Thursday, April 24, 2014

24 American Words and Phrases Beginning with 'B' not Widely Used In the UK

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) 

What other U.S. B-words are there? Are there any British B-words not widely used in America? Let us know in the comments below.

Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a contributor for BBC America and has written for Anglotopia and Smitten by Britain. 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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Fazly rabby said...

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Anonymous said...

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".

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