From the pronunciations to the spelling and even different words, it can be a challenge to understand the exact context of the meaning of a word you thought you knew. Here are some common British words and sayings that mean something else in America.
In the UK, crisps are what Americans call chips – like potato chips. They can be any “chips” from Doritos to Cheetos or even a packet of Lays. In most cases, you won’t find those large bags of “crisps” that they sell in America, in the UK. The crisps they sell in the UK are typically single-serving packages.
These are called “fries” in America. This is an English word that often gets American’s confused when ordering. Often, chips in the UK are chunkier than standard French fries. In most cases, you can get chips with your fish if you order “fish and chips” at a restaurant or, in other words, it is referred to as “the Chippy.”
In America, to get to the top floor of a building, you would have to take the elevator. However, in England, you would hop in the lift to get to the top.
This is considered to be a descriptive word of a surface in American English. Still, in the UK, a flat is an apartment.
The type of footwear is what most Americans think of when they hear the word “boot”, but for an English person, it means the trunk of a car.
A biscuit in the UK is a thin baked treat that might be covered in chocolate or some dried fruit, and it is used commonly consumed with tea. However, in America, a biscuit is made from dense, buttery dough.
To those in the UK, a purse is a wallet that is kept in a handbag. In America, a wallet is kept in a purse.
To many in America, if someone was to refer to themselves or another individual as “pissed,” they would be saying they are angry. However, in the UK, if someone is “pissed,” they are most likely drunk.
A Divided English Language
The different words, pronunciations, and spelling have divided the language into two – British English and American English. Words, phrases, and slang can mean one thing in the UK and a completely different thing in the US, and vice versa.