Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thank You

It's a common phrase in the English language, but probably one that isn't used enough.  Nonetheless, at lunch today, a few of my British & American co-workers had a discussion about the different ways you can say 'thank you' here in England. Aside from the obvious 'thank you' and 'thanks', I think most folks are also familiar with 'cheers'-which, as it turns out can mean thanks, or a whole host of other things-like 'bye' or 'ok'.
But, one of my personal favorites that I'm hearing with increasing frequency the past 6 months is 'ta'.  In American-speak, on rare occasions, you may hear someone say 'ta-ta' as in goodbye, but apparently here in England, 'ta' means thank you.

I like it, but for some reason, can't bring myself to use it just yet.  I pepper a lot of my conversations these days with 'Brit-speak,' but I think it's the Brit-speak that is common enough that even if used in the US, folks would know what it means.  But, I guess because 'ta' hasn't crossed the pond yet  (has it?...let me know if it has!), I can't bring myself to use it.

I guess I just don't to come off sounding like some faux-Brit-speaking, Madonna-with-her-posh-accent-wannabe...

So, in the meantime, I guess I'll just keep saying thanks!


  1. Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog and congrats on the 'next chapter'!

    I know how you feel about using British-isms. ! I can't bring myself to use them unless its just me and the boy and even then I feel a bit stupid. It always makes me think of when I first heard him say 'bucks' when referring to American money and how hilarious I thought it sounded.

  2. I think I'd avoid it, unless your accent starts to shift and you begin to sound British most of the time. I know I always cringe when I hear Americans using words like 'bloody'!

  3. I like your blog and feel your pain. I'm with the first two pundits on this one. My English husband gets annoyed when Americans in the know tell him "cheers," but perhaps he's just cranky. A delivery guy told me "nice one" for signing my name to a clipboard. I can't help but think he was being sarcastic!

  4. Some Brits words are OK to adopt but "ta" would sound a bit weird I think. And no, it's not in usage over here, at least in the mid-west.
    Ta-ta means goodbye in the UK, and in the north east some parents used to say it to babies ("Going ta-ta") meaning to go for a walk. The only time I've ever heard it used over here was for boobs!

  5. I had that 'ta' conversation just this past week. So it is a coincidence that you are blogging this. As an American living here for nearly 5 years, I HATE 'Ta' with a passion, it is dismissive and rude. Most of the time I find it an inappropriate response to something that deserves a proper acknowledgment of appreciation. If I stop to hold the door for you, 'Ta' is not appropriate. Calling out the floor number on the lift followed by 'ta' is not appropriate. It started when I travelled to Australia, while working in a busy cafe in North Sydney. 'Ta' used to run through my veins like lava! It lacks respect and it sounds common. Please for the love of the Stars and stripes do not adopt that word!

  6. Hi All,

    Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment-all good ones, too.
    @Expatmum, you are right about the ta-tas reference. I had forgotten about that one. Perhaps blocked it out is the more likely reason. :)

  7. Interesting! To me as a Canadian, 'ta' is what you say to a toddler when you want them to give you something!

    Anyway, love your blog. I'm an expat too - but in Africa. I can totally relate to the issues with use of words in English!

    I'm your latest follower.

    Holli in Ghana