Selected Vocabulary Differences
Look through the vocabulary, which is differently used in the American and British variants of the English language.
Selected Vocabulary Differences

vocabularyThe usage of words for the same context may differ a lot when comparing British English to American English. The inconsistencies can be found in all spheres of life and industries. Here are some of the most commonly used words that have AmE equivalents dissimilar to the BrE notions.

Clothes

• Braces (BrE) – suspenders (AmE);
• dressing gown (BrE) – robe / bath robe (AmE);
• jumper / pullover / sweater (BrE) – sweater (AmE);
• mac (macintosh) (BrE) – raincoat (AmE);
• nappy (BrE) – diaper (AmE);
• pinafore dress (BrE) – jumper (AmE);
• plimsolls (BrE) – gym shoes (AmE);
• polo neck (BrE) – turtle neck (AmE);
• suspenders (BrE) – holds up stockings (AmE);
• swimming costume (BrE) – bathing suit (AmE);
• trainers (BrE) – sneakers (AmE);
• trousers (BrE) – pants (AmE);
• vest (BrE) – undershirt (AmE);
• waistcoat (BrE) – vest (AmE);
• wellington boots / wellies (BrE) – galoshes (AmE).

At School

• Drawing pins (BrE) – pushpins / thumbtacks (AmE);
• form (BrE) – grade (AmE);
• holiday (BrE) – vacation (AmE);
• marking scheme (BrE) – grading scheme (AmE);
• maths (BrE) – math (AmE);
• open day / open evening (BrE) – open house (AmE);
• play time / break time (BrE) – recess (AmE);
• plimsolls (BrE) – gym shoes (AmE);
• rubber (BrE) – eraser (AmE);
• school dinner (BrE) – hot lunch (AmE);
• staff room (BrE) – teachers lounge (AmE);
• state school (BrE) – public school (AmE);
• supply teacher (BrE) – substitute teacher (AmE).

On the Road

• Articulated lorry (BrE) – tractor trailer / trailer truck;
• bottom of the street (BrE) – end of the street (AmE);
• car journey / drive (BrE) – road trip (AmE);
• car park (BrE) – parking lot (AmE);
• charge sheet (BrE) – police record (AmE);
• diversion (BrE) – detour (AmE);
• fire engine (BrE) – fire truck (AmE);
• lollipop man / lady (BrE) – crossing guard (AmE);
• lorry (BrE) – truck (AmE);
• motorway (BrE) – freeway (AmE);
• pavement (BrE) – sidewalk (AmE);
• petrol (BrE) – gas / gasoline (AmE);
• petrol station (BrE) – gas station (AmE);
• phone box (BrE) – telephone booth (AmE);
• skip (BrE) – dumpster (AmE);
• underground (BrE) – subway (AmE);
• zebra crossing / pedestrian crossing (BrE) – cross walk (AmE).

vocabularyBuildings and Shops

• Bungalow (BrE) – house (one story);
• chemist (BrE) – drug store / druggist (AmE);
• flat (one storey) apartment (BrE) – apartment (AmE);
• off-license (BrE) – liquor store (AmE);
• semi-detached house (BrE) – duplex (AmE);
• terrace (row of houses joined) (BrE) – town house (AmE);
• western-style bar (BrE) – saloon (AmE).



Selected Vocabulary Differences >>