5 words that mean completely different things in England and America

Did you know? In America, a bird is an animal with feathers but in England, it often used to describe a young female

Entertainment Desk March 02, 2019

It doesn't seem like the ongoing confusion between British English and American English will ever come to an end. And we might just have to make our peace with this. While some differences between the two versions are quite apparent e.g. the ‘s’ and ‘z’, others not so much.

Even though Americans share the same language as those in England, words that commonly mean one thing in the US can mean something completely different in the UK—and vice-versa. Compiled from Reader’s Digest, here are five words that mean completely different things in the two nations.

1. Bird

In America, a bird is an animal with feathers – it’s as simple as that. In England however, a bird is often used to describe a young female, similar to the way young women are referred to as “chicks” in the America.

2. Jumper

The term “jumper” typically involves a call to 911 in the US, as it can refer to a person who’s attempting to jump from a bridge or building. The meaning couldn’t be more different in Great Britain, where “jumper” is the name given to a knitted top, or a sweater.

3. Geezer

Amercians see the word “geezer” as a derogatory term often paired with “old” to describe an elderly, old man. In England, the word “geezer” is a slang term given to a regular man, and is often used the same way Americans refer to young guys as “dudes.”

4. Boot

If a Londoner tells you he locked something in his boot, you may look at him quizzically. Yet, don’t be alarmed: While in America a boot is a type of footwear, in England, the term is used to refer to a trunk of a car.

5. Pants

Telling a British person you got your pants dirty could elicit some raised eyebrows. In America, of course, pants are clothing that covers you from your waist to your ankles. However, in England, the term “pants” is another word for “underwear.”

Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below. 


Furman | 4 years ago | Reply Been in the UK for last 5 years. Never heard the term bird for a young female!
Mir Ali | 4 years ago | Reply In US the word Mad means angry ...in UK it means crazy.
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