 2008

    I’m with Vronak…What’s a pillock?

    And I do NOT understand a few of the words in the following sentence: “The repair man walked from the lift to his lorry after repairing the aerial at my flat.”

    Once in Australia they asked ME what MY accent was… Huh? YOU are the one with the accent, silly Aussie! (I too am interested in the Aussie/Brit question)

  13. By Dammerung on May 16, 2008

    2)Who drinks beer? /gag
    4) Gas is petrol, is natural gas(house energy stuff), is the result of bad food.
    3) Heh news to me.
    5) Also news to me. I always thought Wanker was more along the lines of punk.
    1) Fish and Chips means fish and thick frenchfries…but chips are either crisp potato based snacks, or rewards in a gambling game, or pieces of something.

    I’m confused on the interweb boyfriend bit?….Are you the creepy stalker? Or the creepy boyfriend person? Or the creepy person whose picture she uses to shoo off losers?

    I understand the “fake” bit?

    I’m also agreeing with Arrens that we need the accent question answered.

  14. By teh Khol Abides on May 16, 2008

    You may also want to note that the boot and the bonnet are the trunk and the hood.
    Car fuel is gas, oven fuel is gas, breaking wind is gas…confused yet?
    I can answer the Aussie/Brit question as I’ve had friends from both continents…yes, most Brits and Aussies get offended when you confuse one for the other. It’s like being from, say, California and being called a Texan. (Silly Texans, you should be ashamed of yourselves, always, lie and say you’re from Oklahoma)
    As it happens, you can’t get a decent packet of salt and vinegar crisps anywhere in the states, but the Mrs. Vickers brand is passable.
    You can get Guinness, but it’s not the same as you get over there, but still damn tasty. As others have said before me, look for local microbrews (the appalling name we’ve given to regional breweries that aren’t based out of St. Louis) as you’re likely to find something very tasty and quite passable as real beer. If you’re headed to the northwestern region of the US, I recommend Red Hook and Pyramid for lagers and a place called BJ’s makes a damn fine bitter.

  15. By twww on May 16, 2008

    If you don’t want your beer/lager/stout cold, order whiskey but specify Scotch, Irish, or Bourbon!

  16. By Rhys on May 16, 2008

    Right, here we go. I think I’ve covered all the comments so far, at least once. So if you’re question has been asked already it is in there, just may not be by your name.

    @Morane: I did, but truth be told I don’t know what a “fanny” is in US slang. For us it’s a vagina, hence why we giggle like schoolgirls at “Fanny Pack”.

    @Arrens: Well, 12 months ago I’d have said yes, but after meeting the most British Australian in my life, then I’d have to say no. I wouldn’t be offended, though I don’t know how hard it is there is no way I sound Australian as much as you sound French. People would though, as Australians are decended from ex prisoners of Her Majesty.

    I do object to the “only nation without an accent”, as you quite clearly do. It’s loud, it’s brash, and it’s blatently obvious.

    @Sonvar: Yes, we did invent “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeasy”, and it was around before Austin Powers. The first time I used it was in Reception class (which I don’t even know what “Grade” it is, but I was about 4 or 5). That was late 80′s/early 90′s. We love Austin Powers films, well I do, particularly the one that took the mick out of the Dutch. Plus it’s a fact we all love James Bond movies, and every single male wants to be James Bond.

    James Bond, Hugh Grant, and – to a lesser extent – Austin Powers, all deserve knighthoods as they have created a fantastic sexual allure amongst you female Americans as we are debonair, dashing, well heeled individuals. It’s rather far from the truth, but you don’t find that out until you’ve slept with us ;).

    @Evil Sheep: I feel I could get into a few arguements. Particularly as your football is called “American Football” and soccer is called “Proper Football”. You carry it most the times, and it’s more of a oval. ;)

    Nevertheless, I will do my best, thanks for your warm wishes :)

    @For The Pie: How can we mess up the language we invented? It’s not called Americish is it? ;)

    We generally don’t call you “The Colonies”, we refer that to the Australians and South Africans.

    @ArmsandFury: Great! Load me with steak fries when I’m there :).

    I have heard that there are a lot of great microbreweries in and around the States, our local Weatherspoons (imagine if McDonalds serves beer and looks like a pub and you get close) used to stock “Brooklyn Beer” for a while, which I believe was an American Microbrewer. Didn’t like it, but I don’t like all the ales we have in this country, so I’m bound to find one i liked.

    Regarding the football gangs, well it’s afraid to say that pockets of violence seen in films such as Green Street Hooligans does happen. It happened recently (Google “Rangers Uefa cup riot” for stories of the latest ones), but it’s not just a UK problem. It’s a European problem, with a number of rioters in the Mediterranean countries and the Eastern Bloc nations being a million times worse than us, but you only hear about us. Then again, I lived in Liverpool for 4 years (home to two of the most passionately hard nosed clubs in the UK), and – whilst I was often asked as a first question “Red or Blue?” (one team plays in red, one team plays in blue), it was no more than a discussion rather to getting beaten up.

    So, whilst I can’t say it doesn’t happen, it’s not as exaggerated as the media will help you believe.

    @Ego I will avoid French Fries, I already do. Chips are where it’s at! It’s a bit of both with wanker. I’ve heard the word on the Simpsons and WWE before now and there being an uproar, and it’s funny somebody WITH an accent saying it ;).

    @Odius It’s personal opinion :)

    @Maebius Yes! This confused me incredibly! You are right with the English definition of it. But it’s wierd, as our “pants” is short for “underpants”, so if they are now “pants”, what are now “underpants”

    @Vronak Pillock is a word for idiot. It’s a great British word, along with Bollocks (which means testicles), which I use a lot. I’m afraid I’m not seeing TJ, as I’m only heading to NYC and Boston.

    @Tygo 6+% ABV?!??! Wow, that’s a hell of a lot stronger than our stuff!! Our ales average around 4.5%, but are so tasty :)

    @Tigersoul “The repair man walked from the elevator to his truck after repairing the thing that receives TV on top of my house in my apartment”. If that makes sense :)

    @Dammerung If anybody the scary internet stalker it’s TJ! :P I posted a video post a while back, TJ told me that she liked it and was smitten, I thought “meh, I have no real girlfriend, I’ll have a fake one instead”. :)

    Though TJ’s lovely :)

    @teh Khol Abides Any idea of anything in the North East to look out for? Thanks for your great advice though!

  17. By Rhys on May 16, 2008

    @twww I am planning on drinking a lot of Bourbon when I’m over there :)

  18. By teh Khol Abides on May 16, 2008

    Having never been to the Northeast more than passing through an obscure airport in the middle of the night on my way to Saudi, nope, I can’t answer that question intelligently. I’m sure one of TJ’s readers can, though…

  19. By BRK on May 16, 2008

    Having lived in England for three years, we believe we’re in a unique position to provide some critical information about the US for arriving Brits:

    You can buy alcohol after 11pm here. Actually the bars only close after the sun is seen rising in the east, and last-calls are never heard. Adjust your consuption accordingly.

    American’s cannot play darts. You can easily win against us.

    But you don’t understand Foozball. Don’t pretend otherwise.

    You will not find good fish and chips. Don’t bother trying.

    The sun is really hot. Beware.

    Deep down, we do like soccer/football. Two things ruin it for us: 1) Flopping. 2) The 89 minutes of boredom that accompany the sixty seconds of intense glory that accompanies a goal.

    Warm beer/cider/etc is an affront to common decency. Do not look askew at an ice-cold alcoholic beverage.

    We understand that there are good beers and bad beers. We just, for the most part, will drink whatever is put in our sticky mitts. It’s a question of efficiency, not taste.

    We don’t use bar towels. Probably the greatest thing about pubs and we don’t even try to emulate them. Welcome to cheap, thin, cardboard coasters. Don’t laugh too hard.

    Men wear silly hats with logos of their favorite things on them. Catepillar, the Cincinnatti Reds, etc. Do not stare.

    Do not touch women unless given explicit permission. They have weapons and are not afraid to use them. That pinching and grabbing done outside the pub, if tried here, will result in a face full of mace if you’re lucky, a taser and a trip to the emergency room if you’re not.

    You will be given food-portions that would feed your family for a week. These huge plates are overflowing with everything you’ve ever imagined. Don’t be scared.

    Yes, we’ll still bring up the Revolutionary War.

    No, we won’t mention that, for many years, you fought WWII all by yourselves while we sat on our hands.

    The first time you drive a 300+HP V8 engine, you’ll never look at your 4-banger the same way.

    Your scooter is not a motorcycle. Not appreciating the difference can get you killed, in more ways than one.

    Anytime things get ugly, when you’re in the minority and people are looming, mention our common enemy and you’ll be welcomed with open arms and hearts. We speak of, of course, the French.

  20. By Asara on May 16, 2008

    Now, I have a friend who lives in Widnes, and she is forever saying that she “is pants” at things. So she’s really saying she is underwear?

    Not that I’m surprised, just looking for clarification.

    Also, I love british slang. Can you tell me if I was properly flattered by the following: “Cor, I could get into that”? Someone said it on the street in London when I was walking with a couple of friends on our way out to the pub.

  21. By Rhys on May 16, 2008

    @BRK We now have 24 hour drinking. It’s proven to be a complete disaster, but oh well :)

    @Asara “pants” is also another word for rubbish. We have a habit of words meaning two or more meanings. Similar to the word “fuck”. We’re the only nation on the planet where the word “glass” is a verb. I mentioned “Bollocks” in my previous comments. “Bollocks” as well as testicles, can also mean rubbish, and “Bollocking” means “to give a telling off”.

    “Cor, I could get into that” really isn’t flattering. It’s mean that the said person wished to partake in sexual intercourse with your good self. Other variations include “I’d do her” or “Oh…I would!”.

  22. By ailtia on May 16, 2008

    I want to get 1 thing strait…

    Gas comes out of your Butt.
    Gasoline goes into the car.


    PS. have a wonderful trip. If you get lost on the way here follow the setting sun. When you see the Big Lady with the Torch Congrats you are in the United States.

  23. By Evil Sheep on May 16, 2008

    Must post my all-time favorite bad joke in honor of your visit. Thanks BRK for reminding me of it.

    Did you hear about the new cologne called “Soccer”? It’s for men who only want to score once in a while.

    24 hour drinking is a disaster here as well, but it’s a fun disaster.

    Worth mentioning to save you a hellacious morning: If you are sampling American beers and someone offers you a shot of Crown Royal, say no. Nobody wants that hangover, trust me.

    Follow Ailtia’s directions, but if you find yourself flying over a land full of tanned people driving sports cars amongst palm trees you went too far…

  24. By teh Khol Abides on May 17, 2008

    If you do find yourself in the land of tanned people, sports cars and palm trees, turn right 90-degrees and go north until the weather looks like home and there’s a weird flying saucer thingy on a tripod.
    Best. Place. Ever.

  25. By Karpax on May 19, 2008

    Triple cheer for Belgian Beer!!! (pun intended)

    Beer in clear glass bottles is hazardous for your health.
    Well… More hazardous then beer in brown bottles…

  26. By BingoBango on May 19, 2008

    Does Britain hate America like the rest of the world?

    I know a lot of exchange students from places like Africa and Saudi Arabia, even western European countries like Italy that all say their countries hate Americans more than Palistine hates Isreal.

    Es verdad?

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