American vs British English: American Words not Commonly Used in the United Kingdom

American vs British English: American Words not Commonly Used in the United Kingdom

American vs British English

American English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America. British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom.

Most people are well aware of some of the more obvious differences between American vs British English. For example, American English omits the “u” in colour, neighbour, honour, etc. However, you might not have noticed that there are many American words which are not commonly used in the United Kingdom.

American Words not Commonly Used in the United Kingdom [American vs British English]

(This list is intended as a guide only)

American English
British English
1airplanea powered fixed-wing aircraftaeroplane
2backhoea piece of excavating equipmentdigger, excavator
3bedroom community a commuter town or suburbdormitory town
4boardwalk a walkway usually made of planking, typically
along a beach
5bookmobilea large vehicle housing a mobile lending library mobile library
6breadbox a box for keeping breadbread bin
7broil to cook food with high heat with the heat applied directly to the food from abovegrill
8cellphonea portable telephonemobile phone
9charge account in a store or shopcredit account
10cotton candyspun sugar often sold at fairscandy floss
11coverallsa one-piece outer protective garment overall, boiler suit
12cremainsthe remains of a dead body after cremationremains, ashes
13dishraga cloth for washing dishesdishcloth
14dishwashing liquid a liquid soap used for washing disheswashing-up liquid
15district attorneystate or city public prosecutor Crown Prosecutor
16divided highwaya road with a highway median/central reservationdual carriageway
17downspoutpipe for carrying rainwater from a gutter to the grounddrainpipe
18driver license, driver’s license driving licence
19drugstore a pharmacy, or a store selling candy, magazines, etc. along with medicinechemist 
20elevator  lift
21emergency brakebrake in motor vehicle operated by a lever used to keep it stationaryhandbrak (US & UK)
22eminent domainthe power of the government to take private property for public usecompulsory purchase
23expresswaya type of limited-access roadmotorway
24flashlight portable battery-powered electric lamptorch
25French pressDevice for making coffeecafetière
26freshmana first-year student in college or high schoolfresher
27hickeya bruise on one’s skin resulting from kissing or suckinglove bite
28hoodengine compartment cover of front-engine automobilebonnet
29howdy(short for how do you do) casual greeting that originated in the Southern States.How do?
30layer cakeSandwich or sandwich cake
31license platevehicle registration platenumber plate
32lumber wood used for commercial purposestimber
33mail carriera person who delivers mail to residences and businessesletter carrier, (UK & US) postman, postwoman
34mom-and-popsingle-family operated small business(UK&US) family business
35off-the-rackclothes bought straight from a storeoff-the-peg
36paper routea regular series of newspaper deliveries paper round
37parking lota usually outside area for the parking of automobiles car park
38scuttlebutt gossip, rumor; originally meant water fountainrumour
39sneaker a form of footwear, also called tennis shoe or “gym shoe”trainer, plimsoll
40upscalerelating to goods targeted at high-income consumersupmarket
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