Given the amount of places around the world that English is spoken, various differences are bound to emerge. Despite how much the USA and UK have in common, there are enough differences between their two versions of the English language that someone may not always understand exactly what someone from the other country is saying. Fortunately, the US State Department has created a series of useful graphics to help clear things up.


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The US and the UK's imperial histories and modern influence over the world have changed the English language forever. Because it was exported to countries all over the world, it has been forced to accept different

Even if you're a native speaker of UK or US English, there's a good chance you'll learn something new here. Let us know what the most surprising discovery for you was in the comments!

More info: americanenglish.state.gov (h/t: designyoutrust, demilked)

#1

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 9 months ago

In the UK we also call jumpers sweaters and have done for years

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#2

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 9 months ago

We too have french fries (what you get in McDonalds) chips are different. We also use peckish and hungry they indicate a degree in our state of hunger.

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#3

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

DianaChapman 9 months ago

I always thought gray was the other way around.

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#4

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 9 months ago

In the UK jacket and baked potato are interchangeable terms

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#5

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

PeterKerngast 9 months ago

Labeling of floors in elevators in both the US and UK is a permanent cause of confusion for continental ppl lol

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#6

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

AndreaK 9 months ago

Charles Franks is obviously an English language scholar. Please consult him before writing these articles

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#7

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

ミースタースナイプス 9 months ago

In the philippines, we call it signal lights lol

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#8

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

MalcolmeCollins 9 months ago

One of my sister in laws had a period of schooling in the states and had the class in fits of laughter when she asked for a rubber to rectify a mistake she had made not realising that a rubber was slang for a condom. Very red faced.

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#9

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

TinyDynamine 9 months ago

In the UK, we use Big Dipper as well. Do your research properly, please.

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#10

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

KristenHamilton 9 months ago

Estate wagon sounds so much better. Would probably sell better too. You can't call a '78 Oldsmobile station wagon a 'sports wagon'...estate wagon would totally work tho

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#11

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

CharlesFranks 9 months ago

A parlour is a nice room in your house for special guests (bit old fashioned), you generally don't by ice cream there.

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#12

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

JessicaHollowayDyker 9 months ago

We use both TV and telly

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#13

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

SandraLeslie 9 months ago

sweets/candy in Australia = lollies, candy floss= fairy floss, ice lolly = icy pole,

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#14

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report

KathyLaPan 9 months ago

I use many of these terms and I've never been to England.

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#15

British & American English

americanenglish.state.gov Report