Most social animals, such as bees, apes, and even ants communicate with each other, but only humans have developed different languages. All languages are unique and have been evolving for centuries, but American English is different. Relatively new, American English is basically a variation or dialect of British English, but it's not uncommon for an American and British person to misunderstand each other.
In the United States, a lot of people speak their own version of American English since they come from widely diverse language backgrounds. Even though 80 percent of Americans speak English, the United States still does not have an official language. The linguistic landscape of America is widely diverse, but if you live in this country, you will probably recognize all of these common English words. Whether you're learning the language, live in the United Kingdom, or you're a native speaker, who was born and raised in the United States, let's see how strong your English vocabulary is with this exciting quiz that features 50 of the most frequently used word in America.
Are you a master of English language or your vocabulary skills are still not perfect? Take this quiz to find it out and learn some interesting, odd, and surprising facts about the most common English words along the way.
The first shoes that humans made date as far back as 40,000 years ago. They were made of soft leather, and you had two options: moccasins or sandals. It wasn't until 1850 when shoemakers started to make shoes for left and right feet.
Red may be the oldest pigment among humans and our ancestors. It's found in paintings that date back to 15,000 BC, and has been known as the color of blood, courage, war, love, and death.
Green pigments have been used since ancient times, and you'll see it appear often in the ancient Egyptian culture. And thanks to the ancient Greeks, green has the honor of being one of the first artificial pigments. It's said that people whose favorite color is green are affectionate and loyal, yet frank.
President Lincoln was commonly photographed wearing one. The Brooklyn Excelsiors were the first team to wear them. In fact, hats were often considered part of the dress code, for both men and women.
Did you know that your thumb has just two bones, while your whole hand is made up of 27? That means that as much as one-quarter of the bones in your entire body can be found in your hands.
Your eyes are really amazing. They can distinguish about 10 million different colors. And, like a one-of-a-kind fingerprint, your eye's iris has 256 unique characteristics.
Early humans didn't have a word for the color blue. It wasn't until about 6,000 years ago that humans started to create blue pigments, using the semi-precious stone, lapis -- and a word for 'blue' was needed.
Our cats -- and most likely all house cats -- descended from the wildcat, Felis sylvestris. It's believed the first domesticated cats date back to at least 4,000 years ago, when they were an important part of the ancient Egyptian culture. Not only were they used for pest control, they were worshiped as gods.
The most popular dog names are no longer Spot and Fido. Today's dogs sport names like Max and Bella, or Sam and Molly. President Theodore Roosevelt named his pit bull, Pete.
The three largest companies in the automotive industry at the end of the 1920s are names you'll recognize from modern-day "Big Three" manufacturers: Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors (GM). The Ford Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle, and the Toyota Corolla are the top three bestselling cars in the world.
When you think about a bus, you probably don't think about one like this: When a man in Indiana decided to upgrade a school bus with a fighter jet engine, he created the world’s fastest bus. And yet despite its capability of hitting a top speed of 367 mph, the bus ran 10 minutes late for its very first pick-up.
You may be surprised at what books are banned in U.S. schools. In 1987, for example, the school board in Anchorage, Alaska, banned the American Heritage Dictionary from its schools because of what it considered to be "objectionable" entries (such as "bed").
Paper was first made in China, around 105 A.D. It was pressed out of a mixture of mulberry bark, hemp, rags, and water -- a method that was used in early paper-making in the U.S. until paper mills could do it more cheaply with wood.
It's one of the most common colors in nature. But is it a color? White is the reflection of the visible light of all colors -- making it the opposite of black, and the lightest color.
Charcoal and iron minerals were used by prehistoric artists to create black pigment, which was used to paint drawings of humans, animals, and abstract ideas. Unlike white, its opposite, black is the complete absorption of visible light -- and the darkest color.
There are 250,000 sweat glands in your feet, and they produce about eight ounces of sweat every day. It's not the sweat that smells. It's the bacteria on your warm, moist feet that produce smells as they nosh on your dead skin cells.
It wasn't until the 18th century that shirts were no longer worn as underwear (or a nightshirt). But it wasn't until the end of WWI that the first button-down -- all the way down -- dress shirt became popular.
It was a near-death experience for a man named Eddie Bauer that gave us the first patented down jacket. The difference between a jacket and a coat? A jacket is typically less insulating, with a tighter fit and lighter weight.
While it's a good source of calcium, the evidence isn't clear that milk is the the best source for many people. The majority -- 60 percent or more -- of adults no longer produce lactase, the enzyme needed to digest the sugars in dairy milk.
As the legend goes, coffee was discovered by Ethiopian goat herders as far back as 800 A.D. The average American coffee drinker today pours three cups a day. But did you know coffee beans aren't actually beans? They're berries that grow on coffee tree bushes.
You handle it every day, but did you know that U.S. paper money is not actually paper? It's cloth (cotton), and has been since 1862 when the U.S. Treasury began printing paper money. The Federal Reserve estimates there's about $1 trillion in U.S. currency currently circulating.
Many fruit juices aren't much better for you than soda. While fruit juices may contain some vitamins and other nutrients, they can contain similar amounts of sugar and calories as soft drinks.
Of all the world's countries, the U.S. is the largest consumer of petroleum products. U.S. oil refineries produce roughly 20 gallons of gasoline from a single barrel of crude oil, and Americans consume nearly 392 million gallons of gas a day.
Along with red and blue, yellow is a primary color, which means it's one of the three colors that can't be created by mixing together other colors -- such as, how mixing blue and red results in purple.
In the U.S. alone we consume approximately 50 billion hamburgers in just one year. You'd think it was always as American as apple pie and baseball. But burgers didn't catch on among Americans until the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.
There are more than 2,500 varieties growing in the United States, but of all the apples, it's only the crabapple that's native to North America. Whichever variety you prefer, you'll need about two pounds to make one 9-inch apple pie.
Sweet oranges, like the navel orange, are popular eating oranges. But of all the oranges grown around the world, just 20 percent are sold as whole fruit. (The rest are destined for juice, preserves, and extracts.)
Did you know a bunch of bananas is called a "hand"? And an individual banana from the hand? A "finger."
About 130 years before Magnavox introduced Odyssey, the first video game machine, the first mass-produced doll hit U.S. stores. Tickle Me Elmo wouldn't become a holiday craze until 1996.
The very first balls were often made from inflated animal bladders. It wasn't until 1836 that Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber -- and created the very first soccer balls.
Did you know roses are related to apples, almonds, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and raspberries? And if you're out of onions and in a bind, tulip bulbs can work as an onion substitute.
One mature tree provides enough oxygen for up to four people for one day. And that's not all. The shade and water vapor that trees provide can cool city temperatures by as much as 10°F.
Your arms are made up of three bones, linked at your elbow. And when you travel down your arm to your wrist, you'll find that it's a great place to check your pulse because it's where major arteries are close to the surface of your skin.
The bones of your legs are made up of the tibia, which is also called the shin bone, and the fibula, both of which you'll find below the knee. Above the knee, you'll find the femur, which is the thigh bone. In addition to the three leg bones, there is the patella, also known as the kneecap.
Fish have been in the Earth's waters for 450 million years. Although some fish live in salt water and others live in fresh water, all fish have one thing in common: they're cold-blooded, which means they can't control their own body temperature.
A specimen of Archaeopteryx, the first known bird, was discovered in the early 1860s. While scientists continue to debate exactly where today's birds came from, the leading theory is that birds as we know them evolved from dinosaurs.
On Dec. 17, 1903, Orville Wright piloted a propeller-driven biplane on its inaugural flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. During the first successful flight of a self-propelled plane, Wright flew 120 feet and stayed aloft for 12 seconds.
Canoes made from hollowed tree trunks, called dugout boats, are the oldest record of boats used by our human ancestors. Today there are three basic types of boats: human-powered, like the dugout, sailboat, and motorboat.
Before the 12th century, chairs like three-legged stools were for function only. Seatbacks and four legs were added during the Middle Ages, but wouldn't become more comfortable until the Renaissance.
It was the invention of the cooking range, and a water infrastructure capable of delivering running water to homes, that changed how we cooked our food. Before that, food was cooked over an open fire.
Scientists have found evidence of 77,000-year-old bedding made from sedge grass during a study of the ancient people of Sibudu in South Africa. It wouldn't be until the early 20th century, and post Industrial Revolution, that our mattresses would be upgraded to the more comfortable coiled metal spring design.
Although we take them for granted today, the flush toilet, although invented in 1596, didn't catch on until 1851. In 1920, still, only one percent of homes in America had indoor plumbing -- and rural America wouldn't start to see it until the 1930s.
In the 1960s, the average dinner plate was 7 to 9 inches across. But just a few decades later, dinner plates have grown -- today measuring 11 or 12 inches across. Switching to a 10-inch plate can help you decrease your portion size and consume 22 percent fewer calories (which could add up to 18 pounds a year).
Forks in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome weren't used as we use our flatware today. These two-tined utensils were used as cooking tools, and not at the table, where spoons and hands were commonplace.
In medieval Europe, table knives were often elaborately carved, with sharp pointed ends used to spear food and eat it. It wasn't until 1637 that dinner knives resembling our own were created -- when Cardinal Richelieu of France had his knife tips ground down.
Preserved and unearthed spoons from our human ancestors indicate there wasn't just one way to make the utensil. Spoons made of ivory, flint, wood, cow horn, and other materials, have been discovered, dating back to Paleolithic times.
It's said the average person could live without food for as long as a month. But you could only survive a few days - maybe one week - without water.
When it comes to the entrance to your home, having a clear and clean path to the door is important for bringing positive energy flow into what's called the "mouth of the chi." Not only should the door swing inward, its color should be in harmony with the direction the door faces.
While there are an impressive 147 windows in the White House, Buckingham Palace boasts 760 windows. But the Empire State Building in Manhattan beats them both with 6,500 windows.
Nearly 3 billion pounds of chocolate are eaten by Americans every year -- which is more than 11 pounds per person. The average American consumes about 22 pounds of candy and chocolate every year - and not just on Halloween.