US–UK

American and British English Around the House

Having grown up speaking two different versions of the English language, we occasionally find that one of us might use a word that’s unfamiliar to the other. This still happens after all these years, and when it does, it is always an interesting experience.

So, we decided to compile this list of differences between American English and British English, when talking about things around the house. We will add others as we discover them.

American English British English
Allen Wrench Allen Key
Anchor Rawlplug
Apartment Flat
Attached Bathroom En Suite
Band-Aid Plaster
Baseboard Skirting Board
Basement Cellar
Built-in Cabinets Fitted Cabinets
Buffet Sideboard
Caulk Mastic
Cinder Block Breeze Block
Closet Wardrobe
Clothes Pins Clothes Pegs
Contractor Builder
Counter/Countertop Worktop
Cutlery Knives (sharp ones)
Dirt Soil
D’oh! D’oh!
Double-Paned Windows (or low-e or insulated glass windows) Double Glazing
Drill Press Pedestal Drill
Dryer Tumble Dryer
Duplex Semi-Detached House
Emergency Room Casualty
Faucet Tap
First Floor Ground Floor
Flashlight Torch
Floor Lamp Standard Lamp
Flatware/Silverware Cutlery
Fly-By-Night (tradesperson) Cowboy
Full Bed Double Bed
Garage (guh-RAJ) Garage (gair-ij)
Ground (electrical) Earth
Half-Bath Toilet
Hardware Store Ironmonger
Home Improvement DIY
Interior Latex Paint Emulsion
Level Spirit Level
License Plate Number Plate
Living Room (or family room or den) Sitting Room (or lounge)
Lumber Yard Wood Yard
Medicine Cabinet/Vanity Bathroom Cabinet
Monkey Wrench Adjustable Spanner
Outlet Socket
Physical Therapy Physiotherapy
Pipe Wrench Stilsens
Power/Service Line Mains
Queen Bed King Bed
Range Cook Top/Cooker
Saw Horse Trestle
Screw Extractor Stud Extractor
Second Floor First Floor
Sheetrock Plaster Board
Sod Turf
Spackle Polyfiller
Stairs Apples and Pears (ok, now we’re just messing with you)
Steel Wool Wire Wool
Stove/Oven Oven
Tank (toilet) Cistern
Tempered Glass Toughened Glass
Toilet Bowl Toilet Pan
Tub Bath
Twin Bed Single Bed
Tylenol/Acetaminophen Paracetamol
Vacuum Cleaner Hoover
Valance Pelmet
Wall Heater (if in the wall anywhere) Electric (or Gas) Fire (if in sitting room, especially in a former   fireplace)
Washing Machine Washer
Worn Out Knackered
Wrench Spanner
Yard Garden

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