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archive:fun:brittish
       TABLE OF AMERICAN AND BRITISH ENGLISH WORDS

KEY: sl. = slang

       n.  = noun
       v.  = verb
       +   = can be used by Americans, but rare and/or archaic
       >   = American spelling can be used as alternate spelling
  (XXXX)   = Pronounciation difference

AMERICAN BRITISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

a knockout (sl. beautiful) a stunner (sl.) a little bit a spot (sl.) abrigment abrigement acknowledgment acknowledgement ad (sl.) advert (sl.) airplane aeroplane aisle gangway alley mews aluminum aluminium analyze >analyse anemia anaemia anesthetic anaesthetic annex annexe apartment mansion flat apprise/apprize apprise amortize amortise/amortize ardor ardour baby buggy (sl.) pram (sl. perambulator) babysitter child-minder bar pub bartender landlord bathroom loo (sl.) bathroom +lavatory beat (sl. tired) fagged biscuit scone big deal (sl.) big noise (sl.) blacktop macadam brash cheeky (sl.) breakfast sausage banger (sl.) bucks (sl. dollars) quid (sl. pounds) buffet set meal buggy (4 wheel carriage) buggy (2 wheel carriage) bum (sl. vagrant) +tramp bum (sl. vagrant) bum (sl. backside) burglary house-breaking cafeteria refrectory can (metal container) tin can (sl. jail) nick (sl. gaol)

AMERICAN BRITISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

can (sl. backside) bum (sl.) caliber calibre call up (telephone) ring up cark shark (sl. gambler) card sharper (sl.) center centre cinder road metalled roadway check cheque checkers (game) draughts clerk (KLERK) clerk (KLAHRK) closet (clothes closet) closet (toilet) closet (clothes closet) cupboard (clothes closet) color colour corn +Indian corn connection connexion confused fogged (sl.) cookie biscuit cop (police officer) bobby county court assize coveralls boiler suit crap (sl. worthless) rot (sl.) crooked (illegal) bent (sl.) curb kerb dead on (sl.) bang on defense defence deflection deflexion (but not in engineering) derby (hat) bowler detour diversion dialyze >dialyse diarrhea diarrhoea diner chop house disbarred struck off disgusting off-putting dishrag dish mop discount store cut-price shop dock quay draft beer draught beer dresser +wardrobe dude tosh (sl.) ecology oecology (old sp.) edema oedema efficiency apartment bed-sit electrolyze >electrolyse elevator lift engineer (railroad) engine driver enrollment enrolment eolian aeolian esophagus oesophagus estrogen oestrogen etiology aetiology favor favour favorite favourite

AMERICAN BRITISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

fender (of a car) wing fervor fervour festive gathering jollities (sl.) fetus foetus fiber fibre fire department fire brigade fired sacked first floor ground floor flashlight torch flavor flavour fooling around messing about or mucking about (sl.) for rent to let freeway motorway freight train goods train French Frog (sl.) french fries chips fuel oil petrol gasoline (or gas) petrol gas cooking gas garbage can dustbin garbage dump rubbish tip genuflection genuflexion get lost! (sl. leave) push off! (sl.) glasses +spectacles (sl. specs) gray (color) grey (colour) grounded (electrical) earthed got have gotten hand drill +brace and bit hang around (sl. loiter) hang about (sl.) hang up (telephone) ring off hardware store ironmongers harbor harbour hemoglobin haemoglobin hearing aid deaf aid hiccup hiccough honor honour hood bonnet horn (of a car) hooter hubcap +wheel cover humor humour inflection inflexion installment plan hire-purchase intermission interval jail gaol janitor porter jewelry jewellery judgment judgement kind of +rather knock up (sl. get pregnant) knock up (sl. wake up) labor labour lawyer barrister

AMERICAN BRITISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

lawyer soliciter leather neck (sl. US Marine) jollies (sl. Royal Marines) legal holiday +bank holiday leveling levelling license licence (n.; v.= license) line que lining up queueing lodgment lodgement long distance (telephone) trunk call looney dottie (sl.) loot boodle, swag (sl.) luggage +baggage luster lustre mail post mail letter mailbox postbox or pillar box mailman +postman maneuver manoeuvre marvelous marvellous men's room gents (sl.) messy shabby meter (unit) metre meter (as in voltmeter) meter mist damp mold mould molder moulder molt moult mom (mother) mum movie +film movie theater +cinema municipal judge magistrate neighbor neighbour newsstand kiosk notary public commisioner of oaths nuts (sl. crazy) dotty (sl.) offense offence orchestra seat stall organize organise overdraw (an account) overdraft overpass (highway) flyover pad (sl. house) digs (sl.) pal (sl. friend) +fellow, chap (sl.) pants +trousers paralyze >paralyse parking lot motor park penny (cent) pence picked up (arrested) nicked (sl.) pharmiscist chemist phone booth call box phony phoney photo flash flashlight

AMERICAN BRITISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

plain moor plow plough practice practise (v.; n.= practice) pretense pretence program programme pulled up drew up radio wireless railroad car railroad carriage rain cape ulster raincoat mackintosh (or mac sl.) research scientist boffin (sl.) red hair ginger hair (sl.) restroom +lavatory rigor rigour root beer ginger beer rubber boots +gum boots rubbers +galoshes rumble seat dickey seat (sl.) savor savour sawed sawn scallion spring onion schedule (SKED-JEWL) scedule (SHED-DUAL) Scotch tape celotape scratch pad scribbling block second floor first floor sepulcher sepulchre set the table lay the table sewers drains sidewalk path or footpath shoes boots shoeshine boy bootblack shorts (underwear) pants show up (sl. arrive) pop in (sl.) shower +shower bath smelled smelt smolder smoulder somber sombre space heater electric fire speakeasy (sl.) off licence (sl.) specter spectre speedboat engine boat stand (law court) dock station wagon estate car stool pigeon (sl. informer) grass (sl.) store +shop story (as in: three story) storey streaked with… shot through with… streetcar tram subway underground subway station tube station suspenders braces

AMERICAN BRITISH ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

swamp bog or mire swimming pool swimming bath switch (railroad) points tailored shirt maker bespoke shirtmaker takeout (food) takeaways taxes rates taxpayers ratepayers taxi +cab theater theatre thumbtacks drawing pins time= HH:MM time=HH.MM trailer caravan trench coat duffle coat truck (motor truck) lorry truck (railroad car wheels) bogie trunk (of a car) boot tire tyre toilet water closet (W.C.) traffic cirle roundabout tumor tumour TV (sl.) telly (sl.) undershirt vest vacation holiday vacuum tube valve valet (military) batman vapor vapour vaudeville music hall vest waistcoat vise (tool, clamp) vice wagon waggon watch out for the… mind the… whiz +whizz will shall/will will not shan't windsheild windscreen workman tradesman wrench spanner z (zee) z (zed)

Limey (sl. English person) Yank (sl. American person)

Adding to this list are all sorts of subtle gramatical shifts, i.e. "Well, that fell into the category of things which could have been put better, but I let him carry on." Which to an American sounds VERY British, even though an American COULD possibly say it that way. An American would more likely phrase it, "Well, I though he could have said it better, but I let him go on." There are conventions of language and phrasing that are difficult to pick out, as well as subtle differences in logic. Most Americans think that the British habit of installing light switches so they light turns on when the toggle is pulled DOWN is very illogical. In speaking you can say turn up the light to replace turn on the light and carry the same meaning. Likewise turn down the light sounds like approaching off. But British logic doesn't follow the same conventions.

/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/archive/fun/brittish.txt · Last modified: 2000/01/16 15:27 (external edit)