Definitions

baby coach

List of American words not widely used in the United Kingdom

This is a list of American words not widely used in the United Kingdom.

  • Words with specific American meanings that have different meanings in British English and/or additional meanings common to both dialects (e.g. pants, crib) are to be found at List of words having different meanings in British and American English, as are compounds derived from such words (e.g. crib death). When such words are herein used or referenced, they are marked with the flag [DM].
  • Asterisks (*) denote words and meanings having appreciable (that is, not occasional) currency in British English, but nonetheless distinctive of American English for their relatively greater frequency in American speech and writing. Americanisms are increasingly common in British English, and many that were not widely used some decades ago, are now so (e.g. regular in the sense of "regular coffee").
  • American spelling is consistently used throughout the article, except when explicitly referencing British terms.

0-9

101 : (pronounced "one-oh-one") label for introductory college courses ("English 101"), figuratively denoting something intended for beginners ("real estate 101") 401K : (pronounced "four-oh-one K";) 401k is an employer sponsored retirement plan in the U.S.[A traditional individual retirement account (IRA), 401(k)]. Employees can contribute a portion of their income into the plan on a pre-tax basis. The maximum amount of the contribution is limited by the U.S. federal government and the plan itself. An employer can select to contribute tax-deferred matching funds into the employee's account. This type of plan is called a defined contribution plan since the employee decides the percentage of their income to contribute. Once the employee retires, their distribution will depend on the amount the plan has grown. Because of this, the employee should choose the investments carefully. Once the employee starts taking distributions, the withdrawals are taxed. If money is withdrawn before reaching age 59 1/2, there is also an early withdrawal penalty. 411 : (pronounced "four-one-one"; colloquial) information about something (from 4-1-1, directory assistance number)5-0 : (pronounced "five-oh", often "the five-oh"; colloquial) the police (from Hawaii Five-O, an American television series)

A

AC : air conditioning (UK: air con) acclimate : (verb) (UK usually: acclimatise, acclimatize) acetaminophen (or Tylenol) : (UK: paracetamol) addicting : (UK and US: addictive) affirmative action : providing opportunities in education or work based on (e.g.) race or gender (UK: positive discrimination) airplane : fixed-wing aircraft. Alteration of UK aeroplane, probably influenced by aircraft AMBER alert : see article amtrac : Landing Vehicle Tracked (not to be confused with Amtrak, the passenger railroad corporation) arroyo : a usually dry creek. arugula, rugola : the herb also known as rocket or garden rocket. Borrowed from southern Italian dialect in the early 1960s ("Ask Italian greengrocers for arugula, rucola or ruccoli; ask other markets for rouquette, rocket salad or, simply, rocket." — The New York Times, May 24, 1960, in OED).

B

baby carriage : pushable vehicle for transporting babies, also called stroller, buggy or regionally baby coach (UK: perambulator (old-fashioned or formal), pram, or, for the type that an older baby sits rather than lies in, pushchair) bachelorette : a usually young unmarried woman; not quite the same as "spinster" backhoe : a piece of excavating equipment (UK usually digger, mechanical digger, excavator, or JCB, genericized trademark) ballpark : a baseball stadium; a range of approximation or accuracy ("in the ballpark"; "a ballpark figure") * Band-Aid *: (trademark) bandage for minor wounds, (UK: Elastoplast (trademark), plaster [DM]); also, a makeshift solution bangs : front part of the hair cut to hang over the forehead (UK: a fringe) barf : to vomit (slang) (throw up) barrette : hair slide baseboard : skirting board bayou : (from Louisiana French) an often marshy slow-moving minor watercourse, usually located in a low-lying area (as in the Mississippi River delta region of the southern United States) bedroom community : a commuter town or suburb (UK: dormitory town [DM]) bell pepper : a mild (not spicy) red or green pepper or capsicum in Australian English and Indian English blacktop : a road surface [DM] composed of asphalt concrete; also a verb ("to blacktop a parking lot") (UK: compare tarmac) blinders : (on a horse) (UK: blinkers) blood sausage : black pudding boardwalk : a walkway usually made of planking, typically along a beach (as that of Atlantic City) bobby pin : hair grip, Kirby grip booger : (slang) a piece of nasal mucus (UK: bogey) bookmobile : a large vehicle housing a mobile lending library (UK: mobile library) boombox : a large portable stereo, syn. with ghettoblaster, which is also American in origin but is common in the UK. boondocks : (also the boonies) rough country; a very rural location or town; backwoods; the "sticks". Sometimes refers to rough, poor neighborhoods in a city. From Tagalog. boondoggle : slang term for a scheme that wastes time and money; also scoubidou, a knotting and plaiting craft Botts' dot : see raised pavement marker (UK: cat's eye) breadbox : a box for keeping bread (UK: usually bread bin) bro : from brother; informal for a brother, or a friend or pal (UK: bruv,) broil : to cook food with high heat with the heat applied directly to the food from above (UK: grill) [DM]. Apparently first used by Chaucer. brownstone : a type of residential building found in New York and other large cities buddy, bud : a friend; also used as a term of address (UK similar: mate) bullhorn : a megaphone burglarize : to carry out a burglary (UK: burgle; burgle is very rare in US, and burglarize virtually nonexistent in UK) busboy : junior restaurant worker assisting waiting staff, table clearer, water pourer etc. (UK: busser; runner) butte : an isolated hill with steep sides and a small flat top

C

caboose : a train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the crew's use (UK: guard's van' or brake van'); also (colloquial) the buttocks Canadian bacon : Ham, usually pressed and sliced back bacon. candy apple*, candied apple : toffee apple canola : a trademarked variety of rapeseed careen : (of a vehicle) to travel fast and out of control, usually swerving or cornering (UK: career) carhop : someone serving food at a drive-in, often on rollerskates catercorner : (or catercornered, catacorner, kitty-corner, catty-corner, etc.) (adverb) diagonally, diagonally opposite ("The house looks catercorner to mine"). Cater Corner is the original form (from the French ‘quatre’ and English 'corner' = four + corner), but the forms kitty corner and catty corner (folk etymology) are usual in speech, the former especially in the North and the latter in the Midland and South. Sometimes (dialectal, regional) also kitty/catty wampus/wumpus (unclearly derived), which can also mean "awry". catsup : occasionally used term for ketchup that never sees use in the UK. cell phone : (short for cellular telephone) a portable telephone; UK: mobile phone, often abbreviated to mobile central air : central air conditioning ChapStick *: (trademark, sometimes used generically) a lip balm checkers : a popular board game (UK: draughts) charge account : in a store or shop (UK: credit account) checking account : the type of bank account used for drawing checks; distinguished from savings account. (UK: current account or cheque account) cilantro : coriander leaf, while in the US, coriander refers only to the seed. cookout : informal meal cooked and eaten outdoors, a cross between a picnic and a barbecue co-ed, coed : female student at a coeducational college (e.g. "He saw the party as an opportunity to meet co-eds."); any group of people with members from both genders (e.g. "My soccer team is co-ed.") cooties : fictional disease, a term used by children (UK: lurgy); also a term for lice costume party : party where costumes are worn (UK: fancy-dress party) cotton candy : spun sugar often sold at fairs (UK: candy floss) counterclockwise : (UK: anti-clockwise) coveralls : a one-piece outer protective garment (UK: overall, boiler suit) critter : (informal) a creature; an animal (as a horse in the South or a bull in the North); often used jocularly (as in "congresscritter", a congressperson); sometimes a term of endearment crapshoot : risky and uncertain venture; from a dice game

D

diaper : An absorbent undergarment (UK: nappy) dime : a 10-cent coin. Derived from the Latin word for ten decem. A variant on Disme, the original spelling. Five-and-dime, dime store, a store selling cheap merchandise; a dime a dozen, so abundant as to be worth little; on a dime, in a small space ("turn on a dime") or immediately ("stop on a dime"); nickel-and-dime, originally an adjective meaning "involving small amounts of money" and then "insignificant", also a verb meaning "to rip-off via many seemingly insignificant charges". (The nickel [DM] is the 5-cent coin.) In Britain, the old sixpence, a small coin worth the equivalent of 2.5p, was formerly used in similar expressions before decimal currency was introduced in the early 1970s. direct deposit : a method of payment by bank transfer, similar to European giro, almost exclusively used for deposits of pay checks or government benefits dishrag : a cloth for washing dishes (UK: dishcloth) dish towel : a towel for drying dishes (UK: tea towel) divided highway : a road with a highway median (UK: dual carriageway) docent : a university lecturer; also a volunteer guide in a museum or similar institution doohickey : word used for an unknown item (a thingamajig or just a thingy) (UK: wotsit) douche : device for rinsing the vagina; also douchebag is used as an insult downspout : pipe for carrying rainwater from a gutter to the ground (UK & US: drainpipe) downtown : (noun, adv., adj.) (in, to, toward, or related to) either the lower section or the business center of a city or town—compare uptown, see article for New York City usage; (noun) in basketball, far from the basket (as outside the three-point line)—used of a shot; (adj., adv., noun) a euphemism to describe oral sex, the act of performing oral sex, or to refer to genitalia driver license, driver's license : (UK: full driving licence) drugstore : a pharmacy, or a store selling candy, magazines, etc. along with medicines (UK approx.: chemist or "corner shop" [DM]) druthers : preference of one thing over another derived from a contraction of "I would rather" or "I'd rather" (e.g. "if I had my druthers, I'd...") drywall : gypsum board, plasterboard, or any process that builds interior walls without the use of water (UK: plasterboard) duct tape (or Duck tape) : a fabric tape used for quick repairs (originally heating ducts) )UK: gaffer tape) dude : A male or a farm hand at a horse ranch. Americans often use this as the combined equivalent of the British usage of "mate" and "bloke", or, even closer, as the equivalent of Caribbean "man/mon". Dude has become more common in the UK because of television, movies, etc. Dumpster : (trademark: might be becoming genericized) large trash receptacle (UK approx.: skip [DM]); to dumpster-dive, to rummage through a Dumpsterdweeb : a boring, studious, or socially inept person (nerd,geek)

E

eggplant : the plant Solanum melongena (UK: aubergine); "eggplant" is common in the Commonwealth outside the United Kingdom. Emergency brake : brake in motor vehicle operated by a lever used to keep it stationary. (UK: handbrake) eminent domain : the power of the government to take private property for public use (similar to UK compulsory purchase) English muffin : (UK: "muffin", "hot muffin") (for more, see article) envision : to envisage expiration : As in expiration date (UK: expiry) expressway : A type of multi-lane divided highway exurb : The ring of prosperous rural communities beyond the suburbs, see Commuter town

F

fanny pack : pouch-like bag that ties or snaps around the wearer's waist (UK: bum bag). See also fanny in [DM]. faucet : water outlet (UK and US: tap [DM]) feedlot *: (see article) flack: a publicist or press agent; sometimes also an alternate spelling of flak "negative commentary", which is used in the UK. Although flack "press agent" was first recorded just one year after flak "Flugabwehrkanone", the two are likely unrelated. flashlight : portable battery-powered electric lamp (UK: torch) flatware : knives, spoons, and forks (as opposed to holloware); (UK usually cutlery [DM], although flatware is used in the UK antiques trade as a specialist word) freeway : (see article) French press : Device for making coffee (UK: cafetière) freshman *: a first-year student in college or high school (also fresher in UK) (French) fries : pieces of potato that have been deep-fried. Originates from Belgium style of cooking potatoes (UK sometimes distinguishes between thick chips [DM] and thin fries) frosting : A confection applied to cakes (UK: "icing")

G

garbage : (UK: rubbish) gasoline : (esp. in the past also spelled gasolene; abbreviated gas) (UK: petrol) gee-whiz : as an interjection, a euphemism for "Jesus"; as an adjective, denotes something characterized by or meant to cause excitement or sensation ("gee-whiz technology"; "a gee-whiz attitude") general delivery : (UK: poste restante) green thumb : (UK: green fingers) grifter *: a con artist, transient swindler, or professional gambler (UK: con man); also grift can mean an act of thievery or trickery gotten : Archaic in the UK, only found as part of the phrase 'ill-gotten gains'. grits : A maize (sweetcorn) porridge common in the southern U.S. and unknown in the UK grunt : Slang for infantryman : (UK: squaddie)

H

half bath : a bathroom [DM] that lacks a shower or bathtub (i.e., a bathroom which lacks a place to actually bathe.) Equivalent to a British W.C. or Cloakroom heavy cream : double cream (UK) hickey : a bruise on one's skin resulting from kissing or sucking; (UK: love bite) highball : (see article) ho : The word "whore", synonymous with tramp (harlot) or slut and often used as an insult. The spelling is associated with African-American English, though it does no more than reflect a non-Rhotic pronunciation of the standard word, as would be also found in Boston or Australia. May be referred to in Ireland as a dirty slapper. hobo : subculture of wandering homeless people,[1] particularly those who make a habit of hopping freight trains. Becoming more popular in the UK homemaker : The British National Corpus contains 634 occurrences of housewife and 18 of homemaker; the BYU Corpus of American English contains 972 occurrences of housewife and 633 of homemaker. hominy : processed maize, see also grits hood : engine compartment cover of front-engine automobile (UK: bonnet) play hooky : to play truant from school; to cut class (UK also: skive, bunk off) horseback riding : simply "riding" or horse riding in the UK howdy : (short for how do you do) casual greeting that originated in the Southern States. hush puppy: a deep-fried pellet of cornmeal mush commonly eaten with Southern American seafood. HVAC : Heating + Ventilating (or Ventilation) + Air Conditioning (used in technical circles in the UK)

I

intimate apparel : lingerie; used mainly in advertisements.

J

jack off, jerk off * : (slang) to masturbate, UK usage would be "to wank". If used as a disparaging noun, as in "that guy is such a jackoff [or jerkoff]", the UK equivalent would be "that guy is such a wanker [or tosser]". In this sense, sometimes written "jagoff". (It is generally not considered as vulgar or insulting as "wanker" is, however.) jackhammer: (UK: pneumatic drill) Jane Doe : See John Doe. jeez : minced oath for "Jesus", sometimes spelled geez Jell-o : (trademark) gelatin dessert (UK: jelly [DM]) john : (slang) a toilet; also, the client of a prostitute John Doe : unnamed defendant or victim (as in a lawsuit), or a person whose identity is unknown or is intended to be anonymous; also, an average man ; compare John Q. Public (UK equivalent is Joe Bloggs, or John Smith). The female equivalent is Jane Doe, or less frequently "Jane Roe" as in Roe v. Wade. Also Baby Doe. John Hancock : a signature (from the name of the President of the Second Continental Congress, who was the first signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and who also wrote his signature the largest) -- "put your John Hancock here" John Q. Public : the common man, typical member of the general public. Also stated as Joe Public, Joe Blow, Joe Schmoe, Joe Six-Pack, Eddie Punchclock, or Joe Lunchbucket. (UK: Joe Bloggs)

K

kitty-corner : see catercorner

L

ladybug: a red, black-spotted beetle (UK: ladybird) laundromat: a public place to wash laundry (UK: laundrette) learner's permit : a restricted license for a person learning to drive, who has not yet passed the necessary driver's test (rules vary from state to state); also called driver's permit (UK: provisional driving licence) left field *: a source of unexpected or illogical questions, ideas, etc. ("that proposal came out of left field"); for the baseball sense see left fielder; see English language idioms derived from baseball (now becoming more common in the UK) letter carrier : a person who delivers mail to residences and businesses; also mail carrier, mailman (UK: postman) license plate, license tag : vehicle registration plate (UK: number plate) lye : caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) or potassium hydroxide (archaic in UK)

M

mail carrier : a person who delivers mail to residences and businesses; also letter carrier (UK & US: postman, postwoman, although people are encouraged to use postal worker, in an effort to prevent sexism.) mailman : see mail carrier mailbox : (UK: post box, letter box, pillar box) mass transit : (UK: public transport) math : mathematics (UK: maths) - can also mean sum. midsize : medium size Miranda : (Miranda warning) the warning (usually "You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." etc.) given to criminal suspects when arrested; (Miranda rights) the right of a criminal suspect when arrested, as established in the United States Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona; hence mirandize, to recite the Miranda warning to (a criminal suspect). In the UK this is referred to as "reading rights" or "cautioned as to his rights" (not to be confused with a police caution). mohawk : a type of haircut (UK: mohican) mom, mommy, mama, mamma, momma : mother (UK often: mum[my]',mam,ma') mom-and-pop : single-family operated small business ("a mom-and-pop store") (UK: corner shop/store/off-licence/offy) mono / mononucleosis : (UK: Glandular fever) mortician : an undertaker, funeral director

N

narc : law enforcement narcotics agent; but 'to narc on' someone is to inform on them to an authority figure, used also as a noun labeling a person who does such (UK: Grass) (This term is also used in New Zealand) New York minute : see New York minute (time) nightstand : encompassed by bedside table normalcy : normality. Used, although not coined, by Warren G. Harding ("a return to normalcy")

O

obligated : (UK: "obliged") off-the-rack : of clothes, etc. (UK: off-the-peg) oftentimes *: often (archaic in Britain but colloquial in America, especially clause-initially) ornery : irritable, crotchety, cranky, troublemaking (from ordinary) ouster : ousting, overthrow ("the ouster of a regime"; "the ouster of the CEO") outage *: temporary suspension of operation ("a power outage", UK: powercut); the amount of something lost in storage or transportation [DM] overpass *: (UK: flyover)

P

pacifier : (UK: dummy [DM], comforter [DM]) pantyhose : (UK: tights, a term used for similar non-sheer garments in the U.S.; "pantyhose" refers only to sheer or semi-sheer nylon-based tights) paper route : a regular series of newspaper deliveries (UK: paper round) parking garage : multi-storey car park parking lot : a usually outside area for the parking of automotive vehicles (UK: car park) penny-ante : (adj.) petty, insignificant -- from penny ante, poker played for a very low ante Popsicle : A trademarked brand of frozen juice, or flavored ice on a stick. The term is widely used to describe all such confections without regard to brand. (UK: ice lolly) plastic wrap : polymer material for sealing food items (UK: cling-film) plumber's butt or plumber's crack : buttock cleavage, also called the working man's smile (UK: builder's bum or builder's cleavage) plushie, plush toy : soft toy (UK: cuddly toy) powdered sugar : (UK: icing sugar) pre-authorized payment/withdrawal : (UK: direct debit (variable amount)/standing order (fixed amount)) public holiday : (UK: bank holiday, although public holiday is also used, more formally, when referring to New Year's Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day). See Federal holiday

R

rad : different or interesting, exceptional; synonym for cool raincheck : The metaphorical raincheck is used in the US to indicate that the person "taking the raincheck" regretfully cannot accept the current invitation but would like to be invited to a future event. In the UK the person "taking the raincheck" may attend an event, but is warning the host that there is a possibility that they may not be able to make it. Both usages are becoming more common in UK English, particularly amongst office workers. raised pavement marker : commonly called reflector, Botts' dot or cat's eye (UK: cat's eye) rappel : to descend on a rope (UK: abseil) Realtor (trademark): member of the National Association of Realtors; as a genericized trademark, any real estate broker or real estate agent (UK: estate agent) recision : a cancellation ("This bill would authorize the recision of the adult day health care license"). Now rare in the UK; a different word from rescission roil : to render muddy by stirring up the dregs of; as, to roil wine, cider, etc., in casks or bottles; to roil a spring; also, to disquiet or disturb roustabout : an unskilled laborer, especially at an oil field, at a circus, or on a ship rowhouse : (UK: terraced house) Rube Goldberg : Absurdly complex machine (see Heath Robinson). rutabaga : the turnip Brassica napus napobrassica (UK: swede) RV (recreational vehicle) : see article for usage of the terms RV, motor home, and the British camper [DM] and caravan [DM] RV park : (UK: caravan site or less usually caravan park)

S

Saran wrap : (Saran is a trademark) plastic wrap (UK: cling film) sawbuck : sawhorse; also a ten dollar bill scads : great amounts of something scallion *: also used in Ireland; also known as spring onion in Great Britain and the US scuttlebutt : gossip, rumor; originally meant water fountain (UK: rumour) sedan automobile : (UK: saloon) self rising flour : self-raising flour shill *: A shill is a person who is supposed to appear like a member of the general public who usually attempts to lend credibility or excitement to a confidence scheme e.g. a person who claims to have received benefit from snake oil. Recently popularized by eBay ("shill bidding" or bidding to drum up excitement with no intention of buying). The UK equivalent to a shill would be a "plant", from having someone "planted" in an audience or amongst bystanders. The term "plant" is equally used and understood in the United States. shuck : the husk of an ear of corn(maize), an oyster shell, etc.; used in plural to mean something worthless or as an interjection ("shucks!"); (verb) to remove the shuck; also, to discard, get rid of, remove ("I shucked my coat") Shyster : A lawyer or accountant of dubious ethical standards. This phrase commonly indicates a person with no ethical restraints. (From German Scheister) sidewalk : usually paved path for pedestrian traffic, often constructed of paving slabs (either of concrete or less usually of stone) (UK: pavement [DM], footpath [DM]). A sidewalk superintendent is someone spectating a construction or demolition job - UK: bystander (but no specific term) skim milk : (UK: skimmed milk) s'more : A camp fire treat consisting of a roasted marshmallow and a slab of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker. sneaker : (usually pl.) a form of footwear, also called tennis shoe or "gym shoe"—see regional vocabularies of American English (UK: trainer, plimsoll, regional dap,pump, [DM]) soda fountain : (see article) sophomore : a second-year college or high school student (Trinity College Dublin has sophister in this sense); (adj.) the second in a series (as in, an athlete's "sophomore season", a band's "sophomore album") From the Greek: Sophos - Wise; and Moros - Fool, Moron (UK: undergraduate has this extended sense) specialty *: (UK: speciality, though specialty is used in law and medicine) spyglass : a telescope or set of lenses used to observe subjects at distance
(Once common in UK usage, but now only in dialect.) station wagon : automobile with extended rear cargo area (UK: estate (car)) steam shovel : a large mechanical excavator (UK:digger or JCB ) stickshift, stick : (car with) manual transmission, as opposed to an automatic (UK: gear stick or gear lever for the stick; manual for the car) strep throat : a sore throat caused by Streptococcus stool pigeon, stoolie : police informer (UK: grasser) (From the use of captive birds as hunting decoys) streetcar : vehicle on rails for passenger transportation [DM] usually within a city; also called trolley [DM] or trolley car if electrically powered by means of a trolley (UK: tram) stroller : vehicle for baby transportation featuring the child in a sitting position, usually facing forward (UK: pushchair, buggy [DM]) SUV * : Sport-Utility Vehicle. Often referred to as a 4x4 ("four by four") in the UK; in the US "4x4" usually refers to a four wheel drive pickup truck.

T

taffy : a type of chewy candy; see taffy (candy) tailpipe : exhaust pipe takeout : (UK: takeaway; Scotland & US also: carry-out) teeter(-totter), teeterboard : a seesaw telecast : to broadcast by television teleprompter : (see article) (UK: compare autocue) thru : Through. An abbreviation mostly used in the fast food industry, as in Drive Thru. Also used in traffic signs ("Thru Traffic Keep Left", i.e. traffic that is continuing through an interchange rather than exiting should keep to the left) and occasionally road names ("New York State Thruway") and sometimes in newspaper headlines. Generally not considered acceptable spelling in other contexts. thumbtack : short nail or pin with a large, rounded metal head (UK: drawing pin) track and field *: (UK usually athletics [DM]); see also track [DM] trackless trolley : a trolleybus; see trolley in [DM] trashcan : (UK: dustbin, rubbish bin) trunk : rear storage compartment of a sedan automobile (UK: boot) turnpike : (see article) turn signal : direction-indicator lights (US also directionals; UK usually indicators or flashers[DM]; US and UK also blinkers [DM]) two-bit : literally, worth 25 cents (a bit is an eighth of a dollar); figuratively, worth very little, insignificant (informal). In UK the phrase two bob exists although this far more common in London and the south-east. Likewise mickey mouse. two cents, two cents' worth: an opinion, a piece of one's mind (as in, "I'm gonna go down there and give him my two cents") - (UK similar: two pence, two penneth, two penn'orth or tuppence worth)

U

undershirt : an upper undergarment with no collar, and with short or no sleeves, worn next to the skin under a shirt (UK: singlet, vest [DM], semmit in Scotland and Northern Ireland ) upscale : relating to goods targeted at high-income consumers; upmarket uptown : (noun, adj., adv.) (in, to, toward, or related to) either the upper section or the residential district of a city; e.g. in Manhattan, New York City the term refers to the northern end of Manhattan, generally speaking, north of 59th Street; see also Uptown, Minneapolis; Uptown, Chicago; Uptown New Orleans; compare downtown. Often has implications of being a desirable or upscale neighborhood. However, in Butte, Montana and Charlotte, North Carolina, "Uptown" refers to what would be called "downtown" in most other cities.

V

vacationer : someone taking a vacation [DM] (UK: holidaymaker) vacay : informal shortening of vacation (comparable to UK hols) variety meats: offal varmint : pest which raids farms, rather than infesting them

W

washcloth : (UK: flannel, UK often & US less frequently facecloth; US less frequently also washrag) washrag : See washcloth. wastebasket : synonym for trash can (UK: dustbin; wastepaper basket is an interior object for waste from each room.) weatherization : weatherproofing of buildings windshield: the front window of an automobile (UK: windscreen) winningest: Most winning; (sports) having the most wins wiseguy: a mobster; also smartass ("alright, wiseguy...") woodsy : abundant in trees, suggestive of woods; woody, wooded

X

Y

Y'all : (regional — Southern American, African-American, and Appalachian) contraction of You all, used as second-person dual or plural pronoun. Also all y'all, comparable in meaning and register to north-English and Scottish "youse, yous". yellow light : as in the color at a stoplight (q.v.) or traffic lights. In the UK, this is referred to as an amber light (though railway signals are a different shade, and are referred to as yellow, not amber). In the UK, the red and amber light together immediately in advance of the green (giving a light sequence of 1.red, 2.red and amber (together), 3.green, 4.amber (alone), 5.red). Yinz, yunz, you'uns : (Western Pennsylvania, especially Pittsburgh) plural you; derived from you ones

Z

zinger : a witty, often caustic remark; something supposed to cause surprise or shock ZIP code : (for Zone Improvement Plan) the postal code used by the United States Postal Service composed of 5 digits as in 90210, sometimes a suffix of 4 digits after a hyphen is used. (UK equivalent: postcode or post code or rarely postal code) zipper * : (UK usually zip [DM]) zucchini : the plant Cucurbita pepo, also zucchini squash. (UK: courgette)

References

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