10 words that have a completely different meaning in the UK and the US

When factoring in both native and non-native speakers, English is the most spoken language across the globe.

The main language in both the United Kingdom and the United States, there are some slight differentiations between certain words and their meanings depending on what side of the pond you are on, so it is always a good idea to brush up on what words mean what.

In a bid to ensure you don't suffer an embarrassing slip of the tongue when talking to someone either from the UK or the US, here are some popular words and phrases that mean contrasting things either side of the Atlantic.

Purse

This one isn't drastically different, whereas in the UK a purse is something you find within a woman's handbag, operating similarly to a wallet where a woman may keep her credit cards or loose change, in the States a purse is a woman's bag.

Geezer

While the word is more commonly used as a term of endearment in the UK, a 'geezer' in the US is a derogatory term used to describe an old man. In the UK, a geezer is a particularly masculine man who has a certain swagger.

Chips

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One of the most infamous differences, ordering a side of chips in the UK can bring you contrasting results than if you were to do so in the US.

Whereas chips in the UK are thick-cut deep-fried potato slices often enjoyed with almost everything, chips in the US are what UK speakers would more commonly know as 'crisps'. Luckily, both would bring delicious results.

Pants

  • Underwear with special 'penis pocket' claims to stop sweaty balls and help fertility

Perhaps the most important word to understand the difference between, losing your pants is arguably far worse in the UK than the US.

While in the US, 'pants' mean trousers, jeans or outwear worn from the hip down to the ankle, 'pants' in the UK are underwear obviously worn underneath trousers.

Biscuit

  • Iceland and The Range cause frenzy with 1.3kg bargain boxes of broken biscuits

Much like chips, though the word 'biscuit' means different things depending on where you are, both the UK and the US boast delicious definitions. In the UK, a biscuit is more of a sweet treat enjoyed after a meal. Across the pond, a 'biscuit' is a buttery bread similar to a dinner roll which can be used as a side dish for savoury meals.

Rubber

Though if you ask someone in a UK classroom for a rubber you wouldn't garner much notice, if you asked for a rubber in a US classroom you may be greeted with some raised eyebrows.

This is because, although in the UK a rubber is a device used to erase errors made in pencil, in the US – rubber is another term for a condom or other popular contraceptive.

Football

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An infamous one, it is undeniable that the UK definition of football is certainly more logical. In the UK, football is a team sport played by members kicking a ball with their feet, while football in America is played using an oval ball thrown between team mates.

Solicitor

Solicitors in the UK hold more power than their American counterparts.

While solicitors in the states are door-to-door salespeople, in the UK solicitors are lawyers.

First Floor

One that often causes confusion among innocent people just trying to arrive at meetings on time, Americans refer to the first floor as the floor that is ground level, while Brits see the first floor as the one you'd need to take the stairs to access.

Trainer

In the UK, trainers are commonly worn on your feet for comfort or during exercise. However, across the pond a trainer is someone hired to help you stay in tip-top shape. Coincidentally, both versions are often spotted in the gym.

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