British and American Technical Terms

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car.
"Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.
"Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall.
"Torque is how far you move the wall."
Originally Posted by Rob Connolly on the MG-Rover forum.

  'Shipwright's disease':

Sailor owns boat.
Boat has dead bulb in galley - sailor decides to change bulb.
Sailor notices socket is corroded, decides to change socket.
Sailor notices wiring to socket is frayed - decides to change wiring.
Sailor notices galley ceiling slats are rotted while changing wiring - decides galley ceiling slats need changing.
Sailor notices ...

This goes on and on and on and on, and pretty soon Sailor is undertaking a major renovation of his boat because of a burned out lightbulb.

The following terms, plus a few, have been extracted from the very excellent 'Guide to Purchase and DIY Restoration of the MGB' by Lindsay Porter, republished by the same author as 'MGB Restoration Manual'. My 'Virtual Bookcase' lists these and many other MG books which can be ordered on-line from companies like WH Smith Online and Amazon.

American to British: British to American:
1st gear Bottom gear
Antenna Aerial
Axleshaft Halfshaft
Back-up Reverse
Barrel Choke
Barrel Venturi
Car-top carrier Roof rack
Coast Freewheel
Connecting rod Trackrod (steering)
Convertible Drop-head coupe
Cotter pin Split pin
Countershaft Layshaft (gearbox)
Dome lamp Interior light
Driveshaft Propeller shaft
Energiser Battery
Fender Wing
Fender Mudguard
Firewall Bulkhead
Flashlight Torch
Float bowl Float chamber
Freeway Motorway
Frozen Seized
Gas pedal Accelerator
Gas tank Petrol tank
Gasoline Petrol
Generator (AC) Alternator
Generator (DC) Dynamo
'Gone South' 'Gone West'
'Gone West' 'Gone South'
Ground Earth (electrical)
Hard-top Fast-back (coupe)
Hard-top Coupe (Fast-back)
Header Manifold (exhaust)
Heat riser Hot spot
High Top gear
Hood Bonnet
Inside Lane Outside Lane
Kerosene Paraffin
Lash Clearance
Lash Free-play
Latch Catch
Latches Locks
License plate Number plate
Liftgate Tailgate
Lock (valve spring) Split cotter
Lug nut Wheel nut
Muffler Silencer
Oil pan Sump
Outside Lane Inside Lane
Panel wagon Van
Parking brake Handbrake
Parking lights Side lights
Pinging Pinking
Piston pin Gudgeon pin
Pitman arm Drop-arm
Primary shoe Leading shoe (brakes)
Prussian blue Engineer's blue
Quarter window Quarterlight
Recap Retread
Recap Remould
Ring gear Crown wheel
Rocker panel Sill
Rotor Disc (brake)
Secondary shoe Trailing shoe (brakes)
Sedan Saloon
Sheet metal Bodywork
Shift Gearchange
Side marker lights Side indicator lights
Snap-ring Circlip
Soft top Hood
Stabiliser or Sway Anti-roll bar
Station wagon Estate car
Tang lock Tab washer
Throw-out bearing Thrust bearing
Tie-rod Trackrod (steering)
Tire Tyre
Torch Acetylene cutting torch
Transmission Gearbox
Trouble-shooting Fault finding
Trouble-shooting Faulting
Trouble-shooting Diagnosis
Trunk Boot
Turn signal Indicator
Turnpike Motorway
Valve cover Rocker cover
Valve lifter Cam follower
Valve lifter Tappet
Vent Quarterlight
Vise Vice
Whole drive line Transmission
Windshield Windscreen
Wing Quarterlight
Wrench Spanner
Wrist pin Gudgeon pin
Accelerator Gas pedal
Acetylene Cutting torch Torch
Aerial Antenna
Alternator Generator (AC)
Anti-roll bar Stabiliser or Sway bar
Battery Energiser
Bodywork Sheet metal
Bonnet Hood
Boot Trunk
Bottom gear 1st gear
Bulkhead Firewall
Cam follower Valve lifter
Catch Latch
Choke Barrel
Circlip Snap-ring
Clearance Lash
Coupe (Fast-back) Hard-top
Crown wheel Ring gear
Diagnosis trouble-shooting
Disc (brake) Rotor
Drop-arm Pitman arm
Drop-head coupe Convertible
Dynamo Generator (DC)
Earth (electrical) Ground
Engineer's blue Prussian blue
Estate car Station wagon
Fast-back (coupe) Hard-top
Fault finding trouble-shooting
Faulting trouble-shooting
Float chamber Float bowl
Free-play Lash
Freewheel Coast
Gearbox Transmission
Gearchange Shift
Gudgeon pin Piston pin
Gudgeon pin Wrist pin
Halfshaft Axleshaft
Handbrake Parking brake
Hood Soft top
Hot spot Heat riser
Indicator Turn signal
Inside lane Outside lane
Interior light Dome lamp
Layshaft (gearbox) Countershaft
Leading shoe (brake) Primary shoe
Locks Latches
Manifold (exhaust) Header
Motorway Freeway
Motorway Turnpike
Mudguard Fender
Number plate License plate
Outside lane Inside lane
Paraffin Kerosene
Petrol Gasoline
Petrol tank Gas tank
Pinking Pinging
Propeller shaft Driveshaft
Quarterlight Quarter window, vent or wing
Remould Recap
Retread Recap
Reverse Back-up
Rocker cover Valve cover
Roof rack Car-top carrier
Saloon Sedan
Seized Frozen
Side indicator light Side marker light
Side lights Parking lights
Silencer Muffler
Sill Rocker panel
Spanner Wrench
Split cotter Lock (valve spring)
Split pin Cotter pin
Sump Oil pan
Tab washer Tang lock
Tailgate Liftgate
Tappet Valve lifter
Thrust bearing Throw-out bearing
Top gear High
Torch Flashlight
Trackrod (steering) Tie-rod
Trackrod (steering) Connecting rod
Trailing shoe (brake) Secondary shoe
Transmission Whole drive line
Tyre Tire
Van Panel wagon
Venturi or Choke Barrel
Vice Vise
Wheel nut Lug nut
Windscreen Windshield
Wing Fender

The Scions Of Lucas 'SOL Vocabulary' seems to have vanished, so try these 17,951 definitions from Motor Era instead.