English-American Dictionary

Here is an alphabetical list of the minute (and sometimes not minute) differences between British English and American English. It will be updated regularly as I hear and learn new words.

A


B

Bellend: (n.) slang Derogatory name to call someone; dick head; literally the head of a penis.
That bloke what cut me off on the A1 was a complete bellend.

Bin: (n.) Garbage can.
The bin was overflowing with rubbish.

Bird: (n.) Term of affection found in Cornwall meaning mate or friend.
Having a good evening, bird?

C

Car Park: (n.) Parking lot.
I’ve been driving around the car park for ages trying to find a spot.

Chav: (n.) Young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of (real or imitation) designer clothes.
We came across a bunch of carousing chavs on our way home.

Chips: (n.) plural French fries.
I generously poured salt and vinegar over my steaming basket of chips.

Cooker: (n.) Oven
It’s important to remember to turn the cooker on before you try to boil the water.

Crisps: (n.) plural Potato chips.
I bought a packet of crisps during our five minute break.

Curry: (n.) Indian food.
Let’s grab a curry for tea tonight.

D

Diary: (n.) Datebook.
Let me check my diary and let you know if I can make the concert.

Dinner: (n.) Reg. Lunch.
We stopped off at the pub for some dinner before our evening class began.

E



F

Fringe: (n.) Bangs.
The stylist left my fringe too long this time and it keeps getting in my eyes.

G

Geordie: (n.) Person from Newcastle; distinguished by the Geordie accent.
His Geordie accent was so thick, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.

H

Hair grip: (n.) Bobby pins
My hair kept falling in my eyes until I used a hair grip.

Hoover: (n./v.) Vacuum cleaner; to vacuum.
While I was hoovering I noticed the hoover was making a strange sound.

I


J

Jam: (n.) The equivalent of American jelly.
She spread some strawberry jam on her crumpet.

Jelly: (n.) A gelatin desert like Jell-O.
They brought out a magnificently molded jelly for pudding.

Jumper: (n.) Sweater.
His plum colored jumper set him apart from the rest of the crowd.

K

Kitchen Roll: (n.) Paper towels.
I’m just going to pop into Tesco and pick up some kitchen roll.

Knobhead: (n.) Derogatory name given to someone who acts like a jerk; dick.
That knobhead just cut me off on the M16!

L

Lollipop Man: (n.) Crossing guard.
We waited patiently for the lollipop man to let us safely cross.

Lush: (adj.) Cool; awesome.
That party last night was so lush!

M

Minger: (n.) Someone who is gross.
That bloke picking is nose is such a minger.

Minging: (v.) Sweating and generally being or feeling gross.
I’m minging after that hour walk to class.

N


O


P

Pants: (n.) Underwear.
The pants go under the trousers.

Paro: (adj.) Drunk,
She was completely paro last night.

Pissed: (adj.) Drunk.
I got so pissed at the pub last night, I don’t even remember walking home!

Pudding: (n.) Dessert.
For pudding we had a giant apple crumble dripping with warm custard.

Purse: (n.) Wallet.
Could you hand me my bag, I left my purse in it. 

Q

Queue: (n.) Line.
We were waiting in the queue for hours.

Queuing: (v.) To line up.
We’ve been queuing for ages to get to the till.

R

Revise: (v.) To review or study.
I was furiously revising for my exam all night.

S

Skint: (adj.) Broke as in financially
I wish I could go to cinema but I’m so skint.

Studs: (n.) Cleats.
The football player did an endorsement for the studs he used in the World Cup.

T

Take Away: (n.) Take out; food that is delivered.
I had a take away last night because I didn’t feel like cooking.

Tea: (n.) Reg. Dinner.
We went to the new Italian restaurant for our tea.

Till: (n.) Cash register.
There was no one at the till to scan my Tesco Clubcard.

U


V

Vest: (n.) Undershirt.
His vest was visible through his white collared shirt.

W


X


Y


Z

Zed: (n.) The letter “Z”.
I spell zebra with a zed.