American-English


American English Video Glossary

Click above for a more-easily readable version.

“We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language” – Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost, 1887

The idea for this dictionary began during a survey/scout of a theater/theatre in Brussels prior to an Anglo-American television production.  The director selected camera locations.  Two were to be located towards the rear of the lowest level of audience.

I wandered off to discuss technical issues with the stage crew.  My French is poor and my Flemish essentially non-existent, but I had little difficulty communicating with the Belgians.  I returned to find the American female producer and the British male producer screaming at each other.  They were saying exactly the same thing and didn’t realize it.

He:  So we’re having two cameras in the stalls.

She:  No, we agreed not to put cameras in the boxes; they’re going in the orchestra.

He:  We agreed not to put cameras with the musicians!

She:  Of course we’re not having cameras in the pit!

He:  Yes, we are!

It helps to know that the lowest level of theatrical audience in English is called the stalls, which seems suspiciously like boxes to an American.  The same level is called the orchestra by an American, which means the musicians in English.  To the American, those musicians play in the pit.  But the pit is an old English theatrical term for the lowest level of audience.

Professions often have their own jargons, never mind American/English language variations.  How many people not employed in theatrical work know that tormentors hide the view of off-stage areas from the audience or that vomitories are entrances piercing the seating?  Abbreviate those terms as torms and voms, and people can’t even look them up in dictionaries.  Front porch, back porch, breezeway, flag, and pedestal might have certain meanings in architecture; they’re also used differently to describe components of a U.S.-standard video signal.

Then there are those American/English variations.  Americans in northern England giggle when they hear someone say he’s knocked up the vicar’s wife; the English in America find Don’t Honk street signs equally amusing.  It helps to know that to knock up, a perfectly respectable northern English term for to pay a visit means to impregnate in American slang.  Similarly, to honk, perfectly normal American for to toot an automobile horn, is British slang for to vomit or to stink.

Times are changing.  A billion used to be a thousand million in American but a million million in English, where a thousand million was a milliard.  Since the 1970s, however, the thousand-million connotation has been used in Britain, though milliard is still used in non-UK English.  Similarly, CSO is now usually called chroma key on both sides of the Atlantic.  So take what follows with a grain of salt.

Enjoy!

 

Mark Schubin

 

 

American A1A2

analog

antenna

audio (department)

Belden 8281

bird

black (power hot wire)

black/red/blue (three phase)

black (video level)

board (control or mixing)

booth (trade show)

broadcast-quality monitor

Bruce (regional)

bug (logo)

cable puller

Chyron

color

color correction

colorist

console (control or mixing)

control room

dissolve

DTV (digital television)

effects (sound)

EIC

Elvis

equalize, equalizing

ESU, equipment set-up

file (footage)

hot (in power wires)

gaffer

ground, grounded, grounding

IRE

lighting instrument

machine room

MMDS

monitor wall

MOS

Nielsen

painting

pedestal (black signal level)

PL

power

production switcher

production truck

program (a broadcast)

prompter

racking

remote, remote site

roll (tape)

router, routing switcher

senior video

set-up (black signal level)

shading

shake, shaker

spool

SVO

switcher

synchronize, synchronizing

TD

technical director

teleprompter

translator (RF)

truck (production)

tube (electronic component)

tube (euphemism)

TV

ute, utility

V1

V2

video (department)

video (person)

vertical interval

VITS (vertical interval test signal)

VO

white (power neutral wire)

zee (pronunciation of z)

zero

 

 

English

advert

aerial (domestic)

analogue

Aston

autocue

BARB (British Audience Research Board)

bash (cable)

basher

BBC PSF1/2

beamer (non-UK)

black (video level)

blue (mains neutral wire)

brown (mains wire)

brown/black/grey (three phase)

cinema (place)

cipher (rare in UK)

colour

CSO (colour separation overlay)

desk (control or mixing)

DINGO

DOG

DTT, dTTb

earth, earthed, earthing

EM

EOP

equalise, equalising

field blanking

gaffer

gallery

general view

Gordie

grade (verb)

Grade 1 monitor

grader

grading

gramms (sound)

GV (general view)

ident (logo)

inlay

ITS (insertion test signal)

kit

live (in mains wiring)

luminaire

mains

matrix

milliard (rare in UK)

mix (video)

MVDS

nought

OB (outside broadcast)

OB van

overlay

phase (in mains wiring, rare in UK)

Pres

production stack

programme (broadcast content)

queue

racks

racking

rigger

rigging

run (VT)

scanner (vehicle)

SCART

sit (black signal level)

SOP

sound (department)

sparkies, sparks

stand (exhibition)

synchronise, synchronising

tape

TARIF

transposer (RF)

turn it over

valve

video (object)

vision

vision controller

vision mixer (equipment)

vision mixer (person)

vision supervisor

VS

VT

wobulator (RF)

zed (pronunciation of z)

Englishsound mixersound assistant

analogue

aerial (domestic receiving)

sound

BBC PSF1/2

satellite

brown (mains live wire)

brown/black/grey (three phase)

lowest luma level ~50 mv above blanking

desk

stand

Grade 1 monitor

Gordie, locked-off camera, lock-off

ident, DOG, DINGO

basher

Aston

colour

grading

grader

desk

gallery

mix

DTT (sometimes)

gramms

EM, engineering manager, TM, SRM

EVS disk recorder/server

equalise, equalising

rigging (approximate)

archival, library

live, phase

lighting assistant, electrician

earth, earthed, earthing

(Institute of Radio Engineers) 7.14-mv units

luminaire

CAR (central apparatus room)

MVDS

production stack

no sound

BARB (approximate)

racking

sit

talkback

mains

vision mixer

OB van, scanner

programme

autocue

changing focus

OB

run (VT)

matrix, switcher

VS, vision supervisor

sit

racking

frame synchronise, frame synchroniser

reel

vision supervisor

vision mixer

synchronise, synchronising

vision mixer

vision mixer

autocue

transposer

OB van, scanner

valve

telly

telly

rigger, basher

VS, vision supervisor

assistant vision controller

vision, racks

vision controller

field blanking

ITS

vision controller, racks

blue (mains neutral wire)

zed

cipher, nought

American

commercial, spot

antenna

analog

Chyron

prompter

Nielsen (approximate)

pull, dress

cable puller, ute, utility

Belden 8281

projector

0 IRE, same as blanking level

white (power neutral wire)

black (power wire)

black/red/blue (three phase)

movie theater

zero

color

chroma key

board, console

bug (visual identification)

bug (visual identification)

digital terrestrial television broadcasting

ground, grounded, grounding

technical manager, EIC, sometimes LD

end of part (end of segment)

equalise, equalizing

vertical interval

foreman, head, chief

control room

exterior establishing shot

Bruce, locked-off camera

color correct

broadcast-quality monitor

colorist

color correction

phono, music & sound effects

exterior establishing shot

bug

key (effect)

VITS

equipment, equip

hot

lighting instrument, light

power

router, routing switcher

billion

dissolve

MMDS

nothing, zero

remote site, remote

remote truck

key (effect)

hot

network control, master control

monitor wall

program

waiting line

video operator

adjusting video, painting, shading

utility, ute (approximate)

ESU, equipment set-up (approximate)

roll (tape)

production truck

consumer component audio/video connector

pedestal, set-up

start of part (start of segment)

audio

electrician, gaffer

booth

synchronize, synchronizing

audio tape

color correction, to color correct

translator

roll to record

tube

VCR, prerecorded videocassette

video

video operator, VO, V2

production switcher, switcher

TD, technical director

V1, senior video, SVO

V1, senior video, SVO

tape (video)

sweep generator

zee


Tags: American-English Video Dictionary, English-American Video Dictionary,

  • Badger

    Brilliant list, but unfortunately it doesn’t display correctly – at least for me using MSIE 10.
    The left hand and the right hand columns quickly lose sync – which kind of defeats the object.

  • Mark Schubin

    Excellent point! I’ve just added a PDF version at the top.

    Thanks!

    And enjoy!

  • schubincafe

    Excellent point! I’ve just added a PDF version at the top.

    Thanks, and enjoy!

    Mark