List of American English vs British English words

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smudge
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19 Dec 2019, 7:08 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
One time, I got into an argument with my wife's son because I didn't understand what "zed" meant. He thought I should have known what it meant. It was actually the first time I found out that British and Canadian people use "zed" for the letter "z."

Another time, my wife talked about buying "mincemeat." I had no idea what she was talking about. Then, when we got in the store, she pointed out the "ground beef."

The only way I knew "mincemeat" was in a Hanna-Barbara cartoon, where a cat named Jinx used to say, "I'll make mincemeat out of that mouse!"

My wife's son is a UK citizen. My wife is a US citizen, but she comes from Trinidad and frequently uses British terms for things.


Mincemeat used to actually contain meat, which is likely where the name came from. It's sort of weird to us too.

Yep, we call "zee", "zed" here.



naturalplastic
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19 Dec 2019, 7:13 pm

smudge wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
When a Brit says "I was mad about the flat" he means "I was delighted with the apartment".

When an American says that he means "I was angry about my car getting a flat tire".

"Mad" originally meant "insane", but in the UK it drifted to mean "insanely happy", and in the US it drifted toward meaning "angry".

Brits also have a cute habit of using "terrible" to mean "extreme (even in a good way)". Something can be "terribly good".


No Brit I know uses "mad" to mean extremely happy.

They mean "terribly good" in the same way as "awfully good", still using the real meaning of "terrible" and "awful" but...gah, I don't know how to explain it. Not sarcasm exactly.

"Wicked" used to basically mean "really excellent/awesome". "Sick" is used by chavs to mean the same thing.


"Awefully good"???

LOL! Just as silly as "terribly good". Yeah ..I am aware that Brits use it in a special convoluted....negatively positive way.

They don't say "that's awefully good" or "that's terribly good" when talking about something that they think really IS good. They use it thus: "that will NOT be terribly good", or "that wont go over awefully well".

Yeah …"wicked", or "wicked cool", can be something cool in a kind of bad-ass way.

Have yet to hear "sick" used that way.

And I hope that that doesn't get exported over here. Its like our millennials took the word "gay" (which was already repurposed from meaning "happy" to meaning "homosexual") and further distorted it to mean "uncool", or something.

Come to think of it we Americans did have a TV sitcom here called "Mad About You" about a young married couple. So we sometimes use "mad" t mean "wildly emotional in a good way".



smudge
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19 Dec 2019, 7:17 pm

I think we use "awfully/terribly good" when referring to say, a bad joke that's bad enough it's really funny, for example. Like, "terribly amusing".



kraftiekortie
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19 Dec 2019, 8:54 pm

I've heard "awfully good" used in that sense in the US, too.



OutsideView
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20 Dec 2019, 5:22 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Are you SURE about "TV Series/season"????

Yes I'm sure, you're just confused about what I mean.

"I just watched the second season of my favourite TV series."
vs.
"I just watched the second *series* of my favourite TV series."

We never used the word "season" to describe a TV series (except apparently some Doctor Who fans) until fairly recently.


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20 Dec 2019, 12:01 pm

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OutsideView
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20 Dec 2019, 1:14 pm

stick shift (?) = gear stick
college = university (usually)
homely = unattractive (no negative meaning of homely here, just nice cozy home)
faucet = tap
oatmeal = porridge
cottoncandy = candyfloss


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MagicKnight
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20 Dec 2019, 2:13 pm

I'm not a native English speaker, so I expect to be wrong about some/many of these expressions.


UK - US
-------------

Ace - Awesome, great
Arse-to-face - Reversed
Baccy - Cigarette, tobacco
Belted - Beaten up
Bird - Chick (girl)
Black [Scotland] - "very much" ("black awful" = very, very bad)
Brilliant - Awesome
Chin wag - Chit chat
Copper - Cop
Dog's dinner - Mess
Fag - Cigarette
Fannybaws [Scotland] - Coward
Fried Eggs - Flat chested
Funny - Weird
Half-arsed - Upset
Hanky Panky - Make Out
Jammy - Lucky
Jesus Juice - Booze
Knackered - Exhausted
Mental - Crazy
Motor - Car
Nancy boy - spoiled
Necking [Manchester] - Looking for
Nesh - Stupid
Nicked - Busted, taken to jail
Nosh - Blowjob
On your bike! - Go away!
Posh - Rich
Properly [Manchester, Liverpool] - "A lot", "Very much" ("properly happy")
Pure [Scotland] - "very much" ("pure brilliant" = very, very good)
Quality - Great
Rat arsed / bladdered / pissed / twatted / erse'oled / melted - Drunk
Sacked - Fired
To Slug - To Poke (one's privates)
Uni - College
Willy - Dick



Last edited by MagicKnight on 20 Dec 2019, 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

OutsideView
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20 Dec 2019, 2:33 pm

MagicKnight wrote:
I'm not a native English speaker, so I expect to be wrong about some/many of these expressions.


UK - US
-------------


That'san interesting list, there's a few there I've never heard before! Here's some I think might not be quite right:
To Slug - To Poke (one's privates)
If you said you'd slugged someone I'd think you'd punched them.
Motor - Car
Don't think we really use motor.
Half-arsed - Upset
To do something half-arsed is to not put much effort in and do a bad job.
Nesh - Stupid
My dad always calls me nesh if I say I'm cold, as in not very tough.
Nancy boy - spoiled
Always thought that one was a guy who was feminine or gay.
Necking - Looking for [Manchester]
Necking to me would be making out / kissing. For looking I might say having a decko, a skeg or a ratch.

Properly [Manchester, Liverpool] - "A lot", "Very much" ("properly happy")
That one made me laugh, never noticed before that I often call things "proper good" :mrgreen:


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MagicKnight
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20 Dec 2019, 2:52 pm

OutsideView wrote:
To Slug - To Poke (one's privates)
If you said you'd slugged someone I'd think you'd punched them.


Hi. I think this one depends on the region. I'm certain I've heard that expression with that exact connotation. The girl asked the guy to "stop slugging her". They were kissing, and something else was going on down there.

OutsideView wrote:
Motor - Car
Don't think we really use motor.


That's probably Scotland-only too. For one, a friend from Scotland told me some time ago: "let's hop on my motor and get to see stuff".

OutsideView wrote:
Half-arsed - Upset
To do something half-arsed is to not put much effort in and do a bad job.


You're right. Half-arsed = Half Baked. I am probably wrong about this one.

OutsideView wrote:
Nesh - Stupid
My dad always calls me nesh if I say I'm cold, as in not very tough.


I'll check this one.

OutsideView wrote:
Nancy boy - spoiled
Always thought that one was a guy who was feminine or gay.


Oh. I'm probably wrong about this one too. Sorry!

OutsideView wrote:
Necking - Looking for [Manchester]
Necking to me would be making out / kissing. For looking I might say having a decko, a skeg or a ratch.


I heard once from a Mancunian friend: "I was necking mushrooms" = Looking for mushrooms.

OutsideView wrote:
Properly [Manchester, Liverpool] - "A lot", "Very much" ("properly happy")
That one made me laugh, never noticed before that I often call things "proper good" :mrgreen:

[/quote]

Yes, I reckon that goes unnoticed to many.

Thanks for all the pointers.

Cheers! :D



OutsideView
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20 Dec 2019, 5:40 pm

MagicKnight wrote:
I heard once from a Mancunian friend: "I was necking mushrooms" = Looking for mushrooms.

Didn't occur to me until I read that but to neck something can also mean to drink it fast "She necked that pint of beer".
You're probably more right about the Scottish ones than me, I have a few Scottish mates but don't get to talk to them that often.


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20 Dec 2019, 7:47 pm

US "Fanny pack" = UK "Bum Bag"


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21 Dec 2019, 5:53 pm

Leish (for dogs) - Lead


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22 Dec 2019, 8:33 pm

In the UK (and Australia) "pissed" means "drunk".

In the US "pissed" (short for "pissed off")means "angry".

"Railroad" is more American, and "railway" is more British.



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26 Dec 2019, 6:16 pm

Arugula = Rocket lettuce
Plastic wrap = Cling film
Flashlight = Torch
Maize = Corn
Grilled cheese = Toasted cheese sandwich
Counterclockwise = Anticlockwise

Americans remove the "ly" from a word, e.g. "We do things different" vs (English) "We do things differently".



kraftiekortie
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26 Dec 2019, 6:38 pm

Supposedly, it's the Brits who call corn "maize." I heard they now call it "corn," like we do.

I do know that "corn" meant "all grains" back in the 19th century in England----think "Corn Laws."