What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

30 April 2011

Z is for Zebra Crossing

There are so many words that I thought about for today! Zoology, which was one of the few times I've enjoyed a science class (and as a shout-out to my fabulous instructor, who I now know better as a running friend); Zigzag, in acknowledgement of the fact that I can't walk (or run, or cycle) in a straight line; Zero, for the amount of homework I get done while thinking about my blog; Zoom, because that's what I do on my bicycle (ha ha-- kinda); or Zeitgeist, just because.

Source. See the stripey poles with the
fancy lights?
But since I have a bit of a UK theme going this week, zebra crossing it is. For my non-commonwealth readers, that's a fancy word for crosswalk, so named because of the stripes-- you know, like a zebra. (There are other animal-themed names for the various places and devices used for crosswalks, but I'm just going with the basics today.) Most UK zebra crossings that aren't at stoplights have stripey poles with yellow blinking lights on them to alert drivers to watch for pedestrians. And, as it turns out, we have a couple in Austin with a very similar setup. Makes me happy, just like most things in Austin.

I didn't think much about zebra crossings when I first moved to Scotland; it was just one more thing that was a little bit different from home, and that was about it. But when The Parent Trap (the new version) came out, my sister suddenly had all sorts of questions about life in the UK, among them: "Do all the stoplights have those wavy lines?" I was a bit confused when she asked, so I got her to clarify, and she explained that she saw zig-zag lines on the ground leading up to stoplights in the movie. So I said, "Oh, yeah. Those are to let people know they're coming up on a crosswalk. Yeah, they're pretty much everywhere." A statement which, by the way, is more or less true, but it's also one I made up on the spot because it sounded good. Shhhh... don't tell my sister.

A slightly more literal interpretation
of the term 'zebra crossing'. Source.
As with many, many other expressions I used in the UK, 'zebra crossing' has stuck with me, and I still say it from time to time instead of 'crosswalk'. And, also true to my own bizarre form, I never say it when around someone who would know what I mean-- no, only when I'm with a never-been-out-of-the-state Texan do I bring the outlandish (to them) vocabulary. Of course, I can never remember the US word at those moments, either.

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of the A to Z Challenge here at Cheekyness. Join us next year, when I have to come up with a completely new set of words.

Did you enjoy the A to Z Challenge (if you participated)? Do you use zebra crossings? Can you think of other fun words we might use, besides 'crosswalk'?


Anonymous said...

Zebra crossing...I like it. Here in Guelph we have unofficial goose crossings at this time of year.

Gregg said...

I wondered what the Zebras would use and you depicted it so well! Great choice for Z

Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Su, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Grandpa said...

Well done Su!

I thoroughly enjoyed the Challenge.

That Zebra crossing is cute, and quite funny!

Caution: if you are in our part of the world DO NOT trust zebra crossings - the cars might not stop for you!

Have a great weekend.

Life on The Farm

Laura said...

I love your Z post!
By all means come back and join in on my Xanthophyll fun! The others who left right answers are big into Laura Ingalls Wilder, plus they're each covering a chapter in our Little Town on the Prairie read-along at Beyond Little House, so they're actually reading the book right now. It's all for fun. The more the merrier!

Su said...

@mybabyjohn: Nice. We had a lot of that in the last town I lived in. Here, not so much.

@Gregg: Thanks!

@Elizabeth: Cool award! Thank you!

@Grandpa: It's a bit of a crap shoot here, too, alas.

@Laura: Cool, will do.

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I had a roommate who lived in Australia for 6 months and for two years spoke in an Aussy accent and constantly used their lingo (which was also kicked up a notch when around females). It was pretty irritating.

And we could call them Chicken-crossings - for the chickens who cross the road for unknown reasons.

Mia Hayson said...

Congrats on finishing the challenge!! I'm so amazed at everyone who took part.

Oh, I love me some zebra crossings. And pelican crossings too! I love that we name them after animals. Haha.

Su said...

@Charlie: It is pretty hard to believe that anyone could pick up a permanent accent in 6 months! The lingo does come & go-- apparently someone has done some sort of research into that, blah blah blah, turns out I'm normal. But it's frustrating when I can't think of the correct word! And I love the idea of calling them chicken crossings!

@Mia: I like the walking man & the standing man at a pelican crossing. We have a walking man in the US, but no standing man, just a red hand telling us to stop. :(

Muay Thai Los Angeles said...

I had absolutely no idea that it was called Zebra Crossings and my roommate is from Edinburgh. I'll have to start using the phrase around here now and see what her reaction is. This is a clever one!

Su said...

Hee hee, great idea! Ah, Edinburgh. Lovely place!

Faith said...

Zebra crossing sounds SO much more exciting than 'crosswalk'. I'm definitely going to incorporate this into my phrasal vocabulary!