Friday, January 17, 2014

56 Food-Related Word Differences Between Britain And The U.S.



Word Differences
BRITISH ENGLISH
AMERICAN ENGLISH
Aluminium foil
Aluminum foil
Aubergine
Eggplant
Beetroot
Beet
Biscuit
Cookie
Bitter
Pale ale
Candy floss
Cotton candy
Chips
Fries
Chili con carne
Chili
Chili sauce
Hot sauce
Chocolate bar
Candy bar
Cling film
Saran wrap
Cooker
Oven
Coriander
Cilantro
Cornflour
Corn starch
Cos lettuce
Romaine lettuce
Courgette
Zucchini
Crisps
Potato chips
Cutlery
Silverware
Digestives
Graham crackers
Fairy cake
Cupcake
Fish fingers
Fish sticks
Fizzy drink
Pop/Soda/Coke
Flask
Water bottle
Gammon
Ham
Ice lolly
Popsicle
Icing
Frosting
Jam
Fruit preserves (also jam)
Jelly
Jell-O
Kebab
Gyro
Macaroni cheese
Mac and cheese
Main Course
Entrée
Minced meat
Ground meat
Pie
Pot Pie
Porridge
Oatmeal
Prawn
Shrimp
Profiterole
Cream puff
Pudding
Dessert
Rapeseed oil
Canola oil
Ready salted
Original
Salt and pepper pot
Salt and pepper shaker
Saucepan
Pot
Scone
Biscuit
Semolina
Grits
Serviette
Napkin
Skimmed milk
Skim milk
Slow Cooker
Crock pot (also slow cooker)
Spaghetti bolognese
Spaghetti
Spirit
Liquor
Spring onion
Scallion
Starter
Appetizer
Sweetcorn
Corn
Sweets
Candy
Swiss roll
Jelly roll
Tinned food
Canned food
Treacle
Molasses
Water biscuits
Crackers


Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a contributor for BBC America and writes a weekly column for Anglotopia. Having graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English Language and Creative Writing, Laurence runs this blog, Lost In The Pond, charting the endless cultural and linguistic differences between Britain and The United States. 

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6 comments:

Tim Haselden said...

God help 'em with Brain's Faggots. or the culinary delights of the Split "Chips, fish & mushy Peas" or Tater pie.or the great northern stew that is Lobby.

Jamie Nicolson said...

I use quite a lot of the American words (like oven, cupcake etc.) and use zucchini due to my German side of the family, but seriously, fish-fingers are completely different to fish sticks, same foes for the gammon/ham and flask/water bottle (seriously!? A flask is an insulated metal container for hot drinks, and water bottle is a plastic bottle for water/juice etc. :/

Anonymous said...

A bunch of these really are not pure substitutions. Several of the 'British' forms are highly common in the U.S., e.g. "main course", "prawn", "starter", "sweetcorn", and "spring onion." Further, a bunch of the "British" forms describe different things or are not direct replacements. For example, semolina is typically a wheat product while grits are exclusively corn. You could in a broad sense call them corn semolina, but the "corn" is a very important distinction. Same idea for gyro/kebab, which are very slightly different dishes. Both terms are used here in the States depending on if you're getting the Greek dish or the Turkish/Arabic dish. "Candy bar" is a more broad description that can cover chocolate and non-chocolate bars, so that's also not a pure substitution. Lastly, the spaghetti comparison is laughable and really doesn't belong on this list. Spaghetti is a noodle; spaghetti bolognese is a particular dish made with that noodle featuring a tomato and meat sauce. If you're making spaghetti, it could have a number of different sauces, some red, some white, some green, some colorless, some with meat, some with vegetarian. You -might- hear an American using spaghetti as shorthand for spaghetti bolognese in context, but that's a shorthand. If I invited you over to dinner for spaghetti without specifying sauce, you're just as likely to get a puttanesca, marinara, arrabiata, napolitana, or carbonara as you are to get a bolognese. If you want a closer translation in common speak for "spaghetti bolognese", try "spaghetti with red sauce" or "spaghetti with gravy" (if you're feeling particularly New Jersey Sicilian).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, thats actually not true about 'sketti'. I never heard of spaghetti bolognese until I was 17 and reading a book. American, 25, grandfather's family full italian immigrant.

Jandyersn said...

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