U.S. and British English Differences Quiz

By: Staff

Where would you store your suitcases on a road trip in the U.K.?

Americans store baggage in the trunk of a car, but to the Brits, it'll always be a boot.

Where would you pick up a prescription medication in England?

Brits head to the chemist's to fill a prescription, while people in the U.S. head to their favorite pharmacy.

Where does Harry Potter live, according to the Brits?

It might look like a closet to U.S. readers, but in British books, Harry clearly made his home in the cupboard under the stairs.

What is the British term for what Americans call an apartment?

A flat is the British equivalent to the apartment in the U.S.

What would you ride to get to another floor of a tall building in London?

Londoners call elevators "lifts," as in something that lifts people between floors.

In the U.S., babies wear diapers. In the U.K., babies are clad in these.

Nappies are the British equivalent to diapers.

What fuels British vehicles?

Forget gas — the Brits head to the petrol station to fill 'er up.

Where's the best place to throw your trash if you're in England?

Americans call it trash or garbage, but to the Brits it's just plain rubbish.

True or false: You probably shouldn't wear your pants out in public in the U.K.

In British English, pants are undergarments, not jeans or khakis.

What do the British wear over their legs, then, if not pants?

The British equivalent to American pants is trousers.

Which of these would you be most likely to snog?

Snogging is a very British term for kissing.

Which of these is a British term for bangs, as in short hair that hangs over the eyes?

To the Brits, those shorter hairs over the eyebrows are a fringe. It's only in the U.S. that they are known as bangs.

Which of these is NOT a British term for a total loser?

A biscuit is a cookie, while prats and wallys are unpleasant folks.

How do the British spell "program"?

British words often have more letters than their American counterparts — think programme or catalogue.

How do the British spell "labor"?

Many American words have an extra "u" in England — see labour, colour and harbour.

If you say "I have already eaten," you are using the …

"I have already eaten" is in the present perfect tense, which is used more often in British English. Americans would say "I already ate" instead.

If a British person says she is chuffed, she is …

Chuffed is a British term for "pleased," though it can also refer to passing gas.

"I've got the hump" is British for …

A British person who says "they've got the hump" is annoyed. This expression is rare to nonexistent in American English.

Which of these is an appropriate response to "Bob's your uncle"?

The Brits might say "Bob's your uncle" as a type of exclamation — think "ta-da!" in U.S. English. So an appropriate response would be to show appreciation.

If a Brit tells you "knees up," it's time for …

"Knees up" probably literally refers to dancing and is a common British expression that concerns partying.

What would people in the U.S. call a chin-wagger?

Chin-wagger is British slang for someone who tells stories or gossips often.

Who took all of those u's out of British words for American use?

When writing his famous dictionary, Noah Webster was determined to spell words the way they sounded. That meant removing lots of extra letters from traditional British words to make them "American."

What is paper money called in the U.K.?

Paper money is referred to as "notes" in the U.K., while people in the U.S. call it "bills."

What is a restaurant tab called in the U.K.?

The English ask for a bill when they're ready to pay their tabs, while Americans request a check.

True or false: Tabling a discussion puts it back on the table in England.

The U.S. takes a discussion off the table when tabling it, while the English use this term to indicate that something is back on the table.

True or false: In the U.K., the first floor of a building won't generally be at ground level.

U.K. buildings start with the ground level, while the first floor is typically the second level. In the U.S., the ground floor and first floor are typically one and the same.

True or false: Only people in the U.S. study math.

The Brits may know their mathematics, but they call it maths, never math.

True or false: The Brits don't pronounce the "h" in "herb."

Americans favor the French pronunciation, leaving off the "h," while Brits pronounce the full "h" sound.

What do you need to drive a car in England?

It may be a driver's license in the U.S., but in England, it's a driving licence.

In England, people starting over are given a …

The Brits use the term "new lease of life," while the American saying is "new lease on life."

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About This Quiz

Brits and Americans may speak a common language, but you might be surprised to find out just how much the English language can differ. Sure, you might know from television or movies that Brits call their butts their "bums." And you probably know that when they talk about "football," they really mean soccer.

But did you know that being "knackered" is the same as being tired? Or that if you tell an Englishman that you're "pissed," he won't think you're angry -- he'll think you're drunk? And then there's food. If you're a picky eater and will soon be heading to the U.K., you'd better bone up on your British English.

Zucchini is called "courgetti" across the pond, while shrimp are dubbed "prawns." So what is the British English name for prawns? Well, they call those prawns, too, making no distinction between the two types of shellfish. To make things more confusing, our French fries are "chips" to the Brits, who call our potato chips "crisps." So if you want potato chips with your grilled cheese sandwich, you must ask for crisps. Actually, you'll need to ask for a toastie with crisps, because "toastie" is the English term for grilled cheese.

But don't let yourself get bamboozled by all of these terms. Just take the quiz!

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