American English to British English Translation (S-Z)

The English language is no doubt the international language of business, diplomacy, and technology. The top two variants of the language that are widely spoken at the international level are the US English and the UK English. Like any dialects of any language, these two standardized dialects have their differences. These differences range from usage preference to total difference.

This translation list should be taken as a guide rather than a strict rule. While there are differences between American English and British English, it’s still the same language. These two variants have more similarities than differences. They constantly influence each other. Also, language changes over time.

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American British
saber sabre
sailboat sailing boat
sales clerk shop assistant
salt water taffee toffee
sandbox sandpit
sandwich butty (informal)
sanitary napkin, sanitary pad, pads sanitary towel
Santa Claus Father Christmas
sausages bangers
savings & loan association building society
savor savour
scale (machine) scales (machine)
scallion, green onion spring onion
scalper ticket tout
scampered scarpered
scarf muffler (clothes)
scepter sceptre
schedule timetable
Scotch tape Sellotape
scotch tape sellotape
scrambled eggs scrambled egg
second floor first floor
season (TV show) series (TV programme)
second to last second from last
sedan (car) saloon (car)
see the forest for the trees see the wood for the trees
self-rising flour self-raising flour
selfish mean
seltzer sparkling water
semitrailer, semi, tractor-trailer articulated lorry
send someone an SMS text someone
seniors (high school students) year 13
September 25, 2019 (written) 25 September 2019 (written)
September 25th (verbal) September the 25th (verbal)
sequester sequestrate
set the table lay the table
shag carpet shagpile carpet
shagging – a popular swing dance in South Carolina, etc. shagging – performing sexual intercourse (slang)
shopping cart shopping trolley
shots (injection) jabs (injection)
shoulder (road) verge (road)
show (TV) programme (TV)
shrimp prawn
sidewalk pavement
signaling signalling
silence a silence
silent partner sleeping partner
silverware cutlery
sizable sizeable
skeleton in the closet skeleton in the cupboard
skeptical sceptical
skillful skilful
skim milk skimmed milk
slaughterhouse abattoir
sled sledge
slingshot catapult
slipcover loose cover
slowpoke slowcoach
smart = intelligent smart = fashionable
smelled smelt
smolder smoulder
snap press stud
sneakers trainers
snicker snigger
snow pea mangetout
somber sombre
soccer football, footy (slang)
soccer player footballer
social security number national insurance number
socialize socialise
soda, pop, coke, soft drink fizzy drink, soft drink
solitaire (game) patience (game)
somewhat like quite like
sophomores (high school students) year 11
soy, soybean soya, soya bean
specialize specialise
specialty; specialization speciality; specialism; specialisation
speed bumps speed hump, sleeping policeman (informal)
spellchecker spellcheck
spelled spelt
spilled spilt
spirits up peckers up
splendor splendour
spoiled spoilt
spoiled (food) go off (food), off
sponge bath blanket bath
sprinkles (on an ice cream) hundreds and thousands
spunk = mettle, pluck, spirit spunk = semen (vulgar)
station wagon estate car
stock option share option
store (common), shop shop
story (building) storey
stove cooker
stovetop hob
(baby) stroller pushchair, buggy
streetcar, trolley car tram
string bean runner bean, string bean
study revise
study habits revision practices
study schedules revision timetables
styrofoam polystyrene
subdivision, housing development housing estate
the subway (train) the underground, the tube (train)
ride the subway take the underground
a bag of sugar a pack of sugar
sulfur sulfur (technical), sulphur (non-technical)
supertitle surtitle
suspenders braces
sweater jumper, pullover
sweater vest tank top
sweep under the rug

(carpet = fitted carpet, rather than a rug)

sweep under the carpet
swimsuit, bathing suit swimsuit, swimming costume
switchblade flick knife


American British
to table something – to discuss something at a later date to table something – to formally present something for discussion
at the table at table
take a bath have a bath
take a left/right turn (on a road) take a left/right turning (on a road)
take an exam sit an exam
take it with a grain of salt take it with a pinch of salt
take out (food) take away (food)
takeout, to go (food) takeaway (food)
talking about on about (informal)
tartar sauce tartare sauce
taxi stand taxi rank
on a team in a team
teleprompter autocue
television telly
a tempest in a teapot a storm in a teacup
thanks cheers
theater theatre
theory exams theory papers
thermos bottle vacuum flask
throw a (monkey) wrench in(to) (a situation) put a spanner in the works
thumbtack drawing pin
tic-tac-toe noughts and crosses
tidbit titbit
tied drawn
time frame time frame, timescale
tire tyre
toilet paper toilet paper, toilet roll, bog roll
toilet seat lavatory seat
toll road, turnpike toll motorway
a toothache toothache
toothless toothless, gummy
top at something top in something
top-of-the-line top-of-the-range
tough going against the collar
tow truck breakdown truck, breakdown van
in tow, under tow on tow
toward towards
town house terraced house
tractor-trailer, semitrailer, semi articulated lorry
traffic circle, roundabout (road) roundabout (road)
trailer caravan
trailer park caravan park
train station railway station
training wheels stabilisers
tramp = hooker (prostitute)

bum = hobo (vagrant)

hobo = bum (vagrant)

tramp = hobo (vagrant)

bum = buttocks

hobo = tramp (vagrant)

transmission (car) gearbox (car)
transportation transport
trash rubbish
trash can rubbish bin
traveled; traveler; traveling travelled; traveller; travelling
treacle fudge treacle toffee
trolley car, streetcar tram
truck lorry
truck driver lorry driver
truck farm market garden
truck stop transport cafe
trunk (car) boot (car)
tube top boob tube
turn it in hand it in
turning paler going pale
turnpike, toll road toll motorway
turtleneck polo neck
tuxedo dinner jacket
twelve-gauge twelve-bore
two weeks fortnight


American British
unacceptable or improper not on (informal)
underground economy black economy
underpants pants
undershirt vest
uneven bars asymmetric bars
uniform kit
unlisted ex-directory
unraveled unravelled
upscale (adjective) upmarket (adjective)
upward upwards
urbanization urbanisation
utility knife Stanley knife
utility pole pylon


American British
(take a) vacation (go on) holiday
vacationer holidaymaker
vacuum bottle, thermos vacuum flask, thermos
vacuum cleaner hoover
valance pelmet
VCR video recorder
vest waistcoat; gilet
veterinarian veterinary surgeon
vice-president (of a company) director (of a company)
video camera cine-camera
vigor vigour
vise (tool) vice (tool)
vulva fanny (slang)


American British
18-wheeler juggernaut
wading pool paddling pool
wagon waggon
wakeup call alarm call
walker walking frame
wall-to-wall carpeting fitted carpet
walnut satsuma
to wash up = to wash one’s hands, elbows, etc. to wash up = to wash the dishes
washcloth flannel
wastebasket waste bin
wasted (drunk) pissed (drunk)
watch out for mind
wax paper, waxed paper greaseproof paper
on the weekend; on weekends at the weekend; at weekends
weirdos’ prison weirdo prison
well shut of him well shot of him
while whilst
whole note (music) semibreve (music)
wholewheat bread wholemeal bread
wiffle ball rounders
willful wilful
windbreaker windcheater
windshield windscreen
won’t shan’t
woolen woollen
wrench spanner
wrenched prised
She wrote him. She wrote to him.


American British
yard sale jumble sale
yard, lawn garden
yellow (traffic lights color) amber (traffic lights colour)
yellow journalism tabloid journalism
yogurt yoghurt
you need your (something) tested you need your (something) testing
You should talk. Bit rich coming from you.
You’ve got nerve! You’ve got a nerve!


American British
zee (letter Z) zed (letter Z)
zero (technical), nothing (sports) nought
zip code postcode
zipper zip
zucchini courgette

More Pages

Letter A to F
Letter G to L
Letter M to R