The YLF community is impressively international. Our highest concentration of Fabbers are in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. We also have Fabbers in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Africa, South America, and the Middle East. It’s extraordinary how a subject like fashion and style can unite people across the globe. 

I’ve lived in the US for twenty years, and in Seattle, WA the entire time. My nationality is Dutch (from the Netherlands). I grew up and went to British schools in Hong Kong and Cape Town, South Africa. I speak and spell English the British way because that’s how I learned it at school.

For the most part, English in the US is the same as British English. But there are differences in the meanings of some specific words that I had to learn.

Here are some examples. The word used in the US is on the left, and the word that I was used to calling the item is on the right:

  • Vest – Waistcoat
  • Vest – Bodywarmer
  • Vest – Gilet
  • Camisole (undergarment) – Vest
  • Sweater – Cardigan
  • Sweater – Jumper
  • Jumper – Pinafore
  • Swimsuit – Bathing Costume, or “Cozzie”
  • Barette – Hairclip
  • Jeans Jacket – Denim Jacket
  • Sweater Vest – Tank
  • Pants – Trousers
  • Panties – Knickers
  • Thong – G-String
  • Turtleneck – Poloneck

Now that I live in US I have mostly switched to using American wardrobe terminology when I work with my clientele and sales assistants, or chat to friends about wardrobe items. That way things aren’t lost in translation. The different meanings for the word vest and jumper can be particularly confusing. But when I’m elsewhere in the world, or speaking to hubs Greg and family, I switch to using the words I’ve used most of my life because that’s most natural. Similarly, in the US people call me Angie. In the rest of the world, people usually call me Angélique. I respond to both!

Care to add words to this list from your neck of the woods?