This is a list of British words not widely used in the United States. In Canada and Australia, some of the British terms listed are used, although another usage is often preferred.
- Words with specific British English meanings that have different meanings in American and/or additional meanings common to both languages (e.g. pants, cot) are to be found at List of words having different meanings in American and British English. When such words are herein used or referenced, they are marked with the flag (different meaning).
- Asterisks (*) denote words and meanings having appreciable (that is, not occasional) currency in American, but nonetheless notable for their relatively greater frequency in British speech and writing.
- British English spelling is consistently used throughout the article, except when explicitly referencing American terms.
Famous quotes containing the words list of, united states, list, british, words, widely, united and/or states:
“Religious literature has eminent examples, and if we run over our private list of poets, critics, philanthropists and philosophers, we shall find them infected with this dropsy and elephantiasis, which we ought to have tapped.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)
“Weigh what loss your honor may sustain
If with too credent ear you list his songs,
Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
To his unmastered importunity.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“However British you may be, I am more British still.”
—Henry James (18431916)
“Spirit is now a very fashionable word: to act with Spirit, to speak with Spirit, means only to act rashly, and to talk indiscreetly. An able man shows his Spirit by gentle words and resolute actions; he is neither hot nor timid.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)
“It is doubtful whether anyone who has travelled widely has found anywhere in the world regions more ugly than in the human face.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900)
“In the United States the whites speak well of the Blacks but think bad about them, whereas the Blacks talk bad and think bad about the whites. Whites fear Blacks, because they have a bad conscience, and Blacks hate whites because they need not have a bad conscience.”
—Friedrich Dürrenmatt (19211990)
“In the case of a deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of ... powers not granted by the compact, the States ... are in duty bound to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them.”
—James Madison (17511836)