Common Differences Between USA and UK English

Common Differences Between USA and UK English

How strange is it that we speak the same language (English) yet so often Americans and UK’ers have such a hard time understanding one another? If English isn’t your first language, the many differences can really be daunting if you’re trying to learn the language!

Here are some common idiosyncrasies to watch out for between the two very different ways of speaking de English:

It should be obvious that UK residents really love different variations of the “P” word.

Right from the word go Mark had me chuckling. I mean the very first one “making fun” (American) or “taking the ___ out” is an obvious one that trip anyone up. While “making fun” wouldn’t likely offend or weird out a Brit, certainly the UK version would trip up a North American and may downright offend someone who doesn’t speak either form of English well, but has an ear for the profanity!

The wanker bit: You really need to know who your friends are if you’re a foreigner in the UK, am I right? Of course, this means something entirely different in US and Canada, so don’t take offense if you’re at a friendly get together with some Englishmen.

Another one of the “P” words ___ed could definitely lead to some fisticuffs (or “argy bargy”) when two people of the separate dialects meet. Mad vs. Drunk. Know the difference if you’re an American visiting the UK or a UK’er visiting North America.

Lol! Ass, arse, bum, butt — who but those who speak it would be able to guess the emotion being conveyed just by using different slang for the gluteus-maximus?

This one’s my fave and wasn’t mentioned in the vid:

Banger (UK)

  • Sausage
  • Small Fireworks
  • Vintage Car

Banger (US)

  • Well, sometimes we use this term to refer to four-cylinder engines (ie., four-banger).
  • However, if you’re an American and a Brit asks you if you “Wanna Banger”, this could lead to some confusion, especially if his girlfriend is sitting beside you and you say yes!



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