Different yet similar

I’m talking about the differences between American words and British words. If you’ve watched soap operas and listened to the news in both English varieties, you’ll find that Americans and British use different words that convey the same meaning. I wonder why. 🙂  I attempt to share some of these words here with you:

American English

British English

restroom, washroom lavatory, loo
can tin
cookie biscuit
crack drug
crack up laugh uncontrollably
drugstore pharmacy
eraser rubber
fall autumn
flashlight torchlight
freeway highway
guy bloke, chap
hood bonnet
laundromat ** laundry **
mail post, letter
period full stop
pop put in quickly
sanitary worker garbage collector
sidewalk pavement
soccer football
stop light traffic light
truck lorry
trunk boot (of a car)
windshield windscreen
zip code postal code
server waiter, waitress
co-worker colleague

** Take note: A laundromat is a place you send your laundry, put coins into the machine and wait for your laundry to be washed, tumbled and dried. When you send your clothes to a laundry, you pay only after everything’s done, usually in a few days. The word laundry might be used to represent both.

Those are some examples that I could recall. You might want to add to the list later. It’s really interesting to note that we now use a mix of both American and British English in our conversations and in the written form. Look at the example sentence below:

  • A scruffy guy (US) broke the windscreen (UK) of my car when I was in the washroom (US). He also ate all my chocolate biscuits (UK).

Interesting, huh? 😀


Posted on July 18, 2009, in Word Power and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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