"I guess they changed their name recently," Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged. "Some of us are used to the old name. And when we use it, they say, 'Oh, that's being xenophobic.' ... I don't see it that way."
British newspapers have reported that President Obama repeatedly uses the outdated "British Petroleum" name, though it does not appear that he has ever done so publicly.
But U.K. officials are also concerned about the tough talk surrounding the incident, like President Obama's recent comment that he has "ass to kick."
White House officials say they don't see any evidence of anti-British sentiment, but the president's comments have been blamed in part for BP's plummeting stock price.
"Millions of British people own shares in BP, and the fortunes of BP directly affect the fortunes of millions of Britons," said Nile Gardiner with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Britons are all the more troubled when American politicians suggest that BP shouldn't pay out stock dividends until the clean-up and claims in the U.S. are settled, keeping pounds out of British pockets. BP's directors are reportedly considering such a move.
"Very strong attacks upon BP are viewed by many people in Britain as an attack upon Great Britain itself," said Gardiner.