The London Untour Guide to British English

Andrea SzyperSubmitted by
Guide to British English

Sure we share a common language, but there are plenty of differences between us Americans and the British. Our cultures have grown up differently, and there are a lot of things that our colleague Ben explains to our guests on the London Untour.

While language is not one of the critical things, it is fun to examine and anticipate the differences, and these alternatives might just be some of your favorite “souvenirs” from a London Untour. Here’s a guide to this new vocabulary.

Food
Aubergine – eggplant
Courgette – zucchini
Rocket – arugula
Biscuit – cookie
Chips – French fries
Crisps – Potato chips
Ice lolly – popsicle
Sweets – candy
Take away – takeout
Jam – jelly
Jelly – Jello

Transport & direction
High Street – Main Street
Underground – subway
Way out – exit
Pavement – sidewalk
Zebra crossing – crosswalk
Lift – elevator
Queue – line (or to line up)
Windscreen – windshield
Bonnet – car hood
Boot – car trunk
Sat nav – GPS
Lorry – truck
Petrol – gas
Car park – parking lot
Postcode – zip code

To wear
Trainers – sneakers
Waistcoat – vest
Vest – tank top
Braces – suspenders
Nappy – diaper
Jumper – sweater
Kit – uniform
Trousers – pants
Pants – men’s underwear

Misc.
Torch – flashlight
Football – soccer
Mobile phone – cell phone
Chemists – drugstore
Off licence – liquor store
Dustbin – garbage can
Cot – crib

Potty talk (or is it?)
Loo – bathroom
Fag – cigarette
Pissed – drunk
Rubber – eraser
Fanny – don’t ask

Enjoy your time in the UK! These will help you in London for sure. If you are heading to Scotland, you might also want to check out some of our favorite Scottish expressions before you go. Cheers!

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