Didn't Phil Collins get away with calling someone a wanker when he guest-starred in an episode of Miami Vice in the 80s, apparently because the director didn't know what it meant?
That sounds plausible. I was unfamiliar with the term until I heard Spike use it on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (no doubt as part of Joss Whedon's nefarious plan to promote witchcraft among young viewers).
I was unfamiliar with the UK/US difference in meanings for "pavement" until today.
Reminds me of a row I had a couple of years back with an American publisher who was using a story I had written set in a North of England council estate in a declining Industrial town. The copy editor decided that words like pavement would not be understood by an American audience so changed all references to "sidewalks".
I wouldn't condone anyone messing with your story, but the editor may have been right that "pavement" would have confused US readers - since in the US "pavement" refers to the road itself. So someone stepping off the pavement in the US would be stepping onto the sidewalk. You quite often see "Pavement Ends" signs in US films when a "paved" road changes to a dirt track or gravel road -
In Canada we say "sidewalk" too but apparently call the material out of which they're made (and roads) "pavement". That's news to me, although I have heard large paving stones called "pavers".