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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brush Up on Your British Style Vocab

This morning, I looked up the nude pumps I had my eye on yesterday and was puzzled by the product name Gator Snake Heel Court Shoes. I thought, what on earth are court shoes? I hit Google again and discovered that they are what pumps are called in British English. 


UK: court shoes | US: pumps
"A type of plain shoe with a raised heel and no way of fastening it to the foot which is worn by women" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.topshop.com

Amused, I proceeded to do some research on other fashion and beauty lingo that have an American/British distinction. You may already be familiar with these, but a few may surprise you. Thanks to my Louise Rennison books from high school, the 2008 film Wild Child and Cambridge for these bits of trivia! 



UK: braces | US: suspenders
"A pair of narrow straps which stretch from the front of the trousers over your shoulders to the back to hold them up" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.harrods.com


UK: dressing gown | US: bathrobe (or lounging robe)
"A long loose piece of clothing, like a coat, which you wear informally inside the house" 
photo credit: www.victoriassecret.com



UK: dungarees US: overalls
"A pair of trousers with an extra piece of cloth that covers the chest and is held in place by a strap over each shoulder" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.topshop.com and www.vogue.co.uk



UK: fringe | US: bangs
"Goofy short bit of hair that comes down to your eyebrows" --Georgia Nicolson, the lead character in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
photo credit: www.stylefrizz.com


UK: jimjams | US: pajamas or pyjamas
"Trousers and a shirt worn in bed" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.victoriassecret.com


UK: jumper | US: sweater
"A piece of clothing made from wool which covers the upper part of the body and the arms, and which does not open at the front" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.topshop.com



UK: knickers | US: panties

"Things you wear to conceal girlie parts. Boys don't wear knickers; they wear underpants or boxer shorts." --Georgia Nicolson, the lead character in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
photo credit: www.topshop.com


UK: one-off | US: one-of-a-kind

"Something that happens or is made or done only once" --Cambridge
photo credit: accessorylab.blogspot.com


UK: polo neck | US: turtleneck

"A high round collar that folds over on itself and covers the neck" --Cambridge
"Polo neck is the same as a turtleneck. Having a turtleneck has never been a big selling point for me... but have it your own way if you LUUURVE turtles so much." --Georgia Nicolson, the lead character in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison



UK: rucksack | US: backpack
"Like a little kangaroo pouch you wear on your back to put things in. Backpack." --Georgia Nicolson, the lead character in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison


UK: slap | US: makeup
As in, "I'm just going to put a bit of slap on." --Cambridge


 
UK: vest | US: tank top or undershirt

"A shirt without sleeves, usually made out of cotton, which is worn in the summer or for sport" or "a type of underwear, often with no sleeves, which covers the upper part of the body and which is worn for extra warmth" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.topshop.com


UK: waistcoat | US: vest
"A piece of clothing that covers the upper body but not the arms and usually has buttons down the front, worn over a shirt" --Cambridge
photo credit: www.topman.com


Got anything to add to the list? Keep expanding your British style vocabulary with online fashion and beauty reads via Elle UK, British Vogue and InStyle.

Feel free to add to the list! 




The CityLifeStylist



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