When making a relocation to London from the US, you may have already realized through your research that British English is not always the same as American English. There are spelling and pronunciation differences, to be certain (like using “s” instead of “z” or saying “vitt-amin” instead of “vie-tamin”), but there is also an entirely different lexicon that can pose a challenge to expats moving to London. I’ve written previous posts addressing how to “speak the Queen’s English” that can be found under our “London Language Barriers” category and will be devoting this week and part of next to a lengthier series of British English terms. Let’s start with one set of vocabulary that relates to your upcoming London move:

[American English = British English]

Interior Space (Unit)
bathroom = toilet (if it doesn’t, indeed, have a bathtub in it)
living room = sitting room/lounge/drawing room/reception area
pantry = larder

Interior Space (Building)
lobby = foyer
first floor = ground floor
second floor = first floor

Exterior Space
curb = kerb
sidewalk = pavement
yard = garden

Furnishings/Fixtures/Utilities
antenna = aerial
baseboard = skirting board
cabinet/closet (with shelving) = cupboard
closet (for hanging clothes) = wardrobe
faucet = tap
garbage/trash can = dustbin/bin
housewares = hardware
hutch = Welsh dresser
outlet/socket = power point
stove = cooker
valence = pelmet
wall to wall carpeting = fitted carpeting
water heater (electric) = immersion heater
water heater (gas) = geyser
weather stripping = draught excluder

Chores
doing the dishes = washing up
garbage/trash = rubbish
monkey wrench = spanner
vacuum (as noun and verb) = hoover

Property (miscellaneous)
apartment = flat
apartment hotel = service flats
duplex = semi-detached
lease/rent = let
realtor = estate agent
sub-division = housing estate
zip code = postal code

You’ll surely hear some of these terms during your international relocation to London as you search for and settle into your apartment rental. If you need any additional help “translating” the property market, please do call on our Relocation agents!