I was wondering if any American writers could give me some advice as to whether the following expressions/vocab are used and understood in the US:
(words in bold are the ones I'm asking about. Some words are also in inverted commas)
The living room of a house -- is this expression ok? Do you ever say "front room" or "sitting room"? If it's a massive house with a huge entertainment area, can you say "living area"?
I was tickled -- is this expression ok? It means happy.
"My college mate wants to hang out at my digs" - meaning my place, or college dorm. Would digs be used? Is college mate an ok expression for someone you go to college with?
In the real world, do people stop on the shoulder or the hard shoulder of a highway or is either fine?
Is median strip used for the partition between 2 lanes of a highway going in different directions?
"He takes the piss out of every banker he meets" -- meaning he mocks them. Is this used?
Can you say "I'm pissed off at him" (angry) or does it have to be: "I'm pissed at him."
"I called my parents' landline (fixed home phone)." Is landline ok?
"I tried on the jeans in the changing room." Is this ok or does it have to be fitting room or something else?
Is the word "thingamajig" used in American English?
"I can't walk on my ropey leg" -- meaning damaged or injured or tired. Can ropey be used?
Security guards are surveilling the place. This verb is showing up as misspelt but I see it sometimes. Is there another spelling or verb?
13.In the real world, do people in the US use MPH or KPH as the unit of speed when driving?
Is the expression "Calm my jitters" acceptable? (calm my nerves)
If you pull up to a mansion surrounded by a fence with very thick metal bars all around it, is the word "fence" appropriate or is there a better word. I think that gate would only be for a door in a fence or something?
Is the expression "It cost a pretty penny" ever used in the US?
Is the expression "It took every ounce of strength" used in the US?
Can the word "skiff" be used in the US for a sort of flat-bottomed row boat?
Thank you so much to anyone willing to give advice about these points. Though I appreciate any input, I think it would be most useful to hear from actual American writers to avoid possible confusion.
Follow up questions:
Thanks to all those who gave their very useful opinions. I have a couple more questions for anyone willing to give advice:
What do you call the area (let's say on the 10th floor) in front of an elevator door? Is there a specific word like "the landing"?
When you enter a house (without a mud room), there is a space just past the front door which is not really a room, but it's like the entrance way/hallway between the front door and other rooms like the living room, study. Is this called a "hallway"? It's not a lobby, obviously as that would be for a hotel or something. Can it be the "entrance hall"?
If you are using WASP-y as an adjective, do you have to write it like "WASP-y" or "WASPy". I'm guessing "waspy" hasn't become a thing yet?