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  • Writer's pictureLaurence

American English vs British English

British vs American Words: A Funny Comparison

The English language is a beautiful and complex thing.


It's also a bit of a mess. That's because there are two main dialects of English: British English and American English. And while they're mostly the same, there are a few key differences that can cause some confusion.


Here are a few examples of British vs American words that are sure to make you laugh:

  • British: "Bum Bag." American: "Fanny pack."

  • British: "Loo." American: "Restroom."

  • British: "Biscuit." American: "Cookie."

  • British: "Cheque." American: "Check."

  • British: "Lift." American: "Elevator."

  • British: "Plug Socket." American: "Power Outlet."

  • British: "Tap." American: "Faucet."

  • British: "Bonnet." American: "Hood."

  • British: "Boot." American: "Trunk."

  • British: "Queuing." American: "Standing in line."

  • British: "Going on a jolly." American: "Going on a trip."

  • British: "Taking the piss." American: "Making fun of someone."

  • British: "Getting on the blower." American: "Calling someone."

  • British: "Holiday." American: "Vacation."

  • British: "Carry-on." American: "Hand luggage."

  • British: "Jet lag." American: "Travel lag."

  • British: "Airport lounge." American: "Airline club."

  • British: "Toll road." American: "Turnpike."





"When you're out on the town with the Lads, having an absolutely top notch time until about two, when Charlie says he's hungry and wants to go to KFC. Now Charlie is a top lad, but Matt is just the Archbishop of Banterbury, and he suggests you go for a Cheeky Nandos. Obviously this is agreed by everyone, and you say "lets smash it"

These are just a few examples of the many British vs American words that can cause confusion. So next time you're talking to someone from the other side of the pond, be sure to keep these in mind. You might just save yourself a bit of embarrassment.


Here are some other funny differences between British and American English:

  • British: "Gutted." American: "Disappointed."

  • British: "Chuffed." American: "Pleased."

  • British: "Knackered." American: "Tired."

  • British: "Bloody." American: "Really."

  • British: "Sorted." American: "Taken care of."

  • British: "Wellies." American: "Rain boots."

  • British: "Bog roll." American: "Toilet paper."

  • British: "Fag." American: "Cigarette." (This word is considered offensive in the US.)

  • British: "Pavement." American: "Sidewalk."

  • British: "Road." American "Pavement."

  • British: "Cheeky." American: "Bold."

  • British: "Blimey." American: "Wow."

  • British: "Tosser." American: "Jerk."

  • British: "Bugger." American: "Dang."


These are just a few examples of the many ways that British and American English can be different. So next time you're watching a British TV show or reading a British book, be prepared for some surprises.


And if you ever find yourself in the UK, be sure to brush up on your British English

before you go. You don't want to end up asking for a "fanny pack" when you really mean a "bum bag."


The American accent is closer to what British people sounded like in the 18th century. This is because the American accent has changed less over time than the British accent.


When the first British settlers arrived in North America, they brought their English accents with them. However, over time, these accents began to change. This was due

to a number of factors, including the influence of other languages, such as Native American languages and African languages.


The British accent also changed over time. This was due to a number of factors,


including the influence of the Industrial Revolution, which led to the rise of a new social class with its own accent.


As a result of these changes, the American accent and the British accent have diverged.


The American accent is now rhotic, meaning that the "r" sound is pronounced after vowels. The British accent, on the other hand, is non-rhotic, meaning that the "r" sound is not pronounced after vowels.


In addition, the American accent has a flatter intonation, while the British accent has a more sing-song intonation. So, if you want to hear what British people sounded like in the 18th century, listen to an American accent.


I hope you enjoyed this funny blog post about British vs American words. If you have any other funny examples, please share them in the comments below.


Throughout this article, on the right hand side we have linked some great Amazon resources for learning more about American & British English which include the history and evolution of different English Languages.


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3 Comments


Unknown member
Jul 06, 2023

The episode on English, with Switch It Up was hilarious! You could also say there are two types of English. American English, and English..... 😂 And what do Americans have against the letter "U"? 😂

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Unknown member
Jul 11, 2023
Replying to

Gary Brownrigg again. Maybe I wasn't signed in when I commented.. 😂 🇨🇦

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