Word choice: plug/unplug appliances in UK, Australia, etc?

I just need some advice about how the English, etc., would express plugging and unplugging an electrical device. Same as we do in America? Any other words you might use?

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, aka etc* we say “plug” and “unplug”. Every Australian I’ve ever met also says that.

* Depending on your map projection or globe design, it can sometimes be mashed weirdly into southeast Australia or even entirely missing.


Here in the UK I’m used to PLUG IN X and UNPLUG X.


As someone brought up and living in the UK, I’d use plug in / unplug. (“plug the kettle” would be odd to me, though; it would be “plug in the kettle” / “plug it in”.) I can’t think of any other common ways of saying it that are familiar to me. I mean there’s phrasings like “disconnect” and “pull the plug”, same as elsewhere (and it might be kind for a parser to accept these), but I wouldn’t use them in the first instance.


Oh, I thought that was just a country they made up for Flight of the Conchords.

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Thanks everyone. I don’t know why those words in particular caused me to pause, but I could imagine someone in Manchester saying “Blimey no wonder it’s not working, the telly’s not even inna the wall!”


It’s just not been the same since the robotic uprisings of the mid 90s

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You might well say, “No wonder it’s not working, it’s not even switched on at the wall.”

(Most British plug sockets these days have on/off switches).

“It’s not even in at the wall,” is perfectly possible too… but no one in Manchester is going to say “blimey”. :wink:


Just confirming that we would use ‘plug’ and ‘unplug’ in Australia, e.g. ‘plug the kettle into the power point’.

Also confirming that the English language is stupid. It reminded me of the time my alien friend asked me how we boil water on planet Earth. I told him to fill the kettle and plug it into the power point. He came back later and said it didn’t work. I asked him to show me. As I watched him, he tried to plug the kettle into the three little slots in the power point. “See? It’s too big.”


Just as an addendum, in my game with a plug, from transcripts, players also try :
plug in (thing)
plug (thing)
plug (thing) into/in socket
plug (thing) in
push plug in/into socket
put plug in/into socket
plug in the (thing)
insert plug
insert plug in/into socket

unplug is easier, but I also get:
unplug (thing)
pull plug
remove plug
pull plug out of/from socket
and so on.


Later edit : Plugs are a pain. TBH, my suggestion would be, unless it’s an actual puzzle (i.e. you’ve got to get the kettle to somewhere with a socket), to not bother: just have a kettle you can turn on and off.


I presume that the whole idea of a kettle that you plug in to an electric socket to boil water would bemuse a large percentage of US gamers anyway… Just as putting a kettle on a hob to boil water would be seen as very old fashioned in the UK. :slight_smile:


“Power point”? And here I thought that was just a software product for putting people to sleep.


Maybe? I have an electric kettle, but maybe I’m in the minority; I don’t honestly know.

And what is a “hob”?

Yeah I’ve lived in four state and visited many others, and electric kettles have never once been strange. Every office I’ve worked at has had one in the kitchen (many people are coffee drinkers so have coffee makers, but us tea drinkers aren’t so rare). If anything it’s stovetop kettles that are a niche item.

I think of a hob as a shelf or hook in a fireplace, but I think the current UK usage is just a stovetop, I assume by analogy.

Don’t you call it a power point? And here’s me thinking that Microsoft named PowerPoint after something that you plug you electrical appliances into. I never could see the connection. [Pun not intended, but I’ll use it anyway.]

I think we’d all call it a socket. Or long form an electrical socket.

Or a wall socket.

Come to think of it, I know what an electric kettle is, but nowadays we tend to use electric jugs. I think the only difference is the shape. Kettles are sort of fat and squat, whereas jugs are taller and slimmer.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the poms would say “put the kettle on”, whereas we would say “put the jug on”.

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Electrical outlet too, at least in the northeast and California. Never heard “power point” either.

Apparently the name of the software doesn’t really have a meaning - they wanted to call it Presenter but that was taken and one of the folks making it came up with PowerPoint in the shower:

Ah, now that is interesting because the impression we’ve been given over here is that electric kettles were rare.

The gas (or electric) rings that you cook on. May, or may not, be attached to a stove or oven or cooker or range (or AGA). A “gas hob”.

Regional English is so fun. :slight_smile: I love even the huge range of variation in terms that we get just across the UK.