British - American dictionary


Welcome to the BritSpeak Dictionary! Many of the words you will find here are colloquialisms, the colourful language of daily living. To keep the length manageable, only *differences* in usage are noted. Some dated terms have intentionally been included as they may yet be encountered.


Accumulator Car battery (dated)

Afters Dessert

Aggro Deliberate troublemaking

Air screw Propeller (dated)

All-in Inclusive

Alsatian German shepherd

Aluminium Aluminum

Anorak Parka

Antenatal Prenatal

Anticlockwise Counterclockwise

Argentine, The Argentina

Argentine Argentinian

Argy-bargy Heated argument

Artic Tractor-trailer

Aubergine Eggplant

Autumn Fall


Back of beyond Middle of nowhere

Ball Prom

Banger Sausage, firecracker or old car

Bank holiday National holiday

Bap Hamburger bun

Barrister Trial lawyer

Berk Moron

Bill (restaurant) Check

Bin Garbage can

Bin liner Garbage bag

Biscuit Cookie

Biscuit, savoury Cracker

Black Maria Paddywagon

Blancmange A gelatin-like pudding

Blighty England (dated)

Block of flats Apartment house

Bloke Guy

Bloody Mild expletive; very

Blotto Drunk

Bobby Policeman

Bollocks Testicles

Bonnet Hood

Book Reserve

Boot Trunk

Bounder Cad

Braces Suspenders

Brock Badger (dated)

Brolly Umbrella

Brooch Pin

Bubble and squeak Cabbage & potato dish

Bugger-all Nothing

Bum Buttocks

Bun in the oven Pregnant

Bung (noun) Stopper

Bung (verb) Toss

Busker Street performer

Butty Sandwich


Cabinet maker Skilled carpenter

Calabrese Broccoli rabe

Caravan Motor home

Car park Parking lot

Carpet Reprimand

Carriageway Highway

Carrier bag Shopping bag

Chat show Talk show

Chat up Chat flirtatiously

Cheerio Goodbye

Cheers Thank you

Chemist Pharmacist

Cheque Check

Chips French fries

Chuffed Pleased

Cinema Movie theater

Clingfilm Plastic wrap (brand name)

Clippie Bus conductor (Scotland)

Close Dead end

Conker Horse chestnut

Cooker Oven

Coppice See copse

Copse Thicket

Cotton wool Cotton

Courgette Zucchini

Cracker Party favor

Creche Day care center

Crisps Potato chips

Crumpet Attractive woman

Crutch Crotch

Cul de sac Dead end

Cuppa Cup of tea

Current account Checking account

Cutting Clipping (eg from a newspaper)


Daft Stupid

Daps Sneakers

Dear Expensive

Diary Appointment book

Diversion Detour

Doctor Spay, neuter

Doddle Easy task

Dodgy Iffy, suspect

Donkey's years A long time

Dotty Feeble-minded

Downmarket Seedy

Draughts Checkers

Drawing pin Thumbtack

Dummy Pacifier

Dustbin Garbage can

Dustman Garbageman

Duvet Comforter


Elastoplast Bandaid (both brand names for bandages)

Electric fire Heater (electric)

Estate Agent Realtor


FA Cup Superbowl of Soccer

Fancy (verb) Like

Film Movie

First Floor Ground floor

Fishmongers' Fish Store

Flat Apartment

Flog Sell

Flyover Overpass

Football Soccer

Form Grade

Fortnight Two weeks

Fringe Bangs

Fruiterers' Fruit store

Full stop Period (the punctuation mark)


Gaffer Boss

Gammon Ham

Gaol Jail

Garden Yard

Gas fire Gas heater

Gents Men's room

Geordie Newcastle (person from)

Gormless Stupid

Guard Conductor

Gully Gutter


Hair pin Bobby pin

Hedgerow Hedge

High street Main street

Hire purchase Credit

Holiday Vacation

Homely Pleasant

Hood Vinyl Top (of convertible)

Housing estate Tenement


Ice lolly Popsicle

Identity parade Lineup

Interval Intermission

Ironmongers' Hardware store


Jacket potato Baked potato

Jam Jelly

Jelly Gelatin

Joiner Carpenter

Joint Roast

Jumble sale Yard sale

Jumper Sweater


Keep Fit Exercise class

Keeper Curator

Kerb Curb

Knackered Exhausted

Knickers Panties


Lad Boy

Ladder Run (in stockings)

Ladies' Lady's room

Ladybird Ladybug

Lay-by Rest stop

Lead Leash

Leader Editorial

Legless Drunk

Lemonade Carbonated beverage

Lift Elevator

Lollipop lady Crossing guard

Loo Bathroom

Lorry Truck

Lounge Living Room


Mac See mackintosh

Mackintosh Raincoat

Mange tout Snow peas

Marmite Yeast extract

Marrow Squash

Mean Stingy

Mince Ground beef

Minder Babysitter

Minder Bodyguard

Motorway Highway

Muesli Granola


Nail varnish Nail polish

Naff Unfashionable

Naff off Go away

Napkin Diaper

Nappy Diaper

Natter (noun or verb) Chat

Naturist Nudist

Naughts and crosses Tic-Tac-Toe

Nick (verb) Steal, (noun) prison

In good nick In good condition

Number plate License Plate

Nutter Kook


OAP Senior citizen

Off Spoiled

Off license Liquor store

Old age pensioner Senior citizen

Over the moon Elated

Over the top Carried away


Page 3 girl Model (of sorts)

Panda car Police car

Pants Panties or briefs

Paracetamol Acetaminophen

Paraffin Kerosene

Paralytic Drunk

Parting Part

Pavement Sidewalk

Peckish Hungry

Pelican crossing Pedestrian crossing

Petrol Gas

Pickle Relish

Pilchards Sardines

Pinch Steal

Pissed Drunk

Pitch Playing field

Plait Braid

Plimsolls Sneakers

Plonk Wine (cheap)

Post (noun or verb) Mail

Postal code Zip code

Postgraduate student Graduate student

Power point Electrical outlet

Pram Baby carriage

Prat Jerk

Presenter Newscaster

Press up Push up

Pub Bar

Public school Private school

Pudding Dessert

Pulses Beans

Pumps Sneakers

Put down Put to sleep

Put paid to Put an end to

Pyrenean Mountain Great Pyrenees


Queue Line

Quid One pound sterling

Quids in Lucky or well off


Rabbit (verb) Chat

Rank Taxi stand

Redundant Unemployed

Refectory Cafeteria

Removal Moving

Removal man Mover

Removal van Moving truck

Return Round-trip

Ring Call

Rise Raise

Roundabout Traffic circle

Row Quarrel

Rubber Eraser

Rucksack Backpack


Sack (verb) Fire

Saloon car Sedan

Savory biscuit Cracker

Scatty Scatter-brained

School leaver Dropout or graduate

Scouse Of or from Liverpool

Self-catering No meals included

Sellotape Plastic tape (brand name)

Serviette Napkin

Sheath Condom

Sideboards Sideburns

Silencer Muffler

Single One-way

Skint Broke

Skirting-board Baseboard

Slate Criticize

Sleeper Railroad tie

Sleeping Policeman Speed bump

Slide Barrette

Sloane Ranger Preppie

Slowcoach Slowpoke

Smalls Underwear

Snooker Billiards

Sod Unpleasant person (der. sodomist)

Sod off Go away

Solicitor Lawyer

Sort code Routing number (in banking)

Spanner Wrench

Sparky Energetic

Specs Glasses (dated)

Spot Pimple

Spot on Perfect

Squash Juice concentrate

Starkers Naked

Stone Fourteen pounds

Strop Bad mood

Stroppy Argumentative

Subway Pedestrian crossing

Sultanas Golden raisins

Surgery Doctor's examination room

Suspenders Garter belt

Swede Rutabaga

Sweets Candy

Swimming costume Bathing suit


Tailback Traffic Jam

Tap Faucet

Telly TV

Terrace Bleachers

Tin Can

Tip Dump

Torch Flashlight

Tout Scalper

Tower block Highrise

Tractor trailer Artic

Trainers Sneakers

Transport cafe Truck stop

Treacle Molasses

Tuition Instruction

Tyre Tire


Underground Subway

Upmarket Classy


Vest Undershirt

Vet Investigate or Interrogate

Vice girl Prostitute


Waistcoat Vest

Wally Nerd

Wanker Unpleasant person

Water closet Bathroom

W.C. (Water Closet) Bathroom

Wellies See Wellingtons

Wellingtons Boots (rubber)

Whinge (n. or v.) Whine

Wholefood Healthfood

Wonky Unstable


Y-fronts Underpants (men's)

Yanks Americans

Yob Hooligan

Yobbo See yob

Yonks Ages


Zebra Crossing Pedestrian Crossing

Zed Zee (the letter)