10 very American English words


Retro, Belleza, Cabello, Bob, Se Balanceaba, Peinado

Bangs, used in the plural, are the equivalent of a fringe in British English. In other words, hair cut short over your forehead.

One of the theories regarding the origin of this word is the term “bang tail”, a way in which horsetails are cut.

“Her bangs give her a very stylish 1920s look”.

(UK) Fringe

CELL PHONE (Cellular or Cellular phone)

Mujer, Sesión, Contador, Teléfono, Smartphone, Mujeres

The reason why mobile phones are called cell phones in the US is the association that engineers made with the map that represented each tower and their area of coverage as it looked like a biological cell. You can read about it and see an image here.

“After ordering a caffe latte, she took out her cell phone and started to plan the day.”

(UK) Mobile phone


Pasar, Pasaporte, Id, Documento, Pantalones, Bolsillo

Watch out here! Whereas PANTS means trousers in the US, it means knickers (women’s underwear) in the UK.  This word, the Anglicisation of the character Pantalone, has its origins in Italian comedy (read more).

“She packed light for that weekend trip. A pair of pants, some tops and a few essentials was all she took.”

(UK) Trousers


Autoestopista, Pulgar, Sudadera Con Capucha, Mochila

Informal word meaning man in the US. This is slang, just like the word “bro”, so to be avoided in certain contexts.

“A dude was hitchhiking in the middle of nowhere.”

(UK) Guy


Bicicleta, Bokeh, Luces, Macro, Pavimento, Luz Azul

The space in the street where pedestrians walk.

“He left his bike on the sidewalk and popped into the shop for some chocolate.”

(UK) Pavement


Los Zapatos, Zapato Del Deporte, Colorido, Para Usted

Comfortable shoewear which is suitable for doing sport.

“Her new sneakers made her feel as if she was floating.”

(UK) Trainers




Gato, Agresión, Emociones, Miedo, Sorpresa, Ira, Animal

An exclamation used to show surprise.

“Jeez! Is he about to attack?”

(UK) God/Damn


Goma De Borrar, Abrasión, Papelería

A piece of rubber used for rubbing out something written on paper.

“Erasers are not allowed during the exam.”

(UK) Rubber


Bolsa De Cintura, BolsaA kind of bag worn around your waist to carry small things, like money, your keys or your mobile.

“She grabbed her fanny pack and went for a run with her dog.”

(UK) Bum bag (best to avoid the term “fanny” altogether in the UK)



Lynch Sign 8 in. x 8 in. Blue Plastic with Braille Restroom Sign-UNI-18 - The Home DepotA euphemism for a public toilet in the US. According to Wikipedia, in the 19th century, public toilets in some exclusive hotels and other high-end public facilities had an adjacent room with sofas and armchairs where people could rest and this is where the term comes from.

“Where can I find the restroom?

(UK) Toilets, loo