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British vs. American English

With a language of continental proportions such as the English language, it is inevitable that some discrepancies in vocabulary use should occur in the different countries where English is spoken. Below is a list of some vernacular differences between the two most widely used forms of English, the British and and the American.
Whether English is your native language or not, you are sure to have fun learning the different forms English word meaning take in these countries. Beware: by reading these entries carefuly, you might avoid some embarasing situations in your next trip to America or Britain!
This is a partial list of words having different meanings in British and American English.

WordBritish English meaningsMeanings common to British and American EnglishAmerican English meanings
air marshal a senior air force officer (equivalent to an Army general or Navy admiral) an undercover law enforcement officer on board a commercial aircraft, also known as a sky marshal
à la mode fashionable with ice cream
anaesthetist (UK), anesthetist (US) physician trained to administer anaesthesia (US: anesthesiologist) nurse or technician trained to administer anaesthesia
appropriate (v.), appropriation (n.) to take (money) to oneself, to filch or misappropriate to take and assign (money) (there is considerable overlap but difference of emphasis) to dispense (money), to budget
Asian originating from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka (South Asian) originating from the continent of Asia originating from East Asia or continental Southeast Asia
athlete one who participates in running, throwing, and jumping competitions one who participates in sports in general
athletics running, throwing, and jumping competitions (US: track and field) sport in general
aubergine the plant Solanum melongena, or the fruit thereof (US: eggplant) an aubergine-like colour (US also: eggplant)
awesome inspiring awe, spectacular great, "cool" * (largely used in the 1980s, recently revived; can have various connotations depending on context – compare UK brilliant)
balmy (adj.) insane (although usually spelt barmy today) (usu. climate) pleasantly warm
bathroom room containing a bath (US: bathtub) or shower, other washing facilities, and usu. (but not necessarily) a toilet room, in a home or hotel room, containing a toilet, related washing facilities, and often, but not necessarily, a shower or bathtub (Hence "Going to the bathroom" is a euphemism for going to the toilet even in a setting where one would not expect to find a bath, e.g. a restaurant or shop *) (a room without shower or bathtub may also be known as a powder room, but this usage may be considered dated)
beaker drinking vessel without a handle, or one (with or without handles) made of unbreakable plastic for the use of children (US: sippy cup) flat-bottomed vessel, with a lip, used as a laboratory container.
bespoke (esp. of apparel) made to the customer's specification (US: custom-made, tailor-made) pret. of bespeak
billion (traditionally) a million millions (1012) (US: trillion) thousand million (109) (now most common in both UK and US) (traditional UK: milliard) (see also Long and short scales)
blinkers leather flaps on a bridle used to restrict a horse's lateral vision* (US usu.: blinders) lights on a car that indicate the direction about to be taken * (UK: indicators)
block (n.) a building (block of flats, office block) a solid piece of something obstruct in a city, the portion of a street between adjacent intersections* or an informal rough unit of distance derived from the length of the same
bombardier corporal in the Royal Artillery - see Bombardier (rank) crew member of a bomber responsible for assisting the navigator in guiding the plane to a bombing target and releasing the aircraft's bomb load - see Bombardier (air force) (UK: bomb aimer)
boob (n.) a mistake (slang); (v.) to make a mistake woman's breast (slightly vulgar slang) stupid person
boob tube woman's shoulderless, strapless top (US: tube top) (the boob tube) television (slang)
brackets enclosing punctuation: ( ) (US & UK also: parentheses); more at braces supports for shelves, etc. attached to a wall secondary enclosing punctuation: [] (UK: square brackets)
brew (n.) tea beer
buffet railway carriage containing a refreshment counter selling snacks and drinks, esp. on a train on which a full restaurant car (US: dining car) service is not provided 1.refreshment counter or bar; meal set out on a table, etc. for diners to serve themselves a type of sideboard
bureau a type of writing table a public office or government agency a type of chest of drawers
bus (v.) to travel by bus to clear (as tables) in a restaurant; to work as a busboy
call box (n.) telephone booth (UK also telephone box) roadside emergency telephone
call for (v.) to require or advocate to predict or anticipate ("The forecast calls for rain")
campsite (n.) area or park for people to camp in (US: campground) spot for a particular person or group to camp, often within a campground (UK: pitch)
canfield (n.) a patience (solitaire) card game (US: Klondike) a patience (solitaire) card game (UK: Demon)
canoe (n.) A (traditionally) skin-covered boat propelled using one or two single-blade paddles (UK also: Canadian canoe) A similar boat propelled using a double-bladed paddle (UK: kayak, also used in US)
carnival (n.) the festive days just preceding Lent (US: Mardi Gras) (adj.) suggesting a festive atmosphere (n.) a travelling circus or fair (UK: funfair) comprising amusement rides
carousel (n.) a moving luggage/baggage display unit, most often at airports a rotating fairground ride (UK: merry-go-round, roundabout)
carry-on, carryon (colloquial) carrying-on, unruly behaviour luggage that can be carried aboard an aircraft, bus, or train (UK: hand luggage or baggage)
casket (n.) a small box, as for jewels, particularly an antique The type of coffin with upholstery and a half-open lid, any coffin
casualty (person) often, someone who has been wounded; hence casualty department (US: emergency room) generally, someone who has been injured or killed often, someone who has been killed; see also casualty insurance
chemist pharmacist, pharmacy (US similar: druggist, drugstore) student or researcher of chemistry
chink an expression of incredulity, similar to crap in American English a crack, fissure (A chink in one's armor) spot, vulnerability a racial slur for those of Chinese or east Asian ancestry
chip in to express one's opinion (as in a conversation); to "chime in" to contribute (as money) (orig. US)
chips (food) Long cuts of deep fried potato, usu. thick cut resembling American steak fries French fries, in (orig. UK) phrase fish and chips thin slices of fried potato* (UK: crisps)
cider an alcoholic drink derived from apples (US: hard cider) a nonalcoholic drink derived from apples
comforter a baby's dummy (q.v.) one who comforts quilted bedspread (UK: duvet)
commode small cabinet portable toilet for use in a room without plumbing normal toilet, in a bathroom (q.v.)
condominium a political territory (state or border area) in or over which two sovereign powers formally agree to share equally dominium (in the sense of sovereignty) and exercise their rights jointly (also condo) a type of joint ownership of real property (as an apartment building) in which portions of the property are commonly owned and other portions are individually owned; an apartment in a condominium
cot infant bed; hence cot death (US: crib) camp bed
coulee a (solidified) stream of lava (chiefly Western, orig. Canadian) a deep steep-sided ravine formed by erosion, or a small valley or stream
court shoe a women's dress shoe with a heel (US: pump, q.v.) a type of athletic shoe used for sports played on an indoor court, such as volleyball or squash (UK similar: plimsoll or regionally pump)
crisp fried potato slices with salt, sometimes with flavour (US: potato chips) when something sounds clear and dry. a term to sunburning. For example: Because he didn't have sunscreen, Jack was burnt to a crisp.
crumpet an attractive female (slang) A savoury waffle-like cake made from flour or potato and yeast
cubicle A compartment in a bathroom with low walls that contains a toilet. (US: stall) A compartment in a larger area separated from similar adjoining compartments by low walls, such as in an office area.
custodian a football (soccer) goalkeeper a keeper or guardian of a person or thing one who cleans and maintains a building; a building superintendent, a janitor
daddy longlegs, daddy-long-legs crane fly daddy long-legs spider harvestman
depot a location (large building or piece of land) where buses, trams or trains are stored when not in use and maintained a storehouse or depository; a location for the storage of military or naval supplies. A slow-release drug injection (usu. psychiatric) a railroad station or bus terminal or station; also, an air terminal
DI Detective inspector (police) Drill instructor (military)
diary personal calendar * (US: appointment book, appointment calendar, datebook) personal journal
die (n.) tool used in metalworking to form a part under pressure singular of dice, numbered cube used in games of chance (UK: dice for both singular and plural)
dim (trans. v.), dimmer (switch) to reduce the intensity of a domestic, industrial or other light; hence dimmer (switch) to lower a vehicle headlight's beam, typically when approaching vehicles travelling in the opposite direction at night (UK: dip); hence dimmer switch (UK: dip switch)
diversion circuitous route to avoid roadworks (US: detour) deviation; recreation; tactic used to draw attention away from the action
dresser (furniture) a type of cupboard or sideboard esp. for kitchen utensils * a chest of drawers, usu. with a looking glass (UK: dressing-table)
drop (of liquid) several (fluid) ounces ("just a drop of tea, please") (meiotic usage) droplet (less than a milliliter)
efficiency the quality of being efficient (or efficiency apartment) a minimal often furnished apartment, similar to a studio apartment (UK: compare bedsit)
engineer a technician or a person that mends and operates machinery one employed to design, build or repair equipment titioner of engineering one who operates an engine, esp. a locomotive (UK: engine driver)
entrée starter (q.v.) of a meal (traditionally, the course served between the fish and the joint, but now used for any starter) (usu. "the entrée") right of entry, insider-type access main course of a meal
faculty division of a university, dealing with a specific group of disciplines (e.g. faculty of arts) academic staff of a school, college or university
first degree the least serious category of burn (see article) the most serious category of a crime; of murder, carries a lifetime prison- or death-sentence (also informal murder one; see article)
first floor (of a building) the floor above ground level (US: second floor) the floor at ground level (often, but not always, the same floor as a building's lobby) (UK: ground floor)
flapjack flat oat cake (US: granola bar) pancake
flannel a cloth for washing the face or body (US: washcloth) particular type of fabric/material used for the manufacture of trousers or suits, but more commonly recognised in America as a fabric used in warm winter night clothes and sheets
fluid ounce (fl. oz.) liquid measure equal to 28.41 millilitres liquid measure equal to 29.57 milliliters
football (usually) Association football (US: soccer). Less frequently applied to Rugby football (espec. Rugby Union in English private schools). American football
footpath a paved strip for pedestrian use, especially along the side of a road (US: sidewalk) a narrow trail suitable only for foot traffic
frog French person (insulting slang)* an amphibian
full stop punctuation mark used at the end of a sentence, sometimes used in speech for emphasis ("Whom does he support? Arsenal, full stop!") (US: period, q.v.) complete stop (as of traffic) [2]

Source and full list see: Wikipedia: List of words having different meanings in British and American English