American and British English: differences in vocabulary
British and American English are very similar. However, there are some differences of grammar, vocabulary and spelling. Here is a list of words that have different spellings or meanings in British and American English.
Aeroplane and airplane
What is called aeroplane in British English is called airplane in American English.
Anyplace and anywhere
Both British and American speakers use the word anywhere. In American English, anyplace can also be used with similar meanings.
Apartment and flat
In British English, both apartment and flat are possible. Americans prefer the word apartment.
Area code and dialing code
Area code is the American equivalent for dialing code.
Attorney, lawyer, barrister, solicitor
The words attorney and lawyer are mainly used in American English. British speakers prefer the other two – barrister and solicitor.
Cab and taxi
Both cab and taxi are possible in American English. Cab is not used in British English.
Can and tin
The container that is called can in American English is called tin in British English.
Candy and sweets
Candy is American. Sweets is British.
Cookie, cracker, biscuit
Cookie and cracker are mainly used in American English. Biscuit is the British equivalent for these two words.
Crib and cot
Crib is American. Cot is British.
Crazy and mad
These words have different meanings. Crazy is the American equivalent for mad. In American English, mad means angry whereas in British English mad means crazy.
Diaper and nappy
Diaper is American. Nappy is its British equivalent.
Dumb and stupid
Stupid has the same meaning in both British and American English. In American English dumb can also be used to mean stupid.
Elevator and lift
Elevator is American. Lift is British.
Eraser and rubber
The word eraser is used in both British and American English. In British English, the word rubber is also possible.
Fall and autumn
Both fall and autumn mean the same in American English. Fall does not mean autumn in British English.