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"Words that aren't the same across the pond!" by Arianna Ware


Although in both the UK and America the most commonly spoken language is English, one of the first things you’ll notice when you get to the states is the occasional language barrier. 

There are words and sayings that are common in the UK, that are said or mean something completely different in the US, and discovering these can be quite a comical experience for you and your American counsellors and campers. It’s likely you’ll notice a difference each day, and you’ll still be noticing and laughing at the confusion at the end of camp. To you, you’re just speaking normally, but you’ll get to know when you’ve said something ‘British’ by the look of confusion on the counsellors/campers faces, and vise versa! I’ll always remember telling my campers to put their cozzie on for pool time, and I forever wish I had their reaction on camera – absolutely priceless, it was like I was speaking another language, and I had no idea what I did wrong until my co-counsellor asked me what I meant and told me they only call it a swimsuit. Same goes for when I asked my campers to put their rubbish in the bin after lunch…total confusion. It’s surprising how different the language is at times! 

Below, is a list of the English words (in bold), and the American counterparts to go with it (in italic). This should give you a heads up and reduce the amount of confused looks you could get this summer!

Mum – Mom

Swimming costume/Cozzie – Swimsuit

Wellies – Rainboots

Bin – Trash Can

Chips – Fries

Crisps – Chips

Car Park – Parking lot

Woodlouse – Roly Poly (Bug)

Trainers – Sneakers

Joggers/Tracksuit bottoms – Sweatpants

Jumper – Sweater

Postbox – Mail

Cinema – Movie Theatre

Film – Movie

Jam – Jelly

Jelly – Jello

Lolly/Ice lolly – Popsicle (this was one of my favourites, I had no idea what my campers were getting excited about when they were told they could have ‘Popsicles’)

Holiday – Vacation

Candyfloss – Cotton Candy

Christmas/Easter – Holiday

Biscuit – Cookie (This ones difficult to explain!)

Scone – Biscuit

Torch – Flashlight

Plaster – Band Aid

Tap – Faucet (When I was reading instructions to turn the faucet on, I stood blankly for at least 5 minutes, looking around the room trying to work out what it was instructing me to do)

Queue – Line

Rubber – Eraser

Trousers – Pants

Motorway – High way

Sweets – Candy

Taxi – Cab

Fizzy Drink – Soda

How many of you have experienced this yourself? And are there any words you’ve come across that are different in America?

Arianna X