Budgies are commonly referred to as parakeets but the word parakeet actually describes any small parrot-like bird with a long tail. The term budgie was derived from the word budgerigar, which is based on a similar sounding Aborigine phrase that means, "good eating" and refers specifically to the species Melopsittacus Undulatus.
When people refer to an "English" budgie they are generally talking about a budgie that is significantly bigger than the wild Australian budgerigar and with characteristics and features that were developed and enhanced specifically for show. Some of these features include a bigger head and chest, large, circular throat spots, and vibrant, clear colors and markings. "English" budgies are generally less active, "American" budgies are much closer in size and features to the wild Australian budgerigar. They have streamline bodies, are very active, and are the type usually seen and sold in pet stores in the United States and Canada.
The average lifespan of a budgie is generally 2-7 years. There are budgies that have lived to 13 and ever older, and there are budgies that die before their first birthday. There are many factors that can affect the lifespan on a budgie. American budgies generally live longer that English budgies, and breeding budgies often have shorter lives than those who never raise chicks.