Do Americans use the word dodgy as a synonym of the word shady

What does it mean when a dictionary indicates that a word is British English? Does this mean Americans do not use it at all?

For example: Do Americans use the word dodgy as a synonym of the word shady or is it used only in the UK (and also in some other English-speaking countries maybe) even though some Americans know what it means?


(Native American English speaker here.)

With one possible exception, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an American say “dodgy”, and this includes Americans who deliberately include bits of British English in their speech as an affectation. For example, Americans I’ve known who say “petrol” don’t say “dodgy”. However, I think most Americans I know personally would understand “dodgy”, especially in context. And if someone wanted to fake a British accent, some might well go out of their way to use the word “dodgy”, though probably not all of them would think to use it.

The one possible exception is an American housemate I had on long trip to Scotland last year. I can’t remember for sure if she said “dodgy”, but in six weeks, she had unwittingly picked up some Britishisms, including “got it sorted”. “Dodgy” seems pretty easy to pick up unwittingly.

I certainly do hear “dodgy” from British friends and co-workers all the time. I think I’d use the word with them without it seeming like an affectation.

Other Americans’ experiences will be different, of course.

Source : Link , Question Author : Mrt , Answer Author : Ben Kovitz

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