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Language Differences between USA and UK

Language Differences between USA and UK

Old Jun 22nd 2014, 4:26 pm
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Default Language Differences between USA and UK

Now that I am moving back to the UK next month, I wonder what "reverse" language differences I will notice. When I first moved to the USA I was teaching, and the students often laughed at some of the things I said - in a nice way - so we agreed I'd teach them English and they would teach me American. The example that comes to mind is "eraser" and "rubber"!

Maybe now that I am going back to the UK, there are certain Americanisms I should avoid. Can you think of any?
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by windsong View Post
Now that I am moving back to the UK next month, I wonder what "reverse" language differences I will notice. When I first moved to the USA I was teaching, and the students often laughed at some of the things I said - in a nice way - so we agreed I'd teach them English and they would teach me American. The example that comes to mind is "eraser" and "rubber"!

Maybe now that I am going back to the UK, there are certain Americanisms I should avoid. Can you think of any?
Here are a few that I had to change:

Canadian. UK

Washroom. Toilet
Parking Lot. Car Park
Intersection. Junction
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Avoid them all and go back to speaking real english!! Life will be much simpler that way:-)
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

like riding a bicycle?
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

I think it was Gingerert who put together a UK-US dictionary in the wiki:

Category:USA British to American Dictionary : British Expat Wiki

People shouting about their fannies is the main one that makes me giggle here.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by lgabriel73 View Post
Avoid them all and go back to speaking real english!! Life will be much simpler that way:-)
Ohhh!! I DO agree with this!!!
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by lf1 View Post
Here are a few that I had to change:

Canadian. UK

Washroom. Toilet
Parking Lot. Car Park
Intersection. Junction
Intersection/junction is a good one!! I forgot all about that one!
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by rebeccajo View Post
like riding a bicycle?
This is what I find. When I'm in England, the British vocabulary and syntax comes naturally. One that does trip me up, though, is when someone bumps into me in a crowded shop etc. I tend to say "excuse me" when I tank the correct British response would be "sorry." (Maybe I got that the wrong way around?)
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
This is what I find. When I'm in England, the British vocabulary and syntax comes naturally. One that does trip me up, though, is when someone bumps into me in a crowded shop etc. I tend to say "excuse me" when I tank the correct British response would be "sorry." (Maybe I got that the wrong way around?)
'Sorry' is so British isn't it?
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

IMO the difference is that most Brits can put two and two together and figure out that intersection means junction, warder means water, trash can means bin. Many Americans can't.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
This is what I find. When I'm in England, the British vocabulary and syntax comes naturally. One that does trip me up, though, is when someone bumps into me in a crowded shop etc. I tend to say "excuse me" when I tank the correct British response would be "sorry." (Maybe I got that the wrong way around?)
I had to think about this but I am pretty sure I still say, "I'm sorry" rather than "Excuse me".

I also tend to say things are "lovely". I don't notice it but Americans do. They love it!
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
warder means water,
Especially in a restaurant, when the person is miming lifting a glass to their lips repeatedly.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

A word that I had forgotten about, that is used here regularly, is "superb". I quite like it.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post
I think it was Gingerert who put together a UK-US dictionary in the wiki:

Category:USA British to American Dictionary : British Expat Wiki

People shouting about their fannies is the main one that makes me giggle here.
Or...I'm just going outside for a fag...I'm dying for a fag.
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Old Jun 22nd 2014, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Language Differences between USA and UK

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
Or...I'm just going outside for a fag...I'm dying for a fag.
Can I bum a fag?

I think the problems are all going this way. I can't think of an Americanism that won't be understood over there, as you said.

Last edited by Sally Redux; Jun 22nd 2014 at 5:34 pm.
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