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_British_ English Translated For Americans

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					(British) English Translated For Americans
(Modified original reproduced as a US-1 reference with author permission)
• ACCOMMODATION in the sense of lodging is singular in English and plural in American English
• ADMIRALTY in Britain is the Navy Department in the U.S.
• AGRICULTURAL SHOW is a State or County Fair.
• AIRY-FAIRY means superficial in a disparaging sense and is roughly "fanciful"
• ALLOTMENT is a small rented area for growing vegetables or flowers away from you home.
• ANORAK is an Eskimo word for a windbreaker or parka.
• ANTI-CLOCKWISE is counter clockwise.
• ARTICULATED LORRY is a trailer truck.
• ASSISTANT - short for shop assistant - would be a salesclerk.
• AU PAIR is a foreign girl who lives as one of the family in return for helping with the children.
  Enables "foreign" girls to learn English in a family environment.
• AUBERGINE is an EGGPLANT
• BACKBENCHERS is a Member of the House of Commons who is not the Minister.
• BAD PATCH means a rough time
• BAGS OF is slang and means piles of - usually referring to money.
• BALACLAVA is a woolen helmet named after the site of a battle in the Crimean War
• BANGER is slang for a sausage
• BANK HOLIDAY is a LEGAL HOLIDAY in the U.S. Apart from Xmas they are all different in Britain
• BARGE POLE is a colloquialism for a ten-foot-pole
• BARRACK is to demonstrate noisily in public e.g. as in 'boo'
• BARRISTER is a TRIAL LAWYER
• BASH is to hit as in 'bang'
• BATH in Britain becomes BATHTUB in the US
• BATH OLIVER is a dry biscuit eaten with cheese
• BBC the British Broadcasting Corporation
• BEARSKIN is a high, black fur hat worn by Guardsmen
• BELT UP is slang for shut up
• BILL is what one asks the waiter for and in the US becomes CHECK
• BIRD is slang for 'girl' although in the US DAME would be closer
• BIRO is a ball-point pen
• BISCUIT is a CRACKER or a COOKIE
• BIT used where Americans would say "part"
• BITTER is a type of beer
• BLACK TIE is Mess dress or tuxedo
• BLOCK OF FLATS is an apartment building or high-rise tower block, or a large house converted to
  flats
• BLOKE slang for man
• BOBBY is a police officer
• BOG toilet
• BOG-ROLL toilet roll
• BOILER is the furnace
• BOLLARDS are barrels
• BONNET is HOOD when referring to your car
• BOOK as a verb to reserve rooms or theater seats
• BOOT is the TRUNK of your car
• BOOT SALE is a flea market or yard sale
• BOX television
• BOXING DAY is the first week-day after Christmas
• BRACES are SUSPENDERS which as an English word means GARTERS
• BRASS PLATE is the equivalent of a SHINGLE
• BUBBLES & SQUEAK is cooked cabbage and potatoes combined and fried
• BUILDING SOCIETY is a savings and loan
•   BUMBAG is the same as our fanny pack
•   BUNGALOW is a single story house detached house
•   BUREAU is a writing desk with drawers and a lift-down flap
•   CAB-RANK is a taxi-stand
•   CALL-BOX is a telephone booth
•   CAMIKNICKERS are teddies
•   CAMP BED is a COT which in Britain is used for a baby's CRIB
•   CANDYFLOSS is cotton candy
•   CARAVAN is a trailer
•   CAR PARK is a parking lot
•   CASHIER is a TELLER
•   CALICO is muslin
•   CALOR GAS is bottled gas
•   CASTOR SUGAR is finer than granulated sugar but not as fine as icing-sugar
•   CATS EYES are surface road reflectors
•   CHAR is slang for tea - the drink
•   CHAT UP is slang for handling someone a line especially to get to know a girl
•   CHEERS thanks; also used as a toast before drinking; also, "see you later"
•   CHEMIST is a DRUG-STORE
•   CHESTERFIELD is a sofa
•   CHIPS are FRENCH FRIES
•   CLINGFILM is Saran wrap
•   CLOAKROOM is a half bath
•   COACHES are buses
•   COFFEE, WHITE, WITHOUT is coffee, cream, no sugar
•   COLLEAGUE is a co-worker
•   CONVENIENCE is a REST ROOM
•   CONVEYANCING is buying or selling properties
•   COOKER is a stove
•   CORNFLOUR is cornstarch
•   COSTUME is a swimsuit
•   COURGETTE is a ZUCCHINI
•   COT is a small child's bed or crib
•   COTTAGE traditionally a pretty, quaint house in the country, perhaps with a thatched roof
    (although the name is stretched nowadays to encompass almost anything except a flat), may be
    detached or terraced
•   COVER NOTE is an Insurance binder
•   CRACKING great ("What a cracking bird!")
•   CRICKET is a ball game to which Americans have no equal
•   CRISPS are potato chips
•   CUPBOARD in Britain is CLOSET in the US
•   CURRENT ACCOUNT at a bank is a CHECKING ACCOUNT
•   C.V. (CURRICULUM VITAE) is a resume
•   DAME in Britain refers to a lady who has been knighted
•   DAY-RETURN means a ROUND-TRIP ticket usually on the railway
•   DEMERAEA sugar is the brown sugar usually on the tables in pubs, not at all like our baking
    brown sugar
•   DETACHED is a house that stands alone, usually with its own garden
•   DEVIATION is a detour
•   DIARY is our calendar/date or appointment book
•   DINNER JACKET is a TUXEDO
•   DORMITORY is a multiple bedroom usually found in boarding schools and is NOT a barracks
•   DRAUGHTS is the game of CHECKERS
•   DRESS CIRCLE in the theater is the FIRST BALCONY
•   DRESSING TABLE is the equivalent of the American DRESSER
•   DRESSING GOWN is a ROBE or bathrobe
•   DUAL CARRIAGEWAY is a DIVIDED HIGHWAY
•   DUMMY is a pacifier
•   DUSTBIN is a GARBAGE CAN
•   DUSTMAN is a garbage collector
•   DUVET is a eiderdown quilt
•   EARLY-CLOSING is an infuriating custom of shops closing one afternoon a week
•   EARTH as a verb and as an electrical term equals to GROUND a wire
•   ELASTOPLAST is BAND-AID
•   ELEVEN is a FOOTBALL or CRICKET TEAM (from the number of players)
•   ENGAGED is what the operator says when the telephone line is BUSY
•   ERNIE is 'electronic random number indicator equipment' and selects Premium Bond winners
•   ESTATE AGENT is a REAL-ESTATE BROKER
•   ESTATE CAR is a STATION WAGON
•   EX-DIRECTORY is a UNLISTED TELEPHONE NUMBER
•   EX-SERVICE MAN is a VETERAN
•   FAG is a cigarette
•   FANCY DRESS is costumes
•   FANCY DRESS PARTY is a costumes party
•   FEN is swampland or marsh
•   FIRST FLOOR in a building is SECOND-FLOOR in the US
•   FISH-FINGERS are FISH-STICKS
•   FITTED applied to carpets means WALL-TO-WALL
•   FIZZY DRINK is pop/soda
•   FLAN is an open sponge or pastry case with a fruit or sweet filling
•   FLANNEL is a face-cloth
•   FLAT is an APARTMENT usually one floor
•   FLEET STREET is a colloquialism for the PRESS
•   FLEX is an electric cord
•   FLY-OVER is an over-pass
•   FOOTBALL is rugby, not American football
•   FORTNIGHT means two weeks or fourteen nights
•   FREE HOUSE associated with a Pub means it can sell any brand of beer it wishes, it is not linked to
    any specific brewery
•   FRINGE (HAIR) is BANGS
•   FULL STOP is the black dot at the end of a sentence called in the US a period
•   GAMMON is ham
•   GARDEN is the property outside a house which in the US is a YARD
•   GATEAU is a type of layer cake
•   GEARBOX is TRANSMISSION
•   GEAR-LEVER is GEARSHIFT
•   GEORDIE (pronounced JORDY) is a native of Tyneside and also the dialect he speaks
•   GEYSER (GEEZER) is a water heater
•   GIVE-WAY as a road sign means YIELD
•   GLASS is CRYSTAL
•   GONGS are slang for military medals
•   GOVERNMENT means administration and refers to the people currently running the country
•   GENERAL PRACTITIONER (GP) is a internist or doctor
•   GREASPROOF PAPER is wax paper
•   GREEN BELT is a no-building zone around a town or city
•   GREENGROCER is a fruit/vegetable store
•   GRILL as a verb is to BROIL
•   GUILLOTINE is a paper-cutter
•   GUMBOOTS are rubber boots
•   GUMSHIELD is the same as a mouthgaurd
•   GYMKHANA is a local Horse Show
•   GYM SHOES are SNEAKERS
•   HABERDASHERY is pins, needles, ribbons, thread etc. : and is what you ask for in a shop
•   HAGGIS a traditional Scottish dish made from a sheep's inside
•   HAIRDRESSER is a man or women's 'barber shop' or 'beauty shop'
•   HAIRSLIDE is a barrette
•   "HALF" when addressed to a bar-tender means a half-pint of beer
•   HALF-TERM is a mid-term vacation of short duration
•   HARD CHEESE is tough luck
•   HAT TRICK is a cricket term for taking three wickets by three successive balls but it is often to
    any triple triumph
•   HAVE-A-BASH means give it a try
•   HAVE NO TIME FOR means to have a low opinion
•   HESSIAN is burlap
•   HIGH STREET preceded by 'the', is the American Main Street
•   HIGH TEA served late in the afternoon usually contains a cooked item such as eggs or sausages -
    this is not to be confused with 'tea' or 'afternoon tea' which is merely a cup of tea with a cake or
    very small sandwich
•   HIRE PURCHASE is to buy on an installment plan
•   HOB is an installed gas, electric range top
•   HOLIDAY is a vacation although the university still uses vacation for the time after term finishes
•   HOMELY is simple or unpretentious and not the 'ugly' meant in America
•   HOOD of a car is known as 'BONNET' in England but of a cloak or coat is still the same
•   HOUSEMAN in a hospital is a doctor or 'intern' in America
•   HOOVER is to vacuum
•   HUNDREDWEIGHT is 112 pounds and 20 Hundredweight are in 1 ton
•   HUNT an Englishman hunts fox or deer but shoots game birds or rabbits
•   ICE on menus means ice-cream
•   ICING SUGAR is similar to our powdered sugar
•   IMMERSION TANK is a hot water heater in a house
•   INTERVAL is an intermission
•   IN TRAIN means coming along as in 'the work is progressing'
•   IRONMONGER is a hardware shop
•   JAB is a shot or immunization
•   JAM is what Americans would call jelly
•   JELLY is what they call Jell-O
•   JERSEY is a sweater
•   JOINT (of meat) as in Sunday Joint is a piece of roast meat
•   JUMBLE SALE is a rummage sale
•   JUMPER is a sweater (or woolly, or jersey), the American 'jumper' is a pinafore dress
•   JUNCTION is an interchange on motorway
•   KEDGEREE is a dish of fish, rice and eggs and often served at breakfast
•   KETTLE (FOR HOB) is a tea kettle
•   KIOSK can be a news-stand or a telephone box
•   KIP sleep ("I could do with a kip" or "He's kipping on the sofa.")
•   KITCHEN PAPER is paper towels
•   KNAVE is a jack in playing cards
•   KNICKERS underwear for women
•   KNOCK BACK DOUGH is to punch down dough
•   KNICKERS are ladies' underpants
•   'L' plates are large red 'L's which a person learning to drive must put on his car
•   LACQUER is hair-spray
•   LADDER in a stocking is a 'run' in America
•   LADYBIRD is a lady bug
•   LAGER is beer
•   LANDLORD in a pub is the inn-keeper
•   LARDER is a pantry
•   LAY A TABLE is to set the table
•   LAY-BY is a roadside parking area at the side of the road
•   LEADER can be a newspaper editorial, the leading counsel of a team of lawyers or the first violinist
    in an orchestra but NOT the conductor as is popular in America
•   LEMONADE is Sprite, 7UP
•   LETTER-BOX is a mail-box
•   LEVEL-CROSSING is a grade crossing
•   LIFE GUARD is a member of a regiment of the Royal Household Cavalry
•   LIFT is an elevator
•   LINE on a railway means track
•   LOO can be an 18th century card game or a lavatory or bathroom or whatever you wish to say
•   LORRY is a truck
•   LOUNGE SUIT is a business and NOT clothes for lounging in
•   MAC is an abbreviation for macintosh or raincoat
•   MAKING CONTACTS is networking
•   MAGISTRATE is very close to a justice of the peace
•   MAINS is an electric circuit box
•   MAISONETTE is an apartment on 2 or more floors
•   MAJORITY as a voting term this equals a 'plurality' in American terms
•   MANCUNIAN is someone from Manchester
•   MANGETOUT are snow peas
•   MARKET many towns have a weekly market day with wares on stalls (booths) in the open air - the
    right to do so goes back hundreds of years & the AA book lists them all - so does a list available
    from my office
•   MARROW is a very large zucchini
•   MARTINI is vermouth - if you want a Dry Martini ash for a Gin & French
•   MASH is mashed potatoes
•   MATCH is what two sides play on a sports field and is equal to an American game
•   MEAN is tight-fisted or stingy as opposed to the American 'cruel' or ill-tempered
•   MEWS HOUSE is a hose that's converted from old stables or servants' lodging (usually 17th or
    19th century) and is the town equivalent of a genuine cottage
•   MINCE or MINCED MEAT from the butcher is chopped meat of hamburger however MINCEMEAT is
    chopped apples, raisins etc. Which goes into a mince pie
•   MOOR is open land often with heather
•   MOTORWAY is a Freeway
•   MORNING TEA is often served in your hotel room before you go down to breakfast
•   MUFFIN is a small, spongy cake served toasted and buttered - do NOT confuse with the American
    'English Muffin' which does not exist in England.
•   MUSLIN is cheesecloth in America but American 'muslin' is calico in England
•   NAFF tacky
•   NANNY is a child's nurse
•   NAPPY, a corruption of napkin, is a diaper
•   NETS are sheer curtains
•   NEWSAGENT shop selling newspapers
•   NOTECASE is a billfold
•   NO ENTRY is wrong way (traffic sign)
•   NO OVERTAKING is no passing
•   NOTICEBOARD is a bulletin board
•   NUMBER PLATE is a license plate
•   OFF HIS ROCKER is out to lunch
•   OFF LICENSE is a shop which can sell alcohol all day but it must be taken away or consumed 'off'
    the premises
•   OFF-THE-PEG refers to 'ready-to-wear' clothes
•   OPHTHALMIC OPTICIAN test eyesight, prescribe glasses, and diagnose eye diseases
•   OPHTHALMIC MEDICAL PRACTITIONER treats eye diseases, test eyesight, prescribes lenses
•   OUT OF BOUNDS is equivalent to the American term 'off-limits'
•   OVERLEAF is the reverse side of a page as is P.T.O. (please turn over)
•   OVERTAKE is a driving term meaning to pass another car
•   OXBRIDGE is a portmanteau word for the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge
•   P45 is a pink slip
•   PANDA CAR is a small police car
•   PANTOMINE has no American equivalent and is an English Christmas entertainment based on a
    fairy-tale with a lot of modern singing, dancing and humor - it is not mime
•   PANTS are underpants in American - the English equivalent of American pants is trousers
•   PARAFFIN is kerosene - American 'paraffin' is paraffin wax or white wax
•   PASTRY CASE is a pie crust
•   PASTY is an individual pie as in Cornish Pasty
•   PAVEMENT is sidewalk
•   PERAMBULATOR shortened usually to 'pram' is a baby-carriage
•   PETROL is gasoline
•   PILLAR BOX or POST BOX is a mail-box and its painted red not blue
•   PLAIT is a braid when applied to girls' hair
•   PLASTER is a band-aid
•   PLIMSOLLS are shoes such as American deckshoes
•   PLONK (SLANG) is wine
•   PORRIDGE is oatmeal
•   POLYFILLA is spackle compound
•   POPPERS are snaps
•   PUDDINGS (the term) can be used to group all desserts whether it is cake, pie, ice-cream,
    custards. British puddings are not like our custard type "Jell-O" pudding
•   PRANG (in a car) is a fender bender
•   PREMIUM BOND is a Government Lottery Bond which has no interest
•   PROVISION is accrual
•   PUB is a public house which is a bar with an English atmosphere which cannot be defined in this
    small space - go an see one
•   PUB WITH ROOMS - is similar to an inn
•   PUSH-CHAIR is a child's stroller
•   PYLON is a high tension tower
•   QUEUE as a verb it means to stand in line - and woe betide you if you cut in
•   QUID (slang) is a one pound note
•   RED INDIAN means an American Indian - 'Indian' alone means a native of India
•   REDUNDANT is to be released from a job
•   REEL is a spool
•   REFUSE COLLECTOR is a garbage man
•   REGISTER OFFICE is a marriage clerk's office
•   REMEMBRANCE DAY is November 11 or the nearest Sunday and is Veteran Day in America
•   RESIDENT is the name for a person registered at a hotel
•   RETURN TICKET is a round-trip ticket on a train or bus
•   RING ROAD is a circular route around a town
•   RING UP is to telephone
•   ROAD WORKERS is road construction or road repair
•   ROUNDABOUT is a traffic control or a merry-go-round
•   RUBBISH is garbage
•   RUCKSACK is a backpack
•   RUNNER BEANS are string beans
•   SACK is to be fired from a job
•   SCONE is an American soda biscuit and its eaten with butter and often jam and cream
•   SCOTCH EGG is a hard-boiled egg in sausage meat
•   SELLOTAPE is scotchtape
•   SEMI-DETACHED is a duplex or two-family house
•   SEND DOWN means to expel from University although it may indicate only a temporary absence
•   SERVIETTE is a napkin
•   SHANDY is a drink made from beer and lemonade
•   SHEPHERD'S PIE is a dish made from minced beef and potatoes
•   SILENCER of a car is the muffler
•   SISTER in a hospital is the head nurse of a ward
•   SLAP-UP four-star, excellent-refers to food
•   SLATE is to express a harsh criticism
•   SLIPROAD onto a motorway is a ramp
•   SOLICITOR is an attorney
•   SPONGE BAG is a toilet kit
•   SPONGE FINGER is a long, soft, sweet cake or 'lady-finger'
•   SPROUTS is Brussels sprouts
•   SQUASH is a fruit drink
•   STALL in a market is a 'booth' but in a theater is an orchestra seat
•   STARTER is an appetizer
•   STONE referring to weight is 14 pounds
•   SUBWAY is a pedestrian underpass
•   SUMMERTIME is when daylight saving time is in effect
•   SUPER means 'terrific' i.e. splendid
•   SURGICAL SPIRIT is rubbing alcohol
•   SURGERY is a doctor's office
•   SUSPENDERS are garters
•   SWEETS are candy
•   SWISS ROLL is a jelly roll
•   TA informal thank you
•   TABLE the verb means to submit for discussion (the reverse of its American meaning)
•   TAILBACK is a line of traffic
•   TAKEAWAY is carryout
•   TALLBOY is a highboy
•   TAP is faucet
•   TARMAC is pavement
•   TATTY is shabby
•   TEAT is a nipple for baby's bottle
•   TERM is one of the three educational parts of the year - roughly like a semester
•   TERRACE HOUSES is a row of 3 or more usually 2 or 3 stories high
•   THEATRE in a hospital is the operating room
•   THIRD PARTY INSURANCE is liability insurance
•   TIGHTS are pantyhose
•   TIN as a food container is a can
•   TOAD-IN-A-HOLE is a dish of sausage 'bangers' in batter
•   TO PINCH is to steal
•   TORCH flashlight
•   TORY is a member of the Conservative party
•   TRAINERS are sneakers
•   TROUSERS are slacks
•   TUBE in the subway
•   TWEE is arty
•   UNDERDONE referring to meat is rare
•   VACUUM FLASK is a thermos bottle
•   VAN is a small truck
•   VAT is Value-Added Tax. Similar to sales tax in the states
•   VERGE (OF ROAD) is the shoulder
• VEST is an undershirt in Britain not the American meaning of a 'waistcoat'
• VILLAGE is a small town without a mayor and usually with under 3,000 people. In the UK can be a
  handful of houses with a church and a pub, or a larger settlement with shops and community
  center
• WASHING UP LIQUID is dishwashing liquid
• WASHING UP POWDER is laundry soap
• WC stands for "water closet", in other words, the toilet
• WELLINGTONS are rubber boots named after the Duke of Wellington
• WHISKY is Scotch
• WHISKEY is Irish
• WHITEHALL is a collective word referring to the government because so many government offices
  are located around the road
• WHITE SPIRIT is alcohol
• WINDSCREEN is a windshield
• WING of a car is the fender
• WIRELESS is the original term for radio and is often used by older people
• WOOLLY is a sweater
• WRITTEN OFF (CAR) is "totalled"
• ZEBRA CROSSING is a striped pedestrian crossing
• ZED is the letter 'z' (or "zee" as pronounced in American English)

Original 1996 reference by Chuck Leverich : chuck@leverich.dungeon.com

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Last Updated 23 August 2005

				
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