EFL teacher David Appleyard
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Smoothing transatlantic communication
Index of Briticisms
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AmericanBritish term or expression BritishAmerican equivalent, or explanation
mac [colloq.], macintosh, mackintosh raincoat
madam ma'am
main clause  [grammar] independent clause
main course (of a meal) entrée
main road highway;
parkway (in open landscape)
mains, the  (main electric power switch) circuit (breaker) box, fuse box
mains socket electrical outlet, electrical socket
maisonette (flat on two floors with its own entrance) duplex apartment  
maize corn
major (as in 'Brown major') traditionally used in British public schools when referring to the elder of two boys with the same name, usually brothers
majority (in a first-past-the-post election) plurality
make up a prescription (dispense medicine) fill a prescription
managing director (chief executive) corresponds to a U.S. chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operating officer (COO) combined
Mancunian relating to (or resident of) the English city of Manchester
mangetout snow pea
mangle wringer
manifesto (a political party's declaration of its principles) platform
mantelpiece mantel
marine (title of starting rank in Royal Marines) private first class > private (U.S. Marine Corps)
market garden (small farm growing fruit and
                         vegetables for direct sale to public)
truck farm
marketing director (top executive) vice president (VP) marketing
marriage lines marriage certificate
marrow (vegetable) squash
Marshal of the Royal Air Force (RAF) General of the Air Force (U.S. Air Force)
marshalling yard (shunting yard) railroad yard, switching yard
mash [colloq.] (as in 'bangers and mash') mashed potatoes
match (soccer, rugby, cricket, tennis, etc.) game
mate [colloq.] pal, buddy, bud (usually friendly but sometimes 
                           hostile form of address)
maths (mathematics) math
matron head nurse
mean stingy, tight-fisted
measuring beaker or cylinder (in chemistry lab) graduated beaker or cylinder
measuring jug measuring cup
Meccano™  (toy model construction kit) Erector™ set (U.S. equivalent)
mechanical digger backhoe
Med, the [colloq.] Mediterranean Sea
medium wave   (see also VHF) AM radio  
metalled road road covered with small or crushed stones;
paved road
meths [colloq.], methylated spirits denatured alcohol used for cleaning
or as fuel in small lamps or heaters
mezzanine small extra floor between one story and the next;
in a theater, a floor or space beneath the stage
Middle East, the Mideast, the
mileometer, milometer odometer
milk float small electric vehicle for home milk delivery
mince, minced meat ground meat, hamburger [U]
mincemeat mix of currants, raisins, apples, spices, etc
mince pie pie containing mincemeat
mincer meat grinder
minder [slang] bodyguard for criminal, celebrity, etc.
mini-break mini-vacation, usually over three-day weekend  
minim (in music) half note
minor (as in 'Brown minor') traditionally used in British public schools when referring to the younger of two boys with the same name, usually brothers
mobile, mobile phone cell phone
moggie, moggy [colloq.] cat
momentarily  (as in 'It snowed momentarily') for a moment, briefly
monkey tricks (mischievous or playful behaviour) monkeyshines
monkey's (as in 'I don't give a monkey's!') I don't give a damn!
moor tract of wild upland covered in heather
moped (small, light motorcycle) motorbike
morning tea tea often served in bedroom before breakfast  
mortuary morgue
motor car automobile
motorbike in the U.K. a motorcycle of any size
motorist car driver
motor racing auto racing, automobile racing
motorway expressway, freeway, super or interstate highway;
turnpike (tolls collected)
moving staircase escalator
muck about, muck around goof around [colloq.], fool around
muck about, muck around with mess around with, interfere with
muck in (together) help out with essential tasks
mudflap splash guard
mudguard fender
muffin in U.K., round cake of yeast dough, usually toasted
mug [slang] gullible person, dupe, simpleton
mug up [slang] cram
multi-storey car park parking garage
museum piece [colloq.] something/someone quaintly old-fashioned, uncool
mush [slang] (as in 'He's a nice mush
                       despite his ugly mush!')
guy, fellow;
mug [slang], face
music centre   audio system, sound system
muslin in the U.K. a thin, delicately woven cotton cloth