Start reading That's Not English on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

That's Not English: Britishisms, Americanisms, and What Our English Says About Us [Kindle Edition]

Erin Moore , Lynne Truss
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $25.95
Kindle Price: $12.99
You Save: $12.96 (50%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $12.99  
Hardcover $19.23  
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

An expat’s witty and insightful exploration of English and American cultural differences through the lens of language that will leave readers gobsmacked

In That’s Not English, the seemingly superficial differences between British and American English open the door to a deeper exploration of a historic and fascinating cultural divide. In each of the thirty chapters, Erin Moore explains a different word we use that says more about us than we think. For example, "Quite" exposes the tension between English reserve and American enthusiasm; in "Moreish," she addresses our snacking habits. In "Partner," she examines marriage equality; in "Pull," the theme is dating and sex; "Cheers" is about drinking; and "Knackered" covers how we raise our kids. The result is a cultural history in miniature and an expatriate’s survival guide.

American by birth, Moore is a former book editor who specialized in spotting British books—including Eats, Shoots & Leaves—for the US market. She’s spent the last seven years living in England with her Anglo American husband and a small daughter with an English accent. That’s Not English is the perfect companion for modern Anglophiles and the ten million British and American travelers who visit one another’s countries each year.

Editorial Reviews


“As many of us know, straddling the Atlantic can be quite uncomfortable—and it doesn’t help that the word ‘quite’ doesn’t always mean what you think it means.  This is a brilliant guide to the revealing differences between two branches of English….As an English person I will say, ‘Oh, jolly well done,’ but I’d like to add ‘Good job!’”
–From the foreword by Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves
“I’m mad about this book! I don’t mean ‘angry’  in the American sense, but Britishly ‘enthusiastic, gobsmacked.’ Much has been written about the language barrier between Britspeak and Americanspeak, but, more than any other explorer, Erin Moore puts a human face on the subject.”
–Richard Lederer, author of Anguished English
“The ocean that divides England and America is awash with linguistic wreckage and cultural tumult. But Erin Moore’s study of these infested waters is serene, assured and hugely entertaining. They should hand her book out at border control.” 
–Simon Garfield, author of Just My Type 

“Moore manages to create a text that is eminently readable, clever (in the sincerely-intended American sense) and thought-provoking, gently breaking down some of the cultural stereotyping that plagues both Americans and British.” 
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Erin Moore grew up in Key West, Florida, and is a graduate of Harvard who also attended King’s College, London. She lives in London.

Product Details

  • File Size: 830 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1592408850
  • Publisher: Gotham (March 24, 2015)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L9AY4F2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,505 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bloody gem! April 1, 2015
Yes, this book is a very, very witty examination of two cultures through the prism of a shared language that will entertain anyone who is interested in the warm and tricky transatlantic relationship between the US and the UK. No doubt about that! In my opinion, though, the even greater pleasure of this elegant book is its author's generous invitation to come along for a thrilling ride on her sophisticated stream of consciousness which is anthropological, historical and fun! Buckle up for it!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and perceptive! April 2, 2015
We thoroughly enjoyed this book. We laughed out loud and reminisced about our early days of language and culture shock, in our case as immigrants from England to America. This book is a "must-read" for anyone interested in the two countries ... and even if you're not, it's a delight. it is beautifully written ... acute observation delivered with a light touch.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Across the Cultural Divide April 9, 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What I like the most about That's Not English is that its author, Erin Moore, not only examines the words and phrases of both American and British English, but also examines what those words and phrases say about our respective cultures. As an American who has lived in England for eight years with her Anglo-American husband and very British daughter, Moore uses her personal experiences and observations about language and culture on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as more traditional methods of research, to create a humorous and perceptive look at our cultural differences.

Take, for example, the word "sorry" which is more complex in meaning than you might imagine. According to the author, sorry in the U.S. generally means just that, an apology for impolite behavior. However in England sorry can be, depending upon intonation and situation, anything from a passive-aggressive refusal to a smart-ass comeback (Now I know the reason for my being an Anglophile). Moore continues such semantic analysis with some thirty more expressions, each as informative and witty as the next. I highly recommend That's Not English to any Anglophile or to any reader who simply appreciates the study of language and culture. In fact I will be proper gobsmacked if you don't just love this delightful bridge across the American and British cultural divide!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English as a First and Second Language May 14, 2015
How many books about British vs. American English have we seen over the years? I think anyone who's the least bit interested in the topic already knows that it's 'football' in Britain (and the rest of the world) and 'soccer' in America. So Erin Moore, an American from Florida who married an American whose parents are British, doesn't waste our time with trivia like that. Instead, she takes an approach that has the anthropological bent of Kate Fox (Watching the English, Second Edition: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior Revised and Updated) with some Sarah Lyall humor (The Anglo Files: A Field Guide to the British) thrown in and the result is brilliant (in the British sense of very good, not in the American sense of being a work of Einsteinian genius).

One topic that Moore covers is that while many words are making their way from Britain to America and others are emigrating the other way, there are some words that simply will not travel. While Brits are well aware of the American "dude," they simply can't bring themselves to use it. And while Americans are willing to adopt just about any British phrases that catch our fancies, we often get them wrong. Lynne Truss, in her introduction, describes an NPR host asking her during an interview whether she considered herself a "berk or a wanker" which left Truss well and truly gobsmacked.

Moore goes beyond words and phrases and also talks about how Brits and Yanks differ in their amount of vacation time, the ceremonies involved in serving tea and in celebrating Christmas (Panto!), and what is the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

More About the Author

I am an American writer and former book editor living in London. I'm fascinated by the cultural differences between England and America, especially as they are expressed through language. In March 2015, Gotham Books (Penguin USA) will publish my book, THAT'S NOT ENGLISH: BRITISHISMS, AMERICANISMS AND WHAT OUR ENGLISH SAYS ABOUT US. I live in Islington with my husband, our children, Anne and Henry, and our cat, Sukha.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category