Jump to content

british words v. american words


Recommended Posts

as we are all aware, there are differences between the British and American dialects of the English language. Such as lorry and truck. I was wanting to start a thread so that I can hopefully learn about some of these differences. To start off, a chip in England is a french fry in the states, correct? Well, what do the British call a potato chip? is it a potato crisp? Just curious about this and some other language differences. Thank you to any and all who respond and are able to help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sidewalk=Pavement or footpath Freeway=Motorway Truck=Lorry Trailer=caravan Camper=Motorhome Automobile=Car Semi=Artic (articulated lorry) Fries=Chips Potato Chips= Crisps Eggplant=Aubergine Squash=Courgette Jello=Jelly Jelly=Jam Homicide=Murder or manslaughter

Graduate footwear designer able to advise and assist on modification and shoe making projects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

American "dial indicator" (machinist's measurement tool) = British "finger clock". Am. "gasoline" = Br. "petrol".

Have a happy time!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just the words it's culture too and the way that they're used. In the UK, a fag is a slang name for a cigarette and "to bum" means "to ask for". So if you hear an Englishman asking to bum a fag, he might mean something entirely different to what an American might!

Graduate footwear designer able to advise and assist on modification and shoe making projects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Eng: Keep your pecker up = US: {censored}

Eng: Beavering = US: {censored}

And a gesture:

Eng: 2 fingers raised with palm facing away = {censored}

US: 2 fingers raised with palm facing away = 2 items or number 2

Eng: No 2 = US: #2

Eng: Tart = US: Tramp

Eng: Tramp = US: Bum

Eng: Bum = US: Fanny

Eng: Fanny = US: {important place for tramp}

I'm fairly fluent English/American, what fools me is Canada where they sometimes adopt British usages, sometimes American.

England/Britain/UK = a bit complicated for residents, let alone foreigners. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uk

May I commend this as a partial explanation. The piano sound has gone a bit funny but that doesn't really matter.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

there's a few automotive ones: e.g. hood (US) = bonnet (UK) trunk (US) = boot (UK) wind shield (US) = windscreen (UK) gear lever / shift (US) = gear stick (UK) tail pipe (US) = exhaust (UK) and so on...

Always High-Heel Responsibly

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, don't the British refer to females as "birds"?

yep, as well as chicks, skirt, babes, totty, and many others.

Sexism is alive and kicking in the UK!

Always High-Heel Responsibly

Link to post
Share on other sites

my mate asked an american lady on the phone 'are you a lady who is at home during the day' when trying to book an appointment to visit during the day. she apparently took great exception to be called a lady. new on one me, is this a derogatory term over there ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think American spelling is sometimes better, nite instead of night or airplane instead of aeroplane. seems to make things easier, but I am useless at spelling anyway.

life is not a rehearsal

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

my mate asked an american lady on the phone 'are you a lady who is at home during the day' when trying to book an appointment to visit during the day.

she apparently took great exception to be called a lady.

new on one me, is this a derogatory term over there ?

Sounds like your mate got a raging feminist on the line, there are still a few around. Such a person might consider the term "Lady" to be derogatory.

Have a happy time!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My american auntie always spells night as nite, maybe she's wrong she is english at the end of the day.

life is not a rehearsal

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even in the US, the spelling of "nite" is considered to be a courseness.

And, in the UK, the spelling 'courseness' is considered to be a coarseness! :chuckle:

Link to post
Share on other sites

And, in the UK, the spelling 'courseness' is considered to be a coarseness! :chuckle:

Of coarse it is [sic]:w00t2:

There is even a Corse Parish Council whose spelling leaves something to be desired:

http://www.corse.org.uk/

(There are also villages in England called Ugley and Nasty but I don't think we can match "Truth or Consequences" in New Mexico)

I'm usually OK on US/UK translation but could somebody from the US explain the usage of "shut" over there. In the UK we can say "the shop is closed" or "the shop is shut" and they mean exactly the same thing and are perfectly good UK usage. But in the US if you ask what time a shop shuts it doesn't seem to be understood.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps because here a store, shop, etc., closes at the end of their business hours. Doors, windows, etc., are shut. (although "close" is also used to describe this action.) From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Main entry: close Inflected Form: closed; closing 1. to bar passage through: SHUT. 2. to suspend the operations (as of a school) 3. END: TERMINATE 4. to bring together the parts or edges of; also to fill up 5. GRAPPLE <close with the enemy> 6. to enter into an agreement: closable or closeable SHUT Main Entry: Shut Function: Verb Inflected Form: shut ; shutting 1. CLOSE 2. to forbid entrance into 3. to lock up 4. to fold together <shut a penknife> 5. to cease or suspend activity <shut down an assembly line> Isn't it peculiar? both words can be used to describe identical actions. Oh, well :chuckle:

Being mentally comfortable in your own mind is the key to wearing heels in public.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Except that they are used rather differently.

"The shop was shut/The shop was closed/b]"

"Close that door/shut that door"

Often, the word "shut" is used as an abrubt and final action. For example, if a shop was shut, it will not reopen or the person wanted to buy from it but was too late; if a shop is closed then the person doesn't really care that it is and it is just an observation. When you close a door it will be done carefully but to shut a door is usually quickly and with a slam.

Close also means near and can also be a cul-de-sac.

Graduate footwear designer able to advise and assist on modification and shoe making projects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although 'close' and 'shut' are used in many senses in the UK in an almost interchangeable manner, meaning e.g. to enclose (as in putting the lid on a box) or to bring to an end (as in shop trading), the verbs do differ in their overall concept. To 'close' is essentially to come together (as with curtains) or to come to an end (as with a performance), whereas to 'shut' has more a meaning of blocking a space or securing or confining something (as with a door and the like). I think that, rather as Dr Shoe comments, the use of 'close' in relation to doors and windows etc is something of a politeness; it has a gentler and less imperative flavour than the more direct and commanding 'shut'. I have always been puzzled by the use of the term 'winding up' in relation to the permanent closure of a business or other activity (and, in the legal sense, to the dissolution of a company). If we wind up a watch or clock, we are putting fresh energy into it so it will continue to run - but the opposite is surely true of closure of a business, where we are actually 'running it down'. Maybe it is not the clock analogy that we should consider but that of winding-up a ball of wool or a length of cloth, i.e. tidying them up before putting them away. Is 'winding up' used in the US in relation to a business or company in the same legal and/or commercial sense; I guess it must be?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using High Heel Place, you agree to our Terms of Use.