Here are the principal differences in spelling between English and American English.

English

American English

Final -l is always doubled after one vowel in stressed and unstressed syllables in English but usually only in stressed syllables in American English, for example:

rebel > rebelled
travel > travelled

rebel > rebelled
travel > traveled

Some words end in -tre in English and -ter in American English, for example:

centre
theatre

center
theater

Some words end in -ogue in English and -og in American English, for example:

analogue
catalogue

analog
catalog

Some words end in -our in English and -or in American English, for example:

colour
labour

color
labor

Some verbs end in -ize or -ise in English but only in -ize in American English, for example:

realise, realize
harmonise, harmonize

realize
harmonize

HERE ARE SOME OF THE COMMON DIFFERENCES

CLOTHES

In the UK, we would be embarrassed if people saw our pants. why?

British English

American English

Trousers

Pants

Pants / Underwear / Knickers

Underwear / panties

Jumper / Pullover / Sweater /
Jersey

Sweater

Pinafore Dress

Jumper

Vest

Undershirt

Waistcoat

Vest

Wellington Boots / Wellies

Galoshes

Mac (slang for Macintosh)

Rain Coat

Plimsolls

Gym Shoes

Trainers

Sneakers

Braces

Suspenders

Suspenders

Holds up stockings

Dressing Gown

Robe

Nappy

Diaper

Pinny / Apron

Apron

Polo Neck

Turtle Neck

Dressing Gown

Bath Robe

Swimming costume / Cozzy

Bathing Suit

AT SCHOOL

Stop mucking around and get on with your work,”
shouted the teacher to two students who were off task.

British English

American English

Friend / Mate

Friend

Glue

Gum

Rubber

Eraser

Maths

Math

Public School

Private School

State School

Public School

Holiday

Vacation

School dinner

Hot Lunch

Staff Room

Teachers Lounge

Plimsolls

Gym Shoes

“Mucking Around” / Off Task

Off Task / Fooling Around /
“Goofing Off”

Play Time / Break Time

Recess

Open Day / Open Evening

Open House

Marking Scheme

Grading Scheme

Drawing pins

pushpins or thumbtacks

ON THE ROAD

In the UK, we drive slowly over sleeping policemen.
Are we afraid of waking them up?

British English

American English

Sleeping Policeman /speed bump

Speed bump

Car park

Parking Lot

Car Journey / drive

Road Trip

Zebra Crossing / Pedestrian Crossing

Cross Walk

Lollipop Man or Lady

Crossing Guard

Motorway

Freeway

Traffic Jam / Tailback

Traffic Jam

Lorry

Truck

Articulated Lorry

Tractor Trailer /
Trailer Truck

Petrol

Gas / Gasoline

Pavement

Sidewalk

Petrol Station

Gas Station

Skip

Dumpster

Diversion

Detour

Fire Engine

Fire Truck

Phone Box

Telephone Booth

BUILDINGS / SHOPS

British English

American English

Semi-Detached House

Duplex

Flat (one storey) appartment

Apartment

Terrace (row of houses joined)

Town House

Chemist

Drug Store / Druggist

Cafe / Caff (not 24 hrs)

Diner

Bungalow

House (one story)
Ranch House

FOOD

Are you Peckish? (Are you Hungry?)

What’s for afters? Have you had your pudding yet?

Are you feeling peckish (hungry)?

That food looks very scrummy (delicious)

British English

American English

Biscuit / Bickie
(A cookie is a large biscuit)

Cookie

Scone

Biscuit

Fairy Cake

Cup Cake

Courgette

Zucchini

Sweets

Candy

Sausage / Banger

Sausage

Crisps

Chips

Chips
(French Fries in McDonald’s)

French Fries

Starter

Appetizer

Puddings / Afters / Dessert /
Sweets

Dessert

Jacket Potato / Baked Potato

Baked Potato

Jam

Jelly or Jam

Jelly (a dessert in th UK)

Jell-o (flavoured gelatin)

Aubergine

Eggplant

Sandwich / Butty / Sarny

Sandwich

Ice lolly

Popsicle

Bill (at restaurant)

check

Grill

Broil

Food / Grub / Nosh

Food

Rasher

A slice of bacon

Eggy bread (fried)

French Toast

Runner beans

Green beans

Soldiers (We dip soldiers in our soft boiled eggs)

Finger sized slices of toast.

Take-away

Take out

Scotch Pancakes

Flapjacks

Flapjacks in England are oats mixed with honey and/or golden syrup and baked then cut into slices. sometimes raisins are added to the mixture.

PARTS OF A CAR

British English

American English

Bonnet

Hood

Windscreen

Windshield

Boot

Trunk

Reversing lights

Back-up lights

Exhaust pipe

Tail pipe / Muffler

IN AND AROUND THE HOUSE

I watch the telly whilst lying on the settee.

Whilst is used in British English. It is another word for while

British English

American English

The Toilet / Loo / The John /
Bog / WC / Visiting the little boys (little girl’s room).

Bathroom / Restroom

Bathroom – the room where the bath is. If you asked us for the bathroom we will think you want to have a bath!

Tap

Faucet

Garden

Backyard / Yard

Wardrobe

Closet

Bin / Dust Bin

Trash Can

Telephone / Blower / Phone

Telephone

Television / Box / Telly/ TV

TV / Television

Cooker

Range or Stove

Couch / Sofa / Settee

Sofa

Hand Basin / Sink

Sink

Run the bath

Fill the tub

PEOPLE

British English

American English

Girl / Lass

Girl

Boy / Lad

Boy

Man / Bloke / Gentleman / Guy /
Chap

Man / Guy

Lady / Woman

Lady

Policeman / Bobby / Copper

Policeman / Cop

Postman

Mailman

Dustman

Garbage Man

Friend / Pal / Chum / Mate /
Buddy

Friend / Buddy

Cashier

Teller

Lollypop Man

Crossing Guard

Nutter

Crazy Person

Mum / Mummy / Mom

Mom

SPORT

British English

American English

Football

Soccer

Rounders

Baseball

Bat (table tennis)

Paddle (ping pong)

OTHER WORDS

British English

American English

Torch

Flashlight

Plaster

Band-Aid

Autumn

Fall

Bank Holiday

National Holiday

Lift

Elevator

Queue

There’s a queue.

Stand in a Line

There’s a line.

Quid (slang for pound)

Bucks

Surgery

Doctor’s office

Trodden on

Stepped on

I’m knackered

I’m Beat

Kip / sleep

sleep

Nick

steal

Wireless / Radio

Radio

Starkers / naked

Naked

Come round

Come over

Off you go

Go ahead

It’s gone off

It’s spoiled

Lady bird

Lady bug

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