An international relocation from America will teach you much about diverse cultures. Moving to London in particular will expose you to more than you probably realize, as many perceive the UK as being very similar to the US. That’s true, but only to an extent, and among the many differences (which we’re constantly blogging about here) is language. That’s right, British English varies from American English, so we’re back this week to continue reviewing some terminology that could help for your London move. Last Friday we covered sundries, the little miscellaneous things you’ll need at the office or in your London apartment rental. Today, let’s step outside our London apartments and get to know some of the folks out there and places we can go:

[American English = British English]

Professions
druggist = chemist
janitor = caretaker/porter
lawyer/attorney = solicitor
mailman = postman
policeman = bobby
president (of a business) = chairman
principal = headmaster/mistress
realtor = estate agent/negotiator
sales clerk = shop assistant
scab (derogatory for strikebreaker) = blackleg
prostitute/tramp = tart 😉

Theatre
aisle = gangway
balcony = gallery
first balcony = upper circle
mezzanine = dress circle
orchestra seats = stalls
movie theatre = cinema

Other Locations
candy store = sweet shop/confectioner
downtown = city centre
doctor’s office = surgery
drugstore/pharmacy = chemist’s shop
gas station = filling station
hardware store = ironmonger
jail = gaol
liquor store = off license
news stand = newsagent
wharf/pier = quay (pronounced ‘key’)
zip code = postal code

Miscellaneous Public Services
baggage room = left luggage
booth = kiosk
check room = cloakroom
mailbox = pillar box
restroom = toilet/lavatory/WC (water closet)

Enjoy your stroll around town? For a guide on how to pronounce the names of more specific locations, please see my recent post, “Relocation UK: Places Americans Often Mispronounce.”

Relocation’s services are devoted to situating you close to where you want to be, be it near work, nightlife, the arts, necessities, etc. As you’re viewing your apartments for rent with us, please do ask our London Relocation agents to point out any differences in terminology for the people and places you see along the way.