seleneheart: (mnb)
[personal profile] seleneheart posting in [community profile] multinationbeta
[livejournal.com profile] uisgich is visiting from Britain, so she and I came up with a list of terms that instantly identify an author as either British or American. I'm sure some people can add other things.



British American
en suite master bath
bench counter, counter top
lounge living room, den, great room, parlor (depends on the house)
"I'm going to university" "I'm going to school" or "I'm going to college"
is all that's all
"aren't you meant to be" "aren't you supposed to be"
jumper sweater (jumpers are what cute girls under age 6 wear)
budge over move over, scoot over, skooch over
trainers sneakers, tennis shoes, tennies
garden yard
whilst while
tin can
marking grading
blagged shoplift
numeracy math, mathematics
rubber eraser
condom rubber
tick check
holiday vacation
biscuit cookie
trolley (although in some parts of the UK, this may refer to underwear) grocery cart
pub bar
lift elevator
porridge oatmeal
garage gas station
flat apartment
cornet cone
polo lifesaver
tube subway
mobile cell phone
note bill
crisps potato chips, chips
chips french fries


Edit: Additional terms provided by [livejournal.com profile] faramir_boromir

Date: 2008-08-14 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kat-on-table.livejournal.com
(US) (UK)
truck = lorry
gasoline = petrol
tire = tyre
crisp = potato chip

Date: 2008-08-14 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kat-on-table.livejournal.com
Oops - potato chip is US and crisp is UK. Sorry ^^;

Date: 2008-08-14 07:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liars-dance.livejournal.com
adding in worktop to bench (in the kitchen countertop), and fuel, diesel or petrol for gas. Also for cars;
bonnet (UK) hood (US)
boot (UK) trunk (US)

In the UK we go to the toilet - in the US, do you go to the bathroom?

I'm not sure about the 'is all/that's all' one. I would always say 'that's all' never the other.

And of course, the British would never say 'ass' (except when referring to a donkey - or someone being stupid) but arse (or backside, bottom, bum, rear, or behind)!

sorry - just noticed you've got a typo (mulit not multi) in your pretty header!
Edited Date: 2008-08-14 03:56 pm (UTC)

Date: 2008-10-07 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sineala.livejournal.com
*jumping in randomly*

The funny thing is, this guide (http://hatstand.slashcity.net/charinfo/britgloss.html) for the poor Americans in Pros fandom just told me that "is all" was not British and "that's all" was. And now I am confused.

Edited because I just noticed this was a very belated comment. Bwahaha.
Edited Date: 2008-10-07 02:57 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-08-14 03:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taz34.livejournal.com
do you have torch (UK) Flashlight (US)

Date: 2008-10-07 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smellingbottle.livejournal.com
I think some of these aren't right, or are misleading.

'Bench' as a BrE equivalent to AmE 'counter' doesn't work - yes, a bench can be a work surface, but in a carpenter or cobbler's workspace, not a kitchen (a bench can also be a form of seat, as in park bench). For 'counter' in the sense of the surface on which you assemble ingredients and mix things in the kitchen, we say 'worktop' or 'worksurface'.

'Lounge' has traditionally had specific (lower/lower-middle) class connotations - 'living room' is more class-neutral and generally used.

'Whilst' is quite formal and would seldom be used conversationally.

'Numeracy' might be what it's called on school timetables these days, but in general, it's just maths.

Blagging may well only mean shoplifting in some part of the UK, but it has a much more common and widespread meaning of to manage to get something for free, not necessarily through robbery. You might blag a cigarette from someone, or blag your way past the door staff into a private club, or even blag your way into a job for which you are not qualified.

I think 'cornet' for 'cone' is archaic. 'Cone' would be the ordinary way of referring to the thing a scoop of icecream sits on.


The 'that's all'/'is all' thing (which may be regional also) also depends on what exactly is being said, and on the level of formality in BrE. It isn't just a matter of substitution. Obviously, sometimes only one is appropriate:

'I'm going to the shop - do you want anything besides milk and cigarettes?'
'No, that's all, thanks.'

or

'Will there be anything else, madam?'
'That's all, Wilkins.'

But, as a modifier explaining someone's hostile behaviour: 'He's jealous of you, that's all' means exactly the same thing as 'He's jealous of you, is all', but the latter is just less standard English, and more informal.

Date: 2008-10-10 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dr-tectonic.livejournal.com
I have to disagree. I'm American (Colorado), and I sometimes use the "is all" construction, as do my friends.

"That's all" may well be more common, but "is all" is by no means unheard of.

Date: 2008-10-16 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rozzlynn.livejournal.com
Thought I'd elaborate on some of this stuff, since the table wouldn't give lurkers much context. Apologies if you know it already. ^^;

In the UK, as far as I've heard the words used, a pub is an establishment that exists to serve drinks (and possibly meals with them at the right time of day; archaically called a public house), while a bar is just the room/section of a pub, hotel, theatre, nightclub etc with a counter for selling drinks. I'd say I was going to the pub if I was at home about to go out; I'd say I was going to the bar if I was already in the building.

People go to college to take A-levels or equivalent vocational courses, since you can leave school at sixteen; you can only stay on at your school for a couple of years more to do A-levels if your school has/is a sixth-form college. Universities are for anyone 18 or over who wants to do a degree; most people sign up straight from school, but there are a fair few mature students in each year at my uni. Accommodation is largely off-campus, nobody uses 'fake IDs' because we've all been of legal age to drink/marry/join the army for years (you can't buy alcohol until you're 18, but you can drink it with a meal at 16), it's normal enough for students or lecturers to commute by bus or train, and it's hard to imagine anyone getting kicked out for what they do in their own time (aside from 'serious crime' or 'no coursework, ever').

"aren't you supposed to be" sounds as normal to me as "aren't you meant to be"; I'd be hard pressed to tell which one I hear more often. Same with tins and cans (though a tin could only be tinned food, while a can could be canned food or fizzy drink).

A 'yard' isn't often used to mean a garden, but it is a unit of measurement:

12 inches to a foot, 3 feet to a yard, 1760 yards to a mile = Imperial
Centimeters, meters and kilometers = Metric

(I was kinda weirded out one time when I deliberately used 'yards' instead of 'meters' on a forum with some American netfriends because they always seemed to talk in 'miles', and they didn't know what I was talking about. Still kinda puzzled about that.)

Biscuits tend to have regular shapes (circular or rectangular, possibly with crimped edges and/or mold-cast pictures of little cows or company logos), while cookies are lumpy and unevenly textured (but still tasty, and often marketed as 'American-style cookies' on the packaging).

~Rozzlynn

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