How is an English key different to a Spanish key, a Portuguese key, an American key or to any-other-nationality sort of key? Well, it ain’t a key at all, as anyone living in Spain with even the lightest smattering of DIY savvy will surely know.
Your English key, your llave inglesa, is in fact an adjustable spanner, shifting spanner, crescent wrench, monkey-wrench, murder weapon waiting to happen, call it what you will, one-size-fits-all essential bit of tool kit. It was, of course, invented by an Englishman (circa 1842), which is why the Spanish, French, Italians and Germans all call it the English key. In Denmark, however, it is known as the Swedish key and in some parts of South America as the French key.
Exactly which Englishman invented the magic tool is not certain. Some sources say it was engineer Richard Clyburn, others the fabulously-named inventor of the lawnmower, Edwin Bread Pudding. Oops, sorry, Beard Budding.