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The Daily Puppy

Differences in Vocabulary


Differences in Vocabulary


     Ask someone from England what a fag is and he/she will tell you it's a cigarette. Asking an American the same question, however, could put you in a rather embarrasing situation. You see, in American English, a fag is a highly derogatory and offensive term for homosexual.
     The above example shows that sometimes the same word has different meanings in England and in the US. So, if you were in England and wanted to buy candy, you'd have to ask for sweets. In the United States, a person asks for dessert after dinner, while a person in England may ask for a sweet or a dessert.
     There is a story about an Englishman visiting New York for the first time who stopped a man and asked how to get to the underground. The answer he received from the New Yorker was a very blunt and rude. "I don't know. Why don't you try killing yourself?" The New Yorker mistakenly thought that the Englishman was interested in meeting Lucifer himself. Little did the New Yorker know that in British English, the underground (also called tube) is nothing more than the subway.
     Underground is a good example of the many words in England which are different from their American equivalents. Scholars interested in those lexical differences have actually compiled British/American - American/British dictionaries. Observe a list of some of the most common words we offer you (see above).     


American
  British
Portuguese
airplane
  aeroplane
Avião
apartment
  Flat
Apartamento
area code
  dialing cod
Código de área
Bar
  Pub
Bar, taverna
billfold
  Wallet
Carteira
busy
  Engaged (phone)
Ocupado (telefone)
candy
  sweets
Doces
cookie/cracker
  Biscuit
Biscoito
corn
  sweet corn, maize
Milho
crib
  cot
Berço
crazy
  mad
Louco
crosswalk
  pedestrian/zebra crossing
Faixa de pedestre
cuffs
  turn-ups (on trousers)
Bainha de calça
diaper
  nappy
Fralda
drugstore, pharmacy
  chemist's
Farmácia, drogaria
elevator
  lift
Elevador
eraser
  Rubber, eraser
Borracha (escolar)
Fall/autumn
  autumn
Outono
first floor, second floor etc
  ground floor, first floor
Térreo, primeiro piso...
flashlight
  torch
Lanterna
Flat (tire)
  Flat tyre, puncture
Pneu furado/vazio
french fries
  Chips
Batatas fritas
garbage/trash
  rubbish
Lixo
garbage can, trashcan
  dustbin, rubbish bin
lata-de-lixo
gas/gasoline
  petrol
Gasolina/combustível
highway, freeway
  main road, motorway
Estrada, rodovia
hood (of a car)
  bonnet
Capô
intersection
  crossroads
Cruzamento (de rodovias ou ruas)
mad
  angry
Enfurecido
Mailbox
  pillar box
Caixa de correio
mean
  nasty
Mesquinha
movie, film
  film
Filme cinematográfico
movie theater
  Cinema
Cinema
pants, trousers
  trousers
Calças compridas
Parking lot
  Car park
Estacionamento
pavement
  road surface
Calçamento, pavimentação
pitcher
  jug
Jarro(a)
potato chips
  crisps
Batata frita (em fatias)
railroad
  Railway
Ferrovia
raise
  rise (in salary)
Aumentar
rest-room, bathroom
  (public) toilet
Toalete, banheiro (em restaurantes, hotéis etc.)
sidewalk
  pavement
Calçada
resumé
  CV
Currículo profissional
schedule, timetable
  timetable
Horário
sneakers
  trainers (=sports shoes)
Tênis esportivo
Stand in line
  queue
Fazer fila
store/shop
  Shop
Loja
**subway
  Underground*
Metrô
trunk (of a car)
  Boot
Porta-malas
truck
  lorry, van
Caminhão
two weeks
  fortnight, two weeks
Duas semanas
vacation
  holiday(s)
Férias
vest
  waistcoat
Colete
zee
  zed
"zê" - o nome da letra "z"
zipper
  zip
Zíper, fecho de correr



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