This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek (does that need translating too?), but based on a few questions and comments here, I thought it might be interesting to compile a broadly-baby-related glossary of UK/US/Canada terms.

I've made it community wiki, so you can all add to my answer.

This question is marked "community wiki".

asked 08 Jan '10, 06:30

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%


Any Australians or other English-speakers who want to be represented in the table too?

(08 Jan '10, 10:20) Paul Stephenson

@Paul, good suggestion, though it will make the table layout problematic :)

(08 Jan '10, 10:33) Benjol

We might as well have answers for broad topics, so I've added some below based on questions and answers already on this site.

(08 Jan '10, 10:36) Paul Stephenson

Answer for general parenting terms

UK                            US                         Canada
Nappy                         Diaper                     Diaper
Dummy                         Pacifier                   Soother/Pacifier
Bodysuit or poppered vest     Onesie                     Onesie
Cot                           Crib                       Crib
GP (child-specific)           Pediatrician               Paediatrician
Paediatrician                 Pediatrician               Paediatrician
Health Visitor                (no public system)         Public Health Nurse
Buggy/pushchair               Stroller                   Stroller
Semi-skimmed milk             1% or 2% milk              1% or 2% milk
Red Top/Full Fat              Whole Milk                 Homo Milk 
Sweets                        Candies                    Candies/Sweets
Jabs/Vaccinations             Shots/Vaccines             Shots/Vaccines
Pudding                       Dessert                    Dessert
Wind/Fart                     Gas/Fart                   Fart
Loo/toilet                    Bathroom/Toilet/Restroom   Bathroom/Toilet/Restroom
Potty                         Potty/Toilet               Potty
Changing mat                  Changing pad               Changing Pad
Burp/Wind                     Burp                       Burp

Concerning the great bodysuits/babygrows/onesies debate, Meg Stephenson has done our homework for us here.

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Jan '10, 06:32

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

edited 18 Mar '10, 12:57

Health Visitor?

(08 Jan '10, 11:39) Scott ♦♦

in england as soon as you are discharged from the midwife you are placed in the care of an assigned health visitor, who visits you for help and advice. Then after baby is 6 weeks you can go and visit them at local clinic for weighing and advice.

(08 Jan '10, 12:16) Phil Seller

@Meg, are you sure about bodysuits/babygrows? (I admit my last real UK experience of babies was a long time ago.)

(08 Jan '10, 12:21) Benjol

@Benjol i call them baby grows.

(08 Jan '10, 12:32) Phil Seller

Thats very Mothercare language "babygrows" "bodysuits" (mothercare being a major British babies childrenretailer !

(08 Jan '10, 12:55) Emi

I added the US "Pediatrician" because it seems from this group that most US parents have an assigned pediatrician after the birth, whom they consult about any general matters, much like a UK parent would talk to their GP (General Practitioner = normal doctor) or their Health Visitor. British paediatricians are hospital doctors specialising in children, so parents would only see one if their child was really ill. Does the term "pediatrician" cover both jobs in the US?

(08 Jan '10, 13:28) Paul Stephenson

Yes Paul, it does cover both. But some US families, like mine, take our kids to a General or Family Practitioner, rather than a dedicated Pediatrician. I like having one doctor the whole family sees, then we can sometimes combine appointments, or I can mention an issue I'm having when my children are getting a check-up. It also helps the doctor with the family medical background if he knows/treats the whole family.

(08 Jan '10, 16:12) mkcoehoorn

Re babygrows/bodysuits, I am only going on the language I use and see. To me a babygrow is the same as a sleepsuit, it's an all-in-one with long sleeves and legs and (usually) built in socks. Whereas I understand a onesie to be more like a t-shirt or vest with poppers at the crotch, it basically covers the torso and holds the nappy in place.

(08 Jan '10, 18:10) Meg Stephenson

Hm, I sense that this babygrow thing is going to require research, and photos!

(08 Jan '10, 20:39) Benjol

Just wanted to add that a Health Visitor is a specialist nurse - that is qualified as a nurse first, then further qualifications to become an HV. I believe that are the only form of health professional employed by the NHS to do preventative work.

(14 Feb '10, 19:44) Meg Stephenson
showing 5 of 10 show 5 more comments

Answer for education terms

School years and other educational terms between different countries can be a source of confusion. Please put the age range next to the term. If you have a term that "lines up" with one from another culture, please combine onto one line (e.g. UK Year 1 = US 1st Grade, if that's true).

UK                            US                         Canada (excl. Quebec)
Crèche?                       ?                          Daycare
Playschool/Nursery (age 2-4)  Preschool/Daycare          Preschool/Nursery School
Reception = Foundation (4-5)  Pre-school                 Pre-school/Junior Kinder. (3-4)
Year 1 (age 5-6)              kindergarten               kindergarten (4-5)
Year 2 (age 6-7)              1st Grade (age 6-7)        Grade 1 (5-6)
Year N+1 (age N+5 - N+6)      Nth Grade                  Grade N     [N from 1 to 12]
Key Stage 1 = Infants (5-7)   ?                          Elementary School(primary JK-3)
Key Stage 2 = Juniors (7-11)  Elementary school (approx) Elementary School (approx)
Secondary School (11-16/18)   High School (grd. 9-12)    High School (grd. 9-12)  

Here are some Wikipedia references which might be useful. (In case someone else has the time and patience to put it all together):

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Jan '10, 10:34

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

edited 08 Feb '10, 11:06

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦

What age is 1st grade? We have nursery schools for 3+4 year olds in the UK.

(08 Jan '10, 12:19) Jon Skeet

1st grade is generally about 6 years old. Whatever the US grade level is, add 5 and that's the average age of the students.

(08 Jan '10, 17:12) mkcoehoorn

at what age do US children go to Kindergarten? Is it a requirement, or does mandatory education start at 6?

(08 Jan '10, 18:21) Meg Stephenson

Kindergarten is ages 5 - 6. The exact age of a child in a grade hinges on when the cut off is for that particular state or school district (in Wisconsin a child must be 5 prior to Sept 1 to start Kindergarten but where we now live in Nebraska, the cut off is Oct 15).

As for whether it is mandatory? I'm not really sure. I know it is at least strongly recommended that children attend Kindergarten but I'm not sure whether states actually require it or not.

(08 Jan '10, 18:46) mkcoehoorn

I grew up in Quebec (Canada) and high school there is 7-11 so I think your "Canadian" category is too broad :)

(11 Jan '10, 05:54) YMCbuzz

@YMCbuzz That is a good point. Many provinces don't have JK either.

(11 Jan '10, 22:11) Tammy ♦♦

@YMCbuzz: Well, this is an English to English dictionary, so Quebec doesn't really count. ;)

(08 Feb '10, 11:06) Scott ♦♦

@Scott There are lots of native English speakers and English schools in Quebec. :)

(15 Feb '10, 00:34) cat_g
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

Answer for British sports terms

  • Hockey: Field Hockey
  • Robins: Ely Soccer team (very, very localised, this one!)
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Jan '10, 10:30

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

Camping Terms

Flashlight - US
Torch - Australia, New Zealand, UK

I remember than my Aussie counterparts working at a summer camp had a different word for canteen or water bottle than we did, but I can't remember it.

And I apologize if England no longer uses the word "torch." My source is Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. Edmund talking about his "electric torch" gave me some weird mental images the first time I read that book (something along the lines of the torch the Statue of Liberty holds).

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Jan '10, 15:45

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 08 Jan '10, 20:11

pete%20the%20pagan-gerbil's gravatar image

pete the pagan-gerbil


Britain still says torch, don't worry ;) I doubt we'll ever convert!

(08 Jan '10, 20:10) pete the pagan-gerbil

Meals please edit and add as appropriate


Breakfast - first meal of the day
Lunch (middle class) - eaten at midday (archaic/upper class: luncheon)
Dinner (working class) - eaten at midday
Tea (middle class) - light meal including the drink "tea" eaten in the late afternoon
Dinner (middle class) - cooked meal eaten in the evening
Supper (working class) - eaten in the evening
Supper (middle class) - snack/light meal eaten late evening

With the advent of the classless society this has all gone to pot, and in our house, for example, lunch refers to sandwiches or a light meal at midday, tea to similar in the evening, and dinner is a cooked meal eaten at midday or in the evening.


Breakfast - first meal
Lunch - noon meal
Dinner - noon meal or evening meal - families call it differently
Supper - evening meal

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 12 Jan '10, 17:15

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

edited 04 Feb '10, 10:58

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦

I'm expat since 10 years ago, but I don't think I believe in the classless society ;)

(12 Jan '10, 18:26) Benjol

Answers for common children's drugs/medicines

(In the UK, 'drugs' would be heroin, cocaine etc...)
(In Canada and the US, 'drugs' can mean prescription medicine as well.)

UK                            US                         Canada
Paracetomol                   Acetaminophen              Acetaminophen
Calpol (paracetomol)          Tylenol (acetaminophen)    Tylenol (acetaminophen)
Ibuprofen                     Advil (Ibuprofen)          Advil (Ibuprofen)
Infacol                       Infacol 
??                            Ovol                       Ovol
??                            Simethicone 
??                            Mylicon
Gripe water                   ???                        Gripe water
??                            Nyquil                     ??
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Feb '10, 07:37

Benjol's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

edited 12 Feb '10, 07:30

according to this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovol simethicone is the active ingredient in infacol, ovol and mylicon. I don't think it's sold as ovol or mylicon in the UK though.

(12 Feb '10, 21:19) Meg Stephenson

Following discussions from a while ago.

This is what I call a bodysuit or poppered vest:
or poppered vest

And this is what I call a babygrow:

I am British, but I wouldn't guarantee that everyone in the UK would agree with me.

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 14 Feb '10, 19:41

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

In North America, the first one is a onesie (I have seen bodysuit in Canada as well) and the second is a sleeper.

(15 Feb '10, 03:00) Tammy ♦♦


  • UK: bicarbonate of soda
  • US/Canada: baking soda
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 14 Feb '10, 21:13

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

In the UK we also have something called baking powder, which is different from bicarbonate of soda (bicarb). Bicarb is pure Sodium bicarbonate whereas baking powder is a mixture containing bicarb and cream of tartar (tartaric acid) plus inert dried starch or flour to absorb any moisture. Do other countries have this?

(14 Feb '10, 21:53) Meg Stephenson

@Meg Stephenson: Yes, we have baking powder as well, but don't ask me about details... Tammy might know.

(14 Feb '10, 23:09) Scott ♦♦

@ Meg Stephenson: Here is the ingredient list from the baking powder in my cupboard: Corn starch, monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate. I'm in Canada.

(15 Feb '10, 01:09) cat_g

Answer for US sports terms

  • Celtics: Boston Basketball team
  • Eagles: Philadelphia American Football team
  • Hockey: Ice Hockey
  • Patriots: New England American Football team
  • Red Sox: Boston Baseball team
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Jan '10, 10:24

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

edited 08 Jan '10, 10:42

Answer for Canadian sports terms

  • Hockey: Ice Hockey
  • Canucks: Vancouver Ice Hockey team
  • Flames: Calgary Ice Hockey team
  • Senators: Ottawa Ice Hockey team
  • Maple Leafs: Toronto Ice Hockey team
  • Canadiens: Montreal Ice Hockey team
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 08 Jan '10, 10:26

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

edited 08 Jan '10, 11:41

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦

I believe Senators was the name of a now defunct US baseball club based in Washington D.C. A few years ago it was resurrected as the Washington Nationals.

(08 Jan '10, 17:16) mkcoehoorn

There were two Washington Senators teams, neither one related to the current Nationals. The first Senators team was sometimes called the Nationals, and moved in 1960 to become the Minnesota Twins. The other moved in 1971 and became the Texas Rangers. The Montreal Expos moved to Washington in 2005 to become the current Nationals.

(04 Feb '10, 11:58) Graeme
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 08 Jan '10, 06:30

Seen: 5,352 times

Last updated: 18 Mar '10, 12:57