EFL teacher David Appleyard
CUP free search box

British > American Glossary | W

Smoothing transatlantic communication
Index of Briticisms
A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P

Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z    |  


AmericanBritish term or expression BritishAmerican equivalent, or explanation
wage packet pay envelope
wagon, waggon (on railway) railroad car, freight car
waistcoat vest
walking frame (also Zimmer frame™) walker
walking stick walking cane
wall-socket outlet
wallet (men's) billfold, pocketbook
wally [slang] completely dumb person
wank [slang]  (masturbate) jack off, jerk off [both slang]
wanker [slang]  (contemptible man) asshole, jerk [both slang]
wanted ad want ad
wardrobe closet
warrant officer (Royal Air Force) chief master sergeant >
senior master sergeant (U.S. Air Force)
warrant officer 1st class > warrant officer 2nd class  (British Army & Royal Marines) warrant officer (U.S. Army & U.S. Marine Corps)
washer-up dishwasher (the human variety!)
wash up do the dishes, wash the dishes
washbasin sink
washing powder laundry detergent, laundry soap
washing-up liquid dish liquid, dishwashing liquid
water ice Italian ice, water ice
waterworks [colloq.]
                     (as in 'Grandad's having trouble 
                      with his waterworks')
way out (sign in car park, railway station, etc.) exit
WC (water closet) toilet
weatherboard (to protect house from bad weather) clapboard
wellington boots, wellingtons, wellies [colloq.] rubber boots
Welsh dresser hutch (as an item of furniture)
wet (adj.) [colloq.] feeble, inept
wet (n.) [colloq.] U.K. liberal conservative or U.S. liberal republican
whack [slang] (as in 'I'll have a whack at it!') go, attempt, try
whacked (out) [colloq.] exhausted, tired out
wheelie bin, wheely bin [colloq.] large plastic trash container with two wheels to help move heavy loads to garbage truck or pick-up point
wheeze [colloq.]
      (as in 'Skype has come up with the new wheeze
       of persuading us all to upgrade to Skype Pro')
smart or cunning plan
whip-round (n.) [colloq.] internal soliciting of donations toward a gift for a retiring/marrying employee, or similar good cause
whiskey Irish or American whiskey
whisky Scotch
white coffee (coffee with milk or cream added) light coffee, coffee light
White Paper government report on a specific subject, usually outlining planned legislation
white spirit (light petroleum used
                    as solvent or cleaner)
mineral spirits, mineral turpentine
Whitehall London street synonymous with British Government
wholemeal (bread, flour, spaghetti, etc.) whole wheat
willie, willy (schoolboy slang for 'penis') pecker [slang]
windcheater windbreaker
windscreen windshield
wing (of a car) fender
Wing Commander (Royal Air Force) Lieutenant Colonel (U.S. Air Force)
wing mirror (on vehicle) side mirror
winkle-picker [slang] man's shoe with long pointed toe
wireless radio
witness box witness stand
wodge [colloq.] a wad, thick piece or chunk of something
women's hairdressing salon/hairdresser's beauty parlor, beauty salon, beauty shop
wonga [colloq.] money, loot, bread [colloq.]
wonky [colloq.] wobbly, unsteady, likely to collapse or fall over
woollen [adj.] woolen, wool
woolly [colloq.] knitted sweater
work a treat function or turn out well
work double tides work twice as long or hard as usual
work in progress work in process
working day workday
working week workweek
worktop (work surface) counter; kitchen counter
world record world's record, world record
Wrap up! [slang] Shut up!
write to somebody (but 'write somebody a letter') write somebody (often no preposition 'to' in AmE)
write-off [colloq.] (as in 'the car was a total write-off') something damaged beyond repair