Jul 31st, 1998, 08:11 AM
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Since the British and the Americans use different words for different things (such as truck - lorry) - what are a few words that i should be aware of in England?
Jul 31st, 1998, 10:22 AM
Michael Murphy
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Here's a website you might want to visit:

It was linked from:

Seems to be a pretty good site.

Jul 31st, 1998, 10:59 AM
wes fowler
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In Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw wrote: "English is not accessible even to Englishmen". I wouldn't worry too much about differences in American and British languages. Pity the poor tourist who is not fluent in Albanian! You might want to check out a book "Understanding British English, Bridging the gap between the English Language and its American Counterpart" by Margaret E. Moore. In addition to different words for the same thing: lift/elevator; bangers/sausages; chips/french fries; crisps/ potato chips, there are two unique British languages to cope with. One is rhyming slang: Bride and groom/broom; bees and honey/money; dog and bone/telephone. The other is pub menus: bangers and mash/sausages and mashed potatoes; toad in the hole/fried sausages then baked in batter; Ploughman's/usually bread, cheese, pickles and celery. "Polish your marble so not to be thought a pleb". Translation: Make a good impression so not to be mistaken for a common, vulgar person.
Jul 31st, 1998, 12:09 PM
Mel Roberts
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Well, first of all, you don't really need to worry about rhyming slang. It's not used in serious conversation by anyone anymore. You shouldn't worry either about your words not being understood by Brits, because we all go to the movies, go to McDonald's etc. One word that was mentioned to me by an American though, and which you should use with extreme caution, is the word 'fanny', as in 'fanny pack'. This has a completely different connotation over here: it is still a part of the anatomy, but you will only a female with one. (I'm trying not to be too blunt here!)
Jul 31st, 1998, 05:11 PM
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Just to add to the previous post. My cousins thought it was a hoot when I referred to my "fanny pack", they call them "bum bags".
Jul 31st, 1998, 05:48 PM
Kate Woodward
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In addition to avoiding the use of "fanny", don't say "khaki pants" the way Americans do. In Brit English, khak = sh-t, and pants = underpants. Put the two together, and there's a bad image for you!

ALWAYS say "cheers" instead of, or in combination with, 'thanks'. You can never be too polite in the UK.
Jul 31st, 1998, 06:27 PM
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Don't worry if your American English will be understood in the UK. Many household now have cable or satellite television which carry a large array of American programs. So many Brits are used to hearing a lot of the slang and colloquialisms that are often used in the states. Whenever I have said anything with a confusing meaning to my British friends, they are quick to inquire the meaining. Just as you probably will when someone says a similar type comment to you. Have a wonderful time!
Aug 1st, 1998, 09:31 AM
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You'll provoke giggles if you ask for napkins in a restaurant (napkin=diaper) They call paper napkins tissues. Also, the safest English word for bathroom/restroom in most countries is toilet. A bathroom is where you take a bath and a restroom is where you rest, but we found that toilet always got us steered in the right direction without any funny looks.
Aug 3rd, 1998, 12:21 PM
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I want to correct the last message. Napkins in the UK are napkins, the better word for serviettes, which is considered a bit common. The last commentator mixed napkin up with nappy, which is the British expression for diaper.
One thing to avoid: When some Americans I know are annoyed, they say they are pissed. In Britain, being pissed means being drunk. Being annoyed is expressed a being pissed OFF.

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