British English to American English Translation (G-L)

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 A to F
Letter M to R
Letter S to Z

G

British American
gammon ham
garden (back)yard, lawn
gear-lever gearshift
gearbox (car) transmission (car)
gearing (finance) leverage (finance)
gelatine gelatin
Gents Men’s Room
get off with someone hook up with someone
gherkins pickles
gilet vest
Girl Guide Girl Scout
glove puppet hand puppet
glycerine glycerin
go off (food), off spoiled (food)
go pear-shaped go drastically wrong
go to the cinema go to the movies
gobsmacked astonished
going pale turning paler
good on you (congratulations) good for you
goods train freight train
gormless clueless
got (past perfect of get) gotten (past perfect of get)
grandad granddad
grandular fever mono (mononucleosis)
greaseproof paper wax paper, waxed paper
green fingers green thumb
grey gray
grill (noun) broiler
grill (verb) broil (verb)
ground floor first floor, ground floor
groundsman groundskeeper
gryphon griffin
gummy toothless
gynaecologist gynecologist
gynaecology gynecology

H

British American
haemorrhage hemorrhage
hairband, Alice band headband
hairgrip bobby pin
hairslide, slide barrette
half-mast half-staff, half-mast
halls of residence dormitory
hamburger bars hamburger restaurants
hand it in turn it in
hand luggage carry-on
handbag purse, pocketbook
hang about hang around
hang up (a phone), ring off hang up (a phone)
Happy Christmas Merry Christmas
harbour harbor
haring racing
hash key – # pound key – #
hatch something out in hatch something in
hatstand hatrack
haulage company freight-hauling company
haulier hauler
have a bath take a bath
have a place (school / university) have been accepted (school / college)
haven’t (got) a clue don’t have a clue, have no clue, haven’t (got) a clue
headmaster, headteacher principal (school)

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

hen night, hen do bachelorette party
High Street Main Street
hire a car rent a car
hire purchase installment plan
hired car rental car
hoarding billboard
hob stovetop
hobo = tramp (vagrant)

tramp = hobo (vagrant)

bum = buttocks

hobo = bum (vagrant)

tramp = hooker (prostitute)

bum = hobo (vagrant)

hockey = field hockey hockey = ice hockey
holdall carryall
(go on) holiday (take a) vacation
holidaymaker vacationer
homely homey
honour honor
hoover vacuum cleaner
horse riding horseback riding
hosepipe garden hose
hot flush hot flash
hotchpotch hodgepodge
housing estate housing development, subdivision
How are you? / Are you all right? How are you?
humour humor
hundreds and thousands sprinkles (on an ice cream)

I

British American
I don’t mind. I don’t care which one.

Either is fine.

I don’t mind. – This doesn’t make sense to some Americans.

I don’t care. – This is considered rude by some North Americans.

I’m mad about something. I’m crazy about something.
I’ll go and buy some bread. I’ll go buy some bread.
I’m fine/well. I’m good.
ice lolly popsicle, ice pop
icing frosting
icing sugar confectioners’ sugar, powdered sugar
ID’d carded
in a team on a team
in hospital in the hospital (as a patient)
increase/decrease from X to Y increase/decrease to Y from X
indicator (car) blinker, turn signal (car)
industrial estate, trading estate industrial park
inside leg inseam
instalment installment
Intensive Care ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
inverted commas single quotation marks
invigilator (exam) proctor (exam)
ionise ionize

J

British American
jabs (injection) shots (injection)
jacket potato baked potato
jail, gaol jail
jam jelly
jelly jello (fruity wobbly pudding)
jelly babies jelly beans
jewellery jewelry
Joe Bloggs Joe Blow
Joe Public John Q. Public
join a queue wait in line
joiner; carpenter carpenter
judgement, judgment (legal text) judgment
jug pitcher
juggernaut 18-wheeler
jumble sale rummage sale
jumble sale yard sale
jump lead jumper cable
jumper, pullover sweater
junior school elementary school

K

British American
kennel doghouse
kerb (on a road) curb (on a road)
kilometre kilometer
kip (informal), nap nap (short snooze)
kit uniform
kitchen dresser kitchen sideboard
kitchen roll paper towel
knickers panties
knickers = panties; knickerbockers knickers = shorts; knickerbockers
knock up – to awaken by knocking knock up – to impregnate unintentionally (slang)

L

British American
labour labor
ladybird ladybug
larder pantry
laundrette laundromat
lavatory seat toilet seat
leant leaned
learn something off by heart learn something by heart
learnt learned
letters A to Z letters A through Z
a lettuce a head of lettuce
leukaemia leukemia
level crossing railroad crossing, grade crossing
licence (noun) license (noun)
lie about lie around
lie of the land lay of the land
lift elevator
likeable likable
lilo floatie
liquidiser blender
liquorice licorice
litre liter
logorrhoea; logorrhoeic logorrhea; logorrheic
lollipop man (or lady) crossing guard
lolly lollipop
loo, public toilet restroom, bathroom (public)
looking out of the window looking out the window
loose cover slipcover
lorry truck
lorry driver truck driver
lost from view lost to view
lost property lost and found
lot crowd
lot (group) bunch (group)
loudhailer bullhorn
louvre louver
low loader flatbed truck
lucky dip grab bag
luggage baggage
luggage van baggage car
lustre luster

More Pages

Letter A to F
Letter M to R
Letter S to Z