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Sixty More American English Words and their British English Counterparts

Although the Spellzone course was written in the UK, it covers both British English and American English spellings. The different spellings of a words are highlighted throughout the course, and you can choose whether you would prefer to take a British English or an American English version of a test. Click here to read an overview of the main differences between American English and British English spellings, and here for more detailed information.

It’s not just spellings you need to watch out for though! Some words have different meanings depending on whether they are used in an American English or a British English context. The word ‘pants’ in American English, for example, refers to an item of clothing which is used to cover the legs (i.e. trousers), whereas in British English the word refers to underwear.

A few years ago we looked at sixty American English words and their British English counterparts, here are sixty more: 

  American English British English
1 antenna arial (radio/TV)
2 baked potato  jacket potato
3 bill note (money)
4 bobbie pin hair grip
5 can tin
6 caravan convoy
7 check bill (restaurant) 
8 checkers draughts 
9 clothes pin clothes peg
10 comforter duvet
11 couch sofa
12 driver's license driving licence
13 drunk driving drink driving
14 drunk driving drink driving
15 duplex semi-detached
16 eraser rubber
17 faculty staff (academic)
18 fall autumn
19 fire department fire brigade
20 first floor ground floor
21 football American footbal;
22 freshman  first year (university)
23 garbage/trash rubbish
24 grade year (school)
25 intermission interval
26 janitor caretaker
27 jelly roll Swiss roll
28 junior third year (university)
29 lima bean broad bean
30 line queue
31 lost and found lost property
32 movie film
33 on accident by accident
34 pantyhose tights
35 pitcher jug
36 powdered sugar icing sugar
37 principal head teacher
38 pumps court shoes
39 purse handbag
40 realtor estate agent
41 recess break/playtime (school)
42 résumé  CV
43 Santa Claus Father Christmas
44 scallion spring onion
45 schedule timetable
46 second floor first floor
47 semester  term
48 senior fourth year (university)
49 shot jab (injection)
50 slingshot catapult
51 sophomore second year (university)
52 straight neat (drinking)
53 swinsuit swimming costume
54 tag label
55 traffic circle roundabout
56 trailer caravan
57 truck lorry
58 two weeks fortnight
59 vacuum hoover
60 yard garden


If you found this article useful, why not check out our other blog posts on the American English language?

25 Nov 2019
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"This is a fantastic opportunity for our students!  I'm sure Spellzone will be invaluable in helping them to improve their spellings and therefore improve the quality of their writing in all subject areas!"

Teacher, High School, UK