British to American


  • Gobsmacked – A state of complete astonishment.
  • Strewth – Exclamation of surprise or dismay.  Often used as God strewth coming from a contraction of God’s truth.  I read it often in my historical fiction but I actually heard a friendly acquaintance use it yesterday to my delight.

Food and Drink

  • Chips – Strips or wedges of potato fried and seasoned with salt and optionally vinegar eaten alone as a snack or as part of a meal.
  • Crisps – Very thinly sliced potatoes fried to a fragile crispness flavored with salt or other seasoning including onion, prawn, vinegar, cheese or others. Typically available in pubs to accompany beverages.
  • Biscuit – A plane round baked sweet similar to a cookie but crisp without chips, chunks, nuts or fruit.
  • Scone – A baked food served with butter, jam, cream (whipped or clotted) which may have fruit and or nuts.  In its plain state it is similar to that food American Southerners enjoy as a staple for breakfast.  However it is NEVER served with gravy and in TRUTH it is superior to anything bearing that name (scone) that you may find in America.


  • Trousers – Clothing that covers each leg separately usually from the waist to the ankles worn by either gender.
  • Pants – Undergarments worn under trousers (typically men’s trousers).
  • Knickers – Undergarments worn under women’s clothing with variations in style including bikini, briefs, hipsters, hi-rise briefs, boy shorts.  Yes, they are just panties.

Sport and Entertainment

  • Football – a game played with a round ball  generally using feet to propel towards a goal defended by a player from the opposing team.  It often incites verbal discord and occasionally fisticuffs.

Home and Hearth

  • Cloak Room – typically a small room on the ground floor of a dwelling with a toilet and a sink.
  • Ground Floor – The level of the house or building at ground level. Generally the entry-level. Reception rooms and kitchens are most often on the ground floor.
  • Cellar – The level of a house or building below the ground floor often used for storage, wine, and ghostly apparitions.
  • First Floor – The level of the house that is one level above the ground floor.  Bedrooms are most often on the first floor.
  • Garden – An outside area in front or rear of a dwelling that may or may not include living organic features.  Any living or recently living organic material may include flowering plants, grass, moss, vegetables, herbs, bushes, hedges, or trees.  Non-organic material may include paving stones, concrete, macadam, pebbles, garden sheds, statuary, table, chairs, benches, flower pots, trampolines, clothes airing lines, or parked motor vehicles.


  • Mum – The person who will raise her eyebrows and scold you for failing to keep your room tidy and your teeth clean.


  • Curry House – An establishment that provides cuisine originating in one of several Asian countries including but not limited to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, or Malaysia.
  • High Street – The equivalent of Main Street but much more meaningful as they are the heartbeat of villages and towns across UK.  High Streets generally host market days either weekly on a small-scale and historical Market Towns have a large market day each month.


  • Cooker – A kitchen appliance used to prepare food by boiling, baking, frying, grilling, roasting or simmering.  Cookers  are fueled by electricity or gas, and in some cases oil or wood.
  • Hob – A counter top kitchen appliance used to prepare food by boiling, frying, or simmering.  It is either integrated into a cooker or is a separate appliance.  It is fueled by gas or electricity.


  • Trolley – Just about anything on wheels that one pushes, but commonly a wheeled cart used for shopping.  In stores it will typically be of the spinner variety equipped with wheel system that allows forward, backward, and side movement.  Since many people walk to shops two or four-wheeled carts are used for hauling about the accumulated purchases from a visit to High Street.
  • Till – The place where you place the items in your trolley onto a counter or moving conveyor equipped to be tallied by a usually friendly soul who addresses you as “love”, “my lovely”, “my darling” or similar endearment who then accepts your payment. When you present your American card which requires that you sign a piece of paper with a pen they grace you with a compassionate expression for your connection to such fiduciary antiquity.

Don’t Let Your Mom Hear This

  • Bloody Hell – My personal favorite expletive.  So much variation depending on the vocal tone, volume, and emphasis.
  • Fanny – Lady parts. Not to be used in polite coversation.

Defacto Misc

  • Whinge – Whine