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WORD GAME: US English vs. English English Login/Join 

Founder

Slow Traveler
Picture of Pauline
posted
Steve and I played this word game last week driving down the California coast.

Find common words that are different in US English and English English. Post with both versions. One post per person - unless there have been no posts for 24 hours, then you can post again!!

I will start:

US: Gas
UK: Petrol

When we are done, I will gather time all for our US-UK dictionary!
 
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Gathering Hero

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Slow Traveler
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US: potato chip
UK: crisp
 
Posts: 16402 | Location: The Beautiful San Francisco Bay Area | Registered: 06 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Slow Traveler
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US: pants
UK: trousers

and its corollary:
US: underpants
UK: pants
 
Posts: 890 | Location: San Francisco Bay Area | Registered: 28 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slow Traveler
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UK...lift
US...elevator
 
Posts: 272 | Registered: 19 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Traveler
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UK vest
US undershirt

US vest
UK waistcoat (pronounced weskit)
 
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Slow Traveler
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Slow Traveler
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UK jumper
US sweater
 
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Slow Traveler
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Objection ! Smile

you cannot have Fag or Loo as both are slang
(unless you were comparing e.g loo with "john")

UK Aluminium
US Aluminum

Tim

And Whalewatcher - I have never heard Waistcoat being pronounced as Weskit. This maybe a regional thing.
 
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Slow Traveler
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US: trunk
UK: boot
 
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Slow Traveler
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Posts: 23872 | Location: NJ USA | Registered: 16 June 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Slow Traveler
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US = Sausage
UK = Bangers

quote:
"We (the British and Americans) are two countries separated by a common language."

G.B. Shaw
 
Posts: 923 | Location: Palmyra, NJ, USA | Registered: 29 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Slow Traveler
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UK = roundabout
US = traffic circle
 
Posts: 8352 | Registered: 16 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Traveler
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Is this limited strictly to vocabulary or can this include different uses of verbs? I.E.:

UK= Hire (a car)
USA= Rent (a car)
 
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Slow Traveler
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Braces - UK
Suspenders - US

Ring - UK
Call - US

Mobile - UK
Cell - US

Bonnet - UK
Hood - US
 
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Slow Traveler
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Can't believe no one has posted this so far

UK - chips

US - French Fries
 
Posts: 10826 | Location: Berkeley, CA | Registered: 22 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Slow Traveler
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And to further confuse the issue:

US: chips
UK: crisps
 
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Slow Traveler
Picture of katecoleman
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UK- Flat
US- Apartment

UK- Lift
US- Elevator
 
Posts: 609 | Location: Rehoboth, MA USA | Registered: 30 August 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Founder

Slow Traveler
Picture of Pauline
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One set of words at a time please! You can post again if no one posts for 12 hours.
 
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Slow Traveler
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And may I add for Pauline's sake -- read through all the posts before adding yours; we are starting to get duplicates, and Pauline doesn't need any more work than she has already volunteered for.
 
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Slow Traveler
Picture of felicity
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UK pavement
US sidewalk

and Whale.watcher and Tim W:
re. the waistcoat pronounced weskit thing. This is not a regional thing but an archaeic form of upper class pronounciation, almost never heard nowadays except on the stage. It has disappeared along with huntin' shootin' and fishin' which used to be the 'correct' way to pronounce these pastimes.
 
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UK: "I'll knock you up in the morning..."
US: ( Eek "I'll knock on your door in the morning."

UK: Sleeping policeman
US: Speed bump
 
Posts: 73 | Location: USA | Registered: 08 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Slow Traveler
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UK - telly
US - TV

UK - Cheerio!
US - Bye!

Terry
 
Posts: 10435 | Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA | Registered: 25 November 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slow Traveler
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UK: subway
 
Posts: 137 | Location: Seattle, WA USA | Registered: 11 March 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slow Traveler
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US: underpass
 
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Traveler
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UK: Bog Roll
US: Toilet Paper
 
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Slow Traveler
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UK: sort it out
US: work it out
 
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Slow Traveler
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US: No problem
UK: Not to worry
 
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Slow Traveler
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US: dear

UK: chuck
 
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Slow Traveler
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quote:
Braces - UK
Suspenders - US


Garters (as on ladies' lingerie) - US
Suspenders (as on ladies' lingerie) - UK

Can make for some momentarily interesting shopping.


Thanks!
Bucky "Trying To Slow Down" Edgett
 
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Slow Traveler
Picture of Diana Strinati Baur
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US was supposed to
UK was meant to
 
Posts: 3999 | Registered: 30 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of PatrickLondon
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Diana, we used "was supposed to" as well. I think there's some subtle difference, but it's too hot to think about it now...

And Marg, for "dear", there's a whole raft of regional differences: "chuck" is Lancashire/ North-West. In London (or lots of places) it'd be "love", in the North East "pet" or "hinny", in Glasgow "hen", and in Devon "my lover"!

Something that's struck me - not so much vocbulary as speech habit. In the UK, we would give a street its full name, where at least some Americans seem to drop the "Street", "Avenue" or whatever. In London, and probably most other towns and cities too, there could be confusion between a district and a street or square("Victoria", "Bloomsbury"); and often, posh Georgian and Victorian developments would have their associated Lane or Mews for service access, so you could easily have in the same district a Square, Avenue, Street, Lane and Mews all with the same name. And developers often lacked imagination too.


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Posts: 900 | Location: London (Isle of Dogs) | Registered: 22 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slow Traveler
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Marianne pointed out the Subway/Underpass pair but in London:

UK Underground
US Subway

Some American friends got very lost following my directions to Hangar Lane Underground Station because, on the way there is a signposted Subway underneath the A40 road (highway).
 
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Slow Traveler
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quote:
Diana, we used "was supposed to" as well. I think there's some subtle difference, but it's too hot to think about it now...


Patrick, when it cools down, please tell me!! I have picked up this difference from my British guests as well as my fellow English instructors when I taught English years ago. Now I am curious Dorky Traveler
 
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Slow Traveler
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If I said that I was supposed to do something it would refer to something that I had been instructed to do or had agreed with others.

If I had meant to do something it would have been my own volition.
 
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Slow Traveler
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I don't want to change this thread, so this will be my last post on this for now, but I have heard "I was meant to go teach that class..." instead of " I was supposed to go theach that class" many times...Not "I had meant", instead, "I was meant". This is the usage I was refering to. But no mind, on with the game.
 
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I'm think there's a sort of Venn diagram of meanings. "I was supposed to" means (to my mind) "someone else expected me to" (whether or not I'd chosen to, or even knew I was expected to: there's an even older meaning, I think, of "people believed I did"). "I was meant to" means (to my mind) "both I and someone else expected me to".

But no doubt people actually use them interchangeably.


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Posts: 900 | Location: London (Isle of Dogs) | Registered: 22 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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Hey all,

This is supposed to be a GAME. Semantics take the fun out of it!

In keeping with the only two words at a time rule (some of you are greedy folk Garlic Man) here are two more:

UK: Fancy
US: Like
 
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Traveler
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UK: Not fussed
US: Don't like/care for
 
Posts: 31 | Location: Southern CA | Registered: 01 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slow Traveler
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Hola. I am so sorry for posting more than one thing but after I saw this thread I looked on the internet for words. This site made me laugh so hard I had to put my wine down..Especially the following....(25 and 31 are connected)

25) Woody. In the UK, an acceptable description of a wine that has taken on the flavour of the barrels it has matured in. In the US *never* go a wine tasting and claim that this wonderful Californian Chardonnay has an excellent 'woody' flavour, unless you are the female co-star of the aforementioned male actor and you are in the process of filming an 'arty' movie.

26) Hood. To our American cousins, the bit of a car that the engine sits under or place where you might live if you are a rapper. To us Brits, the part of a coat that is designed to cover your head when it rains. What you call the 'hood' we call the 'bonnet' on a car.

27) Gas. To the citizens of the United Kingdom, an instrument of warfare, the stuff that you use to cook your dinner on or a state of matter that is neither liquid nor solid. To you guys, what we call petrol and the gaseous by product of bottom burps (wind).

28) Pecker. To keep one's pecker up is a state of mind in the UK, an athletic feat in the US and a way of life for the common or garden woodpecker.

29) Toilets. Although we have a lot of colourful euphenisms for the lavatory experience in the UK (e.g. spend a penny, watering the daisies) we lack the prissiness of our American chums. To us a toilet is a bog, a kharzi, a shithouse (or alternatively an outhouse in more polite company), a gents/ladies but mostly a toilet. It is perfectly acceptable to be in the Ritz and request to use the toilet. However, you guys seem ashamed of the t-word. Hence you go to the John (where no-one called John is there) and the bathroom (where there is no bath). ...And a word of warning for English chaps in the US - never admit to eating baked beans out of the can.

30) Beer. What you call beer, we call lager. What we call beer, you call disgusting. This might be mutual.

31) Hard. In the UK, you might see an unshaven tattooed uncouth man with big muscles in a pub. If you accidentally spill his beer, he might get upset and request you to join him outside. He might say `Come on then if you think you're hard enough!' Or even 'I'm hard, me, so you better watch your step, mate.' He is not casting aspersions on your sexual persuasion, nor does he have an erection. He is merely stating the fact that unless you buy him another pint of lager in the very immediate future he might beat seven shades of **** out of you. In the US, our friend the male actor would probably say 'I'm hard' while sharing a bottle of woody flavoured chardonnay with his co-star...

the site is http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/95q4/uk.html

Ok Pauline you can delete this post whenever you like but boy am I laughing so hard...(get it?)

Clive
 
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Slow Traveler
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Well, it hasn't been 12 hours - but almost - so I will take a turn again.

US: Zuchini
UK: Courgette

US: Eggplant
UK: Aubergine
 
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Slow Traveler
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US: whine
UK: whinge

(Thanks Jonathan Wink Grin)
 
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Slow Traveler
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US: Yikes!
UK: Crikey!

(I personally love hearing "crikey" ... it cracked me up when Colin Firth said it in the "Bridget Jones' Diary" movie!)
 
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Founder

Slow Traveler
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NOTE TO SELF: You are up to this post in copying to create a language page.

I put up a page with our language word so far:
Slow Travel UK - Instructions - Language
 
Posts: 26647 | Location: Gloucestershire | Registered: 15 June 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Slow Traveler
Picture of Diana Strinati Baur
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US While
UK Whilst
 
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Slow Traveler
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US: Arugula
UK: Rocket

(also growing up in Massachusetts, the only word I have heard of is Rotary for a Roundabout - have never heard the word traffic circle before??)
 
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Slow Traveler
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Teachick - I think the semantics, the explanations and the discussions are part of the fun. There is almost as much variation in English between regions of the UK (and maybe America as well) as between countries.
(In some areas,if you were to suggest to a young lady that you'd "knock her up in the morning", you may well end up with a slapped face)

Diana - I believe Whilst is technically correct "English English", but don't believe I have heard or read it used outside of Literature.
 
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Slow Traveler
Picture of Diana Strinati Baur
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Tony (the PM) uses whilst all the time! I have heard it from many a Brit in my day. It always sort of sticks out for me as a tough of aristocracy. When I worked as an English Instructor in Germany, we were required to teach both whilst and while. Roll Eyes
 
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