British English - American English

British - American English - Spelling Rules

Here you will find words which have different meanings or are spelled differently in British and American English.

A - M N - Z
   
British English - American English
American English - British English

British English American English
A
accelerator gas pedal, accelerator
aerial (TV, radio) antenna, aerial
Alsatian German shepherd
American Indian Native American
anorak jacket, parka
at the weekend on the weekend
aubergine eggplant
B
bank holiday national holiday,
federal holiday
barrister, solicitor lawyer, attorney
base rate prime rate
to bath to bathe
beetroot beet
bill (in restaurants) check (in restaurants)
bin, dustbin garbage can/trash can
biro ball-point pen
biscuit cookie
bonnet hood
boot trunk
braces suspenders
(round) brackets parentheses
C
candy floss cotton candy
car park parking lot
caravan trailer
caretaker janitor
catalogue catalog
centre center
chemist's shop drugstore, pharmacy
chips French fries
city centre downtown, city center
cloakroom checkroom, coatroom
clothes peg clothespin
colour color
cooker stove
(bathing) costume swimsuit
cosy cozy
cot (baby) crib
cotton wool cotton ball
courgette zucchini
crisps potato chips
crossroads crossroad (in the country)
intersection (town and country)
curriculum vitae (CV) résumé
curriculum vitae
(depending on the professional field)
D
dinner jacket tux, tuxedo
directory enquiries directory assistance
diversion detour
double cream heavy cream
draught draft
draughts checkers
drawing pin thumb tack
dressing gown (bath) robe
drink driving drunk driving
driving licence driver's license
dummy pacifier
duvet comforter
E
earth wire ground wire
engaged busy
enquiry inquiry
everywhere everyplace, everywhere
expiry date expiration date
F
fancy dress costumes
Father Christmas Santa Claus
favourite favorite
to fill in to fill out
film film, movie
fire brigade fire department
first floor second floor
fish-fingers fish-sticks
flannel face cloth, wash cloth
flat apartment
(flat: used for apartment on one floor)
flavour flavor
football soccer
fortnight two weeks
fringe bangs
from Monday to Friday from Monday to Friday
from Monday through Friday (Friday included)
full stop period
G
garden yard
gear lever gear shift
Gents Men's Room
goods train freight train
ground floor
first floor
ground floor, first floor
second floor
H
harbour harbor
headmaster, headteacher principal
to hire to rent
hire purchase installment plan
hockey field hockey
holiday vacation
hoover vacuum cleaner
humour humor
I
icing sugar powdered sugar
indicator turn signal
inverted commas, quotation marks quotation marks
J
jacket potato baked potato
jewellery jewelery
Joe Bloggs John Doe
jumble sale yard sale
jumper sweater
K
kilometre kilometer
L
ladybird ladybug
to lay the table to set the table
letter box mail box
lift elevator
litre liter
lorry truck
lost property lost and found
M
mackintosh raincoat
managing director CEO (chief executive officer)
mashed potato mashed potatoes
match game
maths math
mobile (phone) cellphone
motorbike motorcycle
motorway freeway, highway, expressway, interstate
mum mom

Thanks to Declan, Edeet, Gabriele, Hans, John, Karin, Liz, Monika, Ron, Ulrike and Vicky.

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