14 American Expressions That Get on the British’s Nerves

British and American accents are clearly different, but it’s not just the accents that set them apart. Many expressions that Americans use are unfamiliar to Brits, and the opposite is also true.

Mindfully American gathered some of the many phrases Americans use that drive Brits crazy. Has your British friend ever caught you saying one of these?

1: Don’t Care 

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Modern-day American English has let a big grammatical error slip. The phrase “Could care less,” as in, “I could care less,” is nothing short of irritating to many Brits. And they’re in the right, if you ask us. The correct way to say the phrase is “I couldn’t care less.”

2: End of Story

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The way Americans verbalize the word “period” after a point they’re trying to make can wear on some British nerves. The finality of it seems unnecessary to many, given that you don’t need to say the word “period” at the end of each sentence to know that the sentence is over.

3: Accidentally Annoying 

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“On accident” is another common American grammatical error that’s like nails on a chalkboard for Brits. The correct way to say it is “by accident.” However, it’s unlikely British people speaking with older Americans will have an issue with the way they speak; prior to 1970, almost all Americans said “by accident.” The phrase “on accident” is most commonly spoken by people born on or after 1995.

4: Southern Hospitality 

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Sorry, Southerners. “Y’all” drives some Brits crazy. However, if a Brit ever gives you trouble for using it, you can kindly inform them that English lacks a second-person plural. How do y’all like that?

5: It’s a Date 

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Some Brits have a bone to pick with how Americans write out dates (month/day/year.) In the United Kingdom, they write it day/month/year.

6: So Addictive

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Americans commonly use the word “addicting” when Brits would use “addictive.” However, according to the Macquarie Dictionary, addicting and addictive are both adjectives that mean basically the same thing. Addicting is a newer word, so one could argue the British are taking longer to catch on to the trend.

7: Call the Police 

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Americans sometimes refer to cops as “the feds” in the States, but it doesn’t quite translate the same across the pond. The British are more likely to say the name of their police departments instead of giving them a slang abbreviation.

8: Checking In 

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“Let’s touch base soon” doesn’t sit right with some Brits. According to one survey, Brits have a tendency to see things more negatively than Americans. So, while an American would likely feel good after someone tells them, “Let’s touch base soon,” the British may feel it’s a dismissive gesture and that the person isn’t sincere. And, let’s face it, that can often be the case.

9: Coming Soon 

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American movie trailers can be bothersome to some UK residents. The reason? Hearing Americans say their dates out loud. For example, the announcement of a new film “coming to theaters April 20th” instead of “the 20th of April.”

10: Work It Out 

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When American employees say “reach out” in their work emails, it gets to some Brits. A phrase like “Thank you for reaching out about the deadline date” can feel unnecessary to them. They don’t need to be thanked; they just need to know what the deadline is.

11: RIP Adverbs 

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Brits are good about sticking with proper English and adding “ly” to turn words into adverbs and adjectives. However, some Americans drop the “ly” altogether, and it drives Brits crazy. Case in point? Elvis’ song “Love Me Tender” should be “Love Me Tenderly.”

12: Talking Time 

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When a Brit hears an American say “3:00 PM in the afternoon,” it pushes their buttons. To be fair, as an American, it pushes mine too. Stick with “3:00 PM” or “3 in the afternoon.” There’s no need for redundancy.

13: Try “H”ard 

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The British pronounce the “h” in herbs, making it annoying to them when they hear Americans say “erbs.” Of course, for us Americans, it sounds odd to hear herbs spoken with an “h.”

14: Meaning Well 

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“I mean” is a popular phrase Americans use to start a sentence. While it annoys some Brits, the phrase has caught on for some in the UK. You’re welcome, Brits.

15 British Terms That Baffle Americans

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Now you know some of the words and phrases that annoy Brits. On the flip side, these are some of the top British terms that confuse and amuse Americans. 

15 British Terms That Baffle Americans

14 Hygiene Habits Abroad Americans View as Unhygienic

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What Americans see as hygienic doesn’t always hold true in the rest of the world. From using a twig as a toothbrush to washing one’s hands in ash, these are some of the things non-Americans do that we see as unhygienic.

14 Hygiene Habits Abroad Americans View as Unhygienic

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