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UK English and US English differences

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Ive noticed a few differences between UK English and American English ( some in relation to Scouting ) while looking through these forums and after meeting other people from America on some of the international camps ive been on :


UK: Badges

US: Patches


UK: Woggle

US: Neckerchief slide


UK: Rubbish

US: Trash


then theres some words that can cause more confusion:


UK: Fags = slang for ciggarrette, I understand the American meaning for this word is altogether different


UK: Crisps = US: chips

UK: chips = US: fries


UK: Trousers = US: Pants

UK: Pants = US: ?? ( in the UK pants are underwear - ie boxer shorts, breifs etc)


The Letter 'Z' in the UK its 'Zed' in the USA its Zee


anyone know any more?




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Actually, most of the people I know in my area (NW Illinois) refer to a BADGE when talking about a badge of rank, such as Tiger, Wolf, 1st class, Star, etc. But when talking about activities (like Klondike Derby, Pinewood Derby, Camporee, etc.)we say PATCH. Also, Council and troop/pack designations are called PATCHES. I don't know if other US areas make this distinction.

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Scouting Terms:


US: Rank

UK: Award


US: Advancement

UK: Progressive Training


US: Leadership Position

UK: Rank


US: Election to PL or SPL, Appointment to APL, ASPL, TG, etc.

UK: Promotion


In Baden-Powell's Scouting, "Ranks" are appointed by the Scoutmaster





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Most badges in the US are patches except except when it comes to Webelos acivity badges which are pins. :)

We refer to badges of rank here in the US , but I remember at the '80 Essex Jamboree in England trading my patches for badges.

Growing up in NE Illinois we drank pop, went to student council camp in southern IL, they all drank soda....moved to Atlanta 9 years ago... Everyone drinks coke. Doesn't matter what it is, could be orange coke, grape coke, if its carbonated it coke, even if its pepsi-coke.



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I don't know what part of England you are from Pint?

Of course to my mind we have London and the rest of the country. London being where everyone wants to be!!

Thanks to the power of the telly (TV) most American and British young people are fairly well versed in both American English and the real thing.

Back home we of course have the Queens English, which sounds like someone trying to talk with a mouth full of pebbles.

We have all the regional dialects, which can change from county to county or even hamlet to hamlet and we used to have BBC English, many will remember the voice of the BBC during world war two: "This is the BBC.." (where I used to work!!)

Of course some things that become acceptable slang have double means. I remember Her Who Must Be Obeyed (Which comes from the Rumpole of the Baily books) riding on a bus and bursting out laughing when she seen an ad for "Fagots in Gravy" the fagot being a small meat ball. Is is also a small bundle of wood. She also had people do a double take when she said she was taking her Grand-pap home Suspenders. Everyone at the table thought her Grand-pap was a little odd, she was of course taking him braces.

If you ever get the chance there was a really good TV series on The History of English. I found it really odd that they claim that the best English is spoken by the people of Dublin Ireland.


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important things?


999 = UK emergency phone number

911 = US emergency number


UK = Petrol

US = Gas


UK petrol (gas) price = high

US price = Cheap

doing a rough conversion the price of petrol in the UK is equivalent to at least US$6 per gallon


UK: a licence is required by law to watch/receive any broadcast TV channel which costs 126.50, this funds all of the BBCs broadcast TV channels and Radio stations in the UK


US: everything funded by advertisisng/sponsorship.


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There used to be a Dog licence, but that went a good few years ago.


UK scouting: all groups to be Co-ed from 2007, some groups Co-ed from now ( our district went co-ed last year)


UK scouting:

Beavers - age 6 to 8

Cubs - age 8 to 10

Scouts - age 10 to 14

Explorer Scouts - age 14 to 18

Scout Network - 18-25


Scout Fellowship age 18+



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The cost of a UK Dog license had remained unchanged for nearly 100 years.

It was Seven Shillings and Sixpence.

Things remained unchanged until decimal currency came along.

Where there used to be 20 Shillings to the pound and 12 pennies to the shilling, that changed to having only 100 pence in a pound.

This of course meant that one new-penny = 2.4 old pennies. So the halfpenny which had gone the same way of the farthing (0.25 of an old penny) came back.

This made the cost of a dog license 37 1/2 pence.

But then they did away with the halfpenny.

In 1987 the dog license was abolished. Only about half of dog owners had one.

There is however a dog license in Northern Ireland and it costs five pounds a year. Which is cheaper than in the Republic of Ireland where it costs 12.70 euros a year!!

The House of Commons did a research paper on dogs in 1998:


Where I live we have to have our dogs licensed.

When we had Rory "Fixed" we were able to get him a lifetime license, we had the option of having him micro-chipped or tattooed. We went with the tattoo. Up until that time OJ had his heart set on getting a tattoo. I said if he got "Fixed" I'd allow the vet to give him a tat.

Strange I haven't heard much about him getting inked since. - I wonder why?


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