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Quiz about Divided by a Common Language
Quiz about Divided by a Common Language

Divided by a Common Language Trivia Quiz


Someone (Oscar Wilde? George Bernard Shaw? Dylan Thomas?) once said that England and America were two nations divided by a common language. Take the quiz and test this truism for yourself.

A multiple-choice quiz by Cymruambyth. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
Cymruambyth
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
233,035
Updated
Mar 21 24
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
10 / 15
Plays
1837
- -
Question 1 of 15
1. The Brits enjoy biscuits. The Americans love ...?

Answer: (One Word., Plural. Think of Dagwood's daughter.)
Question 2 of 15
2. In the U.S. it's a waterproof jacket. However, in the U.K. it's an ....?

Answer: (One Word. How did an Inuit word get to Britain?)
Question 3 of 15
3. American cars have hoods, trunks and fenders. What corresponding parts do British cars have? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. Americans call them biscuits. The British call them ....?

Answer: (One Word, Plural. Not made of stone.)
Question 5 of 15
5. Americans chew a quid. What do the British do with a quid? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. In the U.S. income taxes are collected by the Internal Revenue Service. What is the counterpart in the U.K.? Full name, please, no initials, with capitals where necessary.

Answer: (Five Words. God save the Queen (who pays income tax like the rest of us!))
Question 7 of 15
7. On both sides of the Atlantic we enjoy films. In common parlance, however, Americans genrally view films in a theater (US spelling), while the British go to the ...?

Answer: (One Word.)
Question 8 of 15
8. The British like to go to the seaside, while Americans go to the ...?

Answer: (One Word.)
Question 9 of 15
9. American surgeons are addressed as Doctor. What are British surgeons addressed as? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Americans call it a station wagon; the British call it an ...?

Answer: (Two Words.)
Question 11 of 15
11. When Americans sit in the cheap(er) seats on a 'plane, they're flying coach. The British in the cheap(er)seats are flying ...?

Answer: (One word. Think 'frugal'.)
Question 12 of 15
12. Brits walk on pavements, while Americans walk on ...?

Answer: (One or Two Words. Sunday morning comin' down?)
Question 13 of 15
13. In the U.S., it's a freeway, but in the U.K. it's a ...?

Answer: (One word.)
Question 14 of 15
14. In the U.S. it's a wrench, but in the U.K, it's a ...?

Answer: (One word.)
Question 15 of 15
15. In the States, he or she is the CEO. What is the equivalent title in the UK?

Answer: (Two words.)

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Brits enjoy biscuits. The Americans love ...?

Answer: cookies

The Oxford Dictionary of Etymology defines 'biscuit' as 'crisp dry bread in a thin flat cake'. It derives from the French for 'twice baked'. The American 'cookie', on the other hand, derives from the Dutch 'koekje', meaning small cake. Obviously it was those first settlers in Nieuw Amsterdam (now New York) who introduced cookies into America. Dagwood, by the way, is an American comic strip who has a wife named Blondie, a son named Alexander and a daughter named Cookie. I just hope that's a nickname, rather than her legal name!
2. In the U.S. it's a waterproof jacket. However, in the U.K. it's an ....?

Answer: anorak

The original anoraks were worn by the Inuit (no, they're not Eskimoes, which is a rude Cree word meaning 'raw fish eaters'!) Inuit anoraks were - and are - made of sealskin. They come to just below the waist, unlike the larger parkas, also made from sealskin, which reach below the knees.
3. American cars have hoods, trunks and fenders. What corresponding parts do British cars have?

Answer: Bonnets, boots and wings

American hood = British bonnet (covers engine, usually at front)
American trunk = British boot (storage area, usually at the back)
American fender = British wing (covers the wheel)
American bumper = British fender (on the front to absorb collision impact)

I have absolutely no idea why British cars have bonnets, boots, and wings, they just do. Hoods are a bit of a mystery, too, although trunks surely derive from the fact that in the stagecoach days in the U.S., passengers' trunks were strapped on to the back of the vehicle. In fact, some models of early cars had an actual trunk attached on a rack at the rear of the car. The fender of an American car is the part that covers the wheel (which the British would call a wing), although many confuse it with the bumper, sometimes called the bumper bar, which is on the front and/or rear, and is designed to absorb the impact in a minor collision.
4. Americans call them biscuits. The British call them ....?

Answer: scones

Interestingly enough, scone was introduced into the English language by the Scots, but they'd have a hard time recognizing what the English call scones as anything like the round flat griddle cakes that are scones in Scotland. On the other hand, the Germanic tribes would see an English scone as resembling their schonbrut - 'fine bread'. If anyone knows why Americans call them biscuits, please let me know! (Of course, Brits would have a hard time recognizing what Americans call muffins as anything but teacakes, and nothing like muffins at all!) The Stone of Scone is a large rock on which Scottish kings sat to be crowned.

It was purloined by the English in mediaeval times, and parked under a throne in Westminster Abbey, so that English kings and queens could be crowned on it.

However, it has now been returned to the Scots. I don't know what they do with it nowadays. Maybe they'll lend it to Westminster when the next British monarch is crowned. Are you as confused as I am?
5. Americans chew a quid. What do the British do with a quid?

Answer: spend it

For aeons (or eons if you're an American), the British referred to first gold sovereigns and then pounds as 'quids' - derived from the Latin 'quibus', meaning 'the wherewithal'. A quid in the U.S., however, is a chunk of chewing tobacco, and chewing tobacco was a nasty habit indulged in by old-time baseball players and ranch hands (which is why all those saloons in the Westerns came equipped with spitoons, for the tobacco juice. Ugh!) Evidently, a plug of chewing tobacco is called a quid based on the fact that it is chewed, like cud.
6. In the U.S. income taxes are collected by the Internal Revenue Service. What is the counterpart in the U.K.? Full name, please, no initials, with capitals where necessary.

Answer: Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

Different governments, different names, but it still means we end up paying! Americans shorten Internal revenue Service to IRS, while Brits commonly refer to Inland Revenue, but it all means that we pay our dues for services rendered by our governments. HM has been paying tax on her personal income (which is considerable) since 1992, the first British monarch ever to do so. You might remember the slight conflagration at Windsor Castle (some say it was caused by one of the royal brood leaving an electric fire turned on near the curtains).

There was quite an uproar among the Brits when it was intimated that the bill for repairs should be footed by the tax payers. That's when the Queen agreed to pay income tax. You just have to light a fire under some folks, don't you?
7. On both sides of the Atlantic we enjoy films. In common parlance, however, Americans genrally view films in a theater (US spelling), while the British go to the ...?

Answer: cinema

The first films were called moving pictures, which, in the States was shortened to 'movies', and in the sceptred isle to 'pictures'. The Brits also used to refer to going to a movie as going to the flicks, presumably because those old silents flickered across the screen. Americans go to movies in theatres (spelled theaters in the States), while the Brits go to the cinema.
8. The British like to go to the seaside, while Americans go to the ...?

Answer: beach

Of course, it depends on which side of the States one lives - on the West Coast, they go to the beach and on the East Coast, they go to the shore.
9. American surgeons are addressed as Doctor. What are British surgeons addressed as?

Answer: Mister or Mr. or Miss

A British doctor spends six years earning his or her B.M.ChB, and is then address as Doctor. Then, if he or she puts in several more years to earn an FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons), he or she reverts to plain Mr., Mrs. or Miss. How's that for daft? Americans call all physicians Doctor, regardless of their specialty, and chiropractors, natureopaths, homeopaths, dentists and vets get the title, too.
10. Americans call it a station wagon; the British call it an ...?

Answer: estate car

I don't know why either one is called by its name, but doesn't estate car sound so much more grand than station wagon?
11. When Americans sit in the cheap(er) seats on a 'plane, they're flying coach. The British in the cheap(er)seats are flying ...?

Answer: economy

Coach sounds much more impressive than economy, doesn't it? When the British travel by coach, they're travelling on a large 'bus from one city to another (it's only in cities that buses are called buses in the U.K.). Americans travelling between cities either drive, fly or go by 'bus - usually Greyhound.
12. Brits walk on pavements, while Americans walk on ...?

Answer: sidewalks

Pavements used to be called flagways in Britain, because they were paved with flagstones (the streets were paved with cobble stones, which made for a pretty bumpy ride in the coach, I would imagine). Americans obviously decided that since the pedestrian walkway ran alongside the paved street, it should be called the sidewalk. Makes sense to me.
13. In the U.S., it's a freeway, but in the U.K. it's a ...?

Answer: motorway

I question the term freeway since every freeway I've ever driven on has a string of toll booths every few miles, and one has to fork over cash to go the next few miles. Motorway is much more descriptive. Did you know that it's against the law in Britain for cyclists or pedestrians to be on the motorway?
14. In the U.S. it's a wrench, but in the U.K, it's a ...?

Answer: spanner

I assume that spanners (or wrenches) were invented around the same time as nuts and bolts, which would have come along during the Industrial Revolution. The first wrench (or spanner) was patented in 1835 by Solyman Merrick, but I have no idea as to which side of the Big Pond Mr. Merrick was on when he came up with the idea for this handy tool. Have you noticed that American English and British really start differing when it comes to things invented since the American Revolution? Note to Americans: Don't try buying pantyhose in the U.K. Ask for tights.
15. In the States, he or she is the CEO. What is the equivalent title in the UK?

Answer: Managing Director

The owner or president of a company is usually called the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in the States, while in the UK, the equivalent term is Managing Director.
Source: Author Cymruambyth

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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