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Lifebuoy Soap Pronunciation

As we noted in an earlier conversation, people in the United States usually pronounce the word buoy as BOO-ee, but their counterparts in Britain tend to pronounce it BOY. Commercials airing in the U.S. for Lifebuoy soap use the British...

Bolt Holes

A bolt-hole is a place where you can escape to avoid people you don’t want to run into. This term for “a type of refuge” is used mainly in Britain, and refers to a place an animal might flee to if disturbed. This is part of a...

Different From vs. Different To

When comparing two things, what’s the correct word to use after the word different? Is it different than or different from? In the United States, different from is typical, and almost always the right choice. In Britain, the most common phrase...

Plaster Bandage

What’s the difference between a plaster and a Band-Aid? One’s a term used in England for “adhesive bandage” and the other is an American brand name that’s almost completely generified. The use of plaster for this type...

Entrees

Why are main courses called entrees in the US? Why isn’t the entree the first course of a meal? In 19th Century Britain, the entree came after a course of soup or fish, but before the main portion of the meal, such as a boar’s head. Over...