25 Words With Different Meanings For The U.K. And The U.S.

From coaches to torches, if you’ve ever crossed the pond/ocean the differences in English were probably one of the first things you noticed (apart from driving on opposite sides of the road!). These are 25 Words With Different Meanings For The U.K. And The U.S.

25

Biscuit

english words

In the US this is a buttery roll while in the UK this would be a cookie.

24

Chemist

english words

In the US a chemist is a scientists that works with chemicals while in the UK a chemist is the US equivalent of a pharmacy.

23

Boot

english words

In the US these are a type of shoe. In the UK this would refer to your car’s trunk.

22

Dummy

english words

In the US a dummy is somebody who doesn’t know anything. In the UK a dummy is a baby’s pacifier.

21

Coach

english words

In both dialects a coach is the leader of a sports team while in the UK a coach is also a bus.

20

Bog

english words

In both countries a bog refers to an area of wet muddy ground. In the UK a bog is also a toilet.

19

Pants

english words

In the US pants are the equivalent of what the British would call trousers. In the UK pants are the equivalent of what the Americans would call underwear.

18

Braces

english words

In both countries braces are something the Dentist puts on your teeth to straighten them. In the UK, however, braces are also what Americans would call suspenders.

17

Chips

english words

In the US chips are potato chips. In the UK chips are thick french fries (US: home fries).

16

Post

english words

In the US a post is something you stick in the ground. In the UK the post is the mail service (to mail something would be the same as to post it).

15

Fancy

english words

In the US this only holds the common meaning – an adjective that describes something as being elaborate. In the UK, however, this is also a verb that means you have a preference for something or someone (to fancy someone in the UK is the same as to like someone in the US).

14

Full stop

english words

In the US this would most likely be taken to describe traffic that has quit moving. In the UK this refers to the punctuation character that Americans would call a period.

13

Garden

english words

In the US this would refer to an area for growing plants or vegetables (UK: vegetable garden). In the UK this would refer to the plot of land around a house (US: yard). In the US you would typically find a garden within a yard while in the UK the yard itself is the garden.

12

Geezer

english words

In the US this is a derogatory term for an old man. In the UK this word refers to a gangster.

11

Hole-in-the-wall

english words

In the US this refers to a small, out of the way place such as a restaurant. In the UK this refers to an ATM.

10

Lemonade

english words

In the US this is a drink made of non-carbonated water, lemon juice, and sugar (UK: traditional lemonade). In the UK this is a clear carbonated drink similar to Sprite or 7 Up.

9

Let

english words

In the US this only holds the common meaning of to allow or give permission. In the UK this has the additional meaning of “to rent something” (rooms to let).

8

Pavement

english words

In the US this refers to the surface of a road. In the UK this refers to what Americans would call a “sidewalk”.

7

Restroom

english words

In the US this would be what the British call a toilet. In the UK this would refer to what the Americans call a breakroom or a staffroom (in a company).

6

Ring

english words

Apart from the common meaning of to sound a bell, in the US to “ring something up” means to total somebody’s purchases on a cash register. In the UK to “ring somebody up” means to call them.

5

Silverware

english words

In the US this refers to what the British would call cutlery. In the UK this refers to any bowl, dish, fork, spoon, etc. that is silver.

4

Flat

english words

Apart from the common meaning of “level” or “smooth”, in the US this refers to a tire that has been deflated. In the UK this refers to what Americans would call an apartment.

3

Queue

english words

In the US this would refer to the common definition – a list of items, typically data, that are stored with the intent of retrieving them in the order of insertion. In the UK this refers to what Americans would call a line (of people).

2

Torch

english words

Aside from the common definition of flaming stick, in the UK this refers to what Americans would call a flashlight.

1

Trolley

english words

Once again there is the common definition of “electric rail transport” but in the UK it can also refer to what Americans would call a shopping cart.

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