People & Professions — List A

P & P — List A


abortionistacademicacademicianaccompanistaccountant ~

acolyte acrobatactivistactor actuaryadapter or adaptor ~

addictadeptadjutantadmanadministratoradmiral ~

Adventistadventureradviser or advisoradvocateaesthete ~

aggressoragitatoragnosticagoraphobicagriculturalist or

agriculturistagronomistaideaide-de-campalarmistalchemist ~

alcoholic ~  alien  ~  almoneraltar boyaltruistalumnaalumnialumnus ~

amanuensisamateurambassadoramputeeanaesthetistanalyst ~

anarchistanatomist ~  ancestoranchoranchoriteancillaryanglophile ~

Anglophobeanimistannalistannouncerantagonistanthologist ~

anthropologistantiquarianaphasicapiaristapologistappellant ~

applicantappraiserapprentice ~  Arabarbitratorarchaeologistarcher ~

architectarchivistaristocratarithmeticianarmchair critic ~

armourerartificerartisanartistartisteasceticaspirant ~

assailantassassinassayerassessorassistantassociate ~

astrologerastronautastronomeratheistathleteattaché ~

attackerattendantauctioneeraudienceauditorauthor ~


English: American or British?

more at SPELLING DIFFERENCES – section A

English: American or British?





English is spoken all over the world: it is the official language of about forty-five countries; used in the administrative and business transactions in several countries; the second language in some more countries; the ‘lingua franca’ of hundreds of thousands of establishments and households; and is learnt, studied, and used in everyday affairs by millions of people all over the world!

(According to the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, there are currently about two billion people learning, teaching or using English worldwide; while there are about 350 million speak English in India and 300 million in China! in the year 2010)

Therefore, it’s no wonder it has a number of variations.  Most of the variations are regional, religious, and mother-tongue-oriented.  There are however some variations that may be very confusing to the learners of English, especially those at the basics.

There are again several ‘Englishes’: English spoken by the British; English spoken by the Americans; English spoken by the Canadians; English spoken by the Australians; English used by the Africans and Asians, particularly by the people of the sub-continent; and English spoken and written by the educated and spoken by the uneducated native people; English used by non-native speakers living in countries where English is the mother tongue; English used in literary circles – native and non-native; English used by technicians and scientists and scholars; English used by the educated when they are at their professions and at their casual social get-together; and finally, English used by the uneducated street children who work for the tourists! And the list can go on and on!!

Furthermore, English used in America has different variations within the USA and is different from the one used in Australia; English used in Canada has different variations depending on the region, and is different from the one used in Britain; and English used in England has, in itself, different variations within the country and is different from the one used in any other part of the world!!!

The differences are found mostly in the pronunciation (accent), choice of words in some particular expressions and, to certain extent, spellings, and the collocation.(collocation = the way in which some words are often used together to express certain ideas)

In this course material we limit ourselves to the differences between British English and American English only because the English language most people around the world use is under the influence of either of these  variations.  Even in the Commonwealth countries, where British English has been used for years, American English is making inroads with the advent of the computers because the computer software is under the influence of the American IT industry, and consequently, some differences are bound to come up, and the learners and the users may find it difficult to follow them unless they have some awareness of the ongoing changes in the English language they are using.

The main purpose of this course material is to point out those differences to make the learners become aware of the differences and learn them and use them when and where they are needed.

Before going to analyse the minor and the major differences between British and American English, let’s have a look at how the people of the USA and the UK feel about the English language the other people use on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The following excerpt is taken from a prestigious English daily newspaper:

“Translating English into English


Scene in a hotel in Surrey:


“Do you have any cookies, please?” asks an elderly Englishman over the breakfast table as a young waitress pours him some tea.


“Pardon?” the waitress queries.  “Do you have any cookies, please?” the guest repeats pronouncing ‘cookies’ slowly.


“Oh! You mean you want to know who the COOK IS,” the waitress replies brightly.


“No, what he means is cookies –- ‘biscuits’,” explains an Indian guest who had (sic) been watching the exchange.


The English guest nods his head, the girl beams, and the Indian is left wondering if there could be greater irony than a foreigner helping the two English compatriots communicate with each other in their own mother tongue.”

A funny excerpt taken from a book with a special section ‘How the Americans talk English’:

“… there can be similar misunderstandings over the word ‘pants’, though most English people know that Americans call trousers ‘pants’.

American girl: I never wear pants.  They don’t suit me.

English girl   : Really?  Couldn’t that be a bit embarrassing?

American girl: Embarrassing?  Why?

English girl  : Well – that short skirt you’re wearing…

American girl: Oh, my!  But I wear panties!

In British English, ‘pants’ are undergarments.  However, young people in Britain do sometimes say ‘pants’ for ‘trousers’.  Serious English authors, without knowing it, use many phrases of American origin, e.g. a way of life; teenager; boyfriend and girlfriend; babysitter; TV; after ten years he visited his home town; he is a commuter, going up to his London office every day; he beat up the prisoner.”


Another funny excerpt from the same book:

American policeman meets English motorist

{The readers are asked to fill in the gaps with the phrases given below.}

“I’m afraid I don’t understand”/ “just repeat what you said, please”/“Could you say that again, please?”/“Yes, but please explain what you mean by ‘trunk’”/ “Oh, is that what you call it?”

Use the phrases above to fill in the gaps in the following dialogue:


American policeman: I want to see inside your trunk.

English woman: ………..

American policeman: Lady, you heard me!  Open your trunk.

English woman: ………..

American policeman: Cut it out, lady!  You understand English.

English woman: ………..

American policeman: No funny business.  Just open your trunk.

English woman: Are you trying to be funny?

American policeman: (goes to the back of the car) Just give me your trunk key.

English woman:       Oh.  In England we call it the “boot”.

*One meaning for ‘trunk’ in British English and also in American English is ‘a large case for carrying things when travelling’.


A serious piece of writing by an English author on how the Americans speak English – taken from “Proficiency Plus” by Michael MaCarthy, Alistair Maclean, and Patric O’ Malley, published by Basil Blackwell Limited … pages 175, 178 & 180.

{This is a long piece of writing with about 250 lines, but is abridged for our convenience, and so, if any of the readers find it difficult to follow, it is best to leave it for the time being and come back to it when they are thorough with the rules and important points given in this part.}

I Say Tomahto,

You Say Tomayto

By Keith Waterhouse

[‘tomato’   a vegetable]

Linguistically tolerant though  I am, I don’t mind them saying “tomayto” when we say “tomahto”… It is all right by me if they want to call the elevator where I would summon the lift, or if their womenfolk wear pantyhose where ours wear tights… I might twitch an eyebrow if I didn’t happen to know that what they call suspenders we call braces… Not only is American different from English – it’s getting longer. I felt as proud of myself if I’d just had a conversation in fluent Mandarin… But then, when you have been trapped in a New York traffic jam with the cab driver making such observations as,“I guess transportation in this city is reaching totality,”… It will pass, I hope (or do I mean “hopefully”?), this tendency to stretch out the language like bubble-gum.  One day, when they want to say “now”, the Americans will go back to using two simple little words like “right now”.  One day, all that absurd moon-speak (which is largely what it is: that one step for mankind was, I’m afraid, a gigantic, jaw-breaking step for pseudo-technological jargon) will return to speaking as they used to before they talked themselves into this viable-meaningful-situation.  That is to say colourfully – but incomprehensibly… For never forget that, even in its saner moments, American is a foreign tongue. … Take – to pluck a widely misunderstood expression out of the pit of embarrassment into which it has so often fallen – the phrase “knocked up”.  If the Americans had had the grace to print the Ks backwards and N upside down, it would have gone some way to warning English-speaking strangers that in the United States a lady who has been knocked up is not one who has been called from her bed – rather, in fact, the reverse…{And this jibing continues for some two hundred more lines!} High Life (British Airways in-flight magazine)

This excerpt, a subtle one, is from Practical English by Michael Swan, English Language Book Society, Oxford University Press…

These two varieties of English have both changed a good deal in the last three hundred years or so, and naturally they have not developed in exactly the same way.  However, the differences between them are not very great.  Most British and American speakers can understand each other quite easily (though pronunciation can cause a few problems), and the written language is very similar indeed in the two countries.  The main differences are as follows:



(a)  Americans (US) use a simple past tense in some cases where British (GB) use present perfect tense.


US: He just went home.


GB: He’s just gone home.                 (He has just gone home.)”

Now let’s get to the serious business of knowing the differences between American and British English. First and the foremost is the pronunciation – the way how we say a word, which we are going to add to this course material soon; for the time being, however, we make do with the written-spellings.

more at SPELLING DIFFERENCES – section A

English Grammar

Of all the seven thousand spoken languages, with about two hundred having writing (script), only the English language is spoken all over the world. And one of the reasons for this popularity is the fact that English is a living language, i.e. it accepts any word from any other language that comes into it, unlike some languages such as Old Latin, Sanskrit.

As there are so many thousands of words – original and adapted – there is always a scope for some confusion; and to add to this, English is one of those languages whose words are pronounced not by the spelling but by the origin and the period of origin of the words.

The best example can be the word ‘talk’ which has the letter “L” in writing but does not have the sound of it in its pronunciation. And in some cases, a letter (or letters) in one word is pronounced with one sound and the same letter sounds different in another.

For example, ‘ch’ in bench is pronounced as in ‘church’ because it is from Anglo-Saxon language “benc”, but the same ‘ch’ in stomach is pronounced with a ‘K’ sound as in ‘walk’ because it is from Greek language “stomachos”, and in Greek ‘ch’ has the ‘K’ sound.

English Vocabulary

English Vocabulary

English: American or British?

Spelling Differences ADifferent WordsSame words …   Usage Difference

In any given sentence or expression a noun or a pronoun in the subject part, and a VERB in the predicate part are compulsory. Without them it is not possible to make a sensible sentence.
In some sentences, however, the subject part is omitted, without any change in the meaning of the sentence. But without a verb it is not possible to make a sentence at all.
For instance, it is hard to make out any sense of this following group of words:

“Oh! A great magician amazingly at the magic show and the audience it very well.”

Even if the listeners of this expression use their common sense and apply their already acquired knowledge of ‘magician’ ‘magic show’ ‘audience’ and ‘very well’, the actual meaning is not clear. Why?
Though nouns (magician, magic show, audience), pronoun (it), adjective (great), adverbs (amazingly, very, well), preposition (at), conjunction (and), interjection (Oh!) and the articles (a, the, the) are used in this group of words, the actual meaning [what did the magician do? or what happened at the magic show?] is lost because the most important part of speech – the verb – is missing!

Therefore, it is to be understood that to make an expression clear and interesting to the listener or reader, we need to use all or some of the Parts of Speech in their right positions, depending on the context and/or the situation, along with the articles, of course. But to make a group of words give us an idea at all, what we need most are the noun or pronoun and the verb.

>>> Next  Words Often Confused

Animals Topic

We not only share this world with the other animals but also use the names of those animals in our languages. We use the names of animals in our languages for different purposes – in talking about a person’s character, looks and behaviour – in figures of speech.

This part of this study material is dedicated to our closest relatives on the Earth. Like every other list of words this list is also not complete, but we can go on adding whenever we come across a new, or more commonly used name of an animal (the name that has not been included).

For easy reference, we can click on the letter that corresponds to the first letter of the name of the animal we like to know about on the keyboard given below. For example, to know about “adder”, we click on the letter ‘a’ on the keyboard, and we will see all the names of the animals that begin with ‘a’ in this study material and then we can choose the particular animal and click on the name.

Animals starting with letter “A”

adder albatross alligator alpaca Alsatian amphibian anabas anaconda anchovy

angler fish angora ant ant-cow anteater antelope ape aphid archer fish arachnid

armadillo asp ass auk axolotl aye-aye

Animals starting with letter “B”

baboon badger bandicoot bantam barnacle barracuda bass basset bat beagle

bear beaver bedbug bee beefalo beetle bird bison bitch bittern blackbird black widow

bloodhound blowfly blue whale boa boar boll weevil booby bowerbird brute buck

budgerigar buffalo bug bulbul bull bulldog bullfinch bulldog ant bullock bumblebee

bunting burbot bushdog butterfly buzzard

Animals starting with letter “C”

cahow calf camel canary capybara cardinal caracal carp cassowary cat caterpillar

cattalo catfish cattle centipede cavy chaffinch chameleon chamois cheetah chick

chicken Chihuahua chimpanzee chinchilla chow chub cicada cichlid civet clam

cobra cochineal cock cockatoo cocker spaniel cockle cockroach cod

coelacanth collie Colorado beetle colt conch Congo snake conger eel constrictor coot

coral cormorant corncrake cotton stainer cow coypu crab louse crake crab crane

crayfish cricket croaker crocodile crow cub cuckoo cur curlew cuttlefish

Animals starting with letter “D”

daddy longlegs dam deathwatch beetle deer dickybird dingo dinosaur dipper

Dobermann (Dobermann pinscher) dodo doe dog doggie dogie dolphin

donkey dory dormouse dove dragon dragonfly drake dryopithecine drone duck

duckling dugong dung beetle

Animals starting with letter “E”

eagle earthworm earwig echidna eel egret eider duck eland electric ray electric eel

elephant elk elkhound emu English setter English shepherd ermine ewe

Animals starting with letter “F”

falcon fallow deer ferret filly finback finch firefly fish fisher flatfish flea

flounder fly flying fish flying fox flying squirrel foal fox fox hound fox terrier

Frisian frog fry fur seal

Animals starting with letter “G”

gadfly gamecock gander gannet gazelle giant panda giraffe globe fish glow worm

gnat goat gobbler goldcrest goldfinch goldfish goose gropher gorilla gosling

grampus grasshopper grebe greyhound grouse guacharo gudgeon guinea fowl

guinea pig gull guppy gyrfalcon

Animals starting with letter “H”

hackney haddock hagfish halibut hamster hanuman hare hatchling hatchet fish hawk

hedgehog hedge sparrow heifer hen heron herring hind hippopotamus hobby hog

homing pigeon honeybee honeyguide hookworm hornet horse horsefly hound

humming bird husky hyena hyrax

Animals starting with letter “I”

Ichneumon fly iguana impala insect

Animals starting with letter “J”

jackal jackass jackdaw Jack Dempsey jackrabbit jay jellyfish jerboa jersey jigger

Animals starting with letter “K”

kangaroo kangaroo rat kestrel kid killer whale king cobra kipper kite kitten

kiwi klipspringer koala kookaburra krill

Animals starting with letter “L”

Labrador ladybird lamb lamprey lapdog lapwing lark leatherjacket leech lemming

lemur leopard limpet lion lionfish lizard llama loach lobster locust loon

louse lovebird lynx

Animals starting with letter “M”

macaque macaw mackerel maggot magpie malleefowl mamba mammal mammoth

mandrill maned wolf mantis marabou mare marmoset marsupial marten mason wasp

mastiff merino midge millipede mink minnow moa mocking bird moggy

moke mole molluscs monarch mongoose mongrel monkey monster moo cow

moon calf moose mosquito moth mountain goat mountain lion mouse mouser

mud skipper mule mullet musk deer musk rat mussel mynah

Animals starting with letter “N”

nag nanny goat narwhal nene nestling newt nightingale

Animals starting with letter “O”

octopus Okapi opossum orangutang ortolan ostrich otter otter hound ousel ovenbird

owl owlet ox oyster oyster catcher

Animals starting with letter “P”

pachyderm pack rat painted lady panda pangolin panther parr parrot partridge

peachick peacock peafowl Pekinese pelican penguin peregrine pheasant

pig pigeon pike pilchard piranha plaice platypus plover polar bear polecat

Pomeranian pony pooch poodle porcupine porcupine fish porker porpoise possum

Portuguese man-of-war prairie dog prawn praying mantis proboscis monkey ptarmigan

puffin pug pup puss

Animals starting with letter “Q”


Animals starting with letter “R”

rabbit raccoon rail ram rat ratel rattle snake raven ray razor back red admiral

red deer reindeer remora reptile retriever rhea rhesus rhinoceros roach

road runner robin rodent roe rook rooster

Animals starting with letter “S”

sable fish saiga sailfish salamander salmon sardine scorpion screech owl sea anemone

sea cow sea cucumber sea horse seal sea urchin secretary bird seps serpent shark

shear water sheep sheepshead sheep dog shellfish shrew shrimp Siamese cat silk worm

silver fish skate skimmer skunk skylark slug smelt snail snake snapper snipe

sockeye sow spaniel sparrow sperm whale spider sponge spoonbill sprat springbok

spring peeper squab squid squirrel stag starfish starling St. Bernard steed steer

stingray stoat stork storm petrel stud sturgeon sucking pig sunbird sunfish swallow

swan swift swine swordfish Sydney funnel web

Animals starting with letter “T”

tabby tadpole taipan tapeworm tarantula tarpon Tasmanian devil Tasmanian wolf

tench termite tern terrier thresher thrush Thylacine tick tiger tigon tit toad

tomcat tope tortoise tree kangaroo trout tsetse fly tuna tup turbot turkey

turkey cock turtle turtledove tyke

Animals starting with letter “U”


Animals starting with letter “V”

vampire vicuna viper vixen vulture

Animals starting with letter “W”

wagtail wallaby walrus wapiti warbler warthog wasp water buffalo weasel whale

whelk whelp whippet whippoorwill white ant whiting whooping crane wild boar

wildcat wild dog winkle wolf wolverine woodcock woodlouse woodpecker worm

wrasse wren wryneck

Animals starting with letter “Y”

yak yellow jacket

Animals starting with letter “Z”

zebra zoophyte zorro