Marco made me think of this.
Many of the differences between North American English and British English are straightforward, with little risk of confusion.
Trunk for boot, Sidewalk for pavement, Faucet for tap. Some spelling variations, sometimes.
Some, though, seem more confusing. Biscuit, for instance, means something quite specific in British English. It is thin, crisp and either sweet or savoury. When I pick up on it in American literature, it is clearly something else as the food combinations sound peculiar. I cannot imagine eating chicken with biscuits, for example, so biscuit must mean something different from a European biscuit. What is an American biscuit please ?
MacDonalds routinely refer to something they call an English muffin, which bears to resemblance whatsoever to any muffin made in England and has more in common with a cupcake.
An English muffin is a circular bread type product, with a lot of holes in it, which uses yeast as a raising agent, rather than eggs.
Rubber is quite innocuous in British English, meaning simply a piece of rubber material used to erase pencil marks, but causes problems elsewhere as it is more commonly used to mean something else which in the UK, we call by a traditional brand name, Durex, rather like Biro for a ball point pen, or Hoover, for a vacuum cleaner.
The one most likely to raise eyebrows amongst Brits are references to the American 'patting someone on the fanny' in public, invoking thoughts of a complete pervert ! (Fanny in British English is slang for a female's front parts, not the rear ones !)
Last edited by istracpsboss; 03-16-2010 at 04:02 AM.