Differences in vocabulary

Rose65

Senior Member
Location
United Kingdom
Between Americans and English. I am curious how very different, as I read post-apocalyptic fiction, which I am hugely enjoying.
Could I ask a few questions here to clarify some terms, items and phrases which are unusual to me as an Englishwoman as they are not part of our daily speech?

Starting randomly -

Totes? Just bags?
You say 'visiting with' someone, we just say visiting.
Beat the tar out of someone.
Pemmican bar
Snow grooming machines
Blacktop road
An RV
Dude ranch
Cot - as a bed for adults
Stocking cap
Clam digger shorts
Mules - shoes
Chuck wagon
Perkins - sorry PEKINS, a type of duck
Amish incubator
Israeli bandage
Tylenol - we say paracetamol
Barrel roasted
Playing hooky.

Do of course feel free to ask about English words and terms. I m sure there must be some that Americans find strange.
 

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In the US, our English language is so totally different from one region to another ... really can't compare how words are used, and what they mean to different people around the country.

Just read this today -- Linguists have identified a new English dialect that is emerging in South Florida.
 

I could explain a lot of them, but I'll just pick one. I don't know how the word Perkins was being referenced, but in the U.S. it's a restaurant originally famed for it's breakfast and other homestyle meals.
 
Between Americans and English. I am curious how very different, as I read post-apocalyptic fiction, which I am hugely enjoying.
Could I ask a few questions here to clarify some terms, items and phrases which are unusual to me as an Englishwoman as they are not part of our daily speech?

Starting randomly -

Totes? Just bags?
You say 'visiting with' someone, we just say visiting.
Beat the tar out of someone.
Pemmican bar
Snow grooming machines
Blacktop road (road paved with macadam
An RV (recreational vehicle -
Dude ranch
Cot - as a bed for adults
Stocking cap
Clam digger shorts
Mules - shoes
Chuck wagon
Perkins
Amish incubator
Israeli bandage
Tylenol - we say paracetamol
Barrel roasted
Playing hooky.

Do of course feel free to ask about English words and terms. I m sure there must be some that Americans find strange.
I come across English or Aussie expressions frequently. Google explains them very quickly.

There's a long, active thread on this very topic. You might enjoy it.
https://www.seniorforums.com/thread...h-british-vs-american-vocabulary-words.81795/
 
I could explain a lot of them, but I'll just pick one. I don't know how the word Perkins was being referenced, but in the U.S. it's a restaurant originally famed for it's breakfast and other homestyle meals.
Whoops, I meant Pekins! Seems a type of duck. Maybe for shooting.
 
Even hiking is a word we don't really say. Ornery is a word strange to me.
we do say Hiking...it's a very common word. People go hiking in the Uk all the time....

Totes also means 'to carry'' as well as the name for a bag..

Beat the tar out of someone.. I've heard this since I was a child, my father said it all the time...

Blacktop road.. again a name for a tarmac road..

Rose... seriously.. have you been hiding in a cave for the last 50 years..lol.. Mules ??// mules have always been a word here usually means backless shoes or sandals

Cot of course here is a Baby's bed... over there it means a Camp bed...
 
Britain and America Are Two Nations Divided by a Common Language
George Bernard Shaw (maybe) https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/04/03/common/

In the US, our English language is so totally different from one region to another ... really can't compare how words are used, and what they mean to different people around the country.
Yes it is, even within states there is a lot of variety. Louisiana has a lot of differences, classic southern in the north, Cajun and New Orleans in the south, and a lot of variations there of.

My cousin married a Jewish woman from New Orleans, from an old family, amongst the first settlers in Louisiana. Her accent is very unique, a kind of blend of what sounds to me like Brooklyn, and classic southern, with plenty of New Orleans sounds.

I was once with some Italian and Swiss colleges at a conference in New Orleans, found myself having to translate the local dialects into average American English they could understand.
 
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A few Canadian phrases that Americans may not get. A section of farm land ( 640 acres ). Pogey, (receiving Unemployment payments when you are out of work ) The Mother Corp ( The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation ) our national public broadcaster system. A tumpline ( a type of backboard with a head strap), used to carry heavy loads in the bush. Portage ( carrying a canoe on your shoulders, from one lake to another ) during a long canoe trip. A Kenora Dinner Jacket ( a red and black plaid wool lumberman's jacket worn while working in the bush ). Kenora is a small isolated town in North Western Ontario. A bunny hug ( a warm sweatshirt, with a hood and pockets ) worn in the western part of Canada.

A sugar cabin, ( where maple sap is boiled down, to become maple syrup). It takes 10 gallons of sap to make one gallon of finished syrup. The Cowboys ( The Royal Canadian Mounted Police ) our national Police Service, based on their original system of 2 man horse back patrols of the Canada /USA border in the west, starting with their first start up in 1874. The Rock. Newfoundland and Labrador, our most easterly Province, a wind swept, foggy and rainy outpost island, out in the Atlantic, that has the most friendly people you will ever meet. Half a million people, and 125 thousand Moose. A SIN card. The Social Insurance Number system is used by the Feds to keep track of our taxation records.

First and Last. This relates to paying two months rent, when you move into a rental place. The landlord has to deposit the last month's rent into a bank account that draws interest. so that the tennent gets some money back when they move out. A by election, ( takes place when a elected official, leaves office by resignation or death ) . Last week here in Canada, we had 4 by elections at the Federal level, to replace 4 M.P.'s who had left their seats vacant. IF a person is unopposed in a local election, they are said to have been re-elected by acclimation. Mayor Hazel McCallion was the Mayor of the city of Mississauga for 36 years, and in many elections, no one ran against her, she was that popular. She died this year, age 103.

JimB.
 
Just to pick one, “clam digger shorts”=“pedal pushers”=“high water pants,” and often “Capris,” as well. Just a type of short pants worn by women, originally of practical utility when digging for clams in the sand at low tide so your lower pants legs didn’t get wet or sandy…

American English can vary widely, with many interesting regional variations. Growing up in the NJ suburbs of NYC, I was instantly labeled as “not from around here” when I moved to south central PA. A “soda” depending on location can be a “soft drink,” “soda pop,” or simply “pop.” It’s all good… 🙂
 
It appears that many elite Brits are not inclined to do more than barely move their mouths when speaking. I rarely know what King Charles or most of that family is talking about. Since Harry has become more Americanized, he's opening his chops more, but really should just keep his mouth shut. Go figure.
 
Here's a few not already translated:

"Playing hooky" Usually refers to skipping school or work. My friends and I once we had driver's licenses and cars would skip classes and do something away from the school area, hoping not to be caught.

"Dude ranch" A place where people pay to stay in rustic cabins, are served meals, and they get to do things like ride horses, a vacation of sort.

"Amish incubator" Since the Amish are said not to use electricity, they have to improvise and create ways to keep the chickens and eggs protected from the cold. They build their own incubators.

Hope you find these helpful.
 


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