In the US you “putter around” and in the UK it’s “potter”; the American “meat and potatoes” becomes Britain’s “meat and two veg”; and “Main Street” is “High Street”. So far so good, but it’s a bugger trying to keep them straight after more than a decade or two.
There’s the American “downtown” which becomes the “town centre”, “talk shows” are “chat shows” in the UK, and “business casual” becomes “smart casual” (or “casual smart” in some cases). Did you know it’s “hodge podge” in the States and “hotch potch” in Britain? Or “tid-bit” instead of the more risqué British “tit-bit”?
Some are not only hard to keep sorted, but bloody irritating at the same time, like the US’s “Every little bit helps” versus Britain’s “Every little helps”.
To quote Mike - “This one drives me nuts. There is an advert on the telly -- Tesco, ASDA, LIDL or one of the other low-budget shops--that ends "every little helps" and I want to scream at the TV--"Every little WHAT helps?"
Toni’s pet peeve is “I could care less” which is oft-heard in the States. Do Americans realise what they’re saying? They’re trying to convey a deep sense of well, not caring, yet they’re telling you they could actually care a little bit less than they do? There is a suggestion that it’s a highly sarcastic phrase meaning "as if I could care less about this", but since Americans generally don’t employ sarcasm, it’s doubtful.
And the worst thing about it is...well, David Mitchell says it so much better than we could: