British English Vs American English Food

Hi and welcome to today’s lesson, which is all about British English vs American English food. So let’s get straight in with a look at our first difference. Crisps or chips.

British English Vs American English

British English = Crisps. American English = Chips


So, here we can see the British English version of these very thin, deep fried potatoes are crisps. And the Americans would say chips. Now that’s fine but it gets a little confusing when we look at the next one. Chips or fries.

British English Vs American English

British English = Chips. American English = Fries


So, here you can see what a lot of people know as fries or french fries, but the British, we say chips. So don’t get those confused with potato chips which are in fact crisps. Yeah, bit confusing I know. Ok let’s move on to something a bit healthier. Courgette or zucchini?

British English - Courgette. American English - Zucchini

British English – Courgette. American English – Zucchini


Well the Brits say courgette for this long green vegetable, whereas over in America, it’s zucchini. And it’s not the only vegetable that has a different name in America.

British English Vs American English

British English = Aubergine. American English = Eggplant


Here we can see the aubergine, also called eggplant in America. So, quite a difference there, but the same vegetable. Another difference is the word used for this type of food:

British English Vs American English

British English – Biscuit. American English – Cookie


In British English this is called biscuits, however, in American English this is called cookies. Now the Brits do sometimes use the word cookie to describe a particular type of biscuit with chocolate chips, but in general we say biscuit. However, we definitely don’t call this a biscuit:

British English Vs American English

British English – Scone. American English


Here in the UK, this is called a scone /skɒn/ or a scone /skəʊn/ depending on where you’re from. But over in America this is called a biscuit. Now one of the things I noticed when I went to America was that they have a rather unusual sauce to go with their biscuits or scones as we call them. Now, we tend to have jam and cream or butter on our scones so it’s a kind of sweet dish. Normally had with a cup of tea, maybe in the afternoon at some point. But in America they have biscuits with gravy. This is a kind of white sauce made with flour and milk and sometimes sausage meat:

British English Vs American English

Biscuits and Gravy (Only in America)


Now our gravy looks very different to this. We actually pour our gravy on our roast dinner, on a Sunday usually and so this is a kind of thin, brown sauce that as you can see goes all over the meat and the vegetables:

British English Vs American English

Roast dinner and gravy (British)


So there you go. There’s a few differences between British English and American English words for food. I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson and thanks for reading.

If you want to improve your English quickly with a native British teacher, you can contact Matt here to book an online lesson.
Or by email: info@britishenglishonline.com
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Check out the video lesson of this post to practise your listening and pronunciation:

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