Thursday, November 12, 2015

17 American Words Not Widely Used In the UK that Start with 'R'

Continuing an alphabetised list of words and phrases common to the U.S. that are not widely used in the UK, here are 17 such words beginning with the letter 'R'.


 1. Rad
Short for "radical", different or interesting, exceptional; synonym for cool.

2. Raincheck
The metaphorical raincheck is used in the US to indicate that the person "taking the raincheck" regretfully cannot accept the current invitation but would like to be invited to a future event. Stores may "give a raincheck" when they have run out of an advertised item; this is usually a coupon to purchase the item later at the advertised price. In the UK the person "taking the raincheck" may attend an event, but is warning the host that there is a possibility that they may not be able to make it. Both usages are becoming more common in UK English, particularly amongst office workers.

3. Railroad
UK (and US) equivalent: railway.

4. Raised pavement marker
Commonly called reflector, Botts' dot, or cat's eye (UK: cat's eye).

5. Rambunctious
Excessively boisterous.

6. Rappel
To descend on a rope. UK equivalent: abseil.

7. Realtor
Member of the National Association of Realtors; as a genericized trademark, any real estate broker or real estate agent. UK equivalent: estate agent.

8. Recision
A cancellation ("This bill would authorize the recision of the adult day health care license"). Now rare in the UK; a different word from rescission.

9. Restroom
A toilet, particularly a public one. UK equivalent: Loo.

10. RIF, RIF'd
Abbreviation for Reduction In Force; i.e. to be honorably discharged from employment. UK equivalent: redundancy, made redundant, laid-off, paid-off.

11. Roil
To render muddy by stirring up the dregs of; as, to roil wine, cider, etc., in casks or bottles; to roil a spring; also, to disquiet or disturb (also rile in the sense of "to anger", riled up for "angry")

12. Roustabout
An unskilled laborer, especially at an oil field, at a circus, or on a ship. Used in the oil industry in the UK.

13. Rowhouse
UK equivalent: terraced house.

14. Rube Goldberg
Absurdly complex machine.

15. Rutabaga
The turnip Brassica napus napobrassica. UK equivalent: swede.

16. RV (recreational vehicle)
British equivalent: camper and/or caravan.

17. RV park
UK equivalent: caravan site.


Sometimes, it's better hearing me in a British accent. Click the red button below.



Laurence Brown is a British man writing his way through the truly bizarre world of America - a place he sometimes accidentally calls home and a place he still hasn't quite figured out after seven years. Thankfully, his journey is made 12% easier by the fact that his accent makes him sound much smarter than he is. For evidence of this, subscribe to his popular Lost in the Pond web series over on YouTube.

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