Viva La Difference . . . No. 413 March 2009
Now, this is one of those differences between England and Australia that I think every Pom who lives here has misunderstood at some time.
When an Australian invites you to a party and asks you to “bring a plate”, it DOES NOT mean that they’re short of crockery. They want you to bring a plate WITH FOOD ON IT – ie a contribution to the meal.
The first time it happened to me, I was able to not look too stupid because another guest asked me beforehand what I was going to take. So I turned up with something to eat, as opposed to just taking an empty plate (and I was intending to take a knife and fork as well as I presumed they were just lacking enough place settings!).
I’ve no idea what the British equivalent of this is, or indeed if there is one, because I don’t think I’ve ever been asked to a party in England where I’ve been asked to bring food, other than for community functions.
Except for one memorable wedding I went to . . . but that’s another story.