Language barrier

Developer: Is “buttload” hyphenated?
New guy: No, I think it’s just one word.

Corner of State & Water
Peoria, Illinois

Overheard by: only girl in an office of men…

Customer, trying to use his debit card: I gotta push “English”? “Spanish” shouldn’t be an option. If they can’t speak no English, they ain’t got no business being here. Where’s the “yes” button at?
Cashier: It’s the button that says “yes” on it.

Food Lion
Roanoke, Virginia

Dumb girl: Why do they call it ‘Chicken Cordon Bleu’?
Dumb guy: Uh, duh! Cor‐don‐bleu… It means ‘ham‐and‐cheese’!

Rockford, Illinois

Clued‐out senior manager on phone with lawyer: I just want a translation of the document. It’s written all in French. I’m from Ontario, we don’t speak the language here. (pause) Well, I just want the gist of the document. I think he’s suing us for defamation of character. (pause) The guy’s a jerk.


Overheard by: Cue

Co‐worker #1: You should say this word [unintelligible] next time you have a curry.
Co‐worker #2: What does it mean?
Co‐worker #1: Just say it, then get ready to run.
Co‐worker #2: What language is it?
Co‐worker #1: You know what they all speak. Muslim.

Shell Oil
Rig T/O S711
North Sea

Woman on phone: I was supposed to make the business card English on one side and Japanese on the other, and I put Chinese…and I apologize for it, it was dishonest of me…I didn’t think anyone would notice…but I’m a Christian person and I don’t want to die and go to hell, I’d rather apologize and make it right and go to heaven…I know it’s a little thing but I’m a Christian… 

2301 South Third Street
Louisville, Kentucky

Customer: Last week I bought two of these toy bulldozers for my nephews, and I’d like to exchange this one for a backhoe.
CSR: Okay.
Customer: Would you like me to go back to the toy department and get the other one?
CSR: No, I’ll page and have someone bring one up here for you. [Over intercom] Attention, Toy Department. Will someone please bring a black ho to the service desk? I repeat, we need a black ho at the service desk.

Value City
Indianapolis, Indiana

Overheard by: Did that really just happen?

Tech: Did you speak a lot of German?
Office girl, just back from England: Um, I don’t speak German.
Tech: Oh, so they all speak English over there?
Office girl: No, I just didn’t go to Germany.

Fresno, California

WASP: I know what that says! It’s written in Jewish!
Bagel wench: Yiddish?
WASP: Are you Jewish?

Noah’s Bagels, Manhattan Beach Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, California

Overheard by: just wants to make bagels in peace

Suit #1: He’s from England, from some place called Portsmouth. I think it’s spelled P‑O‐R‐T‐S‐M‐I‐T‑H, but it’s pronounced like Ports Mouth.
Suit #2: Wait. Is it Ports Mouth, or Ports Smith?
Suit #1: I don’t know. It’s some place in Europe, I think.

Kowloon, Hong Kong

Overheard by: Embarrassed American