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Another page of words which are different in the U.K. and America


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DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICAN
AND BRITISH WORDS

PART 2

I am indebted to Dr. Beren S. Ewen for providing a
lot more words which are different in the U.K. and America – the comments in green are my own.


BRITISH

AMERICAN
Ground FloorFirst Floor

Contributed by Chris Johnson

Autumn

Fall

dummy*

* Nik Shearer
advises this is known as a “dummy tit” in Scotland and Newfoundland

pacifier
undergroundsubway
angrymad
tightspantyhose

In the US, tights and
pantyhose are different things: pantyhose are sheer, whereas tights
are thicker.

Alex

taxicab
madcrazy
dustbingarbage can
single ticketone-way ticket
shopstore
illsick
timetableschedule

All the above contributed by Elma Pavlikova

ring (telephone)call
biscuitcookie

Sent in by Thomas Highden – thanks

jumpersweater
nappydiaper
caravantrailer or motor home
chemistpharmacist
Elastoplastbandaid
estate agentrealtor
jacket potatobaked potato
jamjelly
jellyjello
leadleash
mac or mackintoshraincoat
marrowsquash
peckishhungry
footballsoccer
no true counterpartfootball
gardenyard

A garden is
specifically the part with a lot of plants, whereas a yard could be
just grass.

Alex

post codezip code
power point/plug/socketelectrical outlet/outlet
pram (short for perambulator)baby carriage

stroller

Daniel
Ausema

pub (short for Public House)bar

A pub serves food,
whereas a bar might or might not. (I would say a pub is a type of
bar in US English.)

Alex

to be made redundantlaid off, lose your job
sacked/ get your P45get fired, get a pink slip or become unemployed
refectory (not used much these
days – canteen is usually used especially in workplace)
cafeteria
rucksackbackpack
Sellotapescotch tape
sideboards (this has really come
about due our poor pronunciation as a “sideboard” is a piece of furniture
usually found in the dining room of a house)
sideburns
sleeping policeman (I say
nothing!)
speed bump
smallsunderwear
snookerbilliards or more commonly pool (I
am not sure I agree with this one as in the U.K. these are three entirely different games.

Pool and billiards
are also different games in the US: in pool you try to get the balls
into holes, whereas in billiards there are no holes. I’ve never
heard of snooker in the US.

Alex

solicitorlawyer/attorney

William
Hitch advises that general public tend to call them lawyers but they call themselves
attorneys.

(here again I am not sure about this one and in the
U.K.  solicitiors, lawyers and barristers have different roles)

sultanasraisins (in the U.K. we have
sultanas, raisins and currants)
A surgerydoctors office
sitting in a tailbackstuck in a traffic jam.  A tailback is a position
in a US football team (Now that could cause a raised eyebrow!)
tapfaucet
tincan
torchflashlight
articulated lorrytractor trailer
trainerssneakers
treaclemolasses
vestundershirt
waistcoat vest
loungeliving room
bangerfatter, thicker version of a sausage

In the UK we also use the term “old banger” when
talking about a clapped out car.

baphamburger bun
candyflosscotton candy
clingfilmplastic wrap

We also say
“Saran wrap” as well as “plastic wrap.”

Alex

pork scratchingspork rinds
porridgeoatmeal
strimmerweedwhacker

Tom Ekin

tomato sauce/ketchupcatsup or ketchup
white saucegravy  (in the U.K. gravy is
usually brown as it originated from meat juices whilst cooking).

This
subject has created a great deal of interest and input from visitors. 
For ease of use these have been split into several different pages
including:-

Differences between Australian,
British and American English
.

a chart listing some of the
differences between the more commonly used
British/American words and phrases

Differences between
some of the more common British and American
words and phrases
.

Then there are all the
suggestions of language differences (2
3 and 4) which have been sent in by visitors which
are shown on three more pages.


After compiling these
pages it became very obvious that not only are there differences between
continents but also between regions within the same country. 


Polly Campbell,
who assumed Hints and Things was an American based
site, has sent in her observations on the subject:-

Elastoplast – we
don’t call it this (it sounds American to me, but presumably isn’t), we call
it a plaster.

Mac / Mackintosh – this is always on lists but Mackintosh is really
old fashioned, we might say mac, but really we just call everything a coat

Marrow – this is not a squash. A marrow is a specific vegetable – a
big corgette (Zuccini to you). Squash is a family including pumpkin,
butternut squash etc. I think this is the same in the US? But maybe you call
the green stripy one a squash and that’s why it’s on your list?)

Post code – it’s always post code or postcode not postal. The Royal
Mail writes it as one word

Power point – we don’t call it that, that’s the Microsoft programme
only. It’s plug socket or just socket (this is the bit in the wall, the bit
that goes in is the plug – is that the same in the US?)

You’re right about refectory, no-one says that and most of us
wouldn’t know about it (the only time I heard it used was at my very old
university). Similarly no one says smalls or sleeping policeman.

For underwear we usually specify what underpants (boy), knickers
(girl) or pants for both; bra etc. You can just say underwear for all.
For speed bump we say speed bump

I agree with you snooker, pool and billiards are 3 different games. I think
they are everywhere but pool is more common in US and snooker here – don’t
think billiards is common anywhere anymore.

Same with sultanas and solicitor. If you’re not being specific about what
kind then we’d say lawyer, but mostly we deal with solicitors.

We’d say “I’m going to the doctor’s” rather than surgery. It is the doctor’s
surgery but we always miss off saying surgery.

White sauce is a specific sauce – would you really call it gravy? I think
you might call it Béchamel?

Hope it’s useful – it’s fascinating what random words are different!!