Comparing Words: American VS British English

14 July 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden

There is a lovely song by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong called “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.” If you have seen the movie When Harry Met Sally, you must have heard the song too. In the song, Louis Armstrong pronounces tomato as both American English (to-may-to) and British English (to-mah-to). Clearly they mean the same thing – tomato, the edible red fruit. Yes, it is a fruit not a vegetable.

We all know that British English sounds a bit different than American English. Perhaps it’s probably due to its regional dialects and many many accents. But, that is not to say that there are no variations of American English accents either.

Anyway, both forms of English are widely known and instantly recognizable. We notice these distinctions in the many types of content we consume, like in films, television shows, and even music. Think of the movie Harry Potter, that is British English right there. Think of the Disney movie The Princess and The Frog, that is American English right there.

Don’t you think there is something quite fascinating about British English and American English? They are both variations of the English language, yet some words have different meanings. Not all words. Just some words. And that in itself can make things seem a bit funny. So as you pirouette your way studying English, spice up your vocabulary with these English terms.

American English
British English
Cookie Biscuit
Trunk Boot
Movies Cinema
Vacation Holiday
Elevator Lift
Truck Lorry
Math Maths
Gasoline Petrol
Line Queue
Eraser Rubber
Store Shop
Zip code Postcode
Flat tire Flat tyre
Flashlight Torch
Faucet Tap
Pants Trousers
Parking lot Car park
Diaper Nappy
Soccer Football
Tic-Tac-Toe Noughts and Crosses
Cotton Candy Candy Floss
Takeout Takeaway
Aluminum Aluminium
Eggplant Aubergine

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