British Vs American Vocabulary

British American
lift elevator
boot trunk
trousers pants
autumn fall
cinema movies
chips fries
car park parking lot
holiday vacation
main road highway
nappy diaper
petrol gas, gasoline
pocket money allowance
pavement sidewalk
postbox mailbox
rubber eraser
rubbish garbage
sweets candy
timetable schedule
tube subway
windscreen windshield
torch flashlight
tin can
railway railroad
post code zip code
lorry truck
driving licence driver’s license
biscuit cookie
aeroplane airplane
grey gray

Have they gone bananas?

Have you ever lost your cool because someone was giving you the cold shoulder? Have you heard of the news spreading like wildfire? You shouldn’t be taken by surprise when they decide to get down to brass task. And then, out of the blue, you realize that the world is your oyster and you call the shots. These kinds of expressions can rock the boat for some people but it shouldn’t be difficult getting to the bottom of this. The buck stops here.

These expressions called idiomatic expressions, commonly used by native speakers, can impose certain problems for non-native speakers because they don’t imply literal meaning. They cannot be understood by analyzing the meaning of the individual word of the expression in question. Their meaning is fixed and learned by heart.

So let’s get this off your chest by explaining some of the idioms used in the previous text:

go bananas – became crazy, silly
loose your cool – to lose temper, become angry
give a cold shoulder – to treat someone in an unfriendly way
spread like wildfire – to spread rapidly
take somebody by surprise – to happen unexpectedly
get down to brass task – to discuss the essentials of the matter at hand
out of the blue – suddenly, unexpectedly
the world is your oyster – you’re free and able to enjoy life
call the shots – exercise authority or be in charge
rock the boat – to cause a problem
get to the bottom of something – understand something completely
buck stops here – problems are solved here
get something off your chest – talk about something that worries you or causes problem for you

 

And to add 10 frequently used idioms:

chicken out (of something) – withdraw from something due to fear or cowardice
back to square one – having to start all over again
piece of cake – something that is very easy to do
to kill two birds with one stone – to manage to do two things at the same time
adding salt to the wound – making situation worse than it is
take a rain check – postponing someone’s invitation for later
long time no see – it has been a long time since they last met
to cut a long story short – stop telling details and get to the main facts
keep your fingers crossed – hoping the things will happen the way you want
break a leg – wish good luck to someone