FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


The difference between American English and British English





Bondings
Here is an interesting guide to find the biggest differences between American and British English.



I do think that calling a gun a rooty-tooty point and shooty is a good way to prevent a lot of crimes considering I doubt a lot of criminals would want to walk around with a rooty-tooty point and shooty. Wink
menino
I think this should be put in the jokes section.

Imagine the brit coppers going to armed assailants :- "Put your rooty-tooty point and shooty down, and your hands in the air, and slowly get on your knees and put your slappy ham on the floor."
Laughing
deanhills
Reminds me of this show with Hugh Laurie and Ellen:
Bondings
The rooty-tooty point and shooty comes from this guy (Brian Regan).

deanhills
Hilarious .... Laughing

This is the first I've heard of Brian Regan and I had a look at a few of his other YouTube shows. Powerful stuff. Wow, does he ever have lots of energy.
mk12327
Some of them are really hilarious. But how true are these "translation"? It would be hard to believe the pen and gun ones. Any Brits can verify?
watersoul
Here's a few more, the British is in bold:

Fags = Cigarettes (slang)

Flat = Apartment

Car Boot = Car Trunk

Car Bonnet = Car Hood

Lift = Elevator

Trousers = Pants

Pants = Underwear

Car Park = Parking lot

Pavement = Sidewalk

Skip = Dumpster

Plaster = Band-Aid

Rubber = Eraser (for pencil)

Public School = Private School

State School = Public School Confused

*Edit* I've never heard of the Wishy Washies, Slappy Ham, Clammy Rogers, Whimsy Flim/Scribblers, Cold on a Cob, or Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty. That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!
mk12327
watersoul wrote:
Here's a few more, the British is in bold:

Fags = Cigarettes (slang)

Flat = Apartment

Car Boot = Car Trunk

Car Bonnet = Car Hood

Lift = Elevator

Trousers = Pants

Pants = Underwear

Car Park = Parking lot

Pavement = Sidewalk

Skip = Dumpster

Plaster = Band-Aid

Rubber = Eraser (for pencil)

Public School = Private School

State School = Public School Confused

*Edit* I've never heard of the Wishy Washies, Slappy Ham, Clammy Rogers, Whimsy Flim/Scribblers, Cold on a Cob, or Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty. That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!


Thanks for the list of additional differences. From the way you say it, I believe that there is a possibility that those you never heard of could be true. But even if they are true, they are probably slang or nicknames people come out with, rather than proper "translation".
adri
Quote:
That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!


You would be amazed how many dialects there are in Belgium too. Laughing I remember that it made me laugh in High school when the teacher said fags, as I had never heard of fags meaning sigarettes. I remember that I also laughed (this time as the only one in the class) when the teacher was talking about shag and shagging (in another way than normally used), I can't remember that meaning of the word though. Razz

In our class, the teacher was pretty strict with the english/american difference in some words, or we wrote everything in english or everything in american, no mixing. Sad That was hard. Razz

Quote:
shag 5 Brit., vulgar slang
verb ( shagged , shagging ) [ trans. ]
have sexual intercourse with (someone).



adri
Bondings
watersoul wrote:
*Edit* I've never heard of the Wishy Washies, Slappy Ham, Clammy Rogers, Whimsy Flim/Scribblers, Cold on a Cob, or Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty. That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!

Most (or all) of those are not real, although they could have been used by stand-up comedians and similar.
watersoul
Bondings wrote:
watersoul wrote:
*Edit* I've never heard of the Wishy Washies, Slappy Ham, Clammy Rogers, Whimsy Flim/Scribblers, Cold on a Cob, or Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty. That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!

Most (or all) of those are not real, although they could have been used by stand-up comedians and similar.


Lol Smile

I thought of another one as well, 'Fanny' - in the US it refers to your backside, but in the UK it's a well known & used slang term for a ladies 'intimate' place. I remember bursting out laughing the first time I heard it on an American movie, some guy said he had a fanny-pack (one of those uncool strap-around-the-waist small bags), we call them bum-bags here.

@ Adri, Shag used to be the name of a type of tobacco for pipes (I think) and a type of bird, but these days it mostly refers to intercourse, although you could also use it as 'I'm shagged out' which would mean you are very tired!
I remember childishly laughing at Shaggys name in Scooby-Doo when I was a kid Laughing
standready
Bondings wrote:
I do think that calling a gun a rooty-tooty point and shooty is a good way to prevent a lot of crimes considering I doubt a lot of criminals would want to walk around with a rooty-tooty point and shooty. Wink

I can just see it now. A robber goes into the bank and tell a cashier "Give me all the money! I have a rooty-tooty point and shooty aimed at you. Cashier immediately laughs so hard that they fall to floor.
LittleBlackKitten
Don't forget about innit! Very Happy
deanhills
standready wrote:
I can just see it now. A robber goes into the bank and tell a cashier "Give me all the money! I have a rooty-tooty point and shooty aimed at you. Cashier immediately laughs so hard that they fall to floor.
Would be good "ammunition" for a comedy show! Maybe a Monty Python show? Very Happy
Insanity
Someone's been reading reddit!
mk12327
Bondings wrote:
watersoul wrote:
*Edit* I've never heard of the Wishy Washies, Slappy Ham, Clammy Rogers, Whimsy Flim/Scribblers, Cold on a Cob, or Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty. That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!

Most (or all) of those are not real, although they could have been used by stand-up comedians and similar.


Thanks for the clarification. But actually I thought some of those are legitimate differences, for example the chips and fries?
watersoul
mk12327 wrote:
Bondings wrote:
watersoul wrote:
*Edit* I've never heard of the Wishy Washies, Slappy Ham, Clammy Rogers, Whimsy Flim/Scribblers, Cold on a Cob, or Rooty Tooty Point & Shooty. That doesn't mean they aren't used though, for such a small island we have some huge differences in dialects and slang words so I wouldn't rule them out!

Most (or all) of those are not real, although they could have been used by stand-up comedians and similar.


Thanks for the clarification. But actually I thought some of those are legitimate differences, for example the chips and fries?

Yep, definitely, just except for the ones I quoted above.
Cliffer
"gun" is diffrent? so what's meaning of the word "gun" in british english?
deanhills
Cliffer wrote:
"gun" is diffrent? so what's meaning of the word "gun" in british english?
As far as I know it is "gun" in British English as well. Or "firearms".
Blaster
Very Funny.

BTW with the firehouse we have "Walkie Talkies" however thats not what we call them. They are known as portable radios.
Greatking
it is very funny but interesting as well.
the difference between British and American English.
if there are both correct then i don't think we have any problem.
i would rather go with the American English though it seems less stressful to speak it and write
the British English seems a little uptight you know no offense thought just fact.
deanhills
Greatking wrote:
the British English seems a little uptight you know no offense thought just fact.
Good point. When I was living in Canada it was a great challenge however, as the Canadians like to follow British English, however there are so many branches of US corporations in Canada, so in the end I had to give up wondering which to use, i.e. Oxford Dictionary or Websters. I then thought of doing an Advanced Study in Writing for Business and the Professions and an Executive Grammar Course at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, in the hope of learning "Canadian" English, and that went in the direction of the Oxford Dictionary. When I made enquiries about the differences, I was told by Anne Hungerford that there was only one English (Oxford English). That was however not my experience in the real world outside her class in Vancouver however. Quite a number of the US Corporations had Staff Manuals containing commonly used words and their spelling, so I started my own list based on those.
watersoul
Greatking wrote:
...the British English seems a little uptight you know no offense...

I understand what you mean there, especially if you listen to (perhaps) a BBC newsreader or politicians/royal family etc. There is an 'official' stuffy/uptight style of British English, but the vast majority of people on this rock don't really sound like that.

We have HUGE variations in accents and dialects even between cities and towns which are only 20 miles apart. I was born and raised in Wales but now live in South West England and I sound completely different with my pronunciation of some words compared to my locally born friends. It was a major issue when I first moved and I was forced to change the way I spoke certain words to avoid having to repeat myself multiple times. The trouble I have now though is when I go back to visit my family in Wales they often tease me and say I sound posh!

I often chuckle to myself when I compose formal letters in work because I would never normally speak the way I write. Even when in a formal face to face situation such as meetings or whatever, I sound less 'formal' than most of my peers because of my accent. It is usually completely ignored and/or accepted by the folk I'm with though because they clearly know I'm Welsh and not from the South East counties of England - the main area or breeding ground of that commonly recognised 'uptight' 'stiff upper lip' traditional style of spoken English.
ankitdatashn
Quite a difference in same words also and different spellings used in America and Britain, Like in Britain they mostly use 'our' like in colour while in america they use 'or' as in Color.

Also difference in usage of 's' and 'z', In britain they prefer 's' like Colourise while in Amrica the prefer 'z' as in Colorize.
Hello_World
Interesting enough, Australia uses British or American words in different cases.

From the initial pictures:
biscuit
trolley
nappy
torch
wiper blades/windscreen wipers
face
chips (except in McDs) or maybe hot chips to differentiate
chips
blueberry pancakes
pen
icy pole
gun

and the second watersoul post:
fags/ciggies/smokes/cigarettes
flat, or apartment if it's trendy
boot
bonnet or hood mostly hood
trousers or pants
pants, underwear, many more
footpath
skip or dumpster, skip if you hire it yourself, dumpster if it is more permanant like at a school or the back of safeway
band-aid
rubber while you are a kid and don't know it means condom, eraser thereafter
public school = paid for by the public
private school = paid for by the individual

Yeah, and lol to Americans who get uppity about what is shown to kids and use the word 'fanny' in shows like The Nanny ROFL.

Curious... I've been watching American lectures and they use the word 'parenthisis' for 'brackets'.
Is this another American/English thing or didn't I get high enough in maths to use the correct terminology???

'Shattered' is another one English people use, and I don't think Americans do in the same way.

English people say they are shattered and they just mean tired, whereas if I said I'm shattered people would think I'm emotionally devistated.

what about rubbish/garbage?
Bikerman
Don't forget 'pissed'. This can often be the cause of misunderstanding.
In UK use it generally means drunk. In US use it generally means angry.
watersoul
Bikerman wrote:
Don't forget 'pissed'. This can often be the cause of misunderstanding.
In UK use it generally means drunk. In US use it generally means angry.

Even then there are other common alternative uses with the word in the UK...

I was pissed last night
I was drunk last night.

We went out on the piss last night
We went out to drink alcohol last night

I was really pissed off
I was really angry

I really need a piss
I really need to urinate

I nearly pissed myself when [insert funny moment here]
I really laughed when [insert funny moment here]
mk12327
watersoul wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Don't forget 'pissed'. This can often be the cause of misunderstanding.
In UK use it generally means drunk. In US use it generally means angry.

Even then there are other common alternative uses with the word in the UK...

I was pissed last night
I was drunk last night.

We went out on the piss last night
We went out to drink alcohol last night

I was really pissed off
I was really angry

I really need a piss
I really need to urinate

I nearly pissed myself when [insert funny moment here]
I really laughed when [insert funny moment here]


I nearly pissed myself when I realised so many different uses of the word "piss" in the UK alone.
watersoul
mk12327 wrote:
I nearly pissed myself when I realised so many different uses of the word "piss" in the UK alone.

Lol, I must also add one of the most common yet subtle uses of the word, in the expression 'Taking the piss'

This is wholly governed by tone of voice, body language, mood of conversation, and facial expression etc, having two distinct meanings depending on the situation.

Examples...

[1] We had a really good laugh fishing last night, everyone was taking the piss out of Dave after he accidentally fell in the sea.
We had a really good laugh fishing last night, everyone was joking and teasing Dave after he accidentally fell in the sea.

[2] I can forget about the first couple of times you let me down, but now you're really taking the piss.
I can forget about the first couple of times you let me down, but now your behaviour is unacceptable and it's making me angry.

As I said, this one is very subtle, and a few years ago I had to explain it to a friend from the US who was puzzled by the two opposite uses for the same expression. It's less about the words used, and more about how it's said.
mk12327
watersoul wrote:
Examples...

[1] We had a really good laugh fishing last night, everyone was taking the piss out of Dave after he accidentally fell in the sea.
We had a really good laugh fishing last night, everyone was joking and teasing Dave after he accidentally fell in the sea.

[2] I can forget about the first couple of times you let me down, but now you're really taking the piss.
I can forget about the first couple of times you let me down, but now your behaviour is unacceptable and it's making me angry.


Those are very clear examples to illustrate the different uses. In context of a sentence, it is easier to see the differences in tone - and thus the difference in meaning.
shivaghimire
Thanks.. really funny and useful to those who are practicing English like me. We south Asian people mainly follow British English and its quite helpful for me.
watersoul
shivaghimire wrote:
Thanks.. really funny and useful to those who are practicing English like me. We south Asian people mainly follow British English and its quite helpful for me.

That's cool, but just in case you didn't know, all versions of the piss word are generally understood as a mild profanity, which is OK amongst mates etc, but not in front of new people you meet, parents, etc Laughing
loremar
Dealing with three different English has always been racking my brain. I have to deal with american, British, and then also there's this Philippine English. I am actually more comfortable with american English because I frequently watch american shows. I find British English quite more flamboyant and kinda funny sometimes. Some of the words listed is familiar to me. But by conversing here in these forums with some British frihosters, I even find more sillier British words like tosh(when I hear/read this I think of a butt) and easy peasy(I think of some kind of a silly dance routine).

But Philippine English is even peculiar. Here are some list of words that I find so funny or silly:
1. Chicken - means easy. "The test was chicken."
2. Chancing - to make sexual advance. "your chancing with that girl."
3. Colgate - When a Filipino says Colgate, he means toothpaste.
4. Dirty Kitchen - kitchen
5. Slang - strong foreign accent. So when a Filipino says "Your English is slang", it means "You have some American accent" or when he says "Your English is too very slang", it means "I can't understand you with your accent". Laughing

You can find more silly Philippine English here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_English ->(Vocabulary and Usage)
Bikerman
watersoul wrote:
Lol, I must also add one of the most common yet subtle uses of the word, in the expression 'Taking the piss'
There are even more.
A fairly common use is illustrated by the sentence :
'I thought the play was piss-poor'.
In this sense it is slightly derisory - indicating something of very low quality.

Another common use is in describing inferior beer/lager
'This beer is piss'
This fits very nicely with the reputed toilet sign that read:
'Please flush twice, otherwise it might not reach the bar-pumps'.

It can also be used as an imperative injunction:
'Why don't you just piss-off!'
Indicating that the person should leave the scene and go elsewhere, urgently. It often indicates that violence may follow shortly.

Finally it can be used as a general purpose 'highlighter' to emphasise the word or phrase following, in the same way that 'bloody' or 'fu*****' is sometimes used. Thus:
'You were only supposed to blow the pissing doors off'
(apologies to the original scriptwriter for 'The Italian Job').

In general terms it is probably about as offensive as 'bloody' - that is to say it could be mildly offensive in mixed company, and should not be used in formal situations, or with people you don't know.
truespeed
Not forgetting pissing down. (raining)

Piss on your chips. (Another way of saying to rain on someones parade)
ProfessorY91
mk12327 wrote:
Some of them are really hilarious. But how true are these "translation"? It would be hard to believe the pen and gun ones. Any Brits can verify?


Well, we've successfully trolled one Frihoster. Twisted Evil
Bikerman
Ahem....we ARE brits and, therefore, truthful honest and wise.
Smile
No - seriously, they are all in common use here. I live in a different part of the country to watersoul and truespeed, and dialects can change hugely over 50 miles in the UK - but these are terms we all know.

EDIT - I don't actually know where Truespeed is from - maybe I was told and forgot or maybe I've never asked. I'm going to guess, based on reading a few postings......Milton Keynes, or the A4 corridor, or Slough or Reading...those are were I put truespeed with nothing more than use of english and whatever other clues I've managed to internalise.
(This is where we find truespeed is Scottish on the West coast Smile )
truespeed
I am from the North West. I think use of language across England differs more along generational lines more so than geographical nowadays, i have travelled a lot around England and i am never really confused by word usage in other parts of the country,travel,the TV and the internet have brought us a lot closer in terms of how we communicate.
Bikerman
Ah...well, that is spectacular failure.
Can you really cope with a bunch of Geordies in a pub in Newcastle ? I've spent quite a lot of time in Durham and Stockton as a kid, and I struggle when pals really start getting into the 'old accent' (normally about 10 minutes after arriving in Newcastle).
Likewise I love the far west coast of Scotland - I rate it higher than the Lakes. But for all the time I've spent touring, camping and drinking a few drams iwith locals, I still struggle if there are more than 2 people in the conversation.

I agree that my generation and before were the real difference. I can still switch back into Leith Lancy when I have a run up....

T'oreet?
I wur at me old wom 't'uther wik, anna thewt it wur buk Heause, i kid thee not.
Tha sees, a reet load o't kinder int chunnerin wit' aud lads liken we used t'er, so't chance fert learn a bit o' Lanky int theer nah..s'all gon.... I kid thee not, tha cops an earworth o't kids meither rawn 't'street, annit meks me wonna Skrike liyk a babbi. Sithee - t'oll bludy gang wur tawkin' leek t'Suthun Jessies - I thewt they wer avvin me on a butty, furamo. But nah - norra birra lancy twang i't ole place - sahnded moor liyk Buck Heause than leyth...

(Believe it or not, that really is how I talked as a kid- and furthermore any 50+yr old from Leigh, Bolton or Wigan should be able to understand it pretty easily).
truespeed
Quote:
I wur at me old wom 't'uther wik, anna thewt it wur buk Heause, i kid thee not.
Tha sees, a reet load o't kinder int chunnerin wit' aud lads liken we used t'er, so't chance fert learn a bit o' Lanky int theer nah..s'all gon.... I kid thee not, tha cops an earworth o't kids meither rawn 't'street, annit meks me wonna Skrike liyk a babbi. Sithee - t'oll bludy gang wur tawkin' leek t'Suthun Jessies - I thewt they wer avvin me on a butty, furamo. But nah - norra birra lancy twang i't ole place - sahnded moor liyk Buck Heause than leyth...




Some of that is hard to decipher,I think it would be easier to understand when heard rather than written. Smile

Any misunderstanding though i think would come more from the accent than the actual words,even if a word is used that your not familiar with,you can usually gather its meaning from the context with in which it is said.

The diversity of accents in such a small island always amazes me,there may come a day when all the accents merge into one English accent,i hope not because i like the differences.
Bikerman
[quote="truespeed"]
Quote:
I wur at me old wom 't'uther wik, anna thewt it wur buk Heause, i kid thee not.
Tha sees, a reet load o't kinder int chunnerin wit' aud lads liken we used t'er, so't chance fert learn a bit o' Lanky int theer nah..s'all gon.... I kid thee not, tha cops an earworth o't kids meither rawn 't'street, annit meks me wonna Skrike liyk a babbi. Sithee - t'oll bludy gang wur tawkin' leek t'Suthun Jessies - I thewt they wer avvin me on a butty, furamo. But nah - norra birra lancy twang i't ole place - sahnded moor liyk Buck Heause than leyth...

I was at my old home the other week, and I thought it was Buckingham Palace. Honestly.
You see, a lot of children don't talk to the old blokes, like we used to do, so the chance to learn Lancashire dialect isn't there now, it's gone. Honestly, to hear the kids moaning on the streets makes me want to cry like a baby. I declare, the whole lot of the people round here talk like people of Southern origin. I thought I was being taken for a fool, for a moment, but no, there wasn't a single Lancashire accent in the whole place. It sounded more like Buckingham palace than Leigh.
Josso
The difference between slang in "low income areas" (hoods, slums, ghettos, whatever) in the UK and USA would have a much bigger gap in understanding than the standard language. For example even if I were to take a guy from some northern dump (say... Linlithgow) and put them into a southern dump (say... Reading) then it would be almost like speaking a foreign language to each other.
watersoul
Slang words for sure vary wildly.
I had to drop many common words when I moved from South Wales to SW England many years ago.

Daps = Trainers/sport shoes
Shunk = Scruffy or dirty person
Butty = Pal/mate
Beaut = fool/idiot/knob/other generally friendly mild insult

I also had to stop dropping letters in some words and phrases:

Gorra = Got to (I gorra go somewhere)
Em = Them
Warra = What a (Warra shunk that guy looks with em daps he's gorron)

Yep, loads of regional differences on such a little island, but as mentioned earlier, it's changing fast with global MTV and t'internet influencing each new generation. I still say I'm going to watch a film instead of a movie though - old dog, new tricks and all that Wink
vidafenomenal
I just feel their pronunciations are diferent.
Draught
Really Hilarius and various nature of meaning for the all over things.So mostly in all over Asian countries they might be pronounce British slang as for the communication but familiarly American English.
rocking
lol, thanks for the info....
bacati55
Hello

I am an INdian and i dont have much about this except few which i have just saw and "Z" in one of these languages it says "Zed" n in the other it is called "Zee".

Thanks
A2zchild
faten
thanks a lot its was useful for me Smile
sarika123
Good job !!!! I think it is so funny ,,then nice sharing......Thanks for the clarification. But actually I thought some of those are legitimate differences, for example the chips and fries?



Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Insanity
That's hilarious. I hope people don't take this too seriously though. I'm pretty sure most of those "translations" are inaccurate.
ankur209
Haha ! This is good !
Actually i also got to know that there is a difference between between US English and UK English !

They use 'z' instead of 's' like localization,specialization etc. etc. !!

Its their accent actually ! Razz
cresvale
In British English the present perfect is used to express an action that has occurred in the recent past that has an effect on the present moment. For example:

I've lost my key. Can you help me look for it?
In American English the following is also possible:
I lost my key. Can you help me look for it?

In British English the above would be considered incorrect. However, both forms are generally accepted in standard American English. Other differences involving the use of the present perfect in British English and simple past in American English include already, just and yet.

British English:

I've just had lunch
I've already seen that film
Have you finished your homework yet?

American English:

I just had lunch OR I've just had lunch
I've already seen that film OR I already saw that film.
Have your finished your homework yet? OR Did you finish your homework yet?
mukesh
nice sharing its so funny lol........................... Laughing
spinout
I have only one rule to separate em:

Is you behind called:

1: ass
or
2: arse!

if you hear 2 it is brittish!
FlashBlitz
I'm an English learner and sometimes I confused with British English speaker...
British English and American are nearly same, so I use the 'mixed' English from the British & American.
pravojednostavno
When I discovered British English to me, it was like Eureka! In schools and universities we used to learn British English, not American, as "native" English variant. For many years I haven't noticed american English, even though i have been hearing it all the time: i can understand it, so what?

All those dialects and accents - they are so fascinating! Very Happy
Related topics
D difference between Anime and Tokusatsu... anyone know??
The degradation of language in general.
Difference between a Jr. Admin & MOD
Difference between watch & wife.
Is there a difference between "I know" and "I
Difference between Contests and Marketplace.
Name a (wacky?) English language cultural difference.
Francais Québec
Whats the difference between Core Duo and Hyperthreading?
what is the difference between primary partition?
difference between American and British Police
Learn English
Cramped Plane Seats
What's the biggest difference between BrE & AmE?
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> General -> General Chat

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.