Separated by a common language British/American translations 
May 25, 2005

LONDON - When an American actress - a Texan no less - was picked to portray beloved English heroine Bridget Jones, Brits everywhere were aghast.

But when they heard Renee Zellweger's mostly plausible British accent on the big screen, most agreed she could have been plucked from any London suburb.
Other Americans, though, aren't as adept as Zellweger at speaking English like the English.
That's one reason why British Airways has created an online "English to English" dictionary as part of a major ad campaign designed to help millions of Americans fit in this summer when they visit London for the first time.
After all, no one wants visitors going all "barmy" - or crazy - and causing a "hoo ha" - or commotion - when they're feeling all "peckish" - or hungry - and have no idea how to order a "nosh-up" - or feast.
"Nearly 1.5 billion people on the planet speak some version of English, but the version of English used in the UK does take a bit of getting used to," said Robin Hayes, an executive vice president at British Airways.
The dictionary (available at features more than 80 British words and translations with a new word added every day.
The campaign, unveiled earlier this month in New York, is expected to spread to other major markets across the United States in the coming months.
Although the campaign is designed to be a "cheeky" bit of fun, understanding linguistic differences can give travelers a serious boost.
For example, it's most helpful to know that, in England, the first floor is actually one level up in a building. What Americans would call the first floor is referred to as the ground floor here.

● British: ace, as in "The party last night was ace."

American: excellent.
● British: knackered, as in "Work has me completely knackered."
American: tired.
● British: dosh, as in "Pick up some dosh and meet us at the pub."
American: cash.
● British: dog and bone, as in "Blimey, here's a dog and bone."
American: telephone.
● British: chin-wag, as in "Fancy a coffee and a bit of a chin-wag?"
American: to talk.
● British: naff, as in "Your style is naff."
American: tacky..
SOURCE: British Airways