Pants in the Boot

Pants in the Boot
The United Kingdom and America are two countries separated by the same language, George Bernard Shaw never said, and we’ll be proving that in this podcast. We gather Incomparable panelists from the UK and America, as well as Canada and other English-speaking regions, and try to explain to each other the distinctions between biscuit and cookie, lemonade and fizzy water, public school and, er, public school, and why when we put our pants in our boot, we mean something altogether different.

18: Fancy a Bit of Tea?
May 28 • 10 min
Here’s one in which our British compadres have Americans (and most Canadians) beat hands down: tea! While our feckless host admits he thought high tea was an invention, English and Scottish panelist explain tea, afternoon tea, and high tea, and ask the…
17: Breakfast, Dinner, Launch—No, Lunch!
May 14 • 17 min
We’ve finished off a mid-morning snack and elevenses, and it appears to be time for lunch. Our UK, Canadian, and American panelists talk about the sandwich as holy center of lunch, but wouldn’t something deep fried be nice, too? Or a burrito? “The Holy…
16: The Most Important Meal
Apr 30 • 19 min
The most important meal of the day is breakfast. And we seem to agree on that. We might call it “brekkie,” though we usually do not, but it is the least contentiously named meal. Panelists discuss cereal, stacks of things, the breakfast burrito, the…
15: Really, We Never Stop Eating
Apr 16 • 20 min
In this first episode of Pants in the Boot Series 4, we talk about how we identify different times of the day during which we eat named meals. Is it elevenses, dinner, supper, tea, or something altogether different? At least we agree on breakfast. I…
14: We’ve Lost Our Faculties
Dec 16, 2019 • 26 min
Primary school, grammar school, magnet school, comprehensive, college, university, faculty, and more. Our global English-speaking brains are abuzz as we try to comprehend exactly how each part of the world describes (and charges for) the institutions that…
13: You Can’t Say That, Except the Letter Isn’t an “a”
Nov 19, 2019 • 23 min
In an inevitable episode in this series, we talk obscenity. Those of faint constitutions should avoid getting their knickers in a twist as panelists from Scotland, Australia, and the U.S. of A. discuss varying attitudes about the f word, the c word, the t…
12: A Pantomime Is a Terrible Thing To Waste
Nov 5, 2019 • 8 min
Usually, we’re explaining English to each other. This time, US panelists are desperate to understand the largely UK art of panto, a kind of stylized broad style of show, popular around Christmas, full of stereotypes and archetypes, risqué and beloved by…
11: Oh, Aren’t We Fancy?
Oct 22, 2019 • 10 min
If you wear fancy dress in the US or the UK, you might show up in tails. However, in the former, that would be a tuxedo and the latter, potentially the back half of a horse costume. Our panelists for this and the next stretch of episodes dig into what to…
10: M Is for the Many Names We Gave Her
Sep 2, 2019 • 17 min
American panelists finally hear the difference between ma’am and mum when referring to, for instance, the bloody Queen of England! Yes, we talk mom, mom, and mum; aunt and aunt; and the names we call our grandparents in various regions….
8: Fizzy with a Spritz on Top
Aug 19, 2019 • 26 min
The North Americans challenge their UK panelists to please, please, please explain what lemonade means, since it’s not “lemons, sugar, and water.” The answer will surprise you. But then we discover ginger as a generic. It’s all sweet fizzy water with fake…
9: Don’t Keep Us in Suspense
Aug 5, 2019 • 5 min
We’re all lumberjacks and we’re okay, we chop down words, and we read dictionar—ies! Panelists get to the bottom of suspenders and braces, and James explains how he used to visualize Wall Street financial wizards. All we can say is, honi soit qui mal y…
7: We Have No Truck with That
Jul 22, 2019 • 13 min
We thought the difference between a truck and a lorry wouldn’t be a bumpy road. But when we get into it, we find a trash fire, Dumpster trademarks, and a confusion over caravans, and ultimately articulate the differences….
6: It Bums Us Out
Jul 8, 2019 • 18 min
Panelists try to avoid getting their knickers in a twist while discussing the disparate—sometimes obscene—meanings of words that address the back of our front: fanny, butt, bum, ass, and arse….
5: Boot v Trunk
Jun 24, 2019 • 2 min
What about a boot? We put our pants in the trunk, but we put our trousers in the boot? Panelists find themselves questioning whether they know the front of the car from the back. Hood a trunk it!…
4: Pants v Trousers
Jun 10, 2019 • 8 min
Who wears short shorts? We wear short shorts—if we’re Americans at least. It’s in the title of the show, but the confusion between pants and trousers makes for many an embarrassed trans-Atlantic story. We also delve into briefs, boxers, short, short…
3: Alumin(i)um
May 27, 2019 • 6 min
An extra syllable? A missing syllable? Are you out of your ever-loving minium? While it’s hardly a debate, panelists say it’s elementary as they discuss the difference between aluminum and aluminium. And the fetishism many Americans have for Jony Ive…
2: Chips, Crisps, and Fries
May 21, 2019 • 22 min
When is a chip a chip and when is it a chip? In this episode, we stare down the pare down of cutting, shredding, crushing, and extruding potatoes into the many forms in which they are consumed. One conclusion? While the British love their chips, Americans…
1: Biscuits v Cookies
May 6, 2019 • 16 min
Panelists bicker over biccies in our inaugural episode. Both America and the UK have biscuits and cookies, but they aren’t the same thing. Except sometimes they are. Sometimes it’s even settled legally and taxed accordingly! Thanks to the literally…