The Collier English Dictionary for British-American Translation

I have a few American friends and it’s fair to say that, on more than one occasion, things I’ve said have got completely lost in translation. My English accent has, of course, been admired by our transatlantic allies, but my dialect has been both laughed at and met with puzzled stares. Any Brit that has lived abroad or spent any extended period of time outside of the UK will probably have experienced this at some time or another, so this one goes out to you! Share it with your American friends and almost never explain yourself again.

British – American

Aubergine – Eggplant

Autumn – Fall

Biscuit – Cookier

Blind – Shade

Bonnet (car) – Hood

Boot (car) – Trunk

Candy floss – Cotton candy

Car park – Parking lot

Chips – French fries

Cot – Crib

Courgette – Zucchini

Crisps – Chips

Doctor’s surgery – Doctor’s office

Dummy – Pacifier

Dungarees – Overalls

Estate agent – Real estate agent

First floor – Second floor

Flannel – Wash cloth

Flat – Apartment

Football (like everywhere else in the world) – Soccer

Footpath (also. Pavement) – Sidewalk

Fresher (university) – Freshman

Full-stop – Period

Garden – Yard

Ground floor – First floor

Handbag (also. Bag) – Purse

Headteacher (also. Headmaster/Headmistress) – Principal

Holiday – Vacation

Ice lolly – Popsicle

Jumper – Sweater

Label (clothes) – Tag

Lift – Elevator

Loo – Toilet

Lorry – Truck

Mobile phone – Cell phone

Motorway – Freeway

Nappy – Diaper

Number plate – Licence plate

Off-licence – 7/11

Pants – Underwear (boxers, knickers, panties)

Petrol station – Gas station

Plaster – Band Aid

Post (also. Postman) – Mail (also. Mailman)

Post code – Zip code

Purse – Wallet (coin purse, etc.)

Queue – Line

Reception (hotels, etc.) – Front desk

Sellotape (brand name) – Scotch Tape

Skipping rope – Jump rope

Spanner – Wrench

State school – Public school

Straighteners – Flat iron/hair straightener

Tights – Pantyhose

Timetable – Schedule

Tin (food) – Can

Torch – Flashlight

Trainers – Sneakers

Trolley – Cart

Trousers – Pants

Wardrobe – Closet

Windscreen – Windshield

Zebra crossing – Crosswalk


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