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American and British English differences - DOC


									American and British English differences
American English is the diverse form of the English language used mostly in the United
States of America. It is the primary language used in the United States. According to the 1990
census, 97 percent of U.S. residents speak English "well" or "very well". Only 0.8% (8 people
out of a thousand) speak no English at all, as compared with 3.6 percent in 1890.


English was inherited from British colonization. The first wave of English-speaking immigrants
was settled in North America in the 17th century. In this century, there were also speakers in
North America of the Dutch, French, German, Native American, Spanish, Swedish and Finnish

British English is a collective term for the forms of English spoken in the British Isles. In
particular, when used by other English speakers, it often refers to the written Standard
English and the pronunciation known as Received Pronunciation (RP), the term is often used
to make a distinction from American English. In such context the written form is sometimes
called International English, since few other English-speaking countries have adopted the
changes in spelling introduced by nineteenth century US lexicographers


     Collective nouns such as team and company that describe multiple people are often
      used with the plural form of a verb in British English, particularly where one is
      concerned with the people constituting the team, rather than with the team as a
      corporate entity; the singular form is used in most cases in American, for example,
      British "the team are concerned"; American "the team is concerned". But, as in British
      English, the plural form can be used when the individual membership is clear, for
      example, "the team take their seats" (not "the team takes its seat(s)"), although it is
      often rephrased to avoid the singular/plural decision, as in "the team members take
      their seats". Another example:
    o British English: "The Clash are a well-known band."
    o American English: "The Clash is a well-known band."
   o Differences in which nouns are the same in both their plural and singular forms, such as
      the word sheep. In American English, shrimp is such a word, but in British English the
      plural of shrimp is shrimps. (Shrimps is occasionally heard in the southern U.S., but is
      otherwise rare, apart from its colloquial use as a pejorative term for small people).
   o In names of American rivers, the word river usually comes after the name (for example,
      Colorado River), whereas for British rivers it comes before (as in River Thames).
   o Use of prepositions before days denoted by a single word. Where Britons would say
      "She resigned on Thursday", Americans often say "She resigned Thursday".
      Occasionally, the preposition is also absent when referring to months: "I'll be here
      December" (although this usage is generally limited to colloquial speech). Intransitive
      verbs in American English often become transitive; for example, Britons say "I'll write to
      you" where Americans commonly say "I'll write you"; Commonwealth English: "The
      workers protested against the decision." American English: "The workers protested the
    o   The present perfect tense is much more common in British dialects than in American,
        where the simple past tense is usually used instead. For example, I've gone in British
        English; I went in American. Similarly, the past perfect tense is often replaced by the
        past simple tense in the USA; this, even more than the dropping of the present perfect,
        is generally regarded as sloppy usage by those Americans who consider themselves
        careful users of the language.
    o   On informal occasions, the British would use "have got", whereas Americans would say
        "have" or just "got". "Have" is the only form used in formal writing.
    o   American English allows do as a substitute for have (the full verb, in the sense of
        possess), just as for other verbs such as "walk" or "think"; in the past, British English did
        not allow this, but it is becoming increasingly common. American: "Have you any food?
        [or, much more frequently, "Do you have any food?"] Yes, I do." British: "Have you any
        food? Yes, I have." Note that such substitution is not possible in either American or
        British English for the auxiliary verb have: "Have you eaten? Yes, I have."
    o   Similarly, in informal usage, American English often uses the form "did" + infinitive
        where British English would use "have/has" + past participle. "Did you brush your teeth
        yet?" would be usual American English whereas most British speakers would say "Have
        you cleaned your teeth yet?". The "have" form is regarded as correct in both countries,
        however, and is required in all formal contexts. "Did you clean your teeth yesterday"
        would be correct in both countries.

The subjunctive mood is more common in American English in expressions such as: "They
suggested that he apply for the job". British English would have "They suggested that he should
apply for the job" or even "They suggested that he applied for the job". as possible.

                       BRITISH TO AMERICAN — (Top) — (Bottom)

       Accumulator (automotive) = battery,                Lumber room = spare room, storage
        car battery                                         room (in a home)
       Alsatian (dog) = German shepherd                   Mackintosh = raincoat, overcoat,
       Articulated lorry = tractor-trailer                 trenchcoat
        (truck), a "semi"                                  Mains = ordinary built-in home
       Ass = donkey; U.S. ass = G.B. "arse,"               electrical network (no special word as
        i.e. one's backside (in addition to                 equivalent in U.S.)
        normal "donkey")                                   Market garden = truck farm
       Athletics (an ... meet) = track and field          Marrow (vegetable) = squash, gourd
       Backlog = log-jam, pile-up (of business            Mason = stoneworker; U.S. mason can
        orders, for example). U.S. backlog =                be stone- or brickworker
        comfortable reserve of orders —                    Marriage lines = marriage certificate
        difference between the two is in
        opposite interpretation or connotation
                                                           Mean = stingy, tight with money; U.S.
                                                            "mean" normally means nasty, spiteful,
        of same basic situation.
                                                            ill-meaning in action toward another
       Bank holiday = holiday
                                                           Mess kit = formal military dress for
       Bap = bun, hamburger bun, hamburger                 ceremonial dining; U.S. mess kit = army
        roll                                                or boy scout utensils for cooking or
       Mrs. Beeton = Fanny Farmer (standard                eating a meal on the trail.
        cooking, household reference book)                 Minced meat = hamburger meat,
       Bespoke = custom-tailored, tailor-made              ground beef; U.S. mincemeat = sweet,
       Big Dipper = roller coaster (at a "Fun-             spicy ground meat/fruit/nut
        Fair" = "Amusement Park"                            combination used for making pies,
                                                            especially around
       Bilberry = blueberry
       "Bird" = "chick"
                                                           Mineral water = any carbonated soft
       Biro = Papermate (ball-point pen trade              drink; U.S. mineral water = bottled
        name which equals "generic" name)                   natural water (containing normal
       Biscuit = cookie (U.S. "biscuit" is a               minerals) from spring or health spa,
        baked bread, "bap," "scone"                         Perrier water, etc.
       Blancmange = vanilla pudding                       Mistress = teacher in girls' school; U.S.
       Block, block of flats = apartment                   mistress = lover (extramarital)
        building (U.S. term "block" [city block]           Mob = gang, group (neutral); U.S. mob
        unknown as such in British English,                 = angry crowd; "the mob" = Mafia
        though usually understandable.                     Motorist, motoring = driver, driving
       "Bomb" (theater terminology) = a "hit,"            Music Hall = vaudeville (generic
        a great success. U.S. "bomb" = G.B.                 entertainment type/place name)
        failure, critical disaster, i.e. the two are
        exact opposites in sentences like "The
                                                           Nappy = diaper (for infants not toilet-
        play was a bomb!"
   Boiler suit = overalls                         A Neat drink = a straight drink, i.e.
   Bonnet (automotive) = hood (of a                "give me a straight whiskey" = whiskey
    car...)                                         without water or other additives
   Boot (automotive) = trunk (of a car...)        Nervy = nervous, jumpy; U.S. nervy =
                                                    bold, impertinent, i.e. nearly the
   Bottom drawer = hope chest
                                                    opposite of the British usage
   Bowler (hat) = derby (special
                                                   Night club = private membership club;
    connotations & different pronunc.)
                                                    U.S. nightclubs are public (commercial)
   Braces = suspenders; U.S. suspenders            entertainment places
    = G.B. garters, stocking fasteners
                                                   Number plate = license plate (on
   Brambleberry = blackberry                       automobiles)
   Bottom of the street = end of the street       Off-license = liquor store
   Box (TV) = Tube (both slang, colloquial        Old boy (girl) = alumni, alumnus,
    terms)                                          alumna [of a school]
   Bull = "mickey mouse" (unnecessary             Pantechnicon = moving van
    military drill); U.S. bull = G.B. cock
                                                   Panda car = police patrol car, police
   Bum = ass, rectum; U.S. bum = G.B.              cruiser
    tramp, derelict
                                                   Patience (card game) = Solitaire
   Bun in the oven = pregnant, eating for
                                                   Pecker (keep your pecker up) = keep
                                                    your chin up; U.S. pecker = penis
   Call box = (tele)phone booth
                                                   Pram (peramulator) = baby carriage,
   Camp bed = cot; U.S. cot = G.B. baby            baby buggy, stroller, walker
                                                   Petrol = gasoline, gas (to go in
   Car park = parking lot                          automobiles, airplane, etc.)
   Caretaker (for a building) = janitor (not      Pie = meat pie; U.S. pie is always a fruit
    same as "vahtimestari")                         or fruit-derived pie, unless "a meat pie"
   Carriage (railway) = railroad car,              is specifically indicated
    subway car                                     Pillar-box = mailbox, post office box,
   Carrier bag = shopping bag                      letter box, letter drop
   Caucus = permanent group in a political        Pissed (he was really...) = drunk; U.S.
    party; U.S. caucus = G.B. ad hoc                "pissed = angry, upset
    planning meeting of a group in a               Pitch (soccer) = field (football) [GB
    political party                                 "football" = US "soccer"]
   Central reservation = median strip             Plimsolls = sneakers, tennis shoes, gym
    (between halves of a divided highway)           shoes
   Charge sheet = police record                   Point = electric outlet, railroad switch
   Chemist (drugstore) = druggist                  (depending on context)
   Chips = french fries; U.S. chips often =       Polka dots = chocolate chips (food
    dried buffalo, cow dung (other cases,           product for baking)
    i.e. poker chips, wood chips, the same)        Prawn = shrimp
   Chucker-out = bouncer (doorman or              Prom, prom concert = music concerts
    "enforcer" in a bar/restaurant                  where most of the audience is standing;
   "In the City" = "on Wall Street" (in            U.S. prom = dance, semi-formal,
    main financial district)                        especially at end of year in high
   City editor = financial editor; U.S. city       schools, colleges
    editor = G.B. "community news editor"          Rates = local, municipal property taxes
   Cloakroom = toilet; U.S. cloakroom =           Redundant = laid off (from a job); U.S.
    clothes closet, garment storage area            redundant = superfluous (no
   Coach = intercity bus                           connotation of connection with jobs at
   Combinations = union suit (colloquial
    for long underwear)                            Return ticket = round-trip ticket

   Comforter = scarf; U.S. comforter =            Ringway = circular road (around a city),
    heavy quilt, blanket                            bypass

   Compére = Master of ceremonies, M.C.           Rise = raise in salary
    (of TV game show, etc.)                        To Roger = to "screw," have sex with;
   Constable = (police) officer                    to exploit, take advantage of, to use
   "To cop" = "to get" something                  Roll neck (pullover) = turtleneck
    unpleasant, i.e. "to cop a 15-pound             (sweater).
    fine." U.S. "to cop" = to plead guilty to      Roundabout = traffic circle
    a lesser charge in order to avoid              Rubber = eraser; U.S. rubber = condom,
    prosecution & probable conviction on a          prophylactic device
    more serious charge ("to cop a plea" =
                                                   Saloon = "sedan" car (automobile); US
                                                    saloon = western-style bar
   Corn = all grain crops; U.S. corn = G.B.
                                                   Saloon bar = one section of an English
    "maize" only.
   Costermonger = pushcart seller
                                                   Sanitary towel = sanitary napkin,
   (Sent to) Coventry = ostracized                 feminine hygienic item
   Crisps = potato chips                          A good screw = a good salary; U.S.
   Cupboard = closet; U.S. closet = G.B.           "good screw" equals good "fuck" or
    w.c., or toilet                                 good sexual experience
   Davenport = antique folding writing            To Screw = to cajole, persuade, extract
    desk; U.S. davenport = large sofa, often        money from; U.S. "to screw" = to have
    which folds out into a bed at night.            sex with, fornicate
   Deposit account = savings account              Season ticket = commuter (train, bus)
   Dinner jacket = tuxedo ("black tie"             weekly or monthly ticket; U.S. season
    formal dress)                                   ticket is admission ticket to all home
                                                    games in one season of a particular
   Dormitory = bedroom; U.S. dormitory =
                                                    sports team
    G.B. residence hall
                                                   To Second to = to temporarily loan staff
   Dresser = kitchen sideboard; U.S.
                                                    to another job or unit
    dresser = bedroom drawers, vanity
                                                   Sellotape = Scotch tape (both brand
   "Duck" = "goose egg" (a zero on the
                                                    names now used as "generics"
    scoreboard of a sports match)
                                                   "Semi" = duplex, duplex house; U.S.
   Dumb = mute; U.S. dumb usually means
                                                    "semi" = tractor-trailer truck rig
    "stupid" rather than "mute," which is a
    secondary meaning in U.S. usage.               Seminary = Roman Catholic seminary
                                                    only; U.S. Seminary can be ANY
   Dustbin = garbage can, ashcan
                                                    religion, i.e. Lutheran, Methodist
    (exterior waste-disposal unit)
   Dynamo (automotive) = generator
                                                   Sherbet = powdered, fruit-flavored
    (within automobile engine)
                                                    candy; U.S. sherbet = G.B. sorbet
   Earth wire = ground wire (in electricity,       (pronounced "soorbay")
                                                   Shorthand-typist = stenographer
   Elastic band = rubber band
                                                   To shy = to throw something (he shied
   To Enjoin = to compel, to legally force;        a rock at the stray dog...)
    U.S. enjoin = to legally forbid — i.e.
                                                   Sideboards = sideburns (in a hairstyle)
    same term in same general contextual
    usage has precisely the opposite               Single = one-way ticket; U.S. "single" in
    meaning                                         context would mean "only one" as
                                                    opposed to "several" tickets
   Ex-serviceman = veteran; U.S. veteran
    = G.B. old ex-serviceman; (U.S. term           To Snog = to neck (i.e. kissing,
    has no special age connotation, only            hugging, etc., esp teenagers)
    that the person have had prior military        Spinster = any unmarried woman; U.S.
    experience sometime)                            spinster is always OLD unmarried
   Fag = (a) cigarette; (b) public-school          woman
    underclass "servant"; U.S. fag = low-          Standard lamp = floor lamp (as
    slang term for male homosexual.                 opposed to table or wall lamp)
   Fanny = vagina (vulgar usage); U.S.            S.T.D. (subscriber trunk dialling) =
    fanny = light euphemism for                     direct distance dialling [on the
    "backside," either male or female.              telephone, as opposed to dialling
   First floor = second floor, etc. (Britain       through operator]
    walks in ground floor, goes up 1 set of        Steps = ladder; U.S. "steps" always
    stairs to first floor; U.S. ground floor        would mean staircase, built- in stairway
    and first floor are the same.                   or staircase
   Fish slice = pancake turner, spatula           To stream (pupils in a school) = to
    (kitchen tool); U.S. spatula = G.B.             track (streaming = tracking)
    tongue depressor (medical instrument)          Stroke (punctuation) = diagonal, slash
   Fitted carpet = wall-to-wall carpeting         To Stuff = to fornicate, have sex with;
   Flan = pie, fruit pie                           U.S. "I'm stuffed..." = to be
   Flannel = washcloth; U.S. flannel =             comfortably, pleasantly full of food,
    heavy warm cotton fabric; "flannels"            satiated
    would be long underwear made from              Sub-editor = copy reader or rewrite
    such heavy warm fabric.                         person, in journalism
   Flat = apartment; U.S. flat = tenement         Subs = dues, as in union dues, etc.
    flat = poor-standard slum apartment.           Subway = underground walking
   Flick knife = switch-blade knife, a             passage, underpass, pedestrian tunnel;
    switchblade                                     U.S. subway = G.B. "underground," i.e.
   Flyover = overpass (as in a bridge over         underground railway system for public
    a road); U.S. flyover = airplane passing        transportation
    over a certain place, as in military           Superannuation scheme = retirement
    parade "flyovers"; verb is "to overfly."        pension plan
   Form (school) = grade [i.e. first form =       Supply teacher = substitute teacher
    first grade in school]                         Supertax = surtax
   Garden = yard; U.S. garden = vegetable         Surgery = a doctor's office, office
    garden, fljower garden, i.e. area of            hours, reception time; U.S. "surgery"
    special cultivation. U.S. yard = G.B.           refers to "surgeon" operating on a
    paved area (lorry yards)                        patient
   Goods (car, train) = freight; U.S. goods       Suspenders = garters, for socks or
    = supplies, commercial stock                    stockings only; U.S. suspenders = G.B.
   Grind = sexual intercourse; U.S. grind =        braces, for holding up trousers
    slang for "hard (routine) work."               Sweet = dessert, or piece of candy
   Haberdasher = notions seller; U.S.             Sweetshop = candy store
    haberdasher = men's clothing seller
                                                   To Table (parliamentary procedure,
   To Hack = to (deliberately) kick; U.S. to       conference terminology) = to put on
    hack = to chop, cut viciously.                  agenda for immediate handling; U.S. "to
   High street = Main street                       table" = to put aside [indefinitely], to
   To Hire = to rent (in most cases); U.S.         delay further handling
    to hire = to employ Hire-purchase =           Tannoy = public address (p.a.)
    (the "never-never") = installment plan         amplification system
   Hoarding = billboard (large advertising       Teat = baby bottle nipple; US teat = GB
    sign alongside road)                           nipple = breast nipple
   Hold up = traffic jam; U.S. holdup =          Terrace house = row house, garden
    robbery at gunpoint.                           apartment, town house
   Homely = home-loving, domestic,               Are you Through? (telephone) = are
    pleasant; U.S. homely = plain- looking         you connected; U.S. "are you through"?
    (female), therefore often "left" at            = are you finished, completed, with
    home.                                          your call
   To Hoover = to vacuum (carpets, etc.)         To tick = to check, place check mark
    "Hoover" in the U.S. is a brand name           beside
    only, never used as a verb.
                                                  Tights = hose, panty hoseh, nylons,
   Inland = internal, domestic (Inland            nylon stockings; U.S. tights = leotards,
    Revenue = Internal Revenue)                    skin-tight exercise suit, knit stocking
   Inverted commas = quotation marks              pants
    (GB = 'xx'; USA = "xx")                       Tinkle = telephone call [give me a
   Inquiry agent = private detective              tinkle sometime]; U.S. "tinkle" =
   Jelly = Jello (deriving from brand name        children's talk for "to urinate"
    Jell-O, gelatin dessert)                      Tip = garbage dump; U.S. tip = hint,
   "On the job" = having sexual                   advice, clue
    intercourse; U.s. "on the job" = while        Torch = flashlight; U.S. torch = burning,
    working, learning, i.e. "on the job            flaming light or weapon
    training."                                    Touchline = sideline (in sports, such as
   Joint = pot roast; U.S. "joint" =              on soccer pitch, etc.)
    marijuana cigarette                           Tower block = high-rise apartment
   Juggernaut lorry = a very large truck,         building
    an overlong truck, a "double semi"            Trade union = labor union (but usually
    truck                                          organized by "trades" in England, by
   Jumble sale = rummage sale                     "industry" in the U.S. — US "Auto
   Jumper = light pullover (sweater); U.S.        Workers' Union" would be represented
    jumper = type of knee- length woman's          by different "trades" in GB)
    dress worn over blouse or sweater             Tram = streetcar, trolley car
   Kirby grips = bobby pins (to fasten long      Transport cafe = truck stop (roadside
    hair ...)                                      cafeteria, restaurant, popular with
   A Knock-up = (tennis) to warm up, to           truck [lorry] drivers
    volley a few, to practice-volley              Traveller = travelling salesman
   To Knock up = to awaken, call early in        Treacle = molasses
    the morning; U.S. "to knock up" is            Trousers = pants; U.S. pants = G.B.
    colloquial for "to impregnate"                 underwear shorts
   Lacquer = hairspray; U.S. lacquer =           Trunk call = long-distance call (on a
    wood varnish, shellac (high-gloss), i.e.       telephone)
    protective decorative wood coating
                                                  Turn it up (colloquial) = stop it, cut it
   Ladder = (in women's stockings" = a            out! U.S. "turn it up" = increase the
    runner, a run                                  volume
   Lay-by = (beside a road) = a pull-off, a      Undercarrige = landing gear (aircraft)
    rest area.
                                                  Underdone = rare (extent to which you
   Left-luggage office = check room,              wish your meat cooked)
    baggage check (room)
                                                  Underground= subway (cf "subway")
   Level crossing = railroad crossing.
                                                  Vest = undershirt; U.S. Vest = G.B.
   Lift = elevator                                waistcoat
   Lip balm = chapstick                          Windscreen (automotive) = windshield
   Logic-chopping = splitting hairs, hair-       Wing (automotive) = fender, bumper
    splitting                                      (pre-70s designs...)
   Long jump (in athletics) = broad jump         White spirit = turpentine, paint thinner;
    (in track and field)                           U.S. "white lightning" (spirits) = potent
   Lorry = truck                                  home-distilled backwoods alcohol!
   Loud-hailer = bullhorn, amplified             Wholemeal = whole-wheat (bread,
    megaphone                                      flour, etc.)
   Lucky dip = grab bag (children's party        Yankee/Yank = any American in
    game or activity ...)                          general, U.S. Yankee = Northeast erner
                                                   ONLY, i.e. specific regional, historical
                                                  Zebra crossing = crosswalk, pedestrian
                                                   crossing (Ped Xing)
                                                  "Zed" = "Zee" (pronunciation of last
                                                   letter in alphabet)

                      AMERICAN TO BRITISH — (Top) — (Bottom)
   Bathroom = toilet, w.c. (G.B. bathroom         Graham cracker = wholemeal biscuit
    will have bath, washbasin or shower            Grandstand play = done to impress the
    only)                                           audience in the grandstands rather
   Billboard = hoarding                            than as a requirement of the game,
   Biscuit = scone; G.B. biscuit = U.S.            "showy" action
    cookie                                         Ground rules= specific local rules for
   Billy club = truncheon                          particular event or action, sports or
   Blank = empty form, i.e. telegraph
    blank                                          Half & Half = dairy mixture of half
                                                    cream, half milk (to put in coffee, for
   Block (city block) = city block bounded
                                                    use in baking, etc.)
    by streets on 4 sides, distance between
    2 streets or crossings in same direction       Handball = game played by hitting a
                                                    small, hard ball with bare hand against
   Block-busting = "penetration" of a
                                                    a wall in room similar to a squash court
    residential area by an ethnic or minority
                                                    — European "handball" is not 'known' in
    group unwelcome by original residents,
                                                    the U.S.
    who often then sell and leave
                                                   Hard-on = male sexual erection
   Blotter = police official daily record of
    happenings in local precinct office            High school = secondary school, senior
                                                    (upper) secondary school
   Blowout = puncture (flat tire on car,
    bicycle, etc.)                                 Home free (colloquial) = home & dry
   Blue book = local social register of           Homely = plain-featured, -looking; GB
    high-status families                            homely = domestic, pleasant
   Blue Cross/Blue Shield = two different         Horny = randy
    large health-insurance companies               Housing project = housing
   Blue laws = restrictive community               development, housing estate
    "moral" laws dating from Puritan times,        Huddle = planning, tactics conference,
    such as prohibition of liquor sales on          especially in American football, but also
    Sunday, limits on public entertainment          metaphorically in other situations
    on Sundays, etc.                               Hung jury = jury that is divided, cannot
   Bomb (theater) = a failure; G.B. bomb           reach a verdict
    (theatre) = great success                      Jello = jelly; U.S. "jelly" = G.B. "jam";
   Boner = gaffe, mistake, faux pas                U.S. "jam" = G.B. "thick [GB] jelly with
   Boot camp = military basic training             fruit embedded"
    period/location                                Kerosene = paraffin, U.S. paraffin = GB
   Boondocks = backwoods                           paraffin wax
   Bourbon = corn- (maize-) derived               Longshoreman = docker, dock worker
    whiskey                                        Lox = smoked salmon, especially
   Box car = good waggon (U.S. spelling            American Jewish usage
    "wagon")                                       Martini = gin & vermouth (combined)
   Bronx cheer = raspberry (critical noise         cocktail (does not refer to "Vermouth"
    ...)                                            brand name)
   Brownie = small, "heavy," rich-                Mean = nasty
    chocolate baked biscuit; also young Girl       Mobile home = (trailer) house on
    scout                                           wheels, can be moved behind truck,
   Brunch = mid-morning meal                       auto
    (combination of "breakfast & lunch")           Mononucleosis, "Mono" = glandular
   Bush league = baseball "minor" training         fever
    leagues; also connotes "amateurism,"           Nervy = impudent, impertinent, with a
    unprofessionalism, etc.                         lot of nerve (cf. GB Nervy)
   Caboose = last waggon on a goods train         Night crawler = fishing worm
   Candy = sweets                                 Oatmeal = porridge
   Car fare = money for transportation            Ordinance = by-law (law at local city,
    fares                                           municipal level)
   Carry-out (food) = take-away (food)            Overpass = flyover
   Catch (to play catch [baseball]) =             Pacifier = dummy (what baby uses to
    "playing tag" (US "playing tag" is              suck on when not eating)
    children's game where one tries to run         Parakeet = budgerigar
    and "catch" or touch ("tag") one of the
    other children playing)
                                                   Parka = anorak

   "Catch up with him" = "Catch him up"
                                                   Patrol wagon, Paddy wagon = black
   Checkers = draughts (the game, played
    on checker/chess board)
                                                   Pegged pants = tapered trousers

   Checking account = current account
                                                   To pinch-hit for = to substitute for in a
                                                    particular tactical situation (batting in
                                                    Am baseball, or metaphorically)
   Comfort station = public convenience
                                                   Plexiglass = Perspex glass (brand
   Cone = cornet ("ice cream" cones--              names used as generics)
    British "ice cream" also quite a
    different commodity)
                                                   Potato chips = potato crisps

   Cord (electrical) = flex, lead, wire
                                                   Quarterback = Am. football team
                                                    leader, also to direct, manage, in other
   Corn = maize; G.B. corn = all types of          situations
    grain, unless specified
                                                   Railroad = railway; U.S. railway =
   Cotton candy = candy floss                      tracks, roadbed which trains run ON;
   Certified Public Accountant (CPA) =                           U.S. "railroad" refers to the enterprise,
    Chartered Pub. Account. (CPA)                                 i.e. the Union Pacific Railroad
   Cube sugar = lump sugar                                      Raise = rise; U.S. "rise" is slang for
                                                                  male erection, or, "to get a sensation
   Diaper = nappy
                                                                  from ..."
   Dishpan = washing-up bowl
                                                                 Realtor = estate (real estate) agent
   Distaff = female
                                                                 Retroactive = retrospective
   Double header = two sports games
                                                                 Roomer = lodger
    played as a single event; also used
    metaphorically                                               Roster = rota
   Draft (military) = conscription into the                     Rubber = condom; GB rubber = US
    armed forces                                                  eraser
   Druggist = chemist (in commercial                            Rube Goldberg = Heath Robinson
    drugstore or pharmacy)                                        (stereotyped creators of wacky, bizarre
                                                                  "inventions" in USA, GB)
   Editorial = leading article (in a
    newspaper, periodical)                                       Sedan = saloon car
   Eggnog = egg flip (special Christmas                         Shellac = high-gloss varnish
    drink in U.S. only)                                          Slingshot = catapult; U.S. "catapult" =
   Engineer = railroad engine-driver                             G.B. "sling"
   Enjoin = to forbid from doing; GB enjoin                     Special Delivery = Express (postal) Mail
    = to compel to do                                            Station wagon = estate car
   Eraser = rubber; G.B. rubber is U.S.                         Thumbtack = drawing pin (small, flat-
    condom                                                        headed tack used on bulletin boards or
   "Fairy" = male homosexual, or highly                          to attach papers to wooden surfaces;
    effiminate-acting male                                        U.S. "drawing pin" a long, narrow,
                                                                  sharp pin used in sewing, clothing
   Field hockey = hockey; U.S. hockey (by
                                                                  design, always with soft fabrics or
    itself) = ice hockey
   Filling station = petrol station
                                                                 Thread = cotton; U.S. cotton = plant,
   Flashlight = torch                                            fiber, material only
   Football = U.S. (American) football, not                     Trash = rubbish
                                                                 Trashcan = dustbin; trashman =
   Formula = baby's prepared liquid food,                        dustman
    replaces breast milk
                                                                 Turtleneck = polo neck (sweaters or
   "Freebee" = anything given away free                          pullovers)
   Freeway = motorway                                           Vaudeville = Music hall (type of
   Freight car = goods waggon (on a train)                       entertainment, style of theater)
   Gangway! = exclamation to "clear a                           Wash up = to wash oneSELF, not the
    path!"; G.B. gangway = U.S. aisle (in a                       dishes; G.B. to wash up = to do the
    theater, etc.), U.S. gangway [naval                           dishes
    term] = entrance "bridge" from shore                         Wax paper = greaseproof paper
    onto a ship
                                                                 Yard = garden; U.S. garden = vegetable
   Glee club = club or group for choral                          or flower garden (cultivated area); GB
    singing                                                       yard = US paved area, not grassy lawn)
   Glue factory = knacker's yard                                ZIP code = postal code
   "Gofer" [to GO out FOR something ... ]                       Zucchini (squash) = courgette
    = "dogsbody"                                                  (marrow)
   Goldbrick(er) = loaf(er)
   Good Humor Man = ice cream peddler in
    residential areas

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