The Great British English vs US English Playoff

action replay
instant replay

Result: US win
Reason: The Don Hartman Song
agony aunt
advice columnist

**Result: ** US win
Reason: agony aunt would have won this but the UK loses for being outdated and sexist.

**Result: ** US win
Reason: counter has a nicer ring to it.
boob tube
tube top

**Result: ** British win
Reason: do I need to explain?

**Result: ** British win
Reason: I wouldn’t pinch a fanny but I would pinch a bum (on babies in my family of course - what do you take me for?)

**Result: ** British win
Reason: diamente elevates a rhinstone
hot flush
hot flash

**Result: ** British win
Reason: hot flash is something on a camera. And you cannot feel flashed.

**Result: ** US win
Reason: It’s a bug, it’s not a bird. Plus ladybird is giving too much credit to these cretins.

**Result: ** British win
Reason: a nappy sounds cute, a diaper already sounds soiled - there may be some subjectivity here.

**Result: ** US win
Reason: sidewalk is a much better description of what it is

**Result: ** British win
Reason: queue is such a great word. And the Brits are best at that and therefore own this.

**Result: ** no result
Reason: both are unsatisfying. They both describe actions you might do wearing these but neither really give you a sense of what they are.

**Result: ** British win
Reason: vest? Really?

Brit: Torch
US: Flashlight

Result: US win. A torch has a flame, damnit.

Brit: Bonnet
US: Hood

Result: Neither. Both are items that you wear on your head

Brit: Boot
US: Trunk

Result: US win. A trunk is what you pack things in; a boot is what you put on your foot.

Brit: Lift
US: Elevator

Result: Brit win. I mean, c’mon, it’s only one syllable and impossible to misspell. No contest.

Brit: Mum
US: Mom

Result: Brit win. We’d all like our mother to be quiet sometime.

Brit: Chips
US: French Fries

Result: US win. Chips are not fries.

Brit: Pram
US: Stroller

Result: US win. WTF is a pram?

It’s short for perambulator, which I think we can all agree wins.

You do know what “fanny” means in Britain, don’t you? I’d just back off the whole area, myself.

And how many #1 chart-topping songs are there about Diamente Cowboys?

If we’re just going to have the US win because it’s the word you recognize, this is going to get boring fast.

It will be more boring with posts that don’t contribute.:rolleyes:

Brit: 99th floor
US: 100th floor
Result: Brit win, by induction

Brit: 98th floor
US: 99th floor
Result: Brit win, by induction

Brit: 97th floor
US: 98th floor
Result: Brit win, by induction


Brit: 1st floor
US: 2nd floor
Result: Brit win, by induction

Brit: ground floor
US: 1st floor
Result: Brit win, because it’s unambiguous when you’re talking to a mixed audience

Actually, the UK equivalent for stroller is pushchair (though the word buggy seems to have overtaken pushchair in recent years). A pram is what Americans would call a baby carriage.

So I would say the following:

Brit: pushchair
US: stroller

Result: US by a hair.
Reason: Pushchair is wonderfully literal, but stroller is a cooler word.

Another one:

Brit: macaroni cheese
US: macaroni and cheese

Result: US win.
Reason: Macaroni cheese just sounds odd. It would make as much sense to say fish chips, rather than fish and chips.

Sorry, I can’t seem to stop.

Brit: fortnight
US: two weeks

Result: British win
Reason: having a single word for any measure of time is useful, and fortnight has a lovely crisp sound to it.

Appeal to the umpire. :slight_smile:
“Torch” in this instance is an abbreviation of “Electric Torch”, and a penalty should perhaps be applied to the US term unless your Flashlight is actually being used for signaling with flashes.

Brit: Daft
US: Nuts

Brits by a hair.

Yeah, “Torch” wins. Classic wooden torches are essentially extinct, and battery powered lights are the functional successors. “Flashlight” makes no sense, and is not evocative.

I’ll also give the nod to Petrol over Gasoline.

Er wot? Have just polled several British friends and not a one of them has ever heard “boob tube” used as anything but another term for a television set (nor have any of my US friends ever heard of a television set being called a “tube top”)…but I will give you this one if you can cite where in fact a tube top is called a boob tube.

(It is quite evocative of the same mental image offhand, though.)

Au contraire. It’s called this because it is a flash of heat. :wink:

Try googling “boob tube” (from a US location) and then look at “images”. (I’m not sure I understand why, since it does not mean that in the US.)

Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but for me (grew up in London, born in the 60s) boob tube meant what Americans call a tube top, and did not mean TV.

I sit corrected. :slight_smile:

Brit here, coming out in defence of our usage (perhaps it’s just what I’m accustomed to): “macaroni cheese” makes perfect sense – a compressed version of “macaroni made more exciting by being cooked with cheese”. “Macaroni and cheese” strikes me as unnecessarily wordy and clumsy; with a bit of a suggestion of a load of cooked plain macaroni, with a hunk of cheese beside it on the plate. And the often-used American equivalent “mac-and-cheese” is to me, an abomination. My first encounter with that one, had me wondering “what in heaven’s name is this? The latest horror from McDonalds?”

To contribute an entry, sort-of: I greatly like the US “Go figure”. I can’t think of a succinct British equivalent – “go and figure it out, if you can” lacks all brevity and punch. To risk confusing things, with a totally different language: I like the near-counterpart which French has – “Faut pas chercher a comprendre”: giving the sense in an admirably snappy way, of “there’s no point in even trying to understand this absurdity.”

Brit: dual carriageway
US: freeway

This has to go to the Americans, just because “freeway” is so much more concise (though, TBCF, if you hear “duel carriageway”, it does describe traffic on the interstates rather well)

Brit: flat, walkup, bedsit
US: apartment

Goes to the British, just for being more descriptive

Brit: biscuit
US: cookie

Americans win this one if only because a biscuit in British can also be an American cracker (a word that may also be used in the US as a sort of ethnic slur) – there is that whole British “pudding” mess that is best avoided entirely