Here’s another video in our series with Super Agent Awesome on British and American English word differences. In this video we look at differences like zit and spot and say what we’d call them in British and American English. This time the words include: band aid – plaster zit or pimple – spot caravan – convoy recreational vehicle (RV) mom and mommy – mum and mummy mom and pop store public transportation -public transport public holidays – bank holidays off the rack – off the peg sweat pants – track suit bottoms comforter – duvet
Super Agent Awesome is here today. He’s back for some more American and British words.
What do you do if you cut yourself?
Then I would get myself a Band-Aid.
I would get myself a plaster.
I think Band-Aid is another one of those trademark names.
Oh yeah, like Coke and Scotch Tape.
Yes, in this picture she’s got something on her chin.
Yeah, it’s um… We say two versions of that. One is called a pimple and the other one is called a zit.
We would call it a spot.
OK, that’s makes sense.
Yeah. And if it’s got sort of a yellow, pussy bit, it would be a spot. If it was just a raised bump without the yellow pussy bit, we might call it a pimple.
Zit or pimple
So, what’s this?
Um, hmm. It looks like a camper van or an RV.
OK. I would call that a caravan.
Wait, a caravan? A caravan is usually a line of cars.
Oh, right. OK so different meaning.
In British English we’d call that convoy. It’s when there’s a line of cars or vehicles that are travelling together. What would you call that?
I would call that a minivan.
I could call that a minivan too. Or, I might call it a camper van.
Hold on. Shouldn’t the camper van be the last picture?
Ahhh. Because it’s an RV.
There you go. Now, what’s that?
Now that is a camper van.
Things are much bigger in America. We don’t have anything like that in the UK ’cause our roads wouldn’t be that big.
So, what does RV stand for?
It stands for recreational vehicle.
Camper van or RV
Minivan or camper van
RV or recreational vehicle
What would that baby call this woman?
And how do you spell that?
I would spell it M-U-M-M-Y.
You mean like mummies in Egypt?
Yes. Do you usually shorten it?
And how do you spell that?
OK, as opposed to M-U-M for me. And there’s another place where you use this. You know there are small stores, yes, and they’re like owned by a husband and wife.
Yes, they’re um, mom and pop stores.
We would call it a family business. But you could say that too, couldn’t you?
Yeah I could. Mom or mommy.
Mum or mummy.
Mom and pop store.
What do you call all these days in the United States?
We call these public holidays.
I would call them bank holidays. Right.
When you go travelling, you could go in your own car. Yes. Or you could go by bus, or train, or trolley. Yeah.
Now, what do you call all those things together?
We call those transportation.
I would call it public transport.
Where’s the ‘tation?’
Some how that got lost.
Do you also say mass transit?
Yeah, uh we say that a lot in the states.
And we don’t.
Public transportation or mass transit.
Ok, there are two ways to buy clothes.
You could have them made for you.
Oh yeah, it’s custom made.
Yes, or you could go to a shop where they’ve got lots of clothes there. Yeah. And what would you call that? You would buy clothes…
We would buy them off the rack.
I, in England, would buy them off the peg. What’s this?
That looks really comfortable to wear. It’s sweatpants.
Yes. And normally we’d say something like track suit bottoms.
So you’re saying these are meant for running also?
Yeah. Off the rack
Off the peg.
Track suit bottoms.
Here’s somebody who’s asleep. And what’s covering her.
We’d say it’s possibly a duvet. A duvet is a large cloth bag that’s filled with feathers or soft material, foam. Yes. And you could cover it with something like a huge pillowcase. American comforters don’t have covers like duvets. What’s that?
Oh, that’s a quilt.
Uh huh, and we’d call that a quilt too. That’s a comforter, isn’t it?
Yes, it is.
See, that isn’t a duvet.
There might be some regional variations with a lot of these words so if you see any differences, you can write and tell us.
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