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Differences between British and US English Comparing Webster’s Dictionary with the OED Catherine G. Hamilton.

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Presentation on theme: "Differences between British and US English Comparing Webster’s Dictionary with the OED Catherine G. Hamilton."— Presentation transcript:

1 Differences between British and US English Comparing Webster’s Dictionary with the OED Catherine G. Hamilton

2 Only in Webster’s bang n. (usually plural) - a fringe of hair cut short (as across the forehead) bang n. (usually plural) - a fringe of hair cut short (as across the forehead) restroom n. - a room or suite of rooms that contains sinks and toilets restroom n. - a room or suite of rooms that contains sinks and toilets sophomore n. – a student in the second year of high school or college sophomore n. – a student in the second year of high school or college sneaker n. - a sports shoe with a pliable rubber sole sneaker n. - a sports shoe with a pliable rubber sole sidewalk n. - a paved walk at the side of a road or street sidewalk n. - a paved walk at the side of a road or street

3 Only in the OED nappy n. – a (generally square) piece of towelling or other absorbent material which is wrapped around the waist (usually of a baby or toddler), drawn up between the legs, and fastened, for the purpose of retaining urine and faeces. Also: a disposable equivalent made from cotton wool, etc., with a waterproof backing. nappy n. – a (generally square) piece of towelling or other absorbent material which is wrapped around the waist (usually of a baby or toddler), drawn up between the legs, and fastened, for the purpose of retaining urine and faeces. Also: a disposable equivalent made from cotton wool, etc., with a waterproof backing. cooker n. - a stove or other apparatus designed for cooking cooker n. - a stove or other apparatus designed for cooking dummy n. – a rubber teat put into a baby's mouth to soothe it. dummy n. – a rubber teat put into a baby's mouth to soothe it. nick v. to steal nick v. to steal dodgy adj. - of poor quality, unreliable; questionable, dubious dodgy adj. - of poor quality, unreliable; questionable, dubious

4 chemist, n. Shared meaning: One trained in chemistry British meaning: One who deals in medicinal drugs. (US: pharmacist, drugstore)

5 caravan, n. Shared meanings: 1. A group of travelers journeying together through desert or hostile regions 2. A group of vehicles traveling in a file British meaning: a house on wheels, e.g. the travelling house of gipsies, a showman, or (according to recent fashion) a party on a pleasure tour; one of the covered vehicles of a travelling menagerie, etc. Now freq. one able to be towed by a motor car and used as a stationary dwelling (esp. while on holiday). (US: trailer)

6 redundant, n. Shared meaning: Exceeding what is needed or normal British meaning: no longer needed at work; unemployed because of reorganization, mechanization, change in demand, etc. (US: Fired)

7 brilliant, adj. Shared meanings: 1. very bright 2. striking, distinctive 3. very intelligent British meaning: (colloquial) amazing, fantastic (US: Awesome)

8 revise, v. Shared meaning: To look over something written in order to correct or improve British meaning: to look over or examine again (US: study)

9 regular, adj. Shared meaning: Recurring or repeated at fixed times US meaning: conforming to the normal or usual manner or inflection (British: standard, normal, medium)

10 store, n. Shared meaning: A large retail business establishment, a place where merchandise is kept in abundance, eg. department store, chain store US meaning: any retail business establishment (British: shop)

11 trash, n. Shared meaning: That which is broken, snapped, or lopped off anything in preparing it for use; broken or torn pieces US meanings: 1. something of little worth 2. empty or disparaging talk 3. a worthless person (British: rubbish)

12 pudding, n. Shared meaning: A sweet course following the main course of a meal, ‘afters’ (dessert). US meaning: A soft, spongy, or thick creamy dessert (British: ?)

13 Morphology Differences US English British English acclimateacclimatize airplaneaeroplane burglarizeburgle cusscurse envisionenvisage ladybugladybird mom/mommymum/mummy normalcynormality mathmaths

14 Spelling Differences US English British English aluminumaluminium mustachemoustache yogurtyoghurt checkcheque graygrey jewelryjewellery colorcolour favoritefavourite neighborneighbour centercentre


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