United Kingdom Terminology



U.S. Terminology – Explanation

Symbol for a British pound. The pound coins are in denominations of 1 and 2; paper pound notes range from 5, 10 and 20 (they may go higher; however, we don't know)
Airing Cupboard Closet housing hot water storage tank, usually shelved to store laundry or linen
Bedsit A one room apartment with light cooking facilities but without private bath
Bungalow One story ground floor house
Cloakroom Ground floor toilet and hand-wash sink
Curtains/Nets Drapes/sheers
Cupboard Closet
Council Tax Local tax levied by local council to fund local services expenditure
Cowboy Slang term for a repair man that carries out a poor quality job at a high price
Direct Debit Your bank pays your monthly utility bills on fixed dates
Dosh Money
En-suite Bathroom adjoining main bedroom
Flat Apartment
Flatlet Small apartment, usually within a house or annexed to it
Freehold Absolute ownership of a building and the plot of land on which it stands
Garden Yard, usually a grassed area with trees and flowers fenced at rear and sometimes at front
Garden Flat Basement or ground floor flat with garden – term loosely used, garden may not exist
Gazumping Acceptance of higher offer on property purchase prior to exchange of contracts – unethical professionally, but not illegal
Ginea Equates to 1 (one pound) plus 1 shilling
Giro Credit You pay your utility bills directly to a British Post Office
Hall Lobby leading from front entrance door
Housing Estate Sub-division
Landing Lobby area at top of stairs outside the bedrooms
Lime Scale Water in the London area is "hard", good for your health but bad for electrical appliances
Link Detached House joined on both sides by others but staggered at an angle to give the appearance of being detached
Loo Slang term in common usage meaning toilet, perfectly okay to use anytime, and place
Lounge Living room, general purpose dayroom
Lounge Diner Living room with dining area
Maisonette A flat on two or more floors
Mews House Converted house downtown originally the servants residence for a large family house – often small but attractive and expensive
Monkey 500 pounds (500)sterling
Open fire Coal or log burning fire; in most areas only Real fire smoke-free fuel may be burnt e.g. "Coalite"


Symbol for a British pence; coins are in denominations of 1p  2p  5p 10p and 20p


Pavement Sidewalk
Pence equates to our cents i.e. 20p = 20 pence which is equal to 0.20, just as 20 cents is equal to $0.20 (although the pence here are worth more than the cents in the U.S.)
Pied-a-terre Small flat with minimum facilities
Pony 25 pounds (25) sterling
Pound equates to our dollar bill; currently it takes $1.45 to equal one pound, but the market fluctuates
Power Point or Electrical outlet, 240 volt amp max. per Power Socket outlet
Quid equates to 1 (one pound)
Reception Room Any room other than a bedroom, kitchen or bathroom, i.e. living room, dining room, etc.
Semi-detached Duplex house
Shilling Not sure, but we think it's equivalent to 10p (ten pence)
Sink The sink is in the kitchen only; all bathroom sinks are termed basins
Sofa or Settee Davenport
Solicitor Lawyer
Standing Order Your bank pays your monthly rent on a fixed date
Studio Flat Small self-contained one room apartment with own entrance and bathroom
Tap Faucet
Terraced House House in a row joined to others on both sides
To Let For rent; the landlord lets, the tenant rents
The Bill A policeman
Wardrobe Freestanding cabinet style furniture for clothing storage
Way Out Exit (not slang from the 60’s)
WC Toilet (water closet) usually termed WC in a public place
Yard Concrete or dirt area, not a garden but may be part of one – often a work type area