Despite being an internationally respected woman and writer, I still get some grief about “speaking American.” Guess what? I’m American so, to those people I say, duh. But I’m British, too, so I also say fuck off, you twat.
However, in the spirit of being more welcoming, I’ve decided to supply a British-American dictionary for my less worldly readers. Here’s the first section.
But I’m telling you right now: I don’t want any quibbles. I don’t speak for all Americans. I don’t speak for all Brits. I only speak for myself: Agatha Whitt-Wellington. Got it?
AAbattoir: Slaughterhouse Abseiling: Rappeling Abroad: Overseas Accelerator: Gas pedal Action Man: G.I. Joe Accumulator (bet): Parlay Advert: Commercial A&E, casualty: ER (emergency room) Aerial: Antenna Aeroplane: Airplane Alight: Get off Aluminium: Aluminum Alsatian: German Shepherd Angry: Mad, pissed off Anti-clockwise: Counter-clockwise Articulated lorry, juggernaut: Semi, tractor trailer, big rig, 18-wheeler Arse: Ass Athletics: Track and field Aubergine: Eggplant Automatic (car): Standard Autumn: Fall
BBackhander: Kickback Bagsie: Dibs Balaclava: Ski mask Bang to rights: Dead to rights Bank holiday: National holiday Bap, cob: Hamburger bun Barrister: Trial lawyer Bath: Bathtub Bedsit: Studio apartment Beefburger: Hamburger Beermat: Coaster Behind: In back of Benefits: Welfare Bespoke: Tailor made, custom made Bill: Check Bin: Wastebasket, garbage can, trash can Bin liner: Garbage bag, trash bag Biro: Pen Biscuits: Cookies Bloke, chap, lad: Man, guy Bogie, bogey: Booger Boiled sweets: Hard candy Bonnet: Hood Booking: Reservation Boot: Trunk Bottle: Moxie Braces: Suspenders Break (school): Recess Boiler (central heating): Furnace Box (men’s athletic protection): Cup Bum bag: Fanny pack Bungalow: Single-storey house Bum: Butt, booty, fanny Burgle: Burglarize
CCall box: Phone booth Candy floss: Cotton candy Car park: Parking lot Canteen: Cafeteria Caravan: Trailer, camper, RV Caretaker: Janitor Car boot sale: Yard/garage sale Car side lights: Parking lights Car wing: Fender Catapult: Sling-shot Cellar: Basement Cheeky: Ornery (cheeky monkey=ornery critter) Chemist: Pharmacy, drugstore Cheque: Check Chips: French fries Chuffed: Happy City centre: Downtown Cladding: Siding Clean your teeth: Brush your teeth Cling film: plastic wrap, Saran wrap™ Coach: Bus, Greyhound™ Condom: Rubber Consultant doctor: Specialist Cooker: Oven, stove Coriander: Cilantro Cotton: Thread Cotton bud: Q-Tip™ Cotton wool: Cotton balls Courgette: Zucchini Crash (a car): Wreck (used as a verb and noun) Crisps: Potato chips Crumpet: English muffin Current account: Checking account
DDaddy long legs: Crane fly Daft, thick: Stupid, dumb Diagonal: Catacorner Digger: Backhoe Dinner jacket: Tuxedo Diversion: Detour Doctor’s surgery: Doctor’s office Dodgems: Bumper cars Draughts: Checkers Drawing pin: Tack Dressing gown: Robe Dual-carriageway: Divided highway Dummy: Pacifier, binky Dustbin: Trash can Dustcart: Garbage truck Dustman: Garbage man Duvet: Comforter
EEngaged (phone): Busy Estate (inner city): The projects Estate (area of new houses): Sub-division Estate (car): Station wagon Estate agent: Real estate agent Ex-directory: Unlisted
FFag: Cigarette Fag end: Cigarette butt Fairy cake: Cupcake Fairy lights: Christmas lights Fancy: Like Fancy dress party: Costume party Fanny: Pussy (sounds somewhat cruder, doesn’t it?) Father Christmas: Santa Claus Fire brigade: Fire department First, second, third, fourth year (at university & high school): Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior Fishfingers: Fishsticks Flannel: Washcloth Flask: Thermos Flat: Apartment Flyover: Overpass Football: Soccer Football boots: Cleats Footpath: Trail Freephone: Toll-free Fringe: Bangs Frying pan: Skillet Full stop: Period
GGammon: Ham steak Gangway: Aisle Garden: Yard Gear stick (car): Stick shift Gherkin: Pickle Give way: Yield Gear lever: Gear shift Glove box: Glove compartment Gobsmacked: Surprised Goose pimples: Goose bumps Grease-proof paper: Waxed paper Green fingers: Green thumb Grill: Broil Ground floor: First floor
HHair slide: Barrette Hand bag: Purse Hand brake: Parking brake Hash (#): Pound sign Headmaster / mistress: Principal Hen night: Bachelorette party High Street: Main Street Hire: Rent Hob: Stovetop Holiday: Vacation Homely: Homey (homely actually means ugly, so watch yourself) Hosepipe: Hose Hundreds and thousands: Sprinkles
IIced lolly: Popsicle™ Icing sugar: Powdered sugar Identity parade: Police line-up Indicators (car): Turn signals Inverted commas: Quotemarks
JJacket potato: Baked potato Jam: Jelly (as in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) Jelly: Jell-O™ Joiner: Carpenter Jumper: Sweater Jump leads: Jumper cables Junction (motorway): Exit
KKit (sports, camera, etc.): Gear Kitchen roll: Paper towels Knickers: Panties, underwear Knuckle dusters: Brass knuckles
LLadder (tights): Run Ladybird: Ladybug Lager: Beer Launderette: Laundromat Lay-by: Rest area Lead (dog): Leash Leads (electrical): Cords Lemonade: 7-Up™, Sprite™ Let: Rent Letter box: Mail box Level crossing: Railroad crossing Lie-in: Sleep-in Lift: Elevator Lift (give someone a lift): Ride Lodger: Boarder Loo, Toilet: Bathroom, restroom Loogie: Goober, hocker (goobers are also chocolate covered peanuts) Loft: Attic Lollipop: Lollipop, sucker Lollipop lady: Crossing guard Lorry: Truck Lorry driver: Truck driver, trucker Lot (material items): Bunch Lounge, sitting room: Living room. Love bite: Hickey
MManager (sports): Coach Managing director: CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Mange tout: Snow peas Mannequin: Dummy Manual (car): Stick, stick shift Mate: Friend, buddy, pal, chum Maths: Math Megaphone: Bullhorn Mileometer: Odometer Mince (meat): Ground meat Mobile library: Bookmobile Mobile phone: Cell phone, cellular phone Motorway: Highway, expressway Mum: Mom
To be continued….