Or should that be “What I’ve just learnt about American English”? I get confused after 6 years living in East Asia and reading the International Herald Tribune (I’ll never go back to the Guardian again!) every day. Still, good to be learning something about my own language every day now that I am learning zero about the language of where I live. It also helps me avoid “correcting” my students when they are in fact using something that could be correct in America or not correcting them because I think it is American when in fact “muffler” etc is Konglish via Japlish.
Anyhoo, here are my latest attempts to learn Yank, all from the Oxford Picture Dictionary Second Edition. The first few are ones I have sinned on before, hence the very loud apologies.
Some less familiar differences between American and British English
(most of which I didn’t know or had forgotten)
robe/ dressing gown- SORRY!
puzzle/ jigsaw (puzzle)- MI AN HAMNIDA!
dish or plate/ just plate- HONTO NI MOSHIWAKE GOZAIMASEN DESHITA!
rider/ (bus) passenger
turnstile/ ticket barrier
home improvement store/ DIY shop
crosswalk/ zebra crossing
rescue breathing/ mouth to mouth (resuscitation)
adhesive bandage/ (sticking) plaster
(straight) pin/ pin
dryer/ tumble dryer
clothespin/ clothes peg
VCR/ video (recorder)
electric shaver/ electric razor
bobby pins/ hair pins
walker/ Zimmer frame
cast/ plaster cast
sleeveless shirt/ sleeveless top
athletic shoes/ trainers (although my American colleague says “tennis shoes” is standard)
cardigan sweater/ cardigan
sports jacket or sports coat/ blazer
winter scarf/ woolly scarf
rain boots/ wellies
ski hat/ woolly hat
long underwear/ long johns
blanket sleeper/ babygrow
bump cap/ hard hat
safety glasses/ safety goggles
latex gloves/ rubber gloves
dinner salad/ side salad
low-fat milk/ skimmed milk or semi-skimmed milk
chicken sandwich/ chicken burger
vegetable peeler/ potato peeler
bell peppers/ green etc peppers
a head of lettuce/ a lettuce
wheat bread/ brown bread
scrub brush/ scrubbing brush
dishwashing liquid/ washing up liquid
wood floor/ wooden floor
changing pad/ changing mat
stuffed animals/ cuddly toys
attic/ loft (for me attic is more of a room)
washer/ washing machine
the country/ the countryside
a townhouse/ terraced houses
front walk/ garden path
burner/ hob (on a cooker)
throw pillow/ throw cushion
armchair or easy chair/ just armchair
hamper/ laundry basket (hamper is just for picnics)
scale/ bathroom scales
dresser or bureau/ chest of drawers
car safety seat/ baby seat
blow dryer/ hair dryer
one fourth/ one quarter (of a pie)
Sunday is the first day of the week/ Sunday or Monday are both possible
legal holiday/ bank holiday
pound key/ hash key
directory assistance/ directory enquiries
chalkboard/ black board
LCD projector/ projector
dry erase marker/ whiteboard pen
eraser/ board rubber
clear off your desk/ clear your desk or put your books away
Other stuff I learnt
there is a difference between drapes and curtains in Am Eng
autumn is okay in American English
a 3-ring binder can also be called a notebook
wallet can be used for a woman as well
there is a difference between blazer and sports jacket/ sports coat in Am Eng
A few I need some help with
Couldn’t work out how to say these in British English, if indeed such a thing is possible:
toaster oven/???- always thought this was Japanese English- SORRY!
crew socks/ ?????
bus the dishes/ ????
bumper pad/ ????
end table/ ????
SKU number/ ????
There are British and American English worksheets on TEFLtastic somewhere. If you are interested I recommend using the Search function, because I have to go out now and buy two tonnes (or should that be tons??) of nappies…