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THE UN-OFFICIAL AMERICAN / SOUTH AFRICAN / BRITISH DICTIONARY OF COMMONLY USED WORDS IN THE 'NEW SOUTH'

ESSENTIAL FOR ALL NEWCOMERS TO THE SOUTH!

You may think that folks will be able to understand what you mean, if you use 'funny words' in weird contexts - but just because you can work out what they are saying doesn't mean it's reciprocal!

As Winston Churchill once said....."We are two nations divided by a common language"

COMPILED BY DI STEWART

This list has come about following a series of sometimes embarrassing and always hilarious situations when SA or UK English speaking folks live in the USA. I hope that you enjoy the humorous way in which I have experienced the use of The Queen's English and South African English in America! Asking for certain things in a store can be a harrowing experience as many items are called completely different names. Please feel free to send us ones you have found! info@southafricansincharlotte.org

UK or SA ENGLISH

AMERICAN 

The written date : 10 January 2016 or 10-1-2016 The written date : January 10, 2016 or 1-10-2016
Saying "triple 7', "double e" or "double n" Do not use this in the US! Say the letters or numbers one at a time, as in 7,7,7 or e,e or n,n.
Cot (baby bed with sides, up to aged 3) Crib
Crib - tiny crib on legs for a newborn Bassinet
Stretcher - to sleep on temporarily like during a disaster or for a guest Cot
Stretcher (in ambulance) Gurney

Invigilator; to invigilate or I am invigilating this test

Proctor: to proctor or I am proctoring this test

Boot (car)

The trunk

Hooter

Horn (hooters are not used in polite conversation as they refer to the word below)

Breasts or Boobs

Hooters

Hoot

Honk

Yell & Scream Hoot 'n Holler
Pigeon Hole (in a classroom) Cubbie - space or shelf in a classroom where a student keeps belongings

Cubby Hole (in a car)

Glove compartment

Lift

Elevator

"Super" (That's super!) "Great!"  (super refers to super-size!)
Pop In  (visit)  "I'll just pop in to see you!" "I'll Swing by you" - pop is what corn does!!
Soft Drink

Soda, Pop, Coke

Soda  Club Soda or Seltzer

Pavement (to walk on)

Sidewalk

The road or tarmac to drive on

Pavement

Baby's or Amish woman's Hat Bonnet
Hired car Rental car

Bonnet

Hood (of a car!)

Bumper

Fender

Panel Beater

Body Shop have no idea what a panel beater is!!

Parts (as in for a car or machine)

Spares

Spare(s)

One bowling pin left standing!

Strike (cease work) Knocking all the bowling pins down

Telephone Directory

Phone Book

Full stop (punctuation)

Period

Period (menstrual period) Period

Inverted comma's

Quotation marks

Brackets (punctuation)

Parentheses

Exclamation Mark

Exclamation Point

Tracksuit

Sweats

Arrive late

Tardy

Takkies (SA)or Running Shoes (UK)

Sneakers or Tennis Shoes

Seedy or undesirable

Tacky

Torch

Olympic flame / Garden Torch

Flashlight

Torch

Electric Razor

What the barber uses with a brush and foam!

Electric Shaver

Razor / Cut-throat

Guillotine

Paper trimmer

Old French form of execution

Guillotine

Celsius

Fahrenheit Only 2 other countries in the world still use this Liberia and Myanmar (Burma)

Celtic (pron. keltic) as in Scots or Irish origin

Celtic (pron. Seltic)

Supermarket

Grocery Store

Chemist / Pharmacy

Drugstore or pharmacy

Lab scientist / technician

Chemist

Garden furniture

Lawn Chairs

Bottom / bum

Fanny / Butt / Ass / Behind

Fanny

Vagina

Moon Bag Fanny Pack

Handbag

Purse

Purse or wallet (for money)

Wallet or Pocket Book

Jelly

Jello

Jam

Jelly or Preserve

Tartan

Plaid

Pudding

Dessert

Instant Pudding in a box Pudding

Estate Agent

Realtor / Broker

Turnover (amount of income per year)

Turnover (Staff Turnover) also a fruit filled pastry dessert

Hot baked fruit pie Cobbler

Excess (as in an insurance policy)

Deductible

Robot

Traffic Light

Centre Island (on a road)

Median

Under the influence (driving)

Driving While Impaired (DWI or DUI)

Christmas Holidays

"The Holidays" more politically correct to incorporate all the religions who celebrate holidays at this time of year as in "Happy Holidays" never Happy Christmas!!! Rather Merry Christmas!

Going on Holiday

Going on Vacation

Kilometers

Miles

Beauty Salon

Spa

Anaesthetist

Anesthesiologist

General Practitioner (GP)

Family Doctor

Opthalmologist Eye Doctor
Optometrist Eye Doctor

Bakkie (SA) or Van (UK)

Pick-up truck or truck

Truck  / Lorry / Pantechnikon 18 wheeler / tractor trailer

Trolley (supermarket)

Cart

Flag

Banner or flag

Lunch Break at school

Recess

Dungarees

Overalls

Overalls (workman) Coveralls

Coffin

Casket

Cinema

Movie House / movie theatre

Two seater couch /sofa

Loveseat

Guest Loo at home

Powder Room

Loo / Lavatory/ Toilet

Bathroom / Restroom

Lounge Suite (pr.sweet)

Lounge Suite (pr.suit)

Route on a map (pr. root)

Route (pr. Rowt)

Film

Movie

Jersey / Cardigan / Jumper

Sweater

Pinnafore Jumper - sleeveless dress with a blouse worn underneath

Vest

Under shirt

Waistcoat

Vest

Glasses / Spectacles

Eye Glasses

Garage (emphasis on the 1st "a")

Garage (pr. Garaaage)

Sitting Room

Parlor / Family Room / Living Room

Play soccer / baseball

Play ball

Chopper

Axe

Helicopter

Chopper

Scone (pron. Scon)

Biscuit

Biscuit

Cookie

Sleep

Nap

Serviette

Napkin

Napkin or Nappy (baby)

Diaper

Pram

Stroller / Baby Carriage

Dummy

Pacifier

Sticky Tape / Cello tape

Scotch Tape

Polyfiller (white stuff for holes in walls)

Spackle

Stand / Erf (as in property)

Lot

Door Handle

Door Knob

Cupboard (for clothes)

Closet

Cuboards (in kitchen) Cabinets

Plait (as in hair)

Braid

Minibus

Van

4 x 4

SUV

Verandah / Stoep

Porch or stoop

Aerial

Antenna

Project

Assignment

Class teacher

Advisory

Naught (0)

Zero (never heard of naught in this context!!)

Nothing (as in 'came to nothing' or naught)

Naught

Pre-school or Grade 0

Kindergarten

Chips (hot)

Fries

Chips (Packet)

Chips/ crisps

Math's (as in Mathematic's)

Math (no 's')

Bread Roll

Bun

Bond

Mortgage

Access Bond

Equity Line is the closest thing

Renovate

Remodel / Rehab

Off Ramp

Exit

Highway

Beltway / Freeway

Deposit

Down Payment

Flat

Apartment or Condo

Townhouse

Condominium / townhouse

Cluster Home

Townhome

Marquee (a tent for an event or wedding) Tent
The large illuminated sign above an old movie theater with big letters of what's showing! Marquee
Duvet (goes inside the duvet cover) Duvet Comforter
Duvet Cover Duvet
Comforter Bedspread or padded blanket

The Post

The Mail (signs are posted!!)

Put up a sign

Post (referring to a sign about no entry or police line do not enter as in "this sign is posted")

Ten Cents

Dime

Five Cents

Nickel

One Cent / Penny

Penny

Foyer / Entrance Hall

Hallway

Bath

Tub

Jacuzzi Bath

Garden Tub

Jacuzzi (outdoors)

Hot Tub / Spa

Stairs

Staircase - the Stairwell is the space under the stairs.

Vase (pr. Vaaze)

Vase (pr. Vayze)

Curtains

Drapes

Rods, rings and rails (for curtains)

Hardware

Standing Lamp

Floor Lamp

Side Table living room

End Table

Bedside Table

Night Stand

Vice (used to grip things in a workshop)

Vise (pron. Vice but spelt with an "S")

Vice (as in vice squad)

Vice (as in vice squad)

Bannister

Handrail

I'm finished

I'm done

I'm fine

I'm good

Pardon me! or Sorry!

Excuse me! - mostly used when wanting to pass someone in a confined space.

It's a pleasure! (response to Thank You!)

You're welcome! My Pleasure!

Anti-clockwise

Counter-clockwise

Dressing Gown

Robe

Spanspek / Sweet Melon

Cantaloupe

Courgette or Baby Marrow

Zuchini

Naartjie (SA)

Tangerine

Aubergine or Bringal

Egg plant

Sosatie

Kebab

Paraffin

Kerosene; Parraffin; Wax

Fuel / Petrol

Gas

Oil Change

Lube

Fire Engine

Fire Truck

Fire Station

Fire House

Fire Brigade Fire Department

Jersey

Jumper

Moonbag

Fanny Pack

Penultimate

Unknown expression in the US

Doctors Rooms

Doctors Office

Migraine (pr. Meegrain)

Migraine (pr.maigrain)

Deputy Mayor

Mayor Pro Tem

School bag, suitcase or satchel

Book bag

Sucker

Lollipop

A Gullible fellow / Loser

Sucker

Sweets

Candy

Candy Floss

Cotton Candy

Starter / Entrée Appetizer

Main Course

Entrée

Diary

Planner or Calendar

Journal

Diary

Ghetto blaster or portable stereo

Boom box

APS film

Advantix

Koki Pens

Markers or Sharpies

File (for documents)

Binder

Radiologists

Imaging center

Stationery shop

Book store

Haberdashery shop

Sewing Supplies (Never heard of haberdashery!! Used to refer to a mens clothing store in the US , but now it's an old fashioned term)

Cutlery or Silver

Flatware or Silverware even if it's plastic!!

Crockery or Dinner Service

Dinnerware

Car

Vehicle (pr. Vee-hickle) / Automobile

Cooler box

Cooler

Bedspread

Bed Cover

Pillowcase with border around the pillow area or Continental pillow

Sham / European pillow

School Report

Report Card

Teachers or Staff at a school

Faculty - all teachers at the school

Faculty of Arts (university)

School of Arts

Go to University

Go to school or College

School Elementary, Middle & High School

College or University

All tertiary institutions are referred to as "school"

Number plate Tag or License tag / plate

Post Graduate student

Grad student or "I am at Grad school"

Zebra Crossing Pedestrian Crossing

Changing Room

Locker room

Tap (in the sink or bath or garden)

Faucet

Tippex

WhiteOut or Liquid Paper

Power Failure

Power - out

Electricity

Power

Electricity, water, sewer, waste etc

Utilities

Spade

Shovel

Call Box

Phone Booth

Inquiries (pron. "Ink-wire-rees")

Inquiries (pron. Inkwirries)

Qatar -Mid Eastern country (pron. "kwa-taar")

Qatar (pron. "gutter") or "kuh-tar"

Reverse Charges (phone) Call Collect
Rocket (salad) Arugula
Condom Rubber
Rubber (to remove pencil) Eraser
Rubbish (bin) Garbage / Trash (can)
Spanner Monkey Wrench
Stroppy (difficult person) PIA! (pain in the ass)
Zed (Z) Zee (Z)
Firefly Lightnin' Bug
Lady Bird Lady Bug
Lay-by (on a highway) Rest Area
Lemon Juice (as in Orange Juice) Lemonade
Lemonade 7-Up or Sprite
Perspex Plexiglass
Queue (stand in a queue) Line (stand in a line)
Duvet Cover Comforter
Elastoplast Band Aid
Dodgy Suspect
Gear Box Transmission
Green Fingers Green Thumb
Grotty Trashy
Handbrake Emergency Brake
Gear Lever Gear Shift or Stick Shift
Hand Luggage Carry-on baggage
Rent (a property) For Rent
For Hire (car or furniture) Rental
Coupé - 2-door car (pron. coop-pay) Coupé (pron. coop)
Convertible top (car) Hood (as in "Let's put the hood down!")
Débris (pron. day-bree) Débris (pron. de-bree)
Décor (pron. day-kor) Décor (pron. de-korr)
Icing Sugar Powdered or confectioners sugar
Jacket Potato Baked Potato
'Mr Plod' a Cop
Bin or Dust Bin Trash Can - Garbage can
Shag or Shagging (slang) for Intercourse Dancing see below.....
Intercourse (the same in the US and.....) A small Amish town in  Pennsylvania!
A Carolina Dance step done to 'Beach Music' Shagging
Engaged (phone) Busy
Braces (to hold up pants) Suspenders - braces go on teeth
Suspenders (to hold up Stockings) Hold Ups / Garters
Brolly Umbrella
Tramp (down and out person) Bum
Bum or Bottom Butt or Ass
Créche Play school
Nativity Scene Créche
CV (Curriculm Vitae) Resumé
Dado Rail Chair Rail
Demister (in your car) Defroster
Dodgem car Bumper Car
To Burgle (rob) Burglarize
'Nick' stuff Steal stuff
Carrier Bag Shopping Bag
Cock-up (a mess up) Very rude - dont use it!!! Use 'Screw-up'
Cotton Bud Cotton swab / Q-Tip
Cotton Wool (balls) Cotton
Cotton (reel of cotton for sewing) Thread
Accelerator pedal Gas pedal
Indicator / Flicker Turn signal
Anorak Outdoor jacket / Parker
Answering Machine Voice Mail
Autumn Fall
To 'bag' something - claim it 'Dibbs' it or 'Call' it
Bangers (sausage) Wieners / Hot Dog
A Barney A Fight
Barmy Nuts / Crazy
Arse Ass
Aluminium (al-le-min-eeum) Aluminum (al-lu-minum)
Court Shoes Pumps
Car Park Parking Garage
String (ball of) Hemp ? - not known
Drawing Pin Thumb Tack
Presenter (TV) Anchor
Ladder (pantihose) Run
Tin -  as in a tin of beans, peas, jam Can
Jumble Sale Rummage Sale / Garage Sale, Yard Sale
Rucksack Backpack
Parakeet Parrot
Budgie (Budgerigar - small blue /yellow bird) Parakeet (never heard of a budgie!)
Buoy (pron. boy) Buoy (pron, boo-ey) Sent in by Debbie Boltman!
Bouyant (pron boy-jant) Buoyant (pron boy-jant not booey-ent!) 
Foefie Slide Zip Line
Hold Thumbs! (that something happens) Cross your fingers!
Impediment (speech / hearing) Impairment, speech or hearing impairment

Speciality (this is considered an incorrect spelling)

Specialty

Garden (Lawn & Flower beds) Yard
Veggie Garden Garden