David Appleyard's English Language User Guides and References
Index of Briticisms
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AmericanBritish BritishAmerican
café, caff [colloq.] coffee shop or small eatery
cakehole [slang] (mouth) (as in: 'Shut your cakehole!') trap [slang]
calico (plain white cotton cloth) muslin
call box telephone booth, phone booth
Calor™ gas a make of bottled gas
camiknickers (camisole + knickers) teddy (one-piece undergarment for a woman)
campsite, camping site campground
camper van, camper motorhome
canoodle [colloq.]  (kiss, cuddle, pet and fondle) smooch [calloq.]
candyfloss cotton candy
car manufacturer auto maker
car park parking lot
caravan trailer, mobile home
caravan site trailer park
caravanning trailer camping
card index card file
carer caregiver
caretaker janitor
carpet [v.]  [colloq.] harshly criticize or reprimand someone
carrier bag   disposable shopping bag of paper or plastic
carsy [slang] john [slang], lavatory, esp. outhouse
cash dispenser, cash machine automated teller machine (ATM)
cash on delivery (COD) collect on delivery (COD)
cashier checker (supermarket);
teller (bank)
cashpoint ATM
casket small box for cremated ashes;
small ornamental box for jewelry, letters or valuables
caster sugar / castor sugar finely granulated white sugar
casualty (department, ward) emergency room
catapult (type used for shooting small stones) slingshot
Catseye type of reflector built into a road surface as demarkation
cattle grid (grid over a ditch to allow vehicles
                  but not sheep or cattle to pass)
Texas gate
caught short [colloq.] inopportunely in urgent need of a visit to the lavatory
cement mixer (lorry) cement truck
central reservation (on a motorway or dual carriageway) median strip (on a freeway or divided highway);
island (on regular roads)
chairman (of a company) president
champers [colloq.] bubbly [colloq.], champagne
chap guy, fellow
char [slang.] tea
char, charwoman [both colloq.] cleaning lady
chat show (TV) talk show
chat up talk flirtatiously to a female
chav [slang.] stereotypical white anti-social or delinquent juvenile
checked pattern check pattern
Cheerio! [colloq.] Bye!  
Cheers! [colloq.] Thanks!
cheese biscuit (unsweetened) cracker
chemist (person licensed to sell and prepare medicines) pharmacist, druggist
chemist, chemist's pharmacy, drugstore
cheque check
cheque account (old name for 'current account') checking account
chest of drawers bureau, dresser
chief constable police chief in an English county or other region  
chief executive (managing director) chief executive officer (or CEO)
chief financial director (finance director) chief financial officer (or CFO)
chief technician (Royal Air Force) technical sergeant (U.S. Air Force)
chinwag [slang] friendly chat or gossip
chipolata small thin sausage
chippie, chippy [colloq.] fish and chips shop
chips (of potato) fries, french fries
chop [colloq.] (as in 'he was given the chop') dismissal from employment
Christmas box small Christmas gratuity to the milkman, trashman, etc.
Christmas season holiday season
chuck it in [colloq.]  (give up one's endeavours) quit, throw in the towel, throw in the sponge
chuffed [colloq.] (as in 'I was quite chuffed about it!') pleased or delighted
chum pal or buddy, especially a school friend
chunter [colloq.] mumble monotonously and usually complainingly
cinch [colloq.]  (a very easy task) snap, breeze [both colloq.]
cinema movie theater; the movies
circle (the upper-floor seats in a theatre) first balcony, mezzanine
City, the London's financial district (cf. Wall Street)
city centre downtown
civvy street [colloq.] (as in 'to be back on civvy street') normal civilian life away from the military
clamp stand (in chemistry lab) ring stand
clanger (n.) [slang] (as in 'to drop a clanger') clinker, howler, boner, blunder
clapped out [slang] worn out (esp. of machines)
cleg horsefly
clever dick, clever clogs  [colloq.]  (a person who annoys others by never hesitating to show how smart they are) smart aleck
cling film plastic wrap
clinker (n.) [colloq.]  (in the UK the meaning is positive) something excellent or outstanding
clippie [slang] formerly, a female fare collector on a city bus
cloakroom (in hotel, restaurant or theatre) checkroom
cloakroom [as euphemism] (esp. in a public building) restroom, lavatory
cloakroom attendant coat check girl, hat check girl
clobber [colloq.] (belongings one has with one; clothing) gear [colloq.]
close (n.) cul-de-sac, blind alley, dead-end road
clot [colloq.]  (foolish person) blockhead [colloq.]
cloth-ears (n.), cloth-eared (adj.)  [colloq.]   describes someone who hasn't heard or understood what is said to them, probably through inattention 
clothes (esp. when sold in a shop) apparel
clothes peg clothes pin
coach   bus (of the more comfortable, long-distance type)
cobblers [from rhyming slang: cobbler's awls = balls] baloney, claptrap [both colloq.]
cock (adult male chicken) rooster
cock something up [slang] bungle something, do something badly or clumsily
cocktail cabinet liquor cabinet
cock-up [slang]  (state of disorder or confusion
                            caused by incompetence)
a mess-up, botch-up, foul-up [colloq.], fuck-up [slang]
codswallop [slang]  (nonsense) baloney (or boloney) [slang]
coffin casket [euphemism]
cold table a selection of cold food dishes
collar (of meat) piece of meat rolled up and tied
collar stiffener collar stay
college fee-paying high-school;
institution providing vocational training after the U.K. basic school-leaving age of 16
collywobbles, the [colloq.] stomach discomfort caused by nervous apprehension
colour sergeant (Royal Marines) sergeant major > master gunnery sergeant
  (U.S. Marine Corps)
colour supplement free magazine included with Sunday newspaper
combine harvester combine
comforter (baby's dummy) pacifier
commercial traveller traveling salesman
common or garden [colloq.] ordinary, everyday  
common seal harbor seal
conductor (on city bus, etc.) fare collector
conker (the hard core of a horse chestnut) buckeye
conscript (someone foced by law to do military service) draftee
conscription  (compulsory military service) the draft
consultant (medical) senior specialist doctor who places and bears overall responsibility for patients in a hospital
consumer durables durable goods
container (for large-scale refuse disposal) Dumpster™
continental quilt comforter
convenience [euphemism] public lavatory or restroom
conveyancing [legal] transfer of property ownership
cooker kitchen stove with oven and grill
cookery book cookbook
cop shop [slang] police station
copper [slang] cop [slang], police officer
Cor! [slang] (interjection expressing admiration,
                     disbelief, wonder or surprise)
Wow! Gee! Gee whiz!  
Cor blimey! [slang; corruption of 'God blind me!'] Good grief! Good God!
core time (in a British flexitime system)   central part of working day when all staff members, including those on flextime, are expected  to be present
corker [slang] something or someone outstandingly good
corking (adj.) [slang] remarkably large or splendid
corn in the U.K. corn is the grain of any available plant that can be used to make flour, e.g. wheat, barley, oats or maize
corn on the cob sweet corn
cornet ice-cream cone
cornflour cornstarch
corporal (British Army) corporal > specialist 4 (U.S. Army)
corporal (Royal Air Force) airman 1st class (U.S. Air Force)
corporation (of a city, town or borough) municipal authorities, municipal government
cos lettuce romaine
cot baby's bed or crib with high sides
cot death (sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS) crib death
cotton (on a reel) thread (on a spool)
cotton bud cotton swab
cotton on to something [colloq.]   begin to figure out, become wise to
cotton reel spool of thread
cotton wool cotton, cotton balls, cotton batting
council estate, council flats
    (low-cost housing for the less affluent)
housing project
counterfoil part of a check, ticket, etc. retained by the issuer as a record of the transaction
courgette (vegetable) zucchini
courier messenger
court card (the king, queen or jack in a deck of cards) face card
court shoes pumps
covenant (finance) formal commitment to regularly pay a fixed amount, usually to a charity
cover (insurance) coverage
cover note [legal] temporary certificate of insurance coverage
covering letter (accompanies a curriculum vitae [CV]) cover letter (accompanies a résumé)
cowboy [colloq.] reckless, unqualified repairman or tradesman who can undercut true professionals thanks to cheap materials,  shoddy workmanship, or non-payment of taxes
cracker [slang]  (highly attractive female) honey, peach, stunner, goddess, knockout
cracking [slang] (as in 'we had a cracking good time') awesome [colloq.], outstanding
craft knife utility knife, box cutter
crash barrier guardrail
crayfish crawfish
cream bun bun filled or topped with cream
cream cracker (crisp, unsweetened cracker for cheese)  soda cracker
cream tea traditional English afternoon tea with scones, jelly and clotted cream
crèche day nursery for pre-school kids
creditors (in accounting) accounts payable, payables
creek small bay
Crikey! (euphemism for 'Christ!' when you're surprised) Gosh! (which is a similar euphemism for 'God!')
crisps chips, potato chips
crocodile [colloq.] line of children walking in pairs
crocodile clip alligator clip
cross-ply tyre bias tire, bias-ply tire
crossroad intersection
crotchet  (in music) quarter note
Crumbs!  (exclamation of worry or surprise) Gosh! Wow!
crumpet [slang]  ('She's a nice bit of crumpet!' ) women seen as objects of sexual desire
crush bar a bar serving drinks during theater intermissions
crush barrier barricade erected for crowd control
cup tie eliminating game between teams, especially in soccer
cupboard cabinet, closet
cuppa [colloq.]  (as in 'I could do with a cuppa!') a cup of tea
curate's egg something that has both good and bad qualities
current account checking account
currently, right now presently
curriculum vitae, CV résumé, resume
curtains (of thicker cloth) drapes (generally plural only)
cushy number [colloq.] (as in 'he's got a cushy number!') a pleasant and undemanding job or situation
custom (as in 'we appreciate your custom') business patronage
cutlery (eating utensils) silverware, flatware
cycling bicycling
cyclist
bicyclist

 

Index of Briticisms
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   |   American-British