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[[caption-width-right:250:[[http://www.lifeaftertheboe.com/2010/02/16/usa-vs-uk/ Even though we're both using English,]] [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes we're not speaking the same language.]]]]

->''"These chips, are fries\\
This queue, a line\\
This tap, a faucet\\
Wardrobe, a closet\\
Vacation, holiday\\
Underground, subway\\
Chemist, a drugstore\\
Autumn, is fall\\
A garden, a yard\\
You see now? It's not hard"''
-->-- '''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Na7b5MiVak English to American]]''', WebVideo/MikeJ

Language can cause confusion even when two people aren't using separate languages. Often, it's enough for them to speak different dialects of the same language. This trope applies when the differences in dialects of a common language are used for humor or characterization. Most of the examples here are about the differences between UsefulNotes/BritishEnglish and UsefulNotes/AmericanEnglish, but this can occur in any pair of dialects, in any language.

Confusion over dialects in RealLife varies from person to person, and depends on the situation. If British Alice says "throw it in the 'boot'" to American Bob in a story, without context he may be confused; but when they're obviously near to a car, it isn't a huge leap that she means that something should be put in the "trunk".

It can also be a giveaway when a writer sets a story in a land besides his native one. Many English and Canadian writers write for American audiences. Often they're so good at it that the reader doesn't notice--until a Texan character mentions something that happened "when I was at university." (An American would say "when I was in college" or "...in grad school" or simply "in school", even if he got his degree at a university.)[[note]] This is because the line separating a "University" from a "College" is nearly nonexistent in the USA, as far as everyday speech goes... and "college" frankly takes half the effort to say and spell. Whereas most young, modern British characters would refer to "When I was at Uni".[[/note]]

People who read or watch a lot of fiction in another dialect will understand more words than expected, which may even be {{Lampshaded}} by the writers. Before the rise of the Internet in the early 1990s it was posited that the different versions of English might eventually diverge into separate languages, however these days the Internet has made it possible to inexpensively speak to a friend in a like-language country on a daily basis in both text and voice -- plus watch their TV shows and play video games with them, so time will only tell. Interestingly, this phenomenon was and still is far more severe when it comes to Spanish and French, to the point where {{Same Language Dub}}s are usually required -- [[Es/SeparadosPorElMismoIdioma especially Spanish]], which is the official language of the majority of the western hemisphere and varies wildly across the continent ''and'' has two radically different dialects in Spain to boot.

See also UsefulNotes/AustralianEnglish and DidNotDoTheBloodyResearch. Compare HaveAGayOldTime, where the same word means different things in two different time periods rather than countries. Contrast LanguageBarrier, which is Separated By ''Lack of'' a Common Language.

Do not add RealLife examples here. For RealLife examples, see the [[UsefulNotes.SeparatedByACommonLanguage Useful Notes]] page.
!!Examples in fiction and media:


* Creator/JerrySeinfeld featured in an [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OQWFZZE-DY American Express advert]] where he performs a StandUpComedy routine in front of a British audience... and is greeted with silence because the Americanisms he uses go straight over their heads. So he proceeds to tour England and immerse himself in the culture, including the local dialect. (And his second joke, which the British audience finds hilarious, is just gibberish to Americans.)

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', the different meanings of ''horu'' (see Useful Notes page) [[spoiler:were used to identify the criminal who came from Osaka.]]
* Parodied when Bandit Keith in ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' speaks to some British people, with "Try speaking American, it's the only language I understand!"

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* "Knocked up" gets used in ''ComicBook/{{Supergirl}}'', when the British-accented demon Buzz asks Linda to knock him up in the morning. Eventually they get it sorted out.
-->'''Supergirl''': Demons...
-->'''Buzz''': Americans...
* One ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Season 8'' has Faith go undercover to defeat a rogue slayer. The other slayer asks Faith for a cigarette. It takes Faith a moment to realize it wasn't some kind of DoubleEntendre.
-->'''Slayer:''' Do you mind if I bum a fag? \\
'''Faith:''' What do I care? You can go bum whomever you... Oh. ''[hands her a cigarette]''
* In an eighties ''Franchise/{{Justice League|of America}}'' comic, ComicBook/TheFlash (who has no SecretIdentity here) introduces himself as "Wally" to a group of English girls, who respond with derisive laughter. Afterwards someone explains to him that "Wally" means idiot. It's a very gentle insult, like something your nan would say. Using it non-jokingly would be seen in a similar way to HaveAGayOldTime.
* ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' story "Smurf Vs. Smurf" (and the AnimatedAdaptation cartoon special "The Smurfic Games") has the Smurfs fighting over the proper use of the word "smurf" in compounded words and phrases. In the comic book story, this leads to a SillyReasonForWar which gets resolved by Papa Smurf reluctantly enlisting the aid of Gargamel using a FreakyFridayFlip to get the Smurfs fighting together against a common enemy. In the cartoon special, it gets resolved with the creation of TheOlympics in their culture.

* In ''[[https://fanfiction.net/s/7669677/1/Cold-December-Night Cold December Night]]'', England ends up very confused at America's ugly sweater party when everyone starts showing up in truly terrible jumpers.
* ''FanFic/AshesOfThePast'' has a bizarre example due to the FantasyCounterpartCulture involved. In [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7262793/54/Ashes-of-the-Past Chapter 54]], the Team Rocket Pokémon are going to take part in Pokéathlon and Meowth describes one of the events as "football". When Victreebel asks what type of football, Meowth reiterates "football. This ain't Unova or Orre, ya know"--Unova and Orre being the two regions based on parts of the United States. Of course, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_association_football#Non-English_speaking_countries Japanese is one of the ]]''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_association_football#Non-English_speaking_countries few]]'' [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_association_football#Non-English_speaking_countries non-English languages]] whose name for association football is derived from the American "soccer" rather than the British "football", so this turns into an unintentional bit of CreatorProvincialism.
* In ''[[Fanfic/{{Dangerverse}} Living With Danger]]'', the Pack regales Dumbledore and Hagrid with stories of their trip to the US, including the time Sirius walked into a shop and asked for a jumper, meaning what an American would call a sweater. What the clerk thought he was asking for was a dress that is sleeveless and normally worn by young girls (specifically the then-pre-Hogwarts-aged Hermione is referenced).
* In ''Franchise/XMen'' fanfic [[http://archiveofourown.org/works/5082796 "A Conversation in the White Hot Room"]], [[ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} Scott Summers]] and ComicBook/JeanGrey have a slight misunderstanding:
-->“Blast it.” They’re silent for a moment. “What are you waiting for?”\\
“What?” Scott says, startled. “Oh. '''Oh'''. I thought that was an exclamation. You know, like-” he mimics a British accent- “'''Blast it'''!”\\
Jean glares at him. “Blast it, Cyclops, with your eye beams.”

* Barbara Stanwyck plays a con woman in ScrewballComedy ''Film/TheLadyEve''. When she is pretending to be the Lady Eve Sidwich, she leans on this trope pretty hard, dropping a lot of British slang to the befuddlement/amusement of her American hosts.
* In ''Film/{{Paul}}'', two British comic-book nerds attend Comic Con in San Diego and then go on a road trip in the American Southwest. Clive asks where they parked the RV.
--> '''Graeme''': It's in the car park.
--> '''Clive''': I think you mean the parking lot.
--> '''Graeme''': [[BriefAccentImitation (cowboy voice) Ah sure do!]] [laughter]
* In America, "pissed" means angry; in most of the rest of the English-speaking world, it can also mean "drunk", while angry people tend to be described as "pissed ''off''" rather than just "pissed". On the commentary for ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'', it's stated that the only thing they consciously did to avoid confusing Americans was to say Mary the zombie was "so drunk" instead of "so pissed", because they were aware of this trope and knew how that would sound.
* The meanings of "pissed" led to a memorable scene in the Music/BobDylan documentary ''Film/DontLookBack''. In a hotel in London, Dylan (who is American) threw a fit when someone threw a glass out the window. The guy was drunk and tried explaining that he was pissed, so Dylan said something along the lines of "Oh, ''you're'' pissed?! Don't tell me ''you're'' pissed!"
* In ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember'' there's a scene where Nigel Powers is talking about his sexual exploits and Austin requests that they speak in "English" English (actually Cockney rhyming slang) in front of the Americans. The proceeding conversation has subtitles, though not all of it, as EvenTheSubtitlerIsStumped...
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'':
** Happens between two Americans of different time periods as [[TheHero Marty McFly]] of 1985 attempts to get a drink at a 1955 diner:
-->'''Marty:''' All right, give me, uh, give me a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_%28soft_drink%29 Tab]].
-->'''Lou:''' A [[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tab#Etymology_2 tab]]? Can't give ya a tab, unless ya order something.
-->'''Marty:''' Give me a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepsi_Free Pepsi Free]].
-->'''Lou:''' You want a Pepsi, pal, you're gonna pay for it!
*** Amusingly, this conversion would play out the same with someone from the 21st Century, since Pepsi Free is now called Caffeine Free Pepsi, and Tab is pretty obscure.
** Doc questions why Marty keeps saying "this is heavy" in moments of stress.
** In a deleted scene, Marty talks to 1955 Doc about if he goes through with the plan to seduce his younger, past, mother to get his father to win her over. The conversation leads to Marty saying he might get back to his time turned gay as a result, to which Doc says, "why shouldn't you be happy?", since the modern meaning of the word didn't come about until several years after.
* A RunningGag in ''Film/TheDish''. Al, the visiting American from NASA, is regularly puzzled by the local Australian slang.
-->'''Mitch:''': You treat us like a pack of galahs!
-->(''Al looks confused'')
-->'''Glenn:''': That's a type of parrot.
* In ''Film/ChasingLiberty'', Anna, the US President's daughter, is visiting London and doesn't understand the phrase "Tele's broke, and there's no lift" before it's translated: "Television's broken, elevator: none."
* ''Film/ElNorte'': An example from Spanish, in a film that involves siblings from Guatemala migrating to the United States. The villager who helps Enrique gets started on his journey tells him to claim to be Mexican if he's caught by Border Patrol, so he won't be sent back to Guatemala. He tests Enrique by asking him to say "It's very hot", and when a bemused Enrique says "''Hace mucho calor''", the villager says that's wrong--he has to say ''hace chingana calor'', "It's ''fucking'' hot." Apparently Mexicans curse constantly. When Enrique makes it to Mexico he finds out that his friend was right. And later he does in fact use this trick to convince a Border Patrol agent that he's Mexican.
* In the ''Film/HarryPotter'' films, the British wizarding population uses the term "Muggle" to denote humans who cannot perform magic. In the spin-off film ''Film/FantasticBeastsAndWhereToFindThem'', which takes place in New York City, the American wizards use the term "No-maj" instead.
* In ''Film/SmilinThrough'', Kathleen the Brit and Ken the American have a RunningGag where they are constantly correcting each other's accents—she dings him for his flat "a" in "ghastly" and his long "i" in "neither", and he later gets her for her pronunciation of "after". Also, apparently Americans called doughnuts "sinkers" in 1915, as Frederick does, only to be corrected again.
* ''Film/VetHard'': In this Dutch / Belgian movie, Flemish Belgian character Koen is getting brutally yelled at by another, Dutch, character because his Flemish idioms and accent differ from theirs:
-->'''Bennie:''' Dickhead, speak Dutch properly!
* ''{{Film/Timeline}}'': Marek tries to ask Claire if she's "with anyone", or "seeing anyone", but both times she takes him literally, and doesn't get it, as these aren't English expressions in the period.
* In ''{{Film/Snatch}}'', Dennis Farina's character (a New Yorker who is not happy to have to travel to England) gets angry at all the British slang being thrown around, and at one point yells "English, Tony, English! I thought you people invented the language! So far, nobody here speaks it!"

* In Literature/JeevesAndWooster novel ''Literature/RightHoJeeves'', Bertie observes that Aunt Dahlia's French chef Anatole had been in service with an American family for several years before coming to work with Aunt Agatha. Bertie pronounces Anatole's English as "fluent, but a bit mixed." In the next paragraph, Anatole mixes up American slang ("Hot dog!", "hit the hay", "mad as a wet hen") with British ("jolly well", "blighters").
* In "Money, A Suicide Note" by Martin Amis, the main character is sent to try to get a very clean cut actor called Spunk Davies to use a stage name instead.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', Newton Pulsifer has a Witchfinder's card which states that faggots (meaning chunks of firewood) should be turned over to him. When an American soldier asks what they do with the faggots, Newton replies "We burn them." The soldier is quite impressed...
* Though most of these are now obsolete, [[Creator/GKChesterton G.K. Chesterton]] notices a number of these Anglo-American differences in his writings. He was told that a lady journalist had referred to him as "a regular guy" and did not see how that was meant to be complimentary; in the American usage of the time, the phrase meant "someone who was affable and not snobbish", whereas in the British use then current, it meant "a figure designed to be mocked, a scarecrow, or an object of ridicule". He was warned by an American friend against certain people because they were "very bad actors"; GKC did not know why their defective thespian abilities should cause him anxiety, until it was explained that this was American for "malefactors". Similarly, an American friend told him her sister had "gotten a beau" — by which he understood her to have devoted herself to archery.
* Not too much between Charlotte and her cousin Zee in the ''Literature/CronusChronicles'', but there is a little bit of idiom confusion when they first meet, especially since Zee is an avid (British) football player.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes stories:
** "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" uses this for a plot point. Holmes is able to divine from the spelling of the word "plow" (in British English, "plough") and a couple of vocabulary choices that an advertisement purportedly from an Englishman is actually from an American.
** This trope is used for humor in "The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor" (though the conversation being described ultimately proves plot relevant):
---> '''Lord St. Simon:''' Lady St. Simon said something about ‘jumping a claim.’ She was accustomed to use slang of the kind. I have no idea what she meant.
---> '''Holmes:''' American slang is very expressive sometimes.
* "Murders in Pastiche" by Marion Mainwaring - the usage difference while/whilst gives an important clue who wrote the note.
* ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle'': Lord Gy, a Scottish lord, speaks with a nigh-impenetrable FunetikAksent and litters his speech with Scottish-specific words. One of his jailers very bluntly tells him that he does not speak English.
* In ''Morgan's Run'', late 18th-century Britain is full of this. A Scottish criminal needs a translator because no one can understand his Scots, some Scottish prison guards later must self-translate so their English prisoners can understand, and even English people can't understand each other in some cases if they're from diverse parts with different dialects.
* In ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', the witches are from Fantasy North England and visiting Fantasy Louisiana. A discussion of how words means different things in foreign parts results in Granny Weatherwax being under the impression that "hobo" is Genuan for "backside" (she's grasped that it's synonymous with "bum", but...)
* In ''[[Literature/RiversOfLondon Whispers Under Ground]]'', some British coppers have to run through half-a-dozen slang synonyms ("ends", "manor", "patch", etc) before hitting upon a term ("hood") that conveys the right meaning to a visiting FBI agent.
* In one Creator/AgathaChristie novel, a character is revealed to be American when she says “I would call my lawyer long-distance” instead of “I would place a trunk call to my solicitor”.
* In ''Regina's Song'', this is an InvokedTrope. At one point, the protagonist (an English teacher) and his fellow grad students are accosted by a swarm of unwanted reporters for their comments on the Seattle Slasher case. They resort to giving random statements in their favored foreign languages, and the protagonist's contribution is the opening stanza of ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'' in West Saxon. When asked by the rest of the group, he explains that he's speaking "English," just [[UsefulNotes/HistoryOfEnglish English from 1500 years ago]].
* In the ''[[MarsAndVenusGenderContrast Venus and Mars]]'' self-help books, it's explained that Martians (men) and Venusians (women) use the same language, but in different ways. [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment In the books]], Venusians tend to rely on nuance and HintDropping, as well as emotion, where Martians are more direct and to-the-point, even LiteralMinded. [[note]] (So, for example, if [[AliceAndBob Alice asks Bob]] to clean the toilet, she may ''actually'' mean she wants him to clean the sink and shower and mop the floor too, or even to put his entire day on hold and do the whole house top to bottom. But because he's not used to this type of communication, he's likely to ''just'' clean the toilet. Which will then lead to Alice becoming frustrated because Bob didn't get the hint and she now has to finish what she feels is an incomplete task, and Bob becoming frustrated because Alice didn't tell him what she wanted in a way that made sense to him, and is now angry with him, and Alice being frustrated because she feels she shouldn't have to spell things out to a grown man like Bob, that he ''should'' have been able to divine what she wanted and do it without being asked, and Bob not understanding why Alice is upset because he did what she told him to. Alice now thinks Bob is a spoiled ManChild, and Bob thinks Alice is crazy, or a nagging unpleasable shrew, or both.) [[/note]] This causes chaos when the Martians and Venusians hook up and travel to Earth for reasons never really explained in the books.

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* ''Series/OurMissBrooks'': This trope is PlayedForLaughs when an English schoolmaster visits in "Hello Mr. Chips".
* In ''Series/ThirtyRock'' Liz's boyfriend Wesley Snipes claims that in England film cameras are called "film-pods" and bikes are "velocipedes" or "foot cycles" (for those reading from America, they aren't).
-->'''Wesley''': I'll see you in May! [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall For]] [[UsefulNotes/{{Sweeps}} sweeps]]! That's what we call spring cleaning in England!
* ''Series/{{Columbo}}'': In "[[Recap/ColumboS02E04 Dagger of the Mind]]", Columbo is telling Richard the Brit about some spots on the "hood" of the car, which is odd, because it hadn't rained at Sir Roger's country estate. (It had in London.) Roger is puzzled for a second, and then he says "Oh, the bonnet."
* The season 4 ''Series/DowntonAbbey'' Christmas special finds Martha and Harold, Cora's American family, arriving at Downton to visit the Crawleys.
--> '''Martha''': Well, the gang's all here!
--> '''Violet''': Is that [[UsefulNotes/AmericanEnglish American]] for "hello"?
--> '''Martha''': Harold, I don't believe you've met Tom, Sybil's husband.
--> '''Tom''': It seems strange we never met when she was here to introduce us.
--> '''Harold''': Well, I'm glad to know you now.
--> '''Violet''': How curious these phrases are!
* Weaponised in ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''. After finding a connection to America in [[Recap/SherlockS02E02TheHoundsOfBaskerville "The Hounds of Baskerville"]] case, Sherlock deduces the murderer’s identity, and cites, among other evidence, their former suspect’s use of the word [[spoiler: ''cell'' phone – as opposed to mobile –]] due to time spent in America.
* In episode "Internal Audit" from ''Series/{{Elementary}}'', Sherlock meets someone new.
--> '''Randy''': You're Sherlock, right?
--> '''Sherlock''': And you are?
--> '''Randy''': Randy.
--> '''Sherlock''': Name or adjective?
--> '''Randy''': What?
--> '''Sherlock''': Short for "Randall" or state of sexual arousal?
--> '''Randy''': Are you asking me if I'm horny?
* Since Daphne, a Brit, is a major character in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', this trope comes up fairly often. For example:
-->'''Frasier:''' Is Dad home?
-->'''Daphne:''' Nope, I haven't seen him since he knocked me up early this morning.
-->'''Frasier:''' What?
-->'''Daphne:''' Knocked me up. Woke me up. It's an English expression. What does it mean here?
-->'''Frasier:''' Oh, something else. You'd definitely be awake for it, though.
* From ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'''s AmnesiaDanger episode "Tabula Rasa":
-->'''Spike''': ''(checking the label in his jacket pocket)'' "Made with care for Randy"? Randy Giles? Why not just call me "Horny" Giles, or "Desperate-for-a-Shag" Giles? I knew there was a reason I hated you!
-->'''Giles''': Randy's... a family name, undoubtedly.
* And the spin-off, ''{{Series/Angel}},'' gives us a glorious example when Gunn and Wesley discuss their chosen profession as [[OccultDetective occult detectives]].
-->'''Gunn:''' Five herb shops in Chinatown; we've been to four. How come whatever we're searching for is always in the ''last'' place we look?
-->'''Wesley:''' I suppose it's one of the unwritten laws of being a dick.
-->''(Gunn gives him a really weird look)''
-->'''Wesley:''' Ah, a sleuth, a gumshoe, a Sherlock.
-->'''Gunn:''' All I know is you use the word "dick" again and we gonna have a problem.
* An episode of ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' had lots of fun with the fact that there's a staffer in the Obama White House named Randy ''Bumgardener''. [[DontExplainTheJoke To elaborate]]: Randy = horny. Bum = ass. Gardner = "Uphill gardener" (a rarely-used slang phrase referring to a gay man).
* An episode of ''Series/TheGrahamNortonShow'' in the UK had this confuse guest JohnnyKnoxvile after an audience member tells Graham on how she stuffed a rubber up her nose. Johnny's reaction led fellow guest Creator/CatherineTate to tell him it's an eraser. Graham was very amused.
* In ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'' the Third, there is a rotten borough named Dunny-on-the-Wold. Combined with the ''Myst'' entry below about what "dunny" means in Australian English, the location can be literally interpreted as "a shithole in the moors".
* This gag from ''Series/TheOfficeUK'', in which Keith decides to give Dawn some advice on American slang after hearing she's going to the States, was made funnier by Keith's general creepiness and monotone delivery.
-->'''Keith''': "Fanny" means your arse. ({{Beat}}) Not your [[CountryMatters minge]].
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'', Professor Ian Duncan, the British professor, played by John Oliver, occasionally uses British terms as part of a joke. All of which are part of the larger joke that Duncan doesn't actually ''know'' any English slang and knows very little about England, having come to the US at a young age with his grandfather.
** Duncan claims, "I seem to have left my purse in my duffel and my duffel in the boot of my lorry," when trying to borrow money. These are all British-specific terms, though a "lorry" would be a large 18-wheel truck, not a personal pick-up truck, which Duncan doesn't own either.
** In-universe example: "Let's blow this pop stand and head out back for a spot of slap and tickle. [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow That's sex]], in case the lingo hasn't made it across the pond."
** In one episode, Britta (a hottie of the group) wants to high-five with Professor Duncan and he leans in for a kiss, but Britta pulls away from him. "Okay, ''American'' high-five it is."
* The word 'rubber' means an eraser in the UK, but in other places (particularly the USA) it's a condom. As a guest on ''The Late Show with Creator/DavidLetterman,'' Creator/EmmaWatson said that she committed this infraction during her first semester at an American university (Brown), asking a male classmate for a rubber during class.
* American newsman Ted Koppel (who was born and raised in Lancashire before his parents moved to the US when he was 13) has also told the story of asking the class for a "rubber" and getting laughed at.
* In ''Series/{{iCarly}}'', Spencer orders Canadian bacon, only to find out that it's just sliced ham.
* In ''Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay'', when Gwen adjusts to the US:
-->'''Gwen''':I had to go to the petrol station and all they had was crisps.\\
'''Esther''': I think you mean "gas station" and "chips." Crisps are called "chips" over here.\\
'''Gwen''': Thank you, Miss Translation.\\
'''Esther''': And a mobile is a cellphone and by cashpoint I think you mean ATM.\\
'''Gwen''': Don't ever leave my side.\\
''shortly afterwards''\\
'''Gwen''': This lemonade is flat.\\
'''Esther''': It's lemonade. It's supposed to be flat.\\
'''Gwen''': What, fizzy fizzy lemonade?\\
'''Esther''': It's fizzy in the UK and flat in the US.\\
'''Gwen''': Yeah, that just about sums it up.
* 'Shit' can mean 'stuff' in American or Australian English, though it's still connected with the original meaning. In British English it remains a profanity in any context. Creator/StephenFry once pointed out that if an American ''says'': "I was eating hamburgers and shit", you can tell what he means. But ''written down'' it looks like he's saying: "I was eating hamburgers and shit."
* In one episode of ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'', Detective Goren deduced that a kidnapper was British and not American because he threatened that if he wasn't paid his ransom, "it wouldn't be a very happy Christmas." An American would have said ''Merry'' Christmas.
* A RunningGag in the season 8 opener of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' is that the Americans (Gus and Shawn) can't understand the British criminals even a little bit, because everything they say is completely laden with slang.
* The British version of ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' had a more varied lineup of performers compared to the US version, including British, American, and Canadian comedians. Sometimes the humo(u)r comes from an American/Canadian performer not understanding what a British performer is referring to, or vice versa. It gets even weirder in the episodes filmed in the US--you've got a British host, American and Canadian performers (and in some of the New York episodes, British performers as well), performing in front of a live American audience, for a British TV audience. For example, British host Clive Anderson once got in a brief discussion with American Greg Proops over the meaning of the word "jelly". [[note]]For Brits, it means gelatin or Jell-O; for Americans, it's a catch-all term for things like jam or marmalade.[[/note]]
* Brit Joseph Marcell, who played butler Geoffrey on ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', talked about some of his problems with British vs American English when he was a guest on ''Series/TheArsenioHallShow'', specifically the slang for calling someone on the telephone: in the US it's "giving [someone] a jingle" but in the UK it's "tinkle," which means urinating in the US.
* When Jamaine goes missing in an episode of ''Music/FlightOfTheConchords'', Dave is confused by Murray's New Zealand accent that shifts the short ''e'' to the short ''i'' sound:
-->'''Murray:''' He [Jamaine] may be dead!
-->'''Dave:''' He maybe did what?
* Rodney [=McKay=] of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', a Canadian, [[InsistentTerminology insists]] on referring to Zero Point Modules as "zed-pee-ems", much to the initial confusion of his (mostly American) teammates, not to mention the [[AliensSpeakingEnglish aliens]] that his team talks to.
* On ''Series/GameOfThrones'', people in all of Westeros speak the Common Tongue -- the same language is used in the Seven Kingdoms and by Wildlings (aka free folk) who live in tribes beyond the Wall in the North. In season 7, there is one minor confusion between Sandor Clegane and a Wilding leader Tormund. Apparently, the word "dick" for penis is only known southern of the Wall.
-->'''Tormund:''' I don't think you're truly mean. You have sad eyes.
-->'''The Hound:''' You want to suck my dick, is that it?
-->'''Tormund:''' Dick?
-->'''The Hound:''' Cock.
-->'''Tormund:''' Ah, dick! I like it.
-->'''The Hound:''' Bet you do.
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'': While the American and British armies are making plans for Operation Pegasus [[note]]An operation where the American Airborne help evacuate their British counterparts who were trapped behind German lines[[/note]], the British colonel has to clarify that when he says the Brits will be using "torches", he is referring to what Americans call "flashlights".
* ''My Mother and Other Strangers'', set in Northern Ireland during WWII, has a number of bloopers uttered by ostensibly American characters (played by British actors). Most grating is the recurring phrase “call by” meaning to stop by or visit; to a 20th-century American, the word “call” only means a telephone call. Another time, an American character is directed to a “cottage” and shows no confusion. The house in question is one of a connected row; in American English, a cottage is a detached house (normally--except Newport--a small one).
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' has Monica's former roomate show up in an episode after a few years living in England. She insists on using british terms, to Mon and Phoebe's annoyance.
-->'''Amanda:''' Sorry, I didn't want to catch you on your ''mobile''. I feel like such an ''arse''.
-->'''Phoebe:''' Well here you're just an ''ass''.

* "The Gambler Song" (a parody of the Music/KennyRogers song "The Gambler") by Australian comedian/singer/songwriter Martin Pearson contains this lyric:
--> "Then he bummed a cigarette/
--> (Most people smoke them with their mouths)"
* [[Music/{{Brentalfloss}} "Super Mario Land With Lyrics"]] has Dave Bulmer giving several British insults to an uncomprehending Brent, until Dave pulls out an English-to-American dictionary.
%% * Willie Nelson’s acoustic album “Naked Willie” was titled differently for the UK market...

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* The differing meanings behind the word "thong" were used as a joke in the comic strip ''ComicStrip/{{Zits}}''. When Connie expressed a desire to wear thongs, it was quite the mental image for her son Jeremy. It is actually a language difference ''within'' America; certain parts of the country (and older folks) use the more English-y term "thongs", whereas everyone else uses sandals.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Canadian example, but Wrestling/ChrisJericho said of the DeepSouth area that was home to Wrestling/SmokeyMountainWrestling that he might as well have stayed in Japan even though the language was now English since there was so much he didn't understand.
* Wrestling/ChrisHero and Wrestling/LarrySweeney would like to remind Wrestling/NigelMcGuinness of the second [[GimmickMatches pure wrestling]] commandment. Thou shalt not speak British!

* ''Radio/TheBobAndTomShow'': In "Cooking with the King", Elvis goes to England to try fish and chips and is completely confused by his host Ian St. Ian's speech. Eventually they get into a fight over the chips, which Elvis recognizes as French fries ("And they ain't even Ore-Ida's!").
* One episode of ''Radio/TheAdventuresOfHarryNile'' had Harry realize that a supposedly American man was actually British because he frantically shouted at Harry to take an injured man "to hospital" as opposed to "to the hospital" (the way someone raised in America would have said it).

[[folder:Stand-up and Recorded Comedy]]
* Creator/JasperCarrott
** He once built an entire routine around the idea of going into an American shop to buy a pencil eraser.
---> '''Jasper:''' Hello, can I have a rubber please?
---> '''Storekeeper:''' How many would you like, sir?
---> '''Jasper''': Just the one! Gawd, I don't make that many mistakes!
---> ([[{{Pun}} Pregnant]] [[{{Beat}} pause]])
---> '''Jasper:''' Oh! Have you got any of those ones with a Mickey Mouse head? Cos I like to chew on them when I'm thinking.
** Upon learning that in Australia the Durex company was known for making adhesive tape to the point of having the same BrandNameTakeover as Sellotape in the UK (and, more to the point, as Durex ''condoms'' have in the UK), he imagines an Australian in a British shop trying to buy "a roll of Durex".
* Creator/RussellBrand talks about an encounter with this trope in his New York comedy special, describing the time he was introduced to LL Cool J.
-->''"'Yo, yo, yo, wazzup my homies?' -- 'Oh yes, you're wonderful. I love all your homos.'"''
* Creator/BrianRegan has a brief routine about how, in college, his roommate was from New Jersey, and when they first met said roommate suggested they go for "a pie". The roommate was talking about a pizza, but since Brian had never heard it be referred to like that before, he thought he wanted to get the dessert.
-->'''Brian:''' So we got half pepperoni, and half pumpkin.
* Creator/EddieIzzard (who is British) plays with the TropeNamer when performing in the US: "They say that Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language (and a lot of fish). And it's true!" He goes on to demonstrate various pronunciation differences, notably "you say 'erbs,' and we say 'herbs,' because there's a fucking H in it!"
* Australian comedian Carl Barron, preforming at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, says nobody warned him that "thong" means something ''very'' different in North America than it does in Australia[[note]]g-string underwear as opposed to flip-flop sandals[[/note]], leading to a very strange conversation with a guy in the street.
-->'''Man:''' Hey look, when she bends over, you can see her thong!\\
'''Carl:''' [[SarcasmMode Whoop-de-doo]]. What are you lookin' at her thong for?\\
'''Man:''' It was poppin' out the top of her jeans.\\
'''Carl:''' What was poppin' out the top of her jeans?\\
'''Man:''' Her thong.\\
'''Carl:''' ''[confused]'' Her thong was poppin' out the top of her jeans? What's a friggin' ''thong'' doin' poppin' out the top of her jeans?!\\
'''Man:''' ''[getting annoyed]'' No, when you look down her jeans, you can see her thong!\\
'''Carl:''' Jeez, she must have loose jeans on! ''[{{beat}}]'' By the way, where's the other one?\\
'''Man:''' The other what?\\
'''Carl:''' Thong. They always come in twos.\\
'''Man:''' What do ''you'' know about thongs?\\
'''Carl:''' ''[shrug]'' I wear 'em.\\
'''Man:''' ''[shocked]'' Do ya?!\\
'''Carl:''' Yeah.\\
'''Man:''' When?\\
'''Carl:''' When I'm feelin' hot. When it's cold, I put a sock on first and put the thong over ''that''! What's the big deal? My mum wears 'em, my dad wears 'em...\\
'''Man:''' Are we talkin' about the same thing?\\
'''Carl:''' I don't think so.

* Copies of ''VideoGame/MarioParty 8'' had to be recalled in the UK due to the character Kamek using the word "spastic" (as in "Magikoopa magic! Turn this train spastic! Make this ticket tragic!") on the Shy Guy Express level. In the UK, "spastic" is an offensive derogatory slang term to refer to disabled or mentally handicapped people. The word was changed to "erratic" in re-releases.
* If you perform poorly on the tests in the UsefulNotes/NintendoDS version of ''VideoGame/MindQuiz'', the game will call you "spastic", or "super spastic" if you did particularly bad. It was recalled in the UK for the same reason as ''Mario Party 8'' -- however, a fixed version was never released.
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'': The chamber where Atrus is trapped is called "Dunny". While later sequels retconned the spelling of this place to ''"D'Ni"'', the directory containing the files for this area on the original Myst CDROM is clearly spelt "Dunny". The idea of Atrus being trapped in Dunny for all eternity has a special, hilarious meaning in Australia where the word "Dunny" means toilet.

* Lampshaded in an ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' comic:
--> '''England:''' Do you have a rubber?
--> '''America:''' Do you even have a partner?!
* ''Webcomic/TheDevilsPanties'' uses the variant meanings of "knocked up" [[http://thedevilspanties.com/archives/2204 for a joke]] with Jennie Breeden.
* Two {{Running Gag}}s in ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld'' are Denmark being an InnocentBigot, and the fact that the main Nordic languages all sound like mispronunciations of each other. Put them together, and you get [[http://satwcomic.com/obama-is-in-town this strip]], in which "major downer" gets mistaken for "master negro".
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'', has a Danish to Swedish (in theory mutually undestandable) case. Danish Mikkel gives Swedish Emil a list of four items to salvage from a nearby commercial area. Two the items happen to be things for which the Danish and Swedish words are ''not'' the same, causing Emil to tell Mikkel he can't understand half the list.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/TheTimTebowCFLChronicles:'' Troy Smith, quarterback of the Montreal Alouettes, assembles a massive army of football players, all of them Montreal natives. Troy is from the US, so when he tells his army to march north, he means the magnetic north. Unfortunately for him, Montreal street directions are strongly skewed relative to the compass, so the army instead marches "Montreal-north"... which is roughly to the magnetic ''west''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ClerksTheAnimatedSeries'' when Dante and Randal recall working in a British convenience store and a customer asks for a "pack of fags". HilarityEnsues.
--> '''British Customer:''' Pack of fags.\\
'''Randal:''' ''You're'' a fag!\\
'''British Customer:''' It's a cigarette, mate.\\
'''Randal:''' I'm not your mate, fag!\\
''[Randal jumps over counter and tackles the customer.]''
--> '''Dante:''' It wasn't until years later that we found out what "fag" really means. Right, mate?\\
'''Randal''': ''You're'' a fag!\\
'''Dante''': No, it's a cigarette!\\
'''Randal''': ''[[NoYou You're]]'' [[NoYou a cigarette]]!
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'''s fifth season episode "It Hits the Fan", the gang visits the casino Excalibur to ask about the curse words and "words of curse."
--> '''Excalibur employee:''' Ha! Leave it to Americans to think that "no" means yes, "pissed" means angry, and "curse word" means something other than a word that's cursed!
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'', Numbuh 1 goes with his father overseas to his homeland of England. Despite having a pretty robust English accent, Nigel is worried that he won't be able to comprehend their language while his father assures him they speak English. Unfortunately Nigel indeed ends up confused due to the massive number of idioms that fly over his head once they arrive (and compounded by thick British accents that mask what he would otherwise be able to understand).
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode [[Recap/PhineasAndFerbAreYouMyMummy "Are You My Mummy?"]], upon hearing Phineas calling for a "mummy", his British stepfather Lawrence thinks Phineas means his mother instead of a mummy from Ancient Egypt. [[FridgeLogic This is particularly ridiculous since Phineas, unlike Lawrence's biological son Ferb, learned to talk in American English and as such, would use terms from said language variant and is old enough that except under certain circumstances, he would call for his mother as "mom" rather than the somewhat babyish "mommy".]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', "Lisa's Wedding": In the time-skip episode (first aired in 1995, set in 2010), Marge talks to Lisa (both are American) on the "picture phone". Lisa is spending her summer with her boyfriend Hugh in England, and Marge tells her she should remember that an elevator is a "lift", a mile is called a "kilometer" and botulism is "steak-and-kidney pie". The elevator/lift one is accurate, the mile/kilometer one is a joke that England might move to the metric system in the future as the rest of Europe (not bloody likely, and even if they did miles and kilometers still aren't equal in length), and the last one is just a jab at the English stereotype of their poor cooking and food standards.
** In "Brush With Greatness", in the 1960s, the teenaged Marge sent Music/RingoStarr a letter with her portrait of him, but he didn't respond. At least, until 1991, when he finally got it.
-->'''Ringo:''' (''VoiceoverLetter'') Dear Marge. Thanks for the fab painting of Yours Truly. I hung it on me wall. You're quite an artist. In answer to your question, yes, we do have hamburgers and fries in England. But we call French fries "chips". Love, Ringo. PS: Forgive the lateness of my reply.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'': Klaus, being from East Germany, learned how to speak British English rather than American and uses their terminology. Roger gets angry when Klaus refuses to say he met a girl at ''college'' instead of ''university’’
* In an early episode of ''Series/FamilyGuy'', where Quahog gets flooded with British expatriates, one of them tries to explain how cricket is played, using a lot of jargon. When Peter asks what the guy is saying, Cleveland responds that the only British idiom he knows is that fag means cigarette. Peter replies "Well, someone tell this [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar cigarette]] to shut up."