List of words having different meanings in American and British English


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
AA The Automobile Association (US: AAA) Alcoholics Anonymous
A&E the accident and emergency (casualty) department of a hospital (US: emergency roomER) Arts & Entertainment (name of a television network)
accumulator rechargeable battery (technical)
a type of bet  (US: parlay)
one that accumulates, as a type of computer processor register or a hydraulic accumulator
Ace good, excellent (informal) a one in a suit of playing cards
someone who is very good at something
(tennis) a winning serve in which the receiver does not touch the ball
fighter pilot who has shot down at least 5 enemyaircraft
(v.) to perform outstandingly *; esp., to achieve an A (on a school exam)
(n.) the best starting pitcher in a rotation on a baseball team
advocate (n.) Scottish also the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and South African lawyer who appears in higher courts(rest of UK: barrister) someone who supports or speaks for a particular position
generic term for a lawyer
(v.) to recommend or support
air marshal a senior air force officer (equivalent to a USAF Lt. General) an undercover law enforcement officer on board a commercial aircraft, also known as a sky marshal
à la mode fashionable with ice cream (ex. Apple pie à la mode)
allotment a parcel of land in a community garden the amount of something allocated to a particular person
alternate (adj.) done or occurring by turns; every second, every other (“on alternate weeks”)
(n.) one that alternates with another
(adj.) constituting an alternative, offering a choice (UK usu. & US also alternative) (“use alternate routes”)
“alternative”, unconventional (“alternate lifestyles”)(n.) an alternative *; a substitute
amber orange-yellow traffic light (US: yellow light) orange-yellow colour
fossilised resin
a material used in the construction of some tobacco pipes’ stems(Amber) female given name
(sealed in amber) state of being oblivious to changing circumstances
anæsthetist (UK), anesthetist (US) physician trained to induce anesthesia (US:anesthesiologist) someone who induces anesthesia. a critical care experienced graduate level educated Registered Nurse who is nationally certified to induce anesthesia
anchor a position in a tug of war team
device for mooring ships by providing a firm fix to the seabed
(anchorman/anchorwoman) the last member of a relay team to compete
a type of radio or TV presenter (“a news anchor”). See news presenter for a description of the different roles of a newscaster, an American news anchor, and a British newsreader.
A dowel or fastener, usually made of plastic, that enables a weight-bearing screw to be attached to a wall (UK: wall plugRawlplug (trademark))
anorak parka
(slang) a socially awkward person obsessively interested in something (syn. US: geeknerd;dweeb; etc.)
hooded, rainproof outerwear that lacks a full-length zipper in the front (UK: cagoule)
apartment suite of rooms set aside for a particular person (rare), usu. rented housing unit in a larger building implying luxury (In other words a narrower definition than the US.) (Overlapping with the rare usage in reference to stately homes or historic properties which have been converted into residential units.) usu. rented housing unit in a larger building (usu.flat in UK)– cf. s.v. condominium
appropriate (v.), appropriation (n.) to take (money) to oneself, to filch or misappropriate to take (money) (there is considerable overlap but difference of emphasis) to dispense (money), to budget
Asian originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka (South Asian) originating from the continent of Asia originating from East Asia or continental Southeast Asia
ass donkey
slow-witted or stupid person, often in combination (dumb-ass)
unpleasant or unthinking person (less common colloquially) (“you ass”)
(often vulgar) buttocks (UK: arse); also, bysynecdoche, the person (“your ass is dead”); also (vulgar) anus (short for asshole)
(vulgar) sex (“get some ass”)
(adv.) a postpositive intensive (i.e., to add emphasis to an adjective) (“He drove a big-ass truck”)
kick-ass: to beat up or beat, e.g. “I am going to kick his ass” or, more positively, something that beat (did better than) everything else, e.g. “The opening band was kick-ass.”
(vulgar) someone acting inappropriately or offensively (“That guy was an ass!”)
athletics Sport comprising the events in track and field,cross country runningroad running andracewalking Athletic sports in general, (e.g. College athletics)
attorney an agent or representative authorised to act on someone else’s behalf (“attorney-in-fact”, “power of attorney“)
(Attorney General) main legal advisor to the government
(or attorney-at-law) a lawyer (UK: barrister(England, Northern Ireland, Wales)/advocate(Scotland) or solicitor, depending on the actual profession)
(District attorneyprosecuting attorney) local public official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminals (archaic in Br. Eng. for lawyer)
aubergine the plant Solanum melongena, or the fruit thereof (US: eggplant) an aubergine-like colour (US also: eggplant)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
backside (n.) posterior, buttocks (as two words, back side) rear of anything
banger (n.) a sausage, as in “bangers and mash”
an old motorcar in a state of disrepair (US: beateror jalopy)
a type of firework a particularly club-friendly beat or song
a gang member (gang-banger)
bang(s) small explosions or reports;
(v.) have sexual intercourse with (vulgar slang) (e.g. “bang some chick” or “he’s banging her”)
locks of hair on forehead (UK: fringe)
banker railway locomotive that temporarily assists the train hauled by another up a gradient (US: helper) one who works in a bank
Base foundation, starting point; many meanings in sciences, architecture, politics, military installation, etc.; see base in baseball, one of the three places a runner can stand in safety; hence in many fig. senses, off one’s base (crazy), to get to first base (esp. in neg. constr., to get a first important result); more recently (slang), a metaphor for one of three different stages in making out (q.v.) – see baseball metaphors for sex; more s.v. home run
Bash Have a go – to try to achieve something, as in “have a bash at this crossword”) to strike physically
to attack verbally
a party or celebration “they’re having a little bash this weekend” (orig. US, but now probably more common in UK than US)
Bath (pl.) swimming pool
(v.) to bathe, or give a bath to, example have a bath (US: take a bath meaning bathe)
(n.) plumbing fixture for bathing *(US: bathtub)
(n.) the act of bathing
(n.) a bathroom (esp. a half bath which has a sink and toilet but no shower stall or bathtub, or a 3/4 bath which has a sink, toilet, and shower stall, but no bathtub)
bathroom room containing a bath (US: bathtub) or shower, other washing facilities, and usu. (but not necessarily) a toilet room, in a home or hotel room, containing a toilet, related washing facilities, and often, but not necessarily, a shower or bathtub (Hence “Going to the bathroom” is a euphemism for going to the toilet even in a setting where one would not expect to find a bath, e.g. a restaurant or shop *) (a room without shower or bathtub may also be known as apowder room, but this usage may be considered dated)
Beaker drinking vessel without a handle, or one (with or without handles) made of unbreakable plastic for the use of children (US: sippy cup) flat-bottomed vessel, with a lip, used as a laboratory container.
beater person who flushes game from concealment so it can be shot at by ‘the guns’
something or someone that beats
used car or bicycle in very poor condition (UK:banger)
(slang) wifebeater (q.v.)
a sleeveless undershirt (from the stereotype that poor men who wear them beat their wives, perhaps from Jackie Gleason in “The Honeymooners” TV series (50s/60s U.S.) or more likely from the costume of the character Stanley Kowalski in the play “A Streetcar Named Desire“) (UK: vest)
beaver beard; a bearded man (archaic slang) aquatic rodent known for building dams
woman’s undepilated external genitalia (obscene slang)
female vagina (slang)
Bee a four-winged insect which collects nectar and pollen, produces wax and honey, and lives in large communities a meeting for communal work or amusement
bender derogatory expression for a gay man, referring to the act of bending over to permit buggery. an expression for a binge drinking spree, referring to the act of bending over to vomit. A period of extensive drug use: “He went on a 3 week heroin bender”
bespoke (esp. of apparel) made to the customer’s specification (US: custom-madetailor-made) pret. of bespeak
bill The bill=the police (slang, poss. from Old Bill) invoice; request for payment (also US: checktab)
a proposed law before it is voted on by a legislature
a piece of paper money (UK: note/banknote)
Billion (traditionally) a million millions (1012) (US: trillion) thousand million (109) (now most common in both UK and US) (traditional UK: milliard) (see also Long and short scales) 109
Bin (v.) to throw away.
(bread bin) container for storing bread (US:breadbox)
(1) a waste container (2) a usu. large receptacle or container for storage (“a grain bin”; “Scrooge McDuck‘s money bin”)
bird (np.) one’s girlfriend or any young female (slang; getting rarer[8] and considered derogatory by some)
prison sentence (slang)
an animal with feathers
an aircraft (aviation slang)
insulting hand gesture involving shaking one’s fist towards someone with knuckles pointing towards the person being insulted and the middle finger extended (used chiefly in “flipping someone the bird”) (slang)
biscuit (n.) baked sweet or savoury cake-like item, usu. flat, which is hard when baked and softens over time (colloquially bikkies for sweet biscuits) (US: cookie(sweet biscuit), cracker savoury biscuit)
(to take the biscuit) to be very surprising (US: take the cake)
piece of wood used in joinery to join two larger pieces together type of quick bread served with savory foods (UK: similar to a savoury scone, or similar in consistency to a croissant)
blinder (n.) excellent performance in a game or race (slang) “e.g. he played a blinder either of two flaps on a horse’s bridle to keep it from seeing objects at its sides (UK: blinker, also used in US)

(wear blinders) (colloq.) state of being oblivious, unresponsive to changing circumstances. Myopic, tunnel vision.

Blinkers leather flaps on a bridle used to restrict a horse‘s lateral vision*(US usu.: blinders) lights on a car that indicate the direction about to be taken *(UK: indicators)
block (n.) a building (block of flatsoffice block) a solid piece of something
to obstruct
(basketball) a blocked shot, or (plural) in the low post position near the basket, as in “on the blocks”
in a city, the portion of a street between adjacent intersections or an informal rough unit of distance derived from the length of the same. The usage to mean a single large building was common in the Western U.S. until the early 20th century.
bloody expletive attributive used to express anger (“bloody car”) or shock (“bloody hell”), or for emphasis (“not bloody likely”) (slang, today only mildly vulgar) *(similar US: damn (“damn car”)) having, covered with or accompanied by blood considered a euphemism for more emphatic swear words
blow off to break wind to perform oral sex upon to fail to turn up to meet somebody, to disavow or fail to meet an obligation (UK: blow out) (“I’m just too busy, I’ll have to blow you off for this evening.”)
bog (n.) toilet (slightly vulgar slang)
(bog off) go away (slightly vulgar slang, often jocular)
wetland that accumulates appreciable peatdeposits A plot of artificially floodable farmland used to growcranberries
(a cranberry bog)
Bogey dried nasal mucus usu. after extraction from the nose (US: booger) (informal) the score of one over par in golf an unidentified aircraft, often assumed to be that of an enemy
alternate spelling of “Bogie” (nickname ofHumphrey Bogart)
boiler (n.) old fowl best cooked by boiling;
2. (derogatory) an ugly woman (usually in the phrase “old boiler”)
1. device (usu. oil or gas-fired) for heating water for central heating or hot water *, “central heating boiler” (US furnace);
vessel in which steam is generated
A car (1930s slang)
Bomb a striking success; used in the phrases “go (like) a bomb” and “go down a bomb”; Go like a bomb also means, when used of a vehicle, to go very fast an explosive weapon (v.) to be a failure (“the show bombed”); also as n.
(n., used with the) something outstanding (“that show was the bomb”); sometimes spelled da bomb
Bombardier corporal in the Royal Artillery – see Bombardier (rank) crew member of a bomber responsible for assisting the navigator in guiding the plane to a bombing target and releasing the aircraft’s bomb load – seeBombardier (air force) (UK: bomb aimer)
Bonk act of sexual intercourse, or to have sexual intercourse (slightly vulgar slang) (US: boink) blow to the head
(n. and v.) to suffer glycogen depletion in an endurance sporting event; see hitting the wall
bonnet hinged cover over the engine in a car (US: hood) hat tied under chin worn by a baby or (archaically) a woman
Boost to (figuratively) lift up; to improve, increase, revitalize. to (literally) lift up, especially a person: booster cushion*, a cushion used to increase the height of a seat (esp. in a car)
to steal, especially from a retail establishment (i.e.,shoplift)
boot storage compartment of a car (US: trunk) footwear covering lower leg
to kick something hard
to start up a computer
(Denver bootcar boot) device used to render cars immobile (UK: wheel clamp)
to expel (UK: give someone the boot *)(“I have been given the Order of the Boot”, Winston Churchill)
to vomit (slang)
to shoot up (with intravenous drugs) (ex: to boot cocaine or heroin; slang)
Boss the person you report to at work cool, totally awesome (slang) e.g. “That is a bossZefron poster”
bottle courage (“he’s got some bottle”) (slang) (US:moxie)
to fail to do something through fear (“he’s bottled out”, “he bottled it”) (slang)
to attack somebody with a broken bottle (slang)
container for liquids
(the bottlealcohol, heavy drinking (synecdochicalslang)
box a gift in a box, hence Boxing Day
genital protector used in cricket (US similar: cup)
(the box) television set (slang) (US: idiot boxboob tube)
a box stall in a barn
any of various box-like structures, such as:
signal box (US: switch/signal/interlocking tower)
telephone box (US & UK also: telephone booth), more at call box
witness box (US: witness stand)
either one of the two marked areas adjacent to the goalmouth on an association football pitch (seehere)
see also box junction
(n.) rigid container
(v.) to attack using one’s fists
(n.) general-purpose computer (e. g. “this box needs its hard disk re-formatted”)
any of various areas on a baseball diamond (as for the batter, or the pitcher, the catcher, etc.)
female genitalia (obscene slang) *
(box canyon) a canyon with vertical walls
(boxcar) a type of enclosed railroad freight car (UK:goods van)
a three-ball “frame” for one player in candlepin bowling (New England)
the genital area (ex: kicked in the box; vulgar slang)
brace bracers braces over-the-shoulder straps to support trousers *(US usu. suspenders, q.v.) support that steadies or strengthens something else

devices for straightening teeth
a pair or couple of something, typically game birds or animals[11][12]

leg supports (UK: callipers)
tertiary enclosing punctuation: { } (UK: curly brackets)
brackets enclosing punctuation: ( ) (US & UK also:parentheses); more at braces supports for shelves, etc. attached to a wall secondary enclosing punctuation: [] (UK: square brackets)
brew (n.) tea beer


Brilliant excellent, of the highest quality (rarely sarcastic) very bright (of a light or a brain)
very intelligent
bud undeveloped shoot which normally occurs in theaxil of a leaf or at the tip of a plant stem marijuana (slang)
hand-rolled marijuana cigarette (slang), comparejoint
shortening of ‘buddy’, used to address strangers assuming a non-existent familiarity (UK: similar:mate)
buffet railway carriage containing a refreshment counter selling snacks and drinks, esp. on a train on which a full restaurant car (US: dining car) service is not provided refreshment counter or bar;
a meal set out on a table, etc. for diners to serve themselves
a type of sideboard
bug insect of the order Hemiptera
pathogen, bacteria, germ
covert listening device (orig. US)
defect in software (orig. in a machine) (orig. US)
an enthusiast of something (orig. US)
Volkswagen Beetle
(v.) to apply a covert listening device (orig. US)
(v.) to annoy (colloquial)
any of various insects *(nontechnical usage)
an important person (“a big bug”); also, someone crazy (as in “firebug”, a pyromaniac)*
to go away, depart, also from a responsibility (used with out)
(bug off) to go away (often as a command) (from UK bugger, q.v.)
Bugger (buggered) 1. broken, not working (typically of mechanical devices, e.g. “the engine’s buggered”) (slang); 2. syn. for bothered (e.g. “I didn’t do it. I couldn’t be buggered.”) (slang)
(bugger up) to make a mess of something (slang)
(bugger off) (imperative) go away, leave me alone (slang)
(usually vulgar) to engage in, or someone who engages in, anal sex[13][14][15][16]
a form of address for either a person or item, either jocular (“he’s a generous bugger”, “I finally found the little bugger!”) or less so (“he’s a mean bugger”) (slang)
term of endearment, often used for children (slang)
buggy 2-wheeled horse-drawn lightweight carriage
baby transport vehicle also called (UK) pushchair(US: stroller)
any of various light cart or cars (“a golf buggy”)
(slang) an automobile (orig. US)
see baby transport for details
see also dune buggy
4-wheeled horse-drawn lightweight carriage
baby transport vehicle also called (US) baby carriage (UK: pram)
regional (esp. South) for shopping cart (UK: trolley)
(marsh/swamp buggy) a type of motor vehicle for marshland
(slang) caboose
(horse and buggy) something obsolete (as from before the invention of the automobile)
Bum a person’s bottom (buttocks) <Ltl.Oxf.Dict.2002ISBN 0198604521>

to engage in anal sex (vulgar slang)

(1)to cadge (“can I bum a cigarette off you?”) (slang)

(2) buttocks (slang) (US: butt)

hobohomeless person
poor quality (slang)
to sadden (often used with “out”)
Bumps a type of rowing race
a method of marking someone’s birthday (seeBirthday customs and celebrations)
a set of small protuberances
Bunk to be absent without authorization:
bunk off, to play truant from school (US: play hooky)
do a bunk, to abscond (US: go on the lam)
type of bed, where two small beds are stacked on top of each other (UK bunk (up) with implies sharing a bed, rather than merely a room)
nonsense as in “History is bunk” (from bunkum)
group of plain beds used as no-frills lodging (UK:dormitory, q.v.); also used as a verb (“I bunked with them in their room”; “The cabin could bunk about 18”)
bureau a type of writing table a public office or government agency a type of chest of drawers
burn (n.) (Scotland and Northern England) narrow river, stream – more s.v. creek wound caused by heat, or chemical agents, etc. (n.) clearing (as in a forest) made by burning vegetation
bus (v.) to travel by bus
system for carrying computer signals
to clear (as tables) in a restaurant; to work as abusboy
Butcher (have a butcher’s) to have a look (rhyming slang: butcher’s hook=look) to kill and cut up an animal for meat
to kill messily, or someone who does so
one who cuts and sells meat
to make a big mess of things; botch (“butcher it up”; “I butchered the spelling”)
butchery (n.) slaughterhouse, abattoir a cruel massacre
a butcher’s trade
a botch
butt (n.) (n.) the (larger) end of anything, a stub; also, a cigarette
a sudden blow given by the head of an animal
a large wooden cask
a person mocked by a joke
(v.) to strike bluntly (as with the head)
(butt in) to interfere when uncalled for (orig. US)
(colloquial) buttocks (UK usu. bum); hencebutthead *
(n.) (butt-in) one who butts in
(v.) to cut off the end (of a log)
(butt out) to stop interfering
Buzzard hawk of the genus Buteo vulture (slang)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
callbox (n.) telephone booth (UK also telephone box) roadside emergency telephone
call for (v.) to require or advocate to predict or anticipate (“The forecast calls for rain”)
Can (n.) small metal container
(v.) to place in such a container
(modal v.) to be able to
(v.) to fire someone from a job (UK: sack)
(n.) toilet (slang), jail
(n.) buttocks[17]
canteen (n.) basic food service location usually at a work place or institution (US: cafeteria) a box with compartments for storing eating utensils, silverware etc.
a military mess kit
water bottle, typically used for military or camping purposes.
campsite (n.) area or park for people to camp in (US:campground) spot for a particular person or group to camp, often within a campground (UK: pitch)
candy (n.) (candy floss) heated sugar spun into thin threads and collected into a mass, usually on a stick; something pleasing but having little worth (US:cotton candy for both senses) (v.) to sugarcoat, or boil with sugar (as fruit)
to sweetenedible, sweet-tasting confection containing sugar, or sometimes artificial sweeteners, and often flavored with fruit, chocolate, nuts or artificial flavours; a piece of candy (UK: sweets, confectionery)
(eye candy) (derog.) someone who is physically attractive (See also arm candy.)
canfield (n.) a patience (solitaire) card game (US: Klondike) a patience (solitaire) card game (UK: Demon)
car (n.) railway vehicle, only in combination (e.g. “restaurant car”, except London Underground“carriage”)

(archaic) street tramway vehicle

motorcar (n.) (UK, q.v.)/automobile nonpowered unit in a railroad or railway train (“railroad car“; “a passenger/freight/parlor/dining/baggage etc. car”) (see s.v. motor cartrolley; UK: cf. s.v. carriage,coachwagon)
elevator (q.v.) cage
caravan towed recreational vehicle containing accommodation (US: travel trailer)
to take such a vehicle on holiday
overland trading convoy a type of minivan sold in the United States (seeDodge Caravan)
caretaker (n.) one who takes care of a building, usu. a state-owned building, i.e. school (US: janitor; cf. s.v.custodian)
one put in charge of a farm after eviction of tenant
one who takes care of someone or something
stopgap government or provisional government
one who takes care of real estate in exchange for rent-free living accommodations *
carnival (n.) the festive days just preceding Lent (US: Mardi Gras) (adj.) suggesting a festive atmosphere (n.) a travelling circus or fair (UK: funfair) comprising amusement rides
carousel (n.) a moving luggage/baggage display unit, most often at airports a rotating fairground ride (UK: merry-go-round,roundabout)
carriage (n.) railway coach (q.v.) designed for the conveyance of passengers
the conveying of goods or the price paid for it (“carriage-paid”); “handling”
4-wheeled horse-drawn private passenger vehicle (baby carriagebaby transport vehicle featuring the infant lying down facing the pusher (UK:perambulatorpram) – more s.v. buggy
a shopping cart (primarily in North Atlantic states)
carry on, carryon (informal) have a love affair[18] (colloquial) carrying-on, unruly behaviour
(v.) continue (Keep Calm and Carry On)
luggage that can be carried aboard an aircraft, bus, or train (UK: hand luggage or baggage)
cart usu. 2-wheeled one-horse vehicle (as that used in farming) a lightweight wheeled vehicle, as for shopping, serving, carrying baggage, etc. (UK: trolley)
cartridge (primarily related to video games)
casket (n.) a small box, as for jewels, particularly an antique The type of coffin with upholstery and a half-open lid, any coffin
casualty (person) often, someone who has been wounded; hencecasualty department (US: emergency room) generally, someone who has been injured or killed often, someone who has been killed; see alsocasualty insurance
catapult small Y-shaped handheld projectile weapon often used by children (US: slingshot) a type of medieval siege engine
an aircraft catapult
(v.) rise quickly
chaps [?] men or boys (but increasingly used for people of either sex; in the singular it still almost exclusively refers to a male, “Guys” has become a more popular phrase in the UK) (US & UK: guys)
one’s friends (“the chaps”) (US & UK: the guys)
cheeks – as in Bath Chaps – stewed pigs’ cheeks, a delicacy
leather leggings originally worn by cowboys and designed to protect the legs against thorns (sometimes pronounced shaps), short for “chaparajos”, or the similar items worn by motorcyclists as a form of leg protection
Check examine for a particular purpose
a pattern of coloured squares
a warning given in chess
leave items in the care of someone else (e.g. at a cloakroom; hence checkroom)
(also check mark) mark used to denote ‘correct’ or indicate one’s choice (UK: tick, q.v.)
request for payment, especially at a restaurant; bill
written order for a bank to pay money (UK:cheque)
checker one who checks (e.g. an inspector) a store or shop cashier (almost always a grocery store)
(checkers) a popular board game (UK: draughts)
to mark with alternating colored squares (UK:chequer)
cheers (interjection) said to express gratitude in England, or on parting (slang). Also cheerio. used as a toast or valediction
chemist pharmacist, pharmacy (US similar: druggist,drugstore) student or researcher of chemistry
Chew a chewy sweet[19] (US: taffy) to break down food with the teeth, masticate
(chew on somethingchew something over) (colloquial) to consider or discuss [20][19]
referring to or using chewing tobacco
chip in to express one’s opinion (as in a conversation); to “chime in” to contribute (as money) (orig. US)
chips (food) Long cuts of deep fried potato, usu. thick cut resembling American steak fries French fries, in (orig. UK) phrase fish and chips thin slices of fried potato*(UK: crisps)
chippie, chippy carpenter (slang);
fish-and-chip shop (slang) (Scot, Ire: chipper)
(adj.; chippy only) aggressively belligerent, especially in sport loose woman (dated slang);
the N. American bird Chipping Sparrow
chum friend (sometimes sarcastic) (n.) waste products from fish processing (heads, tails, blood etc.) often used for shark fishing
(v.) to spread fish entrails etc. in the hope of luring sharks. “We chummed the water all morning, but never spotted any dorsal fins.” Has some cross-over usage metaphorically in non-fishing situations.
cider an alcoholic drink derived from apples (US: hard cider) unfiltered, unpasteurized, unfermented apple juice[21]
Cinderella a team which underachieves, or is overshadowed by successful neighbouring rivals* fairy tale character a lowly sports team or individual which enjoys an unexpectedly good run in a tournament
City a large town, in particular a town created a city by charter and containing a cathedral
“The City”: the City of London, London’s financial centre, hence financial markets and investment banking more generally (c.f. US Wall Street)
a usually large or important municipality governed under a charter granted by the state (however some smaller towns in the US are cities); an element of a standard mailing address (UK “postal town”)
clerk administrative worker (or salesclerk) store or shop worker (UK: shop assistant)
hotel employee at the reservation desk (US & UK:receptionist)
closet any small room (esp. Northern England, Scotland, & Ireland); hence water closet, a room containing aflush toilet, later the toilet itself a private chamber for retirement
in secret; (come out of the closet) to reveal what was secret (especially in relation to homosexuality)
(closet queen) (colloq., disparaging) someone who keeps their homosexuality secret[22][23][24]
a cabinet or wardrobe, as for utensils or apparel; in the latter case oftenest built-in; hence e.g. walk-in closetlinen closet, and skeleton in the closet *(UK also: in the cupboard) *
coach bus with of higher standard of comfort, usually chartered or used for longer journeys*
tutor, usu. private, who prepares pupils for examinations *
railway carriage *
enclosed horse-drawn passenger carriage
sports trainer
extracurricular sports teacher at a school (UK: PE teacher)
lowest class on a passenger aircraft (UK:economy)
cob (mainly Northern & Central Eng.) a type of bread roll (“Chip cob”, “ham cob”, “pack of six cobs please”)
(pl.) large globules of sweat (“I’m sweating cobs”)
The portion of a corn plant around which the kernels grow.
building material
a type of horse
a male swan
cock (n.) form of address to a man to gain attention or greet e.g. “Wotcha cock!”
a popular personage e.g. Cock o’ the North
(v.) (cock up) *to make a mess of things; cock-up(n.) is the act or the resulting state of affairs
(n.) a male bird; esp., an adult male chicken (US oftenest rooster)
(n.) penis (vulgar slang)
(v.) to set the hammer or firing pin of a loaded firearm ready for firing; likewise, to “cock the shutter” of an old, spring-activated camera
(n.) A type of tap, faucet, or valve (e.g., astopcock).
Collect To win a bet (from the idea of picking up the winnings) (v.) to gather together, to pick up; (orig. US) to pick up a person or thing
(n.) short prayer read during the first part of a church service as practised by certain parts of the Christian faith; mainly Anglican and Roman Catholic.
(adj., adv.) charged to the receiver (“to call collect”, to reverse the charges) (“a collect call”) [fromcollect on delivery]
college part of the name of some state secondary schools (US approx.: high school) and many independent schools (US approx.: prep school)
educational institution between school and university (e.g. sixth form college, technical college, college of further education)
vocational training institution
constituent part of some larger universities, especially ancient universities professional association which usu. grants some form of professional qualifications, mostly in the medical field (e.g. Royal College of Surgeons,American College of Surgeons)

an independent institution of higher education (as a small university or a division of a university) granting bachelor’s degrees
generic term for higher education, but only at the undergraduate level

comforter a baby’s dummy (q.v.) one who comforts quilted bedspread (UK: duvet)
commissioner professional head of the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police (US: chief of police) A civilian public official in charge of a municipal governmental department, and particularly of a police department
member of any commission
commode small cabinet portable toilet for use in a room without plumbing normal toilet, in a bathroom (q.v.)
compensation the act of compensating
damages awarded for a legal wrong
(workers’ compensation) payment to injured workers
remuneration received by employees
(unemployment compensation) compensation paid to an unemployed person (as a laid-off worker), arising from government resources
concession reduction in price (discount) for a certain category of person the action of conceding
in politics, the action of a candidate yielding to another
an area within one country that is administered by another
a lease or grant of premises or land for a particular use, or the so contracted-out service, as inconcession stand, i.e. a counter, stand or area at public entertainment venues where snacks or drinks are sold, often at inflated prices
a concession stand
condominium political territory (state or border area) in or over which two sovereign powers formally agree to share equally dominium (in the sense of sovereignty) and exercise their rights jointly (also condo) a type of joint ownership of real property (as an apartment building) in which portions of the property are commonly owned and other portions are individually owned; an apartment in a condominium
constable technically, a police officer of any rank, but usu. understood to mean a police officer of the lowest rank (one who holds no other more specific rank) (US: officer or patrolman) peace officer in a township without an organised police department
official who serves summonses (UK: bailiff orsheriff’s officer)
construction the act or process of building or constructing; a structure; the construction industry
from construe: the assigning of meaning to ambiguous terms
road construction and maintenance work; roadwork (“a construction area/zone”) (UK: roadworks)
Cooker an appliance for cooking food (US: cookstove,stoverange)
a cooking apple, a large sour apple used in cooking
a pot or utensil for cooking in (“pressure cooker”, “rice cooker”, “slow cooker”) a person who cooks (UK: cook)
cookie a bun (Scotland)

biscuit of a particular variety, usually containing chocolate chips (often referred to as a “chocolate chip cookie”)

small packet of information stored on users’ computers by websites a small, flat baked cake *(UK usu. biscuit, q.v.)
fellow, guy *(“a tough cookie”); also, an attractive girl *
(that’s the way the cookie crumbles) that’s how things go
(to toss one’s cookies) to vomit
(cookie-cutter) trite, banal
a cook or Culinary Specialist (Army and Navy slang)
Cop to take (“cop a look at this”, “cop one of these”) (slang)
to be blamed for, be caught (“he’ll cop it!”) (slang)
police officer (short for “copper”) (slang)
(cop a feel) to grope (slang)
(cop a plea) (law, orig. slang) to plead guilty to a lesser offence to not be tried for a graver charge; compare plea bargain
(cop a squat) to take a seat (slang)
Copper low value coin, brown or ‘copper’ colored (currently 1p and 2p coins)
large copper vessel used for heating water and washing clothes (archaic)
the metallic element copper
police officer (slang, orig. UK)
coriander the leaves of the coriander plant, used as a herb (US: cilantro or Chinese parsley) the plant Coriandrum sativum
dried seeds of this plant
corn wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland
any of various cereal plants or grains (US usu.:grain), also in combination (e.g. cornfield, a field of any cereal)
(see also US)
in both dialects, the principal crop cultivated in a particular region
Indian corn, in corn on the cobcorn flakes,popcorn
horny swelling on the foot
Zea mays; originally known as Indian corn (q.v.; UK usu.: maize or sweetcorn); hence cornfield,cornstarch (UK: corn flour), cornbreadcornball,cornblade, etc.
something corny *, hence cornball
Cot infant bed; hence cot death (US: crib) camp bed
coulee a (solidified) stream of lava (chiefly Western, orig. Canadian) a deep steep-sided ravine formed by erosion, or a small valley or stream
course the entire degree programme a student takes at university an individual subject a student takes at university
court shoe a women’s dress shoe with a heel (US: pump, q.v.) a type of athletic shoe used for sports played on an indoor court, such as volleyball or squash (UK similar: plimsoll or regionally pump)
cowboy an unscrupulous or unqualified tradesman a legendary archetype found in Wild West genre works

(derog.) one who is reckless, uncontrollable.

a cowhand working with livestock (UK: drover)
cracker small parcel that makes an explosive report when pulled from both ends, traditionally pulled atChristmas
attractive woman (slang)
anything good (“the new product is a cracker”) (slang)
thin, hard, unsweetened biscuit (formerly chiefly US, now common everywhere)

a person who commits illegal acts by exploiting security flaws in a computer system

an unsophisticated, typically rural white person (also white cracker; derogatory slang, southeastern US)
Crèche day care, day nursery nativity scene, manger scene, crib (q.v.) *
creek tidal channel through a coastal marsh (orig. sense) any inland stream of water smaller than a river (other terms: UK: rillgill; N. Eng. & Scot.: burn; Eng. & New Eng.: brook; Midland US: run)
Crew body of people manning a vehicle of any kind
gang of manual workers (e.g. road crew)
group of friends or colleagues (“I saw him and his crew at the bar”)
rowing as a sport
crib (n.) nativity scenecrèche (q.v.) * a manger or rack, or stall for cattle
a plagiarism, as of a student (“crib sheet”)
small enclosed bedstead for a child; hence crib death (UK: cot)
(informal) one’s house or apartment
a bin for storing maize
a structure of logs to be anchored with stones; used for docks, dams, etc.
(orig. Canada) a small raft of timber
Crisp fried potato slices with salt, sometimes with flavour(US: potato chips) brittle, crunchy, dry, firm[25][26]
crumpet an attractive female (slang) A savoury waffle-like cake made from flour or potato and yeast[citation needed]
cubicle A compartment in a bathroom with low walls that contains a toilet. (US: stall) A compartment in a larger area separated from similar adjoining compartments by low walls, such as in an office area.
Cuffs The ends of a garment’s sleeves, furthest from the wearer
short for handcuffs
An arrangement at the bottom of trouser-legs, in which the material is folded back upon itself to form a trough externally around the bottom of the leg. (UK: turn-ups)
cunt offensive (or sometimes indulgent) term often applied to men vagina (usu. obscene) offensive, obscene term usu. applied to women
custodian an association football goalkeeper a keeper or guardian of a person or thing one who cleans and maintains a building; abuilding superintendent, a janitor


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
daddy longlegs, daddy-long-legs crane fly daddy long-legs spider Opiliones
davenport a type of writing table * [both prob. from the names of their resp. manufacturers; both old-fashioned] a type of couch, often convertible into a bed
dead (of a cup, glass, bottle or cigarette) empty, finished with
very, extremely (“dead good”, “dead heavy”, “dead rich”)
completely, perfectly (“dead straight”, “dead on”, “dead right”)
extremely quiet (e.g. business or nightlife)
(dismissive usage) boring
dead beat, deadbeat exhausted (slang) (US: dead tired) an idler; someone who does not pay their debts, often in construction (“deadbeat dad“) (slang)
DC Detective Constable, a police officer who works in or with a branch of CID. direct current
(see also other expansions)
District of Columbia
deck (n.) the floor or level of a ship or other types of vehicles
the roadway of a bridge
recording device
(v.) to decorate for a festivity (“deck the halls with boughs of holly”, “decked out with flags”)
to hit a person hard enough such that they fall to the floor (orig. US)
a pack of cards
wooden, raised platform adjoining a house, usu. enclosed by a railing
a packet of narcotics (slang)
(v.) to pile up (logs) on a deck of logs or a skidway
(on deck) in baseball, the hitter due up next (“Albert is on deck, so they must be careful to not walk this batter.”). A general usage connotes availability, e.g. “Who’s on deck?” (Who is available to do this?). Occasionally used to indicate who is next in line.
Dennis the Menace a character and comic strip developed by Ian Chisholm and Davey Law, debuted in March 1951 (US: Dennis) a character and comic strip developed by Hank Ketcham, debuted in March 1951
depot a location (large building or piece of land) where buses, trams or trains are stored when not in use and maintained
(pronounced /ˈdɛpoʊ/)
a storehouse or depository; a location for the storage of military or naval supplies
(pronounced /ˈdɛpoʊ/ in BrE, /ˈdiːpoʊ/ in AmE)
A slow-release drug injection (usu. psychiatric)
(pronounced /ˈdɛpoʊ/ in both dialects)
a railroad station or bus terminal or station; also, an air terminal
(pronounced /ˈdiːpoʊ/)
DI Detective inspector (police) Drill instructor (military)
diary personal calendar *(US: appointment book,appointment calendardatebook) personal journal
digital radio any radio that receives a digital signal a radio with a digital display
dim (trans. v.),dimmer (switch) to reduce the intensity of a domestic, industrial or other light; hence dimmer (switch) to lower a vehicle headlight‘s beam, typically when approaching vehicles travelling in the opposite direction at night (UK: dip); hence dimmer switch(UK: dip switch)
diner one who dines railroad dining car (UK: restaurant car)
a type of restaurant, traditionally but not necessarily often resembling a dining car
dip (trans. v.), dip switch to lower a vehicle headlight‘s beam, typically when approaching vehicles travelling in the opposite direction at night (US: dim); hence dip switch(distinguished from DIP switch) (US: dimmerswitch)
(n.) a pickpocket (slang)
to lower into a liquid; esp., a sheep or dog in chemical solution; to lower and then raise to use smokeless tobacco
Dirt substance(s) rendering something unclean
incriminating evidence (“we’ve got the dirt on him now”)
earth, soil *
diversion circuitous route to avoid roadworks (US: detour) deviation; recreation; tactic used to draw attention away from the action
dock water between or next to a pier or wharf (US: berth, also used in UK, or slip)
section of a courtroom where the accused sits during a trial *
(v.) to reduce an employee’s wages, usu. as discipline constructed place to moor a boat or engage in water sports (largely interchangeable with pier orwharf, although often with a modifier, such as “ferry dock”, “swimming dock”, etc.)
Docker dockworker, stevedore *(US: longshoreman) one who docks (as tails of animals)
dogging various kinds of public sexual activity pursuing diligently as a dog would insulting in a persistent fashion, often referring tothe dozens
pursuing someone persistently
Dollar 5 shilling coin or equivalent amount (obsolete; used in slang until the early 1970s, especially in “half-dollar”=half-crown, but some re-stamped Spanish dollar coins were used in the UK in the late 18th/early 19th century) major unit of currency of the USA
dormitory, dorm (n. or usu. adj.) (part of) a town where commuterslive, usually dormitory town (US: bedroom orbedroom community) (n.) large sleeping-room with many beds,*typically in a boarding school (“a sleeping dormitory”; usu. abbreviated to dorm) building with many small private rooms, as for housing the students of a college (UK: hall(s) of residence, hostel)
dormitory car — railway sleeping car
Drape (v.) to hang limply (n., usu. pl.) curtain
draw (n.) cannabis (slang) an act of drawing, or something drawn
a game result in which no player/team wins (alsotie)
a ditch that draws water off an area of land
a shallow valley or gully
dresser (furniture) a type of cupboard or sideboard esp. for kitchen utensils * chest of drawers, usu. with a looking glass (mirror) (UK: dressing-table)
drop (of liquid) several (fluid) ounces (“just a drop of tea, please”) (meiotic usage) droplet (less than a milliliter)
Duck a score of zero by a batsman in cricket, supposedly derived from the zero-like shape of a duck’s egg. Hence to “break one’s duck”: to score one’s first run. c.f. US: “get the monkey off one’s back”
a term of endearment
(n.) a bird of the family Anatidae
(v.) to lower the head or body suddenly, to dodge
(v.) to plunge under the surface of water
(n.) a heavy cotton fabric
duff of poor quality
(up the duff) pregnant (slang, originally Australian)
a type of pudding
coal dust
vegetable matter on the forest floor
dummy rubber teat for babies (US: pacifier), a feint (esp. in association football) mannequin, especially for automobile crash tests
fake, usu. legal
idiot (slang)
the contract bridge player who faces his hand after the bidding/auction
dungarees sturdy protective bib trousers (cf. s.v. bib overall) (slightly dated) jeans (blue denim jeans)
duplex composed of two parts
two direction (electronical signalling)
(or duplex house) an often vertically divided two-family dwelling *
(or duplex apartment) an apartment on two levels *
(duplex locomotive) a large steam locomotive with two sets of driving wheels


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Earth safety connection of an electrical circuit, or to connect (an electrical device) to this (US: ground) the planet Earth
the burrow of some animals
efficiency the quality of being efficient (or efficiency apartment) a minimal often furnished apartment, similar to a studio apartment (UK: compare bedsit)
El (L) letter identifying a learner driver; see L-plate the letter L an elevated railway (as that of Chicago or the now-defunct Third Avenue El in New York City)
elevator flap on the back of an aeroplane used to control pitch
moving belt to transport grain, hay bales, etc.
platform or cage moved vertically in a shaft to transport people and goods to various floors in a building (UK: lift)
building for grain storage (in full grain elevator) (UK: silo)
Elk moose (Alces alces), the largest species of deer wapiti (Cervus canadensis), the second largest species of deer
engaged (adj.) in use – of a toilet/bathroom stall (US: occupied; but the opposite is vacant in both); of a telephone line (US & UK also: busy), hence engaged tone(US: busy signal) committed; involved in something
English of or pertaining to England
the English language
(adj.) the foot-pound-second system of units[citation needed] (UK: Imperial)
English (n.) spin placed on a ball in cue sports (UK:side)
engineer a technician or a person who mends and operates machinery one employed to design, build or repair equipment
practitioner of engineering
one who operates an engine, esp. a locomotive(UK: engine driver)
entrée starter (q.v.) of a meal (traditionally, the course served between the fish and the joint, but now used for any starter) (usu. “the entrée”) right of entry, insider-type access main course of a meal
estate any defined area of real property, as in housing estate (US: subdivision), council estate (US:housing project) or trading estate (US: industrial park)
car with van-shaped body (US: station wagon)
grounds of a large piece of real property which features a mansion and beautiful landscaping
property left by a deceased person
evergreen non-deciduous, a non-deciduous plant
eternally youthful, new etc.
(n.) branchlets or sprigs of an evergreen tree, usually a conifer such as pine, spruce or fir, often used as a Christmas decoration wrapped around human-made structures
expiration the exhalation of breath [27][28][29][30] (UK: expiry)[29][31][32][33]


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Faculty division of a university, dealing with a specific group of disciplines (e.g. faculty of arts) academic staff of a school, college or university
fag cigarette (slang) *
(in England; obs.) young public schoolboy who acted as a servant for older pupils
drudgery, chore (“it is such a fag – I come back tired to death” – J. Austen)
male homosexual; vulgar slur (short for faggot) In American English “fag” always has the pejorative meaning of male homosexual. Use of the Americanism in the media has rendered it contextually understood by Britons.
Faggot kind of meatball (see faggot (food)), bundle of sticks, usu. for use as firewood (old-fashioned; often spelled fagot), old musical instrument similar to the bassoon (often spelled faggott) male homosexual; vulgar slur (see faggot (slang))
Fall to become pregnant. (Either as in ‘I fell pregnant’ or as in ‘She fell for a baby.’); descend or tumble
become sick, come down with an illness (“he fell ill”) (uncommon in US)
prove attractive (“fall for someone”, “fall in love”)
fancy (v.) (v.) exhibit a fondness or preference for something; exhibit an interest in or willingness to: date/court someone, commit some act, or accept some item of trade US colloq. equiv. of “to fancy” is “to like” something or someone (or regarding tastes and preferences, “to love”); “fancy” as a verb is now used in the US almost solely by UK ex-pats, but was once oft-used by Southern gentility (landed gentry)
fancy dress a costume worn to impersonate a well-known character, animal etc., typically at a fancy dress party (US: costume party) (colloq.) “formal” wear (usu. tuxedos for men and ball gowns for women.)
Fanny vagina (slang), vulva (vulgar slang)
(fanny about or fanny around, vulgar slang) to mess about or procrastinate (“Stop fannying about and hit it with the hammer”)
buttocks (colloquial); hence fanny pack (UK: bum bag)
featherbed bed or mattress stuffed with feathers (usually 2 words)
(v.) to pamper, to spoil
to require that more workers are hired than are needed, often by agreement with trade unions quilt, or comforter, stuffed with feathers for use on top of the mattress (but underneath a sheet and the sleeping person) (UK: mattress topper)
Fender a fire screen
a cushioning device to protect the side of a boat, ship, or dock
fender (vehicle): the part of an automobile, motorcycle or other vehicle body that frames a wheel well (UK: mudguard or wing)
a frame fitted in front of a vehicle (locomotive or automobile) to absorb shock (UK: bumper – seeBumper (automobile))
fifth ordinal number 5
one of five equal parts into which something is divided
bottle of spirits (“a fifth of bourbon”), traditionally 1/5 of a US gallon, now the metric near-equivalent of 750 mL
to “plead the Fifth (Amendment)”, i.e. refuse to testify against oneself in an incriminating manner
Filth (the filth) the police (derogatory slang) dirt, disgusting substance
obscene material
first degree the least serious category of burn the most serious category of a crime; of murder, carries a lifetime prison- or death-sentence
first floor (of a building) the floor above ground level (US: second floor) the floor at ground level (often, but not always, the same floor as a building’s lobby) (UK: ground floor)
fit (adj.) (of a person) attractive, sexy (slang) (of a person) in good physical condition
suitable for some purpose (usu. followed by for orto)
fix (v.) to make firm, fasten, or attach *(the original sense, no longer very common in US)
to set or arrange (as a date) *(“A time has been fixed”)
to repair (orig. US)
to sterilise (an animal)
to manipulate usually underhandedly (“To fix a fight by paying a boxer to take a dive.”)
to adjust or prepare, esp. food or beverage *(“I’ll fix you a sandwich”)
(esp. South) to get ready (“I’m fixing to retire”)
to get even with (someone) [34]
(fix up) to provide
Flapjack flat oat cake (US: granola bar) pancake
flannel a cloth for washing the face or body (US:washcloth) particular type of fabric/material used for the manufacture of trousers or suits, but more commonly recognised in America as a fabric used in warm winter night clothes and sheets
Flat (n.) self-contained housing unit (US: apartment)
(adj., of a battery) discharged, exhausted, dead
(adj.) level and smooth
structured at a single level, not hierarchical
(n.) a flat tyre/tire *
an apartment that occupies the entire floor of a small building (upstate New York and San Francisco); used also in phrases such as railroad flat
flip-flop a type of footwear
a type of electronic circuit
an about-face or U-turn (UK also: about-turn), as in politics
fluid ounce (fl. oz.) liquid measure equal to 28.41 millilitres liquid measure equal to 29.57 milliliters
Flyover elevated road section (i.e. long road bridge, US:overpass) ceremonial aircraft flight (UK: flypast)
an elongated left-turn ramp passing over or under the whole highway interchange
Flyover country is a term for (unsophisticated, poor, rural) middle America, as distinct from the ‘coasts’.
football (usually) Association football (US: soccer). Less frequently applies to Rugby football (espec. Rugby union in English private schools). American football
footpath a paved strip for pedestrian use, especially along the side of a road (US: sidewalk) a narrow trail suitable only for foot traffic
forty (40) the number 40 a 40-acre (160,000 m2) parcel of land, specifically one sixteenth of a section, constituting the smallest unit of agricultural land commonly surveyed (“back 40“, “front 40”).
an undeveloped plot of land (as on a farmranch, etc.) of unspecified size.
in an urban or youth setting, “a 40-ounce beer”.
Forward one who plays in a forward position in rugby, i.e. one who takes part in scrums. an area to the front
an outgoing disposition
a position in football (soccer) in front of midfielders
a collective term for the ice hockey players whose main role is to score goals, consisting of twowingers and a centre/center
a position in basketball, nowadays split into power forwards, who tend to play closer to the basket, and small forwards, who tend to either shoot from the perimeter or drive from the perimeter to the basket.
fourth next after third (e.g. the fourth person, fourth floor)

A musical interval

one of four equal parts into which something is divided (UK & US sometimes also quarter, q.v.).
(proper noun, used with the) short for The Fourth of July (America’s Independence Day)
Fringe arrangement of locks of hair on the forehead (US:bangs) the outer area of something
a decorative border e.g. on clothing
holding an extreme political position (“lunatic fringe”)
(rare vulgar; chiefly 1980s) vulva (“He’s gonna get some fringe.”) q.v., US: trim
frock (or smock-frock) outer garment formerly common in rural Europe, see also overall
(also short frock) indoor garment for children and young girls *
a woman’s dress or gown (dated) *
habit of monks and friars
(also frock coat) a style of gentleman’s jacket or coat, cut at knee length, usually worn as an outer garment.
Frog French person (insulting slang)* an amphibian (Slang) A US Navy SEAL[citation needed]. Shortened from “Frogman
full stop punctuation mark used at the end of a sentence, sometimes used in speech for emphasis (“Whom does he support? Arsenal, full stop!”) (US: period, q.v.) the state of automobiles barely moving in heavy traffic (also, a “dead stop”) [35]
Furnace large hearth or container for heating or melting metal, usually for an industrial process principal domestic heat source in central heating. (UK: boiler)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
gagging (especially as in gagging for it) desperate, especially for sex (colloquial) choking;
fighting the urge to vomit (“that was so disgusting, I was gagging”)
gallon 4.54609 litres (about 6/5 of US gallon) 3.78541 litres (about 5/6 of UK gallon)
gangbanger a participant in a “gang bang”, a group sex activity gang member; group rapist
(see alsopronunciation differences)
fuel filling station, e.g. “a Texaco garage” (alsopetrol station, US: gas station)
a genre of music
place where vehicles are repaired;
building attached to or in the grounds of a residence for storing a car
(parking garage) building serving as a public parking facility (UK: multistorey car park or justmultistorey)
garbage (n.) piece of nonsensical prose, sequence of meaningless words household waste (UK “rubbish”)
garden (n.) area around a residential structure (US: yard) area within a yard (land) for growing plants or vegetables (UK: vegetable garden, vegetable patch)
Garnish (n. (v.)) (to add) decorative or savory touches to (food or drink)
(v.)to furnish
(v.) to take (as a debtor’s wages) by legal authority
gas state of matter (see gas)
natural gas
gasoline, hence gas station (UK: petrol)
gas pedal (UK: accelerator)
air trapped in the stomach or intestines (UK: wind)
Geezer gangster, man (esp. Cockney) old person (derogatory; UK: old geezer [not derog.])
give way to give the right of way (to vehicles, pedestrians, etc.);[36] hence give way sign (US: yield [the right of way] sign) to retreat; to break down
Glaze general term for thin shiny coatings applied to food, painted surfaces, clayware, etc.; a glossy surface a slippery coating of ice (also known as sleet, q.v.); a stretch of ice
gob (n.) mouth; (v., slang) to spit lump a large amount (“gobs of”)
(slang—little used since the 1940s) a sailor
go down (fig.) to leave a university (as Oxford)
to come down (with an illness)
to be accepted or remembered (e.g. go down in history)
to fail, esp. of a computer
go down on, to engage in oral sex
to go on, happen (often a major event, e.g. a drug bust “it’s going down right now!” or “it went down last week”. But also used as a greeting, “What’s going down?”)
Goods items to be transported (as by railway) (“a goods train”) (US & UK also: freight) useful objects or services; products; merchandising; personal property
incriminating evidence (“we have the goods on him”)
gooseberry supernumerary third person preventing a couple from courting (US: third wheel) a green hairy summer fruit
(Ribes hirtellum in the USA),
(Ribes grossularia in Europe)
governor boss (sometimes shortened to guv’nor), colloquial a local official the top official in a US state
government the cabinet or executive branch (US: theadministration)
the political party supporting the cabinet inparliament
the act or office of governing the collective agency through which government is exercised (UK: the state)
all such individual agencies (UK: the public sector)
grade (education) a level of music examination (“Guitar grade 4”. Usually refers to ABRSM or Trinity College Londonexaminations. (n. & v.) teacher’s assessment of a student’s work (UK also mark) level or year of a student in elementary, middle, or high school (“in 10th grade”) (UK equiv.: year); hence grader, a student in a specified grade (“a 10th grader”)
(grade schoolthe gradeselementary school
see also Grade Point Average
grade (other) (n.) a rating, degree, or level; (v.) to lay out in grades
[US meaning generated grade separation and the idiom make the grade]
(n.) slopegradient, or elevation; also ground level (“at grade”, “over grade”); hence grade crossing(UK: level crossing)
(v.) to level (as a roadbed), hence grader, construction machine for doing this *
graduate (v.) (education)
graduate (adj.) (education)
to finish university with a degree
relating to a student at the point of gaining, or who has recently completed, a degree
to move from a lower to higher stage; to effect change in steps; to mark with units of measurement or other divisions. to finish studying at any educational institution by passing relevant examinations
relating to a student taking a higher degree (UK equiv.: “postgraduate”), e.g. graduate school
Graft hard work to join or connect two separate but similar items (typically in biology, especially medicine and horticulture) a form of political-economic corruption
grass an informant (often to the police)
(to grass on) to tell on somebody (US: to squeal, narc)
green ground cover
grazing; to feed (livestock) with grass (UK: at grassto put out to grass)
grammar school a type of secondary school, normally a selective state funded school elementary school (less common today)
grill to cook directly under a dry heat source (US: broil) to question intensely (informal).

to interrogate.

to cook over a gas or coal fire (UK and US:barbecue)
a flat cooking surface
a restaurant (freq. as “bar and grill”)
ground floor (of a building) the floor at ground level (US usu.: first floor) lower of two floors that are each at a differentground level due to sloping terrain (UK: lower ground floor)
Guard the official in charge of a railway train (US & now UK also: conductor) to watch over for security
one who guards
a protective device
one of two positions in basketball, usually players who are the best ball-handlers and shooters. Usually smaller than the forwards or center. Most common division is between point guards(playmakers) and shooting guards (more often score-first).
military division used to help the country after a disaster
in (American) football, one of two offensive positions on either side of the center or a defensive position across from the center (nose-guard)
Guff extraneous or useless things, ideas, or paperwork/documentation; also to break wind (“Have you guffed, Dr Watson?”) nonsense, insolent talk, back talk
Gum cement consisting of a sticky substance that is used as an adhesive (US usually: glue) a type of confectionery composed of chicle used for chewing
the soft tissue around the teeth, or to chew something with no teeth (also, gum at)
gutted disappointed and upset (informal) past tense of gut: eviscerated; plundered; despoiled; made powerless or ineffectual
(of a building) stripped of interior structure, leaving only frame and exterior walls ( fire)
gyro (see also giro) gyroscope a sandwich, the Greek gyro, more familiar to Americans than the similar Turkish döner kebab, which is more common in Britain


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
haberdasher a dealer in small items and accessories, as forsewing; hence haberdashery (US: notions) a dealer in men’s apparel and accessories; hencehaberdashery
Half half pint of beer, cider or lager
a single measure of whisky or other distilled spirit (used mostly in Scotland, derived from the Scots word ‘hauf’)
fifty percent/0.5 times. large bottle of spirits (“a half of bourbon”), traditionally 1/2 of a US gallon, now the metric near-equivalent of 1750 mL; also “handle” as such large bottles often have a handle
halfway house a place where victims of child abuse, orphans or teenage runaways can stay, a shelter drug rehabilitation or sex offender centre. (Archaic) An inn halfway between two towns, still seen in many pub names. a place for ex-convicts to live while readjusting to society.
Hamper large basket for food (especially picnic hamper,Christmas hamper) to impede or hinder basket for clothes that need washing (UK: Linen basket or laundry basket)
hash number sign, octothorpe (#) (US: pound sign). Also ‘to make a hash’ of something is to mess it up. hashish
Hash (food), beef and other ingredients mashed together into a coarse paste
herb culinary or medicinal herb, leaves of plants used to flavour food or treat ailments any herbaceous plant
highway (chiefly in official use) public road; see Highway Code (highway robbery) something too expensive; see also highwayman main road (as between cities)
(divided or dual highway) a road with two roadways and at least four lanes (UK: dual carriageway,motorway)
(highway post office) in the past, a bus transporting mail that was sorted en route
Hike a usu. recreational walk an increase in amount (as in wages) *
(to take a hike) to go away (also used as a command)
Hire to rent moveable property (e.g. a car) *; rental
(hire purchase) a purchase carried out over time by making regular payments (US: installment plan)
to employ, recruit * a person who is recruited
Hob the flat top surface of a cooking stove (US:cooktop)
a part of a fireplace
an elf
trouble (as in “raising hob” – chiefly US)
(UK has less common “playing hob”)
hock German wine (“down their four-and-twenty throats went four-and-twenty imperial pints of such rare old hock” – Charles Dickens) (US: Rhine wine)
Hocktide, an ancient holiday
hock (zoology) pawn (n. & v.) (“I can borrow a dime from the barber, an’ I got enough junk to hock for a blowout” – Jack London); prison (both from Dutch) *
the end of a smoked ham *
to hock-a-loogie, to spit (esp. mucus as opposed to saliva).
hockey hockey played with a ball on grass (field hockey) * hockey played on a hard surface (e.g. concrete) or indoors hockey played on ice with a puck (ice hockey) *
Hog (dialect) a yearling sheep to take more than one’s fair share of something
(road hog) motorist who holds up other traffic by driving slowly or out of lane; any bad driver
adult pig
motorcycle, especially a large one such as aHarley-Davidson (derived from Harley OwnersGroup, a club for Harley-Davidson motorcycle owners.)
hole-in-the-wall automated teller machine, cash machine (informal) a small, out-of-the-way place, as a restaurant, with a negative connotation. However, often used to preface a compliment, e.g. “just a hole-in-the-wall place you’ve never heard of, but they serve the best steak in the city.”
holiday see Bank holiday
(often pl.) time taken off from work, school, etc., including the period between school terms (US:breakvacation)
recreational trip away from home (US: vacation)
day when people are generally exempt from work, school, etc. see Federal holidays in the United States
(the Holidays) the days comprising Christmas andNew Year’s Day (and Hanukkah), and often alsoThanksgiving (used esp. in the phrase “happy Holidays”)
festival, whether or not generally entailing a public holiday: “Halloween is my favorite holiday”
Home (noun): condition of domesticity, or one’s permanent and regular shelter, but not the physical structure or property. In AmE widely used also to mean the physical structure and property, and references to them, e.g., “home loans”, “homeowners”, and “tract homes”. This usage is overwhelmingly predominant in commercial language and public discourse, e.g. “the home mortgage crisis”.
home run final part of a distance, final effort needed to finish (US: homestretch) a success (from baseball) (also homer) a four-base hit in baseball
(slang) sexual intercourse; more s.v. base
Homely (of a house) comfortable, cozy, rustic (US: homey)
(of a person) home-loving, domesticated, house-proud
(only used of a person) plain, ugly
Hood the folding fabric top on a convertible car (US:convertible top) head covering forming part of a garment
component of academic regalia
hinged cover over the engine in a car (UK: bonnet)
a contraction of neighborhood, especially regarding a poor neighborhood
short for hoodlum, a tough, destructive young man, or generically any criminal
hoo-ha argument female genitalia
Hooker in rugby football, the player position in the centre front of the scrum prostitute (informal) *
Hooter steam whistle or siren in a factory or other large workplace sounded as a signal for beginning or ceasing work
car horn
(hooters) female breasts (vulgar slang)
Hull (HullKingston-upon-Hull, a large city in the north-east of England* the outer skin of a ship, tank, aeroplane, etc. the seed-case of various edible plants (maize, nuts, etc.)
(v.t.) to remove the seed-case from (a nut, etc.)
hulled (adj.) (of a nut, etc.) having the seed-case removed (UK: shelled)
Hump a state of depression (dated) (“to be in a hump”)
a state of annoyance (“to get the hump”)
traffic calming tool (“a speed hump”) *(US & UK:speed bump)
to move a heavy load by human effort a short distance
a rounded mass sticking out from its surroundings
(v., vulgar slang) engage in sexual intercourse, animals breeding or trying to breed
see also Glossary of rail terminology
(n. & v.) (to make) a vigorous effort (“hump yourself”, “to get a hump on”) (regional)
(n.) a mountain barrier to be crossed (as by air)
(hump day) Wednesday


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
icebox cabinet containing ice for food refrigeration refrigerator
Indian corn Zea mays (historical or technical; usually, UK maizeor sweetcorn, US corn, q.v.) A particular variety of maize/corn, with multicolored kernels, used for decorations
indicator direction-indicator light on a vehicle (US: turn signal) one that indicates
inspector (police) lowest supervisory rank above sergeant (rough US equivalent: lieutenant) senior rank in some police departments (rough UK equivalent: superintendent)
intern  replacement (v.) to confine (as during a war, or to a hospital)
(adj., archaic) internal
(n.) one (as a graduate or college student) temporarily employed for practical training, e.g. in the science, engineering, or technology fields; esp., in the medical field, a physician (rough UK equivalent: houseman) in their first year of postgraduate training
(v.) to work as an intern
international Pertaining to or common to more than one country. Foreign, not from the USA. (“International version of software for country xxx“, in British English this is a contradiction in terms.)
interval break between two performances or sessions, as in theatre (US: intermission) a gap in space or time; see interval (music),interval (mathematics)interval (time) (esp. New England, also spelled intervale) low-lying land, as near a river (US also bottomland)
inventory itemisation of goods or objects (of an estate, in a building, etc.) the stock of an item on hand in a store or shop
the process of producing an inventory in a store or shop (UK: stocktaking)
IRA Irish Republican Army [not abbreviated in U.S. without context] Individual Retirement Account


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Jab an injection with a hypodermic needle, as in the case of an inoculation (US: shot) (informal) to stab, thrust, or penetrate. biting remark, sarcasm.
a straight punch used in various martial arts
janitor an officer in a Masonic Chapter (specialist language) a person employed to oversee the cleaning and security of a public building, e.g. a school. a person employed to oversee the cleaning and security of a building (UK: caretaker, especially for private residences; for schools etc. janitor is also used in the UK)
Jelly a fruit flavoured dessert set with gelatin (US: Jell-O(trademark))
a type of condiment, e.g. mint jelly
a clear or translucent preserve made from the liquid of fruits boiled in sugar and set with pectin, specifically without pieces of fruit (e.g. ‘crab apple jelly’) (occasionally) fruit preserve with fruit pieces (UK:Jam)
Jesse (often as Big Jesse, derogatory insult for a man) Non-macho, effeminate, sometimes gay. A male name (uncommon in the UK).
A shortening of the female name Jessica.
Jock Scotsman (slang)
a Scottish private soldier (slang) (UK: squaddie)
slang term for an athlete
slang term for the undergarment called an athletic supporter or jockstrap
Joint piece of meat for carving *
(slang) hand-rolled cigarette containing cannabis and tobacco
connection between two objects or bones
an establishment, especially a disreputable one (“a gin joint”; “let’s case the joint”) (slang, orig. US)
(slang) hand-rolled cigarette containing only cannabis
(slang) prison (“in the joint”)
Jolly very (informal) (as in jolly good) happy; jovial
Jug any container with a handle and a mouth or spout for liquid (US: pitcher) (jugs) breasts (slang) large container with a narrow mouth and handle for liquids (similar to UK pitcher)
jumper a knitted upper body garment (US: sweater) jump shot in basketball
Non-permanent electrical connection, especially on a PCB
pinafore dress
jump suit
Just (When used at the end of a sentence, as in: “I survived, but only just”) barely fair, equitable
merely, simply, exactly, barely (when used before word it modifies)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Kebab commonly a döner kebab (sometimes doner or donner kebab), strips of meat (usu. lamb or chicken) grilled by being heated on a revolving device and served stuffed in a pita bread (In the US, the Greek varieties souvlaki or gyro are better known than the Turkish döner) (often spelled “kabob” in the US) meat served on a skewer together with onions, tomatoes, etc. (e.g.shish kebab)
keen eager or intent on, example: he is keen to get to work on time. desirable or just right, example: “peachy keen” – “That’s a pretty keen outfit you’re wearing.” (slang going out of common usage)
Keeper curator or a goalkeeper one that keeps (as a gamekeeper or a warden) a type of play in American football (“Quarterback keeper“)
a person well-suited for a successful, usu. romantic, relationship. (Don’t let him go—he’s a keeper)
something of significance (“that’s a keeper”). Can be used in many contexts. Often used in sports fishing to refer to a fish not released.
Kit clothing, esp. a sports uniform (e.g. football kit) any of various sets of equipment or tools
a set of parts to be assembled, e.g. into a scale model
a group of person or objects (“the whole kit and (ca) boodle/billing”)
Kitty affectionate term for a housecat
collective source of funds (esp. for a group of people)
piggy bank
vagina (vulgar slang) (“Singin’ ‘hey diddle diddle’ with your kitty in the middle” – AerosmithWalk this Way)
knickers women’s underwear (US: panties) knickerbockers
Knob The penis, or specifically the glans (slang, vulgar) (“polishing the knob” * ) a rounded door handle

fool, idiot, dim-witted person

knock over to tip over something

to cause an object to fall over.

to rob (esp. a store, slang) (“He knocked over a gas station.”)
knock up to practise before tennis
to awaken or summon by knocking
to prepare quickly (“Knock us up something to eat”— L.M. Alcott)
to impregnate, esp. unintentionally* (slang, sometimes vulgar)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Ladder a run (vertical split) in the fabric of tights a vertical or inclined set of rungs or steps.
lavatory toilet closet in passenger vehicles (e.g. trains) containing a toilet and washbasin/sink. washbasin, place for washing
lay by (v.), lay-by (n.) (n.) roadside parking or rest area for drivers (v.) to lay aside
to stow
(n.) a last cultivating in the growing of a crop
(v.) to cultivate (a crop) for the last time
lead (rhyming with “speed”) a cable (US: cord), or a dog’s leash to guide through (n.) a clue or potential source of information (esp. in context of journalistic investigation) *
leader newspaper editorial
main violin in an orchestra (US: concertmaster)
see also Leader of the Opposition
one who leads a pipe for carrying water (“rain water leader”)
Lecturer the entry-level academic rank at a university (below Senior Lecturer, Reader, and Professor) someone who gives a lecture the entry-level academic rank at a university (below Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, andProfessor)
lemonade clear, carbonated, lemon-flavoured drink similar toSprite and 7 Up (lemon and lime flavoured) non-carbonated drink made by mixing lemon juice, sugar, and water (UK: traditional lemonade)
Let to rent out (as real property, and denoting the transaction from the owner’s perspective); Tenants “take” or “rent” the property being let. *(“rooms to let”)
(n.) the act of renting; rented premises
(let out) to reveal
allow, give permission.
leave (as in let him be or let it be)
ease (as in let up on the accelerator)
indicate (as in don’t let on)
a first bad serve which is allowed to be retaken, as in tennis, table tennis, and volleyball
(let out) to end (of school, meetings, etc.)
Levee an early afternoon assembly held by the King or Queen, to which only men were admitted (Alwayslevée, with accent) a reception in honour of a particular person an embankment on a river (as the Mississippi River)
the steep bank of a river, or border of an irrigated field
(esp. Southern & Western US) a landing place or quay
leverage mechanical advantage of a lever take advantage of a capability (business)
the use of debt finance (UK: gearing)*
knowledge not immediately revealed to be used to one’s advantage *
liberal (politics) a person who generally supports the ideas of the UK Liberal Democrats, a centre left-party a person who holds the political ideals ofLiberalism. a person who advocates modern liberalism; see also Liberalism in the United States for historic background
life preserver a type of weapon for self-defence (US: blackjack) life vest, personal flotation device (UK: lifebelt orlifejacket)
lift (n.) platform or cage moved vertically in a shaft to transport people and goods to various floors in a building (US: elevator) ride as a passenger in a vehicle (as in, to give someone a lift)
item placed in shoe to increase the height of the wearer, normally plural (lifts, elevator shoes)
an elevation in mood, “I got a lift just talking with her.”
Line (see also track) a breadthless length a group of persons, usually waiting for something, arranged in order of arrival (UK: queue)
a lie, short for a line of bull
a phrase used for hitting on women, short forpickup line
to hit a line drive (a hard straight shot) in baseball
liquor the broth resulting from the prolonged cooking of meat or vegetables. Green liquor is traditionally served with pie and mash in the East End of London distilled beverage *
(hard liquor) strongly alcoholic beverage; spirits
(liquor store) retail establishment selling liquor (usu. for consumption off the premises) (UK similar: off-licence) (“I held up and robbed a hard liquor store” – Paul Simon)
(malt liquor) a type of beer with high alcohol content
loaded the state of a firearm with bullets or shells in its firing chamber.
bearing a load.
(slang; of a person) rich
drunk or high
Lolly Frozen water-based dessert on a stick (US: popsicle). (short for lollipop) candy on a stick.
Lot (a lot) a great deal
a number of things (or, informal, people) taken collectively
fate, fortune
a prize in a lottery
(the lot) the whole thing
a measured plot of land; a portion of land set for a particular purpose (“a building lot”), e.g. for parking (“parking lot”) or selling (“used car lot”) automotive vehicles. But also a “vacant lot”
a film studio
Lounge a room for relaxation and entertainment in a house
(lounge bar) part of a pub
a room for relaxation in a public place a bar
love (in addressing people) informal term of address beloved person, darling (often a term of endearment)
loveseat a seat which accommodates two people facing in opposite directions. Can be wooden or padded. a two-seater couch
Lox liquid oxygen (engineering) thin-sliced smoked salmon, commonly consumed on bagelsYiddish from German ‘Lachs’, salmon.
Luck out To be unlucky To be lucky
lugs (n.) ears (lugholes) a small projection (engineering) a lug nut fastens a wheel to the hub, (UK wheel nut).
a “big lug” is usually a term of endearment for a large shy, goofy man.
lumber (n.) disused items (as furniture)*; hence lumber room
(v.) to encumber (as with such items) (“I was lumbered with work”)
(v.) to move awkwardly or heavily (“he lumbered out the door”) (n.) timber that has been sawed and (partly) prepared for construction or woodworking; hencelumberyard (UK: timberyard), lumber camp,lumberjacklumbermanlumber wagonlumber town, etc.
(v.) to log and prepare timber
to make a rolling sound (dated)
lush (slang; of a person) attractive (usu. used by women in reference to men – principally West Country) luxuriant an alcoholic *especially female



Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
mac raincoat (short form of Mackintosh) (Mac) a brand of Apple Inc. computers (short form of Macintosh) (Uncommon slang; proper n.) A term of informal address used with male strangers;[1][2] generally implies more unfriendliness or disapproval than the more neutral ‘pal’ or ‘buddy’: “Get your car out of my way, Mac!” UK generally ‘mate’. Cf. ‘Jack.’
type of pasta (short form of macaroni) – as in ‘mac and cheese’
Mackintosh,Macintosh, or McIntosh raincoat (Mackintosh, often shortened to mac) Macintosh, a brand of Apple Inc. computers (often shortened to Mac)
(wrongly) McIntosh Red, a type of apple
mail (used in Royal Mail, the name of the British postal system; cf. postal)
(Scot.) a payment (tax, rent, etc.)
(Scot.) a travelling bag or pack
(n.) the postal system of a nation
letters, packages, etc. sent by post; as delivered to individual, orig. US, UK often post
(n. & v.) e-mail, (n.) armour, as in “chainmail”
(v.) send a letter (UK: post or send); noun originated mail carrier & mailman (UK: postman),mailbox (UK: postboxletter box), mail slotmail drop, etc.
mailbox a file for storing electronic mail (or related computing or voicemail usage) an item of street furniture serving as a receptacle for outgoing mail (UK: post boxletter boxpillar box); a receptacle for incoming paper mail (UK:letter box)
main line a major railway line (as the West Coast Main Line); compare trunk a major vein (as for drug injection purposes) (orig. 1930s US slang); also used as a v.; main line stars a railroad’s primary track, or a primary artery, route, road, or connection
Pennsylvania Main Line
mainline Protestant churches
mains The domestic power supply water mains, the principal underground pipe for conveying water to residential and business properties
major (in the past, in English public schools) used to denote the eldest of two or more pupils with the same surname (“Bloggs major”) (US: Sr.) important or significant
(n.) rank between captain and Lieutenant Colonelin the army and marines.
(n.) a college/university student’s main field of specialization (“his major is physics”); the student himself (“he is a physics major”); (v.) to pursue a major (“he majored in physics”) (compare minor; UK: compare read)
(n.) rank between captain and Lieutenant Colonelin the air force (UK squadron leader) and in some police agencies (UK approx. superintendent).
majority(politics) the greatest number of votes
difference of votes between first and second place (US: plurality)
more than half of all votes, people, etc. (UK:absolute majority)
make out to draw up, to seek to make it appear, to fabricate a story
to see with difficulty; to understand the meaning of
to kiss (see Making out)
to succeed or profit (“She made out well on that deal.”) *
marinara sauce a sauce containing seafood, usu. in a tomato base a red sauce containing tomatoes and herbs, often with meat but never with seafood (UK: napolitana sauce)
marquee large, open-sided tent installed outdoors for temporary functions * signage placed over the entrance to a hotel, theatre, or cinema
(attrib.) the ability (of a show) to draw audience, “box office” (“marquee value”)
a prominent celebrity or athlete (“marquee player“)
Mate friend (US: pal or friend)
informal term of address (“hello mate”)
animal’s sexual partner
checkmate, the winning of a game of chess
an officer on a merchant ship
spouse or partner
mean (adj.) stingy, miserly, selfish of inferior quality, contemptible
a statistical average (see mean)
unpleasant, unkind, vicious *
Median a statistical average (see median)
geometric median
median nerve
the portion of a divided highway used to separate opposing traffic (UK central reservation)
meet with to face (as a situation), experience (“If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same” – Kipling); to encounter for the first time (How I Met Your Mother) to have a meeting with (as people) (“Vice president meets with Iraqi officials”, CNN) *(UK generallymeet (transitive) or meet up with[3]
mezzanine intermediate floor between main floors of a building lowest balcony in a theatre, or the first few rows of seats thereof (UK usu. dress circle)
mid-Atlantic in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, half-way between UK & US; an English-speaking accent with features of both British and American speakers middle of the Atlantic coast of the USA (exact definition of Mid-Atlantic States may vary)
middle class better off than ‘working class’, but not rich, i.e., a narrower term than in the U.S. and often negative ordinary; not rich although not destitute, generally a positive term
military relating specifically to the British Army (dated) relating to armed forces in general
Minor (in the past, in English public schools) used to denote the youngest of two or more pupils with the same surname (“Bloggs minor”) (US: Jr.) not very important
see minor (law)major and minor
(n.) a person under the age of 18 years, generally, and for legal reasons more specifically (as in “the name of the defendant is withheld because he is aminor“), or under an age legally required for certain behavior (such as purchasing alcohol), or under the age of consent.
(n.) secondary academic subject (compare major) (“has a major in biology and a minor in English”); (v.) to study as one’s minor (“she minored in English”)
minor league;
miss out to omit to lose a chance; usu. used with on
mobile (n.) mobile phone (US: cell phone) decorative structure suspended so as to turn freely in the air
mobile home a mobile, non-motorised piece of equipment with living facilities; a caravan (q.v.) a type of manufactured dwelling transported to the home site using wheels attached to the structure
momentarily for a moment in a moment; very soon
Mono (adj.) monophonic (of reproduced sound, e.g. radio or CD player using a single speaker)
(n.) infectious mononucleosis, a disease caused byEpstein-Barr virus (UK: glandular fever)
moot (adj.) debatable (“a moot point”)
(v.) to bring up for debate
see also moot court
(adj.) irrelevant (“a moot point”) (orig. legal, now in common use)
mortuary (n.) building or room (as in a hospital) for the storage of human remains (US: morgue) funeral home, funeral parlour
motorbike motorcycle a lightweighted, small motorcycle
motor car,motorcar (formal) a car (motor vehicle) (US: automobile) a self-propelled railway vehicle
MP Member of Parliament Military police
other expansions
Northern Mariana Islands (ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code and U.S. postal abbreviation MP)
Missouri Pacific Railroad (reporting mark MP)
Muffin a thick round baked yeast roll, usually toasted and served with butter (US: English muffin) a confection similar to a cupcake but unfrosted and less sweet, sometimes even savory (e.g., corn muffin) *(UK: American muffin)
muffler scarf device to silence an automobile (UK: silencer) or gramophone
Mum mother, as addressed or referred to by her child (US: mom) silent, as in “keep mum” chrysanthemum
mummy mother, as addressed or referred to by her child (US: mommy) Ancient Egyptian mummy, a chemically preserved corpse
any preserved corpse (Mexican mumia)
Mush (informal) term of address, often hostile (possibly from Romany “man”)[4][5][6]
(informal) face[4][6][7]
a soft wet mass[4][8][9] thick cornmeal porridge[4][8][9][10]
command to dogs to start pulling a sledge *[4][8][9]


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
napkin nappy (q.v.), diaper (dated, not well known) piece of material used to protect garments from spilled food or to remove food residues from around the mouth [formerly esp. US; alternative UK term serviette is becoming obsolete] piece of paper used to protect garments, (typicallysanitary napkin) absorbent piece of material worn by a woman while menstruating *(UK usu. sanitary towel)
nappy folded cloth or other absorbent material drawn up between the legs and fastened around the waist, usu. worn by infants to counter incontinence (US:diaper) twisted or kinked, considered insulting when applied to hair, esp. that of persons of African descent (also called napped)
Natter Idle, pleasant chatter (US: small talk, chitchat) (natter on) Constant, annoying chatter
nervy nervous, fidgety bold, presumptuous
NHS The National Health Service, a government-run health care plan funded by British taxpayers and available to all citizens. The National Honor Society, an American scholastic organization open to high schoolers (in grades 10 – 12, see grade) who excel in academics, leadership skills, citizenship, and character.
Nick prison or police station (slang)
to steal (slang)
to arrest (slang)
small cut
(computer jarg.) nickname
the nick of time = “just in time”
Nickel the metallic element (Ni) 5 cent coin (also ‘nickle’)
nonplussed bewildered, unsure how to respond unfazed
Nonce a sex offender; in particular, a child molestor (slang) the present moment
a word used only once
a single-use token in a cryptographic protocol
Nor neither * (“‘She didn’t come.’ ‘Nor did he.'”)
(Scotland & Ireland) than (“someone better nor me”)
and not, or (not) (“neither sad nor happy”; “he never eats, nor does he ever feel hungry”)
Notion an idea, impression, whim, theory or conception[11][12][13] small item, particularly of the type used in sewing[11][12][14]


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
office (cap.) a government department (“Colonial Office“, “Foreign and Commonwealth Office“)
(pl.) the outbuildings and dependencies of a dwelling (as an estate)
a place of business; a position or function
a particular division of an administrative unit (“Patent Office“)
the place where a physician or dentist practices (UK: surgery)
optician (dispensing optician) professional who dispenses lenses and spectacles
(ophthalmic optician) professional who tests eyes and prescribes lenses (US: optometrist)
professional who dispenses lenses and spectacles
optometrist ophthalmic optician in the U.S., optometrist and ophthalmologist are separate, opticians are the same as UK dispensing opticians
Oriental a person from East/SouthEast Asia. Contrast ‘Asian‘, meaning a person from South Asia. a thing from Asia e.g. “Oriental Carpet”. a person from anywhere in Asia, other than Western Asia or Russia. Considered pejorative. Polite US speakers use Asian instead, even for people from China and Korea.
ouster a person who ousts the act of forcing the removal of someone from a position of influence or power
outhouse building outside but adjacent to or attached to a main dwelling e.g. a shed or barn[15] outside toilet[15]
outside lane the part of the road nearest the vehicles going in the opposite direction, used especially by faster vehicles (US: inside lane) (in both cases the term applies to the rightmost lane in the direction concerned) the part of the road nearest the edge, used especially by slower-moving vehicles (UK: inside lane)
overall(s) (n.) loose-fitting protective outer garment (US: coverall) (in pl.) sturdy protective bib trousers; dungarees,bib overalls


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Pacifier something or somebody that brings peace rubber teat for babies (UK: dummy)
panda police car (slang) (US: zebrablack-and-white) Type of animal (black and white), e.g. Giant Panda,Red Panda
pantomime A form of comedic, usually family oriented musical stage production. silent acting, usu. without props, by mime artist(UK: mime)
Pants underpants (also briefs or boxers)
of poor quality (slang)
(of a situation) bad, unfortunate (slang). Although refers to trousers in parts of Northern England.
Outerwear from the waist to the ankles (trousers) *

(wear the pants in the family) be masculine, be the breadwinner, perform the husband’s role (derog.) (spoken esp. of a wife, usage becoming obsolete)

paraffin kerosene waxy fraction of petroleum commonly used to make candles (UK: paraffin wax)
paralytic extremely drunk (slang) relating to or affected by paralysis
park a tract of ground kept in its natural state, about or adjacent to a residence, as for the preservation of game, for walking, riding, or the like
(esp. Scotland) a pasture or field
area for the parking of motor vehicles (“a car park”)
(sports) a soccer or rugby field
see also country park
outdoor area for recreational uses (“Central Park“, “Hyde Park“)
national park (orig. US)
any of various areas designated for certain purposes *, such as amusement parktheme park,industrial parktrailer parkmemorial park (a cemetery)
(sports) enclosed ground for ball games, oftenest the baseball park
a level valley among the mountains (as the Rocky Mountains); also, an area of open grassland, or one for cultivation, esp. if among the woods
Parking the act of parking (a vehicle) To engage in romantic intimacy in a parked vehicle.[16][citation needed] (regional) turf strip between sidewalk and street[citation needed] (many regional synonyms exist; there is no standard name).
parkway a railway station with parking areas intended for commuters generally, an open landscaped limited-accesshighway (q.v.)
pass out to graduate from a training centre of a disciplined service (military, police etc.) to become unconscious; to distribute
patience any of a family of one-player card games (US:solitaire, q.v.) the quality of being patient
pavement a paved strip at the side of a road, reserved for pedestrians (US: sidewalk) the road surface *
PC police constable politically correct
personal computer
other expansions
Pecker courage or pluck; literally, chin (slang, used in the phrase “keep your pecker up”, remain cheerful or, literally, “keep your chin up”) penis (slang)
Peckish slightly hungry, snackish * irritable or angry (rare)
Peg (n.) (often clothes peg) a wooden or plastic device for fastening laundry on a clothesline (US:clothespin)
(v.) to fasten (laundry) on a clothesline
(n.) a cylindrical wooden, metal etc. object used to fasten or as a bearing between objects
(v.) to fix or pin down
(v.) to hit with a projectile
(n.) a throw (as in baseball)
(v.) to identify or classify (someone as being something) *
penny (pl. pence, or, when referring to coins, pennies) 1/100 (formerly, 1/240) of the Pound Sterling [listed here to reflect ordinary usage] a small amount usu. in contrast to a larger one (“Penny wise, Pound foolish”, common phrase in both British and American usage) (pl. pennies) a cent (esp. the coin)
(penny-ante) trivial, small-time.
period section of time
row of the periodic table
punctuation mark used at the end of a sentence
(interj.) used at the end of a statement to emphasise its finality *(“You are not going to that concert, period!”) (UK: full stop for both senses)
pint 20 imperial fluid ounces (about 568 ml, 19.2 US fl oz or 65 US pt),
pint of beer, lager or cider (“Pour us a pint”)
16 US fluid ounces (about 473 ml, 16.65 imp fl oz or 56 imp pt)
Piss (on the piss) drinking heavily, going out for the purpose of drinking heavily
(to piss off) to go away
urine (usu. vulgar)
urinate (usu. vulgar)
low-quality beer (vulgar)
(to piss off) to incite to anger, to enrage
(to take the piss) to mock
Pissed intoxicated, drunk*(often pissed as a newt; sometimes pissed up) urinated (usu. vulgar)
(pissed off) angry, irritated (U.S.: often just pissed)
pitch outdoor site for a stall or some other business
site for a tent (U.S.: campsite, q.v.)
playing field for a particular sport (football pitch,rugby pitchcricket pitch, etc.) (US: field)
an attempt to persuade somebody to do something, usu. to accept a business proposal
a sticky black substance obtained from tar
the slope of a roof
rotation on a lateral axis (as an aircraft or spacecraft)
the frequency of a sound
to erect a tent
to discard (in various card games, e.g., bridge)
in baseball, the delivery of a baseball by a pitcher to a batter
(slang) to dispose of, to throw away
a brief summary of a broader work or idea meant to be attractive to a third party e.g. “What’s the pitch?”
Pitcher a large container (often earthenware), usually round with a narrow neck, used for holding water or another liquid [17] (US: jug) any container with a handle and lip or spout for liquids*[1] (UK: jug)
baseball player who pitches (throws) baseball towards the batter (UK: bowler)
(LGBT slang, from baseball) a top or dominant partner
Pitman miner working in a pit the man that stands in a pit when sawing timber (with another man standing above) connecting rod (as in a sawmill)
a master barbecuer, the person responsible for managing a barbecue pit.
Plant machinery, industrial equipment a vegetable organism, a factory
plaster an adhesive bandage placed on a minor cut or scrape (UK also: sticking/sticky plasterElastoplast; US: Band-Aid);
a cast of plaster of Paris (“a leg in plaster”)
a pastelike mixture that hardens when applied to walls and ceilings;
(plastered) drunk
Platform when appended with a number signifies a specific platform in a station (US: track) a raised elongated structure along the side of a track in a railway station; a raised level surface; a raised level surface from which a speaker addresses an audience
plimsoll, plimsol, plimsole. noun: a rubber-soled cloth shoe; a sneaker. waterline to show the level the water should reach when the ship is properly loaded [syn: load line], named after Samuel Plimsoll
Point (pl.) railway turnout *(US: switch)
(power pointelectrical socket (US: outlet)
cape or promontory jutting into sea
(full point) syn. with full stop (q.v.)
Many, many uses; see Point (disambiguation) piece of land jutting into any body of water, esp. a river (“points and bends”); a prominence or peak (of mountains, hills, rocks), also an extremity of woods or timber
pontoon blackjack, twenty-one buoyant device
pop to place or put (“I popped the book on the table”) a sharp explosive sound (noun and verb)
pop music
carbonated soft drink (U.S. usage is regional; also:sodasoda pop)(pop in) to arrive unexpectedly
father (colloquial)
(slang) to shoot; to kill, esp. with a gun
(n.) a sudden increase (as in price) (orig. Stock exchange) *
porter doormangatekeeper, or building maintenance worker * bearer of burdens
style of beer
railway sleeping car attendant
post (v.) to send a letter *(US: mail) to display on a noticeboard or bulletin board,Internet forum, etc. to announce (“the company posted a first-quarter profit of $100 million”)
to inform (“keep me posted”) *
Postal related to the paper mail system (used in the name of the United States Postal Service; see mail)
(going postal) to commit a sudden, irrational burst of rage (slang)
pound sign symbol of the Pound Sterling (£) (GBP) number sign, octothorpe (#) (UK: hash sign)
precinct pedestrian zone in a city or town (“a shopping precinct”) a space enclosed (as by walls) subdivision of a county, town, etc. for the purpose of conducting elections
section of a city patrolled by a police unit; the police station in such a section
prep(aratory) school (in England) fee-paying private junior school (which prepares students for public school) fee-paying private senior school (which prepares students for college) (UK: public school orindependent school)
pressman, presswoman journalist employed by a newspaper (US:newspaperman/newspaperwoman (rare), or by specific job) one who operates a printing press
pressurise (UK), pressurize (U.S. & UK) insistently influence, or attempt to influence, someone else (“The manager pressurised his assistant to work late”) (U.S. & UK also: pressure) subject a volume of gas or liquid to physical pressure, as the atmospheric pressure within an aircraft (“To protect the Aircraft’s structure, the plane was pressurized to 8000 ft.”)
proctor variant of the word procurator, is a person who takes charge or acts for another. an examination supervisor (UK: invigilator)
professor holder of a chair in a university, the highestacademic rank (the usual order being Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor) academic faculty of all ranks: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and (Full) Professor (the latter being largely equivalent to the UK meaning)
projects plans; temporary endeavors undertaken to create a unique product or service publicly subsidized, low-income housing development – see public housing (UK: cf.
prom shortening of ‘promenade concert’, originally one of a series of concerts (The Proms) held as part of a classical music festival that takes place in the late summer based around the Royal Albert Hall in London, but now also used elsewhere
shortening of ‘promenade’, a raised walk next to the beach in seaside resorts
dance/party held for pupils to celebrate the end of a school year/graduation, a shortening of ‘promenade’, a formal parade *
protest (v.t.) to forcefully express an opinion, to advocate: “The prisoner protested his innocence.” to campaign or demonstrate against: “The prisoner’s friends protested the judge’s decision.” (UK: protest against)
public school long-established and prestigious fee-payingindependent school in England or Wales (note that not all private schools are classified as public schools) (U.S.: prep school) tax-supported school controlled by a local governmental authority (UK: state school) *(also inScotland & Northern Ireland)
pudding dessert course of a meal
a heavy dessert or main course (e.g. steak and kidney pudding), often suet-based
used in the name of some other savoury dishes (e.g. black puddingpease pudding)
a creamy dessert [equivalent to British, blancmange]
term of affection
Pull to persuade someone to be one’s date or sex partner (slang)
(on the pull) seeking a date or sex partner (slang)
to move something towards oneself
an injury to a muscle, tendon, or ligament, e.g. “I’ve pulled my hamstring.”
to carry out a task (esp. milit.) (“to pull guard duty”)

authority, influence (“He’s got pull in that office.”) (pull rank) the act of a supervisor exercising authority over a subordinate.

pull off (of a vehicle) to start moving to succeed in a task
pump (shoe) (regional) a plimsoll (U.S.: sneaker) the word (of unknown origin) has variously denoted a pantofle, a low thin sole shoe, a formal men’s shoe
(Reebok Pump) a brand of athletic shoe with an internal inflation mechanism
usu. women’s high(ish) heeled shoe (UK similar:court shoe, q.v.)
punk follower of Punk rock worthless person; from conventional societal perspective any young outlaw or tough; from perspective of outlaws and others valuing physical fighting, a coward
to play a prank or practical joke on someone
purse feminine money container or wallet (US: coin purse) in boxing etc., the money to be awarded in a prize fight handbag
Pussy a cat (becoming less common in the U.S., due to the other meanings)
Slang term for vagina
a coward (vulgar and highly derogatory)
Pylon electricity pylon, part of an electric power transmission network *(US: mast or transmission tower) A large architectural feature, usually found as one of a pair at the entrance to ancient Egyptian temples – see Pylon (architecture) traffic cone; temporary traffic lane separator.
support structure for suspension bridge or highway


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
quart 1/4 (UK) gallon or 2 (UK) pints. Liquid measure approximately 1.136 litres (6/5 of an American quart). 1/4 (US) gallon or 2 (US) pints. Liquid measure equal to 0.946 litres (5/6 of a British quart).
Quarter one of four equal parts into which something is divided, as a quarter hour or, especially for financial purposes, a quarter of a year; in generic usage (as in fractions), US usu. fourth 25 cents (a fourth of a dollar)
Queue a group of persons, usually waiting for something, arranged in order of arrival *(US: line) an ordered sequence of objects, from which the first one in is also the first one out (cf. Queue (data structure))
Quid colloquial term for pound sterling (plural is quidalso; in Ireland it referred to the punt and now refers to the euro) (related US: buck) a measure (mouthful) of chewing tobacco
Quite to some extent or degree, e.g. in the phrase “quite good” meaning “mediocre, acceptable” or “good, well done” (a meiotic usage, depending on voice intonation)

agreeing with a given statement, often expressing reluctant agreement or disbelief (“I’m innocent, and this document proves it!” “Quite.”) according to intonation)

to the fullest extent or degree (“All art is quite useless” – Oscar Wilde)
to a great extent or degree


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Rabbit (v.) (slang) to talk at length, usually about trivial things; usually to ‘rabbit on’ (Cockney rhyming slang Rabbit and pork = talk) (n.) the animal rabbit, a lagomorph (rabbit ears) (slang) TV antenna (usage becoming obsolete)
Railroad tramway (obsolete) (v.) to coerce
to convict with undue haste or with insufficient evidence
the general term for the system of mass transit using trains running on rails: see usage of the terms railroad and railway
(v.) to work on the railroad
to transport by railroad
see also at underground
Railway the general term for the system of mass transit using trains running on rails: see usage of the terms railroad and railway tramway
Raisin (UK usage excludes currants and sultanas) a large dark grape, dried any dried grape
Rambler one that rambles (as a hiker), see Ramblers a type of rose
one who talks excessively, often without making cohesive points (to ramble on)
a style of house, usu. a ranch-style house
(see also Rambler (automobile)Nash Rambler)
Randy a slang term meaning sexually aroused (Americanhorny) a male or female given name or nickname deriving from the names Randall, Randolph, or Miranda
range a line, collection, etc. of products or merchandise, as in top of the range (US: top of the line)
a type of kitchen stove like that featured on the TV programme The 1900 House
a series of things in a line (as mountains)
a sequence or scale between limits
a place where shooting is practised and the distance a projectile will travel, as in Maximum Effective Range.
an area over which a species of animal or plant is found
a cooking stove with an oven and burners on the top surface
an open area for the grazing of livestock
a series of townships (q.v.), a Public Land Survey System unit of land east or west from a Principal meridian
Raunchy Lewd, vulgar, sexually explicit foul-smelling, dirty
raunch (n.): stench, miasma
Read to study a subject at university* (“he is reading physics”) (roughly approximate US: major (in)) to peruse written material
reader the second highest academic rank at a university, below professor (US equivalent: associate professor) one who reads a teaching assistant who reads and grades examination papers.
receptionist hotel reservation desk worker (US: clerk) see alsoconcierge front desk employee in business establishments, organisations, or hospitals
recess (time) remission or suspension of business or procedure pause between classes at school (UK: break,playtime, Lunchtime)
Redcap military police officer a baggage porter (as at a train station)
redundant laid off from employment, usu. because no longer needed (“The company made 100 workers redundant”) (US: laid off) unnecessary; repetitive
Regular normal, customary
following a uniform pattern in space or time
(of a geometric shape) having equal sides and angles
one who frequents a place
a full-time professional member of a military organisation (see Structure of the British Army andRegular army) (US: active duty)
of an ordinary kind; also, nice or agreeable (“a regular guy”)
of an ordinary or medium size *
unmodified, especially non-dietary/sugar-free/fat-free *
non-decaffeinated coffee
lowest grade of gasoline (historically: leaded gasoline)
Remit (n.) set of responsibilities (“within my remit”; “to have a remit”) (pronounced /ˈriːmɪt/) (v.) to defer; in law, to transfer a case to a lower court; to send money; to cancel. (pronounced /rɪˈmɪt/)
rent (v.) to pay money in exchange for the right to use a house, land or other real property (BrE “let”) to pay money in exchange for the right to use moveable property such as a car (BrE “hire”)
restroom a room for staff to take their breaks in; a staffroom (US: breakroom) a room in a public place, containing a toilet
Retainer amount of money paid in order to retain the services of another, a person who part of a retinue a device for straightening teeth (UK: brace)
Retreat (v.) to go backwards, especially (military) to move away from the enemy; to withdraw
(n.) a period of withdrawal from society for prayer or meditation
a period of group withdrawal for study or instruction under a group leader
Review to reassess, inspect, perform a subsequent reading
to write a review
to study again (as in preparing for an examination) (UK: revise), hence review (n.)
Revise to study again (as in preparing for an examination) (US: review), hence revision to inspect, amend, correct, improve, esp. written material
Rider a person who rides a horsebicycle ormotorcycle[18]
an addition or amendment to a document or law[18][19]
a condition or proviso[18]
a person who travels on a train or bus (UK:passenger)
ring (v.) to call (someone) by telephone to sound a bell (ring up) *to total up a customer’s purchases on acash register
rise (increase) an increase in wages (US: raise) an increase in amount, value, price, etc.
Roach The assembled filter tip of a marijuana joint Fish including members of the family Cyprinidae Cockroach (colloquial).
The extinguished remnants of a marijuana joint
Roast (colloquial) to reprimand severely. (v.) to cook in an oven; (n.) meat so cooked (n.) an event where an individual is ridiculed for the sake of comedy; (v.) to host or perform such an event
Rocket An edible salad green, called arugula in American English. A vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket engine
roommate a person with whom one shares a bedroom (also roomie) a person with whom one shares a house or apartment (UK: housemate or flatmate)
root (v.) to fix; to rummage; to take root or grow roots to cheer (“I will be rooting for you”); to dig or look for (root around) *
rotary a machine acting by rotation
(cap.) organisation whose members compriseRotary Clubs
a circular road intersection
roundabout merry-go-round a detour or circuitous path
a circular road intersection
a type of men’s jacket used in the past (see e.g. Mark Twain)
row (n.) (Pronounced /ˈraʊ/, to rhyme with “cow”)
a noisy quarrel *; a continual loud noise (“Who’s making that row?”)
(Pronounced /ˈroʊ/, to rhyme with “toe”)
a line of objects, often regularly spaced (as seats in a theatre, vegetable plants in a garden etc.)
a line of entries in a table, etc. (as opposed to a column)
an instance of rowing (as in a boat)
a series of prison cells (“death row”)
a particular street or area of a town (as in skid row, dilapidated neighbourhood haunted by vagrants, misfits, etc.)
a series of row houses
(row house) town house, q.v.
rubber (countable noun) pencil eraser the duration of a match in certain games (e.g., bridge) condom
(rubbers) waterproof boots (UK: wellingtons,wellies)
Rug a (usually thick) piece of fabric used for warmth (especially on a bed); blanket a small covering for a floor
(slang) a wig; hairpiece
run (n.) a leisure drive or ride (“a run in the car”) (v.) senses orig. US and now common are: to be a candidate in an election (UK also stand); to manage or provide for (a business, a family, etc.); the idioms run scaredrun into. More s.v. home run; see wiktionary for additional meanings, a type of cage which is made so that animals (e.g. Hamsters, rabbits, Guinea pigs, etc.) can run around in it. (v.) to propose (someone) as a candidate
to drive past (“to run a red light”)
to hunt (as the buffalo or the deer)
(n.) an instance of running for office
creek (q.v.)
run-in the final part of a race; approach to something, also run-up (q.v.) an argument or altercation *
a chance meeting (negative connotation)
rundown (n.) a reduction (as of an establishment) a detailed summary (orig. US slang) type of play in baseball
tired, depressed.
runner (n.) to do a runner is to leave suddenly without notice, typically from a taxi or restaurant without payment[20] a competitor in a race
run-up the period preceding an event (as an election) * the act of running up a sudden increase (as in price) (orig. Stock exchange) *


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
saloon closed car having two or (usu.) four doors, a front and rear seat and a separate boot/trunk (US:sedan)
(saloon bar) posh bar within a pub or hotel
passengers’ lounge on a liner or luxury train (US approx.: parlor car)
officers’ dining room on a merchant ship bar, especially in the American Old West
bar that serves only spirits and no food
a room in a house used for receiving guests; asalon
scalp (v.) to cut the scalp off; to take something away

(n.) trophy, spoils of victory (informal)

to resell (as tickets) at higher prices (UK: tout)
to trade (as stocks) for quick profits
Scheme official systematic plan (as of the government) (“a pension scheme”)
(Scotland) Low-cost public housing (US: project)
a plan, often secret or devious; a plot (“criminal scheme”)
School place of primary or secondary education grouping of departments or large department within a university faculty (among other meanings, e.g., a group of experts sharing perspective or methods, or a group of fish) any educational institution; in school: state of being a pupil in any school normally serving minor children of any age, or in a college or university at any level; at school: usually, physically present on campus. (UK: at school for both)
scrappy not neatly organised or poor
a scrappy player is one who sometimes plays well, but often plays badly.
fragmentary bellicose or fightingly determined
a scrappy player is one who compensates for a lack of size or speed with grit and determination.
second (v.) to transfer temporarily to alternative employment (pronounced /sɨˈkɒnd/, to rhyme with “beyond”) to endorse, support, or bring reinforcements
section (v.t.) to detain under the Mental Health Act 1983
On section, detained in a mental hospital.
to cut or slice into sections
sedan chair or windowed cabin, carried by at least two porters in front and behind a common car body style (UK: saloon, q.v.)
seeded (grapes, etc.) with the seeds left in having had the seeds removed (uncommon usage) (also seedless, used in UK)
Semi semi-detached house (US: duplex), semi-erection (vulgar) semi-trailer truck (UK: articulated lorry)
series (television) a single batch of episodes of a television programme (US: season) a complete production, i.e. the programme itself all of the episodes of a particular television program
set square a triangular object used in technical drawing (US:triangle) T-square (also used in technical drawing)
shade penumbra, partial obscurity; nuance
(pl.) sunglasses (orig. US); reminder of the past
window blind
Shag to copulate, or copulate with [understood in some (but certainly not all) demographics in the US also, see Austin Powers] a seabird (various members of the cormorantfamily)
a kind of fabric with a thick, long strands; often used in carpets
long, matted hair (cf. Shaggy from the Scooby-Doocartoon)
a type of shredded coarse tobacco
(v.) to chase after; to chase and fetch (as a fly ballin baseball)
a style of long hair with numerous layers (not matted or untidy)
a kind of a dance, associated with “beach music,” esp. from the Carolinas (orig. US)
shattered exhausted broken into many small pieces.
devastated emotionally
sherbet a fizzy powdered confectionery a type of frozen dessert (also spelled sherbert;sorbet in UK)
sheriff chief royal peace officer of a county, now (as high sheriff) largely only a ceremonial role (England and Wales)
local judge, in full sheriff-depute or sheriff-substitute (Scotland)
elected chief legal officer of a county, usu. also in charge of the county’s law enforcement service; elsewhere any member of a county (vs. state or local) police
shingle pebbles, particularly those on the seashore * to cut a woman’s hair in an overlapping style
(shingles) a painful disease of the skin, caused by the chickenpox virus
wooden roof tile
to cover a roof with wooden tiles
sign proclaiming one’s name and calling (“hang a shingle out”)
to cover something like a shingled roof
ship (verb), shipping To transport goods by sea, movement of goods by sea
Relationship (fandom)
To transport goods, movement of goods
Shipping & handling, standard form of charge for delivery of goods (UK: Postage & packing)
Shop consumer retail establishment of any size (US:store); hence shopfront (US: storefront), shop-soiled (US: shopworn), shop assistant (US: (sales) clerk)
workshop, only in combination (“machine shop”)
small or specialized consumer retail establishment (e.g. coffee shopdress shop)
workshop; practical class at school taught in a workshop; US auto shop = Br. garagecar mechanic.
shorts strong alcoholic drinks served in multiples of 25 ml, sometimes with mixers (US & UK also: shots) short trousers (US: short pants) underpants, boxers

(take it in one’s shorts) endure a painful situation (“He really took it in the shorts that time.”)

Shower spray of water used to wash oneself
a short period of rain
a celebratory party where gifts are given to an individual e.g. a baby shower to celebrate an imminent birth
Sic Latin for “Thus”, “just so” — states that the preceding quoted material appears exactly that way in the source, usu. despite errors of spelling, grammar, usage, or fact. pronunciation spelling of “seek” used as a dog command, and by extension as a verb meaning to set (as a dog, etc.) to attack someone (“I’ll sic my attorney on you”)
Sick (off sick) not at work because of illness
(n.) vomit (“a puddle of sick”)
(to be sick) to vomit
(slang) disgusting (corruption of sickening)
(slang) cool, good, interesting
(out sick) not at work because of illness
sideboard (pl.) sideburns, side-whiskers an item of furniture also known as buffet
siding a dead-end railway track leading off the main line and used to store rolling-stock a short section of railroad track connected by switches with a main track, enabling trains on the same line to pass (UK: loop)
external wall covering, cladding, weatherboarding
Silencer device to silence a car/automobile (US: muffler) device to silence a firearm
Silk Queen’s Counsel material made from unwound silkworm cocoons

(silky) smooth, having the texture of silk (cf., silky words)

the silky, pistillate flower of corn (maize)
a parachute (orig. slang of the United States Air Force)
silverware things made from silver, including bowls, spoons, etc. Also trophies won by a sports team (i.e. FA CupChallenge Cup…) eating implements (spoon, fork, knife) (UK: cutlery; US also flatware)
Sketchy lacking detail or substance[21][22] questionable, disreputable[21][22]
Skillet (regional dialect) a frying pan
a type of stir-fried food item
a frying pan, often cast iron
a long-handled stewing pan or saucepan, often having short legs or feet
skip (n.) large rubbish container (US approx: Dumpster) an act of leaping or omitting; see skip (radio)skip (in audio playback) one who disappears without paying their debts (“finding a good skip tracer is harder than finding your debtors”) (UK: Gone Away)
skive (v.) to avoid work or school (play truant) v. to cut or pare leather/rubber; n. an indentation made from skiving
Skivvy scullery maid or lowest servant doing menial work, somebody at the bottom of the pecking order [origin of both senses is unknown; they are likely unrelated] [note that skivvy has a third distinct meaning in Australian English] (pl.) men’s underwear (colloquial)
Slag (derogatory) promiscuous woman (US & UK also:slut)
a general insult directed at someone of either sex
A product from the iron-smelting blast furnace; mainly used in tarmac production
Slash (colloq.) an act of urinating (“to have a slash”) to cut drastically

the symbol ‘/‘ (orig. US) (also virgulesolidus; UK also: obliquestroke)
short for slash fiction, a genre of fan fiction that explores romantic or sexual relationships between same-sex characters

an open tract in a forest strewn with debris, especially from logging
a swampy area
slate (v.) to disparage (“many critics have slated the film”), hence slating (n.) a type of rock; a greyish colour
(v.) to cover with slate
(v.) to schedule *(“slated for demolition“)
to designate (a candidate, as for political office)
(n.) a list of candidates
Sleeper A horizontal member which lies beneath, and binds together, the rails of a railway. (US: railroad tie,crosstie) A railway vehicle providing sleeping accommodation (a sleeping car).
Sleeper agent – A deep cover secret agent
Sleeper (automobile), an automobile modified for high performance but with a normal-looking exterior (UK: Q-car)
sleet snow that has partially thawed on its fall to the ground (partially) frozen raindrops, ice pellets; a mixture of rain and snow or hail; also, glaze (q.v.)
slough (hydrology) (usu. pronounced /ˈslaʊ/, to rhyme with “plough”) a marshy area, a swamp a secondary channel; a small backwater; a pond (usu. pronounced /ˈsluː/ and often spelled slew)
Smarties a sugar-coated chocolate confectionery manufactured by Nestlé (similar to US M&M’s) a fruit-flavored tablet candy produced by Ce De Candy, Inc
smashed beaten, destroyed as in “it was smashed” Exceedingly drunk
smokestack a system (as a pipe) for venting hot gases and smoke: such a system on buildings, locomotives(UK primarily: chimney or funnel), and ships (UK & US also: funnel) (attrib.) heavy industrymanufacturing industry *(“smokestack industries”, “smokestack stocks”)
smudge a blurry spot or streak a smouldering mass placed on the windward side to protect from frost or keep insects away (as insmudge pot)
Snout police informant
tobacco (slang)
pig’s nose
nose (slang)
Sod unpleasant person, originally short for sodomite (“He’s a sod, isn’t he?”)
unfortunate person when prefixed by ‘poor’ (“The poor sod’s had his wallet nicked.”) or ‘silly’ (“The silly sod really got it knackered.”); also an exclamation of frustration, esp. as an abbreviation for sodomy: “Sod it!”
layer of grass and earth (in UK in a formal/literary sense), cf. ‘sodden’ turf
Soda carbonated water, or any non-alcoholic drink made with it, but not usu. one sold ready-mixed any of various chemical compounds containingsodium (as sodium bicarbonate or sodium carbonate), carbonated water (regional) carbonated soft drink, usu. one sold ready-mixed (also ‘pop,’ ‘soda pop’) (UK: fizzy drinkor colloquially (fizzy) pop)
solicitor lawyer who advises clients, represents them in the lower courts, and prepares cases for barristers to try in higher courts *(considered overly formal in US) one that solicits (e.g. contributions to charity), an advertiser, a salesperson, a promoter; often annoying
chief law officer of a city, town, or government department
Solitaire peg-jumping puzzle game (see peg solitaire) any of a family of one-player card games (seesolitaire) (UK: patience)
sort (v.) to deal with; hence sorted as expression of appreciation; (slang) to be adequately supplied with narcotics
all used with out:
to arrange or take care of (something) *
to solve an esp. difficult situation (also reflexive) *
(informal) to set (someone) straight, or to get even with (someone)
sorted, to have or get fixed, have problems worked out, so things are working correctly (“He’s really got it sorted now.”)
to arrange or classify; often used with out
spanner general term for a tool used for turning nuts, bolts, etc. (US: wrench, q.v.)
something interfering (US: (monkey) wrench)
wrench with holes or pins at its end for meshing with the object to be turned (UK: C spanner)
Spaz (offensive) Incompetent, useless, disabled person (from spastic, person with cerebral palsy) uncoordinated, hyperactive, messing something up. Can be used self-referentially. Has less offensive connotations in American usage.
Spigot a spile in a cask a tap or faucet
Spook a ghost; a spy, government undercover agent (both orig. US) a black person (insulting)
Spotty pimply (“a spotty teenager”) of inhomogeneous quality (“a spotty record”)
sprouts (n.) brussels sprouts alfalfa sprouts
Spunk (vulgar) seminal fluid (US: cum) courage, daring, or enthusiasm
squash (n.) fruit cordial drink (squash (drink)) sport (squash (sport))* vegetable (squash (plant))*(UK also gourd)
squat (n.) premises occupied by squatters (v.)
to occupy (as premises) illegally
to bend deeply at the knees while resting on one’s feet
(n.) the act of squatting
an exercise in weightlifting
(n.) nothing (slang; short for diddly-squat)
(more at cop)
stabiliser (UK),stabilizer (US & UK) (pl.) additional wheels to help learner cyclists (US:training wheels) something that stabilises, as stabilizer (aircraft) orstabilizer (chemistry)
stall (enclosure) (pl.) front seats in a theatre (US: orchestra) compartment for an animal in a barn
a booth or counter (as in a marketplace)
seat in a church’s choir
compartment containing a shower or toilet (UK:cubicle)
a marked-off parking space
enclosure for a locomotive in a roundhouse
(box stall) compartment in a barn where an animal can move untethered (UK: loose box)
stand (v.) to be a candidate in an election *(US: run) to be vertical; to remain stationary; to buy (someone) (something)
Starter first course of a meal *(US usu. appetizer); more s.v. entree one that starts (as a device to start an engine) transportation dispatcher or elevator (q.v.) dispatcher
starting pitcher (baseball)
the official who starts a track race.
Stash (v.) to quit, put an end to (“to stash it”) (v.) to store away [old criminals’ slang revived in US] (n.) a hiding place, or something (esp. drug or liquor) stored away*
Stick abuse, insult, or denigration (“to give stick“) a long, thin piece of wood
stone (pl. usu. stone) 14 pounds in weight (14 lb), normally used when specifying a person’s weight (“My weight is twelve stone four”, meaning 12 stone and 4 pounds; US “172 pounds”) a small rock
Stood (colloquial, mainly Northern English) standing (“I’ve been stood here for an hour”) past tense and participle of stand
Stoop A post or pillar, especially a gatepost. (Rare except in dialect). forwards bend of the spine bringing the shoulders in front of the hips
dive of a predatory bird towards its prey
raised porch or entrance veranda (orig. Dutch; esp. Northeast). Also refers to the external stairs leading up to a row house, “Sitting on the stoop.”
Store place for storage of items not needed for immediate use* large consumer retail establishment (asdepartment store or superstore) consumer retail establishment of any size (UK:shop), e.g. grocery storehardware store,convenience storedime store; hence storefront(UK: shopfront), storekeeper (UK: shopkeeper)
Story an account of events, usu. fictional but sometimes factual a floor of a building (UK: storey)
stove a hothouse or greenhouse for plants
the grate of a fireplace
wood- or coal-burning room-heating appliance (but in AmE this usage almost always limited to historical contexts, e.g. “one-room schoolhouses usually had potbelly stoves for warmth.”) (or cookstove) appliance for cooking food *– compare range (UK usu. cooker)
see also Franklin stove
straight away, straightaway (usu. spaced) immediately, right away * (solid) a straight (in a road, racecourse, etc.)
Strike a good solid shot, as in scoring a goal in soccer
(Strike off) to remove a professional’s license (e.g., for attorneys: US disbar) (“What do you call a priest who’s been stricken off?” – Dick Francis)
to temporarily stop working (often as part of aunion)
knock down all pins in bowling
to ignite a match
to miss, as to miss the ball with the bat in baseball,
(strike three, three strikes) (colloq., from baseball) gone, fired, ejected; said of someone especially after they’ve been given three chances to improve their (presumably) bad behavior (“Strike three, he’s out!”)
Student person studying at a post-secondary educational institution person studying at any educational institution *
stuff (v) to have sex – often used as a milder form of “fuck”, e.g. “Get stuffed!” *(for “Fuck off!”), “Our team got stuffed in the match”, etc. to pack tightly with, especially with food: “I’m stuffed”=”I’ve eaten too much”.
Sub to subsidise (pay for something in place of someone else – often used for any sort of informal loan)
(in newspaper publishing) edit copy for length or house style (in full: sub-edit)
subscription (UK: membership dues, as in an association or club)
sub-lieutenant (Royal Navy rank)
subaltern (British Army second lieutenant orlieutenant)
subscription: a purchase by prepayment for a certain number of issues, as of a periodical
(n. & v.) substitute (usu. in sport)
(sexual) submissive
substitute teacher (UK: supply teacher)
to teach in place of the normal teacher
(regional) submarine sandwich*
subdivision the process or an instance of subdividing the division of a tract of land into lots (q.v.) for the purpose of sale, or the tract of land so divided. (UK: estate, development)
Subway pedestrian underpass
Glasgow subterranean railway
(Subway) restaurant chain for submarine sandwiches underground commuter railway (UK: undergroundor tube)
Sucker One who sucks (lit. and fig.): fool, dupe, gullible person
Secondary shoot produced from the roots of a plant
any person or thing (used either humorously or in annoyance)
Suds (n.) froth, lather; (v.) to lather (v.) to form suds; hence sudser (a soap opera) and adj. sudsy (in both lit. & fig. senses)
(n.) beer, less commonly root beer
Superintendent senior police rank (US approx.: deputy inspector) senior official in various undertakings (railways, public works, etc.) person in charge of a building (UK: caretaker)
the head of a school district or a State Department of Education
sometimes, the head of a police department
(dated) a train conductor
Surgery the place where a physician or dentist practises (US: (doctor’s) office) act of performing a medical operation
suspenders elasticated support for stockings (US: garter) elasticated support for trousers (UK: braces, q.v.)
Swede Swedish (yellow) turnip (US: rutabaga) (Swede) a person from Sweden
Sweet (n.) An after-meal dessert, more s.v. candy (adj.) Sweet-tasting; (adj.) to describe someone who is kind, gentle, or giving (n.) Short for sweetheart. Also, to be sweet on someone is to have a crush on them.
(adj.) used to describe something as good (“That car is sweet!”)
switch (n.) see switchtelephone switchnetwork switch
(v.) to operate a switch
to exchange, swap, make a shift
(n.) mechanism that allows a railway vehicle to change tracks (UK: points); hence switch engine orswitcher (UK: shunter), switchyard (UK: marshalling yard), switch tower (UK: signal box)
(v.) to change tracks by means of a switch
see also bait and switch
switchback a road or railway that alternately ascends and descends
roller coaster
zigzagging road or railway, usu. in the mountains; also, a hairpin turn in a road or trail


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Tab a cigarette (Geordie)
to run; often used in the military to refer to double-time or quick-time marching. From the abbreviationTactical Advance to Battle.
a small projection, flap, etc.
an informal credit account, usu. at a bar (“Put it on my tab”)
The tab key, &#09;
a formal account for services at a restaurant or bar (“May I have the tab?”, “Pick up the tab”) (UK always bill in this context)
A brand of soft drink
(keep tabs on) monitor the activity of a person or thing
table (verb) (as a parliamentary procedure or in the context of a meeting) (also lay [the topic] on the table or to cause [the topic] to lie on the table) to raise for consideration, to schedule for consideration after a delay of “lying on the table” Both dialects have the sense of “to table” as to lay [the topic] on the table or to cause [the topic] to lie on the table. The difference is in the intent of how long the topic is to stay on the table. The British meaning has the sense of anticipation that the topic will foreseeably be called off the table for discussion and vote; the American sense is to dispose the topic by sending it to the table and leaving it there, presumably forever. (also lay [the topic] on the table or to cause [the topic] to lie on the table)) to suspend from consideration, to shelve (in Congress, the meaning of “to table a bill” is to kill it); (colloquial) to postpone indefinitely
Taffy (capitalised) derogatory term for a Welsh person a type of sweet or candy (UK: chew)
Tailback queue of vehicles, traffic jam (US: gridlockbackup) offensive backfield position in American football
tank top jumper (US: sweater) without sleeves sleeveless T-shirt (UK: vest, q.v.) (also seewifebeater) *
Tanner slang for a pre-decimalisation sixpence coin orsixpence value one who tans
tap valve through which liquid is drawn and dispensed *(US usu.: faucetspigot)
(tap up) to covertly enter negotiations (“The manager accused the other team of tapping up his player”) (US: tampering)
a spile or spigot in a cask; a device for dispensingbeer from a keg
(phone tap) a device for listening to other people’s telephone calls
(tap dance) A type of dance e.g. “I go to tap every Saturday”
to select, designate; esp. to publicly select for a special honour from one’s peers as in the (possibly apocryphal) American Indian ceremony (“She was tapped for the position of CEO”) and as in being designated a college fraternity pledge.
vulgar slang for “have sex with”
Tart female prostitute
(In US, generally understood but not generally used except in pop tart [overly sexualised female singer])
(adj) sour-flavoured, sarcastic
(n) any of several forms of sweet dessert or snack consisting of filling (usually fruit) in a pastry shell
saucy, promiscuous woman (derog.)
tea afternoon snack (US: late lunch)
evening meal (sometimes called high tea)
a hot beverage made by infusing Camellia sinensisleaves (hot tea);
Herb tea a tea-like beverage made from herbs (UKinfusion (archaic))
Iced tea sometimes taken with lemon or sugar
on the telephone having a working telephone (now rare, since most people do) talking on the telephone
Teller one that tells (as stories)
a person who counts the votes in an election
a bank clerk or cashier who receives and pays out money *; hence automated teller machine
Terrace row of identical or mirror-image houses sharing side walls *(US: row housetownhouse) a type of veranda or walkway or area close to a building
see also terrace (agriculture)terrace garden,fluvial terrace
(regional) parking (q.v.)
Terrier member of the Territorial Army (slang). Also, record of land ownership (e.g. by local authority). one of various smallish breeds of dog
theatre (UK & US), theater(US) (or operating theatre) hospital room for surgical operations (US: operating room) a place where stage plays are performed; the dramatic art in general (“He got his training in theatre.”)
a principle region of conflict in a war
cinema (“movie/motion picture theater”)
through (time) For a period of time, during. For example it is open through the night means it is open during the night time. More usual in British English is to say “Open until 6pm Monday”. Up to, until. The shop is open through lunch means it closes at lunch time, whereas in British English it would mean it is open including at lunch time.
Tick the symbol ✓ (US: check mark)
a moment (“just a tick”)
credit (“on tick”)
blood-sucking arachnid (see tick)
sound of an analogue clock
tick off to admonish to annoy

to keep a record of tasks (“He ticked off a list of things that needed to be done beforehand.”)

Tie a game between two teams e.g. Manchester won the tie against London an article of clothing worn around the neck
a game result in which neither player/team wins (also draw)
a horizontal member, which lies beneath, and binds together, the rails of a railroad (also crosstie) (UK: sleeper)[23]
Tights nylons, usu. sheer, which also cover the groin (US:pantyhose if sheer) skin-tight, often opaque, trousers (UK: leggings) or one-piece trousers and top (UK: unitard), such as worn by gymnasts
tip (n.) a place where rubbish is disposed (US: dump(also UK), landfill)
(v.) to pour
(n.) pointed or narrow end
voluntary gratuity paid (as at a restaurant)
(v.) (tip off) to advise
(v.) to (cause to) lean to one side
(tip one’s hand, from Poker) to disclose one’s intentions or opinions
Tit various species of small bird of the genus Parus(US: chickadeetitmouse)
idiot (slang)
woman’s breast (vulgar slang)
toasted (v) lightly cooked on both sides (e.g. of a slice of bread) somewhat drunk
(related toast) in trouble (“When the boss catches him, he’s toast!” “Oh man, we’re toast!”)
toilet room containing a toilet (US: restroom)
“I left my comb in the toilet,” is perfectly acceptable in UK but likely to provoke a visual in American English
apparatus for excretion
Tom prostitute
— hence tomming (pp.), the activity of prostitution
private in the Parachute Regiment (slang)
unneutered male cat
Torch handheld device that emits light (US: flashlight) flaming club used as a light source (v.) commit an act of arson. (n.) an arsonist.
tosser idiot *(literally, someone who masturbates, a derogatory term similar to wanker) one that tosses not a hoarder; someone who gets rid of things i.e. “are you a keeper or tosser?”
tough (interj.) I don’t care that’s unfortunate (short for “tough luck”)
Tout (v.) to resell tickets at higher prices (US: scalp)
to get and sell information on racehorses
(n.) one who resells tickets (US: scalper)
one who gets and sells information on racehorses
(n.) a police informer (mainly used in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland [24][25]) (US:stool pigeon, England: grass)
(v.) to importune, solicit, or canvass
(n.) one who does this [the n. appears to be in more general use in UK; cf. s.v. US solicitor]
(v.) to promote, recommend (“the movie was touted as a masterpiece”)
tower block
a fortified keep, too small to be named a “castle”, e.g. along the English/Scottish Border (“a peel tower“), along the English coast & elsewhere (inc. occas. U.S. Eastern Seaboard) (“a Martello tower“), around the Jersey (Channel Islands) coast (“a Jersey tower”);
tower block — a high-rise block (q.v.) of flats
man-made structure, taller than it is wide (seecontrol towerwatchtowerwater tower) power line transmission structure (UK usu. & US occas. pylon, q.v.);
railroad building containing levers for workingswitches (q.v.) and signals (“an interlocking tower“) (UK: signal box)
hence towerman, person in charge of any such tower (UK, for a signal box: signalman)
townhouse, town house historically, residence of a peer or member of the aristocracy in the capital or major city
(Scots) town hall
(modern usage) a fashionable urban house, usu.terraced
a house in town (as opposed to one in the country) one of two or more single-family houses of uniform design and joined by common sidewalls *(US alsorowhouse, UK usu. terraced house for more than two, or semi(-detached) for two joined houses)
township in the past, a subdivision used to administer a largeparish
(Scotland) a very small agricultural community
an approx. 36-square-mile (93 km2division of landcomprising 36 sections
a unit of local government, see civil township
track a trail
a footprint
awareness (“keep/lose track”)
recorded material
distance between wheels of a vehicle
a racetrack or racecourse
the rails of a railway (UK often: line)
used in railway stations (as with following number) to denote the place where a train arrives at and departs from (“Is that the Chattanooga choo choo, track 29?”) (UK: platform)
track and field, athletics, esp. the sports performed on the running track
categorisation of students according to their needs
tradesman,tradesperson a person who sells goods in a store; a person who travels to customers’ homes to sell things or who delivers goods to a customer’s home (n.) a skilled manual worker in a particular field; a journeyman
Trainer a padded sport shoe (US similar: sneaker) one who trains
Tramp homeless person who moves (tramps) from town to town (US also: hobo) loose or promiscuous woman (see also tramp stamp); prostitute *
Transit act or instance of passing
see astronomical transitnavigational transittransit (surveying)
means of public transportation (q.v.) (esp. of people) (“mass transit”, “rapid transit“, “public transit”) – see Public transport
transport the system or the business of transporting goods or passengers or the vehicles used in such a system (“public transport“) * the act of transporting
an emotion (“transports of delight”)
transportation the act of transporting
penal transportation
the system or the business of transporting goods or passengers or the vehicles used in such a system *
trapezium quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides a quadrilateral with no parallel sides
trapezoid a quadrilateral with no parallel sides in anatomy, the trapezoid bone and trapezoid ligament a quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides *
treacle molasses[26][27] cloying, overly sentimental[26][27]
Trick (n.) an action intended to deceive
an effective way of doing something
a single round of some card games, in which every player plays one card
(n.) what a prostitute does for a client
(adj.) unstable (of a joint of the body) *
Trillion (traditionally) million million million (1018) (US & modern UK: quintillion) million million (1012) (traditional UK: billion, now rare)
trim (n.) good condition (“in trim”)
clothing, decoration
a finishing haircut
adjustment (as of sails on a vessel or airfoils on an aircraft)
an automobile interior ornamentation or upholstery (orig. US)
woodwork, frameworks etc. in a house
storefront or shopfront display
(slang, somewhat offensive) Female genitalia (usu. as “Get some trim”)
Triplex composed of three parts, as a type of cardboard, a cinema, etc. a 3-storey apartment or 3-apartment dwelling (seeduplex)
a large steam locomotive with three sets of driving wheels
trolley cart or wheeled stand used for conveying something (as food or books) (“a supermarket trolley”; “a tea trolley”) (US: see s.v. cartwagon)
(off one’s trolley) insane
(trolleyed) very drunk
a mechanism that rolls along a suspended rail or track (or trolley car) a streetcar (UK: tram) electrically powered by means of a trolley; hence trolley line,trolley road, and trackless trolley (a trolleybus)
Troop to carry (the flag or colors) in a ceremonial way before troops a group of persons, particularly in a military or scouting context. Generally, a group of two or more platoons and headquarters staff.
(pl.) soldiers, members of the military (we sent 3000 troops)
trooper cavalry horse troopship (obs.)
rank held by a private in the Household Cavalry,Royal Armoured Corps or SAS
state police officer (“state trooper”)
(slang) a heroic person that prevails against the odds or takes on a difficult labor without complaint (originally ‘trouper’)
truck railway vehicle for carrying goods; can be open (“a coal truck”) or covered (“a cattle truck”) – cf. s.v.wagon any of various vehicles for carrying esp. things or animals, as a forklift truck or a pickup truck motor vehicle for carrying heavy cargo *(UK usu.lorry); see also garbage truck (UK: dustcart), truck stop (UK: transport cafe)
produce grown for the market; hence truck farm(UK: market garden)
hand truck (UK: trolley)
in a railroad car, the undercarriage assembly incorporating wheels, suspension, and brakes (UK:bogie)
(v.) to transport by or drive a truck; to move around carelessly
trunk primary road (trunk road)
(trunk call) long-distance telephone call (dated)
the human torso
the main stem of a tree
large (person-sized) container (also travelling chest)
proboscis, particularly that of an elephant
storage compartment of a car (UK: boot)
(trunk line) a main railway line (as from Chicago toNew York City) (UK: main line)
Tube (often cap.) the London subterranean railway system (“the London Underground“); (sometimes incorrectly applied to that of other cities, e.g. “the Berlin tube”) a cylindrical structure or device television
Turnout strike, walkout number of people taking part in an event (“voter turnout“)
railroad switch or point
a place along a highway for slower cars to pull over, in order to let others pass, or for brief parking (UK: layby)
turnover revenue, gross sales * a pastry with fruit filling the rate at which employees in a place of work leave and are replaced *
Twat someone who is being stupid *(offensive; considered vulgar by some)
to hit someone or something hard (“say that again and I’ll twat you!”
(pronounced /ˈtwæt/)
vulva (vulgar)
(pronounced /ˈtwɒt/)
(chiefly late 1970s, early 1980s) a jerk; someone acting inappropriately; an ass (q.v.)
Twister something that twists; see also Twister (game) tornado
Tyke someone from Yorkshire (informal, sometimes disparaging) term of endearment for a child, like “little rascal” a young animal[citation needed]


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
undercoat a coat of paint applied prior to the top coat (US:primer) a layer of fine hair close to the skin of a mammal a rustproofing treatment applied to the underneath of an automobile (UK: underseal)
underground (often cap.) subterranean railway system, esp. the ones in London & Glasgow (US: subway or metro) — see also tube subterranean
a subterranean space or channel
grapevine (in the sense of an informal communication network)
(Underground Railroad or Railway) (before 1863) the network of clandestine routes by which slaves were helped to escape to free states and Canada. More generally, any secret resistance organization,* as in Weather Underground andFrench underground.
us oblique form of I (i.e. alternative to “me”) (informal), esp. in the North of England (“lend us a tenner”) oblique form of we (“he saw us”)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
vacation (UK also: vac) period between university terms (n.) time off from work or school
recreational trip away from home
(UK: holiday for both senses) (v.) to take a vacation
Valve Vacuum tube, as in pre-1960 electronics a device to control the flow of liquids or gases
Vanity pride in one’s appearance a sink-unit in a bathroom
Vest garment, usu. sleeveless, worn under a shirt (US:undershirt or beater)
sleeveless garment worn as an only visible top
sleeveless garment worn over a shirt (UK:waistcoat) (e.g. ballistic vest *)
Vet (n.) veterinarian
(v.) to appraise or verify for accuracy or validity
war veteran or a person who has served honorably in the military
veterinary (n.) veterinarian (a.) pertaining to the medical science of caring of animals
vine grapevine any climbing or twining plant (UK “climber”)
visit (v.) (trans.) to go and see (a person or place) (intrans.) to pay a visit, stay as a guest, or be engaged in informal conversation (“visiting together”, “visit with a friend”)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Waffle (v.) to speak to no purpose; ramble A type of pancake with a pattern of square dents in it, made in a waffle iron. (v.) to equivocate, waver, speak evasively
wagon railway vehicle for transporting goods (US: freight car) 4-wheeled orig. animal-drawn vehicle (UK also spelled waggon esp. in the past);
state of abstaining from alcohol (orig. US slang)
a delivery van (“the milk wagon”)
small wheeled food service table (UK: trolley); see also paddy wagon (used in the UK, but non PC),station wagonchuckwagonwagon train
walk out, walkout (v.) “walk out with”, to be romantically involved with (archaic) (v.) to leave a meeting in protest
to strike (orig. US)
to abandon someone, or to drop out (“she walked out on me”) (orig. US)
(n.) a kind of strike action (orig. US)
the act of leaving a meeting in protest
(adj.) (of a room in a building) featuring outdoor access; (n.) such an access (“full walkout basement”, “walkout to the deck”)
(n.) one who goes out of a store or shop without buying anything
walking stick (n.) a stick to aid with walking (n.) a type of insect (UK : Stick Insect)
warden any of various officials *(a “traffic warden“)
an official in certain universities
gener., one in charge of something official in charge of a prison *(UK usu. governor)
in compounds: fire warden
wash up to wash the dishes; to clean after eating food, hence washing-up liquid (US dish soap) to wash one’s hands and face; to clean beforeeating food
watershed (orig. sense, now nontech.) a ridge of hills (which “sheds water”) separating two river drainage basins; water parting *(old-fashioned or nontechnical in US; US usu. divide)
the time of day before which programme content of an adult nature, or of a specific or implied kind, may not be screened and after which it is permissible (US: safe harbor)
(fig.) a turning point a drainage basin/water catchment area (shift from orig. sense) *
Well really (colloquial, used for emphasis) (“that was well funny”) adverb of good
healthy, in good form
pit sunk to obtain water or oil
Wicked (interjection) used for something very good, astounding or interesting (“Wicked!”)* (adj.) evil; fierce; roguish; vile (adverb) very (esp. New England) (“Wicked good”)
wifebeater, wife-beater (slang) the beer Stella Artois (perh. also related to “A Streetcar Named Desire”) (wife beater) one who beats up his wife sleeveless shirt (such as that worn by Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire”) *(also Scotland)
wing (vehicles) panel of a car that encloses the wheel area (US:fender) apparatus used to create lift in aeronautics
a type of spoiler (on racecars)
the act of carrying out an activity with little or no planning, To wing something, “Let’s wing it!” (slang)
wing commander air force officer rank (US equivalent: lieutenant colonel) a duty title for an air force officer, typically a full colonel or a brigadier general, who commands awing (Note American wings are larger formations than British wings)
wingnut (n.) derogatory term for a person with prominent, sticking out, ears (n.) a nut with projections to allow application of greater torque with the fingers
type of tree
(n.) (mild) a crazy or strange person
Wingnut (politics), an uncomplimentary term for someone of right-wing or conservative views
wink (n.) “winker”, slang term for a turn indicator (US: see blinker) (n. & v.) the closing of one eye
wrangle (v.) to bicker or quarrel angrily and noisily (esp. West) to herd horses or other livestock; back-formation from wrangler
to achieve through contrivance; to wangle
wreck (n.) shipwreck
that which remains of something wrecked
someone who is unwell or out of sorts (e.g. “nervous wreck”)
a usu. major road, rail, or air accident or collision
wrench a sudden pull or twist
emotional distress
a tool used for tightening nuts and bolts *(used in UK chiefly in combination, e.g. torque wrench)
something disrupting (often monkey wrench) (“that will throw a monkey wrench into my plans”)
(UK usu. spanner for both senses)


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Xerox the Xerox Corporation (n.) A photocopied document *
(v.) To photocopy *


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
yankee, yank (sometimes disparaging, esp. when shortened toyank) someone from the U.S. (n.)1. A patriot from the American Revolution;
2. a New Englander; in the South, someone from the Northern US (often disparaging). A Minnesotan would not consider himself a Yankee or use the word regularly, but would consider someone from Connecticut to be a yankee; a Texan would consider both yankees, but not himself, and would be much more likely to use the word;
3. a player for the New York Yankees baseball team
Yard courtyard
an enclosed space used for a particular activity (as a railway service area, a lumberyard or timber yard, a junkyard, etc.)
unit of length
enclosed area of land surrounding a dwelling, usu. comprising lawn and play area (UK usu.: garden)
(yard sale) see garage sale
campus (e.g. Harvard Yard)
a place (as in a forest) where deer gather in winter
100 dollars (slang)
billion (slang, finance)
go yard, to hit a home run


Word British English meanings Meanings common to British and American English American English meanings
Z (pronounced /ˈzɛd/) the last letter of the alphabet (pronounced /ˈziː/)
a nap (“to catch some z’s”)
zero or no (“I have z cash right now.”)
Zebra (zebra crossing) a type of pedestrian crossing
(pronounced /ˈzɛbrə/) *
an African equine mammal referee (as in American football) (from their striped uniforms)
(pronounced /ˈziːbrə/)police car (slang)
zip (short for zip fastener) a fastening device (US:zipper) a sharp, hissing sound
file format for compressed files (“”)
zero (often in scores, similar to the UK’s nil)
(often all cap.) the ZIP code (from Zone Improvement Plan), the postal code used by theUSPS