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Food lexicon: Canada/US vs UK

Category : Food & Drink, Travel, UK · by Jul 29th, 2014

us, can, uk, 620

There are a multitude of differences between North American English and British English. Not only are the accents worlds apart but the spelling is different and so is much of the vocabulary. Whether abroad in the UK, Canada, or the US this lexicon could come in handy when browsing the supermarket or scanning a menu. Take a look at the categories on the right or just have a scroll through!

For the purpose of this lexicon Canadian and American English are lumped together as they are very similar. Canada, however, has many more linguistic similarities to the UK, thanks to its Commonwealth background.


UK Canada/US
Bangers/Sausages Sausages
Black Pudding Blood Sausage
Crepe Pancake
Muffin (English) – Round/flat bread that is sliced and toasted Muffin – Individually sized bread product (similar to cupcake)
Porridge Oatmeal
Muffin vs English Muffin, 620
Traditional UK breakfast dishes:

  • Full English Breakfast: Eggs, toast, grilled tomatoes, beans, black pudding, mushrooms, hashbrowns, etc.
  • Eggs and soldiers: Toast sliced into stripes and served with a soft boiled egg so you can dip the toast!


UK Canada/US
Bicarbonate of Soda Baking Soda
Corn Flour Corn Starch
Demerera Sugar Brown Sugar
Heavy Cream Double Cream
  • Oven temperature in the UK is in Celsius while in the US and Canada it’s in Fahrenheit.
  • The UK goes by the metric system, although many imperial terms are still used. Canada uses a mix of both systems, metric and imperial. The US uses what is called the United States customary units, similar to the imperial system except for some slight differences.


UK Canada/US
Candy Bar Chocolate Bar
Candy Floss Cotton Candy
Ice Lolly Popsicle
Jelly Jell-O
Pie – Savoury (often filled with meat and individually sized) Pie – Sweet (usually fruit or jam filling and often sliced to share)
Pudding Dessert (general)
pie vs pie, 620


UK Canada/US
Bitter Pale Ale
Squash Concentrate Drink Mix
  • A ‘flat white’ is a popular coffee beverage in the UK. It’s a double shot of espresso with steamed milk. It originated in Australia and New Zealand.


UK Canada/US
Aubergine Eggplant
Cos Lettuce Romaine Lettuce
Courgette Zucchini
Jacket Potato Baked Potato
Rocket Arugula


UK Canada/US
Bap Bun or Roll
Biscuit (savoury) Cracker
Biscuit (sweet) Cookie
Chips French Fries/Fries
Coriander Coriander (leaves) / Cilantro (seeds)
Crisps Chips
Mince Meat Ground Beef
Scone Biscuit
Sweets Candy
Take Away Take Out
  • In the UK ‘tea’ can also refer to dinner time.
  • A popular condiment in Britain and Canada is HP sauce, the most popular brand of brown sauce. It’s made of malt vinegar, tomato, dates and spices.
  • In the north of Britain some refer to lunch time as dinner.
  • By WordRidden (365.221: Sir Thomas Napier auf flickr) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

    British Sunday Roast via Wikimedia Commons

    ‘Toads in a hole’ is a British term for sausages (bangers) in yorkshire pudding.
  • Yorkshire pudding is a British dish made of milk, butter and flour. Topped with gravy, it’s an important part of the traditional British Sunday roast.
  • The traditional British Sunday Roast consists of roasted meat, potato (roasted or mashed), Yorkshire pudding, vegetables, and gravy. A Sunday roast is also very popular in Canada.

Post a comment if you’ve encountered strange lingo that hasn’t already been included in the lexicon!

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Hi, I'm Hannah, a London-based copywriter and blogger. I am a Canadian ex-pat whose interests range from food and travel, to ultimate frisbee, and sailing. As an avid traveller, food enthusiast, and sports-person I seek to write cutting-edge articles about athletes and sporting events, as well as travel destinations, tips, and culinary havens. If you like my writing and want to get in touch about freelance work or other job opportunities, don't hesitate to contact me!