• kristenevelyn

​British/American dictionary

"You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to"

The United Kingdom may be an English speaking country, but some words still need translating!

  1. ​​​​Bin/Rubbish: The British word for "trash-can" or "garbage"

  2. Biscuit: Cookies! "Tea and biscuits"

  3. Chips: Nope, if you are offered "chips" you will not be getting tortillas or Lays. Chips are what the British call "french fries". Potato chips would be referred to as "crisps"

  4. Fanny: You may need to find another word for "fanny -pack" as in England the word "fanny" is a slang for lady bits!

  5. Fancy dress: If you're invited to a "fancy-dress" party they mean a "costume" party

  6. Holiday: If your colleague asks you how your "holiday" was, he/she is referring to your "vacation"

  7. Love: A bit like "hun" or "dear", "love" is an informal term of endearment that you will likely be called at some point by the local barmaid, shop attendant, or neighbour.

  8. Mobile: When the British talk about their "mobile", they are referring to their cell-phone

  9. Pants: Unlike in the States, pants do not mean trousers/fabric that covers your legs. Pants are your underpants!

  10. Posh: Posh means "fancy" or "high-end"

  11. Rubber: If someone asks you for a rubber he or she is not referring to a condom (although this thought always crosses my mind!). Rubber is an"eraser"

  12. Tea: This could be referring to a cup of tea, but it also could be in reference to an early dinner! "Would you like to come around for tea around 5 pm?

  13. Torch: If someone asks for a torch he or she does't mean a stick with fire. A torch is a flashlight.

  14. Trainers: Forget about ever referring to your gym shoes as "sneakers" again! Sneakers are trainers in the U.K.

  15. University: What Americans would call "college". However, it is good to note that the British also have a schooling period called college, but it comes before university (about age 16).

Want more?

Grammarcheck has a great list with nice info-graphics and additional spelling differences.