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Ken Ward's Writing Pages

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American and British English

Word Meanings

The differences in meaning of some words in American and British English, are sometimes surprising, and sometimes hilarious. The list is intended to draw your attention to the possibility that words might not mean the same in both languages. The words are grouped when two words in one language have two different meanings in the other. For instance, braces means suspenders in American, and suspenders means garter in American.
British American
braces suspenders
suspenders garter
skip dumpster
fag cigarette
homosexual fag
chemist druggist
café diner
bungalow ranch house
biscuit cookie
courgette zuchini
crisps potato chips
chips French fries
jam jelly
jelly jello
ice lolly popsicle
reversing light Back-up light
toilet bathroom, restroom
wardrobe closet
cashier teller
trainers sneakers
glue gum
rubber eraser
condom rubber
mucking around, wasting time instead of working goofing off
fairy cake cup cake
sweets candy
chocolate bar Hershey bar
bill (restaurant) check
fanny vulva
buttocks fanny
buttocks ass
ass donkey
arse (rude) ass (not so rude), butt (even less rude)
anticlockwise counter-clockwise
dummy tit pacifier
mobile phone cell phone
pavement sidewalk
road surface pavement

Spelling Differences

British writers of webpages sometimes get emails from Americans claiming the British writer has misspelt some word, when the word is correct in British English. It seems that the reverse does not occur so often, perhaps because the British are more used to variations in English than the Americans.
Spelling
British American
catalogue catalog
centre center
cheque check
counselling counseling
equalling equaling
excelling excelling
favourite favorite
fulfil fullfill
learnt learned
licence license
licenselicence
memorize memorise
misspeltmisspelled
tyre tire













Ken Ward's Writing Pages

The Last Place in Space
- by Ken Ward

When pilot Philip Turner is accidentally transported by an anomaly and marooned on an unknown planet, he discovers the planet is threatened by a group of ruthless aliens similarly marooned. With the help of a group of young women with superpowers, and a powerful being called a god, he reluctantly uses his advanced knowledge and technology to help the planet's inhabitants, but will he succeed when outnumbered by aliens, opposed by greedy and squabbling kings, and limited by his gentle nature and moral beliefs? Paperback and Kindle:
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The Last Place in Space