17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (2023)


By Holly

17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (2)

Everybody loves the sound of a British accent. It's soothing, sweet, and sexy. If you want to sound a little bit more like them, then you're going to have to figure out the differences between the way you talk and the way they talk. Here are a few words that Brits and Americans pronounce differently:

1 Zebra

Americans pronounce this word like ZEE - BRA. However, the British are a lot more simple. They just say the word the way that it's written.

2 Vitamin

Americans pronounce this word as if there's an "e" in it and say VITE - a - min. Meanwhile, the British pronounce it the way that it looks. They say VIT - a - min.

Ava ever heard of "long I"? You'd think considering w...

(Video) 20 Words Brits and Americans Say Differently

3 Aluminum

Americans pronounce this word as if it has four syllables. Meanwhile, the British pronounce it exactly like it's spelt, as if it has five syllables.

David What American hater wrote this stuff? Americans pr...

5 Garage

The second "g" in the word makes a "zsa" sound in America. But in Britain, they say it more like GARE-idge.

6 Herb

In America, we drop the "h" and pronounce the word without it. However, in Britain, they pronounce that "h."

7 Laboratory

Americans pronounce this word as if the "o" doesn't even exist. Meanwhile, the Brits sound it out like they do with most words and make it have five syllables.

David You sound biased, like you are dissing Americans (...

8 Tomato

The British pronounce this word like "tomahto" while Americans pronounce it like "tomayto."

9 Route

In Britain, they pronounce route as "root."

(Video) Top 50 British Words Americans Pronounce Wrong

10 Yogurt

This sounds pretty different in Britain. There, they say this word like "yog hurt."

11 Pecan

In Britain, they pronounce this word in a similar way to how they pronounce "can't."

12 Missile

The British pronounce the end of this word like "aisle." Meanwhile, Americans pronounce it as if the second "i" doesn't even exist.

14 Advertisement

This word actually makes a lot more sense when you hear a Brit say it. After all, the shortened version is "advert." That's why they pronounce it as Ad - VERT - iz - ment.

15 Controversy

This is a word that is a little difficult to pronounce. In English, we tend to put an emphasis on the "o" while in Britain, they tend to put an emphasis on the "v."

16 Can’t

The British say this word almost as if it's a curse word. That's why you have to be careful when mimicking the accent.

17 Mobile

In America, we pronounce this word like there's a "u" toward the end. But in Britain, they pronounce the ending like "aisle."

(Video) Americans Try To Pronounce British Towns Ft. Kelsey, Freddie & Jazzmyne

There's something about British accents that can drive any woman crazy. Of course, they can drive men crazy as well. That's why you should practice your pronunciation of these words. You might be able to use them to impress your crush with impersonations one day. What's your favorite word to hear a Brit pronounce?

Please rate this article

  • word
  • britain


  • Ava #2 ever heard of "long I"? You'd think considering where English came from they'd know that. If that's the case how do you say right? There's no "e" in it? Smh Brits tryna be so sophisticated and loses like they did in the Civil War
  • David #3 What American hater wrote this stuff? Americans pronounce this one as it is spelled, with 4 syllables. It is NOT written with 5 syllables. British people pronounce it as if it is spelled "aluminium"
  • David #7 You sound biased, like you are dissing Americans ("as if the "o" doesn't even exist"). I'm all for dissing Americans, but Brits do NOT "make it have five syllables." Brits drop the second "o" as if it doesn't even exist.
  • Chrissxx I totally get how people pronounce these differently due to the spelling, but I don't get aluminum... there's no i after the n so they're adding letters when they pronounce it. I wonder how that started. No offense to anyone just curious lol
    • Neecey @Chrissxx, I think you've got that round the wrong way. The Brits didn't add the I. Americans take letters out of our language (yes I'm a Brit). English started in England. Not in America. The case of aluminium however, is somewhat interesting. The British chemist - Sir Humphrey Davy - first named the element, calling it alumium. He then changed it to aluminum. However in the early 1800s, most metallic elements had names ending in ium so to conform, it was changed to aluminium. The US kept aluminum. Most of the rest of the English speaking world calls it aluminium. Generally though, a word starts in English and is altered in American, usually by dropping letters (colour becomes color, traveller becomes traveler etc)
  • Bish What does that mean(privacy)?
    • Neecey @Bish, it means you do things hidden from view of the public. Not in a secretive way or sneaky. Just your right to be private and to do things unobserved or interfered with by others.
  • TorriWyatt Yes, I agree that route is root. Loll
  • TorriWyatt I am English born, raised and educated, but I pronounce aluminium the Australian way. I think it can depend on where in England you came from - I was from SW London
  • Laab La-bo-rah-tree... looks like 4 syllables
  • Uroosa Idk why but it seems like the whoever wrote this totally favors the British and dislikes Americans
  • Sparklestar6767 This was so much fun, in British 😜🇬🇧
  • Karia My best friend's mother was born in England, and got a degree at Oxford, and their entire family speak with very strong English accents. I've picked up on most of these little things by just being around them, so it sounds more natural to hear them said that way.
  • Anna Haha this was fun to read, as an Australian most of our accents are really a mix of American/British pronunciation. For me it was about 50/50 with American or British pronunciation with these words XD actually few people have that typical "Australian accent" it's mostly the people who live rural that grow up with that accent haha
  • Serene American pronounce 'vase' as 'vace' (ryhmes w face), Brits pronounce the word as vahs
  • peony Haha the word herb why the h is dropped puzzles me
  • Inna My dad is British :) I guess I've been pronouncing 'route' wrong all along (I was born in England but speak like a American)
  • Taylor I think most Americans pronounce route as root.
  • Kirsty Not all of your readers are American 😑 and a lot of these aren't true
  • Lala Iam British on my moms side my great grandmother was from London
  • Lala Very cool article💋💋



17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (3) 7 Things Hollywood Teaches about Love ...

17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (4) 8 Things You Dont Know about Second Life ...

17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (5) 7 Top Movies of the Early 2000s ...

(Video) 11 Words Americans Love Asking Brits to Say (Part 2)

17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (6) Diamond face shape hairstyles

17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (7) Katy Perry Channels the Roaring 20s for Ghd ...

17 Words That Brits and Americans Pronounce Differently ... (8) Blow job music


Readers questions answered

Loreal paris color le stylo amour ...
Paris riche le stylo shadow endless pearl ...
Tv show reruns ...
Paris color riche le stylo avant garde ...
Paris color le stylo eye amour ...
Why do people talk about you ...
Paris color riche stylo smoky violet amour ...
Loreal paris color riche le smoky eye avant ...
Paris le stylo endless pearl ...
How to high cortisol levels ...
(Video) Pronunciation Differences in British and American English - 60 Words #britishandamericanenglish


What words sound different in a British accent? ›

Words that are pronounced differently in the UK and in the US
WordUK pronunciationUS pronunciation
6 more rows
6 days ago

What British words do Americans not understand? ›

Here we'll run down a few choice British English words which baffle and bamboozle the American ear:
  • Chips. Food is a recurring topic of confusion for the US and UK. ...
  • Pants. In the US, your pants are your trousers: what you wear over your legs. ...
  • Muppet. ...
  • Blinder. ...
  • Quid. ...
  • Aubergine. ...
  • Banger. ...
  • Biscuits.

What are the 10 most annoying mispronounced words? ›

Here's a list of the top 10 most irritating pronunciations:
  • Pacifically instead of specifically – 35%
  • Probly instead of probably – 28%
  • Expresso instead of espresso – 26%
  • Specially instead of especially – 25%
  • Artick instead of arctic – 19%
  • Nu-cu-lar instead of nuclear – 19%
  • Tenderhooks instead of tenterhooks – 18%
23 Jun 2021

Do Americans say d or t? ›

In American English, T and D are always pronounced distinctly in words like dip and tip, or attack and adapt, or bleat and bleed. However, there are many words, such as metal and medal, or bleating and bleeding, or bitter and bidder, where T and D are indeed pronounced the same for many speakers of American English.

What words do British use differently? ›

  • A jumper. UK: A woollen pullover worn in the winter. ...
  • A rubber. UK: An eraser for a pencil. ...
  • Nappy. UK: Something a baby wears (noun) ...
  • The first floor. UK: The floor above the ground floor. ...
  • Blinkers. UK: Flaps attached to a race horse's face to restrict its vision. ...
  • A casket. UK: Another word for jewellery box. ...
  • Fancy dress. ...
  • A flapjack.
2 Oct 2022

How do the British say Taco? ›

Below is the UK transcription for 'taco': Modern IPA: tákəw. Traditional IPA: ˈtækəʊ 2 syllables: "TAK" + "oh"

Why do Brits say the C word? ›

In the UK, the c-word used as an insult just means "annoying, unpleasant person". Its very rude, but doesn't particularly have any gendered overtones. 90% of the time, it would be directed by a man at another man.

What do British call biscuits? ›

Scone (UK) / Biscuit (US)

These are the crumbly cakes that British people call scones, which you eat with butter, jam, sometimes clotted cream and always a cup of tea.

How do the British say Starbucks? ›

Below is the UK transcription for 'Starbucks': Modern IPA: sdɑ́ːbəks. Traditional IPA: ˈstɑːbʌks. 2 syllables: "STAA" + "buks"

How do you say Coke in British? ›

Below is the UK transcription for 'Coke': Modern IPA: kə́wk. Traditional IPA: kəʊk. 1 syllable: "KOHK"

How do the British say lollipop? ›

Below is the UK transcription for 'lollipop': Modern IPA: lɔ́lɪpɔp. Traditional IPA: ˈlɒlɪpɒp. 3 syllables: "LOL" + "i" + "pop"

How do British people say OMG? ›

Oh my giddy aunt – is another expression for “Oh my God!” and used to show shock or surprise.

Why do British say US not me? ›

It's just an old English way of speaking. Many people say "us" but if they are writing will use the word "me". I was born in Sunderland and I use it some times, depends who I am talking to. "us" meaning you and me sounds like "uss".

What is a very British thing to say? ›

I'm knackered – I'm tired. Cheeky – Mischievous or playful. Bloody – This is a very British thing to say – meaning very. I'm pissed – Not meaning the regular “angry”, in British talk it actually means you're very drunk and is used quite a lot when you are out drinking with friends.

What are the 10 hardest words to pronounce in English? ›

20 Most Difficult Words to Pronounce in the English Language
  • Colonel.
  • Worcestershire.
  • Mischievous.
  • Draught.
  • Quinoa.
  • Onomatopoeia.
  • Scissors.
  • Anemone.
10 Apr 2019

What words can British not say? ›

The Most Difficult English Words
  • British pronunciation: thur-er. American pronunciation: ther-ow. Exactly. ...
  • Pronounced: mer-der-rer. Worcestershire. Ah Worcestershire, the infamous sauce that no one knows how to pronounce. ...
  • Pronounced: luff-ber-er. Debt. The 'b' is silent everyone! ...
  • Pronounced: however you like. Squirrel.
12 Jun 2019

Do Americans say Z or Zed? ›

Zee is the American way of saying the letter z. Zed is the British way. Neither is right or wrong, and nobody is ignorant for pronouncing z the way they do. The zed pronunciation is older, and it more closely resembles the Greek letter, zeta, from which the English letter is derived.

Do Americans say zero or OH? ›

“American speakers use zero in both conversation and writing. When reciting a string of numbers only, it is acceptable and common for an American to pronounce zero as 'oh. ' But when reciting a string that mixes characters and numbers, it becomes necessary to differentiate between 'oh' and zero.

Do Americans say zebra or zebra? ›

In the US: "zee-bruh"; in the UK: zeb-ruh.

How do UK say bathroom? ›

Synonyms of 'bathroom' in British English
  1. lavatory. a public lavatory.
  2. toilet. They took a break so he could go to the toilet.
  3. loo (British, informal)
  4. washroom.
  5. can (US, Canadian, slang)
  6. john (slang, mainly US, Canadian)
  7. head(s) (nautical, slang)
  8. shower.

How do the British say fridge? ›

I will add it to the article.
Traffic Words, Other Common Words in the US.
American English wordBritish English equivalentExplanation and usage.
RefrigeratorFridgeI have never seen anyone use Fridge. They use Freezer or Refrigerator to store vegetables and freezer to make ice or store frozen vegetables.
17 more rows
17 May 2022

Do Americans say lovely? ›

American English speakers tend to use the word to mean that something is beautiful, or nice, particularly another person (for example "you look lovely" or "she is lovely").

What are some old British words? ›

Old English Words For Your Consideration
  • Jargogle. Dates back to: 1692. ...
  • Vomitorium. Dates back to: Ancient Rome. ...
  • Earsgang. Dates back to: Old English. ...
  • Wyrd. Dates back to: Old English. ...
  • Crapulous. Dates back to: 1536. ...
  • Wamblecropt. Dates back to: 1552. ...
  • Cockalorum. Dates back to: 1715. ...
  • Callipygian. Dates back to: 1831.
2 Oct 2020

How do Brits say angry? ›

You often hear Americans say that they are “pissed”, meaning that they are angry or annoyed. British people also use the phrase “pissed off”, which means the same thing.

Why do Brits say yeah? ›

Most British people don't say Yeah at the end of a sentence. It would be most prevalent in certain dialects in South Eastern England. It is used as a affirmation of the sentence it ends, or the series of sentences that precedes it use, making a statement, to confirm that the listener understands what has been said.

How do British say Mcdonalds? ›

Besides devotion to soccer, one of the biggest global differences is how the British often refer to McDonald's: “MacDonald's,” “Maccies,” and “Maccy D's” are common nicknames for the Golden Arches over there. Similarly, French customers refer to the company as “McDo” while Australians often call it “Macca's.”

How do the British say bacon? ›

Below is the UK transcription for 'bacon': Modern IPA: bɛ́jkən. Traditional IPA: ˈbeɪkən. 2 syllables: "BAY" + "kuhn"

What does the P word mean in UK? ›

P word is a euphemism that may refer to the following: Paki, a derogatory term for a person from South Asia (particularly Pakistan), mainly used in the United Kingdom. Prostitute, considered an offensive term by most sex workers' rights activists.

Why do Brits say isn't it? ›

"Innit" is an abbreviation of "isn't it" most commonly used amongst teenagers and young people. This phrase is used to confirm or agree with something that another person has just said.

Why do Brits say proper? ›

Proper is a difficult word to define, mainly because British people use it to describe soo many different things. Doing things 'properly' means to do them correctly or in the right way. In the North of England, 'proper' can also be used for emphasis in the same way as the word 'very'.

What do British call condoms? ›

Rubber. This is an informal way of saying condom on the US – so a rubber is a contraceptive. We just call them condoms in the UK. And we use rubbers to remove pencil marks from paper.

What is toilet paper called in England? ›

Bog roll. Taken from the 16th-century Scottish/Irish word meaning 'soft and moist,' bog means restroom or lavatory. Bog roll, naturally, is an idiom for toilet paper. This will come in especially handy if you find yourself in a dire situation in the loo.

What do the Brits call an umbrella? ›

noun, plural brol·lies. British Informal. an umbrella.

Why do Americans say oh my god? ›

Oh my god!

Why it's confusing: It has nothing to do with gods, God or religion. It is just an expression people use to express surprise, shock, amazement, or excitement. Surprise, shock, amazement: Speaker A: I heard Jeff was in a car accident last night.

Why do Americans say zee? ›

Zee became the standard way to pronounce Z in the United States in the 19th century. It's said that zee most likely came about because it rhymes with other letter pronunciations in the English alphabet (e.g., e, d, c, b, g, and p).

What are the 5 new words? ›

You'll be able to communicate more clearly and by using fewer words, people will understand you more easily.
Here we have some new English words or vocabularies for you which you should use frequently while communicating and will also advance your knowledge bank.
  • Hellacious. ...
  • Fast fashion. ...
  • Supposably. ...
  • Hygge. ...
  • Long hauler.
23 Dec 2021

What words can Americans not pronounce? ›

Here are the top 30 words Americans struggle to pronounce
  • affidavit [af-i-dey-vit]
  • almond [ah-muh nd, am-uh nd]
  • beget [bih-get]
  • cache [kash]
  • caramel [kar-uh-muh l, -mel, kahr-muh l]
  • coupon [koo-pon, kyoo-]
  • croissant [French krwah-sahn; English kruh-sahnt]
  • epitome [ih-pit-uh-mee]
31 Aug 2016

Do Americans say Z or Z? ›

But it's not just the United Kingdom that uses “zed”; it's what you'll hear in every English-speaking country, besides the United States, which adheres firmly to “zee.” America certainly has a habit of insisting on doing things differently from the rest of the world, from its non-metric system of measurement to ...

What words do only Americans say? ›

Here we take a look at some of our favourite American words that are typically and explore their meanings.
  • Cool. No word is more American than cool, and the word has come a long way. ...
  • Awesome. Here's another word whose meaning has changed a great deal over the years. ...
  • Gosh. ...
  • Dude. ...
  • Faucet. ...
  • Diaper. ...
  • Bangs. ...
  • Booger.

Why do British people say bloody? ›

Bloody. Don't worry, it's not a violent word… it has nothing to do with “blood”.”Bloody” is a common word to give more emphasis to the sentence, mostly used as an exclamation of surprise. Something may be “bloody marvellous” or “bloody awful“. Having said that, British people do sometimes use it when expressing anger…

Why do British people say mum? ›

What you are hearing is not mum as in mother, but ma'am, contraction of madam, with a strongly reduced vowel. In British English, it is mostly used as a sign of repect for a woman of superior rank, say, in the military or police.

Why do Americans say mom instead of Mum? ›

Mom and Mommy are old-English words, words that are stilled used in Birmingham and most parts of the West Midlands. It is said that when people from the West Midlands went to America many years ago they took the spelling with them, hence Americans use Mom and Mommy.


1. 10 English words that you pronounce INCORRECTLY | British English Pronunciation + (Free PDF & Quiz!)
(English with Lucy)
2. 60 words pronounced differently in British English versus American English
(Atef Philip)
3. Why are British place names so hard to pronounce?
(Jay Foreman)
4. American English Versus British English | Main Differences: Pronunciation, Grammar and Vocabulary
(English Lessons with Kate)
5. Words that are hard to say in British and American English
(Simple English Videos)
6. How to pronounce ‘R’ in British English
(Learn English with Gill · engVid)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 03/03/2023

Views: 5908

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.