Posts Tagged ‘british english’

American and British English: differences in vocabulary

January 24th, 2013 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.