English-American Dictionary

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Americans and Englishmen both use words, but in different ways. (image not to scale: England is actually about the size of that little dangly thing on the off of the right side of America. What's that thing called again?

Welcome readers to the exciting windswept steppes of the EnglishAmerican Dictionary. This article is designed as a reference to Americans as they attempt to understand, and be understood, by English-type people. It is the goal of this reference to prevent such embarrassment caused by the misinterpretation of rubber and other such words and phrases.

"S" and "Z"

Let's start with the often confusing area of spelling. Many Americans are amazed to learn that in the English alphabet, there is no letter "Z". In usage, the letter is often replaced by the letter "S". Examples:

English American Usage
Civilisation Civilization There's not such thing as the American "Civilisation"!
Specialise Specialize Some people here seem to specialise in changing American spelling to English.
Organisation Organization The Cobra is a ruthless, terrorist organisation determined to rule the world!
Sebra Zebra Note: In English, this word is pronounced in a manner that rhymes with "Deborah".


In the actual alphabet, the letter "Z" is replaced by the English letter "Zed". Although the English rarely use this odd letter. The only notable use of this letter in English is in car and motorcycle models.

English American Usage
Nissan 300 Zed Nissan 300 Z In English, the make of this car is pronounced "Nissin". In American, "Nee-Sawn".
Camaro Zed 28 Camaro Z28 Although the Camaro is not sold in England (because there are no ninjas), Canadians also use the letter "Zed".
Kawasaki Zed X-11 Ninja Kawasaki ZX-11 Ninja "Whose motorcycle is this?" —Winston Churchill

"It's not a motorcycle, it's a crotch-rocket, and it's Zed's crotch-rocket." —Oscar Wilde

"Who is Zed?" —Winston Churchill

"Zed's dead, baby!" —Oscar Wilde

The English "R"

The English are also known for adding an "R" to words that do not require one, in addition to removing "R"s from words that are supposed to have them. By doing this the net effect is and equal usage of the letter "R" when compared to American, but a vastly different distribution.


English American
Australiar Australia
Americar America
Arse Ass
Guvna Governor
Intanet Internet

ER and RE

A strange phenomenon has been noted when translating American words that end in "ER", often , the English translation will transpose the two last letters.

English American Usage
Centre Center The gooey nougat centre
Theatre Theater "I'm dating a slutty theatre ushre, she sneaks me in for free"
Entree Enter Do not entree, blasting area!
RE ER "I heard Dr. Carter is leaving RE"

"Ou" and "O" (not firewourks)

The English language is also noted for the overuse of the letter U, especially in making the "or" sound. Instead of simply "or" the English add a U, often ending the words "our".


English American Usage
Colour Color The Colour Guard raised the flag.
Flavour Flavor I like the popular rap artist Flavour Flav.
Honour Honor I didn't do it, Your Honour!
Neighbour Neighbor Love thy neighbour as thyself.
Humour Humor Men dressed as women is the pinnacle of humour.
Doour Door My head is stuck in the doour.
Whoure Whore Your mom is a whoure.
Sour Sore My arse is sour.
Our Or Would you like fish our chips?

In the English-speaking colony of Canada, the English "Ou" is pronounced like the double-o in "boot".

Different Definitions

In addition to the unusual alphabet and spelling, the English use different definitions for different phrases.


English American Usage
Lift Elevator My head is stuck in the lift doour.
Flat Apartment I've got kippers in my flat.
Rubber Eraser Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the movie Rubber.
Napkin Diaper I need a napkin to wipe my mouth.
Bonnet Hood Little Red Riding Bonnet.
Boot Trunk Elephants drink with their boot.

Unless it is

Boot Boot Boot to the head.
Chips Fries Would you like chips with that?
Crisps Chips Eric Estrada starred in the TV Series CRiSPs.
Food Meat byproducts and remnants The butcher threw a bucket of food out.

WARNING: Several, but not necessarily all, of these "English" language abberations also apply to such non-England English-speaking colonies of England such as Australia, Scotland, Canada, Wales, South Africa, and New Zealand. Failure to allow for this may result in severe bodily trauma when attempting to use the information in this article as humourous/humoros banter with persons of the aforementioned nationality.

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