by Brian C.

A Lexicon of "American English" and "British English"

Now you too can speak like a Yank or a Limey!

Yeah: Rule Britannia and all that! Now, if SOME of you take this all too seriously you will be disappointed! No apologies for the funny regionalisms etc. OK? Don't get upset if this isn't PRO quality. I just did it for fun mostly! Life is too short to worry!


E-mail me if you insist!


I did this for FUN!!!
Critics need not apply!
Besides, I am typing and YOU are reading,
so if you don't like it, too bad!

Note - words that need defining in the other dialect are sometimes indicated by an asterisk or quotation marks!


Animals Appliances Babies Body Parts
Buildings Business Clothing College
Computers Eating out Electronics Entertainment
Expressions Food Fire Fighting Games
Gardening Hobbies Health Holidays
Hotel Household Items Housing Illness
Insults Mail Malapropisms Military Miscellaneous
Money Music Office People
Personal Belongings Personal Grooming Plants Plumbing
Politics Pronunciation Guide Public Places Radio & TV
Religion School Shopping Sport / Sports
Telephone Time & Date Trains Transportation
Verbs Weather Work

Pronunciation Guide

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FishesFish (pl.)
House Fly (Large)Blow Fly
Shedding (fur)Moulting
Small crowJack-daw
Spiney fishStickleback
Water surface insectWaterboatman


vacuum cleanerHoover
TVTelly or TV
Frigidaire, ice box, fridgeRefrigerator, fridge


Baby, infantNipper, Little 'un (slangs)
Baby carriage or Baby buggyPerambulator or "Pram"
FormulaBottle of baby milk
Pacifier, foolerDummy
StrollerPush chair
Body parts:
Belly, stomachTummy (occasionally belly/stomach)
Bod *Body, as in gorgeous
Booty *Bottom, buttocks
Butt, tush, fannyBum
EarEar, lug-hole, Lug (slangs)
Fanny *Bottom, buttocks
Fist'Bunch of Fives'
GamsLegs, usu. a woman's
HandMitt (slang)
HeadBonce (slang), Nut.
Hooters *Breasts
Jaw or chinBracket (slang)
Lapknee or lap
Mouthmouth, "gob, trap, cake-hole" (slangs)
Pinkylittle finger
Testicles, nuts, rocksGoolies, knackers, pillochs, bollocks
VaginaFanny *
(Okay, enough of that! I could go on, but...)


Backyard, YardGarden (small)
Building siteBuilding plot
PlatteMap (of land)
Precinct stationConstabulary
Realty, propertyProperty
Realtor, real estate agentEstate agent
Snack shopTuck shop
StoopA small porch
Swath (of land)Swathe
Platte, Undeveloped piece of landPlot


A type of materialFairisle
ApronPinny or Pinnafore *
Boxer ShortsShorts worn under trousers
JackbootsBovver boots, hobnail boots
Clothes hangerCoat hanger
Clothes pinPeg
Cuffs (pants)Turn-ups
Garter beltSuspender belt
Long Johns, Long-handlesCombinations
Pinnafore *A style of woman's dress
RobeDressing gown
Rain hatSou'wester
Slacks, casual pantsTrews
Stockings, HoseNylons, stockings
Straight pinPin
SuitSuite (furniture)
No equivalentDonkey jacket
Sou'westerBad storm from the southwest
SweaterJumper,jersey, sweater, woolly
Tee shirtVest
Tennis shoesPlimsolls
Underpants or pantiesKnickers, Pants, drawers, skivvies
Walk shortsShorts
Well-dressedSmart (or dressed-up)
YarnWool (or yarn)


Check markTick
College StudentStudent
Elementary School/Grade SchoolJunior School
Freshman1st year undergraduate
Grade (as in 1st)Class (e.g. Class 10) (used to be "form")
Grade (points)Score
High SchoolSenior School
Junior3rd year undergraduate
Junior High SchoolMiddle School
Majoring inReading (at Univ.)
Public schoolState school
PreschoolPrivate nursery school
Private school goferFag
Pythagorean TheoremPythagoras's Theorem
Right TriangleRight Angle Triangle
Senior4th year undergraduate
Sophomore2nd year undergraduate
Undergraduate schoolCollege/University
Write offsLines

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Eating out:

Ice cream coneIce cream cornet
To goTake out, take away


Add up, totalTotal up, tott up
Aks (ethnic Afro-american)Ask
Everthang, The whole ball of wax, whole nine yards, whole megillah.All of it, everything
Alls (not universally used)All
Angry or a little irritatedCross
Annoying fellow, bad characterSod (as in sodomy, expletive)
Bad, problematicDodgey
Bad ass (verb OR adj.)A threatening, violent man
Be encouraged!Buck up *
Beaten (in a race)Pipped at the post
BeepPip or stroke
Belly upFailure, shut down (a business etc.)
"Best/Bests" (verb)Beats the others
Blob, n.Wodge, n.
Blows (It blows)It's no good
Bone up *Study
BonerSilly idea, blunder, error
Brickbat *A complaint
Brook (verb)Tolerate
BumpRemove someone's plane reservation
Bumper musicIntroductory music on a radio talk show
BunchLarge quantity
Butt of The Joke *Brunt of the Joke
Came to visit, Stopped ByPopped round, popped over, in
Carry to the storeTake to the shops
Catty-corner *Diagonally across
Chase off or deflectSee off (e.g. dog)
Chatting, talkingNattering, gassing
Cheat in business, swindleDiddle
Check (mark)Tick
Compulsive house cleaningHouseproud (adj)
Chr-st! (Euphemism) Wow!Crikey! *
Coat checkCloakroom
Cold cockHit someone hard
Conk outCronk out
Cool your jets!Calm down!
Copasthetic *All OK
Coverage (insurance)Cover
CrankyIn a bad mood
Crashed & diedBought it *
Crazy, bananasRound the loop, loopy
Cut to the chaseGet to the point
Dandy (adj.)Clever, good
Dandy (n. Fancy dresser, show-off)Spiv *
Dang!Blimey! Bollocks!
Dang (Adj.)Very, or very bad
Dang nearAlmost
Darn wellBloomin' well, bleedin' well (coarse)
DurnVery, or very bad
Do me a favor!Do us a favour! (more cockney)
Doggone (adj.)Darned, Bloomin'
Duff (sl.)Buttocks
Done *Finished
Eacha throw (example, "They only cost 5 pounds a throw!")
Easy, something easyA doddle *
EatTuck in *
End of your ropeEnd of your tether
Enjoy the heck out ofEnjoy greatly
Exclamation or surpriseBlimey! (From "Blind me!")
Exclamation or surprise, Dang!Stone the crows!
Excuse meSorry
Fast (going very fast)Like the clappers *
Favors (verb)Looks like (people)
Fed Up With ___Fed Up Of ___
Feeling your oatsgloating in success (see sowing wild oats)
Figure out'Suss' (figure out)
Fish or cut baitGet on with it
Fix *Prepare
Fixing to *Preparing to, about to
Flattering (phoney)Smarmy
Fraidy CatScaredy Cat
Freight elevatorGoods lift
From the get go *From the beginning/start
Fubar ("foobar") *F*cked Up Beyond All Recognition
Funnest *The most fun, most enjoyable
FurnishSupply, provide, fit
GawkTo stare stupidly
Get a holt ofCop hold of
Get going!On your bicycle! *
Get lost!Get knotted! Get stuffed!
Get more exerciseTake more exercise
G.I.G.O. *Garbage in, Garbage out (computers)
Give it a tryHave a go, Give it a go
Go away!Bugger off! *
Go away!Piss off! *
Go away!Push off *
Go crazygo potty (or crazy)
Go pottygo to the loo
Go to bat forStick up for
Go very fast!'Go like the clappers!' or like Billy-o
Going very fast!'HARING' - He went haring off down the road.
Good for you!Bully for you!
Goodbye, byeCheerio, tata
Goof, goof up'Drop a clanger'
Gorgeous, beautiful, cuteDishy, dolly (adj.)
GottenGot, obtained, become or acquired
Goes a waysGoes a fair amount
GoodNot half bad *
Great! Neat, Neato!Super! (Some say "SYOO-PER" in snob english)
Gross *Disgusting
Grumble, complain, whineGrizzle *
GuessSuppose, think
Half staff (flag)Half mast
Hanging out, Lolly GaggingLolling around, hanging around
Harm (bodily)Mischief
Harm yourselfDo yourself a mischief or a damage
Have a gander at it!Take a look at it!
Heck with you, I'm OK!I'm alright, JACK! *
Heck with you!I'm alright, Jack, Blow you!
He'p, hope (both South)Help
Here you goHere you are
Hey! (salutation)What ho! Watch yer!
Hey! (getting attention)Oy! Hoy!
Hey! or Hi!Hello!
Hicky *Mark on skin from excessive kiss
Hit(verb)Dotted *
Hit himDotted 'im one *
Hold, grabCop hold of
Hooey (slang)Nonsense
Horse!(slang)A man (joking or friendly term)
Horsing aroundMucking about
Horseplay, horsing aroundRough, boisterous fun
Hush!Shush! (Pronounced like "Bush")
I agree!"here here!"
I don't haveI haven't got
I gotta tell ya!I say, I say, I say! (or just 'I say!')
I haveI've got or I've
IdiotClot, Clod, loony, bint
Illicit sexSowing wild oats
I'm telling you!Believe you me!
In point of factIn fact
InsaneBonkers, Mad
Intimidate and threatenBother, "A bit of bovver"
Irregardless (error)Regardless
Jury rig or klugeJerry rig
Keep your chin up!Keep your pecker up!
KudosGood show, well done!
Let us know, speak upSing out
Liar!Lying Hound! Lying Toad!
Listen up!Listen here!
Loading dockGoods entrance
Look out for somethingKeep your eyes skinned, peeled
"Low-life" (person)"Scruff" or "Urchin"
Might could (South)Could possibly be able to
Most anyAlmost any
Most everyAlmost every
MostlyIn the main
Made a Big Mistake* Dropped a Clanger *
Make a facePull a face
Make likeAct like, pretend to be
Making funTaking the Mick(ey) (slang)
Make itSucceed, arrive, have sex
Make the gradeSucceed
Make outSucceed
Making out, affectionSnogging
Mash (South)Press (as in button)
Me Either / NeitherI didn't either
Mean or contemptible fellowBlighter *
Joining in, and helping outMucking in
Messing aroundMucking about
A Messy personMucking pup
Mums (slang / flowers)Chrysants (abbr.)
Mum's the wordKeep this quiet
"Nanny nanny boo boo!"Nah nah nah-nah nah -OR- "Cry baby bunting!" *
NearlyNigh-on (e.g. "Nigh-on impossible")
Neat, Neat-o!Fabulous
Negative, negatory *No
No goodA fat lot of good *
"No way!""I should Coco!" *, "Not on your nelly!" *
No problemRight oh, then!
Nub * (noun)Protuberance, lump, stub
OdorPong (slang) *
Oh my God!Oh my Godfather's! *
OKRight then *
On accidentBy accident
On purposeOn purpose
On timeBang on schedule *
Out frontOut in the front
Panties in a wadKnickers in a twist
Partial tradePart exchange
Pass upGo past
PaydirtA profitable discovery or event
PennyA Cent
Penny-anny or penny antePetty, insignificant
PerceiveMake out
PeriodFull stop
Pick up (the house)Tidy up
Piss offAnnoy
Point upPoint out
PollyannaOptimistic (person)
Problematic, badDodgy *
ProsecutedSummonsed, had up
Questionable or illicit activity"Shilly-shally"
Rain check *When shopping - a chit for discount later if they run out of it.
Real ("A real ___")Right ("A right ___") *
Resolute, SpiritedPlucky
Right good (South)Excellent (adj.) or Well (Adv.)
Run for itBunk, Scarper (slang) or scarper off
Sack, tote sack, toteBag
Smarts (verb)Hurts
Smarts (slang noun)Intelligence
Snafu *(A crude acronym)Error
Snowed underExtremely busy, overwhelmed
SorryInadequate, pathetic, inferior
SpiffyPOSH (fr. Port out Starboard Home)
Stay at homeStop at home (e.g. from work)
Stole my thuunderSaid what I was going to before I could
Stop SmokingPack it up *
Stopped upBunged up
Stories or "white lies"Fibs
Stuck with an uncomfortable situationLumbered
SarcasticSarkey *
SassyCheeky or saucy
Scody, ScuzzyScruffy, untidy
Segue' ("Seg-way") *Shift, change, maneuver, transition
Shut your pie hole!*Shut your trap/gob/cake hole!
Slash or slantStroke (i.e. /)
Sleep in (late)Lie in
Snob, or rich guyToff (Old London expression)
Stand in lineQueue or "queue up"
StealNick, knock off
Step upBelly up (e.g. - to the bar)
StompStamp (foot)
TackyTatty, scruffy, cheap, low class
Take a lookTake a decko
Take a turnHave a go (as in a game)
Talk with, flirt with, persuasivelyChat up
Talkative fellowGas bag
A Tattle-tale, n.Grass , n.
To Tattle, v.To grass on, v.
The skinnyThe inside story, scoop
ThroughUp to and including
Tell me about it!I know all about it!
Ten cents a pieceTen pence a throw
Thanks, thank youTa! (slang), much-obliged!
Thank youThanking you *
That's his lossThat's his funeral
That's strange!Oooow er!
The hospitalHospital
There you goThere you are
Throw out or Derail* Scuttle
TradeExchange or "Part Exchange"
Trickery, deceptionJiggery-pokery
Two Bit, El CheapoOf poor quality
Two weeksfortnight
Uh-ohoh dear
UntidyScruff (adj.)
Untidy personScruff (n.)
"Up the Ante"Increase your bet or risk
UrinateSpend a penny, take a slash, take a wazz
VeryEver so, bloomin'
VeryNot half *
Very pleasedChuffed *
Very weakWeak as water
Visit withTalk to, chat
Wait on lineQueue, or Queue Up
Wait upWait
Wake UP!Wakey wakey!
WastedFrittered away
Way to go!Well done! Keep it up!
Well done, nice job, congratulations"Bully for you!" (sometimes sarcastic)
What a bod, she's stackedShe's gorgeous!
What time to you have?What time do you make it?
Winningest (player, coach)Most successful
Wonderful, lovelyGlorious
Worked out'SORTED!'
WOW!Blimey, or 'Oh My Giddy Aunt!'
Wow!Cor, Blimey!
Wow!Gor, Blimey!
You got suckered!More fool you!
Your slip is showing!"Charlie's dead!"
You're finished! (as in a card game)On your bicycle!, bicycles! *
You've got it madeBob's your uncle *
ZipZero, nothing
Wake me upKnock me up
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Auminum                               Aluminium
Aluminum foil, tin foil               Silver paper, tinfoil.
Baking pan                            Baking tin
Baking soda                           Bicarbonate of soda, "Bicarb"
Beets or red beets                    Beetroot
Bell Pepper                           Green pepper
Black-currant cordial                 Ribena
Broil                                 Grill or roast (e.g. chicken)
Cabbage & potatoes fried              Bubble & Squeak
Can                                   Tin, Tin can
Candy apple                           Toffee apple
Catsup                                Ketchup or tomato sauce
Cheerios                              Circular cereal (no equivalent!)
Cigarettes                            Fags
Candy                                 Sweets
Coaster                               Beer mat
Cobbler                               Crumble
Cookies                               Biscuits
Cornstarch                            Cornflour
Dessert                               Sweet, pudding or afters
Eat (v.)                              "Tuck into"
Eat (v.)                              "Get Stuck into"
Eggplant                              Aubergine
Food                                  "Tuck"
Fruit juice (diluted)                 Squash
Golden Raisins                        Sultanas
Goobers                               Peanuts
Ground meat                           Minced meat
Heaping (spoon)                       Heaped
Hot tea                               Char, tea
Ice Cream CONE                        Ice cream CORNET
Iced tea                              Cold tea with no milk.
Jawbreaker                            Gobstopper
Jello                                 Jelly
Jello pudding (similar)               Blanc-mange ("Bl'monj")
Jelly                                 Jam
Lite beer                             Diluted beer
Lunch                                 Dinner or lunch
Maraschino Cherries                   Glace' cherries
Marmite                               A savory spread (no equivalent)
Mashed Potatoes                       Mash
No equivalent                         Sherbet (powder sweets)
No equivalent (sparkling drink)       Tizer
No equivalent (blackcurrant drink)    Ribena
Orange Drink                          Orange Squash
Pancake syrup                         Golden syrup
Pie crust, pie shell                  Pastry
Plastic wrap                          Cling film
Popsicles                             Ice lollies
Powdered sugar                        Icing sugar
Pudding                               Instant Whip
Raisin                                Sultana
Roast (n)                             Joint (or roast)
Root beer                             Germoline flavoured drink
Rhutabaga                             Swede
Salad dressing                        Salad cream
Sausage                               Banger
Scallion                              Spring onion
Seeds (in fruit)                      Pips
Semi-sweet chocolate                  Plain chocolate
Sherbet                               Sorbet
Shrimp                                Prawns
Silverware/flatware                   Cutlery
Soda or sodapop                       Fizzy or pop
Soda                                  Fizzy drinks
soft candy                            Wine gums
Spaghetti sauce                       Bolognese sauce
Spaghetti with meat sauce             Spaghetti bolognese
Spatula                               Fish slice
Stealing apples                       Scrumping
String beans                          Runner beans
Suckers                               Lollipops
Supper, dinner                        Tea
Teakettle                             Kettle
Three Musketeers (candy)              Milky Way
Tomato Sauce                          Bolognese sauce
Tuna fish                             Tuna
Waxed paper                           Greaseproof paper
Whole wheat bread                     Wholemeal bread
Worchestershire sauce                 Worchester sauce ("Wooster")
Yorkshire pudding with sausages in.   "Toad in the Hole"
No equivalent                         Treacle
No equivalent                         "Shandy" = Brown ale & 7-UP

Fire fighting:
Fire truck                            Fire engine
Fire Department                       Fire Brigade
Rescue squad                          St. Johns Ambulance Brigade
Firecracker                           Banger
Fuse (on firecracker)                 Blue touch paper

Blackjack                             Pontoon
Bumper cars                           Dodgems
Checkers                              Draughts
Clue (game)                           Cluedo
Curve ball                            A googly
Firecracker                           Banger
"Hit me!" (in Blackjack)              "Twist!" (in Pontoon)
Hold (hand of cards)                  Stick (playing cards)
Parcheesi                             Ludo
Pickup-sticks                         Pick-a-stix
Pitch                                 Throw
Solitaire                             Patience (card game)
Stay (in cards)                       Stick
Teeter-totter                         See-saw
Tic-tac-toe                           Noughts and crosses
Trouble (game)                        Frustration (game)
Wading (pool)                         Paddling (pool)
Your turn                             Your go

Bug                                   Insect
Cat Tail                              Bullrush
Horse Chestnut                        Conker (sl.)
Horticulture                          Gardening
Queen Anne's Lace                     Cow Parsley
Antiseptic cream                      Germoline
Back ache                             Lumbago
Band Aid                              Plaster / Sticking Plaster
Brush your teeth                      Clean your teeth
Cavity                                Tooth decay
Cotton                                Cotton wool
Disease                               Mainge * (SL)
Emergency Room                        Casualty, or Casualty Ward
Gauze                                 Lint
Lint                                  Cotton or thread
Listerine                             Dettol
PMS                                   PMT
Rubber                                Condom, sheath, French letter
Shot (injection)                      Jab / Injection
Sick                                  Ill
Sick at your stomach                  Tummy ache
Throw up / Upchuck / vomit            Be Sick
Tylenol                               Paracetamol
Wash up                               Wash hands

Fire Crackers                        Bangers
Fourth of July                       Guy Fawkes Day / Firework Night
Public holiday                       Bank holiday
Santa Claus                          Father Christmas
Thanksgiving                         No equivalent
Labor Day
No equivalent                        Whitsun
Fuse (Fireworks)                     Touch Paper

Check-in                             Book-in

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Household items:

Burner                                Hob
Chifferobe                            Wardrobe
Coal scoop                            Hod *
Coal bin                              Coal bunker
Garbage or trash                      Rubbish
Garbage can                           Dustbin
Ink pen                               Pen
Living room                           Sitting room
Linoleum                              Lino
Plastic mug                           Beaker
Polyethylene                          Polythene (plastic)
Radio                                 Wireless or radio
Record player or phonograph (old)     Recordplayer, Gramophone (old)
Shifferobe                            Wardrobe
Skillet                               Frying pan
Stove                                 Cooker
Styrofoam                             Polystyrene
Straight pin                          Pin
Suit                                  Suite (furniture)
Thread                                Cotton (or thread)
Thumb tacks                           Drawing pins
Trash can                             Waste paper basket

Apartment                             Flat
Government housing                    Council house or Council
Duplex                                Semi-detached house
Manufactured housing                  Prefabs
Nuthouse (mental institution)         Loony bin
Ranch house                           Bungalow
Trailer, House trailer                Caravan
Development or Subdivision            Estate, Housing estate
(or projects)
Dumpster                              Skip

Redneck, hick                         Country boy, rural male
Jerk, Dummy, dum-dum, dolt            Twit, twerp or loony
Slang  for 'Bastard'                  Basket
Bum                                   Tramp
Nitwit                                Nit
Idiot                                 Oaf
Dumb                                  Dozy, thick, gormless *
Crazy                                 Daft or barmy
Nerd                                  Square person with thick glasses
Sodomizer                             Sod

Shipping                              Carriage
Mailman                               Postman
Mail box                              Letter box
U.S. Postal Service                   Royal Mail

Lieutenant                            Lieutenant, pronounced "Leftenant"
Cannon (pl)                           Cannons
Mil-uh-terry                          MIL-itry

The speakers of American English and the other speakers of Standard English certainly share some malapropisms in common.
Yet each has some unique malapropisms that may be interesting or informative!

"Who's ever"                          Whoever is.

Sporting team as "it."                They

More to be added soon. There are plenty of Major American misnomers, malapropisms and mistakes.

Device for crossing a farm fence      Stile
Journal                               Diary
Liter                                 Litre
Center                                Centre

Billfold                              Wallet
Check                                 Cheque
Credit                                The Never-Never
Bill (dollar)                         Note (pound)
Check                                 Bill (of sale)
Money                                 Lolly, Dosh, Knicker
Mutual fund                           Unit trust
Penny                                 American slang for 'one cent'
Pound                                 Knicker, Quid
Pocketbook                            Wallet
Bottom dollar                         Your last dollar
Not even a red cent                   Not even one cent
Threepenny piece                      Thru'pence, Nickel (archaic)
Sixpence                              Tanner (archaic)
A shilling                            A bob
A florin                              A two bob bit
A pound                               Knicker (also plural = "knicker")
A pound                               Quid (also plural = "quid")
Musical / Entertainment:
Alto                                  Contralto
Band, combo                           Group
Bumper music                          Introductory music on a radio talk show
Diatonic accordion                    Concertina, squeeze box
Flutist or flute player               Flautist
"G Rated"                             "Certificate G"
Guitar                                Box (slang)
Harmonica                             Mouth organ (or harmonica)
Magician                              Conjurer
Movies                                Pictures or flicks
Pantomimed                    Mimed (pretended to sing,  i.e. mouthed the words for TV)
Phonograph                            Gramophone, record player
"R Rated"                             "Certificate A"
Sax player                            Saxophonist
Shag (dancing) *                      Sexual Intercourse
Song that is becoming more popular    "Climber"
Subway musician (begging)             Busker, busking
The Show or Picture show              Cinema
Theatre                               Cinema
Timpani                               Kettle drums
Traditional Jazz                      Trad or Trad Jazz
Trailer                               Ad for a film
Tuning peg                            Machine head (guitar)
Whammy bar                            Tremolo arm (guitar)

Office & Business:
Billboard                             Hoarding
Cash Register                         Till
Freight                               Carriage, Courier
Ink Pen                               Pen
Materials, needles, threads etc.      Haberdashery (Dept. in stores)
Paper cutter                          Guillotine
Receipt or voucher, or any            Chit *
small piece of paper, such as a requisition.
Shipping                              Carriage
Single item or product                "One off"
Small retail shop or booth            Kiosk (often at a station)
Stand, booth                          Stall (at an exhibition)
Wholesale                             Trade or Wholesale
Yours Truly                           Yours sincerely
Trade (verb)                          To buy or sell

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A humorous taunting baby name:        "Diddums"
Americans                             Yanks, Yankies
Anthony ("th")                        Anthony ("T")
Bad guy                               "Swine"
Boss                                  Governor (guvner" or "guv")
Bum                                   Tramp
Dim-witted                            Gormless, thick, thick-headed
Guys, dudes                           Blokes, chaps, chappies
Buddy, friend                         Mate, friend
Cop, Police officer, Pig,             Policeman, Copper, Bobby, Rozzer
(Fuzz, The Man etc.)
Dandy                                 Spiv
Effeminate man, homosexual            Poof
Garbage man or "Sanitary Engineer"    Dustman
Girl, chick                           Bird
Dude                                  Person, city slicker
City Slicker                          Sophisticated person
Handicapped person                    Invalid, spastic
kook, nut                             Loony, nutcase, 'nana (short for banana!)
Loose woman, tramp, slut              Tart, slut
Old man                               Geezer
Person                                "Bod"
Person who stays out late             "Dirty old stop out" (slang)
Person Born Within the Sound          "Cockney" (stricter meaning)
of Bow Bells
Person (derogatory)                   So-and-so *
Person (derogatory)                   Blighter *
Person with Cockney accent            "Cockney" (looser meaning)
(from London)
Shady Dealer                          Wide Boy  OR Spiv
Shady dealer or show-off              Spiv
Teens                                 Teenagers
Thief                                 Twocker *
Person who thinks very highly         A big-head *
of himself
Aunt ("ANT")                          Auntie
Black person or oriental              "Wog" (impolite)
Mom                                   Mum
Person, old man                       Geyser
Yankee                                American from the North, Yank
Yokel                                 Local Yokel (Regional personage)

Personal belongings:
Billfold                              Wallet
Clothes                               Togs
pocket book                           purse
Purse                                 Handbag
Shades *, sunglasses                  Sunglasses
Shoe strings                          Shoe laces
Check                                 cheque
Bill (dollar)                         Note (pound)
Coin purse                            Purse
Canvas bag                            Duffle bag
Wallet (for ladies)                   purse
Watch band                            Watch strap

Personal grooming:
Bangs *                               Fringe
Barrette                              Hair clip
Bobby pin                             Hair grip
Grow your hair out                    Let it grow longer
Rollers                               Curlers
Spritz *                              Spray
Tease your hair                       Back-comb your hair
Tote sack                             Duffle bag
Wash cloth                            Face flannel or Flannel

Bathtub                               Bath
Commode                               Toilet, khazi
Faucet                                Tap
Restroom, bathroom                    Lavatory, loo, bog, W.C.
Public restroom                       Public convenience
Sink                                  Basin, sink
Water heater (electric)               Immersion heater
Water heater (gas)                    Geyser
Wash dishes                           Wash up

Congress                              Parliament
Fillibuster                           Lengthy speech to halt progress
Gerrymander                           Manipulate boundaries to gain advantage
Gubernatorial                         No equivalent (means having to do)
Mayor's wife                          Mayoress
Lawyer, Attorney                      Sollicitor, barrister
House of Commons                      House of Representatives
House of Lords                        Senate
Run (for public office)               Stand
Secretary                             Minister
This administration                   This government

Public places:
Beach                                 Seaside
City                                  Town
In the hospital                       In Hospital
Jail, Pokey                           Gaol or Jail, clink
Landfill, garbage dump                Rubbish tip
Someplace *                           Somewhere
South England                         The South of England
Small wooded area                     Copse
Town with a cathedral                 City
Wharf or pier                         Quay * or pier

Radio & TV/Electronics:
Antenna                               Aerial
Bad Parts                             Duff Spares
Filter Capacitor                      Smoothing Capacitor
Front panel                           Escutcheon
Ground                                Earth
Meter (length)                        Metre
Radio                                 Wireless or radio
Schematic drawing                     Circuit diagram
Show                                  Program
Telephone                             The blower
Telephone pole                        Telegraph pole
Tube                                  Valve
VCR                                   Video machine
Wiring Harness                        Wiring loom
Zip Cord                              Lighting Flex, Twin wire
Aay-men                               Aaah-men
Vespers                               Evensong
Pastor                                Vicar

Shopping/Public places:
Alley                                 Alleyway
Beautician or cosmetologist           Hair dresser
Cafe                                  Caff (regional)
Drug store                            Chemist's
Flyer (leaflet)                       Circular
Line                                  Queue
Pharmacist or druggist                Chemist
Portable sales cart                   Barrow
Rain check *                          When shopping - a chit that let's you get the 
                                      discount later if they have run out of an item.
Receipt                               Bill
Sack                                  Bag
Second floor                          First floor
Shipping                              Carriage
Shopping cart                         Trolley, Shopping trolley
Store                                 Shop
Tote bag, tote                        Shopping bag
Trade (verb)                          To buy or sell
Waiting in line                       Queueing up

Back to the top


A Bet, wager                          A Flutter
Blinders (horse)                      Blinkers
Coach                                 Manager
College & High School Wrestling       Graeco-Roman wrestling
Commenting                            Commentating
Commentator / Announcer               Commentator              
Defense                               Defence
Derby ("Derby")                       Derby (pronounced "DAAABY")
Fake                                  Feint
Football                              American football
Field, course                         Pitch (Cricket, football)
Field hockey                          Hockey ("Shinty" in Scotland!)
Football *                            American football
Gymkhana - gymnastics event           Gymkhana - a horse show event!
Handlebar                             Handlebars (bike)
Motorcross                            Scrambles (Motorcycle)
Professional Wrestling                All-in wrestling
Rugby                                 Rugger or Rugby
Soccer                                Football or soccer
Sky box                               High up seating box in a stadium
Sports                                Sport
Vs (versus)                           V. (note, the British are very particular
                                      about use of a full stop after an
                                      abbreviation, whereas Americans often
                                      do not bother with one.)
"Winningest coach"                    Awful Americanism used by
                                      Radio & TV announcers
Wrasslin' (rural sl.)                 Wrestling

Call                                  Ring up, give you a bell or a tinkle
Collect call                          Reverse the charges
Hang up                               Ring off
Long distance                         Trunk call
Information  (411)                    Directory Inquiries

Time & dates:
Fifteen OF/Quarter of/till            Quarter to
Five after                            Five past
Ten OF                                Ten to
Ten Thirty                            "Half Ten"
1905 "Nineteen Five"                  "Nineteen Oh Five"
  or "Nineteen Ought Five"
A week from Tuesday                   A week on Tuesday, Tuesday Week
Two weeks                             A fortnight

Boxcar                                Truck
Caboose                               Guards van
car (on train)                        carriage, truck
conductor (train)                     guard
Crossing                              Level-crossing
Engineer (train)                      driver
Freight car                           truck 
Freight train                         Goods train
Passenger car                         Carriage
Railroad                              Railway

AAA                                   AA, RAC
Add Fluid                             Top it up (verb)
Airplane                              Aeroplane
Aluminum                              Aluminium
Asphalt                               Tarmac
Auto                                  Car or motor
Automobile                            Motor car
Backup, Snarl                         Tailback, Traffic congestion
Beltway                               Ring road
Blacktop                              Tarmac
Blinker                               Indicator
Blow the horn                         Beep or hoot
Boxcar                                Truck
Bus                                   Omnibus, charabang, bus
Bus, private                          Coach
Candy apple red (paint job)           Fire engine red
Car for the handicapped               Invalid carriage
Cars (railroad)                       Railway Carriages
Circle                                Roundabout
Crosswalk w/black & white stripes     Zebra Crossing, crossing
Dead-end                              Cul-de-sac
Deflate a tire                        Let down a tyre
Defroster                             Demister
Detour                                Diversion
Dim headlights                        Dip headlights
Divided Highway                       Dual Carriageway
Driver's License                      Driving Licence
Driving                               Motoring
Elevator                              Lift
Fender                                Wing
Flat Tire                             Puncture
Freeway / interstate                  Motorway
Freight Car                           Truck
gas pedal                             Accelerator
gas station                           Filling station
Gasoline  or gas                      Petrol
Give a ride or Carry (to)             Give a lift
Highway Construction                  Roadworks
Hitch hike, hitch a ride              Thumb a lift, hitch hike, thumb it
Hood                                  Bonnet
Horn                                  Hooter  (or horn)
Intersection                          Crossroads, Junction
Jalopy                                Cronk *
Kerosene                              Paraffin
Knapsack, backpack                    Rucksack
Lifters                               Tappets
Median (in road)                      Central reservation
Metro or subway                       Underground or tube
Motorcross                            Scrambles (Motorcycle)
Muffler (car)                         Silencer
Motor                                 Engine
monkey wrench                         Spanner
No equivalent, flashing yellow        Belisha Beacon *
lights on poles at Zebra Crossing.
Odometer                              Mileometer
Overpass                              Flyover, bridge
Pavement                              Road surface
Pedestrian crossing                   Zebra crossing
Race car                              Racing car
Railroad                              Railway
Railroad ties                         Sleepers
Reflectors in the road                Cats' Eyes *
Red light, stop light, traffic light  Traffic light
rowboat                               Rowing boat
Sedan                                 Saloon
Semi-truck / Tractor-trailer          Articulated Lorry
Sidewalk                              Pavement or path
Station Wagon                         Shooting brake or Estate Car
Street car                            Trolley bus, Tram
Street sign                           Signpost
Ticket (noun)                         Summons (noun) (for speeding etc.)
Given a ticket                        Summonsed, had up
Tee                                   Tee Junction
Ticket (verb)                         Given a summons
Tire                                  Tyre
Traffic Circle                        Roundabout
Traffic laws                          Highway Code
Truck                                 Lorry, pantechnicon
Trailer (home type)                   Caravan
Trailer (utility)                     Wagon
transmission                          Gear box
Transportation                        Transport
Trunk                                 Boot
Turn-out                              Lay-by
Turn Indicator                        Indicator
Underpass (pedestrian tunnel)         Subway
VW Bug                                VW Beetle
Windshield                            Windscreen
Wreck, fender bender, accident        Crash, prang
Wreck, crock, old car                 Old heap, old cronk, old banger
*****                                 Lay-by

Back to the top

Units and Measurements:

Degrees Fahrenheit                      Degrees Celsius
Meter (about a Yard)                    Metre
Pressuring                              Pressurizing

Awaken someone                        Knock up
Knock up                              Copulate, make pregnant

Southerly Wind                        South Wind
West Wind                             Westerly Wind
Wind-chill factor                     Degrees of frost

Work & Employment:
Cafeteria                             Canteen
Lunch room or snack shop              Canteen
Paper Route                           Paper Round
Newspaper delivery)
Quitting time                         Going-home time.
Raise                                 Rise

Pronunciation Guide:

American                              English
--------                              -------
Accessories  "Uh-SESSories"           "Ax-SESSories" 
Albino "Al-buy-no"                    "Al-bean-o"
Allies "uh-LIES" (like "decries")     like "PAL+flies"
Almond "OL-mnd"                      "AA-mnd"
Ambulance like "AM-bl-ants"           AM-byoo-lns
Anti like "BAN tie"                   ANT + ee
Arctic "Ardic"                        Ark + tick
Arthritis "Arth-ur-ITE-us" (So.)     "arth-RITE-us"
Athlete "Atha-leet"                   Ath-leet
Attache' "ADD-a-shay"                 a-TATCH-ee or a-TASH-ee
Attitude "Adda-tood"                  ATTit-tyewd
Avenue "AVVa-noo"                     AVVin-yoo
Banana, "buh-NEH-nuh"                "buh-NAA-nuh"
like "bandana" (First "a" always long and nasal)
Beta "Bay-duh"                        "Bee-tuh"
Buoy like "BOO-EE"                    BOY
Car "COARR" or "CAWR"                 "CAAH"
Caramel "CAR-mul"                     CA-ruh-mel
Cervical "SER-vickle"                 "suh-VIE-cal"
Charades "Sh'-RAIDS"                  "Sh'-RAADS"
Chassis "Chass-iss"                   "Shass-ee"
Clerk ("CLERK")                       Clerk (pronounced "CLAAAK")
Compost (like "Tom-Toast")            Like "Tom-lost"
Concord (like "CONQUERED")            "Con-kawd"
Consortium "K'n-sorr-shum"            "K'n-saaw-tee-um"
Dance like "ants"                     Daans like "Aah"
(same for most -ance words)
Daschaund "Docks'nd"                  "Dash Hound"
Data "Dadd+uh"                        "Day-tuh"
Debris "D'Bree"                       "Day-bree" OR "Debbry"
Details "Duh+TAILS"                   "DEE+tails"
Due and dew ("DOO")                   "DYEW" or "DJOO"
Ate (Past tense of eat)               "ETT"
Elementary "Ella-MEN-ary"             "Ellim-EN-tree"
Era "Erra"                            "Ear-uh"
Error "E'-roar"                       "Erra"
Ferocity "Fe-ross-uh-tee"             "Fe-rocketty"
Feta "Fett-a"                         Feet-a 
Fraykus                               Frakkus (commotion)
Girl "Grul"                           "gerl"
God "Gahd"                            God (shorter 'o')
Harem "Hair-um"                       "Harr-um"
Herbs ('Rrbs)                         Herbs (softer "R")
Him ("'m" or "um"(short 'u' reg.)     "Him"
Inquiries "IN-kw'rees"                "ink-WYE-rees"
Khaki like "KAKKY"                    KAAH-key
Human "YOO-MAN" (regional N.Y. etc.)  HYOO-m'n
Humor ("YOOmur" (regional N.Y.etc.)   HYOOmuh (softer "R")
Iodine like "EYE-a-dine"             "EYE-a-dean"
Jaguar "JAG+wahr" or "wohr"           "JAG+you+wuh"
Laboratory "LAB-ratory                La-BO-ruh-tree
Latin "LAT-un" or LA''n               LAT-in, or cocknet LA'in
Lavatory "LAV-uh-tory"                LAV-uh-tree
Leisure like "LEE+sure"               LEZ + yur like "pleasure"
Liason "LAY-a-zon"                    Lee-AY-zon
Library "Lie+BRARE+ee"               "LIE-bree"
Liquer "l'COOR" or "l'KER"           "Lik+KYEUR"
Master "MASS-TURR"                    MAAS-Tuh
Medicine "Medi-s'n"                   "MED-ssn" *
Medieval "Meed-eevul" or "Med-evul"   "Meddy-eevul"
Missile "Mistle"                      "MISS-aisle"
Mustache "MUST-ash"                   "m'STOSH"
Newt "Noot"                           "NYEWT"
Notre Dame "NODER DAIME"              "Notra Daahm"
Nougat  "Nuggit"                      "NOO-gah"
Nuclear "NOOWK-YA-LUR"                "Nyew-klee-er"
Nucleus "NOWWK-YA-LUSS"               "Nyew-Clee-us"
Palm  "Pom"                           "Paam"
Placate "PLAY-KATE"                   "PLAQUE-ATE"
Poem "pome" or "po'm"                 "Po-im"
Privacy "Pry-vuh-see"                 "Priv-uh-see
Program "PRO-grm"                     "PRO-gram"
Progress "DOG+dress"                  "DOUGH+dress"
Puberty "POOH-br-tee"                 "Pyew-br-tee"
Pumice "POOH-mus"                     "PUMM-iss"
Quasi like "KWAZE+eye"                "KWAH+zee"
Quinnine Like "Q-Why-Nine"            Like "Quinn-ean"
Recluse like "WRECK+loose"            "Ri-KLOOS"
Records(noun) "RECKerds"              "RECKawds"
Route "Rowte"                         "Roote"
Schedule (SKED-yule)                  SHED-yule
Semi like "SEM + eye"                 SEMM-ee
{ The (before a word starting with a vowel)                         }
{ "The" (short "e")                   "Thee" (medium length "ee") }
Shire (like "HIRE")                   "SHEER"
Stalagtite "St'LAG-tite"              "STA-l'g-tite"
Status "STADD+us"                     STAY-tus
Strichnine "STRICK+nine"              "STRICK-neen"
Tomato "tuh-MAY-toh"                  "to-MAH-toh"
(U.S. pronunciation for potato is correct, mysteriously!)
Tournament "TOUR-na-m'nt"             "TAAW-na-m'nt"
Transmit like "TANS-it"               Traans-MIT
Tuesday "Toows-day"                   TYEWZ-day, TYEWZ-dee, 
Van Gogh "Van Go"                     "Van Goff"
Zero "ZEE-roh"                         Z-EAR-oh
Z "Zee"                               "Zed"

Back to the top

################################################ COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG EXAMPLES: Phrase Meaning Apples and Pears Stairs Bottle of Beer Queer Dog and bone Phone Gottle of geer Ventriloquist talk for "Bottle-of-beer" Read and laugh Bath Trouble and Strife Wife

For more cool information on this, check out the English/Cockney Rhyming Slang Dictionary!!

Or, IF you are a more experienced Cockney Slang-speaker - try the COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG QUIZ ( tee hee!)

American                          British

alphabetized                      in alphabetical order

billfold                          wallet (for men)
billion (thousand million)        billion (million million)
binky or pacifier                 dummy or comforter
birthed                           bore/gave birth
biscuits                          scones
bomb (disaster)                   bomb (success)
braces                            brace (on teeth)

call collect                      reverse charges
call/phone                        ring up/phone
can (of food)                     tin
candied cherries                  glace cherries
cheap                             second-rate
checkers                          draughts
chips (potato)                    crisps
chocolate                         milk chocolate
chronic fatigue syndrome          post viral syndrome
cigarette                         fag (or cigarette)
closet (hanging clothes)          Cupboard, built-in wardrobe
Mononucleosis                     Glandular fever
club                              truncheon
collar button                     collar stud
comforter                         quilt or duvet
commercials (on TV)               adverts
concentrated                      neat (as in Dettol or other fluids)
concert seating                   Stand wherever you can find a spot
cookie                            biscuit (sweet)
cookie tray                       baking sheet
cornstarch                        cornflour
cotton                            cotton wool
cream of wheat                    semolina
cupcakes                          iced fairy cakes
dishwashing liquid                washing-up li
drapes                            curtains

editorial                         leader (or editorial)
eggplant                          aubergine

eyeball (v.)                      visually position

Fall (season)                     Autumn
fanny                             bum/bottom
fanny pack                        belt bag/bum bag
faucet                            tap
Fig Newtons                       fig rolls
figure out                        work out
first floor                       ground floor
flashlight                        torch
french fries                      chips
frosting                          icing
furnace                           boiler

go figure!                        work that one out!
granola                           muesli (approx)
grill                             barbecue
grocery cart                      trolley
Soapbox cart                      trolley
grocery store                     supermarket
ground beef                       minced beef

hamburger                         beefburger
hamburger (meat)                  mince
hamburger bun                     bap
hand                              Mitt (slang)
hardware store                    ironmonger
hockey                            ice hockey
homely  (ugly)                    homely (pleasant)
horny                             randy
hot tub (or jacuzzi)              jacuzzi
hutch                             welsh dresser

I could care less                 I couldn't care less
ice chest                         cool box
incorporated                      limited
inexpensive                       cheap
irritable                         ratty

Jell-O                            jelly
jelly                             jam without pips
jelly roll                        Swiss roll

kettle                            large saucepan
Kleenex                           tissue
knickers                          plus-fours

I really like it                  I don't half like it.
It makes me no never mind         I don't care
legal holiday                     bank holiday
license plate                     number plate
liquor                            spirits
long distance                     trunk call
lousy                             grotty
loveseat                          2-person sofa

mail (n.)                         post
mail box                          letter box
mail box/mail drop                pillar box
mail slot                         letter box (in door)
mailman                           postman
markers                           felt tip pens
meat market                       butcher
Milky Way (candy)                 Mars Bar
mononucleosis                     glandular fever
mouth                             Gob (slang)
mute                              dumb

neat                              good idea
nightstand                        bedside table
nightstick                        truncheon
Nutrasweet                        aspartame

orchestra seats                   stalls

pit (fruit)                       stone
pitcher                           jug
plastic mug                       beaker
purse                             handbag

Quik                              NesQuik
raincoat                          mackintosh
rubbers                           Wellington Boots

scotch tape                       sellotape
shift stick                       gear lever
shop vac                          Aquavac/Vax
sliver/splinter                       splinter
spear                             lance (or spear)
stomach flu                       gastroenteritis

trapper keeper                    ring binder

Pad or crib                       Digs
Go over to visit                  Pop over
Big time                          -----
Pop tart                          A flat rectangular pastry made to go
                                  in an electric toaster.

Bell weather                      Future indicator
Suicide Jockey                    Petrol Tanker Driver
Teamster                          Lorry Driver (Union)
Midway or Carnival                Fair
Calliope                          Steam organ
Pass up, go past or pass by       Overshoot, go beyond, go past
Riff raff                         Disreputable persons
Rip rap                           Wall made of broken stones
Hooch (slang)                     Alcoholic beverage (as in moonshine)
Hootchie Cootchie                 Drinking, ribald dancing and/or music
Right triangle                    Right angle triangle
Every which way                   Every possible way, in many directions.
with or without? (milk in coffee) black or white? (milk in

Back to the top

Other particulars:
Periods/fullstops (after initials) This is ALWAYS done in the U.K. but rarely in the U.S.

* = More unusual term that needs explaining
sl. = Slang
Reg.- Reginal
So. = Southern

I did this for FUN!!!
Critics need not apply!!

Dictionary of British Terms written for Americans visiting the UK (WHY do those Brits talk so funny?)

Notes on American English (WHY do those Yanks talk so funny?) A Comprehensive English To American Dictionary

U.K. English For the American Novice

London Slang

Another British-American Dictionary

The BBC says it's COOL to speak british!

Cambridge Dictionary of American English (A free online resource) and others - you have to use the SEARCH feature on the right

How To Speak Jamaican English

How to Speak Japanese Engrish (English) - a funny site

And now... more jokes!!

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