Jargon

It's like a different language!

Jargon Buster

From a British point of view, there can be some confusion as to what Americans are referring to when they say specific words and vice versa!

So what's the difference?

Many of us are aware of written differences between English and American spelling when it comes to the English language, such as the inclusion of the letter “u” in “colour” in the English spelling or or the use of an “S” rather than a “Z”. Alongside this, there are also various differences when it comes to speaking the language, such as a ‘jumper’ in the English dictionary which translates to a ‘sweater’ in American English.

To prepare you for your vacation and to avoid any confusion, here we have put together a useful list of common words that often get mistaken in their translation between English and American speakers. This is not a comprehensive list of every difference between the two, but aims to provide you with an idea about everyday terminology, what to listen out for and what words actually mean! BRACE YOURSELVES!

English Terms:

  • Starter
  • Cash Machine
  • Plaster
  • Private toilet
  • Savory Scone
  • Grilled
  • Mobile phone
  • Bill
  • Crisps
  • Reverse charge phone call
  • Biscuit
  • Fold-up bed
  • Cot
  • Nappy
  • Dual carriageway
  • City center
  • Chemist
  • Pissed
  • Aubergine
  • Eggs fried on both sides but soft
  • Eggs fried on just one side
  • Lift
  • Main course
  • Rubber 
  • Flannel
  • Bumbag
  • Tap
  • Car Bumper
  • Torch
  • Motorway
  • Chips
  • Petrol
  • Digestive biscuit
  • Car bonnet 
  • A main road in Orlando – “International Drive”
  • Junction 
  • Queue
  • No parking or stopping
  • Knackered
  • Ice lolly
  • Handbag
  • 5 Cents
  • 10 Cents
  • 25 Cents
  • Slip road
  • Public toilet
  • Return
  • Soda water
  • King prawn 
  • Smoke Salmon
  • Pavement 
  • Fizzy drink
  • Pushchair 
  • Trouser braces
  • Car boot 
  • Bath 
  • Lay-by
  • Pants
  • Holiday
  • Give way
  • Post code
  • Courgette

American Terms:

  • Appetizer
  • ATM
  • Band aid
  • Bathroom 
  • Biscuit
  • Broiled 
  • Cellphone 
  • Check 
  • Chips 
  • Collect call 
  • Cookie 
  • Cot/rollaway 
  • Crib
  • Diaper 
  • Divided Highway
  • Downtown
  • Drugstore
  • Drunk/wasted/hammered
  • Eggplant 
  • Eggs ‘over easy’
  • Eggs ‘sunny side up’
  • Elevator
  • Entrée
  • Eraser
  • Facecloth/washcloth
  • Fanny Pack 
  • Faucet
  • Fender
  • Flashlight
  • Freeway
  • Fries
  • Gas
  • Graham cracker
  • Hood
  • I-drive
  • Intersection 
  • Line
  • No standing 
  • Pooped/zonkered/beat/tired
  • Popsicle
  • Purse
  • Nickle
  • Dime
  • Quarter
  • Ramp
  • Restroom
  • Round trip
  • Seltzer
  • Shrimp
  • Lox
  • Sidewalk
  • Soda
  • Stroller
  • Suspenders
  • Trunk
  • Tub
  • Turn-out
  • Underwear
  • Vacation 
  • Yield
  • Zip code
  • Zucchini

Occasionally, you may see acronyms on food menus that you may not be familiar with. A common one I found was “EVO” which stood for “Extra virgin oil” so if you come across these, make sure to ask your sever what it means!