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ARTICLES IN THE BOOK

  1. African American Vernacular English
  2. American and British English differences
  3. American and British English pronunciation differences
  4. American English
  5. Americanism
  6. American National Corpus
  7. Appalachian English
  8. Baby mama
  9. Baltimorese
  10. Boston accent
  11. Boston Brahmin accent
  12. Boston slang
  13. British and American keyboards
  14. Buffalo English
  15. California English
  16. Central Pennsylvania accent
  17. Century Dictionary
  18. Chinook Jargon use by English Language speakers
  19. Dictionary of American Regional English
  20. English-language vowel changes before historic l
  21. General American
  22. Harkers Island%2C North Carolina
  23. Inland Northern American English
  24. Intervocalic alveolar flapping
  25. List of British idioms
  26. List of British words not widely used in the United States
  27. L-vocalization
  28. Maine-New Hampshire English
  29. Names of numbers in English
  30. New Jersey English
  31. New York dialect
  32. New York Latino English
  33. Nigga
  34. North American English
  35. North American regional phonology
  36. North Central American English
  37. Northeast Pennsylvania English
  38. Northern cities vowel shift
  39. Ozark Southern English
  40. Pacific Northwest English
  41. Pennsylvania Dutch English
  42. Philadelphia accent
  43. Phonological history of English low back vowels
  44. Phonological history of English short A
  45. Pittsburgh English
  46. Pronunciation respelling for English
  47. Regional vocabularies of American English
  48. Rhotic and non-rhotic accents
  49. Southern American English
  50. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  51. The American Language
  52. Tidewater accent
  53. Utah English
  54. Vermont English
  55. Whilst
  56. Y'all
  57. Yat
  58. Yooper dialect

 

 
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AMERICAN ENGLISH
This article is from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_words_not_widely_used_in_the_United_States

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_the_GNU_Free_Documentation_License 

List of British words not widely used in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
Main article: American and British English differences
  • Words with specific British English meanings that have different meanings in American and/or additional meanings common to both languages (eg pants, cot) are to be found at List of words having different meanings in American and British English, as are compounds derived from such words (eg cot death). When such words are herein used or referenced, they are marked with the flag [DM] (different meaning).
  • Asterisks (*) denote words and meanings having appreciable (that is, not occasional) currency in American, but nonetheless distinctive of English for their relatively greater frequency in British speech and writing.
  • British English spelling is consistently used throughout the article, except when explicitly referencing American terms.

See also

  • List of American words not widely used in the United Kingdom
  • List of words having different meanings in American and British English
  • American and British English spelling differences
  • American and British English pronunciation differences


 

A

about-turn 
an abrupt turn to face the opposite direction, often used metaphorically (US and UK also: about-face)
abseil 
to descend on a rope (US: rappel)
advert 
advertisement
aggro 
(slang) short for 'aggravation' or 'aggression'. Well known to American gamers, however.
agony aunt 
The author of an agony column – a magazine or newspaper column advising on readers' personal problems. The image presented was originally that of an older woman providing comforting advice and maternal wisdom, hence the name "aunt". Better known to most Americans as a "Dear Abby" column. (US: advice column)
air-con 
abbreviation of "air-conditioner" (US: AC or simply air)
answerphone 
(originally from trademark Ansafone™) automated telephone answering device (US and UK also: answering machine)
anti-clockwise 
direction opposite to clockwise (US: counterclockwise)
approved school 
school for juvenile delinquents; reform school. (Note that such institutions have not been referred to officially as "approved schools" since 1969. Juvenile delinquents, depending on their level of malfeasance, are now sent to PRUs (Pupil Referral Units) or YOIs (Young Offenders Institutions).)
argie 
(informal) an Argentine
argy-bargy 
(informal) fighting or, less intimidatingly, trouble
arse 
(vulgar) buttocks (US equivalent: ass), backside or anus, depending on context; to be arsed: to be bothered to do something, most commonly as a negative or conditional (e.g. I can't be arsed, if/when I can be arsed)
[to fall] arse over elbow 
(vulgar, alternatively arse over tit/tip) [to fall] head over heels.
artic lorry 
(abbreviation of 'articulated lorry') (US: semi, semi-trailer truck)
ashet 
(Scottish) a deep plate or dish
autocue™ 
a prompting system for television announcers (genericised trademark, after a leading manufacturer) (US: teleprompter)

B

balls-up 
(vulgar) error, mistake, (see COCK-UP) SNAFU
bang to rights 
(slang) in the act of committing an offence (US: dead to rights)
banger 
(1) a sausage (from the tendency of sausages to burst during frying), (2) a firecracker, (3) an old car (allusion to their tendency to backfire)
bap
soft bread roll or a sandwich made from it; in plural, breasts (vulgar slang)
barmaid *, barman 
A woman or man who serves drinks in a bar. Barman and the originally American bartender appeared within a year of each other (1837 and 1836); barmaid is almost two centuries older (circa 1658).
barmcake 
a large, soft, round bread roll (regional, chiefly north-western)
barmy 
mildly insane (e.g. England cricket followers abroad are often referred to as "the barmy army") (US: balmy)
barrister *
a type of lawyer (one qualified to give specialist legal advice and argue a case in both higher and lower law courts). Sometimes used in US with pejorative connotations.
bate 
(old-fashioned slang) an unreasonable temper, or to be unreasonably angry: "Don't get in a bate about it" means don't get unreasonably angry about it.
beck 
small watercourse; stream; creek (regional, especially Yorkshire and the Lake District)
bedsit (or bedsitter) 
one-room apartment that serves as a bedroom and a living room (US: see SRO; compare studio apartment, efficiency (apartment))
Belisha beacon 
orange ball containing a flashing light mounted on a post at each end of a zebra crossing (US: Crosswalk); named after the UK Minister of Transport who introduced them in 1934.
bellend or bell-end
(vulgar slang) the glans of the penis; a derogatory name for someone stupid, annoying, etc.
berk 
a mildly derogatory term for a silly person. The word is an abbreviation of either 'Berkshire Hunt' or 'Berkeley Hunt' (it is uncertain which is the original phrase), cockney rhyming slang for cunt. (Note that 'berk' rhymes with 'work', whereas the first syllable of both 'Berkshire' and 'Berkeley' is pronounced 'bark'.)
bespoke 
a custom-built or tailored product (a flat built to buyer's specification is a 'bespoke flat') (US: one-off)
bimble 
to wander aimlessly or stroll/walk without urgency to a destination.
bint 
a derogatory term for a woman. Usage varies with a range of harshness from 'bitch', referring to a disagreeable and domineering woman, to only a slightly derogatory term for a young woman (from the Arabic for a girl).
biro 
a ballpoint pen
black pudding 
blood and oat sausage
blag 
(slang) to obtain or achieve by deception, to bluff, to scrounge, to rob, robbery, tall story, bluff, deception
blimey 
(informal) an exclamation of surprise. (Originally gor blimey, a euphemism for God blind me, but has generally lost this connotation.)
bloke 
(informal) man, fellow,
blotto 
(slang) passed out, or at least heavily impaired, from the ingestion of alcohol, or from exhaustion, or from anæsthesia.
blues and twos 
(slang) emergency vehicle with lights and sirens (emergency services in the UK generally use blue flashing lights and a two-tone siren)
boardies, board shorts. 
long shorts used for surfing or beachwear (US and UK also: swimming trunks)
bobbie, bobby 
police officer, named after Sir Robert Peel, the instigator of the world's first organised police force
bodge 
a poor job (repair) that just about works
boffin 
scientist or engineer, geek, nerd, sometimes abbreviated to boff
bog roll
(roll of) toilet paper (slang)
bog standard 
plain vanilla, completely average, no distinguishing features. Apparently mistakenly from box standard
boiled sweet
type of confection, US: hard candy
bollocks 
(vulgar; originally ballocks) testicles; verbal rubbish (as in "you're talking bollocks"). The somewhat similar bollix is found in American English, but without the anatomical connotations or vulgar sense meaning 'mess up'. The twin pulley blocks at the top of a ship's mast are also known as bollocks, and in the 18th century priests were colloquially referred to as bollocks; it was by claiming this last usage that the Sex Pistols prevented their album Never Mind the Bollocks from being banned under British obscenity laws. Related phrases include bollocksed, which means either tired ("I'm bollocksed!") or broken beyond repair; bollocks up, meaning to mess up ("He really bollocksed that up"); and [a] bollocking, meaning a stern telling off.
bonce 
(informal) person's head (mainly used in London and the South East, though said in the North too)
break (one's) duck 
(informal) A player who has scored (a goal, a point, a run) after not having scored for an extended period. It appears to have been an English public school slang of the 1850s to call a score of nought/zero against one player a duck's egg. A duck's egg is round like a zero and larger than, say, a chicken's egg, and therefore more prominent. Commonly heard in a sentence as "He's broken his duck".
brethren (slang) 
to be members of the same group; to be friends. Originates from Caribbean slang.
bristols 
(vulgar, Cockney rhyming slang) breasts; from football team Bristol City = titty
brolly 
(informal) umbrella
bubble and squeak 
dish of cooked cabbage fried with cooked potatoes and other vegetables. Often made from the remains of the Sunday roast trimmings. (Irish: colcannon)
bugger 
male homosexual, act of sodomy. Often used as an exclamation of frustration in itself, as a verb 'bugger up' (US and UK: screw up), or as a very mild insult ("silly bugger"). Has passed into Tok Pisin as bagarap.
bugger-all 
little or nothing at all; "I asked for a pay rise and they gave me bugger-all"; "I know bugger-all about plants"; damn it all (US: zip, damn it)
building society 
an institution that provides mortgage loans and other financial services (US equivalent: savings and loan association)
bum 
informal, buttocks (US: butt )
bum bag 
a bag worn on a strap around the waist (US: fanny [DM] pack)
bumf 
useless paperwork or documentation (from "bum fodder" (toilet paper)), often spelled bumph
bunk off 
(informal) to play truant from school (US also play hooky)
burgle *
(originally colloquial, back-formation from burglar) to commit burglary (in the US, burglarize is overwhelmingly preferred, although burgle is occasionally found).
busk 
1: * to play live music, perform or otherwise entertain in a public place, usually in the hope of receiving small monetary contributions from spectators and passersby. American English has no exact equivalent, but a busker is a "street musician" or "street performer". Gradually, "busk" (v) and "busker/busking" (n) are becoming increasingly common in US English usage, at least among professional musicians.
2: used to imply rapid improvisation in a working environment, for example: "we'll have to busk it" (we'll have to make it up as we go along).
butcher's 
(informal, Cockney rhyming slang) meaning a look. From the term "butcher's hook" = look. Example of usage: "have a butcher's at that woman over there" (look at that woman)
butty 
(North England colloquialism, also understood in the south) a buttered sandwich, often with chips [DM] (chip butty)
(Northern and Central England) a workmate, and thus an unpowered barge towed by a powered one, such as a narrowboat
(Welsh English colloquialism) friend, similar to usage of word mate (usually "butt").


 

C

cack 
(slang) faeces (feces); nonsense (derived from an ancient Indo-European word, kakkos)
cack-handed 
(informal) clumsy; left handed. Derived from cack, meaning "faeces (feces)", wih reference to the ancient biblical (Torah) rules that only the left hand should be used for cleaning the 'unclean' part of the human body (i.e. below the waist); the Qur'an continues to propagate this rule. Thus the left hand was to be used for wiping the remains of faeces (feces) from the anus and left handed people were regarded as unclean.
call box 
public phone (US: payphone)
call minder 
telephone message recorder (US: answering machine;voicemail)
call up 
compulsory enlistment into the military (US: the draft)
candidature 
synonymous with candidacy
candy floss 
spun sugar confection (US: cotton candy)
caravan park 
area where caravans are parked (US: RV park)
car park 
area where cars are parked (US usually parking lot if outdoor, parking garage if indoor)
carriageway 
the part of a road that carries the traffic; see also s.v. dual carriageway (US: lane)
cash machine, cashpoint 
automated teller machine. ("Cashpoint", strictly speaking, refers only to the ATMs of Lloyds TSB, although the term has become generic.)
cat's eye 
reflector used to mark lane divisions and edges of roads, also written cat's-eye, genericised from the trademark Catseye (US: raised pavement marker; Botts' Dots are similar)
central heating boiler 
(US: furnace)
central reservation 
division between carriageways of a road (US: median strip)
chamber pot
( In U.S -Toilet)
chancer 
(slang) an opportunist
char, cha
(informal) tea. From the Hindi, chai.
char 
(informal) short for charwoman or charlady, a domestic cleaner
char-wallah
a usually South Asian servant whose role is to provide freshly brewed tea on demand. From Urdu chai, tea, and -wallah, -man.
chav 
(slang) typically a working class person of lowish intelligence who wears designer label (eg Burberry) copies, fake gold bling (qv), and is possibly a trouble-maker. May originally have been a slur on the Roma (otherwise known as Gypsies, Charvas, Pykies, townies or Ninkies) Often referred to as Wiggers in the US, although the cultural differences are vast.
cheque 
personal bank funds transfer note (US: check)
chimney pot 
smoke-stack atop a house
chinagraph pencil 
pencil designed to write on china, glass etc. (US: grease pencil, china marker)
chip shop 
(informal) fish-and-chip shop (Scot, Ire: chipper), also chippy (see also List of words having different meanings in British and American English)
chinwag 
(slang) chat
choong 
(slang) attractive person - usually referring to a female
chuffed 
(informal, becoming somewhat archaic, originally Liverpudlian) proud, satisfied, pleased. Sometimes intensified as well chuffed. cf made up
clanger 
(informal) a big mistake, blunder, bad joke or faux pas ('to drop a clanger')
clapped out 
(informal) worn out (said of an object)
cleg 
horse fly
clingfilm 
thin plastic film for wrapping food (US: plastic wrap, Saran™ wrap)
cobblers 
shoemakers; (slang) a weaker version of bollocks, meaning 'nonsense' (often "a load of old cobblers"), from rhyming slang 'cobbler's awls' = balls
cock/cockle 
(informal) affectionate term used in Northern England, similar to love or darling. "Are you alright, cock?"
cock-up, cockup 
(mildly vulgar) error, mistake
compère 
master of ceremonies, MC
compulsory purchase 
the power of the governmental authority to take private property for public use (similar to US: eminent domain)
conservatoire 
music school (US usually conservatory)
cool box 
box for keeping food and liquids cool (US: cooler)
cop off with 
(slang) to successfully engage the company of a potential sexual partner, to "pull"
Cor Blimey 
see Gor Blimey
cotton bud 
wad of cotton wool fixed to a small stick, used for cleaning (US: cotton swab)
counterfoil *
stub of a cheque, ticket etc. (US: stub)
courgette 
the plant Cucurbita pepo (US: zucchini)
crikey 
(becoming old-fashioned) exclamation of surprise (once a euphemism for Christ's keys)
crisps 
very thinly sliced fried potatoes, often flavoured, eaten cold as a snack (US: potato chips)
crumpet 
a cake made from flour or potato and yeast *; (slang) an attractive female
cuddly toy 
soft toy (US: plushie, plush toy)
current account 
personal bank account used for everyday transactions (US: checking account)


 

D

daft 
odd, mad, eccentric, crazy – often with the implication of it being amusingly so. "Don't be daft" and "don't be silly" are approximately synonymous.
dekko 
(informal) a look, reconnoître "I'll take a dekko at it later." – British military slang derived from the Hindustani dhek/dekho meaning "to see". Also less commonly decco, deccie.
dene 
wooded valley or seaside dune
the dog's bollocks 
(vulgar) something excellent or top quality, the "bee's knees" (the business), the "cat's whiskers". Nowadays is becoming "mutt's nuts".
div, divvy 
(slang) a fool or idiot
DIY 
builder's supply shop, acronym for "Do-It-Yourself" (US home improvement).
dodgems 
fun-fair or fairground bumper cars
dodgy 
(informal) fake (e.g. "dodgy money"); possibly (but not definitely) illegal; of dubious origin; acting suspiciously; poorly done or in poor condition (e.g. "a dodgy car", which could also mean it was possibly stolen); homosexual (rare)
dole 
(informal) welfare, specifically unemployment benefit. Sometimes used in the US, esp. older generation
don 
a professor or teacher
dosh 
(slang) money (US: dough)
doss 
(from docile) to be lazy, "I've been dossing all day", "doss-house", "dosser" (US bum) Also can mean to truant, "dossing off" (similar to bunking)
dustbin 
receptacle for rubbish (US: trash can; wastebasket)
dustman 
rubbish collector (US: garbage man; sanitation engineer)
draper 
a dealer in drapery (i.e. clothing, textiles, in US dry goods [DM])
draughts 
the board game (US: checkers)
drawing pin* 
pin with a large, flat head, used for fixing notices to noticeboards etc. (US: thumbtack)
driving licence 
document authorising the holder to drive a vehicle (US: driver's license, also driver license)
dual carriageway
major road with some physical barrier or separation between the lanes going in opposite directions (US: divided highway)


 

E

Elastoplast™ 
an adhesive bandage placed on a minor cut or scrape (UK also: sticking/sticky plaster [DM]; US: Band-Aid™)
electric fire 
domestic electric heater (US: space heater)
engaged 
a telephone line in use, "the number's engaged" (US: busy)
engaged tone
tone indicating a telephone line in use, (US: busy signal)
ex-directory 
(of a telephone number) unlisted; also informally of a person "he's ex-directory", meaning his telephone number is unlisted
extension lead 
mains extension cable, (US: extension cord)


 

F

faff 
to dither, futz, diddle, “I spent the day faffing about in my room”. Also related noun ("That's too much faff")
fairing 
a gift, particularly one given or bought at a fair (obsolete); type of cookie (biscuit) made in Cornwall
fairy cake 
a small sponge cake (US: cupcake)
fairy lights 
Christmas lights
fancy (verb)
(informal) to be attracted to ("She really fancied him."); would like ("Fancy a drink?")
fancy dress 
a costume worn to impersonate a well-known character, animal etc., typically at a fancy dress party (US: costume party)
fanny 
vulgar, vagina - from Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, also known as Fanny Hill, a novel by John Cleland. Written in 1748 (US: pussy); cf sweet FA
feck 
(vulgar) mild expletive employed as an attenuated alternative to fuck (including fecker, fecking, etc.) (originally Hiberno English)
fettle 
(uncommon) state of something, as in "My business is in fine fettle"; to fettle (dialect word) : to sort out, fix (e.g. "that's fettled it") : to adjust with the intention of fixing (e.g. "He's got his head under the bonnet fettling with the engine")
fiddly 
requiring dexterity to operate ("the buttons on the tiny mobile phone were too fiddly")
fixture (sports) 
a scheduled game or match
fiz, fizog, fizzog 
(dated slang) face, also spelled phiz etc. (from physiognomy)
fizzy drink 
carbonated soft drink (US: soda, pop, coke depending on the region)
flappy paddle gearbox *
Formula 1-style paddle gear shift
flat 
(normally rented) block housing (US apartment)
flibbertigibbet 
a flighty, excitable, garrulous young woman
fortnight *
a period of 14 days (and nights) or two weeks
fourpenn'orth 
(old-fashioned) four cents worth (fourpenn'orth is literally "four pennies' worth")
funfair 
a travelling fair with amusements, stalls, rides etc. (US: carnival; in the UK "amusement park" refers to a larger and more permanent establishment)


 

G

gaff 
(dated Cockney slang) cheap music hall, theatre, pub, club, shop, hangout; home
gaffer
(informal) old man; (informal) boss; football (soccer) manager; Also in US: (professional) lighting-electrical technician
gaffer tape
Strong, woven, cloth adhesive tape used primarily in stage and television or film settings. Its name is derived from gaffer (an electrician responsible for lighting on a movie or tv set). (US: gaffer's tape, gaff tape)
gamp
(rare or obsolete) Victorian term for umbrella (from Sarah Gamp, character in Martin Chuzzlewit by Dickens)
gearbox 
system of gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US transmission)
gear-lever 
handle for changing gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US stick shift)
gen 
(informal) information, info (short for "intelligence")
get off with* 
same as cop off with (q.v.)
git 
(mildly derogatory) scumbag, idiot, annoying person (originally meaning illegitimate)
gobsmacked 
(slang) utterly astonished, openmouthed
go pear-shaped 
see pear-shaped
gogglebox 
(slang) television set
googled 
confused (from a cricketing term for a type of delivery bowled, the googly; predates Google)
Gor Blimey 
exclamation of surprise, also Cor Blimey (originally from "God blind me")
gormless 
lacking in intelligence; with a vacant expression
go-slow 
a protest in which workers deliberately work slowly (US: slowdown)
grotty 
disgusting, dirty (originally from grotesque, though now rarely used with quite that meaning). In a scene from the 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, George Harrison has to explain the meaning and origin of the word; the impression is given that it was then considered modern slang, known only to trendy youngsters (this is no longer the case). [1]
green fingers 
talent for growing plants (US: green thumb)
greengrocer 
a retail trader in fruit and vegetables
greengrocery 
a greengrocer's profession, premises or produce
guff 
(informal) extraneous or useless things, ideas, or paperwork/documentation; also to break wind ("Have you guffed, Dr Watson?")
guitar lead 
high impedence coaxial guitar cable (US guitar cord)


 

H

ha'penny 
(pronounced "HAY-penny" or "HAYP-nee") half a penny; a coin of this denomination, no longer in circulation
hash sign 
the symbol "#" (US: number sign, pound sign [DM])
haunted fishtank 
telly (uncommon)
haver 
(Scottish) hesitate, be undecided, dither
headmaster, headmistress, headteacher *
the person in charge of an educational institution (US: principal [DM]; headmaster and the like are usually used for private schools)
Heath Robinson 
(of a machine or contraption) absurdly complex (see Rube Goldberg machines).
hey up 
(informal greeting) ( often pronounced: AY up) how's it going?
high street 
primary business and shopping street (US: main street)
higgledy-piggledy 
in disarray
holidaymaker 
person on holiday [DM] (US: vacationer)
hole-in-the-wall
automated teller machine, ATM
hols 
(informal) short for holidays [DM]
home and away 
fixtures played at alternating venues (US: home and home). Also 'first and second leg' (US series).
hoover 
vacuum [cleaner], to vacuum (archaic in the US) (genericised trademark, from The Hoover Company, the first main manufacturer of vacuum cleaners)
hot up 
to become more exciting or intimate (US: heating up)
how do, 'ow do 
terse greeting in the north of England, shortened from formal 'How do you do?' Similar to US: howdy
hugger-mugger 
crowded closely together, generally describes people rather than things.
hundreds-and-thousands
coloured sugar sprinkles used for dessert decoration (US: non-pareils)


 

I

ice lolly* 
frozen juice on a stick (US: Popsicle™)
indicate 
to use the car indicators (US: blinkers, turn signal)
industrial action 
(see article; US: job action)
inverted commas 
quotation marks (see also American and British English differences – Punctuation)
invigilator 
person who monitors an examination (US: proctor [DM])


 

J

jam sandwich 
(slang) police car (US: cruiser, squad car, patrol car). So called as, in the past, most UK police vehicles were white with a horizontal yellow-edged red fluorescent stripe along the entire length of their sides, giving a certain resemblance to a white bread sandwich with a coloured jam (jelly) filling.
jammy (git) 
(slang) lucky (person)
jitty 
(slang) A colloquialism of the midlands for 'alley' or 'backstreet'.
johnny 
(slang) condom (US: rubber [DM])
juggernaut 
very large articulated lorry (US : rig [DM])
jumble sale 
(see article; US: rummage sale)


 

K

kaka one's grits 
(not in widespread use) to soil one's pants
Karno's Army
a chaotic, ineffective team (usually: Fred Karno's Army)
kappa-slappa 
(derogatory slang) promiscuous lower-class female, similar to "kev" or "chav" (from Kappa, a clothing brand supposedly worn by such women, and slapper, a slovenly, sluttish woman)
kecks 
(informal) trousers or underpants
keep fit costume 
exercise, dance or training suit
ken 
to know (northern England and Scotland); house (e.g.: our ken = our house)
kev 
(slang) equivalent to "chav", derivative of "Kevin" – typically a working class person that wears designer labels, fake gold, has to always be "in", is most likely a troublemaker and most likely smokes. Popularised by British comedian Harry Enfield.
khazi 
(slang) lavatory (numerous alternative spellings are seen, such as karzy, karsey, carzey etc.)
kip 
(informal) sleep (US: nap)
klaxon 
(insult) an idiot, simple folk (in reference to Devo the Internet chav). verb: Klaxonate, to do something idiotic.
knackered 
(slang) exhausted, originally 'sexually exhausted', perhaps derived from knacker's yard
knackers 
(colloquial) testicles ("Ouch, she kicked me right in the knackers")
knacker's yard 
premises where superannuated livestock are sent for rendering, etc. (glue factory). Sometimes refers to the same for vehicles, a scrapyard (US: junkyard)
knicker 
(colloquial) 1 pound, maintains singular form when used in a plural context (it cost me 2 knicker)
knickers 
girl's and women's underpants (US: panties)


 

L

launderette 
self-service laundry (US: Laundromat ™)
lav 
also, lavy (informal, increasingly uncommon) lavatory, toilet
lead 
cable (US: cord)
letter box 
1. a slot in a wall or door through which incoming post [DM] is delivered (US: mail slot, mailbox)
2. (less common) a box in the street for receiving outgoing letters and other mail (more usually called a postbox or pillar box) (US: mailbox)
See also Letterbox (US & UK): a film display format taking its name from the shape of a letter-box slot
let-out (n.) 
a means of evading or avoiding something
lift 
elevator
loch, lough 
lake or narrow sea inlet. Loch primarily used in Scotland, as in "Loch Ness", Lough primarily used in Ireland, as in "Lough Neagh"
lock-in 
illegal gathering in a pub at night to drink after the pub is supposed to have stopped serving alcohol, where the landlord "locks in" his guests to avoid being caught by police. Unless the landlord charges for the drinks at the time, the people in the pub are considered his personal guests; if money is exchanged beforehand or afterwards then it is considered a gift from the guest to the landlord for the hospitality.
lolly* 
1. lollipop; ice lolly (q.v.)
2. (slang) money
loo 
toilet (probably an Anglicisation of the French word for water, l'eau. In earlier centuries the phrase "gardé l'eau" was shouted as a warning when emptying chamber pots, from an upstairs window into the street below. This was gradually corrupted into gardee loo, from where the term migrated to the utensil rather than the action.)
lorry 
a large goods-carrying motor vehicle (US and UK also: truck)
loudhailer 
megaphone (US: bullhorn)
lower ground 
the lower of two floors at ground level (for example, if a building is built on a slope). See "ground floor". Also used as a euphemism for "basement" when trying to sell a flat [DM].


 

M

mackintosh, mac 
raincoat
made up 
(informal, Liverpudlian origin) pleased, satisfied; cf chuffed
mains power, the mains 
240V AC electrical current, provided by the electricity grid to homes and businesses; also attrib. ("mains cable") (US: variously called: line power, grid power, AC power, household electricity, etc.)
manky 
(slang) feeling ill, rough, out of sorts; filthy, dirty, rotten.
mardy 
(derogatory, mainly Northern and Central England) describes someone who is a crybaby or whiner. Used, for example, by children in the rhyme "Mardy, mardy mustard.....", and in the title of the Arctic Monkeys song "Mardy Bum".
marrow, vegetable marrow 
a gourd-like fruit (treated as a vegetable) (US: squash)
mash 
(informal) mashed/whipped potatoes
maths 
mathematics (US: math)
MD (managing director) 
equivalent of US CEO (Chief Executive Officer), also used in the UK
mercer 
(rare or old-fashioned) a dealer in textiles, esp. expensive ones; a dealer in small wares
merrythought 
(rare or old-fashioned) wishbone
mince 
1. ground meat, especially beef (US: ground beef, hamburger meat) 2. Walk daintily
minge 
(vulgar) (rhymes with singe) female genitals or pubic hair
minger 
(slang, rhymes with singer) slob, someone who is unattractive
minging 
(slang) dirty, rotting, smelly, unattractive etc
mither 
(Northern England) to complain annoyingly ("Stop mithering!"). To whinge (Aus), to haver (Scots). First vowel as in "eye"; also spelt myther, moither.
mobile 
mobile telephone (US: cell phone)
moggie, moggy 
(informal) non-pedigree cat; alley cat
mong 
(slang) lazy, idle, useless; a mildly derogatory term, sometimes used to describe someone who is silly or foolish; from mongoloid, a now obsolete term for someone with Down's syndrome
monged (out) 
(slang) being incapable of constructive activity due to drug use, alcohol consumption or extreme tiredness
motorway 
a class of major road designed for fast, high volume traffic, usually with three lanes in each direction (US: compare freeway, expressway, superhighway)
MOT, MOT test 
(pronounced M-O-T) mandatory annual safety and roadworthiness test for motor vehicles (from "Ministry of Transport", now renamed "Department for Transport")
move house, move flat, etc. 
to move out of one's house or other residence into a new residence
mullered 
(slang, Southern England) to be comprehensively beaten up ("He got mullered by the school bully"), to be beaten in competition, to be drunk and incapable ("Went to the pub; three hours later we were totally mullered on Tanglefoot"). Also mullared or mullahed. Derivation unknown, possibly from German Müller, or (less likely) Persian mullah.
muppet 
(slang) silly person; a milder alternative to "idiot" ("You forgot to get the paper, you muppet!"). From the Muppets.


 

N

naff 
1. (slang) lame, tacky, cheap, low quality (origin uncertain – numerous suggestions include backslang for fan, an old term for a vagina)
2. gay slang for a straight man (said to mean "Not Available For Fucking")
naff off 
(slang) shove it, get lost, go away – a much less offensive alternative to "fuck off" (originally obscure Polari slang, made popular by prison sitcom Porridge and famously used by Princess Anne)
nark 
1. (v.) (informal) irritate
2. (n.) (slang) police informer (US: narc, derived from narcotics agent, but often used in a general sense)
nappy 
absorbent garment for babies (US: diaper)
nash 
(northern England) go
nesh 
(central England, north-west, south Yorkshire, gently derogative) of a person, sensitive to the cold, delicate (typical usage, of someone who wears a coat on a mildly cold day: "He's nesh," meaning "He's a bit soft").
newsagent 
strictly a shop owner or shop that sells newspapers, usu. refers to a small shop, e.g. corner shop, convenience store, newsstand, or similar (US: newsdealer)
newsreader 
someone who reads the news on TV or radio. See news presenter for a description of the different roles of a newscaster, a British newsreader and an American news anchor.
nonce 
1. (slang) paedophile, pimp, child molester, idiot
2. the present time or occasion – now usually encountered only in the compound nonce word, meaning an ad hoc word coinage, and the somewhat old-fashioned phrase for the nonce, meaning "for now". See also the Wiktionary definiton.
nodder 
(regional slang) condom
nosh 
food, meal "give us a nosh"
nosh up 
a big satisfying meal "I could do with a good nosh up"
nosy parker 
a busybody (similar to US: butt-in, buttinski)
notice board 
a board where messages can be posted (US: bulletin board)
nowt, owt, summat 
(Northern English) nothing, anything, something. (Rhymes with "oat" in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire dialects, "out" in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.)
number plate 
vehicle registration plate (US: license plate or license tag)
numpty 
(mainly Scottish) a stupid person
nutter
(informal) a crazy or insane person, often violent; also used as a more light-hearted term of reproach ("You nutter!") (US and UK also: nut, nutcase)


 

O

OAP 
Old Age Pensioner (qv)
off-licence 
shop licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises, infomally abbreviated to offy (US equivalent: liquor store)
off-the-peg 
of clothes etc, ready-made rather than made to order (US: off-the-rack)
oi 
coarse exclamation to gain attention, roughly equivalent to "hey" ("Oi, you!" = "Hey you!")
the Old Bill 
(slang) The police
one-off 
something that happens only once; limited to one occasion (the synonym one-shot, common in US, originated in UK as well)
on the phone 
having a telephone number "are you on the phone?" (US: a phone subcriber)
on the piss 
(vulgar) drinking heavily; going out for the purpose of drinking heavily; at a slight angle, said of an object that should be vertical
on the skunt 
technical term equivalent to on the piss and perpendicularity. cf squint
orientate 
less common alternative to orient, deprecated by some as an unnecessary back-formation from orientation
overfaced 
overwhelmed, unable to complete a task


 

P

package holiday 
a holiday whose transport, accommodation, itinerary etc. is organised by a travel company (US and UK less frequently: package tour). Cf holiday [DM]
paki 
(offensive) Pakistani; loosely applied to anyone from South Asia, or of perceived South Asian origin (in the US "paki" (spelled packy) would suggest a package store or liquor store.
panda car 
(informal) police car. Small police car used for transport, as opposed to a patrol or area car (analogous to US: black-and-white)
paper round 
(the job of making) a regular series of newspaper deliveries (US: paper route)
parkie 
(informal) park-keeper
parky 
(informal) cold, usually used in reference to the weather
(Cornish) pasty 
hard pastry case filled with meat and vegetables served as a main course, particularly in Cornwall and in the north of England
pear-shaped 
usually in the phrase "to go pear-shaped", meaning to go drastically or dramatically wrong (possibly from the idea of a ball deflating). cf tits-up
Peelers 
The Police. Named after Sir Robert Peel, who founded the service. The slang is only regularly still in use in Northern Ireland.
pelican crossing 
pedestrian crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians (from Pedestrian Light-Controlled)
pensioner 
literally, anyone who collects a pension *, but in UK usage the word usually refers to a senior citizen eligible to receive the state old-age pension (similar to US: retiree); cf OAP
pernickety 
fastidious, precise or over-precise (US: persnickety)
petrol 
refined mixture of hydrocarbons, used esp. to fuel motor vehicles (short for petroleum spirit, or from French essence de pétrole) (US: gasoline, gas). Also variously known as motor spirit (old-fashioned), motor gasoline, mogas, aviation gasoline and avgas (the last two being a slightly heavier type designed for light aircraft)
petrol-head, peltrolhead 
someone with a strong interest in cars (especially high performance cars) and motor racing (US: gearhead or motorhead).
pillar box 
box in the street for receiving outgoing mail, in Britain traditionally in the form of a free-standing red pillar; also called postbox or, less commonly, letter box (US: mailbox)
See also Pillar box (film): an aspect ratio named for a supposed resemblance to the dimensions of the slot found on a pillar box.
pillar-box red 
the traditional bright-red colour of a British pillar box
pillock 
(slang, very mildly derogatory) foolish person, used esp. in northern England but also common elsewhere. Derived from the Northern English term pillicock, a dialect term for penis, although the connection is rarely made in general use.
pisshead 
(vulgar) someone who regularly gets heavily drunk
pissing it down [with rain] 
(slang, mildly vulgar) raining very hard (sometimes "pissing down" is used in the US, as in "It's pissing down out there.") Also "pissing it down the drain" or "pissing it away" meaning to waste something.
pleb 
(derogatory) person of lower class, from plebeian; similar to townie. Also commonly used to mean idiot.
pleck 
also: guitar-pleck; plectrum (US: guitar pick)
plimsoll 
a type of shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole, formerly the typical gym shoe used in schools
plonker 
(very mildly derogatory) fool. Used esp. in the south-east of England, although not unknown elsewhere. Derived from a slang term for penis, and sometimes used in this fashion, e.g. "Are you pulling my plonker?" (to express disbelief)
ponce 
(n.) (slang) someone with overly affected airs and graces; an effeminate posturing man; a pimp. Originates from Maltese slang.
 
(v.) (slang) to act like a pimp; to cadge, to borrow with little or no intention of returning, often openly so ("Can I ponce a fag off you, mate?")
ponce about/around 
(v.) (slang) to act like a fop, to wander about aimlessly without achieving anything
ponce off 
(v.) (slang) to mooch, to hit up, to leave in a pompous manner
poof, poofter  
(derogatory) a male homosexual (US equivalent: fag, faggot)
postage and packing, P&P 
charge for said services (US: shipping and handling, S&H; the word postage is, however, used in both dialects)
postal order 
a money order designed to be sent through the post, issued by the UK Post Office (US: money order, or postal money order if the context is ambiguous)
postbox, post box 
box in the street for receiving outgoing mail (US: mailbox); see also letter box, pillar box
postcode 
alphanumeric code used to identify an address, part of a UK-wide scheme (US equivalent: ZIP Code)
poste restante 
service whereby mail is retained at a post office for collection by the recipient (from the French) (US: general delivery)
postie 
(informal) postman
postman *, postwoman *
person who delivers mail (post) to residences and businesses (US: letter carrier, mailman, mail carrier; the term postman is also sometimes used in the US, esp. by older generations)
pot plant 
a plant growing in a pot (US: potted plant; in the US the term "pot plant" would suggest a marijuana plant)
pram, perambulator 
wheeled conveyance for babies (US: baby-carriage)
prat 
(slang) an incompetent or ineffectual person, a fool, an idiot
press-up 
a conditioning exercise in which one lies prone and then pushes oneself up by the arms (US: push-up)
provisional licence, provisional driving licence 
a licence for a learner driver, who has not yet passed a driving test (US: learner's permit)
pud 
(informal) short for "pudding", which may mean dessert or occasionally a savoury item such as Yorkshire pudding or black pudding; a fool (informal term usually used good-naturedly between family members)
pukka 
(informal) legitimate, the real thing, of good quality (usually South-Eastern England term, made famous by Jamie Oliver). From Hindi.
punch-up 
a fistfight
punkah-wallah 
a usually South Asian servant whose role is to operate a manual fan. From Urdu pankhaa, fan, and -wallah, -man
punnet 
basket for fruit, usually strawberries
pushbike 
(informal) bicycle (pre-dates modern safety bicycle q.v. velocipede)
pushchair 
forward-facing baby carriage (US: stroller)


 

Q

queue 
a waiting line (as of persons, vehicles etc.) * (US usually: line [DM]; queue is used in computer applications, such as printer queue or render queue); hence jump the queue)
quid 
(informal) the pound sterling monetary unit; remains quid in plural form ("Can I borrow ten quid?") (similar to US buck, meaning dollar)
quids in 
(informal) a financially positive end to a transaction or venture
quieten 
used in the phrase "quieten down" (US: quiet down)
quiff 
forelock (initially Hiberno-English), from the 1950s onward a hairstyle


 

R

randy 
(informal) having sexual desire, lustful (US and UK: horny)
ranker 
an enlisted soldier or airman or (more rarely) a commissioned officer who has been promoted from enlisted status ("the ranks")
rashers 
cuts of bacon
rat-arsed 
(slang) extremely drunk
recce 
(informal) reconnoître, reconnaissance (pronounced recky) (US: recon)
Register Office, Registry Office 
official office where births, marriages and deaths are recorded; usu. refers to local Register Office (in each town or locality). General Register Office is the relevant government department. In England and Wales until 2001, almost all civil (non-church) marriages took place in the local Register Office; different laws apply in Scotland and N. Ireland.
road-works 
upgrade or repairs of roads (US: construction; roadwork [singular])
ropey 
(informal) chancy; of poor quality; uncertain (see dodgy). Can also mean unwell when used in the form to feel ropey
reverse charge call 
a telephone call for which the recipient pays (US: collect call); also v. to reverse [the] charge[s] *, to make such a call (dated in US, used in the 1934 American film It Happened One Night – US usually: to call collect)
root 
(slang) sexual intercourse (US: screw)
rota 
a roll call or roster of names, or round or rotation of duties
(the) rotters 
(slang) Police ("Quick, the rotters!")
(the) rozzers 
(slang) Police ("Quick, the rozzers!") – possibly from Robert Peel, who also gave his name to two other slang terms for the police: peelers (archaic) and bobbies (becoming old-fashioned).
row 
riotous, noisy disturbance; a dispute; shindy; brawl
rubbish *
refuse, waste (in the US found mainly as regionalism or legal/technical term – US usually: garbage or trash); something worthless (as writing, talk, etc.), often used to impugn a statement (US speakers deriding an idea as 'rubbish' can sometimes sound 'stuck up' or pompous).
rucksack 
backpack
rumpy pumpy 
(informal) Sexual intercourse, used slightly jokingly.


 

S

salad-dodger 
(informal, humorous) an overweight person
sanitary towel, sanitary pad 
sanitary napkin, maxi pad
sarky 
(informal) sarcastic (abbrev.)
sarnie, sarny 
(informal) sandwich (abbrev.)
scrumpy 
cloudy cider, often high in alcoholic content
scrumping 
action of stealing apples from an orchard; also v. to scrump
Sellotape 
from Cellophane, transparent adhesive tape (genericised trademark) (US: Scotch tape)
serviette 
(from French) table napkin [DM]. Regarded as a non-U word
shandy 
lager or beer mixed close to equal parts with lemonade [DM]
shillelagh 
(Irish) (pronounced "shil-lay-lee") club, cudgel
shite 
(vulgar, used esp. in Northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, but not unknown in Southern England) variant of shit, often seen as more jocular
singleton 
a single, unmarried person
sixes and sevens 
crazy, muddled (usually in the phrase "at sixes and sevens")
skew-whiff 
skewed, uneven, not straight
skint 
(informal) out of money
skip 
industrial rubbish container (US: dumpster)
skive [off] 
(informal) to sneak off, avoid work; to play truant
slaphead 
(informal) bald man
slap-and-tickle 
(informal) sexual activity
slapper 
(vulgar) slut, skank (but in a milder sense)
sleeping partner 
a partner in business, often an investor, who is not visibly involved in running the enterprise (US: silent partner)
sleeping policeman 
mound built into a road to slow down vehicles (UK also: hump [DM]; US & UK also: speed bump)
(have a) slash 
(slang) to urinate
smart dress
formal attire
smeghead 
(slang) idiot; a general term of abuse (for discussion of origin, see smeg (vulgarism))
snog 
(slang) to kiss amorously with petting and fondling; to make out; also n.: to have a snog
sod off 
(vulgar, moderately offensive) go away; get lost
somet 
(short form) something "can I get somet to eat?"
spack(er) 
(vulgar, offensive to many) idiot, general term of abuse (variant forms spaz/spastic, are used in American English)
Spanish archer
give someone the "elbow", which means to sack or fire them
spawny 
lucky
spiffing 
(informal) very good (old-fashioned, or consciously used as old-fashioned, associated stereotypically with upper-class people)
spiv 
an unemployed person who lives by their wits; someone who shirks work or responsibility; a slacker, a dealer in black market goods (during World War II). The term wide boy is also often used in the same sense
spliff
(slang) a hand-rolled cigarette containing a mixture of marijuana and tobacco (Also used in US, j or blunt more widely used)
spod 
someone who spends too much time in internet chat rooms and discussion forums. Also verb: to spod.
squaddie 
(informal) a non-commissioned soldier
squidgy 
(informal) soft and soggy
squiffy 
(informal) intoxicated (popularly but probably erroneously said to be from British Prime Minister (Herbert)Asquith, a noted imbiber). The word can also be synonymous with skew-whiff.
squinny 
(Portsmouth slang) to whinge and whine on endlessly about nothing. Also used as a noun to refer to a person who tends to do this. Considered quite offensive if slightly humorous.
squint, squintie 
crooked; cf on the skunt
squiz 
look, most often used in the form to have a squiz at...
starter 
appetizer (most common); also from French "entrée" or "hors d'œuvre," used less often
sticky-backed plastic 
large sheet of thin, soft, coloured plastic that is sticky on one side; see Blue Peter (US similar: contact paper)
stockist 
a seller (as a retailer) that stocks merchandise of a particular type, usually a specified brand or model
strop 
(informal) bad mood or temper
stroppy, to have a strop on 
(informal) recalcitrant, in a bad mood or temper
suck it and see 
to undertake a course of action without knowing its full consequences (US take your chances)
summat 
(Northern dialect) something
suss [out] 
(informal) to figure out (from suspicion)
swot 
1. v. to study for an exam (US cram)
2. n. (derogatory) aloof and unpopular schoolchild or student who studies to excess
sweet FA 
(slang) nothing (from "Sweet Fanny Adams", alternative: "Sweet Fuck All"), "I know sweet FA about cars!"
swimming costume
swimsuit or bathing suit; also cozzy for short.


 

T

ta 
(informal) thank you; TA also standing for "thanks awfully" (rare)
takeaway 
food outlet where you can order food to go (or be delivered) (not usually applied to fast food chains). Usage: "we had a takeaway for dinner", "we went to the local takeaway". [DM]; (US: takeout)
take the piss 
(vulgar slang) to make fun of somebody; to act in a non-serious manner about something important (also: take the pee)
takings 
receipts of money
tannoy™ 
loudspeaker (a proprietary brand name), PA system
tarn 
small mountain lake. Used especially in the Lake District
telly 
(informal) television
tingy 
(from Ireland) cf wotsit
throw a wobbly 
(informal) to lose one's temper, throw a tantrum
thruppennies 
(Cockney rhyming slang) breasts/tits (from thruppeny bits, obsolete British coin)
titfer 
(Cockney rhyming slang) hat (from tit-for-tat)
[go] tits up 
(mildly vulgar) to suddenly go wrong (literally, to fall over). cf pear-shaped
toad-in-the-hole 
batter-baked sausages, sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding
toff 
(slang) member of the upper classes
toffy nose 
anti-social in a pretentious way (US: stuck up)
toffee apple 
a sugar-glazed apple on a stick eaten esp. on Bonfire Night and Hallowe'en (US: caramel apple or candy apple)
tonk 
(informal) to hit hard, sometimes used in cricket to describe a substantial boundary shot: "he tonked it for six". In Southern England can also mean muscular. (US: ripped).
toss [off] 
(offensive slang) to masturbate; hence tosser, literally a masturbator, used as a general term of abuse
totty 
(informal, offensive to some) sexually alluring woman or women (more recently, also applied to males). Originally a term for a prostitute in the late 1800s.
tuppence 
two pence, also infantile euphemism for vagina. cf twopenn'orth
tuppenny-ha'penny 
cheap, substandard
turd burglar 
(offensive slang) a homosexual who partakes of anal intercourse
turf accountant 
bookmaker for horse races
turn-indicator 
direction-indicator light on a vehicle (US: turn signal)
turn-ups
an arrangement at the bottom of trouser-legs whereby a deep hem is made, and the material is doubled-back to provide a trough around the external portion of the bottom of the leg. (US: cuffs)
twee 
excessively cute, quaint, or 'precious'
twonk 
idiot. Probably a portmanteau construction of twat and plonker
twopenn'orth, tuppenn'orth, tup'en'oth 
one's opinion (tuppenn'orth is literally "two pennies worth" or "two pence worth", depending on usage); (US equivalent: two cents' worth, two cents). cf tuppence


 

U

uni 
short for university (US: college).
up himself 
(informal) someone who is stand-offish, stuck-up, snobby. "He's a bit up himself."


 

V

valve 
thermionic valve (US: tube)
valve amplifier 
audio amplifier using thermionic valves (US: tube amp)
verger 
someone who carries the verge or other emblem of authority before a scholastic, legal, or religious dignitary in a procession; someone who takes care of the interior of a church and acts as an attendant during ceremonies.


 

W

wage packet 
weekly employee payment (usually in cash) (US: paycheck)
wag it 
play truant from school (US skip, play hooky (older))
wally 
(informal) buffoon, fool; milder form of idiot. Now considered an old-fashioned word. See muppet.
wank* 
(offensive slang) to masturbate (the term "wanking" is used by American guitarists in a pejorative sense for fast, flashy and self-indulgent playing)
wanker* 
(offensive slang) literally a masturbator, used as a general term of abuse
WC 
toilet (short for Water Closet). (US: bathroom [DM], US old-fashioned, Canada washroom). See also loo.
washing up 
dish washing, "it's your turn to do the washing up" (US: the dishes)
washing up liquid 
dish washing soap (US: dishwashing liquid)
wash powder 
clothes washing soap (US: laundry detergent)
Wellington boots, wellies 
waterproof rubber boots, named after the Duke of Wellington.
welly 
(informal) effort (e.g.: "Give it some welly" to mean "put a bit of effort into an attempt to do something"); also the singular of "wellies", for Wellington boots
whilst
alternative form of "while"
whinge 
(informal) complain, whine, especially repeated complaining about minor things (e.g. "Stop whinging" meaning "stop complaining"); a different word from whine, originated in Scottish and Northern English in the 12th century. Hence whinger (derogatory), someone who complains a lot
whirligig 
rotary clothes line
whitefronts 
mens underwear (US: boxers)
white pudding 
oat and fat sausage often eaten at breakfast, common in Ireland and Scotland
witter 
(informal) to continue to talk trivially about a subject long after the audience's interest has gone. "He wittered on."
wibble 
(informal) to talk at length aimlessly
wide boy 
see spiv, above
willy* 
(slang) a childish term for a penis.
windscreen 
the front window of a vehicle (US: windshield)
windshield 
foam cover on a microphone (US: windscreen)
wing mirrors 
the external mirrors on a vehicle – though no longer normally attached to the 'wings' (US: fenders) but to the doors (US: sideview mirrors, side mirrors)
wobbler, wobbly (to have or to throw)
(informal) tantrum
wojumacallit 
see wotsit
wonky 
(informal) wrong, awry, not straight or stable; shaky, feeble
wotcher 
(regional) an informal greeting, similar to US "howdie"
wotsit, wotsisname 
(informal) used to refer to an unspecified esp. mechanical object (US e.g. doohickey)


 

X

Y

yank
a resident of the USA.
Y-fronts
men's briefs with an inverted-Y-shaped frontal flap; originally a trademark (US slang: tighty whities)
yob 
lout, young troublemaker (from boy spelled backwards)
yomp 
(military slang from Falklands war) to move on foot across rough terrain carrying heavy amounts of equipment and supplies without mechanised support
your man/woman (Irish) 
whatshis/hername


 

Z

zed 
pronunciation of the letter z (US: zee)
zebra crossing 
(zebra rhymes with Deborah) pedestrian street crossing marked with broad white stripes (US: crosswalk)


 

References

  • Hargraves, Orin (2002). Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515704-4.
  • Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62181-X.

External links

  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/ A large project being undertaken by the BBC to document and chart the different word-usage and accents in the British Isles.
  • Effingpot.com An American's guide to speaking British, written by a Brit living in Texas.
  • Translating American to British A guide to British slang.
  • American-British/British-American Dictionaries An American to British dictionary and a British to American Dictionary.
  • The English-to-American Dictionary A very large British to American dictionary.
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_words_not_widely_used_in_the_United_States"