British English / American English

British and American Spelling variants

British English

American English

-our / -or behaviour behavior
colour color
favourite favorite
humour humor
labour labor
neighbour neighbor
-re / -er centre center
fibre fiber
theatre theater
litre liter
metre meter
-ogue / -og analogue analog
catalogue catalog
dialogue dialog
ae, oe / e anaemia
anaesthesia anesthesia
diarrhoea diarrhea
foetus fetus
haemorrhage hemorrhage
-ence / -ense defence defense
offence offense
pretence pretense
Exceptions aluminium aluminum
cheque check
jewellery jewelry
kerb curb
manoeuvre maneuver
mould mold
plough plow
tyre tire
sulphur sulfur

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British English American English
aerial (radio/TV) antenna
American football football
anorak parka
articulated lorry trailer truck/semi trailer
aubergine eggplant
autumn fall
bank holiday legal holiday
bank note bill
bap hamburger bun
bat (ping pong) paddle
bath bathtub
bath (v.) bathe
bathroom bathroom/restroom/washroom
big dipper roller coaster
bill check (restaurant)
bill/account account
billion = million million billion = thousand million
biscuit (sweet) cookie
black or white?(coffee) with or without?
blackleg/scab scab
black treacle molasses
blind (window) shade
block of flats apartment house
block of flats apartment building
blue jeans dungarees/jeans
bomb (success) bomb (disaster)
bonnet (car) hood
book (v.) make reservation
boot (car) trunk
bootlace/shoelace shoestring
bowler/hard hat derby
braces suspenders
break (school) recess
briefs/underpants shorts/jockey shorts
broad bean lima bean
bureau de change currency exchange
butter muslin/cheese cloth cheese cloth
candyfloss cotton candy
caravan trailer
caretaker/porter janitor
car park parking lot
catapult slingshot
cattle grid Texas gate
centre (city/business) downtown
central reservation median strip/divider
chairman (business) president
chemist druggist
chemist’s shop pharmacy/drugstore
chest of drawers dresser/bureau
chips French fries
cinema movie house/theater
class/form (school) grade
cloakroom check room
cloakroom attendant hat check girl
clothes peg clothes pin
conscription draft
contraceptive/condom rubber
convoy caravan
cooker stove
corn flour corn starch
corporation/local authority city/municipal government
cot/crib crib
cotton thread
cotton reel spool
cotton wool cotton batting
courgette zucchini
court shoe pump
cream cracker soda cracker
crisps chips/potato chips
cul-de-sac dead end
cupboard closet
curtains drapes


desiccated (coconut) shredded
director (company) manager
directory enquiries information assistance
directory enquiries directory assistance
district precinct
diversion detour
drain (indoors) sewer pipe
draper drygoods store
draught excluder weather stripping
draughts checkers
drawing pin thumb tack
dressing-gown bathrobe
dual carriageway divided highway
dummy pacifier
dungarees overalls
dustbin/bin garbage can/trash can
dynamo generator
eiderdown comforter
state agent realtor
estate car station wagon
fair (fun) carnival
filling station / petrol station gas station
film movie
first floor second floor
fish slice spatula/egg lifter
fitted carpet wall to wall carpet
flannel wash cloth
flat apartment
flex electric cord/wire
fly-over overpass
football/soccer soccer
fortnight two weeks
foyer lobby/foyer
full stop (punctuation) period
funny bone crazy bone
gallery (theatre) balcony
gangway aisle
gaol jail
garden yard
gear lever gear shift
giddy dizzy
give a bell(to phone) give a buzz
goods truck (railway) freight truck
goose pimples goose bumps
gramophone/record player phonograph/record player
greenfingers green thumb
grill (v.) broil
guard (railway) conductor
gym shoes/plimsolls sneakers/tennis shoes
tennis shoes/trainers sneakers/tennis shoes
hair grip/kirby grip bobbie pin
handbag purse/pocket book
hardware housewares
headmaster/mistress principal
hire purchase installment plan
holiday vacation
homely (=pleasant) homely (=ugly)
hoover (n.) vacuum cleaner
hoover (v.) vacuum
housing estate sub-division
ice/sorbet sherbet
iced lolly popsicle
icing sugar powdered sugar
icing sugar confectioner’s sugar
identification parade line-up
immersion heater(electric) water heater
interval intermission
ironmonger hardware store
jab (injection) shot
joint (meat) roast
jug pitcher
jumper/sweater/pullover sweater/pullover
kiosk/box (telephone) telephone booth
kipper smoked herring
knickers (girl’s) underwear/panties
knock up (tennis) warm up
knock up (call from sleep) in American slang this
means to get a woman pregnant
label tag
larder pantry
lavatory/toilet/w.c./loo john/bathroom/washroom
lay-by pull-off
(leading article in newspaper)
leader(1st violin in orchestra) concert master
left luggage office baggage room
let lease/rent
level crossing (railway) grade crossing
lift elevator
limited (company) incorporated
lodger roomer
lorry truck
lost property lost and found
mackintosh raincoat
made to measure custom made
managing director/MD general manager
marrow squash
methylated spirits denatured alcohol
mileometer odometer
motorway freeway/throughway
motorway super highway
nappy diaper
neat (drink) straight
net curtains sheers/under drapes
newsagent news dealer/news stand
nought zero
noughts and crosses tic-tac-toe
number plate license plate
off license/wine merchant liquor store
oven cloth/gloves pot holder/oven mitt
overtake (vehicle) pass
pack (of cards) deck
packed lunch sack lunch/bag lunch
panel beater body shop
pants (boy’s underwear) shorts/underwear
paraffin kerosene
parcel package
pavement/footpath sidewalk
personal call person-to-person call
petrol gas/gasoline
pillar box/letter box mail box
plaster/elastoplast bandaid
point/power point/socket outlet/socket
post mail
postal code zip code
postman mailman/postman
postponement raincheck
pram baby carriage/baby buggy
prison penitentiary
public convenience bathroom/restroom/washroom
public school private school
pudding dessert
purse change purse
pushchair stroller
put down/entered(goods) bought/charged
put through (telephone) connect
queue (n.) line
queue (v.) stand in line/line up
rasher (bacon) slice
reception (hotel) front desk
receptionist desk clerk
return ticket round trip ticket
reverse charges call collect
reversing lights back up lights
ring up/phone call/phone
roof/hood (car) top
roundabout (road) traffic circle
rubber eraser
rubbish garbage/trash
saloon car sedan
scribbling pad/block scratch pad
sellotape scotch tape
semi-detached duplex
semolina cream of wheat
shattered exhausted
shop assistant sales clerk/sales girl
sideboard buffet
sideboards (hair) sideburns
silencer (car) muffler
single ticket one way ticket
sitting room living room
living room living room
lounge living room
drawing room living room
skipping rope jump rope
skirting board baseboard
sledge/toboggan sled
smalls (washing) underwear
sofa davenport/couch
solicitor lawyer/attorney
sorbet sherbet
spanner monkey wrench
spirits (drink) liquor
spring onion scallion/green onion
staff (academic) faculty
stalls (theatre) orchestra seats
stand (for public office) run
standard lamp floor lamp
state school public school
sellotape adhesive tape
stone (fruit) pit
sultana raisin
surgery(doctor’s/dentist’s) office
surgical spirit rubbing alcohol
suspender belt garter belt
suspenders garters
swede turnip/rutabaga
sweet corn corn
sweet shop/confectioner candy store
sweets/chocolate candy
Swiss roll jelly roll
tadpole pollywog
tap faucet
teat (baby’s bottle) nipple
tea trolley tea cart
telegram wire
telephone box phone booth
term academic (3 in a year) semester(2 in a year)
tights pantyhose
time-table schedule
tin can
tip (n. and v.) dump
torch flashlight
traffic lights stop lights
traffic lights traffic signals
traffic lights stop signals
trousers pants/slacks
truncheon (police) night stick
trunk call/long distance long distance call
tube/underground subway
turnover sales/revenue
turn-ups (trousers) cuffs (pants)
undergraduates: undergraduates:
- 1st year - freshman
- 2nd year - sophomore
- 3rd year - junior
- 4th year - senior
unit trust mutual fund