Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English

· Sold by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
6 reviews

About this ebook

This guide to the language differences between the United States and United Kingdom is “a fascinating collection full of all kinds of surprises” (Minneapolis Star Tribune).

Taxi rank . . . toad in the hole . . . dustman . . . fancy dress . . . American visitors to London (or viewers of British TV shows) might be confused by these terms. But most Britons would be equally puzzled by words like caboose, bleachers, and busboy. In Divided by a Common Language, Christopher Davies explains these expressions and discusses the many differences in pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary between British and American English.

He compares the customs, manners, and practical details of daily life in the United Kingdom and the United States, and American readers will enjoy his account of American culture as seen through an Englishman’s eyes. Davies tops it off with an amusing list of expressions that sound innocent enough in one country but make quite the opposite impression in the other. Two large glossaries help travelers translate from one variety of English to the other, and additional lists explain the distinctive words of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. This delightful book is the ideal companion for travelers—or anyone who enjoys the many nuances of language.
6 reviews
Third-party review
Fun book, I got a kick out of the fact this this book was like a foreign phrasebook but it's all English.
Third-party review
Enlightening and entertaining.
Third-party review
I love this book! Since my discovery of the Internet (and Usenet in particular), I have developed friendships with people all over the world and several in both the UK and Australia. I am constantly ...

About the author

CHRISTOPHER DAVIES was born and raised in England and spent several years living in Australia and New Zealand. In 1980 he settled in Florida. The many unfamiliar expressions and pronunciations that he encountered in American English led him to write Divided by a Common Language.

Rate this book

Tell us what you think.

Reading information

Smartphones and tablets
Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
Laptops and computers
You can listen to audiobooks purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.
eReaders and other devices
To read on e-ink devices like Kobo eReaders, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Follow the detailed Help Center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.