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British and American Word Differences

Guess these words that have different meanings in American and British English.
Quiz idea: relessness
Last updated: July 06, 2013
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American meaning
British meaning
Word
Gridiron
Soccer
Football
Angry
Drunk
Pissed
Fruit preserve
Gelatin
Jelly
Car silencer
Scarf
Muffler
Trousers
Underwear
Pants
Vomit
Car storage
compartment
Boot
Vegetable patch
Yard
Garden
[]
()
Brackets
Hobo
Bottom
Bum
Old West bar
Two-doored Car
Saloon
Leather cowboy
leggings
Guys
Chaps
American meaning
British meaning
Word
Condom
Eraser
Rubber
Janitor
Goalkeeper
Custodian
Non-payer of debts
Exhausted
Deadbeat
Pancake
Granola bar
Flapjack
16 fluid ounces
20 fluid ounces
Pint
Derogatory term for
an old person
Gangster
Geezer
Ugly
Cozy
Homely
Road surface
Sidewalk
Pavement
To catch a fly ball
in baseball
To copulate
Shag
Salesperson
Type of lawyer
Solicitor
Underground railroad
Pedestrian underpass
Subway
+19
level 66
Jul 6, 2013
Never in my life heard of vomit and boot being related.
+2
level 43
Jul 6, 2013
Same here
+8
level 75
Jul 6, 2013
me too. Where in America does boot mean throw up? When I hear boot I think footwear.
+6
level 75
Aug 19, 2013
"Boot" as "vomit" isn't in _The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language_, third edition.
+5
level 75
Aug 19, 2013
"Boot" as "vomit" is also not in the OED (which is pretty good at including American usage).
+2
level 40
Sep 6, 2013
The only dictionary that matters, the Urban Dictionary, agrees with the quiz maker: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=boot
+4
level 65
Jul 15, 2016
I quite agree. You Yanks thinking "boot" means to lose it all over the porcelain is just bollocks.
+1
level 63
Aug 19, 2018
I was alive in the 70s too... never heard of "boot"! Good quiz though.
+2
level 37
Jul 6, 2013
Same!
+2
level 45
Oct 9, 2013
I've never used it myself but I've heard others say 'boot' when they mean 'vomit'. I've even heard it on TV. There was a scene in the show 'The West Wing' where Zoey throws up in a limo and President Bartlett says 'She booted all over the back of her car. You know they're gonna bill me for that.'
+1
level 46
Dec 8, 2018
If you are gonna mix them; she booted all over the boot of her car ;) (and her boots...)
+1
level 75
Nov 21, 2015
Depends on what college, and in what region, you went to...
+1
level 55
Feb 11, 2016
Never heard of 'boot and rally'?
+1
level 70
Sep 6, 2016
Quizmaster, can you give us some sort of source that isn't Urban Dictionary? In addition to the above sources that folks have checked, it isn't in etymonline.com either. The only source I can find in Google at all is something called Urban Thesaurus, which is also an editable wiki, and probably seeded itself with Urban Dictionary. Are you sure someone's not pulling your leg?
+1
level 46
Dec 8, 2018
I did quite recently hear it. Cant remember is it was in english or american. Most words I knew from age of 12, hardly come across new ones. It is an exposure thing. So me only at 36/37 having heard boot for the first time might suggest it is not very common.
+4
level 26
Jul 6, 2013
I'm an american, and I've never heard the term "Boot" or "Shag" used like that. A car boot is something the police install to prevent you driving away, and shag is a type of carpet.
+1
level 75
Jul 6, 2013
Ditto. Though we also use shag to mean sex if we're trying to sound ridiculous.
+1
level 50
Jul 6, 2013
I have heard of shagging fly balls in baseball. Never heard of vomit as boot. Verb or noun?
+1
level 44
Oct 5, 2016
it's verb-like. i've heard it with "boot and rally" like puke and compose yourself to continue partying. but never on its own
+1
level 29
Nov 27, 2016
Agreed BlendedCow
+2
level 37
Jul 6, 2013
I only know the term "shag" from Austin Powers.
+1
level 55
Jul 6, 2013
Yup. Checked the comments specifically to point those out.
+3
level 75
May 27, 2014
Shag is a dance, too, especially around Myrtle Beach,SC. Alabama had a hit in 1997 called "Dancin', Shaggin' on the Boulevard."
+1
level 62
Nov 24, 2016
The Spy Who Shagged Me?
+1
level 69
Jul 6, 2013
Most of the British definitions make sense to me as an American, but I can't understand why a granola bar would earn the name flapjack. Also, like the above commenters, I have no idea where in America boot and vomit mean the same thing.
+1
level 75
Jul 6, 2013
Thought the same thing here, too. htf is a flapjack a granola bar? That makes no sense at all. Finally, couldn't an associate also be a salesperson or lawyer?
+1
level 33
Jul 18, 2013
I think Flapjack might be a brand that makes granola bars? I'm not at all sure, but I know that I've bought granola bars with Flapjack printed on it. Not in the UK, though.
+1
level 46
Dec 8, 2018
I dont get why a pancake would be called flap jack. I tried crepe, then vaguely remember something with jack. Man that jack has got to do something with a lot of things... (like jack of all trades.. jack in the box, jack off...)
+5
level 67
Jul 6, 2013
Being British, I've never heard 'custodian' used for goalkeeper and I know a lot of 'geezers' but none of them are gangsters:)
+4
level 63
Nov 26, 2014
If you said the word 'custodian' in Britain no-one would think that you meant goalkeeper.
+1
level 42
Apr 16, 2015
Custodian is used more in journalism than anywhere else, to avoid repeating the word "Goalkeeper" and generally sound a bit more literary. As in "The shot rifled in from outside the box but the Liverpool custodian was equal to it".
+1
level 72
Apr 5, 2016
It's only used in that sense with the more general meaning of someone who protects something, it is not specific to goalkeepers, or even sport
+3
level 56
Jun 29, 2016
Literally no-one. Not one person would call a goalie a 'custodian'.
+1
level 49
Jul 6, 2013
Like others have said, I'm an American and I've never heard the word "boot" being used for vomit.
+2
level 33
Jul 6, 2013
A geezer is an old, generally creepy, guy. A flapjack is a baked, generally oats, square held together by honey. It is not just any old granola bar. And pissed can mean both angry and drunk. That's in the British view, by the way.
+3
level 50
Jul 6, 2013
Also, I thought a saloon car was a sedan, the four door. I thought that both Brits and Americans used coupe for two door, just pronounced differently.
+2
level 63
Nov 26, 2014
Agreed, saloon in Britain does not mean a two door car. Typically a saloon in Britain will have a boot (trunk) as opposed to being a hatchback or estate (station wagon) but it could be two or four door.
+1
level 77
Sep 21, 2017
Technically, by definition a two-door car can be a saloon if it seats at least four people, but it's not used as such by either the motorcar media or general public. A two-door car is a coupe (pronounced in the French manner) whilst a four-door car is a saloon. This is why the equivalent in many other languages (including American English) for saloon is sedan, typically if not strictly referring to a four-door car.
+5
level 52
Jul 6, 2013
Yeah, I don't think in all my life in America I've ever heard the word "boot" used to mean "vomit."
+3
level 75
Jul 6, 2013
I have to agree with all the rest, I've never "booted" in my life! (from New England)
+3
level 44
Nov 8, 2014
I've lived in Illinois, Utah, and Florida, all vastly different regions of the US and cultures, and have not heard boot once to mean vomit
+3
level 35
May 29, 2016
Pennsylvania native, and I have never heard that.
+1
level 68
Nov 10, 2017
I've never heard it either.
+1
level 66
Dec 26, 2017
I've lived in the deep south and in the northeast US. In neither of these areas is "boot" used to mean vomit
+4
level 35
Jul 6, 2013
To catch a fly ball in baseball is not "shag". Shagging is done usually in batting practice and done by coaches hitting from the field lines to players or by pitchers and or ball boys during batting practice and can be fly balls or ground balls being fielded. If you catch a fly ball during a game you do not "shag it".
+3
level 67
Jan 22, 2017
Totally agree. Shagging is NOT catching a fly ball, it's a general term for retrieving baseballs that were hit. It sort of implies batting practice or at least some drudgery and routine action. One would never describe an outfielder as having shagged a pop fly. If anything, shag applies more to ground balls than flies.
+1
level 36
Jul 6, 2013
out of interest, what do Americans call the things we call brackets?
+1
level 64
Nov 27, 2018
parentheses
+2
level 44
Jul 6, 2013
Just to point something out... Pavement doesn't mean just "road surface" in the US, it means anything that is paved. This can be roads, pedestrian walkways, outdoor basketball courts, etc..
+1
level 75
Jul 7, 2013
True though usually sidewalks in the US are made from concrete and not paved. And basketball courts can be made of all sorts of things.
+2
level 70
Sep 6, 2016
I see what you mean, because "hitting the pavement" would mean that you fell pretty much on any hard, outdoor, man-made surface, but I disagree with you in that NO ONE calls an outdoor basketball court or a sidewalk "a pavement". They may be *made of* pavement, but they're not called just pavements.
+1
level 25
Jul 7, 2013
In England Geezer isnt derogatory
+1
level 50
Jun 16, 2014
It said derogatory on the American side.
+2
level 42
Apr 16, 2015
I don't think it means "gangster" either - it's just another word for "bloke", but it's associated with those Sarf Landan accents and dialects that tend to be associated with gangs on TV.
+1
level 16
Jul 8, 2013
Thanks to British telly I did well on this quiz. Clues that amount to pound, like, our measurement of 16 oz. and their currency! (:
+1
level 4
Jul 9, 2013
A saloon is not a two door car, it's the same as a sedan. A four door car.
+1
level 53
Feb 25, 2018
This
+1
level 18
Sep 13, 2013
It didn't help that I had no idea what a granola bar was, hence why I didn't get that one
+1
level 32
Sep 21, 2013
As others have said, geezer doesn't mean gangster. Some of these questions/answers aren't right I'm afraid.
+3
level 71
Jan 30, 2014
This is true. Also, I've never heard 'deadbeat' used to mean 'exhausted'. 'Dead beat' perhaps, but that's a combination of British and American slang ('dead' meaning 'very' in Brit slang and 'beat' meaning 'tired' in American slang).
+1
level 46
Dec 8, 2018
my thought exactly ! (not english or american myself though) I paused a while at that one reading the answer. And was thinking, really? Is this true? felt wrong. Beat, yes. they could ve done to win from someone else and exhausted maybe
+2
level 29
Sep 24, 2013
Geezer and Gangster are two different types of ppl
+2
level 45
May 13, 2014
Isn't a muffler something that keeps your hands warm? Not a scarf? Nobody says they are dead beat when they are tired, I would say I am "knackered" or " shattered" or " done in" And a geezer isn't a gangster, it's just another word for bloke, especially if he's a bit of a wide boy!!
+1
level 43
Jul 29, 2014
I'm British, and have never once said, "Wow, that was a hard day - I'm deadbeat" (it means a loser). I've also never been to a football match and heard, "Sort it out, ref - that custodian's a right wally"... A custodian is a janitor...
+3
level 42
Aug 24, 2014
"Underground railroad" is the worst clue ever for those of us from the American South--to us, it's the manner in which runaway slaves were helped from safe house to safe house until reaching freedom in the North. We don't have subway systems in the South, so we won't think of a literal railway underground, we'll think of the historical term first. I used to think the Underground Railroad was an actual railway underground, and was very disappointed when it wasn't. Just a regional perspective on things.
+1
level 56
Sep 12, 2014
I kept waiting for the difference in the meaning of "napkin" to show up. I suppose fanny is too well known to be interesting, but still funny.
+1
level 46
Sep 17, 2014
I THINK 2 door cars are called Coupes, 4 door cars, our sedans, are called Saloons, and our station wagons are called estates.
+1
level 44
Oct 29, 2015
Three UK based guys, one from Birmingham, one from Bolton and one from London.... and none of us, have ever, called a goalkeeper a CUSTODIAN......
+1
level 75
Oct 30, 2015
Yeah, no. In America "boot" is footwear.
+1
level 75
Nov 6, 2015
I'm American and I've never heard a salesperson referred to as a solicitor. I've seen signs for "no soliciting" but never seen salesmen called solicitors. I do think clerk might work, however.
+1
level 46
Nov 16, 2015
Pah, you pansy americans and what you call a "pint"!
+1
level 80
Jan 31, 2016
Couldn't figure out that bottom means the behind. Now of course it's pretty obvious, but just couldn't think of that. More of something at the bottom. The boot thing still stumps me and.. well.. the rest I might have gotten, maybe. These are fun, but hard for non-natives of either country.
+1
level 46
Mar 1, 2016
I've never heard boot refer to vomit. And a 2 door is a coupe, not a saloon.
+1
level 29
Mar 5, 2016
In Britain it's spelt cosy not cozy :)
+1
level 37
Mar 31, 2016
this was a bad quiz. most of these are unrelated. also ur american/british is terrible. also i dont like the swear word
+1
level 39
Jun 2, 2016
I don't particularly like your lack of capitals and use of lower case.
+1
level 35
May 10, 2016
Custodian doesn't mean a goalkeeper in English, it means a guardian, steward or keeper (in the sense of a person who manages or looks after something or someone), it wouldn't be used to refer to a Goalkeeper though, also geezer means both and old person and a gangster in English, its used interchangeably
+1
level 35
Sep 26, 2016
Wow. British people and their Pints....
+1
level 48
Sep 29, 2016
I'm English, not sure I get the goalkeeper, custodian thing. This whole quiz is a bit confusing so I might be wrong but, Keeper, keep, goalkeeper. I'd never shout for the 'custodian' when playing football.
+1
level 33
Nov 15, 2016
Geezer just means bloke. Or "person".
+2
level 62
Nov 24, 2016
WHO, in America, has EVER said "boot" to mean vomit? No one.
+2
level 71
Nov 26, 2016
Exhausted is "dead beat", two words. A geezer is not a gangster, it's usually a (good) guy. Using "custodian" for goalkeeper is possible but rare and needs to be put in context.
+1
level 46
Dec 8, 2018
yea, similar to dude right (although dude feels something more used on younger people, you dont say I saw two dudes, when they are 80. well you might...)
+1
level 33
Dec 8, 2016
Custodian?????? wNo sorry, i'm British and I've never once heard that term used in footballing talk
+1
level 50
Jan 22, 2017
A nice idea but the quiz is seriously flawed - partly I think because some of the words in the 'British meaning' column are actually American terms not used in that way in the UK (e.g yard and sidewalk). That further confuses the British! Others are just wrong (as has already been pointed out - a geezer is certainly not a gangster - though it's possible that the word gangster means different things in the two countries). Also a flapjack is not a granola bar, though there are some similarities.
+1
level 50
Jan 22, 2017
Also jelly is not the same as gelatin - gelatine (it's spelt with an 'e' on the end in the UK) is a key ingredient in jelly. Well in Britain anyway - is gelatin a wobbly dessert in the US? Isn't that jell-o?
+1
level 55
Jan 22, 2017
Pedestrian underpass = tunnel ?
+1
level 59
Jan 22, 2017
Like doing crosswords, sometimes people don't recognise a particular word because they miss that it's only in certain contexts that the word would be used that way. It's odd so many Americans don't recognise "boot" but I'm sure it's because it's actually the verb form of vomit, not the noun. I've read the phrase "my girlfriend booted all over the back seat of my car", which I understood through context. Muffler is not common in current speech, but as a Sherlockian I know it was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Custodian is used as a posh synonym for goalkeeper in newspaper football reports. So people haven't recognised those words, but they have been used for those items in written language.

I thought the pavement discussion was interesting, because in British English, paving something means covering it with paving stones - rectangular concrete slabs. But in American "paving" means "asphalting", which is why the languages don't connect at all on that.
+1
level 68
Jan 22, 2017
I always thought it odd that Brits say their going on a holiday, when they're just taking a small vacation
+2
level 74
Jan 3, 2018
A holiday is a vacation, small or large
+1
level 34
Apr 13, 2017
granola isnt flapjack - this quiz isnt great!!
+1
level 71
Jul 22, 2017
A saloon can have 2 or 4 doors. It is a sedan in American English. I've never heard "Geezer" used for gangster, although it does have a number of meanings, the simplest being just "man". The phrase for "exhausted" in UK English is "dead beat", two words.
+1
level 31
Oct 14, 2017
You should do a reversed version of this quiz (Where you give us the word, and we have to give you the american and british meanings
+1
level 71
Oct 27, 2017
I'm an American and there are several of these I've never heard.
+1
level 41
Jan 26, 2018
A custodian is a keeper or guardian, deadbeat does not mean exhausted (though you could make the case for "dead beat," they do not mean the same thing) a Granola bar is not a flapjack and geezer does not mean gangster, it's just a laddish word for man. Though we also use it to mean an old person.
+2
level 53
Feb 25, 2018
Lots of issues with this quiz. Saloon is a four-door car in the uk A geezer is not a gangster, it means dirty bloke or old man etc. Deadbeat is not a term in the U.K either.
+2
level 27
Mar 23, 2018
errrr... flapjacks in the UK aren't granola... Unless granola means something different in the US, in the UK, it is syrup and oats
+1
level 35
Mar 29, 2018
Litbug is right. Granola bars are something different to flapjack.
+2
level 53
Apr 22, 2018
Can 100% say Geezer does not mean Gangster in the U.K. People would laugh at this if they saw it. Should be removed imo.
+1
level 58
Oct 3, 2018
Seconded. Geezer can mean a number of things but gangster is most definitely NOT one of them.
+1
level 58
Oct 3, 2018
The meaning of custodian in common UK parlance is not goalkeeper.
+1
level 63
Oct 5, 2018
Whoever wrote this quiz doesn't know much about British English.
+2
level 48
Oct 17, 2018
As a British person, this quiz was insanely hard, and was blatantly written by an american.Let's go: Jelly doesn't just mean gelatin. It's also used as generic term for what Americans call Jello. A muffler isn't a scarf. It's a word for an old fashioned winter garment, a bag that you wear around your neck and put your hands in to keep them warm. A goalkeeper has never been called a custodian, ever. A flapjack is oats mixed with honey or syrup, not just any old granola bar. It's a specific thing. No idea where you got geezer meaning gangster from. It's just not a thing. We spell it 'cosy'. I've heard pedestrian underpasses called tunnels, but not subways. I've seen a few Americans complaining about their side of the aisle on this one too, but I'll leave that to them. This quiz was just a bit of a mess.
+1
level 49
Dec 17, 2018
Worst quiz ever - it doesn't even make sense! The problem is it has been done from an entirely American perspective.
+1
level 49
Dec 17, 2018
Please delete this quiz entirely - it is really *THAT* bad.