21 September 2018

Published September 19, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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Genre: Whimsy

Word Count: 100


Dark clouds gathered, threatening to spoil Eric and Alistair’s sightseeing.

After months of emails and planning, the two blog buddies decided to meet in London since Eric had never been away from the States.

“Did you think to bring a brolly?”  

Eric’s brow furrowed. “Why would I bring a trolley?”

Rain pelted Alistair’s forehead and dribbled into his eyes. “Are you deaf? I said ‘brolly.’ Not trolley. You know. A gamp.” He sputtered. “Can’t you Yanks understand plain English?”

Eric shrugged. “It certainly rains a lot over here. As you Brits say, it’s a good job I brought an umbrella.”



117 comments on “21 September 2018

    • Dear Anshu,

      One of the things I enjoy most about Friday Fictioneers is the cultural exchange. A few years back two fictioneers had quite the argument over the word “smelt.” The writer who used it as the past tense of smell was British. Her critic, a rather arrogant American English teacher, pointed out that it was incorrect. She should’ve used “smelled.” She did shut him down, because in the UK smelt is correct.
      Gamp and brolly were new to me as well. A fun write. Thank you.



      Liked by 3 people

    • Dear Anita,

      I’d say one or both of the buddies is liable to get wet. It seems that Eric is a little slow getting out his brolly. 😉 I love playing with language. Even within the States there are different slang words. Thank you.




    • Dear Josh,

      Don’t forget my favourites. 😉 They are our neighbours across the pond after all. I have three great nephews in Liverpool who have dual citizenship. I asked our niece if they will have to learn to spell both ways. Fun with words. Verbiage is my friend. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • I really enjoyed this Rochelle; I love stories with linguistic mix-ups. With the ageing process gradually depleting my vocabulary, I was pleased you’d taught me a new word, ‘bumbershoot’ and reminded me of one I’d forgotten, ‘gamp’ (I must read more Dickens).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear John,

      Languages on the whole fascinate. I find myself these days using slang that the younger crowd doesn’t get. On the other hand, ‘groovy’ did make a comeback for a while. Glad you enjoyed my silliness and took the time to say so. 😀



      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean Rochelle. The coolness of “cool” has waxed and waned several times since I was a teenager (a long time ago).
        Ironically, I recently used a colloquialism from my childhood in a (positive) comment about someone else’s flash fiction story. Unfortunately it was taken as meaning something completely different from what was intended. The vitriolic response left me stunned. My explanation prompted an apology, which I’m sorry to say I didn’t take with the graciousness that I probably should have. I’m now seeing the not-so-funny side of linguistic mix-ups. Ah well.


    • Dear Dale,

      Language is fun, eh? Loving the feedback with this one and slow to answer this week. Valise and Suitcase come to mind. Trolley, shopping cart, basket. And the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round. 😉 Thank you, my friend. Keep the sunroof closed and stay dry. (Wisoff grin).

      Shalom and hugs,



  • Nice nod to the English weather. Brollies are still good, but does anyone wear wellies any more? Language issues reminds me of the time when we moved to a different state in India. My mother asked the cook to get a kilo of meat. He did. Only meat in his language meant salt.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ha, when I wrote my story I changed one vital “brolly” to “umbrella” just in case it wasn’t widely used… I’ve never hear “gamp” before, though!
    I like your choice of Brit character’s name – very strong, very distinguished, I thought 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ali,

      I like to write what (and whom) I know. I’m glad you liked my choice of character. 😀 Fun stuff, but no one’s mentioned my use of “It’s a good job.” Not at all American. Ah well. Fortunately our weather’s been clear here. No need for a brolly. Love it. I’m going to have to adopt it. I’ve already borrowed a few phrases. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • As I recall, the word ‘gamp’ comes from the character Sarah Gamp in the Dickens novel Martin Chuzzlewit (because she always carried an umbrella). I think there’s another interpretation of the word these days, but I’m out of my comfort zone there. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sandra,

      I appreciate your swinging by to read. I’d never heard any of these words before. But it was fun to poke fun with my brolly. 😉 No one said a word about my use of “It’s a good job.” Definitely not used in the States. Must be common enough to go under everyone’s radar.
      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Brilliant! As soon as I saw the photo I thought, “Oo, brollies!” and immediately wondered if non-Brits would know the term. Your story answered that one for me! I must admit though, I’ve never heard the term ‘gamp’ before – it’s always been a plain old brolly to me!


  • Oh, hahahahaa, the King’s or is it Queen’s English can be quite a jig to git at times. Love it! Wasn’t sure I’d get out with our new little addition there hasn’t been a lot of sleep this week.


  • A lovely tale of language and misunderstanding. Let’s hope any more are as innocuous. We had it as an umbergamp when we were kids, which I think might be a Midlands expression. The UK-US different usage that always gets me is bonnet vs. hood (on a car). And what’s a ‘thong’ in the US? Because they are mighty different in Australia from the UK version. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah Ann,

      Language fascinates me and I love the sharing of vernacular that we have in FF. Boot and bonnet were new to me. As for thong…when I was growing up thongs were what you wore on your feet. (My brother and I found them fun to chuck at each other 😉 ) Suddenly I find that what I used to know as thongs are now flip-flops and a thong is…well, something else entirely. Not sure when that came about.
      Even across the US there are those lingual differences. In New York a suitcase is a valise. And so on.
      Thank you re my silly story.




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