Home » Language Lessons

Crazy English: American vs. British

18. November 2009 by Marie 0 Comments

Whether you learned your English from a British or an American teacher makes a big difference in the words you use to talk to your Western love interest.  


They use different words and different spellings. Canadians borrow from both American and British English, and have some unique words of their own.


The most common differences are:


Mad means crazy in Britain. It means angry in America.

Pissed (usually "pissed off") also means angry in America. Pissed means drunk in the UK.

Americans say (car) hood, the British say bonnet.

Americans say (car) trunk, the British say boot.

Americans fuel their cars with gas, the British say petrol.

American buildings have elevators, the UK calls them lifts.

Americans call underground trains the subway. The British refer to the system as the tube or the underground

Americans call this # a pound sign, the British call it a hash.

Potato chips are crisps in Britain; French fries are called chips.

Americans buy and sell houses through a Realtor. Brits call that person an estate agent.

A rubber is always a condom in America. A rubber is an eraser in England.

In America men wear pants; Brits wear trousers. Pants are strictly male underwear in Britain (the ladies wear knickers).

American babies wear diapers on their bottoms, British babies wear nappies on their bums


Learning any foreign language is a journey. Avoid the bumps in the road!