David Appleyard's English Language User Guides and References
Index of Americanisms
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z   |   British-American

 

AmericanAmerican BritishBritish
package (mail item) parcel
package store (liquor store) off-licence
pacifier (baby's) dummy, (baby) comforter
paddle table tennis bat
pail bucket
pajamas pyjamas
pal [colloq.] chum, mate [both colloq.]
pancake turner spatula, fish slice
pant cuffs turn-ups (on trousers)
panties knickers
pantry larder (usually a kitchen cupboard for food storage);
pantry (small room for storing not only food but also
             crockery and perhaps other kitchenware)
pants trousers, bags [colloq.]
pantsuit (smart women's outfit with
               matching jacket and pants)
trouser suit  
pantyhose tights
papaya papaw, pawpaw
paper cutter guillotine
paper route newspaper round, paper round
parakeet budgerigar, budgie
parchment, parchment paper greaseproof paper
parentheses   (   ) (round) brackets
parish In the U.S., the area covered by a church and its pastor
parka anorak
parkway main road with trees and greenery
on either side and in the middle
parking brake handbrake
parking garage multi-storey car park; underground car park
parking lot car park
parochial school faith school
part (in hair) parting
party-poop, party-pooper [both slang] party killjoy; someone who doesn't get into a party mood or who leaves a party early;
passenger car (train) railway carriage or coach
passing lane (of a freeway) outside lane (of a motorway)
patronage (business) custom (as in 'we appreciate your custom')
pavement road surface (after covering with concrete or tarmac)   
pay envelope pay packet, wage packet
payables (in accounting) creditors
peach [slang] (great-looking girl) cracker, smasher [both colloq.]
pecker [slang] (penis) knob, willie, willy [all schoolboy slang]
peckish shirty [colloq.], annoyed, irritated, irritable
peddler (door-to-door salesman) pedlar
penitentiary reformatory prison
penlight pen torch
period (punctuation mark) full stop, period
persnickety (overly fussy or fastidious) pernickety
person-to-person (operator-connected private call) personal call  
personal (n.) personal ad
petty officer 1st class >
petty officer 2nd class (U.S. Navy)
petty officer (Royal Navy)
petty officer 3rd class (U.S. Navy) leading seaman (Royal Navy)
pharmacist (person licensed to sell
                    and prepare medicines)
chemist
pharmacy chemist, chemist's (shop), pharmacy
phone booth phone box, call box, telephone kiosk
phonograph gramophone
physical therapy physiotherapy
pie crust pastry case
pigpen pigsty
pike [colloq.] (abbreviation of turnpike) tollroad (motorway type)
pin brooch
pinafore apron for a young girl, usually long enough to cover a dress and perhaps trimmed with flounces
pint (1 U.S. pint = 0.473 liters) pint (1 imperial pint = 0.565 litres)
pinwale (fine-ribbed corduroy fabric) needlecord
pissed [slang]  (very annoyed, fed up, depressed)   narked, brassed off, pissed off [all slang]
pit (fruit seed) pip (smaller), stone (larger)
pitcher jug
play hooky (or hookey) [colloq.] skive [colloq.], play truant
pitted stoned (olives, etc.)
plaid tartan
plastic wrap cling film
platform (political) party manifesto
play hooky bunk off, do a bunk, skive [all slang]; play truant
playbook set of rules or guidelines (American football term)
playground recreation ground
Plexiglas™ (a tough, clear plastic used instead of glass) Perspex™
plow plough
plurality (in a winner-takes-all candidate selection) majority (in a first-past-the-post election)
pocketbook wallet or small handbag
pocketknife penknife
polliwog, pollywog [dial.] tadpole
pompadour (hairstyle) quiff
porterhouse steak sirloin steak
Popsicle™ ice lolly, iced lolly
porch veranda
potato chips crisps, potato crisps
pound sign; pound key  # hash sign, hash mark; hash key
powdered sugar icing sugar
power outage power cut
precinct a division of a city for policing or local election purposes
preferred stock (investment) preference share
prenatal antenatal
preschool (school for children aged 2-5) nursery school, kindergarten
prep school private school in the U.S. preparing children for a top class, perhaps Ivy League university
presently currently, right now
president (company) chairman/chairwoman
principal head, headteacher, headmaster, headmistress
print (textiles and clothes) patterned
private 1st class (U.S. Army) lance corporal (British Army)
private 1st class > private (U.S. Marine Corps) marine (title of starting rank in Royal Marines)
private bath/shower & WC (in hotel room) en suite facilities
private brand own-brand product, own-label product
private dick [colloq.] private detective
prize open (lever open) prise open
product line (goods produced by one company) product range
professor lecturer (at college or university)
prom formal dance party held for senior or graduating high school students at end of school year
pry open (lever open)
Comment: In early 19th century America, the verb 'pry' resulted from British English 'prise' being misconstrued as a 3rd person singular form 'pries'.
prise open
public lavatory public convenience
public school free, government-provided school; (UK) state school
public transportation public transport
pudding cold, soft, creamy type of dessert
pull through (recover from an illness) pull round, pull through  
pull up stakes [colloq.] (move with all one's possessions) up sticks [colloq.]
pull-off (roadside resting place/vehicle stopping area) lay-by  
pull-tab (on drink can) ring-pull
pumps court shoes
punching bag punchbag
purse ladies' handbag
push-up (physical exercise) press-up

 

Index of Americanisms
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z   |   British-American