List of British Words Not Widely Used in The United States - O


Old Age Pensioner (qv) (US: Senior Citizen)
off-licence / offie
shop licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises (US equivalent: liquor store). Known in some parts of N England as "selling-out shop".
of clothes etc., ready-made rather than made to order (US: off-the-rack)
offal *
the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal.
coarse exclamation to gain attention, roughly equivalent to "hey" ("Oi, you!" = "Hey you!")
the Old Bill
(slang) The police - specifically the Metropolitan Police in London, but use of the term has spread to the surrounding Home Counties.
one-off *
something that happens only once; limited to one occasion (as an adjective, a shared synonym is one-shot; as a noun )
on the piss
(vulgar) drinking heavily; going out for the purpose of drinking heavily; at a slight angle, said of an object that should be vertical
Oriental *
used to describe the origin of a person from East Asia (China, Japan etc.) (US:Asian - N.B. In BrE, Asian is generally reserved for people from around the Indian sub-continent: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.)
orientate *
less common alternative to orient, deprecated by some as an unnecessary back-formation from orientation
Other ranks
members of the military who are not commissioned officers. (US: Enlisted ranks)
money used on a bank account making a debit balance ; the amount of the debit balance, an 'overdraft facility' is permission from a bank to draw to a certain debit balance.
overleaf *
on the other side of the page
anything. Northern English. "Why aren't you saying owt?" See also 'nowt' - as in the phrase "can't get owt for nowt" meaning "can't get anything for nothing."
See "oi".

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