US and UK Homes – A different Language

The Language of US and UK Homes

In our last blog we compared the amount of possessions in the average US and UK homes. We found that in spite of being roughly twice the size, in the US the use of self-storage facilities by homeowners had increased at a rapid rate.
So, this time we thought we’d look at other differences, and it’s all about the language.

Rooms

Liquidiser Blender

Blender or Liquidiser

Probably most people know that the US word for a tap over a sink is a faucet, but did you also know that most homes there have mixer taps, while in the UK, we still mostly have separate hot and cold-water taps?

Where the UK kitchen may (or not) contain a liquidiser, in the US it’s called the blender and our stove is their cooker. In other rooms, we have curtains or roller blinds and standard lamps where the US has drapes, shades and floor lamps.

There’s more. Where we talk about the garden, they call it the yard and where we have dustbins they have garbage cans.  Our caravan is their motorhome.

Types of Home

Then there’s the language used to describe the different styles of home – and even the person who sells it for you; the US realtor is the UK’s estate agent, though we doubt there’s much difference between how they go about it!
Perhaps the most confusing thing is that where we in the UK have a ground floor, the US doesn’t recognise this and calls it the first floor – cue much confusion when you’re identifying multiple floors!
Then there’s the style of home. Where we do flats, they do apartments, and if the apartment is owner-occupied it magically transforms into a condominium.
A semi-detached house here is a duplex there and a terraced house here is a row house there.

Things That Puzzle The US

There are some things about English homes that really puzzle US people:
They, for example, think it’s weird that washing machines are usually kept in UK kitchens. Apparently, it’s equally weird in the US for the loo to not be in the bathroom, and speaking of bathrooms, it seems they can’t get their heads around the idea that lights there are operated by a string/cord and not by switches on the wall!
If you have other examples of amusing language differences why not send them to us?

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