Amazing Race, The (noun): The act of trying to squeeze in everything you want to do before you leave a posting. As in: We’ve been here for three years and still haven’t done this, bought that or been there! See also: Bucket List
Black Sheep (noun): The lone expat who shuns his or her countrymen. As in: Wanda doesn’t hang out with the other Americans…
Bucket List (noun): The list you make upon arriving at a new post containing all the things you want to do while you’re there. As in: While we’re here we need to make sure we do X, Y, and Z.
Calendar Girl (noun): The expert expat who is able to plan a year’s worth of holidays 18 months in advance. As in: Easy Jet is having a sale for summer 2016, let’s book now!
Charlie Brown (adjective): What locals hear when you attempt to speak their language. As in: When I tried to say “Where is the bathroom?” in Danish, all they hear is wa wa wa wa wa wa.
Converters (noun, plural): Those who can convert currency three to four ways without the use of an app or calculator. As in: 1000 Danish Kroner is 100 pounds sterling which is 150 dollars…in The States
Cultural Adaptation (verb): The act of finding adapters for all your electrical appliances. As in: Why can’t there be a universal voltage initiative?
Culture Club (noun): Groupings of same country expats. As in: Those benches are reserved for the Dutch moms, sit there at your own risk.
Dipping (verb, from the Danish custom of ‘dipping’ in the sea, naked, year round): The act of dipping a toe or another small body part into local custom to get a taste for it. As in: I suppose I could get used to curried herring…
Dog years (adjective): A way of describing the quick intensity of expat friendships which seem to compress time. As in: We’ve only been friends for a few months, but that’s like a decade in expat years.
Emotional Jet-Lag (noun): What you feel upon returning home from a trip home, when your heart is in two places at once. As in: I can’t wait to get home but I miss home as well.
ETA or Estimated Time of Acclimation (noun): The time it takes to fully adjust to a new move, usually one year. As in: Don’t worry, you won’t cry every day after you’ve been here a year or so!
Expat Ennui (noun): Feeling like you’ve done the sights, sampled the cuisine, toured the museums and are posted out. As in: Oh God, Tivoli again. See also: Tourist Trap
Expedit-ion (noun): The first trip to the local Ikea to purchase the same units you sold before you moved the last time. As in: Damn it!
Godfather, The (noun): The person who’s been here the longest and has all the info, the scoop, etc.. As in: You’d better be nice to Greta or she won’t tell you the best place to get your eyebrows threaded.
Going Native (verb): Going out of your away to erase any expat stigma when hanging out with the locals. As in: They resisted the lure of the extortionately priced private school and opted to send their kid to a local one instead.
Half-term Envy (noun): What those left behind feel when their expat counterparts are jetting off to more temperate climes. As in: I can’t believe we’re stuck here not doing anything. Again.
Last Supper (noun): The final meal you have in a place you’ve called home, eaten with mixed emotions. As in: I sure won’t miss the driving but you can’t beat a good souvlaki.
Movers and Shakers (noun, plural): Serial expats, those who move every two years. As in: Sasha’s two years are almost up, they must be moving soon.
Multiple Personality Disorder (noun): The act of being able to navigate between your expat life and your regular life, putting one personality on hold or the act of adapting to your new surroundings with a wholesale change of routine/wardrobe etc. As in: Driving on the wrong side of the road, pretending you like pickled herring or keeping mum about the highs and lows of expat life when you’re visiting home
Rooted (adjective): Having lived in the same place for more than five years, having put down roots and with plans to stay. As in: they’ve bought a house and the kids go to local school, they’re pretty rooted.
Sari Envy (noun): The act of bemoaning your own country’s lack of coolness in terms of costume or cuisine. As in: Jeans and a tee-shirt is really boring, oh for lederhosen.
Sea-sickness (noun): The almost nauseating feeling of joy you get in the pit of your stomach when you finally get your stuff after living out of suitcases for a whole fiscal quarter. As in: When the truck pulled up with our sea shipment I almost threw up from excitement.
Spanish Flu (noun): What you pretend the whole family has in order to take them out of school a few days early to avoid the 200% air fare increase that is tacked onto school holiday times. As in: We’re flying to Barcelona two days before school breaks up. Cough, cough.
States, The (noun): What Americans abroad calling the US. As in: we’re going home to The States, where the gas is cheap, the goods are plenty and the hamburgers are legend.
Stockpiling (verb): The act of stocking up on essentials when you return home, ranging from shoes to beauty products to Goya black beans. As in: Did you make sure we have an extra bag?
Supermarket Sweep (noun): The act of going up and down the aisle of a foreign supermarket numerous times looking for something and then finding it the place you’d least expect. As in: Why on Earth would the peanut butter be with the pasta products?
Three Year Itch (noun): The feeling you get that you are ready to move on. As in: Oh God, Tivoli again.
Tourist Trap (noun): The act of showing new visitors, family members, or friends the same tourist attractions over and over again. As in: Tivoli? Sure, let’s go to Tivoli!. See also: Expat ennui and Three year itch.
Wing or a prayer (noun): Not knowing what cut of chicken you’re buying, relying on buying kosher or halal simply to know you’re at least buying a certain animal. As in: Is this chicken? goat? some sort of beef?