I saw two translations for this thing and I'd like to know if it's called switch or button in British English.

"She touched the ?_ and she was electrocuted."

enter image description here

  • What do you think it controls?
    – Jasper
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 6:45
  • An electrical circuit? Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 6:58
  • In American English, that thing in the picture would be called a light switch. I'm pretty sure it's the same for British English. Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 7:05
  • 2
    If you rock it from one position - off - to another position - on - it is a switch in BrE. A button is pressed. Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 8:18
  • 1
    Generally, you push a button but flip a switch. Of course technically they are all switches.
    – user3169
    Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


It is a (light) switch in Br Eng, same in US Eng.

One difference is that in Britain "down" is "on", but in the USA "down" is "off". (The switches in your image would be "up" and so "off" in Britain.)

  • That depends on how the circuit controlling the light is wired up, some lights such as landing lights have more than one controlling switch one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top meaning that any one particular switch can be on or off when it's down or up.
    – Sarriesfan
    Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 0:10

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