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20 words about food that differ between British English and American English

Like we mentioned before, there are words that differ between British English and American English. Normally, we learn American English, and that is why some words, expressions, and pronunciation from the British English are new. Therefore, we present here 20 words that differ used to refer to types of food. Check them out!

British English VS American English

1) Dessert |Afters (informal) 

Even though the most common word is still ‘dessert’ for both nations, if you hear someone asking for an ‘after’ in a restaurant, don’t think they want to take the party somewhere else.

2) Aubergine | Eggplant

Europeans might be confused if you ask for an ‘eggplant’.

3) Banger (informal) | Sausage 

Another word that is very common is ‘sausage’, however, the original in Europe is banger.

4) Biscuit | Cookie 

This is well known and you probably studied about it at school. If you go to America and order a biscuit, don’t be surprised if you get a cake.

5) Candy floss | Cotton candy

Candy floss? Cotton candy is known like that in the UK. The original is ‘Fairy Floss’ and it is used in countries like New Zealand and Australia.

6) Chips | French fries 

If you order chips while in Europe, they will give you some French Fries, as known in America.


READ MORE: 45 words that differ from American to British English

7) Crisps | Chips 

As explained before, crisps are like ‘Pringles’ and ‘Ruffles’, because chips are fries.

8) French Toast | Eggy bread (informal) 

Exactly the same dish, but with different names. In British English, it is more specific.

9) Fizzy drink | Soda 

Even though ordering a soda by its name, Fizzy drink is a more common name in Europe.

10) Ice Lolly | Popsicle

People usually say ice cream, but they actually have a name.

11) Jam | Jelly 

If you want to order it, in Europe you can obtain it by the name ‘jam’, however, some places are called ‘marmalade’.

12) Jelly | Jell-o 

It is not common in the UK to use ‘jell-o’ to refer to jelly, since it is a brand, not a product in general.

13) Maize | Corn 

A simple word, similar to Spanish, for example.

14)  Prawn |Shrimp 

Se você tem dúvidas, é melhor apontar o que você quer, porque em alguns lugares da Europa eles até podem chamar shrimps para os camarões.

If you have doubts, it is better to point out what you want.


READ MORE: 10 fun facts you didn’t know about English

15) Scone | Biscuit 

A type of little cake.

16) Starter | Appetizer 

You might also find the word ‘entree’. The most common in UK is Starter, an easy word to remember since it is related to ’start’.

17) Sweet | Candies

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Both are understandable, but in Europe, ‘sweets’ is more common.

18) Tin | Can 

Even though ‘can’ may be used in both continents, in Europe ‘tin’ is more common.

19) Toastie | Grilled cheese

Exactly the same, ‘toastie’ is very used in the UK and in Ireland.

20) Toffee | Taffy 

The difference here is that the caramel is less sweet than the traditional one.

As you can see, some differences are complex and they are what your teachers call collocations.

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