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Robdemanc
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28 Jan 2014, 1:06 pm

I am English and would like Americans and English people to help me out. Can you look at the list of words below that I know to be different in each country but meaning the same thing. And also can you tell me if you knew both words meant the same thing. Also if you know any others? Thanks

English/American

Boot/Trunk
Caravan/Trailer
Lift/Elevator
Motorway/Freeway
Pavement/Sidewalk
Biscuit/Cookie

Also do you know if Americans know what a pub is? Are there pubs in America?



Janissy
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28 Jan 2014, 2:08 pm

English/American

torch/flashlight
pub/bar (since you asked)
motorway/highway (it is not a freeway when there is a tollbooth, then it is a highway)
fag/cigarette
poof/fag (I am not condoning the word "fag" to mean "gay man". I just think travellers to the U.S. who are more familiar with its' slang as cigarette should be aware of its' slang in the U.S. which is radically different)
roundabout/rotary

In the U.S., a bar will call itself a pub if the intent is to mimic UK pubs in decoration and beverage selection. If hard cider is served in the U.S., you can bet you are in a "pub" and it will also have dark wood and brass in the interior design.



staremaster
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28 Jan 2014, 2:08 pm

The word "pub" is recognized in America, and many places advertise themselves as pubs, but they are still more likely to be referred to as "bars", or "bar and grill". If they have live music, people might call them "clubs", even if it is really more of a restaurant.



staremaster
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28 Jan 2014, 2:22 pm

Also, the word "pissed"
UK usage: drunk
US usage: angry, annoyed



BirdInFlight
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28 Jan 2014, 3:50 pm

Car park/parking lot
Skirting board/baseboard
Spanner/monkey wrench
Driving license/drivers license
Bonnet (car)/hood
Manual transmission car/stickshift
Takeaway/takeout
Rubbish/trash or garbage
Rubbish bin/ trashcan
Postcode/zipcode
Ladybird/ladybug
Cutlery/flatware

Tons more.

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Kraichgauer
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29 Jan 2014, 6:34 am

I think this is how a common language splits into two or more different languages. It begins with differing words for the same thing, and grows from there.


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Robdemanc
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29 Jan 2014, 1:15 pm

I have written a story set in England and I've used English words but I wondered if Americans read it whether they would know what I am talking about when I use boot instead of trunk etc.



ScrewyWabbit
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29 Jan 2014, 3:55 pm

Another one is rent (US) vs. hire (UK) - In the US if you want to get a car while on vacation (or holiday as they say in the UK - there's another one!) and drive it around yourself, you rent it. You hire a person to do something for you. But in the UK for the same thing you "hire" a car.



Robdemanc
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29 Jan 2014, 4:13 pm

So in the US you rent a car but do not hire a car?



Janissy
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29 Jan 2014, 4:20 pm

Robdemanc wrote:
I have written a story set in England and I've used English words but I wondered if Americans read it whether they would know what I am talking about when I use boot instead of trunk etc.


Americans will figure it out by context. Fiction is how I learned many of these differences.



BirdInFlight
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30 Jan 2014, 5:34 am

Robdemanc wrote:
So in the US you rent a car but do not hire a car?

Yes. Also, in the US you hear of "apartment to rent" while in the UK it's more often "flat to let" from a "letting agent".

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Kraichgauer
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31 Jan 2014, 12:39 am

There are of course some different words for the same thing in different regions of the United States.
If you want to buy a Coke or Pepsi in my part of the country, the west, you would want to buy a pop. If you want to purchase a Coke or Pepsi back east, you want a soda. So far, we all know what we're referring to.


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beneficii
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31 Jan 2014, 2:03 am

Robdemanc wrote:
I am English and would like Americans and English people to help me out. Can you look at the list of words below that I know to be different in each country but meaning the same thing. And also can you tell me if you knew both words meant the same thing. Also if you know any others? Thanks

English/American

Boot/Trunk
Caravan/Trailer
Lift/Elevator
Motorway/Freeway
Pavement/Sidewalk
Biscuit/Cookie

Also do you know if Americans know what a pub is? Are there pubs in America?


Actually, both "freeway" and "tollway" are American equivalents to "motorway." Basically, a freeway is a motorway you can use for free, so long as you have a motor vehicle, whereas a tollway you have to pay to use.


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Robdemanc
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31 Jan 2014, 12:49 pm

In Britain Soda is carbonated water. Pop is a soft drink like pepsi or coke



Janissy
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31 Jan 2014, 3:00 pm

whinge/whine
in hospital/in the hospital
holiday/vacation
lolly/sucker or lollipop
bog/bathroom



Robdemanc
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31 Jan 2014, 4:20 pm

Janissy wrote:
whinge/whine
in hospital/in the hospital
holiday/vacation
lolly/sucker or lollipop
bog/bathroom


Thanks. But LOL bog is informal in English, very informal. We say bathroom too.