Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guide to British Lingo: Culture Vulture, Eh?

Sooooo, you decided on England over France because they speak the same language as you.... oh my! The Brits have a big surprise waiting for you! Not only do they have thousands of different dialects, but they have a lot of different words in their vocabulary too.

But don't fret, the British are very friendly people, and lurrrvve American accents on the whole. They will be more than happy to repeat what they have said, if asked nicely. To help you along, and to amuse you in general, here's a handy Lingo Guide to get you started. Grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit and read on!

Banger - a sausage.

Bap - a floured bun, like a hamburger bun without the sesame seeds. In some areas, called bread-cakes.

Big woman's blouse - what you call a man who is afraid of spiders

Bill, the - the police, sometimes called "The Old Bill."

Biscuit - a cookie!

Bloke - a man.

Bonnet - the hood of a car.

Boot - the trunk of a car.

Brilliant - excellent, cool.

Brew - see "cuppa."

Brollie - your umbrella, of course!

Buggered - when something is, for lack of better words, screwed. "This computer is buggered." Also completely interchangeable with knackered

Bum - your hiney, butt, rearend, posterior, okay I'll shut up now.

Can't be bothered - just are not motivated to do something, as in "I can't be bothered to go to work today."

Cheers - means "Thanks!" Also used in a toast. Oh, and used sarcastically - "Cheers, mate!," when someone doesn't hold a door for you or takes your parking space.

Chemist - pharmacist, or pharmacy.

Chips - french fries.

Cracker - a good one, as in, "That TV shows a cracker!"

Crisps - potato chips.

Cuppa - a cup of tea or coffee. Also called a brew.

Dosh - money.

Fag - a cigarette.

Fancy a - do you want, as in, "Fancy a shag, missus?"

Fanny - just don't go around bragging about your new fanny pack, that's all I'm going to say here. Fanny refers to something completely different here. Just don't.

First floor - the second floor!

Footie, footy - football, known as Soccer in Yankeeland.

Fortnight - two weeks.

Git - a stupid person, an insult.

Gob - mouth, as in, "shut your gob!"

Gobsmacked - speechless.

Going on with yourself - boring someone by consistent talking or nagging. "If you'll quit going on with yourself, I'll explain why I was out until half four this morning and stink of lager!"

Grass - can be a noun or a verb, a person who tells on someone. "He grassed me up to the Bill!"

Half eight - 8.30pm, how the Brits refer to thirty minutes past the hour.

Holiday - vacation, as in, "Where are you going on your holidays this year, luv?"

Hoover - vacuum, used as a noun or verb.

Jumble sale - a sale, rummage sale.

Jumper - a sweater.

Kip - a nap.

Knackered - reallllly tired. Also used for broken. See buggered

Knickers - your undies.

Lager - beer.

Lead - a leash, rhymes with "feed." A lead is also a cable.

Lift - the elevator.

Loo - the toilet.

Lorry - Truck.

Luv - kind of like mate... used for women mostly. I know, I know. But don't take it personally or get your feminist feathers ruffled.

Mate - pal, friend.

Nicked, the Nick - when you've been nicked, you've been caught doing something. The Nick is a police station. Anastasia's favourite Brit TV line: "You wanna sort this out here, or down at the Nick!?"

Off-licence - a place licensed to sell liquor (spelled differently when it's a noun than when it's a verb, see?

P - slang for pence, which are the coins less than a pound.

Petrol - gasoline

Poof - a homosexual, pronounced "puff."

Pudding, Pud - dessert, as in, "Anyone care for a pud?"

Queue - a line, used as noun or verb. 'Is this the queue for...," or "Queue up here, mate."

Quid - slang for a pound. "Can I borrow five quid until Friday, mate?"

Randy - horny (see the movie Austin Powers for good Brit shagging terms!)

Ring - call someone, as in, "I have to ring up me mate!"

Settee - a couch, sofa.

Single - a one way ticket.

Shag - sex, noun or verb.

Skint - broke, no money.

Snog - a kiss, usually involving more than a quick peck, if you get my meaning.

Snout - an insider informant, usually referring to those paid by the police to grass on people.

Solicitor - lawyer, what you need after snogging someone without permission at work.

Sorted - agreed, or organised.

Stone - 14 pounds, used to measure weight.

Subway - underground pedestrian walkway.

Sweets - candy.

Take-away - noun or verb, food to go

Taking the mickey / Taking the piss - making fun of, laughing at, being sarcastic.

Tea - aha! thought you knew this one didn't you... okay, it is that nasty brown liquid, but it's also used in some parts of the country in place of dinner.

Telly - the television.

Torch - flashlight.

Tube, the - the London Underground (trains / subway).

Underground - subway.

Wellingtons, Wellies - rubber boots.

Zebra crossing - pedestrian road crossing.

Zed - the letter z.

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