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US Vs. UK Language Differences From an American Visiting Scotland

On my trip to Scotland, I stayed in a friend’s apartment, which they called a “flat.”

A hand holds a set of keys.

The keys to my friend’s “flat.”

Talia Lakritz/Insider

For my vacation, I swapped homes with a friend who lives in Scotland. They stayed in my New York City “apartment,” and I stayed in their Edinburgh “flat.”

The term “flat” comes from the Old English word “flett,” meaning on one level, from the 1300s, according to Apartment Therapy. Most apartments are one floor, so they became known as “flats.”

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