Quiz – Do you speak American?

Answer these questions using American English only!

Question 1 - This is the game board for:

Correct! Wrong!

This is the game board for Parcheesi. This American spelling is a brand name, derived from the Hindi pachisi—from which the game derives. In Britain, it’s called Ludo (from the Latin for 'I play').

Question 2 - An American with mono has:

Correct! Wrong!

Mono, short for mononucleosis, is what the British call glandular fever.

Question 3 - When Americans wear jumpers, they wear:

Correct! Wrong!

An American jumper is what the British would call a pinafore dress. What the British call a jumper is what Americans would call a sweater. Many clothing names have evolved in different directions because the clothing itself has evolved since colonial times. Originally, a jumper was a kind of outer jacket or shirt, and similarly modern jumpers in both countries are worn over other clothes.

Question 4 - What is a rutabaga?

Correct! Wrong!

Rutabaga is an old Swedish dialect word for the type of turnip that the English call swedes (aka Swedish turnips).

Question 5 - A charley horse is a kind of:

Correct! Wrong!

British English doesn’t have a specific word for this specific type of painful cramp in the back of the calf. Ouch!

Question 6 - In American football, a Hail Mary is:

Correct! Wrong!

Often heard in its longer form, Hail Mary pass, it’s now used metaphorically for any kind of hopeless last-ditch effort to remedy a bad situation

Question 7 - Finish the phrase: From soup…

Correct! Wrong!

From soup to nuts means ‘completely; from start to finish’.

Question 8 - If you’re in the boonies, you are:

Correct! Wrong!

American English has many slightly (or not-so-slightly) disparaging expressions for rural places or people. American in the sticks, with a similar meaning, is now heard in Britain too.

Question 9 - Which sounds (grammatically) wrong?

Correct! Wrong!

Drink-driving is a normal way to say it in British English, but not American.

Question 10 - What’s a color guard?

Correct! Wrong!

A color guard often accompanies a marching band, moving large flags in patterns that accompany the music. A less-specifically-American meaning of 'colo(u)r guard' refers to flag carriers at a military parade or other event.

Do you speak American?

Get on the road to greater transatlantic understanding with The Prodigal Tongue.
Disneyworld Tourist

You've picked up a bit of American, but it's not yet the real thing. Find out more in The Prodigal Tongue!
Hovering over the Atlantic

You know the US so well, you might even have a favorite kind of barbecue. Either that, or you're Canadian. Either way, you'll enjoy The Prodigal Tongue.
Yankee Doodle Dandy

'Fess up—you're American*, aren't you? You'll learn so much more about your language in The Prodigal Tongue. *Canadians, my deepest apologies.

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