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  Mike Todd


Where it's not obvious: BE = British English, AE=American English and ext-link indicatorindicates an external link


The term most properly means a native of New England, but was applied to anyone who came from the northern US during the Civil War. Nowadays, it is often applied to anyone who comes from the US, but beware, this may cause offence if you apply it to someone from the southern states. However, the meaning and weight of the term is probably one of the most hotly argued semantic in the whole of the American language, and chapters (even books) have been devoted to its discussion.

 Garden (approx)
Americans refer to their gardens, the area surrounding a house, as yards and any work, including gardening, is referred to as yard work. Americans do refer to gardens but this is usually when referring to planted areas. The yard as a unit of measure is known but is used less than in the UK, with the Americans preferring to measure in feet
Yard sale
 A bit like a car boot sale, but at home and in the garage
When Americans want to clear out their homes, they will frequently hold a yard sale (also sometimes called a garage sale, and in New England, a red-tag sale). Here an individual household (or sometimes a group of households) will put their unwanted clothes and household items on display for anyone to see and buy. Sometimes there are great bargains to be had.

In America, the term wasp is applied to a very wide variety of flying/stinging insects. However, the narrower term yellowjacket is applied to those that are the yellow-and-black variety that we
in the UK would call a wasp or a hornet..

Yellow ribbon
 A small piece of yellow ribbon word on a shirt or jacket is a sign of support for someone else's safe return home. It originated with the US Cavalry where young women would hope for the safe return of their sweethearts.