United Kingdom English for the American Novice, Background

The items in this dictionary were collected while I lived in the United Kingdom. While there I learned that the "English" and "American" languages have less in common than might be supposed. New words can be confusing and their meaning may be lost to you. More troublesome is a word which has a completely different meaning in each language. The problem is that you think you understand.

The dictionary can be found here.

The items found here may cause confusion for one who is conversant in both languages. The word being defined is an "English" word or phrase. The definition is in "American". All English words are entered in capital letters so the reader will not be misled. Mixed case words may be safely interpreted by the American reader. Not all meanings are given for a particular word. English words often have several meanings and only those which differ (from American) are listed here.

The pronunciation in American sound phonetics (in parentheses) follows the word being defined. If this is omitted the pronunciation is as an American would expect. English pronunciation of these words is often similar to the American version. However, in general, the English pronunciation is more "clipped" and is said at twice the rate of American. English readers will find there is a definite tilt towards "southern English" in the dictionary. Readers from other parts of the U.K. should not be offended. This merely reflects that most of my sources were from that area.

This work is copyright by Terry Gliedt and may not be redistributed in any form without written permission from the author. Direct comments or questions to tpg@hps.com


The first edition of this dictionary had 232 items, the second had 328 items, and the third had 422 items. The fourth edition had 501 items which defined 643 terms. This edition has 619 items which define 800 terms.


The popluarity of these pages continues to amaze me. These pages have never been registered in a search engine nor have I ever solicited anyone else to provide a link to these and yet these pages have received an amazing amount of visibility. Go figure!