|These are nappies and or diapers|
As a much needed supplement to my writing career (which isn’t much of a career at all) I work part time at a nursery (daycare) as an assistant. Yes, in England daycares are called nurseries. In the US a nursery is the room where babies go when they are newborns in a hospital, or the area they have at their house. Babies sleep in the nursery, parents sleep in the master bedroom. The place where they go while their parents work is a daycare. Because they care for kids during the day. Super clever, right?
This is something I am constantly explaining to friends and family in America. Otherwise they might get confused and think I work in the medical field and find me far more impressive than I actually am.
Anyways, at my nursery (daycare) I occasionally have to deal with soiled infant bottoms. However, this is not called changing diapers. Instead it is called changing nappies. The first time I was asked to do it, I just stared at the person blankly. What’s a nappy? Do I need to put the baby down for a nap? A nap means going to sleep in America. Perhaps they just call it nappy in the cutesy way people talk to all babies.
However, that is incorrect. They were asking me to change the baby’s diaper. I was completely fine doing that. This switch in jargon is one I struggle with severely. Almost every time I ask the staff for more diapers for a baby, I almost always use the incorrect term. I continue to speak in American, despite working a British nursery (and yes one of the staff members is almost a carbon copy of Mary Poppins). My coworkers look at me all confused, and I look at them expectantly….it is an awkward situation. Until I catch on that I used the wrong word.