Australian / American Dictionary

Many of you have moved here and realised that whilst we speak the same language as the Americans there are certain differences in the vernacular that have confused our US neighbors.

When we first moved here, I asked my husband to pick up bin liners from the grocery store.  It took him forever as the grocery store worker did not understand him.  He was first directed to the bean section thinking it was an accent issue.  After heavily describing what he needed, they were able to ascertain that he was after a trash bag.

Below is a small Australian to American Dictionary on some differences in the vernacular.  We would love all of our readers feedback on any more differences that they have come across.

FOOD

  • Biscuit – Cookie/Cracker
  • Capsicum – Bell Pepper
  • Castor Sugar – Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
  • Chips – French Fries
  • Fairy Floss – Cotton Candy
  • Ginger Ale – Root Beer
  • Jelly – Jello
  • Jam – Jelly or Jam
  • Lemonade – Sprite/7Up
  • Lemon Juice – Lemonade
  • Lolly – Candy
  • PawPaw – Papaya
  • Plain Flour – All Purpose Flour
  • Potato Crisps – Potato Chips
  • Rockmelon – Cantaloupe
  • Scone – Biscuit
  • Sultanas – Yellow Raisins
  • Tomato Sauce – Ketchup
  • Turnip – Rutabaga
  • Whole Meal Bread – Whole Wheat Bread

EATING OUT

  • Entree – Appetizer
  • Main Course – Entree
  • Serviette – Napkin

HOME

  • Bin – Trash Can
  • Bucket – Pail
  • Cutlery – Flatware
  • Footpath – Sidewalk
  • Letter Box – Mail Box
  • Tap – Faucet
  • Torch – Flashlight
  • Toilet – Restroom
  • Verandah – Porch/Deck

BABY

  • Cot – Crib
  • Dummy – Pacifier
  • Pusher – Stroller
  • Stroller – Umbrella Stroller
  • Nappy – Diaper
  • Port-a-cot – Pack’N’Play/Travel Crib

CLOTHING

  • G-String – Thong
  • Jocks/Undies – Underpants/Briefs
  • Knickers – Panties
  • Press Stud – Snaps
  • Singlet – Tank Top
  • Thongs – Flip/Flops
  • Trackpants – Sweat pants

DRIVING

  • Bonnet – Hood
  • Boot – Trunk
  • Bowser – Gas Pump
  • Windscreen – Windshield
  • Petrol – Gas
  • Ute – Pickup
  • Car Park – Parking Lot

OFFICE

  • Biro – Pen
  • Rubber – Eraser
  • Sticky Tape – Scotch Tape

SPORT

  • American Football – Football
  • Football – Aussie Rules
  • Hockey – Field Hockey
  • Ice Hockey – Hockey

Are there any other words and sayings that you have come across that doesn’t translate?  Please write in our comments for everyone’s information.

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4 Responses to Australian / American Dictionary

  1. Holly says:

    Ah, this would have been a help when we first arrived :p

    Just one thing – castor sugar here is actually ‘extra fine granulated sugar’. Must be the extra fine sort which can be found at any supermarket.
    Confectionars sugar here is the same as our icing sugar back in Aus.

  2. kc says:

    This is great! Is a robe=closet ? Also, coriander=cilantro (I think?) Oh and Americans, atleast from New England do not say “Mightn’t” – is this an Aussie thing, or just a Leigh thing?
    I probably have 100 more… let’s just say my boys get confused. : )

  3. Jo Hentschel says:

    Corn flour = corn starch

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