n light canvas shoes with rubber soles. A rather antiquated shoe, and therefore an equally antiquated word. Your grandmother may refer to your trainers as plimsolls, but that doesn’t mean you should too.
n an awful item of clothing which consists of sort-of-dungarees which stop at the knee. Whilst popular in pre-World-War Britain, plus-fours these days are firmly in the realms of brightly-colours golfers or inbreds.
n, adj turtle-neck. A style of sweater in which the neck runs right up to the chin; far enough up to cover even the most adventurous of love-bites.
n gym shoes. A rather antiquated term. The confusion arises because in the U.S., it means high heels or stilettos.
n money-purse. A little bag that women generally keep money in. Brits call anything larger than a money-purse a “handbag.”
n backpack. One of those bags you wear over your shoulder on two straps (or one, if you want to look misguidedly fashionable). The word is used in the U.S. armed forces specifically to mean a framed pack, but in the U.K. it means any sort of backpack.
n Jock. A somewhat affluent youth who makes up for his lack of academic achievement by scoring on the playing field and in bed with young ladies.
n tights. I think. I don’t wear a lot of women’s underwear. Well, there was that one time.
n garters. The things used by women to hold up their stockings. They are not used by men to hold up their trousers (Brits call those devices “braces”) or their socks (they call those things, umm, “garters”).
n abbr “swimming cozzie” bathing suit. One of those women’s swimsuits that covers your midriff – not a bikini. I suppose technically there’s nothing to stop men wearing them either, though that’s perhaps less conventional. You can’t pigeonhole me.
n, adj plaid. The stripes-and-checkers pattern that Scotsmen use for their kilts but is also used for all sorts of things from throw rugs to tacky seat covers.
n pantyhose. I’m getting rather out of my depth here. Opaque, very thin women’s leggings and generally skin-coloured or black. “Tights” in the U.S. are generally coloured, thicker, more like leggings and rarely worn. All of this makes little difference to me because the only reason I’d ever think about buying either would be if I was considering a career in armed robbery.
n a men’s felt-type hat (generally brown). The hat inherited its name from the 1894 George du Maurier novel, Trilby. The novel was not about hats, and if it even mentioned a hat it was only really in passing. However, during the first stage adaptation of the novel, one of the main characters wore a hat of an as-yet-unnamed type. Someone evidently thought that this was a good a time as any to name the hat, and so it was.
n pants. In the U.K., “pants” are underpants, and so being “caught with your pants down” has even more graphic connotations.
n undershirt. The item of clothing worn under your shirt. What Americans call a “vest,” Brits call a “waistcoat.”
n vest. An odd sort of article of clothing worn over your shirt but under your jacket, often with a bow-tie. In the U.K., “vest” means something else, as usual.
n rubber boots; galoshes. A contraction of the term “Wellington boots,” which was the inventive name given to boots made popular by the Duke of Wellington. The further abbreviation “wellies” is also in common use.