Finding America

Me and Tarah

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Continuing an alphabetised list of words and phrases common to the U.S. that are not widely used in the UK, here are 24 such words beginning with the letter 'b'.

1. Baby carriage
Pushable vehicle for transporting babies (UK equivalent: pram, pushchair or buggy)

2. Baby shower 
Party with gifts to celebrate an impending birth (not common in the UK)

3. Band-Aid
(Trademark) bandage for minor wounds, (UK equivalent: Elastoplast (trademark), plaster)

4. Bangs
Front part of the hair cut to hang over the forehead (UK equivalent: a fringe)

5. Barrette
Hair accessory (UK equivalent: hair slide, hair clip, clasp)

6. Baseboard 
Wooden board covering the lowest part of an interior wall (UK equivalent: skirting board)

7. Bedroom community 
A commuter town or suburb (UK equivalent: dormitory town)

8. Bear claw 

A kind of sweet pastry served throughout the United States, named for its large, clawlike shape.

9. Bell pepper 
A mild (not spicy) red or green pepper or capsicum in Australian English and Indian English.

10. Bellhop 
A hotel porter

11. Beltway 
(UK equivalent: a ring road, or orbital motorway found around or within many cities)

12. Big-box store  
A large retail establishment built on one level, typically with few, if any, windows.

13. Blacktop 
A road surface composed of asphalt concrete (UK equivalent: tarmac)

14. Bleachers
Raised open air tiered rows of seats (stands) found at sports fields or at other spectator events

15. Blood sausage 
(UK equivalent: black pudding)

16. Boardwalk 
A walkway usually made of planking, typically along a beach (UK equivalent: promenade)

17. Bobby pin 
Hair accessory (UK equivalent: hair grip, Kirby grip)

18. Booger 

A piece of nasal mucus (UK equivalent: bogey) 

19. Bookmobile 
A large vehicle housing a mobile lending library (UK equivalent: mobile library)

20. Boombox
A large portable stereo (UK equivalent: ghettoblaster (also used in U.S.)).

21. Boondocks 

A very rural location or town; backwoods; the "sticks". Sometimes refers to rough, poor neighborhoods in a city.

22. Breadbox 
A box for keeping bread (UK equivalent: usually bread bin)

23. Broil 
To cook food with high heat with the heat applied directly to the food from above (UK: grill).

24. Burglarize 
To carry out a burglary (UK equivalent: burgle) 

Laurence is touring America! Help fund his YouTube travel series by becoming a patron! 

Laurence Brown is a British man documenting his life in the truly bizarre and beautiful world of America. Before the end of the decade, he plans to achieve his goal of visiting all 50 United States - highlighting each one in Lost in the Pond's Finding America web series. To help fund this exciting project, consider becoming a patron. Your contribution would be incredibly useful.


  1. I would add "barf" to the list (unless it's already made its way from the U.S. to the UK)--"to vomit". Airsickness bags in planes are often referred to in a charmingly alliterative way as "barf bags".

  2. I'd like to offer a word for the list: Bubbler, a colloquial term for a drinking fountain.


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