American vs. British Words

It has already been four months since E and I relocated here in the UK from the Philippines. Whilst English is a commonly spoken language back home (school, workplace and even in regular conversations), I learned that there are vocabulary differences between American English and British English.

During one of our visits to a supermarket a couple of months ago, we asked a customer service personnel if we could borrow a push cart. She gave us a puzzled look because she did not understand what we were trying to say. After saying push cart twice, I searched for images on the internet so I could show her what I was talking about. “Oh a trolley! Sure, you can borrow a trolley.”

For someone like me who is more accustomed to American English so to speak, it is important to be knowledgeable about these so we could be more at ease with our conversations and to avoid being misunderstood. Whether you’re coming here in the UK for a short vacation or you will stay for a longer period of time, it would be really nice to know which words to use to be easily understood.

Here are some examples of the vocabulary differences:

#1   American – Soccer | British – Football

#2   American – Trunk | British – Boot

#3   American –  Sweater | British – Jumper

#4   American – Chips | British – Crisps

#5   American – Pants | British – Trousers

#6   American – Underwear | British – Pants

#7   American – High School | British – Secondary School

#8   American –  Gas  (Gasoline) | British – Petrol

#9   American –  Cookie | British – Biscuit

#10   American –  French Fries | British – Chips

#11   American –  Sidewalk | British – Pavement

#12   American –  Trash (Garbage) | British – Rubbish

#13   American – Push Cart | British – Trolley

#14   American – Diaper | British – Nappy

#15   American – Vacation | British – Holiday

I found a channel on Youtube called English with Lucy. The content of her videos are relevant and useful. I got most of the examples above from her channel. If you are interested to learn more about British English, I suggest that you check out her channel.


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