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Might be hard to find "aubergines" in the U.S. (Photo via AP)

Surely any self-respecting Anglophile knows “flat” means “apartment,” a “lift” is an “elevator,” “trainers” are “sneakers,” and so on. It should come in your Anglophile “handbook” (maybe there should be one) before induction to the club. But there are a bunch of British-American words that can surprise the best of us.

1. Aubergine = eggplant

Might be hard to find “aubergines” in a U.S. supermarket. (Restaurant Girl)

2. Mackintosh (rain mac) = rain coat

“It’s going to rain, bring your mackintosh.” (Gear Patrol)

3. Lorry = truck

“That lorry is a bit wide for the road, wonder if she’ll fit.” (Shiply)


4. Offy (off-license) = liquor store

“I’m off to the offy.”  (NewsOne)

5. Zebra crossing = cross walk

The most famous zebra crossing. (BBC)

6. Diary = schedule

“I’m looking forward to our meeting, I’ll add you into my diary.” (MochiThings)

7. Bog roll = toilet paper

You can never have too much bog roll. (

8. Skip = dumpster

You can rent a skip to take away the rubbish. (Rubbish Works)

 9. Braces = suspenders

 Your braces will be sure to keep your trousers (not pants) up.(GQ)

10. Bum bag = fanny pack

Whatever you want to call it, it brings the party. (FratToys)

What word surprised you the most?

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Filed Under: British Words
By Brigid Brown