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astroganga
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24 Jan 2016, 1:10 am

To ring someone in the uk is to call them on the phone. I'm not sure whether all of the US is unfamiliar with that usage but my friend from Pittsburgh was and found it hilarious. Interestingly, in Denmark they use their word for 'ring' in the same context as we do. Another one is UK 'leave me alone' and US 'let me alone'. There are also situations where 'have and has' are interchangeable in UK English but not in US English. Of course a lot of Americanisms are originally from UK English, but have died out in the UK itself.



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24 Jan 2016, 3:11 am

astroganga wrote:
To ring someone in the uk is to call them on the phone. I'm not sure whether all of the US is unfamiliar with that usage but my friend from Pittsburgh was and found it hilarious. Interestingly, in Denmark they use their word for 'ring' in the same context as we do. Another one is UK 'leave me alone' and US 'let me alone'. There are also situations where 'have and has' are interchangeable in UK English but not in US English. Of course a lot of Americanisms are originally from UK English, but have died out in the UK itself.


I'm an American, and I've always said, "leave me alone."


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24 Jan 2016, 3:11 am

"Leave me alone" is used much more often then "let me alone" in my part of America.

The use of British English has become more common here in recent years . "spot on" and "I'm over the moon" are used here regularly nowadays. You never heard those expressions from Americans 10 years ago.


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10 Apr 2016, 2:44 pm

Well, I don't quite get the idea of 'taking the piss' out of rubbish but in another context if it is. And at the moment it is pissing it down which of course would be slang for raining cats and dogs, another phrase I've never quite got or who invented it. It's raining men out there I don't hear that much, us Brits have some very useful terms for almost everything in life.
As for the last one, it's not something I'm over the moon about, is usually a metaphor for not being happy about something, in less colloquial terms.



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10 Apr 2016, 2:53 pm

Yes, there are pubs in America. In fact, there's a pub not far from my house. Another general rule is that when spelling words that have "ou" in them (colour, favourite) us Americans tend to exclude the "u." Here are a few more:

English/American

Centre/Center
Crisps/Chips
Football/Soccer (not to be confused with another game played in the U.S. that is commonly called "football," while players try to run to one end of the field while carrying the ball, and opponents try to block or tackle rivals)



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11 Apr 2016, 11:00 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
astroganga wrote:
To ring someone in the uk is to call them on the phone. I'm not sure whether all of the US is unfamiliar with that usage but my friend from Pittsburgh was and found it hilarious. Interestingly, in Denmark they use their word for 'ring' in the same context as we do. Another one is UK 'leave me alone' and US 'let me alone'. There are also situations where 'have and has' are interchangeable in UK English but not in US English. Of course a lot of Americanisms are originally from UK English, but have died out in the UK itself.


I'm an American, and I've always said, "leave me alone."


Am an American and Ive never heard anyone say "let me alone". Its always "leave me alone". Though you do hear "let [something/someone] be".



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11 Apr 2016, 11:10 am

As Oscar Wilde said: 'The Americans and the British are divided by a common language'.


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12 Apr 2016, 10:23 am

Some of which are divided by Mr and Lady Muck.



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12 Apr 2016, 10:43 am

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.



I have never heard anyone in the U.S call a boot a trunk, or did you mean vice versa?

Basically an american would understand boot as a kind of footwear....by trunk they'd think you mean some sort of storage box, a tree trunk or an elephants trunk.


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12 Apr 2016, 10:46 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
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.


I live in Colorado and mostly grew up here and usually call them sodas, I guess people have on occasion found it unusual.


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12 Apr 2016, 10:46 am

Sweetleaf wrote:

I have never heard anyone in the U.S call a boot a trunk, or did you mean vice versa?

Basically an american would understand boot as a kind of footwear....by trunk they'd think you mean some sort of storage box, a tree trunk or an elephants trunk.


A boot is best referred to as the back of a car. In this case anyway.



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12 Apr 2016, 10:51 am

Robdemanc wrote:
Bog is very informal in the UK. You can only say it to people you know well if ever.

We usually say toilet to mean bathroom. Or the very posh English might say Lavatory.


Would makes more sense, especially in public...public bathrooms don't contain a bath or shower, some people say restroom, but not really sure using the toilet is the same as resting. Or more slang terms people might say they have to take a pee/piss, crap/sh*t but some people find that distasteful, me and my brother joke that you should leave it rather than take it when people say that.


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12 Apr 2016, 10:54 am

Empathy wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:

I have never heard anyone in the U.S call a boot a trunk, or did you mean vice versa?

Basically an american would understand boot as a kind of footwear....by trunk they'd think you mean some sort of storage box, a tree trunk or an elephants trunk.


A boot is best referred to as the back of a car. In this case anyway.


Oh so in british english boot can also refer to what in the U.S we'd refer to as a car trunk, in that case does boot still also refer to the footwear in england or is there another term for that?


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12 Apr 2016, 11:10 am

^^ If you are referring to the 'trunk' as something, I would guess its the boot of a car.
Wellington boots you wear in the rain, but most of us just say we are wearing wellies today because its raining.
I've got winter boots I've stashed away for storage now.

I've never referred to a trunk as a storage box, but I don't know if you'd say your garage is referred to as container?
I wouldn't say its the attic or anything. Outhouse, seems a possibility, because some rear extensions, have but a number of names, like out on the porch is front and out the garden or decking means back.



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12 Apr 2016, 12:52 pm

Maybe I missed it, by I'm surprised I haven't seen posted...
"Fanny": US = Backside, UK = Female genitals.
...I still can't hear/see US folks talk about a "fanny pack" without giggling; it always makes me stop and wonder what such a thing could possibly be! Definitely a word to be very careful with if you're a US citizen visiting the UK!

A few others that I've noticed over the years...

- The US usage; "To write [person]", would always be "To write to [person]" in the UK.

- In many UK areas the usual slang for "toilet" would be "loo" (presumably short for "lavatory").

- In the UK "Pop" is often any non-alcoholic cold drink (even if not fizzy), "soda" is generally used only for carbonated water without any flavouring.

- "Cellphone" is rarely used in the UK, they're nearly always called "Mobiles".

- The abusive use of the word "retard" seems to be far less common in the UK than in the US.

- The many regional UK terms for the drink tea. e.g. "cuppa", "brew", "mash". And in the north of the UK, "tea" is also used to mean the meal eaten in the early evening. There is a quite striking North/South UK split between "lunch"(south) / "dinner" (north) for the midday meal, and "dinner" (south) / "tea" (north) for the evening meal.

- In the UK, dates are always written as day/month/year, not month/day/year, as in the US.

- "Chips" (UK) = "Fries" (US). "Chips" (US) = "Crisps" (UK).

- In the UK, an increase in wages is nearly always a "pay rise" rather than a "raise".

- In the UK, the word "libertarian" has a much more general meaning of "someone who doesn't interfere with other people's freedoms", rather than the connotation of political allegiance that it seems to have in the US.


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12 Apr 2016, 4:32 pm

Pop is used in many areas of the US. Soda is used here in New York

fag = UK something you smoke
fag = US slur against homosexual men


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