cream (well, almost, but not quite)
In BrE there really is no direct equivalent. Half and half
is literally half milk and half cream, whereas single cream
is simply cream with very little fat in it, and which will not whip
While it's fairly obvious where it comes from, BE once
used the phrase to mean 2s/6d (equivalent to 12.5p). It was first
used at a time when the dollar was fixed at about $4=£1 (see the History
of the Dollar Exchange Rate). So, a dollar was worth five-shillings
(=25p), and a half dollar was worth 2s/6d. The half dollar coin used
to be all silver, then was changed to a fifth silver and, in 1970
it has been cupro-nickel. It's a coin that is not seen a great deal
The Americans have been eminently practical in their use of terms
for the lengths of musical notes. They treat the semibreve as a whole
note, and then the shorter notes are given their relative values
- so a minim is a half note, a crotchet is a quarter note,
a quaver is an eighth note and so on. Although sixty-fourth
note sounds less romantic than hemidemisemiquaver, it is rather
archetypcal American food (along with the hot dog, of course). The
name applies to the complete sandwich of beef patty and bun. But there's
no ham in a hamburger - the name comes from Hamburg, in Germany.
Immigrants from Hamburg made the sandwich, although at one time it
was known as a liberty sandwich.
are shredded, sometimes diced, potatoes, which are then fried in a
frying pan or skillet. The British idea of hash browns is often
a compressed patty of shredded potato which has been fried, however,
the Americans serve them "loose". Usually they're served
only-just brown and, if you want them crisp, you'll have to ask for
them to very well cooked - and even then, they'll probably still be
a little under-done.
The word is usually applied to an initiation rite based on bullying
or some other form of harassment. At one time, hazing sometimes
involved some very dangerous activities - initiates into fraternities,
or even just in high school, would be pushed into performing some
particular dangerous stunt. This sort of hazing was responsible
for a number of deaths, and is now specifically illegal in some states.
The word comes derives from hinder, meaning "at the rear"
or Hero Sandwich
alternative name for a submarine sandwich (qv)
Although strictly a hickie is any temporary red mark on
the skin, it is most usually applied to the red marks caused by a
love bite, and is something that American teenagers are always on
the lookout for on their school mates!
long bread roll, filled with cold meats, salad, cheese and so on.
They're also known as Submarines, subs, grinders, heroes, torpedoes
and po'boys (poor boys).
an American refers to holiday he is more likely to be talking
about designated public holidays. Americans go on vacation
and not on holiday. Most Americans get very little holiday
time off compared with British employees - most get only one or two
weeks a year, some may not get any at all in their first year! As
time goes on, the entitlement will usually increase by a day or two
a year. The average is a total of 20 days annual leave after 20 years
of service, and long service, or a senior managerial post, may attract
an additional week. However, there are a number of additional days
off arising from public holidays - but these can vary from state to
state, and there is no such thing as a "national bank holiday".
For more on this, see America's Public
Holidays in the Encyclopedia.
you put on the table is divided into flatware and hollowware.
The holloware is basically everything that has depth and volume,
such as cups, bowls, vases, wine glasses and so on.
is no UK equivalent. This is basically a school reunion, usually held
in the autumn, and where special events are laid on by the school.
Among these events there will almost certainly be a special Homecoming
game where the school football team is playing, and during which
a Homecoming Queen will play a big part. The Homecoming Queen
(and her King) is a popular senior student, who will oversee
the homecoming events, including the Homecoming Parade at half-time
in the Homecoming Footbal Game. Many traditions (both national
and local) surround these events, and it is all taken very, very seriously.
Although it isn't always meant in this sense, it is easy to be
misunderstood when using the word in the BE sense of cosy
or friendly. The word homey (also homy) means
much the same thing in both AE and BE, and may be a
To the Americans, a bonnet is normally that which you
wear on your head.
native or resident of Indiana, known as the Hoosier State
Not particularly pleasant slang for a woman's breasts. Also the
name of a particular food chain in the US, where waitresses have particularly
archetypal American food (perhaps second to the hamburger) started
off as ordinary frankfurters and wieners (so-called because they were
sausages that originated in Frankfurt and Vienna). They were then
nick-named "daschund sausages", because they looked like
the dog. They actually got their nickname from a sketch by Tad Dorgan,
where he drew a real daschund in a bun.
Seen on road signs in some cities, where a lane may be designated
as an HOV lane. These lanes can only be used by vehicles with
a minimum of two people in them, and is used to encourage car pooling
and so reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Occasionally you'll
also see signs giving details of how to contact a central co-ordination
point for those who want to share their car.
Mainly a southern food, these are made from a cornmeal dough, shaped
into a small ball and deep fried. They get their name from the fact
that they were often fed to dogs to keep them quiet. A Hush Puppy
is also a lightweight suede shoe, known in both the US and UK
A hutch is basically a chestlike cabinet used for storage,
usually with raised legs, doors or drawers, and open shelves above.
In AE a dresser is used to describe a sideboard or chest