Monday, August 9, 2010


This is another blog of several brief items about different meanings of words used in the UK and the US.

For years, I have been alternately amused and irritated because Americans visiting England talk about "the Lake Country". Just about everyone in the UK knows this area as the "Lake District".

I shall probably go on gently correcting any American friends who "get it wrong". However, only recently did I come up with an explanation. The word "district" has a different connotation in the US, in a country where the chief prosecutor is a "district attorney".

Another usage of "district" on the western side of the Pond is for school districts. We just don't think of an open country area as a "district". That is perhaps a minor part of the problem, Brits do not enjoy hearing the area called the "Lake Country". That word is used in two main senses: to refer to a nation, and to refer to rural (rather than urban or suburban) areas. This confusion is one of many reasons to recall the witty remark, attributed to George Bernard Shaw.


  1. From this side of the pond, Shaw's comment strikes a note of agreement. One of my brothers was briefly engaged to a young lady from England. Her mother's stories of learning "American" as she called it were a hoot.