American to English: What Words Mean What

I’ve noticed that during my time in America I will find myself in conversations where certain words mean something different to whoever I’m talking to. As a result it can get quite frustrating explaining what I mean all the time. So to make things a little easier (or just giving myself a chance to vent), here are all the words that cause so much confusion between myself and everybody over here. These may not be the same in different states, or maybe not the same in other parts of Minnesota but they are definitely like this in Crosby.

Essentially I’m going to write the American word first, then it’s equivalent in English. There are no pronunciation or spelling changes mentioned here because that would take all day and I’d just end up getting annoyed (Aluminum…hahaha no). Right, everybody understand? Here we go.

American English Equivalent
Chips Crisps
Fries Chips
Biscuits Scones
Cookies Biscuits
Jelly Jam
Jell-O Jelly
Candy Sweets
Ground Hamburger Mince
Suspenders Dungarees
Tank Tops Vests
Sidewalk Pavement
Trunk (car) Boot
Tennis Shoes Sneakers
Semi Lorry
Paper Towels Kitchen Roll
Truck Van
Flashlight Torch
Bangs Fringe
Comforter Duvet
Trash Rubbish
Garbage Can (outside) Dustbin
Couch Sofa
Love Seat …2 seater
Yard Garden
Sweatshirt Jumper
Closet Wardrobe
Soccer Football
Zits Spots
Mustard Yellow Sauce
Clue (board game) Cluedo
Sorry! (board game) Ludo
Trouble (board game) Frustration
Lays (snack company) Walkers
Walmart Asda
Van Family Car
Campers Caravans
R.V Campervans
Pants Trousers
Diapers Nappies





Parking Lot



Shopping Cart


Highway (2 lane ones)







Car Park





Dual Carriageway


And that’s all I can think of at the moment. If you’ve got one I’ve missed, let me know with a comment. Otherwise I’ll just keep adding any words that cause confusion until I have all of them here. Then maybe by that point I won’t have any more conversations where I have to explain what I mean. I’m not holding out much hope though.


3 thoughts on “American to English: What Words Mean What”

  1. Hallo,

    One that leaped (leapt?) to mind would be elevator = lift. A couple of others might be underwear = pants, vacation = holiday and parking lot = car park. I can think a few ruder ones, but I won’t mention those.

    1. Of course…I had completely forgotten about those. Pram buggy is another one. I will add them to the list. Thanks 🙂 And maybe it’s best to keep it clean although I am curious as to what you are thinking…

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