British English to American English Translation (A-F)

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 UK English and the US 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 British English and American 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 G to L
Letter M to R
Letter S to Z

A

British American
a drop in the ocean a drop in the bucket
a fair few quite a few
a hole in the wall = ATM a hole in the wall = an inconspicuous restaurant
a home from home a home away from home
a new lease of life a new lease on life
a storm in a teacup a tempest in a teapot
A&E – Accident and Emergency; Casualty ER – Emergency Room
abattoir slaughterhouse
abridgement abridgment
abroad overseas
abseil rappel
accelerator (on a car) gas pedal (on a car)
acclimatise acclimate
accommodation accommodations
acknowledgement acknowledgment
act for represent
action replay instant replay
Address in X Street Address on X Street
admass / ad-mass mass-media public
adze adz
aerial (TV, radio) antenna (TV, radio)
aerodrome airfield
aerofoil airfoil
aeroplane airplane
against the collar tough going
ageing aging
agony aunt advice columnist
air con AC
air gun BB gun
aisle gangway
alarm call wakeup call
Allen key Allen wrench
Alsatian German shepherd
aluminium aluminum
amber (traffic lights colour) yellow (traffic lights color)
American football football
American Indian First Nation, Native American
American Indian Native American, First Nation
amphitheatre amphitheater
anaemia anemia
anaesthesia anesthesia
anaesthetic anesthetic
anaesthetist anesthesiologist
analogue analogue (common spelling), analog
analyse analyze
aniseed anise
anorak parka, jacket
antenatal prenatal
anticlockwise counterclockwise
apologise apologize
apothecary’s apothecary
aquaplane hydroplane
armour armor
arse

UK: ass = donkey

ass
artefact artifact
articulated lorry semitrailer, semi, tractor-trailer
Asian – South Asian (e.g. Indian, Pakistani, etc.) Asian – East Asian (e.g. Chinese, Korean, etc.)
asymmetric bars uneven bars
aubergine eggplant
autocue teleprompter
autumn fall, autumn (rare)
axe ax, axe

B

British American
babygro onesie
back garden backyard
backwards backward
baguette hoagie
baking tray cookie sheet
ball pool, ball pit ball pit
bandanna bandanna (common spelling), bandana
bangers sausages
bank holiday legal holiday
banknote (money) bill (money)
bannister banister (common spelling), bannister
barrister; solicitor attorney; lawyer
base rate prime rate
bath (verb) bathe (verb)
beetroot beet(s)
behaviour behavior
behove behoove
best before (tinned food) best by (canned food)
big-headed conceited
bill (at a restaurant) check (at a restaurant)
biro ball-point pen
biscuit cookie; cracker
Bit rich coming from you. You should talk.
bits and bobs, odds and sods, bits and pieces, odds and ends odds and ends
black economy underground economy
blanket bath sponge bath
blind bend (road) blind corner (road)
block – a tall building that contains different offices, etc. block – a piece of land or a group of buildings surrounded by streets on all sides and usually rectangular in shape
block of flats apartment building, apartment complex
bloke, chap guy
bloody damn
blow one’s own trumpet blow (or toot) one’s own horn
blowlamp blowtorch
blunt dull (of a pencil)
bobble hat bonnet
bobbles puff balls
bogey-flavoured booger-flavored
bogeyman boogeyman
boiler furnace
boiler suit coveralls
bonnet (car) hood (car)
boob tube tube top
booked made reservations
booking reservation
boot (car) trunk (car)
bottom drawer hope chest
bougainvillaea bougainvillea
bowls lawn bowling
braces suspenders
(round) brackets – ( ) parentheses – ( )
braid plait
brawn (food) headcheese
break time (at school) recess (at school)
breakdown truck, breakdown van tow truck
breathalyse breathalyze
breeze block cinder block
bridging loan bridge loan
bring up a child raise a child
budgerigar, budgie parakeet
bugger jerk
building society savings & loan association
bullclips binder clips
bum = buttocks

hobo = tramp (vagrant)

tramp = hobo (vagrant)

bum = hobo (vagrant)

hobo = bum (vagrant)

tramp = hooker (prostitute)

bumbag

UK: fanny = vulva

fanny pack

US: fanny = buttocks

burgle burglarize
butty (informal) sandwich

C

British American
calendar – containing dates and usually hanged on the wall (a daily planner is called a “diary”) calendar – (1) containing dates and usually hanged on the wall; (2) a daily planner
calibre caliber
Call me on this number.

You can reach me on 111-111.

(Call me on my landline.)

Call me at this number.

You can reach me at 111-111.

(Call me on my landline.)

calliper caliper
camp bed cot
camper van RV
Can I have a… Can I get a…
can’t say fairer than that can’t do better than that
cancelled canceled
candelabra iron chandelier
candidature candidacy
candy floss cotton candy
canteen cafeteria
car park parking lot
car wreck car accident, car crash
carat karat
caravan trailer
caravan park trailer park
caravan; camper van camper
a pack of cards a deck of cards
carburettor carburetor
carpenter; joiner carpenter
cashpoint, cash marchine, cash dispenser,“a hole in the wall” ATM

US: “a hole in the wall” = an inconspicuous restaurant

casualty emergency room
catalogue catalogue, catalog (common spelling)
catapult slingshot
centenary centennial
central reservation median strip
centre center
chairman (of a company) president (of a company)
changing room locker room
chap, bloke guy
chap, mate, pal pal
cheers thanks
cheese toastie grilled cheese
chemist’s pharmacy, drugstore
cheque (monetary) check (monetary)
cheque book checkbook
chequered checkered
Children, get on the path. Kids, get on the sidewalk.
chili sauce hot sauce
chilli chili
chilli con carne chili con carne, chili
Chinese chequers (game) Chinese checkers (game)
chips fries, french fries
chunder (vomit) barf (vomit)
cider hard cider
a packet of cigarettes a pack of cigarettes
cine-camera video camera
cinema movie theater
at the cinema at the movies
city centre, town centre downtown
cling film plastic wrap, Saran Wrap
cloakroom checkroom, coatroom
clothes peg clothespin
clothes shop clothing store
coach bus
cock-crow, dawn dawn
coffin coffin, casket
Collective Nouns:

The government is/are doing something.

His family is/are there.

England win the football match.

Collective Nouns:

The government is doing something.

His family is there.

California wins the soccer game.

Exceptions: People are…; Police are…

colour color
comes top of the year has the best grades among the students in his/her year level
common seal harbor seal
condom rubber (slang)
connection, connexion connection
consumer durables durable goods
Conversations:

 

– I’ve already phoned the company.

– Have you?

 

– He did it yesterday.

– Did he?

 

– She isn’t the manager.

– Isn’t she?

Conversations:

 

– I’ve already called the company.

– You have?

 

– He did it yesterday.

– He did?

 

– She isn’t the manager.

– She isn’t?

cooker stove
cookery book cookbook
coriander cilantro
cornflour cornstarch
corridor hallway
cos lettuce romaine lettuce
costumier costumer
cosy cozy
cot crib
cot death crib death
cotton bud cotton swab
cotton wool absorbent cotton
couldn’t care less could care less; couldn’t care less
council estate housing project
counsellor counselor
courgette zucchini
court card face card
cracker hats party hats
cramp a cramp
crash barrier guardrail
creditors accounts payable
crisps chips, potato chips
criticise criticize
crocodile clip alligator clip
cross-ply bias-ply
crossroads intersection, crossroads (rural)
crotchet (music) quarter note (music)
cruel mean
crumpets English muffins
curly brackets – { } curly braces – { }
current account checking account
curtains drapes, curtains
cutlery silverware
CV (curriculum vitae) resume

D

British American
danger money hazard pay
date format: day/ month/ year date format: month/ day/ year
date format: 25 September 2019 date format: September 25, 2019
date verbal: September the 25th date verbal: September 25th
day nursery day care center
DDI – direct dial-in DID – direct inward dialing, direct inward dial
debtors accounts receivable
defence (noun) defense (noun)
demister (car) defroster (car)
dependant (noun) dependent (noun)
devilry deviltry
dialling tone dial tone
dialogue dialogue (common spelling), dialog
diamante rhinestone
diary – a daily planner diary – a personal journal
diary (where to write things) calendar (where to write things)
different to, different from different than, different from
dinner jacket tuxedo
director (of a company) vice-president (of a company)
directory enquiries directory assistance
disembarked deplaned
dishy (good looking) hot (good looking)
disorientate (verb) disorient (verb)
dived (past simple) dived, dove (past simple)
diversion detour
do his/her nut go ballistic
do the washing-up do the dishes
Do you want to come round to our house? Do you want to come over to our house?
doctor’s surgery doctor’s office
dodgem, dodgem car bumper car
doodah doodad
dormitory block dormitory building
double cream heavy cream
doughnut doughnut (common spelling), donut
downmarket (adjective) downscale (adjective)
draught draft
draughts (game) checkers (game)
drawing pin thumbtack
drawn tied
dreamt dreamed
dressing gown bathrobe, robe
drink-driving drunk driving
drinks cupboard liquor cabinet
drinks party cocktail party
drive driveway
driving licence driver’s license
dual carriageway divided highway
dummy pacifier, binky
dumper truck dump truck
dungarees overalls
dust sheet drop cloth
dustbin garbage can
dustcart garbage truck
dustman garbage collector
duvet (bedspread) comforter (bedspread)

E

British American
earth (electrical) ground (electrical)
earth wire ground wire
edgeways edgewise
elasticated elasticized
emergency phone number: 999 emergency phone number: 911
encyclopaedia encyclopedia
endeavour endeavor
engaged (phone) busy (phone)
engaged tone (phone) busy signal (phone)
enquiry inquiry (a request for information, distinct from formal investigation)
enrol enroll
enrolment enrollment
enthral enthrall
epicentre epicenter
equalling equaling
escalators, moving stairs (old fashioned) escalators
estate agent real estate agent, realtor
estate car station wagon
ex-directory unlisted
exclamation mark exclamation point
expiry expiration
expiry date expiration date
extension lead extension cord

F

British American
fag (slang) cigarette

US: fag = an offensive term for a homosexual man

fair (hair) blonde (hair)
fairy cake cupcake
faith school parochial school
fancy dress costumes
fancy dress party costume party
fanny – vulva (slang) fanny – buttocks (polite word)
fanny (slang) vulva
Father Christmas Santa Claus
favourite favorite
female wallet coin purse
fetus (technical), foetus (non-technical) fetus
fibre fiber
fillet steak filet mignon
film movie, film
financial year fiscal year
fire brigade/service fire company/department
fire engine fire truck
first floor second floor
fish fingers fish sticks
fit = convulsions fit = an offensive term for epilepsy (use the term “seizure” instead)
fitted carpet broadloom, wall-to-wall carpeting
fizzy drink, soft drink soda, pop, coke, soft drink
flannel washcloth
flat apartment
flavour flavor
flexitime flextime
flick knife switchblade
flogging a dead horse beating a dead horse
a pack of flour a bag of flour
flying in the air flying on the air
flyover overpass
food shopping grocery shopping
football, footy (slang) soccer
footballer soccer player
fortnight two weeks
free for free
freezing point: 0° Celsius freezing point: 32° Fahrenheit
fringe (hair) bangs (hair)
fuelled fueled
fuelling fueling
fulfil fulfill
fulfilment fulfillment
full beam (car) high beam (car)
full board American plan
full stop (punctuation) period (punctuation)
funfair carnival
furore furor

More Pages

Letter G to L
Letter M to R
Letter S to Z