The video showed an American vacationing in London and needing a fanny pack to carry his important belongings. In every store he was met with red faces or laughter when asking for the item. He discovered that in the UK, a fanny pack refers to an intimate area of a woman’s anatomy; where in the US it refers to a small handbag worn around the waist.
A friend in the UK kindly let me know after I used the word pantsuit, that in England the word means something entirely different than what we mean in the US!
My first time in Kenya, I used the word “silly” while preaching. Later my interpreter explained that the word “silly” is a foul word. In America it means “to be funny in a cute or idiotic way.”
Three nations, tied together by a common language and history, yet the same words mean different things.
Words have meanings and meanings have consequences. There are commonly used words I don’t approve of – while other people may use those words freely. While we may hear words we disapprove of, we must use our judgment in the words we use. You control your vocabulary.
There are “farm words” I sometimes use that offend. And I sometimes prefer the language of the King James Version of the Bible – which has a few “naughty” words that made us giggle as kids. What is most important is that the name of the Lord is holy and not to be made common or ordinary. Others may use His name without reverence, and we hear them do so, but as His followers, one way we honor Him is by guarding His name in our hearts and with our tongues.
Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).