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British Phrases

This page is under construction!

  • queue ("line")
  • jab ("shot" in the medical sense of an innoculation)
  • lorry ("truck")
  • spark plug ("sparking plug")
  • gear lever ("gearshift")
  • bonnet ("hood")
  • boot ("trunk")
  • windscreen ("windshield")
  • estate car ("station wagon")
  • saloon ("sedan")
  • gasoline ("petrol")
  • lift ("elevator")
  • bloody (British curse word)
  • stuffed (British sexual term)
  • bug (British "insect"--British speakers use the word "bug" exclusively for bedbug)
  • biscuits ("cookies")
  • chips ("French fries")
  • serviette ("Napkins")
  • copse ("grove")
  • got as a past participle (the British consider the American gotten to be quaint and archaic)
  • mad (exclusively "insane" in British use; the American use of mad as "angry" isn't commonly used in Britain)
  • sick (exclusively "nauseous" in British use; the Americans use of sick for "ill" in a more general sense)

Some American terms are not used in Britain:

"I guess" in the sense of "probably."


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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2018. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated April 24, 2018. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.