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Saturday, 16 April 2016

18 English words that mean very different things in Britain and America

As the old adage famously goes: you say tom-MAY-toes, and I say tom-MAH-toes. We should probably call the whole thing off, right?
Ever since the might of the British Empire was expelled from the United States, ordinary folk from both sides of the pond have chuckled at each other's use of the English language and pronunciation.
Here are several important examples you need to remember - simply to make sure no one gives you a weird look when you're off on your holidays.

1. A jumper

UK: A woollen pullover worn in the winter
US: Someone who commits suicide by leaping from a building or bridge

2. A rubber

UK: An eraser for a pencil
US: A condom

3. Nappy

UK: Something a baby wears (noun)
US: Frizzy or hairy (adjective)

4. The first floor

UK: The floor above the ground floor
US: The ground floor of a building

5. Blinkers

UK: Flaps attached to a race horse's face to restrict its vision
US: Indicators on a car

6. A casket

UK: Another word for jewellery box
US: Another word for coffin

7. Fancy dress

UK: Informal party wear, dressing up as a well-known character
US: Formal party wear, including ball gowns and black tie

8. A flapjack

UK: A flat oatmeal snack
US: A type of pancake

9. A geezer

UK: A gang member, tough guy
US: An old man

10. Homely

UK: Used to describe a comfortable, cosy house
US: Used to describe someone who is plain or ugly

11. A hoo-ha

UK: An argument or disagreement
US: Female genitalia

12. A moot point

UK: Something that is up for debate
US: Something that is irrelevant

13. Nervy

UK: Nervous or prone to fidget
US: Bold or confident

14. Peckish

UK: Slightly hungry
US: Irritable or angry

15. A run-in

UK: The end of a race
US: An argument or dispute

16. Shattered

UK: Exhausted
US: Emotionally devastated

17. Solicitor

UK: A legal representative
US: A door-to-door salesman

18. Through

(As in, "The shop is open through lunch")
UK: During (lunch hours)
US: Up until (lunch hours)