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Chips or fries? Jelly on toast? Cheese & onion chips? Awesome fanny? We may speak the same language but do we actually mean the same thing? Fortunately this handy British - US glossary is the ideal companion for potential freshmen hot-footing it across the channel...


British American
1st year Freshman
2nd year Sophomore
3rd year Junior
4th year Senior
Secondary School/6th Form College High-School
State-financed University Public School
Uni College/School
Year group Class (as in ‘My class is graduating tomorrow’)
100s and 1000s Sprinkles
Aubergine Eggplant
Chips French Fries
Courgette Zucchini
Crisps Chips
Fish Fingers Fish Sticks
Jam Jelly
Jelly Jello
Porridge Oatmeal
Pudding Dessert
Tinned Canned
YOG-hurt YO-ghurt
Bloke Guy
Fit Cute/Hot
Going out Dating
Mingin' Gross
Pull Hook-up
Snog Kiss
Braces Suspenders(!)
Jumper Sweater
Trainers Sneakers
Trousers Pants
Waistcoat Vest

Pants                                             Underpants

'Sorry' 'Excuse-Me'
Anti-Clockwise Counter Clockwise
Athlete Jock
Autumn Fall
Backside/Bum Fanny/Tush
Black Tie Dance Formal
Boot (of car) Trunk
Brilliant Awesome
Chemist Drug-Store
Clever Smart
Condom Rubber
Fags Cigarettes
Film Movie
Flat Apartment
Football Soccer
Fringe Bangs
Full Stop Period
Gents Men's Room
Lift Elevator
Queue Line
Loo Bathroom/Restroom
Maths Math
Mobile Cell phone
Nappy Diapers
Nerd Geek
Pavement Sidewalk
Petrol Gas
Post Mail
Post-code Zip-code
Pub Bar
Rubber Eraser
Rucksack Backpack
Shag A type of dance
Smart Well-dressed
Sofa Couch
Tap Faucet
Tea-towel Dish-cloth
Underground/Tube Subway
Very Quite (can be a compliment)
Washing-Up Doing the dishes

One More Tip

When an American says, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ to you, they do NOT expect a five-minute answer on your cheating boyfriend, overdue paper and aching back. In fact, it is a mere formality – answer with a casual ‘Not much’.


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