Fun with English (American & British)

ThePubThe other night dad and I visited “The Pub” for dinner, which got me thinking about British English vs. American English (sans the different dialects.)  As a side note, it would really be awesome if all the servers at The Pub actually spoke the Queen’s English, sadly they don’t.

I work for a company owned by Bryan,* a mate from England (exact location unknown although he’s told me several times.)  When I first begin working at the company, Bryan was on the road a lot and would call the office to have me do something, call someone, or retrieve his messages.  Each time the telephone rang, I would silently say a prayer that it wasn’t Bryan because of his heavy accent it was difficult for me to understanding what he was saying and I would often ask him to repeat himself, each time making me feel more like a dunce.

To say the least, with many years passed, I now completely understand Bryan (accent and terminology), like we both speak the same “English.”  No, I’ve not picked up any pronunciations of the British English, nor he with the American side of things.

I ran across the image below which, from my personal experience, is fairly accurate.


The original creator/author of this image could not be identified and therefore proper credit cannot be given. This image was not created by myself or anyone associated with

English vs English

For fun I’ve listed some of the American words we all know and its British counterpart.

AmericanFlagAmerican BritishFlag on Britain Map
absentee ballot postal vote
advice columnist agony aunt
apartment flat
apartment building block of flats
bachelorette party hen night
backsplash splashback
barrette hairslide
checking account current account
coffee with cream white coffee
common stock ordinary share
counterclockwise anticlockwise
diaper nappy
divided highway dual carriageway
doghouse kennel
drop cloth dust sheet
drugstore chemist
emergency room casualty
fanny pack bumbag
fish stick fish finger
French fries chips
garbage can dustbin
grab bag lucky dip
guardrail crash barrier
hazard pay danger money
hood bonnet (of a car)
instant replay action replay
John Q. Public Joe Public
ladybug ladybird
lawn bowling bowls
layer cake sandwich cake
liquor cabinet drinks cupboard
mailbox postbox
median strip central reservation
mineral spirits white spirit
odometer milometer
pacifier dummy (for a baby)
pantyhose tights
parking lot car park
paved road metalled road
Popsicle (trademark) ice lolly
robe; bathrobe dressing gown
rummage sale jumble sale
rump roast silverside
scalper ticket tout
shopping cart shopping trolley
sidewalk footway
slowpoke slowcoach
sneakers trainers
sponge bath blanket bath
sprinkles (for ice cream) hundreds and thousands
station wagon estate car
suspenders braces
sweater jumper
switchblade flick knife
takeout; to go takeaway (food)
taxi stand taxi rank
thermos bottle vacuum flask
thumbtack drawing pin
tic-tac-toe noughts and crosses
tow truck breakdown van
tractor-trailer articulated lorry
trunk boot (of a car)
unlisted ex-directory
utility knife Stanley knife
vacation holiday
wall-to-wall carpeting fitted carpet
washcloth flannel
wholewheat bread wholemeal bread
yard; lawn garden
zip code postcode
zipper zip

*Name has been changed.

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2 Responses to Fun with English (American & British)

  1. elainecanham says:

    Love it. The subtext made me laugh, but it is quite true. Only quibble I have is that a sidewalk to us is a pavement. A footpath (not way) is a signposted route across the countryside.

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