EFL teacher David Appleyard
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British > American Glossary | G

Smoothing transatlantic communication
Index of Briticisms
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AmericanBritish term or expression BritishAmerican equivalent, or explanation
gaff  [colloq.] house, home
gaffer [colloq.] foreman, boss
gallery (in a theatre) balcony
gallon (1 imperial gallon = 4.55 litres) gallon (1 U.S. gallon = 3.79 liters)
galoshes rubbers
gammon cured ham
gangway aisle
gaol jail
garage drive driveway
garden backyard, yard
garden path front walk
gasper [slang] cigarette
gateau layer cake with cream and perhaps fruit
gawp [colloq.]  (stare in a rude or stupid manner) gawk
gauze (on tripod over Bunsen burner in a lab) wire mesh screen
gazump (v.)  [colloq.] renege on promise to sell property at a previously agreed price after receiving a better offer from somebody else
gear lever gearshift; stick shift (if manual transmission);
gear changer (on a bicycle)  
gearing (ratio of loan capital to share capital) leverage
geezer [slang] male person, often elderly or in some way unusual
gelly (also 'jelly') [slang] gelignite
general practitioner (or GP) community doctor of the first instance
gen up on something [slang] get general details about something
Geordie [colloq.] a native of Tyneside and his or her local accent
get itchy feet [colloq.] get wanderlust (a stong urge to travel)
get one's cards [colloq.] be dismissed from one's job
get the push [colloq.] (be told to leave one's job) get fired  [colloq.]
get your knickers in a twist [colloq.] 
     (meaning get worked up over something)  
get your panties in a knot [colloq.]
Get stuffed! [slang] Go to hell!
geyser a gas-powered domestic water heater
git [slang] (as in 'You lying, thieving git!') bastard; unpleasant, contemptible person
give someone a lift (in your car) give someone a ride
give someone a ring (telephone) give someone a call
give someone the elbow [colloq.] abruptly end a relationship or romance
give someone the push [colloq.] dismiss someone from their job
give someone their cards [colloq.]   dismiss someone from their job
give way (road sign) yield
glasses (spectacles) eyeglasses
glasshouse greenhouse
go down a treat be enjoyable and well received
go into administration (help for insolvent company) file for bankruptcy protection
go-slow (union work-to-rule to push wage claim) slowdown
go to the cinema, go to the flicks or pictures [colloq.] go to a movie theater, go to the movies
go up the wooden hill to Bedforshire [colloq.] go upstairs to bed
gob [slang] (as in 'Shut your gob, mush!') trap [slang], mouth
gobstopper (very large round hard sweet, often
                     with layers of different colours)
goggle-box [colloq.] the tube, the boob tube [both slang], TV set
gold top (gold-coloured foil cap on a 1-pint bottle
               of milk; see also silver top)
full-cream milk of the kind delivered to British homes
golden syrup a pale, golden colored syrup  
gong [slang] medal or decoration
good job (as in 'It's a good job he left') fortunate state of affairs
goods lorry freight truck
goods train freight train
goods wagon/waggon (enclosed type) boxcar
goods wagon/waggon (open, flat-bottomed type) gondola
goolies [slang]  (testicles) balls [slang]
goon jerk [slang], half-wit, silly or foolish person
goose pimples goose bumps
Gordon Bennett!  [exclamation] Holy smoke!
gormless [colloq.] unintelligent, dim-witted
governor, the [slang];
guvnor, guv [form of address]
ones's employer or person in position of authority;
used instead of 'sir' by one feeling socially inferior
graduate  (n.) someone with basic university/college degree
graduate (v.) leave university/college with a degree
graduation ceremony commencement
graft [colloq.] work or toil
grafter [colloq.] hard worker
grammar school a school for 11 to 18-year-olds placing academic study ahead of practical skills
gramophone phonograph
grass [colloq.]  (informer, esp. police informer) fink [colloq.];
grass on somebody [slang] inform on somebody to the authorities
grass verge (strip of land bordering
                      road, path or flowerbed)
greaseproof paper parchment, parchment paper; waxed paper, wax paper
green fingers (as in 'she's got green fingers',
                       meaning she's good at gardening)
green thumb (as in 'she has a green thumb')
greengrocer('s), greengrocery fruit and vegetable store
greetings card greeting card
grill (n.)  (the type at the top of an oven) broiler
grill (v.) broil on a grill; fry or toast on a griddle  
grotty unpleasant; dirty, shabby
ground floor first floor
groundsman (looks after sports ground, park, etc.) groundskeeper
group captain (Royal Air Force) colonel (U.S. Air Force)
guard (on a train) conductor
guard's van (on a train) caboose 
gubbins a collection of unimportant objects or paraphernalia;
the gadgetry needed for performing a specific task;
a silly, simple-minded person or simpleton  
guillotine (office tool) paper cutter
gym shoe sneaker
gymslip plain tunic worn over shirt as part of girl's school uniform
gypsy's [from rhyming slang 'gypsy's kiss' for 'piss'] 
             (as in 'I'm just going out for a gypsy's' to
              express an immediate need to urinate)
pee, piddle [colloq.]