Archive | American vs. British

American vs. British English

With all of its interlingual influences, English has always been full of diversity. But once English split into two major bodies–American and British–it made things even more challenging to keep track of. So below are sets of everyday words to help you sort through the mess. Keep in mind that some words may crossover in regions of the other country.

American

British

Everyday Words

apartment flat
argument row
baby carriage pram
band-aid plaster
bathroom loo, water closet
can tin
diaper nappy
elevator lift
eraser rubber
flashlight torch
guy bloke, chap
lawyer solicitor, barrister
pacifier dummy
period (punctuation) full stop
pharmacist dispensing chemist
rent hire
sidewalk pavement
soccer football
trash can rubbish bin
zip code postal code

Clothing

pants trousers
underwear pants
sweater jumper, sweater
jumper pinafore
vest waistcoat
undershirt vest
raincoat Mac
suspenders braces
garter belt suspenders, suspender belt
turtle neck Polo neck
coveralls boiler suit
overalls dungarees
fanny pack bum bag
tuxedo dinner jacket
swimming suit swimming costume

Food

a slice of bacon a rasher of bacon
baked potato jacket potato, baked potato
biscuit scone
candy sweets
cookie biscuit
cotton candy candyfloss
cupcake fairy cake
dessert afters, dessert, puddings, sweets
French toast eggy bread
fries chips
green beans French beans, runner beans
popsicle ice lolly
potato chips crisps
sandwich butty, sandwich, sarny
sausage banger, sausage
take out take-away

Automobile Related

license plate number plate
driver’s license driving license
defogger, defroster demister
muffler silencer
overpass flyover
motor home caravan
hood bonnet
highway motorway
gas petrol
fill up top up
windshield windscreen
trunk boot
truck lorry
parking lot car park
median central reservation

Expressions

not touch something with a ten-foot pole not touch something with a bargepole
knock on wood touch wood
see the forest for the trees see the wood for the trees
throw a monkey wrench in the works throw a spanner in the works
skeleton in the closet skeleton in the cupboard
a home away from home a home from home
toot your own horn blow your own trumpet
a new lease on life a new lease of life
if the shoe fits, wear it if the cap fits, wear it
lay of the land lie of the land
off your rocker off your bin or off the bin
fork over fork out
rained out rained off
to go under (failed business venture) to go tits up