By Melanie Lieberman
November 11, 2014
Travel + Leisure Logo

Since 1776, the war between British and American English has given rise to such battles as lorry versus truck, knackered versus tired, and loo versus toilet. Yet no clash has caused such dramatic, personal agony as the deceptively sweet duel between biscuit and cookie, waged by very-British talk show host, John Oliver, and his Muppet co-star, the Cookie Monster.

Cookie Monster, passport and work visa in-hand, prepares for his trip to London by brushing up on common British-isms. Hello and goodbye might mean the same thing in England, but Cookie Monster has an identity crisis when he learns that there are no cookies in this foreign country: only biscuits.

What can we learn from these two characters?

Even the most prepared globetrotter can be caught off guard when traveling overseas. As Oliver and Cookie Monster discovered last week, language barriers and local slang can cause dire misunderstandings.

Melanie Lieberman is the Editorial Projects Assistant and a member of the Trip Doctor News Team. You can follow her on twitter at @LittleWordBites.