It’s all in the translation – British to American Terms Cheat Sheet

I thought it would be fun to do a cheat sheet that takes British terms/slang and converts to its American counterpart.  I think I got a little carried away because the list turned out to be huge.  And not too pretty.  Anyway, for lovers of trivia, and maybe even a few Brit writers here you go.  Annie

British American
Chips fries
Crisps chips
Bangers sausage
Biscuit cookie
Courgette zucchini
Aubergine eggplant
Jacket potato baked potato
Sweets candy
Ice lolly popsicle
Treacle molasses
Spud potato
Pudding dessert (pudding is one of many desserts in America, maybe you call it custard?)
Peckish hungry
Takeaway take-out or carry-out (or by its name “Chinese” “Italian” “Thai”)
Tin can
Cooker stove, cooktop, range
Eating Irons Cutlery, flatware, silverware, silver, table ware
Lounge Living room, great room
Garden Yard (although we often have gardens in our yards)
Pub bar, watering hole (if it’s bad it might be called a dive)
Flat apartment
High street main street
Loo bathroom / restroom / washroom/ head/john
Underground subway
Pitch field
Car park parking lot, parking structure
Motorway highway / freeway / expressway / interstate
Pavement sidewalk
Zebra crossing crosswalk
Snail Home Motor home,  trailer, RV, camper
Railway railroad
Cinema (at the) or (go to the) movies
Supermarket grocery store
Shop store
Lift Elevator
Phone box phone booth (although these are pretty rare in the U.S. these days)
Trainers sneakers, kicks
Jumper sweater
Waistcoat vest
Braces suspenders
Nappy diaper
Dummy pacifier / binkie
Kit uniform
Bum bag fanny pack
Trousers pants, slacks
Pants men’s underwear/briefs /boxers / shorts
Knickers ladie’s underwear/panties/briefs/ thong
Bonnet hood
Windscreen windshield
Indicator blinker/ signal
Boot trunk
Road surface pavement /blacktop/ road
Diversion detour
Lorry truck
Petrol gas
Flyover overpass / freeway bridge
Number plate license plate / tags
Artic semi truck, 18-wheeler,  big rig
Telly TV / television / boob tube
Settee couch or sofa
Hoover vacuum cleaner /  vac
Wardrobe closet
Secretray desk
Bin trash can / garbage can
Justices of the Supreme Court Judge (only Justices of the Supreme Court are called Justices)
My Lord Your Honor
Mum mom, mommy, mama, ma
Dustman garbage collector / garbage man
Barrister attorney / lawyer
Copper cop / police / law enforcement
Postman mail carrier / mailman / mail person
Mate friend, buddy, girlfriend, boyfriend, bud, pal, gal pal
Holiday vacation
Brilliant great, cool, awesome, wonderful
Cheeky smartass, wiseguy / smarting off
Mad crazy / nuts / insane
Right OK
Kip Sleep, snooze, nap
Nick steal, lift, swipe
Arse/bum ass, butt, behind
Ta thanks
Taking the biscuit takes the cake
Uni/University College, Grad School
Wanker jerk, asshole, son of a bitch
Yonks ages, long time, month of Sundays
Rubbish Bullshit, BS
Pear-shaped disaster, a wreck, trainwreck, fubar (fucked up beyond all recognition)
Pissed drunk, hammered, wasted
Wag off To waste time, dick around, fuck off, screw off
Bollocks Bullshit, BS
Brassed off pissed off, angry, mad
Cock up screw up, mess up, make a mistake
Dodgy suspicious, questionable, not to be trusted
Knackered tired, beat, worn out, done in, exhausted
Posh high class, pricey, expensive, classy
Fortnight two weeks, couple of weeks
Skint broke, tapped, penniless, flat broke
Timetable schedule
Rubber eraser
Post mail
Queue line
Torch flashlight
Mobile cell
Football soccer
Zed zee
Full stop period
Postal code zip code
Fag smoke / ciggie / cigarette
Protectives condoms / rubbers
Rubbish trash, garbage

Feel free to add to the list…



5 thoughts on “It’s all in the translation – British to American Terms Cheat Sheet

      1. My bad, I didn’t read the into thoroughly enough. Know those Monty Python sketches that present Americans as loud, obnoxious, fat, or just plain stupid? Over we call that reality TV 😃👌 (or truth tele)


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