In this post about differences between British English and American English, we will look at some idioms which mean the same thing but are said in a slightly different way.
If you haven't seen the other posts about the differences between British English and American English please find and read them here and here.
|British English||American English|
|not touch something with a bargepole||not touch something with a ten-foot pole|
|sweep under the carpet||sweep under the rug|
|touch wood||knock on wood|
|see the wood for the trees||see the forest for the trees|
|put a spanner in the works||throw a (monkey) wrench in(to) (a situation)|
|put (or stick) your oar in|
but it won't make a ha'porth of difference
to put your two penn'orth (or tuppence worth) in
|to put your two cents (or two cents' worth) in|
|skeleton in the cupboard||skeleton in the closet|
|a home from home||a home away from home|
|blow one's own trumpet||blow (or toot) one's own horn|
|a drop in the ocean||a drop in the bucket|
|flogging a dead horse||beating a dead horse|
|haven't (got) a clue||don't have a clue or have no clue (the British forms are also acceptable)|
|couldn't care less||could care less or couldn't care less|
|a new lease of life||a new lease on life|
|lie of the land||lay of the land|
|take it with a pinch of salt||take it with a grain of salt|
|a storm in a teacup||a tempest in a teapot (rare)|
If you're unsure about the meaning of these idioms try searching for them using google or this collection of idioms. Try using the British and American versions of these idioms and see which you prefer. Use them when speaking English to make your speech more interesting!