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British and American English Differences

Would you fancy that of London?

Would you fancy that of London?

The difference between American English and British English goes much farther than "You say Tomayto, I say Tomahto." The difference can be found in vocabulary, slang, sentence structure, syllabic emphasis, and even punctuation. As a speaker of American English (the Colorado version, which is, by the way, the only --ahem-- normal dialect of American English), and a reader of British English (my literary diet would be happy to survive on Austen, Lewis, Wodehouse, Sayers, and Chesterton), I have encountered a few hilarious contrasts between the speech of the "chaps" and the speech of the "blokes."

Grey Jumpers

Grey Jumpers

British and American Vocabulary Differences

My sister and I wound our way down from the top of the Wallace Monument in Scotland and realized we had misplaced our traveling buddies: our grandmother and her sister. We had been giggling earlier that day with them about their outfits; they happened to be dressed identically in gray hoodies, blue jeans, with black shoulder bags slung over the same shoulder. The lady at the info desk said there were two ladies in "grey jumpers" who were asking about us, and she pointed to the tea shop. There we found our two "grey-jumpered" grandmothers! I found out later that if we would have asked her where two gray hoodie-wearing women were, she might have pointed to the local gang headquarters instead. Hoodies and hoodlums are not a far cry apart in British English, though "jumpers" and "sweatshirts" mark the difference between casual and semi-formal in America. We should have known that she would have said "pinafore" if she meant what we call a "jumper."

We also found that it was not polite to mention "pants" or "knickers" in public unless you don't mind discussing your undergarments. Rather, use the term "trousers," and no one will look at you sideways for that --though London's biggest athletic clothing store is called Lily Whites. (For you Brits, that's a quaint American term for what you call "vests" and "pants"). Hairstyles are another source of difference between British and American English. A woman at a London church once complimented me on my "fringe." I was confused until she gestured to the "bangs" on the side of my forehead and again repeated "lovely fringe." It's no wonder they snicker when they hear Yankies refer to "bangs" as a hairstyle, because "bangers" are big, plump, breakfast link sausages.


It wasn't until my second week in London that I could finally muster up the courage to ask for the "toilet" (blushing) but it was the only way they would direct me to the restroom. Occasionally they would point me to the "first floor." I would make my way down the steep and narrow staircases (another London signature) to the ground floor. No restroom to be seen. Asking again where the --ahem-- women's toilet was, I was told it was "on the first floor." Turns out, the ground floor is not the first floor. Imagine that!

British "biscuits" are the American equivalent of sweet and cream-filled cookies. "Squash" in Great Britain is not necessarily a yellow, pear-shaped vegetable, but a concentrated "just add water" fruit drink that is popular for children's events, church potlucks, and picnics. Our equivalent (CoolAide? Fruity Iced Tea?) is nothing like the delicately colored, delicately sweetened "squash" of Great Britain.

Though we were on vacation when we travelled to England, we found out it was a "holiday" when we arrived. "What holiday?" we asked. "Your holiday!" was the answer. Our vacation.

Children in England are highly educated. Rather than just taking a "math" class, they take "maths" class. Double the smarts!

treehugger archives

treehugger archives


Different Phrases in British and American English

One morning I came down to breakfast and my friend welcomed me with a cheerful, "Are you all right?"

Surprised, I said, "Um, yes, I'm great! Why? Do I look like I'm sick or tired or something?"

"No, I was just asking if you are doing well this morning-- no reason."

I pressed her to explain further, and finally realized that her "Are you all right?" was the British equivalent of "How are you?" Grammatically analyzing the differences between these two questions, I realized that the American greeting was confusing, and is only understood when one takes the question "how" outside of its usual definition. Usually "how?" is answered by an explanation of a procedure: how to do something, such as how to stitch, how to cook, etc. "How are you?" should technically be answered with, "I am me because this is how I was created," or, "I am who I am because of this series of events in my life." Or, "How?" could be a quantitative question such as, "How old are you?" or "How many do you need?" Under this definition, "How are you?" could be answered, "I'm 98.9% human," though that doesn't come close to answering the Americans' intended question. The British have it right, only we Americans take their question as an insult. "Are you all right?" and "Are you okay?" is a perfectly reasonable, answerable question for the occasion.

When driving, be sure to slow down for the "sleeping policeman" in the middle of the road! Don't worry, he's meant to be driven over (these are speed bumps in the USA). If you decide to walk instead, don't drop your candy wrappers and popsicle sticks onto the ground. Instead, throw them into the "rubbish bin" (what Americans call the trash can). The "Tube" (called an underground train in America) is also a great way to travel, if you can bear to be continually exhorted to "Mind Your Head" when going through the doorway, and to "Mind the Gap" when stepping from the train to the platform.

A British man we were visiting told us that he was looking for a new job because he had "become redundant." In American English, that means he was laid off because there were too many people doing his job. Other fun phrases include "queueing" instead of "lining up" and looking for the "Way Out" instead of the "Exit."

British Vs. American English Sentence Construction

British English tends to favor the passive voice (eg. "Bill was kicked by Bob"). American prefers the active voice (eg. "Bob kicked Bill"). British English uses more auxiliary verbs (to be, to have, to do), and American English uses more regular verbs, which express a particular action and distinguish between past and present tense more precisely. The Secret Life of the Pronoun, p. 165, explains: "Auxiliary verbs are associated with a passive voice and are frowned on in American English classes but celebrated in British English classes."

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British vs American Spelling

Does British English just have more vowels than American English? What about that funny little "e" moved to the ends of words? Is British English more "French" in its spelling than American English is, which has adopted many Spanish words and Spanish spellings? You decide. The words on the left are British; the words on the right are American.

"Aeroplane" - Airplane

"Aluminium" - Aluminum

"Centre" - Center

"Colour" - Color

"Cheque" - Check

"Grey" - Gray

"Metre" - Meter

"Mould" - Mold

"Polystyrene" - Styrofoam

"Railway" - Railroad

"Spelt" - Spelled

"Theatre" - Theater

Webster's American English Dictionary

I've often wondered how Americans made the switch from honour to honor, colour to color, and centre to center. Did those extra vowels just fall off our words as soon as we set foot on Plymouth rock? No, it was actually a masterly decision on the part of Noah Webster, an American colonial, who wanted America to have its own independent language, and created the most popular dictionary in the history of the world. Webster cut the letter "u" out of many words that had an "ou" inside ("flavour," "colour," "honour"). He also changed "musick" to "music" and "centre" to "center." He also added some colloquial American words that the British would have never heard of: "skunk," and "hickory" (both derived from popular sayings). It's easy to see the brand-new character of America shine through these words. They sound more abrupt and to the point, less fussy, and they get down to business. But lest you think American English is all about simplicity, let me tell you that Webster spent years pouring over English dictionaries, and while he was at that, he learned 26 languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, and Sanskrit.

English Differences: Punctuation

British punctuation has a habit of making delightful sense out of the English sentence. An American period is a British "full stop" (don't ask what a partial stop is, though, because I don't think they'll say it's the comma). And instead of the American parenthesis, they have "brackets," which are not what we call brackets. However, punctuation lore of the Anglo Saxon goes deeper than just calling marks by different names.

The "Oxford Comma" (I've written more on this—check my profile page) is a handy little fellow because he separates items in a list after the last "and." For example, the Oxford Comma prevents this little slip-up:

Dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

by adding this remarkable separation:

Dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.

Another helpful punctuation difference is in the placement of the final quote marks after a "quoted" word. Americans place the quote marks after the quoted word and its accompanying punctuation, like this:

They used that word, "lovely," like it didn't even need dusting off!

But the British would write this:

They used that word, "lovely", like it didn't even need dusting off!

However, the British must have realized that this would occasionally become an inconvenience, as they don't always want to quote punctuation along with the word in question, so they add their punctuation after the final quote mark, like this:

Did you hear that American telephone operator? He said to press "the pound sign", though certainly he must know that not even British mobiles have pound signs on them!

A lovely accent...

Americans "go crazy" over an authentic British accent (do Brits go "mad" over an American accent?), but nothing beats hearing a little British boy chant a familiar singsong tune with a little British twist of his own! My sister and I were walking along a pathway at Buckingham Palace behind a mother and her little boy. The boy was singing "Jingle bells, Jingle bells..." and at the very point where he was about to sing "Santa smells!" he got a warning look from his mother. The song suddenly turned into "Santa smells --lovely!"

Fancy that of London!

© 2010 Ann Leavitt


Frankie on April 05, 2019:

Oh honey, people laugh at ‘bangs’ because it means ‘sexual encounters’

GB4EVER on October 25, 2017:

btw a digestive is a sweet biscuit, which is usually dunked in tea/coffe/hot chocolate and can be covered in a layer of chocolate or flavoured icing.... i don't know whether this explains it..... but that is what the people i know think it is... and i live in england (have done for my life)

Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on October 15, 2013:

Having spent some weeks in various parts of the United Kingdom, I'm impressed with how much more you got into the language differences than I managed to. I was more impressed with the fact that if I purchased an "ice cold" soda, it would likely be little cooler than room temperature. I enjoyed reading this.

ThoughtMonkey from United Kingdon on February 24, 2012:

I am knew to hubpages and that is the best one I have read yet. Not that you need my praise but well done.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on February 13, 2012:

Annart, Thanks for your great comments! I didn't realize that biscuits weren't actually cream-filled. I'll have to change that. Now, you used another word I'm not familiar with-- and it sounds medicinal. :) What's a "digestive"?

So, "How are you?" is more formal than "All right?" Fascinating!

Perhaps American spelling is more logical; but I think having an "e" on the end of things us just lovely: "metre" "theatre" "creme"...

Jamie on February 08, 2012:

I don't know if anyone's said this already but what you put in the bin is:

Sweetie wrappers and lollysticks! (In England)

Hope you enjoyed your trip! (that's another one right there, meaning "your visit")

Ann Carr from SW England on January 24, 2012:

Good hub and amusing. By the way, the traditional British biscuit is not cream-filled though some now are. It's more the flat, crispy 'cookie', maybe with choc chips or nuts, or the digestive or shortbread. Filled ones are usually referred to as 'filled' biscuits or 'cream' biscuits. Everyone I know still says 'How are you?' and it's accepted as more polite generally, though the youngsters do tend more towards 'All right?' on its own. American English spellings, by the way, are much more logical, though I don't like the way everyone puts 'ise' on the end of a word as a matter of course; there's usually already a legitimate English word to mean the same thing! Language evolves, of course, but its richness is important, I feel.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 20, 2012:

You make an interesting prediction, American_Choices, about the British spelling returning to the US. First, though, I think the world is universally learning English as their second language because of the Americans, not the British. Thus, I think that as the world "gets smaller" in your terms, and as English continues to globalize, I think it will be American English that becomes the norm. Just a comment before yours, a man from India said that Indians are learning American English now-- not British English.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 20, 2012:

Jainismus, that is fascinating to hear, and even though I love American English, I think we have somewhat "cheapened" and sped up British English, thus losing much of the beauty of it.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 20, 2012:

Thanks for your visit, Pamela! I just hopped over to your profile to try to find your article and didn't see it. Could you tell me what it's called?

Ken Kline from USA on January 19, 2012:

Jane Grey,

We have a trip planned and I have bookmarked this.

The backstory is America needed to be different so Americans - we Americans created the differences. I don't believe the speed up but the burning desire for separation long ago.

I believe as the world gets smaller we will see a return to the British spelling here in the United States.


Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on January 18, 2012:

Jane Grey, thank you for this great information. Now Indians are adopting American English instead of traditional British English.

Pamela N Red from Oklahoma on January 18, 2012:

Great story. I came here because I wrote a similar article and yours came up in the side bar so I thought I'd have a look. Glad I did, very enjoyable.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 05, 2012:


Touche! Americans are always trying to speed things up-- no "e" needed? "E" gone. Problem solved!

I must say, though, that I personally like the "e." It's classy, and gives a finality to the end of a word.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 05, 2012:

Robin, it must be fun to observe your children picking up on the accent! You must really enjoy having British neighbors-- all the British people I know are just lovely!

ryankett on January 05, 2012:

Well this is a great hub, but I do feel the need to comment on this bit:

"What about that funny little "e" moved to the ends of words?"

Purely because we haven't moved that e anywhere, you moved it away from the end ;)

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on January 05, 2012:

Intriguing Hub! Our good friends and neighbors are British and we are always commenting on the language differences. The best is when our girls pretend to have British accents while they play. It's amazing the ear that they have at such a young age!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on January 05, 2012:


"Momentarily" is a pet peeve of mine as well! Technically, is is an adverb, which means it should be used as such: "I was detained momentarily" and "They momentarily paused..." etc. However, it is often incorrectly used as an adjective, where "for a moment" or "in a moment" should be used. "I will be with you momentarily" is used to mean "I will be with you in a moment" but technically means "I will be with you for a short while," (or "in the span of a few moments)."

Ah, so minced meat and ground meat are one in the same! I have often seen "minced" in British literature, and always wondered if it was a finer way of grinding or chopping. Now I now! I can imagine the drama of trying to explain that to a butcher. Few people realize that there is actually quite a difference between American English and British English-- just enough to frustrate each other, but not enough to study it like a "foreign language." Thanks for stopping by!


TT on January 03, 2012:

I really enjoyed reading all the above, thank you Jane. What brought me here was trying to find if "momentarily" is used correctly here in the US, unfortunately it annoys me!! I am someone not born in the UK, with English as a second language (but grew up in the UK and consider London home) and moved over here 4 years ago. I wanted to prove to my husband "momentarily" was used too much and in the wrong way over here. One word I want to add is the use of minced meat for ground meat!! I remember one time trying to explain to a butcher/meat shop what I meant by minced meat (ground meat here in the US), it was such drama!! I am also trying to adopt the American way (like period and not full stop) so I can help my son with his homework !Thanks again and I really enjoyed reading your hub and comments!!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on November 14, 2011:

Hello "Me," visiting with someone from a foreign country is always an eye-opener! I was surprised by how many differences there were when I visited the UK. So that's a fun fact about the pinafore--I would have thought a pinafore was a little girl's ruffled apron!


Me on November 11, 2011:

I liked this, some things I really didn't know about America...

I would say the pinafore thing is a bit confusing though - I'd make the same distinction between a jumper and a hoodie as I think you would - a pinafore was a little dress with buttons I wore in primary (elementary :P) school and biscuits are the same as cookies to me..but that one's down to all the American TV.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on August 31, 2011:


I thought the same thing about "spelt" until someone pointed it out to me as being British. Perhaps it is an older English form of the word "spelled" that you no longer use? Coppers... that sounds very quaint to me. Perhaps I will use it for our mall "cops" (the only policemen that go around on bicycles over here). Behave yourself; a copper is watching! :)

I have heard "sorry" from English people in the sense that you used it, and now that I think about it, "excuse me" really does sound strange when it should be "excuse you-- you weren't speaking up!" I have noticed that "sorry" often comes in at strange times when someone who has learned English as a second language really means "excuse me." For example, at restaurants in Germany, Austria, and Italy, nearly every waiter that was placing a hot plate on our tables said "sorry" instead of "excuse me" or "look out!"

Stefanie on August 28, 2011:

Spelt is a type of flour in English. I live on the South Coast of England and we do have policeman on bicycles although we tend to call them coppers not bobby's and they wear safety helmets not the old fashioned pointed ones. We also use "sorry" if have not quite heard what someone else has said, along with "pardon" or "I beg your pardon". The English never use the American equivilent "excuse me" in that context' we say it when we are politely asking somebody to move out of our way.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on August 10, 2011:

John jr., It does get hilarious sometimes! I'm curious to know if there are any differences you have noticed that I haven't included. How long have you been living in the US, and has it gotten easier to understand our funny lingo over time? Thanks for stopping by. :)

John Hewitt jr on August 10, 2011:

Love the Hub. Being a English guy living in America i totally understand both sides of the coin. The differences are amazing and sometimes that can get us Brits living in America into trouble over here lol. I will be following this with alot of interest.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on May 09, 2010:

Disorientated?! Now that is a new one for me. I'll have to start using that. :) I agree with you about the sad state of language due to movies and media. Words and usage is all blurring together as our languages fuse and mingle-- to everyone's disadvantage.

Thanks for introducing me to your kitties! They sound like loads of fun. And please, please don't use "lovely" any less than you do. I love it!


missmaudie from Brittany, France on May 06, 2010:

I use 'lovely' probably more than I should - there are lots of other words you can used instead after all. Thanks for clearing up 'momentarily' for me, although I can assure you that English people use very sloppy English too.

Scout cat is definitely a tom boy, climbing trees, poking her head down holes etc. Miss Maudie is much more genteel. She should have been called Calpurnia though because she is black and fat which is always how I envisaged Calpurnia to be! She also has very short legs which tend to make her look like a ball, but she has a lovely character (you can see them on my Flickr page listed on my profile if you want).

I have a friend who named her cat Perdita (or Purrdita) which I thought was very clever.

My real English/American bug bear is 'disorientated'. I know that in America you say 'disoriented' but for some reason it annoys me intensely when I hear English people say it. Also the word 'lieutenant' which in England we pronounce 'leftenant', that annoys me too! I think we hear it so much in American films now that lots of English people aren't aware of the 'proper' English pronounciation!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on May 05, 2010:

Yes, they are rather British-sounding. In fact, I can never imagine anyone saying those words without a British accent or me reading it in a British-writ book. "Lovely" is also rarely used unless someone wants to sound proper or is perhaps a woman from an older generation.

Momentarily should only be used in the sense of "a very short time," as you used it, and American grammarians and usage fanatics are always trying to get people to stop using momentarily as a replacement for "in a moment." We Americans tend to use sloppy English.

I love that you named your cats after literary characters! That's so very special. Do their personalities match Scout and Miss Maudie from the book?

missmaudie from Brittany, France on May 05, 2010:

Are 'smug', 'rather' and 'garish' very English then? I honestly had no idea! I think there are lots of things we say differently, the word 'momentarily' being one of them. In English English it means for a very short time, eg. 'I thought about it momentarily but then decided not to', but in American English it means in a minute, eg 'we'll being landing momentarily', is that right?

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact our two cats, Scout and Miss Maudie (that's me!) are named from it. Miss Maudie only plays a bit part but when I opened the book it fell open on the page that mentions her.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on May 04, 2010:

Oh I love your story, Miss Maudie! I can imagine how mortifying that would be, especially as a little girl unfamiliar with Yankee English. To Kill a Mockingbird was a bit of a culture shock for me, as I don't live in the deep South. I can only imagine that there must have been many more unfamiliar things in that book that just "bangs!" I loved how you used the words "rather," and "garish," and "smug." Sounds very British!

missmaudie from Brittany, France on May 04, 2010:

Great hub! Reminds me of something that happened to me,from the other side as it were. When I was a child my father was in the RAF and we spent some time on a USAF camp in Norfolk (the UK one). An American family moved in next door and had children about the same age as me and my sister so they came to make friends. One of the girls said to me that I had nice pants. Well!!!!!! I was mortified! How could she see my pants, and if she could how rude of her to comment on them! Of course she was commenting on the rather garish bright green cord trousers I was wearing but I didn't know it at the time. And years later I was rather smug because I was the only one in the class who knew what bangs were when we were reading To Kill a Mockingbird.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 17, 2010:

Case1Worker, I'm amazed that schools actually ban hoodies! True character is learned not so much through the appropriate clothing, but through working on the hearts and minds of children through mentoring and a loving relationship. The Christian school where I work sells hoodies with the school's logo on the front, but forbids skirts above knee-length as well as tattooing and hair dye. Very interesting differences!

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on April 16, 2010:

You may laugh about "hoodies" but they are banned in most schools for teenagers because of the association with violence but more probably because the CCTV cant picture who is who- as a mother It makes sense for a child to wear a hood, but hey........ big brother knows best

your article was a giggle though!!!pathway= pavement!

cbris52 on April 07, 2010:

Very informative and I loved your writing style. I'll be sure and stay away from the "hoodies"!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 03, 2010:


So glad you enjoyed it! I had a lot of fun putting it all together. Language is fascinating and ever-changing, though we philologists do our best to try to hold it in place! Cheers to you as well.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 03, 2010:

This is a very interesting hub and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I didn't know about some of the differences in spelling either. Cheerio!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 02, 2010:

We certainly do, Green Lotus! I'm glad we could share a laugh together.


Hillary from Atlanta, GA on April 02, 2010:

LOL We have a lot in common. Enjoyed your Hub! Cheers!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 02, 2010:

Thank you for being my fan, Hungry-n-Foolish! I really appreciate that. You're right, it did take a lot of research, because I didn't remember as much as I thought I did about particular spellings and usages. Too long in the US and not enough times across the pond is my problem. I'll just have to visit England more often to stay abreast of our changing language.


Hungry-n-Foolish on April 02, 2010:

it was one of those hubs, which have been researched thoroughly. Nice reading. And keep it up! Guess what.. I am your fan already!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:


What a treat that must have been, to talk to your sister-in-law. A "doll," yes, I think that describes the sweetness of English ladies perfectly! I always loved dear Miss Marple from Agatha Christie's novels. She was a doll too!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:

BJBenson, So do I! I think I could be occupied for hours on this subject. Do you live in England? I'm impressed that your son can identify the different parts of the UK's accents!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:


That's so cute, you actually stopped an American to talk to her for her accent! I'll bet she was delighted to hear your accent as well. Well I'm glad we can entertain you. :) Have you heard the deep South accent, like from Texas or Mississippi or Alabama? It has a lovely carmel-colored drawl and it moves smoothly and slowly over the syllables.

I know those policemen on bicycles! They're the ones whose hats you all throw rocks and dinner rolls at, right? Just kidding... I know the American films haven't embraced the changing modern culture of London, but that city still is different and lovable enough to admire!

I have a lot more to learn, it sounds like: I have no idea what the difference is between common and posh (it all sounds posh to me!), and I've never heard of ha ha!

So fun to hear from you about your culture! Thanks for all your interesting insights!


Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:


I know what you mean! By the end of my two weeks in London, I was saying "Sworry" instead of "Sorry" every time I bumped into someone. Of course, the vocabulary has changed so much since the Regency Era, so I'm sure I got some strange looks for that, too!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:

Thanks for coming over, Carolf! I loved your hub from the British side of the pond.

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:


What a wealth of information you are! And funny, too-- I was laughing at your speeling, and "spelt" is officially added to my list of spelting/spelling words. I have had troubles with that too, even though I should know my own country's way of spelling. I actually read equal amounts of British and American writings, and for awhile, I couldn't remember which was "correct" in the US.

So squash is a sport, hm? I think that would be a great term for America's tackle Football. Squash. I miss that drink; I'll have to check out the Lemon and Orange Barley water you recommended. Thanks for the info!

It has been delightful talking with you!

Ann Leavitt (author) from Oregon on April 01, 2010:

Dear Quill,

You're right, so much of understanding real meaning is just play! English really is a living language, meaning new words are born and old ones die every day.

Thanks for reading!


Linda Todd from Charleston on March 31, 2010:

This was lovely...and I had a sister in law that was English. She was a doll and yes I enjoyed hearing her speak. Thanks for much for sharing this hub with us.

BJBenson from USA on March 31, 2010:

Just loved your hub.I love to sit and listen to my friends from England talk.Just like every part of America has different words for things so do English people.My oldest child like guessing what part of England someone grew up in.

This was a good subject.

Nell Rose from England on March 31, 2010:

Hiya, even I didn't know about some of the spellings etc, and me being English! I love the American accent, and actually stopped a lady to chat the other day, because she was American! The one thing that always makes me laugh about American films that are supposed to be set in England, is the fact that they always show, red buses, policemen with tall hats riding on bycicles and everybody always speaks very posh! oh, and there are hardly any cars on the roads! I think the producers of the films must go and get out their collection of 1950-60s films and copy that! London is in fact exactly like America, no bobbys (policemen) on bycicles, loads of traffic, and the accents range from common, ha ha to posh to foreign. Ah well, I wish it was like those old films, maybe I could get a taxi, I mean cab, quicker! thanks this was great. cheers nell

Kendall H. from Northern CA on March 31, 2010:

Love it as always! So many great things to love about that island! though the funny part for me is that I watch and read so many old-fashioned films and novels that I still want to converse in that same way. Then the brits really look at me strange. :)

carolf from UK on March 31, 2010:

Great hub Jane! Nice to see it from the other 'side'!

Simon from NJ, USA on March 31, 2010:

Great hub! Someone recently pointed out a spelling error on one of my webs. I spelled 'spelled' as 'spelt' - apparently it doesn't exist! Aha - spelt is actually acceptable in England, but little know in the US - me being English and all knew I had spelt 'spelt' correctly! It was ironic in a way as it was in a section in one of my 'helpful' hubs dedicated to 'Speeling and Grandma'!!!!

Anyways - suffice to say that being an Englishman in the USA I know exactly what you're talking about - and I won't get worried when you say pants or trousers!!!

As for squash (which also happens to be a sport!) - yep it's great - I used to drink Kia'ora in England - it was superb - I've just found Lemon and Orange Barley water over here in the US - the Lemon Barley Water is a bit like Lemonade (US version) - umm the Lemonade in England (Lemonaide) is more like sprite....OK so I'm confused now!

"Quill" on March 30, 2010:

It is all a play of words when we come to the understanding of the real meaning...smiles...well written and informative.


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