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15 English words that mean completely different things in the USA and Great Britain

Even if you are a native speaker of English, the way your language is used in different parts of the world may surprise you. The differences between UK and US English are a perfect example, and here are some everyday words that have completely different meanings in the two countries.



What variety of English do you speak? Do you agree with all the meanings meantioned above? Would you add any words to this list?

Tell us in the comments!

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#Society #language #literature

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
78 Comments
Andy Andrews
I'm English. When I first worked in Chicago I made the mistake of asking a female colleague if she could lend me a rubber. Eraser. UK Condom. USA Oscar Wilde once said that the British and Americans were "divided by a common language" So true !!
19
Oct 18, 2019 11:29AM
Rod Peel
In Bolivia there are two forms of English, ingles and gringles. I leave the reader to decide which is which. The quiz is fundamentally flawed. It is only common English people who would use the word 'bog' for a toilet. Its normal meaning is the same both sides of the Atlantic. There are other examples here like that that I can't be bothered to list here.
14
Oct 17, 2019 10:23PM
Lydia Coutts
Johnny Rock, in the UK the floor at street level is the ground floor. The floor above it is the first floor, as in the first floor up. Nothing “weird” about it.
13
Oct 21, 2019 5:08PM
Rosalind Exton
Some of these words have a dual meaning in the UK. Context is everything.
13
Oct 17, 2019 4:52PM
Dianne Bahr
A lot of the words used have double meanings outside the US: eg: Boot - is both footwear and the boot of a car Flapjack - have never called them that ..... always been a pancake! Pants - are trousers - underwear is undies or knickers
7
Oct 17, 2019 11:31PM
Bob Higgs
Who the heck wrote that junk. Wasted my time reading it.
6
Oct 17, 2019 4:25PM
bettye
Sharon , skip out on a debt, skip bail, and Skippy is a popular name for a dog. Not to mention peanut butter!
0
May 25, 2020 12:04AM
bettye
lmoores, I thought crisps were potato chips.
0
May 25, 2020 12:01AM
Joe Tur
Knock up British for wake up american for get someone pregnant
1
May 22, 2020 7:03PM
lmoores
Chips as referenced here are called crisps in the U.K.
0
May 22, 2020 1:37AM
Carolyn Kennedy
Bob Higgs, me too!
0
May 9, 2020 5:20PM
Michael Cook
I'm an Aussie, going on those fifteen words we use both. I guess we might just be better listeners. Instead of changing the word, we listen for its context. Because it's been a lifetime practice we do it automatically. It was only while going through the list that it became a conscious practice.
1
May 4, 2020 7:20PM
georgejsimonssr
Some of these American terms are way off base. Yeah American English is different then British English.
0
May 3, 2020 4:18PM
Patricia Green
A jumper in the U.S. is also a type of dress with straps instead of sleeves and worn over a shirt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumper_(dress)#/media/File:Not_your_typical_secretary_10.17.07.jpg
0
Apr 25, 2020 9:48PM
Teresa Green
apelhome, when we were kids a 'sloppy joe' was a T shirt
0
Apr 22, 2020 2:16PM
ninakamwene
I can understand both because Kenya was a British colony where I grew up.
0
Apr 16, 2020 12:35AM
Sharon
Skip is another good word. Several different definitions apply. In North America, a large outdoor metal trash container at an apartment building or a workplace would be called a skip in the U.K. But skip can also refer to a boat, to avoid something (skip a meal), to step from one foot to the other. There's probably more definitions.
0
Apr 13, 2020 1:02PM
Sharon
evelyn hayden, Precisely!
0
Apr 13, 2020 12:51PM
Sharon
Andy Andrews, oh my! The reaction must have been priceless.
0
Apr 13, 2020 12:49PM
Bernadette Kopacz
Okay, the best I heard from our British friends was "I;m so pissed" I thought the woman was mad at me. Instead they said it means "very drunk". At that time I was "pissed" too and couldn't stop laughing.
1
Apr 10, 2020 1:05PM
Dave Griffiths
In UK achip is what you get with your fish made from Real spuds( potatoes) fries are what you get from macdonalds with a burger bloody horrible things
1
Apr 10, 2020 3:03AM

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