Differences Between British English and American Words

Quick note from Matt: Hi, all! Once again our resident English expert Büşra Bayram has been hard at work to create and share this quick comparison list of British versus American English words. Probably 90 – 95% of all English words are the same between the two versions of the language, however, a few specific words do stand out. And as far as expressions go, well–that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax! Americans use very different expressions than our British cousins, and we’ll soon do a post focusing on those. 

But for now, enjoy the below list of British English and American English side-by-side comparisons. And remember to Share if you Care! – Mc

us & UK

BRITISH ENGLISH

AMERICAN ENGLISH

aubergine eggplant
autumn fall (but we sometimes say Autumn, too)
biscuit cookie (we have biscuits, but they are NOT cookies!)buttermilk-biscuit-1.jpg
bonnet hood
boot trunk (as in a car, not footwear)

2013-volkswagen-golf-4-door-hb-auto-pzev-trunk_100418247_l

braces suspenders (in American English, “braces” are for your teeth!)
chips French fries
colour color
crisps potato chips
cot crib
film movie (or film, flick, show…)
flat apartment
flyover overpass

overpass02-big.jpg

football soccer
footway sidewalk
hob stovetop

gas_stove_top_repair.jpg

holdall carryall
holiday vacation 
jumper sweater
kit uniform
lift elevator
lorry truck
mobile phone cell phone
nappy diaper

diape.jpg

pavement sidewalk
petrol gas
post mail
pushchair stroller

OB_StrollerG2_SideRFR_Ruby_Full_1423.jpg

queue line
rubber eraser (in American English, a “rubber” is a slang term for condom, so be careful on this one!)
rubbish garbage (trash)
solicitor lawyer (or attorney)
sweets candy
telly television (TV, or tube)
timetable schedule
trainers sneakers (or tennis shoes)
tyre tire
underground subway
waistcoat vest
year grade (as in, “what grade are you in at school?”)

We hope this list of British English and American English words is useful to you!

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Busra Bayram

Busra Bayram is the co-founder of and social media model for Mad English Lab.