999 Letsby Avenue


DixonThis episode, my wife steps in to chat about the Queen’s big milestone, and what “knocking someone up” and “going potty” mean in the UK. Then I explain “999 Letsby Avenue” and other jokes that only Brits understand, and listener John Killey writes in, which gets us into motorcycle racing and cats without tails.

Oh: here’s the Isle of Man TT footage we were watching …

One Each End And Steady As We Go


bernard-cribbins-right-said-fred-his-masters-voiceThis week, Johnson tries a “Crunchie” to resolve last episode’s important honeycomb story. Then, we talk about companies in American films that may or may not have been real, and I confess to a childhood mispronunciation. Then I educate Americans on the origins of “Right Said Fred,” and Johnson ruins it for everyone. Then we talk about kid acronyms, and get letters from listeners Jeff Crick and Mack Pitchford.

Links to things mentioned: the Malteser ad, Right Said Fred (sexy) and Right Said Fred (not sexy), Jeff’s cockney rhyming slang article, the Bobby McFerrin thing, and of course Johnson’s beer blog.

Honeycomb (And Other Lies)


CrunchieThis week, Ed Lee writes in about Jamie Foxx, code-switching, and the correct use of the word “fishes;” John Killey corrects me on the commonwealth and South African racism; we chat about the American use of the French word “reveille;” Irene writes about fork-switching and asks me about the Ashes; and finally we investigate the truth behind the shadowy world of honeycomb (and other suspicious confectionery.)

Some links mentioned: Ed’s code-switching sleep-aid; the rapier-like wit of Alec Baldwin; Irene’s anti-fork-switching article.

Extracting The Michael


MikeThis week, my plan to entrap Johnson with the word “Aunt” backfires. Then we argue about whether Canadians ever say the name of their country wrong, and Beth Kent sends us a letter about the word “the,” which we get to via some 80’s bands. Then we painstakingly dissect the phrase “taking the piss,” which somehow leads us up a canal to Yorkshire textile mills. Oh: link to Beth’s article is here.

The Art Of Blending In


how_not_to_be_seenThis week, Jamie Foxxx(xx?) gets us into the wacky world of stage names, where we learn the difference between Marion Morrison and Maurice Micklewhite. Then we discuss the Hokey Cokey (or Pokey), and get a letter from Mack and Alistair in Canada. Then we dip into the Ed Files to learn some tips on doing an authentic southern accent, and swap stories of how we tried to blend in.

Some links to things mentioned: the Hokey Cokey video is here, and the Ed Files video is here.

The Goode Olde Dayse


candy_01This week, it’s Transatlantically Speaking “After Dark” which, sadly, just means that we recorded later than normal. We do a wrap-up of the women’s World Cup, and get a letter from Kevin in Oregon with a list of ways to tell if you’re an American. Then we go through a list of olde tyme stuff, to see how many Johnson and I know. Somehow in this episode we touch on everything from airport codes to artisanal Jell-o, David Caruso to ice trays. Enjoy!

From My Cold, Dead Van


MorrisMinorThis week, Jochen writes in about how well the England and Germany women’s football teams are doing (unfortunately, a week is a long time in football, and they’ve since both been eliminated.) Also in his letter, among ¬†other things, is a theory on the American knife/fork switcheroo thing, then my dad writes in to commiserate on the trials of our family name. Later, the old buddy-cop team is back when Cocker takes the quiz, trying to identify what “Ma Bell” is, while Johnson goes below the waist (I know!) with “a dab hand.” Happy 4th of July, everyone!

The One-Drop Rule


MochaMixThis week, Johnson hijacks the show; firstly with something called “Periscope” that, apparently, those crazy kids are into. And later, after me griping about how everyone gets me name wrong, and some chat about silly things we said and did as kids, he weighs in on the Rachel Dolezal story which was breaking at the time.

Some links: the Colbert thing is here, the awkward Dolezal interview is here (some before-and-after pictures here and here.)

Johnson Tubes Your Cave


2BelizeBucksVery, ridiculously late with this one, but finally, we get to hear the Belize trip debrief. Caves! Cash! Crabs! Crashes! This episode has them all. Then we chat about the fall of the British empire, and how we magnanimously gave all those countries back, minus anywhere nice. Then I lament the end of the football season, and we discuss soccer’s popularity (or lack thereof) in the USA, and whether or not we’re sexist gits.

Johnson’s Big Blue Hole


BigBlueHoleVery late with this one, but we talk about the (at the time unnamed) new princess, and then I make the Kentucky Derby sound more British, which is to say, better. Then, it’s time for another round of our annual tradition: “Star Wars Character or NFL Prospect” which is much harder than it sounds. Finally, we talk about Johnson’s upcoming trip to a mysterious place that, according to modern maps, doesn’t even exist…