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Differenze lessicali tra l'inglese britannico e l'inglese americano

Nel Regno Unito, saremmo imbarazzati se la gente vedesse i nostri "pants" (slip) ma non negli Stati Uniti (=pantaloni). L'inglese britannico e l'inglese americano divergono anche nel lessico sotto svariati aspetti. La stessa parola può avere significati diversi, e ci sono parole diverse per indicare lo stesso oggetto.

In basso è riportata una lista, non completa e probabilmente non del tutto esatta, considerando anche le differenze di lessico che compaiono tra diversi stati degli USA. Il primo termine è britannico, il secondo americano, seguiti dalla traduzione italiana.

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A

  • accelerator --> gas pedal, accelerator = acceleratore
  • advertisement --> commercial = pubblicità
  • aerial --> antenna, aerial = antenna
  • air hostess --> flight attendant = hostess
  • alsatian --> German shepherd = alsaziano
  • American Indian --> Native American = indiano
  • anorak --> parka = giacca a vento
  • anti-clockwise --> counter-clockwise = antiorario
  • articulated lorry --> tractor trailer = auto articolato
  • aubergine --> eggplant = melanzana
  • autumn --> autumn, fall = autunno

B

  • baking tin --> baking pan = teglia
  • barrister --> attorney = avvocato
  • base rate --> prime rate = tasso base
  • bath --> bathtub = vasca da bagno
  • to bath --> to bathe = fare il bagno
  • bathroom --> bathroom /toilet = bagno
  • bath gown --> bath robe = accappatoio
  • bedside table --> nightstand = comodino
  • block of flats --> apartment house = palazzo (appartamenti)
  • bill --> check = conto
  • bin --> garbage can = bidone
  • biro --> ball-point pen = biro
  • biscuit --> cookie = biscotto
  • bobsleigh --> bobsled = bob
  • bonnet --> hood = cofano
  • booking --> reservation = prenotazione
  • bookshop --> bookstore = libreria
  • bookstall --> newsstand = edicola
  • boot --> trunk = portabagagli
  • braces --> suspenders = bretelle
  • brackets --> parentheses = parentesi

C

  • canteen --> cafeteria = mensa
  • candy floss --> cotton candy = zucchero filato
  • car --> automobile, car = macchina
  • car park --> parking lot = parcheggio
  • caravan --> trailer, motor home = roulotte
  • caretaker --> janitor = custode
  • casualty department --> emergency room = pronto soccorso
  • catalogue --> catalog = catalogo
  • chambers --> law offices = cancelleria (legale)
  • chap --> guy, man = tizio
  • chemist's shop --> drugstore = farmacia
  • cheque --> check = assegno
  • chest of drawers --> dresser, bureau = cassettiera
  • chips --> French fries = patatine fritte
  • cinema --> movie theater = cinema
  • city centre --> downtown = centro città
  • class, form --> grade = classe
  • clingfilm --> plastic wrap = pellicola per alimenti
  • cloakroom --> checkroom = guardaroba (al teatro)
  • clothes peg --> clothespin = molletta da bucato
  • coach --> long distance bus = pullman
  • cocktail stick --> toothpick = stuzzicadenti
  • cocoa powder --> unsweetened cocoa = cacao in polvere
  • coffin --> casket, coffin = bara
  • condom --> rubber = profilattico
  • cooker --> stove = cucina a gas
  • courgettes --> zucchini = zucchine
  • costume --> swimsuit = costume da bagno
  • cosy --> cozy = accogliente
  • cot --> crib = culla
  • cotton --> thread = cotone
  • crisps --> potato chips = patatine
  • crossroads --> crossroad, intersection = crocevia
  • cupboard --> closet = armadio
  • current account --> checking account = conto corrente
  • curriculum vitae --> resume = curriculum vitae
  • curtains --> drapes = tende
  • cutlery --> silverware = posate

D

  • dialogue --> dialog = dialogo
  • dinner jacket --> tux, tuxedo = smoking
  • diversion --> detour = diversione
  • doctor's surgery --> doctor's office = ambulatorio medico
  • double cream --> heavy cream = panna
  • draught --> draft = corrente d'aria
  • draughts --> checkers = gioco della dama
  • drawing pin --> thumbtack = puntina
  • dress circle --> balcony = palco a teatro
  • dressing gown --> robe = vestaglia
  • drink driving --> drunk driving = guida in stato di ebbrezza
  • driving licence --> driver's license = patente di guida
  • driving wheel --> steering wheel = volante
  • duffle coat --> trench coat = impermeabile
  • dummy --> pacifier = ciuccio
  • dustbin --> garbage can = pattumiera
  • duvet --> bedspread = trapunta
  • dynamo --> generator = dinamo

E

  • earth --> ground = terra
  • earth wire --> ground wire = filo di terra
  • engaged --> busy = occupato (telefono)
  • engine --> motor = motore
  • to enquire --> to inquire = chiedere informazioni
  • enquiry --> inquiry = richiesta informazioni
  • entrée --> appetizer = antipasto
  • estate car --> station wagon = Station wagon
  • estate agent --> realtor = agente immobiliare
  • everywhere --> everyplace, everywhere = ovunque
  • exercise book --> notebook = quaderno
  • expiry date --> expiration date = scadenza
  • extra time (sport) --> overtime = tempo supplementare

F

  • fag --> cigarette = sigaretta
  • fancy dress --> costume = costume in maschera
  • Father Christmas --> Santa Claus = babbo natale
  • to fill in --> to fill out = da compilare
  • filling station --> gas station = stazione di rifornimento
  • film --> film, movie = film
  • fire brigade --> fire department = vigili del fuoco
  • first floor --> second floor = primo piano
  • fish-fingers --> fish-sticks = bastoncini di pesce
  • fizzy drink --> pop, soda, coke = bevanda gassata
  • flashlight --> photoflash = torcia elettrica
  • flat --> apartment = appartamento
  • floor --> storey = piano
  • flyover --> overpass = cavalcavia
  • football --> soccer = calcio
  • fortnight --> two weeks = due settimane
  • fringe (capelli) --> bangs = frangia
  • full stop --> period = punto
  • frying pan --> skillet = padella

G

  • gammon --> ham = prosciutto
  • gangway --> aisle = passerella
  • garden --> yard = giardino
  • gear lever --> gear shift = leva del cambio
  • Gents --> Men's Room = toilette uomini
  • to give a lift --> to give a ride = dare un passaggio
  • goods train --> freight train = treno merci
  • grammar school --> high school = scuola secondaria superiore
  • to grill --> to broil = grigliare
  • ground floor --> first floor = pianterreno

H

  • hairdresser --> barber shop = acconciatore da uomo
  • hairdresser --> hairdresser, beauty shop = parrucchiere
  • handbag --> purse = borsa
  • hand brake --> parking brake, emergency brake = freno a mano
  • hard cooked egg --> boiled egg = uovo sodo
  • headmaster, head teacher --> principal = dirigente scolastico
  • high street --> main street = strada principale
  • to hire --> to rent = noleggiare
  • hire purchase --> instalment plan = acquisto a rate
  • hockey (sport) --> field hockey = hockey
  • holiday --> vacation = vacanza
  • hoover --> vacuum cleaner = aspirapolvere

I

  • ice-hockey --> hockey = hockey su ghiaccio
  • icing --> frosting = glassa
  • icing sugar --> powdered sugar = zucchero a velo
  • ill --> sick = malato
  • indicator --> turn signal = frecce
  • injection --> shot = iniezione
  • insect --> bug = insetto
  • interval --> intermission = intervallo
  • inverted commas --> quotation marks = virgolette

J

  • jab --> shot = siringa
  • jacket potato --> baked potato = patate al forno
  • jam --> jelly = marmellata
  • jelly --> jello = gelatina
  • Joe Bloggs --> John Doe = mario rossi
  • jug --> pitcher = caraffa
  • jumble sale --> rummage sale = mercatino
  • jumper --> sweater = maglia

K

  • kitchen roll paper --> paper towel = rotolo di carta da cucina
  • knickers --> panties = mutandine

L

  • label --> tag = etichetta
  • labour --> labor = lavoro
  • Ladies --> ladies' room = toilette donne
  • ladybird --> ladybug = coccinella
  • lager --> beer = birra chiara
  • laundrette --> laundromat = Lavanderia automatica
  • to lay the table --> to set the table = apparecchiare la tavola
  • lead --> leash = guinzaglio
  • letterbox --> mailbox = cassetta delle lettere
  • life jacket --> life vest = giubbotto di salvataggio
  • lift --> elevator = ascensore
  • lorry --> truck = camion
  • lost property --> lost and found = oggetti smarriti
  • lounge --> living room = salotto
  • luggage --> baggage = bagagli

M

  • mac, mackintosh --> raincoat = impermeabile
  • mad --> crazy = pazzo (arrabbiato)
  • main road --> highway = strada principale
  • maize --> corn = mais
  • managing director --> chief executive officer (CEO) = direttore amministrativo
  • marks --> grades = voti
  • mashed potato --> mashed potatoes = purè di patate
  • match --> game = partita
  • mate --> buddy = compagno
  • maths --> math = matematica
  • mean --> stingy = avaro
  • medicine --> drugs = medicina
  • mince meat --> hamburger meat, ground beef = carne macinata
  • mobile (phone) --> cellular, cell = telefono cellulare
  • motorbike --> motorcycle = motocicletta
  • motorway --> highway, freeway, expressway, interstate highway, interstate = autostrada
  • multi-storey car park --> parking garage = parcheggio multipiano

N

  • nappy --> diaper = pannolino
  • national insurance number --> social security number = numero assicurazione sanitaria
  • neighbour --> neighbor = vicino
  • newsagent's --> newspaper store = edicola
  • normal --> regular = normale
  • note --> bill = banconota
  • notice board --> bulletin board = bacheca
  • number plate --> license plate = targa

P

  • a pack of cards --> a deck of cards = un mazzo di carte
  • a packet of cigarettes --> a package of cigarettes = un pacchetto di sigarette
  • pal/mate --> buddy = amico
  • paper knife --> letter opener = tagliacarte
  • paraffin --> kerosene/kerosine = paraffina
  • parliament --> congress = parlamento
  • pavement --> sidewalk = marciapiede
  • pay rise --> pay raise = aumento di stipendio
  • pedestrian crossing --> crosswalk = passaggio pedonale
  • pepper --> bell pepper = pepe
  • personnel department --> human resources department = ufficio personale
  • petrol --> gas, gasoline = benzina
  • phone box --> phone booth = cabina telefonica
  • pickled cucumber --> dill pickle = cetriolo
  • pitch --> field = Campo sportivo
  • plaster --> bandaid = cerotto
  • platform --> track = binario
  • plug hole --> drain = scarico
  • pocket money --> allowance = paghetta
  • polo neck --> turtle neck = collo alto
  • porridge --> oatmeal = fiocchi d'avena
  • post --> mail = posta
  • post code --> zip code = codice postale
  • postman --> mailman = postino
  • pram (perambulator) --> baby carriage, (baby) buggy = carrozzina
  • primary school --> elementary school = scuola elementare
  • prison --> jail = carcere
  • programme --> program = programma
  • pub --> bar = bar
  • public school --> private school = scuola privata
  • pupil --> student = allievo
  • push chair --> stroller = passeggino
  • to put through --> to connect = trasferire la chiamata

Q

  • to queue --> to line up = fare la fila
  • quid --> buck = banconota da 1 sterlina/ 1 dollaro

R

  • railway --> railroad = ferrovia
  • reception --> front desk = reception
  • redundant --> laid off = licenziato
  • reverse charge call --> collect call = chiamata addebitata al ricevente
  • to ring up, phone --> to call, to phone = telefonare
  • road surface --> pavement = manto stradale
  • roundabout --> traffic circle, rotary = rotatoria
  • row --> argument = lite
  • rubber --> eraser = gomma
  • rubbish --> garbage, trash = rifiuti
  • rucksack --> backpack,backbag = zaino

S

  • sacked --> fired = licenziato
  • school report --> report card = pagella
  • secondary school --> high school = scuola secondaria
  • sellotape --> scotch tape = Nastro adesivo
  • semi-detached house --> duplex = casa bifamiliare
  • serviette --> napkin = tovagliolo
  • share --> stock = azione (borsa)
  • shop --> store = negozio
  • shop assistant --> sales clerk = commessa
  • silencer --> muffler = silenziatore
  • single ticket --> one-way ticket = biglietto di sola andata
  • sideboards --> sideburns = credenza
  • skipping rope --> jump rope = corda per saltare
  • sledge --> sled = slitta
  • socket --> outlet = presa di corrente
  • solicitor --> lawyer = avvocato
  • sorry --> excuse me = mi dispiace
  • spanner --> wrench = chiave inglese
  • state school --> public school = scuola statale
  • starter --> appetizer = antipasto
  • stock --> inventory = inventario, magazzino
  • store --> superstore = supermercato
  • storey --> story = piano
  • straight away --> right away = immediatamente
  • subway --> underpass = sottopassaggio
  • sultana --> raisin = uva passa
  • to suppose --> to guess = supporre
  • surname --> last name = cognome
  • surgery --> doctor's/dentist's office = ambulatorio
  • swear word --> curse word = parolaccia
  • sweets --> candy = caramelle

T

  • tap --> faucet = rubinetto
  • taxi --> cab, taxi = taxi
  • taxi rank --> taxi stand = stazione dei taxi
  • telephonist --> telephone operator = telefonista
  • term --> semester = quadrimestre
  • terrace --> bleacher = terrazza
  • test --> quiz = test
  • tights --> pantihose = collant
  • till --> cash register = registratore di cassa
  • timetable --> schedule = orario
  • tin --> can = barattolo di latta
  • tissue --> Kleenex = fazzoletto di carta
  • to think --> to guess = pensare
  • toilet, loo --> bathroom, rest room = wc
  • toll road --> turnpike = Strada con pedaggio
  • torch --> flashlight =
  • tortoise --> turtle = tartaruga
  • town centre --> downtown = centro città
  • traffic lights --> stop lights = semaforo
  • trainers --> sneakers = scarpe da ginnastica
  • tram --> streetcar = tram
  • trolley --> cart = carrello per la spesa
  • trousers --> pants = pantaloni
  • tumble dryer --> clothes dryer = asciugatrice
  • tyre --> tire = pneumatico

U

  • underground, tube --> subway = metropolitana
  • undertaker --> funeral director = impresario pompe funebri

V

  • van --> station wagon = furgone
  • vest --> undershirt = canottiera
  • video --> VCR = videoregistratore

W

  • wage cut --> salary cut = taglio dei salari
  • waistcoat --> vest = panciotto
  • wallet --> billfold = portafoglio
  • wardrobe --> closet = armadio
  • to wash --> wash up = lavare
  • wash up liquid --> dish washing liquid = detersivo piatti
  • washing up powder --> laundry soap = detersivo bucato
  • wellington boots --> rubbers = stivali di gomma
  • wholemeal bread --> brown bread = pane integrale
  • windscreen --> windshield = parabrezza
  • wing --> fender = parafango

Z

  • zebra crossing --> crosswalk = strisce pedonali
  • zed --> zee = lettera Z
  • zip --> zipper = chiusura