Sunday, January 31, 2016

More British Vocabulary

I wrote before  that when Czechs learn English in school it is usually British English that they learn.  For some things it is just easier for me over here to use the British version, like flat instead of apartment.  

I also work quite a bit with folks in, or from, the UK so over the past few years I've continued to come across many other differences in vocabulary.  Most of these are pretty common in Ireland too although the Irish have some slang that is all their own.  Here's some more common English English with the American English definition.

Ace ... excellent
Anti-clockwise ... counter clockwise
Bell end ... penis
Bob's your uncle ... and there you have it
Bollocks ... something not good
the Dog's bollocks ... something fantastic
a Bollocking ... a severe telling off
Bugger all ... nothing
Candy floss ... cotton candy
Car boot sale ... yard sale; garage sale
Chav ... white trash ("council-housed and violent")
Cheeky ... flippant
Fairy cake ... cup cake
Fancy dress party ... costume party
Fanny ... vagina (the Brits find it quite funny when Americans call a bum bag a fanny pack)
a Fiver ... a £5 note (€5 in Ireland)
Gutted ... a state of extreme despair
Hoover ... vacuum
Knackered ... exhausted
Knickers ... panties
Mate ... buddy; pal; dude
On the piss ... out on the town drinking heavily; out to get drunk
Pissed ... drunk (In the USA, pissed = angry)
To take the piss ... being sarcastic; a smart ass
Pear shaped ... a disaster
Ta ... thanks
a Tenner ... a £10 note (€10 in Ireland)
To know one's onions ... to be well versed on a subject
To lose the plot ... to go crazy
To pull ... to pick up
Out on the pull ... looking for some action
To snog ... to make out; serious kissing
To throw a spanner in the works ... to mess something up; make a mistake

Left side is bad; right side is good
Be very careful when you flash a "peace sign" in the UK because it could be confused and get you into trouble.  A peace sign showing the inside of your palm is fine.  A peace sign with the back of your palm showing is the two-finger salute and is the equivalent of throwing up your middle finger.

Update:  Here's a bit about Cockney rhyming slang.

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