American English to British English Translation (M-R)

The English language is no doubt the international language of business, diplomacy, and technology. The top two variants of the language that are widely spoken at the international level are the US English and the UK English. Like any dialects of any language, these two standardized dialects have their differences. These differences range from usage preference to total difference.

This translation list should be taken as a guide rather than a strict rule. While there are differences between American English and British English, it’s still the same language. These two variants have more similarities than differences. They constantly influence each other. Also, language changes over time.

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Letter A to F
Letter G to L
Letter S to Z

M

American British
a madman (noun) mad (adjective)
mail post
to mail a letter to post a letter
by mail by post
mailbox postbox, letter box, pigeonhole
mailman, mail carrier, letter carrier postman
main (gas or water pipes) the mains (gas or water pipes)
Main Street High Street
major in something in college read something at university; read for something
mall shopping centre
maneuver manoeuvre
marvelous marvellous
mashed potatoes mashed potato
mass-media public admass / ad-mass
math maths
matte – a non-glossy surface; a filmmaking technique matt – a non-glossy surface

matte – a filmmaking technique

meager meagre
mean cruel
median strip central reservation
medieval mediaeval
to meet with (to have a meeting with) to meet
memorize memorise
Men’s Room Gents
men’s underwear pants
mentally challenged (a)round the bend/twist
Merry Christmas Happy Christmas
merry-go-round roundabout
mess around mess about
meter metre
metric ton tonne
milliliter millilitre
millimeter millimetre
mineral spirits white spirit
minimize minimise
Minister of; Ministry of Minister for; Ministry for
model home show house/home
modeling modelling
molasses treacle
mold mould
mollusk mollusc
Molotov cocktail petrol bomb
mom; mommy mum; mummy
Monday through Friday;

Mondays to Fridays

Monday to Friday
monkeyish monkey-like
monkeyshines monkey tricks
mono (mononucleosis) grandular fever
monologue (common spelling), monolog monologue
moot = irrelevant moot = debatable
morgue mortuary
mortician undertaker
motor engine
motorcycle motorbike
movie theater cinema
movie, film film
at the movies at the cinema
go to the movies go to the cinema
Mr. ; Mrs. Mr; Mrs
muffler (car) silencer (car)
mustache moustache
mutual fund unit trust

N

American British
nail polish nail varnish
nap (short snooze) kip (informal), nap
napkin serviette
Native American, First Nation American Indian
nauseated, nauseous sick
neighbor neighbour
news anchor news presenter
newscaster newsreader
nightgown nightdress
no one no one, no-one
normalcy normality
not touch something with a ten-foot pole not touch something with a bargepole
nothing (sports), zero (technical) nought
novitiate noviciate

O

American British
oatmeal, porridge porridge
odds and ends bits and bobs, odds and sods, bits and pieces, odds and ends
odometer milometer
odor odour
offense (noun) offence (noun)
Oh, shoot! (when annoyed)

Damn it! (when annoyed)

Oh, bother! (when annoyed)
one-time one-off
one-way (ticket) single (ticket)
onesie babygro
onward onwards
open your book to page open your book at page
open-pit mining opencast mining
organize organise
orient (verb) orientate (verb)
orthopedic orthopaedic
ouster – removal from public office ouster – eviction from a property
outhouse – outside toilet facility outhouse – a small building near the main building (e.g. a barn, a shed)
outlet (electricity) socket (electricity)
outside of America outside Britain
outstanding at something outstanding in something
oven mitt oven glove
overalls dungarees
overhead (business operation) overheads (business operation)
overpass flyover
overseas abroad

P

American British
pacifier, binky dummy
package parcel
packet of cigarettes pack of cigarettes
package store; liquor store off-licence
pajamas pyjamas
pal chap, mate, pal
panties knickers
pantry larder
pants – a piece of clothing that completely and separately covers the legs trousers

UK: pants = underpants

pantyhose tights
paper towel kitchen roll
parakeet budgerigar, budgie
paralyze paralyse
parentheses – ( ) (round) brackets – ( )
parka, jacket anorak
multilevel parking garage multistorey car park
parking lot car park
parlor parlour
parochial school faith school
part parting (hair)
party hats cracker hats
party tent marquee
passing lane overtaking lane
patronize patronise
paved road metalled road
pay envelope pay packet
pay raise pay rise
peddler pedlar
pediatric; pediatrics; pediatrician paediatric; paediatrics; paediatrician
pedophile paedophile
penalty shot to penalty to
percent per cent
period (punctuation) full stop (punctuation)
pet peeve pet hate
pharmacy, drugstore chemist’s
phone booth phone box
phony phoney
physical therapy physiotherapy
pickles gherkins
pimples spots
pinafore, apron pinny
Pink Slip P45
pinwale needlecord
pissed – annoyed; angry

(pissed off = irritated)

pissed – drunk

(pissed off = irritated)

pita bread pitta bread
pitcher jug
plaid tartan
plait braid
plastic wrap, Saran Wrap cling film
pleaded, pled pleaded
Please watch your step when you get off the train. Please mind the gap when alighting from the train.
plow plough
pocketbook, purse handbag
polyethylene polythene
popsicle ice lolly
Post No Bills No Flyposting
pot (sauce) saucepan
potted plant pot plant
pound key – # hash key – #
pound sign – # pound sign – £
powdered sugar, confectioners’ sugar icing sugar
power outage power cut
practice (verb) practise (verb)
premium rate phone number: 900 number; 1-900 number premium rate phone number: 0898 number (oh eight nine eight number)
prenatal antenatal
president (of a company) chairman (of a company)
pretense (noun) pretence (noun)
price hike price increase

UK: hike = a walk in the country

prime rate base rate
principal (school)

(A few American private schools also use the British terms.)

headmaster, headteacher
prison guard screw (slang)
private school public school (but not all of them)
proctor (exam) invigilator (exam)
program programme; program (software-related)
proven (past perfect) proved (past perfect)
prize, pry prise
public school state school; comprehensive school
pudgy podgy
puff balls bobbles
punching bag punchbag
purse, pocketbook handbag
push-ups press-ups
put your two cents (or two cents’ worth) in put (or stick) your oar in
but it won’t make a ha’porth of difference
to put your two penn’orth (or tuppence worth) in

Q

American British
quarreling; quarreled quarrelling; quarrelled
quarter note (music) crotchet (music)
quite = very quite = fairly, pretty OR completely, absolutely, entirely (the meaning changes depending on the gradability of the adjective being used)
quite a few a fair few
single quotation marks inverted commas

R

American British
raccoon racoon
race car racing car
racing haring
racket (sports equipment) racquet (sports equipment)
railroad railway
railroad car railway carriage
railroad crossing, grade crossing level crossing
railroad tie sleeper
railroad track railway track
railroad yard marshalling yard
rained out rained off
raincoat mackintosh, mac(k)
(pay) raise (pay) rise
raise a child bring up a child
raisin sultana
randy sexually aroused (slang)
rappel abseil
to read up on to read up
real estate property
real estate agent, realtor estate agent
realize realise
recess (at school) break time (at school)
recognize recognise
relevancy relevance
ratable rateable
rent a car hire a car
rental car hired car
reservation booking
made reservations booked
represent act for
restroom, bathroom (public) loo, public toilet
resume CV (curriculum vitae)
retread remould (tyre)
review (for an exam) revision (for an exam)
to review for an exam to revise for an exam
rhinestone diamante
to give someone a ride to give someone a lift
right away straight away
right triangle right-angled triangle
rodent operative ratcatcher
roll call taking the register
roll down wind down
romaine lettuce cos lettuce
rotisserie chicken roast chicken
round-trip (ticket) return (ticket)
roundabout, traffic circle roundabout
row house terrace house
rowboat rowing boat
rubber (slang) condom
rubber boots, rain boots wellington boots
rummage sale jumble sale
rumor rumour
rump roast silverside
run scarper
rutabaga swede
RV camper van

More Pages

Letter A to F
Letter G to L
Letter S to Z