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What do these English Words mean in the UK?

As the old adage goes, “I say Tom-MAY-toes, you say, Tom-MAH-toes, we have pronounced words differently depending on where you are from. 

Ever since we came across the pond folks from both sides have chuckled at each other’s use of the English Language. 

Here are ten of those words, that mean something totally different in the UK than in the US. 

Can you guess what these 10 words mean? 

*The photographs have nothing to do with the words. 

Good luck and have fun! 

  • Question /

    You could get wet in a “Bog”. What does it mean in the UK?

    • Swamp
    • Toilet
  • Question /

    If someone in the UK asked you if you would like to play a game of FOOTBALL, what game would you play?

    • Soccer
    • Foot Ball
    • Golf
  • Question /

    How about a LIFT?

    • An uplifting comment.
    • An elevator.
    • A ride somewhere.
  • Question /

    I am hungry for a BISCUIT.

    • A cookie.
    • A cat or dog treat.
    • A small round baked bread lathered with butter for breakfast.
  • Question /

    I think I need a COACH!

    • Someone to teach me.
    • A buss.
    • Covered Wagon
  • Question /

    I’m tired, maybe a TROLLEY would help.

    • They have them in San Francisco. A trolley.
    • A shopping basket.
    • A baby carriage.
  • Question /

    Some people have BRACES on.

    • Wires on their teeth.
    • Blinders
    • Dark sun glasses.
    • Suspenders that go over your shoulder to hold up pants.
  • Question /

    A HAMPER would be nice.

    • A quiet time.
    • Clothes basket.
    • Picnic basket
    • To hinder someone.
  • Question /

    What does DUMMY mean?

    • They use them in crash tests. Car Dummies.
    • Pacifier
    • Carpet
    • A derogatory remark to say someone is stupid.
  • Question /

    And the word, SHAG?

    • A long carpet that was popular in the 70’s.
    • You might have heard of the word shag in the movie Goldmember with Austin Powers. It means sex.
    • To dance really fast.

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Written by Kim_Johnson

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36 Comments

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  1. Great fun quiz, Kim. I got 8/10, but I had the advantage that I lived in the UK for 6 years, though I’ve only spent a week in the US πŸ™‚ Did you know that the word ‘bog’ (here in Ireland we only use it the American way) comes from the Irish word ‘bog’ which means ‘soft’, describing the ground underfoot!

    • Great score here Norman, funny that you did better on the US than the UK one. All in all you scored very high on all of them, thank you for playing all three!
      Bog, what an odd sounding word, and a very nice way of describing a marsh/bog. It is soft underfoot for sure. Not mosquito infected stagnant mud water at all. lol

  2. Interesting! Being British, I had to do this the other way round – working out what the American English would be!

    As egdcltd says, some of these words have more than one meaning in the UK – for example, “bog” can have either of the meanings you suggest.

    You are not 100% correct with all your suggested answers. For example, there are fundamental differences between a bus and a coach, one being that the latter is good deal more comfortable! Basically, buses are used on regular routes, stopping many times to pick up passengers who are charged fares as they get on. Coaches are generally used on longer-distance journeys, quite often for private hire.

      • American words for toilets always amuse me. Why call it a bathroom when there’s no bath there? Or a restroom when that’s the last thing you’re going to do!

        I once worked in a university library when an American came up to me one Saturday morning and asked if we had a restroom. This was the first time I had heard this term and I thought he had said “restaurant”. I replied that we did have one in the building, but it was closed on Saturdays and he would find one a couple of streets away!

        • True, I agree with you on that one. I remember asking that when I was a kid, why it was called bathroom if it had no bath.
          lol I bet that guy was super confused. πŸ™‚ closed and a couple of streets away there is one. hahaa.

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