American English

Lewis the Lion discovered that it wasn’t just the accent that changed from British English to American English but some of the vocabulary and grammar too, even if his ‘magic words’ – hello, please and thank you, remained the same.

Here are some of the differences he found, along with some photos:


British English – American English

Taxi – Cab
Biscuit – Cookie
Pavement – Sidewalk
Pushchair – Stroller
Nappy – Diaper
Dummy – Pacifier
Lift – Elevator
Chemist – Pharmacy
Film – Movie
Trousers – Pants
Bill – Check
Take away – To go
Toilet – Restroom / Bathroom
Post – Mail
Rubbish – Trash

Lewis the Lion wants you to have some fun by saying the British English words in your poshest accent and then the American English words in your best American accent!

Spelling changes

American English tends to simplify the language so generally it’s more phonetic.

British English – American English
Colour – Color
Traveller – Traveler
Realise – Realize
Metre – Meter
Theatre – Theater


The grammar also changes from time to time, e.g. The use of the double negative:
‘I ain’t going nowhere!’
Or in British English this would be:
‘I’m not going anywhere!’

In British English, we might say ‘It’s half past two.’ and in American English ‘It’s two thirty.’

The Americans are often polite and if you go into a shop or restaurant. you may be addressed as Sir or Ma’am and be told to ‘Have a nice day!’ as you say goodbye.’ Culturally the Americans are big on customer service because many jobs rely on tips.

If you would like to investigate some more differences between British and American English, visit this Project Britain website which puts the words into categories, e.g. clothes and at school.

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