So moving to the UK has been a fun experience, and even more fun trying to understand the different words for things. Yes the language is the same but there are some differences! Working in a professional role at the hospital has been a learning curve figuring out how different words and phrases are used!

I thought it might be fun to create a compiled list of words and phrases that we have come across thus far.

So here it goes:

  • Aubergine – Eggplant
  • Bangers – Sausage. A common British meal is bangers and mash which is just sausage and mashed potatoes.
  • Chips – French fries
  • Collect / for Collection – When you order anything and go pick it up.
  • Courgette – Zucchini
  • Crisps – Potato chips
  • Cupboard – Cabinet
  • Cutlery – Silverware or utensils
  • Double Glazing – This does not mean an extra layer of icing at Krispy Kreme, but double glass in the windows of houses for better insulation.
  • Flat – Apartment
  • Gherkins – Pickles
  • Hire Car – Rental car
  • Hiya – Hi/Hello, I hear “hiya” very often as a normal greeting.
  • Hob – Stove
  • Holiday/Annual Leave – Vacation.
  • Jacket Potato – baked potato. A common ingredient to fill your jacket potato is baked beans…so strange but delicious!
  • Let – If a flat is “for let”, it means for rent.
  • Lie-in or Lay-in – Means to sleep in
  • Loo/toilet – Toilet is the same but if you refer to it as a “bathroom” it means a room with a tub/shower in it, or if you say “restroom” then it means a break room. When you refer to a toilet, it is a room that contains a toilet and not just the commode itself ha.
  • Lorries – 18-wheeler trucks (or any other big truck)
  • Mucky – Yucky
  • Nappies – Diapers
  • Petrol Station – Gas station. Petrol is what you put in your car.
  • Pram – Baby stroller
  • Prawns – Shrimp
  • Queue – Line
  • Rubbish Bin – Trash can
  • Swede – Rutabaga
  • Take Away – When you go to a restaurant and want to order food “to go” it’s referred as “take away.”
  • Trainers – Tennis shoes/sneakers
  • Trolley – Basically everything that we would refer to as a “cart” they put the word “trolley” in its place. For example a shopping cart at a grocery store is a trolley. Also at work a stretcher would be called a trolley.
  • Trousers – Pants. If you say something about pants, they literally think you are talking about underwear. So you must refer to pants as trousers ha. If you are talking about underwear, then underwear or knickers is appropriate.
  • Tube – London’s underground subway
  • Uni – Like Australia, “uni” is short for university
  • WC – If you see a sign that has WC out in public, this is saying there is a bathroom! It stands for Water Closet which means there is a toilet ha. Apparently other countries use this as a symbol as well, even Brazil!
  • Wee – Pee
  • White Goods – A term to talk about the fridge, washer, etc in a house or apartment.

The weirdest ones for us are the words for eggplant and zucchini! We went to a pub for dinner one night and on the menu was a aubergine, courgette and some other item lasagna and we could not for the life of us tell that it was simply a vegetable lasagna.

Are you familiar with any of these terms? Feel free to chime in of any words or phrases that you know or have heard of!!

If you like this, here are a few initial differences for an American moving to the UK for you to check out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *