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Barman vs. Bartender: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 4, 2023
Barman and Bartender both refer to someone serving drinks at a bar; however, "Bartender" is more commonly used in American English, while "Barman" is more prevalent in British English.

Key Differences

The term "Barman" has roots in British English and is primarily used in the UK to denote someone, especially a man, who serves drinks at a bar. The word emphasizes the gender, and historically, it often pertained to men due to the nature of the profession in earlier times. In many pubs and bars across the UK, you might hear patrons calling out to the "barman" for a refill.
"Bartender," on the other hand, is a more neutral term and is widely adopted in American English. This term doesn't emphasize gender, making it more inclusive and suitable for any individual, regardless of gender, working behind the bar. It's more common to hear "bartender" in movies, songs, and establishments across the U.S.
Both "Barman" and "Bartender" carry out the same primary functions: serving drinks, mixing cocktails, and interacting with patrons. They ensure customers have an enjoyable experience, maintain the cleanliness of the bar area, and check IDs to verify the legal drinking age.
Though both terms essentially refer to the same profession, their usage reflects cultural and regional differences between British and American English. Regardless of the term, the emphasis remains on the skills, knowledge, and personality of the individual serving the drinks.

Comparison Chart


British English
American English

Gender Specificity

Often male-specific

Common Usage

More prevalent in the UK
More prevalent in the U.S.


Traditionally male-dominated role
Inclusive of all genders


Serves drinks at a bar
Serves and often mixes drinks at a bar

Barman and Bartender Definitions


A male bartender, especially in British English.
The barman shared stories from his years in the pub.


A worker knowledgeable about spirits and beverages.
The bartender recommended a rare whiskey.


A person handling transactions and drinks at a bar.
The barman rang up the customer's tab.


Someone ensuring patrons enjoy their bar experience.
The bartender played the patron's favorite song.


Someone tending to patrons in a British pub.
The barman greeted regulars with a smile.


A person who mixes and serves drinks.
The bartender made a perfect martini.


A worker skilled in mixing and serving drinks.
The barman crafted exquisite cocktails.


An individual, irrespective of gender, serving at a bar.
The bartender checked the ID before serving.


A male individual serving alcoholic beverages.
The barman poured a pint of ale.


A professional skilled in the art of mixology.
The bartender's cocktail won awards.


One who mixes and serves alcoholic drinks at a bar. Also called barkeeper.


One who tends a bar or pub; a person preparing and serving drinks at a bar. 19


A barkeeper.


An employee who mixes and serves alcoholic drinks at a bar


Do both Barman and Bartender serve drinks?

Yes, both serve drinks to patrons.

Is Barman a British term?

Yes, Barman is primarily a British term.

Can Bartender be used in a British context?

Yes, while Barman might be more traditional, Bartender is understood and used in the UK too.

Is Bartender gender-specific?

No, Bartender is a gender-neutral term.

Which term is more common in the U.S.?

Bartender is more commonly used in the U.S.

Can a woman be called a Barman?

Traditionally, Barman refers to males, but language evolves, and it's essential to use terms that individuals prefer.

Is there a female equivalent for Barman?

In some contexts, "Barmaid" is used, but Bartender is gender-neutral.

Which term is more inclusive?

Bartender is a more inclusive term.

Is the term Barman outdated?

Some might view it as such, especially those advocating for gender-neutral language, but it's still used in the UK.

Are the duties of a Barman and Bartender the same?

Yes, both involve serving drinks and managing the bar.

Is Barman used in American English?

It's understood, but Bartender is the more common term in the U.S.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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