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Old June 15th, 2010 #1
Alex Linder
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Default Words Commonly Used in Britain, Not in America

nous - (most soccer articles throw this in there at some point; it is almost never used by Americans - never in sports, seldom anywhere else)

brilliant - (used in both, but over/misused in Britain)

shambolic - never used in America; never not used in Britain. I still don't understand what this means. It looks like it ought to be obvious from the context, but it isn't.

spot on - this word actually has become used in America over the last fifteen years, as an equivalent to 'exactly right'
Old June 15th, 2010 #2
Darius Appleby
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Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
nous - (most soccer articles throw this in there at some point; it is almost never used by Americans - never in sports, seldom anywhere else)

brilliant - (used in both, but over/misused in Britain)

shambolic - never used in America; never not used in Britain. I still don't understand what this means. It looks like it ought to be obvious from the context, but it isn't.

spot on - this word actually has become used in America over the last fifteen years, as an equivalent to 'exactly right'
Shambolic relates to shambles.

It is a shambles means it is a mess, it is untidy, or it is chaos (the thing or the scene or the situation).

Last edited by Darius Appleby; June 15th, 2010 at 12:34 AM.
Old June 15th, 2010 #3
John MacMillan
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"Chav" is one I hear a lot. I think it's the British equivalent of "wigger" or something close to it.
Old June 15th, 2010 #4
Darius Appleby
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Arrow chav

Originally Posted by Jon S. View Post
"Chav" is one I hear a lot. I think it's the British equivalent of "wigger" or something close to it.
No, wigger is White nigger, but chav means council estate (public housing) with specific dress, speaking, and conduct.

UK has a class consciousness that the US and Australia don't have, and chav denotes this lower class.

Australian equivalent of chav would be 'bogan'.

Urban Dictionary chav:

Picture this a young lad about 12 years of age and 4 ˝ feet high baseball cap at ninety degrees in a imitation addidas tracksuit, with trouser legs tucked into his socks (of course, is definitely the height of fashion). This lad is strutting around, fag in one hand jewellery al over the over, outside McDonalds acting as if he is 8 foot tall and built like a rugby player, when some poor unsuspecting adult (about 17/18) walks round the corner wanting to go to mcdonalds for his dinner glances at the young lad, the young lad jumps up in complete disgust and says “Whats your problem? Wanna make sommin of it? Bling Bling” when the adult starts to walk towards the young lad, the young lad pisses himself and runs off to either his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend or his brother in the army crying his eyes out.

My mate has become a chav what can i do? answer is shoot him before it is too late

Last edited by Darius Appleby; June 15th, 2010 at 05:12 AM.
Old June 15th, 2010 #5
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Brit slang old-fashioned excellent; splendid
Old June 15th, 2010 #6
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Used to express approval, especially of a performance.

n., pl., -vos.
A shout or cry of "bravo."
Old June 15th, 2010 #7
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A thief who preys on pedestrians.
Old June 16th, 2010 #8
Alex Linder
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Alex Linder

Good stuff, these words are interesting. Actually, 'chav' does sound very close to wigger.

It seems to me that the lower class in Britain is even worse educated than in America. The Oxbridge uppers are snobby, snarky, sniffy; the proles are vicious and illiterate.
Old June 16th, 2010 #9
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mind you
Civic nationalism is TREASON and is INTERNATIONALISM.

Demography is Destiny
Old June 16th, 2010 #10
Alex Linder
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Originally Posted by WhiteNightshade View Post

A thief who preys on pedestrians.
Interesting. I suppose such would be called a purse snatcher in USA. I think they used cutpurse in Dickens' time.
Old June 16th, 2010 #11
Alex Linder
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git - I thoroughly enjoyed Australia getting thumped by Germany - there's not many ways Germany can make this Englishman smile, but Lucas Neill, Vince Grella and Tim Cahill getting a trouncing is one of them. Cahill's a fine player but he can be a dirty, niggling little git at times, and there was a certain amount of karma in that red card.

Easy to understand the general idea, but where does git originate?
Old June 16th, 2010 #12
Alex Linder
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Now an entry in one of my favorite categories: non-political examples of the power of media to stir up bad feelings or in some way mislead people: British media deliberately mistranslate German coach's statement to further the stereotype of arrogant, obnoxious, sadistic, hateful Germans. (The parallel would be to the international kikenpresse's deliberate mistranslation of Ahmadinejad's statement about Israel - ie, disappearing from the pages of history changed for wipe it off the map [implication: nuke it to death]).

[This comment/translation comes from a (probably German) reader of The Guardian, which is a lefty paper out of England]

What Löw actually said was "Wir wollen in der Lage sein, Gegner auch spielerisch in Verlegenheit zu bringen", which is not easily translated into English. It can indeed mean 'embarass our opponents' [the way the phrase has been translated in media across Britain], but knowing him, that's clearly not what he meant, it would be completely out of character for him. Rather, he meant something like 'put them under pressure'.

And 'spielerisch' refers more to technique, to ball skills rather than 'playing style' in my view. He said this to underscore that, in contrast to past German sides, some of the current crop are really not too bad in the skills department, and it is something that he aims for, while de-emphasizing what we call the 'classical German football virtues' of robustness, mental strength, hard work and physical fitness (and of course world class keepers and penalty shots.) (quietly snickering)

Personally, as long as they play this kind of beautiful football, I don't give a damn if they win any titles or not.

[You could say, as I have many times, mass sports is politics by other means, which itself is a twist on a jew media magnate's twist on a German historian's observation. This is particularly true for the World Cup. German play is always described as "brutal," "efficient" or "machinelike," and while praised, always contrasted with the "beautiful" play of the Brazilians or Spanish. It is even easier to see in soccer coverage what is wrong with Britain than in overt political coverage.]
Old June 16th, 2010 #13
Art Cast
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Originally Posted by WhiteNightshade View Post

Brit slang old-fashioned excellent; splendid
We say spiffy in Canada.

But spot on and mind you are the same.
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Old June 16th, 2010 #14
Alex Linder
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To my eye, it is easy to see why the only serious resistance to jewish domination in the 20th century emerged from a German cultural context rather than a British. The British are, compared to Germans, stupider, more anti-intellectual, less organized, more vicious, more ego-driven, more neurotic, more hateful, physically inferior, and more status- and money-obsessed. It's like Mencken said: the Anglo-Saxon can't do anything well. In situations where it can't cheat, or sign up a bunch of allies, it loses. The real tragedy of the 20th century is that Hitler never learned English and traveled through the British isles, because if he had, he would have acted differently in the war, won it, and we all would have been better off, including the British.

Now, note that there is nothing particularly racial about any of this. The British and Germans are more or less the same, racially. The difference is cultural. In order to resist the jews, and to get things in the state they're supposed to be, all that is needed is a strong mentality, the right decisions, careful organization, and dedicated action. That's a tall order, but it is possible.
Old June 17th, 2010 #15
John MacMillan
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"Cunt" is used a lot more often by the British. Not British slang, just an observation.
Old June 17th, 2010 #16
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rubbish, rubbish bin,

Lorry = truck

Kit, used as outfit or clothing.

Flat as house or apartment

Bangers and mash = sausage and mashed 'taters

And for the love of Odin... how can you call some of the stuff you Brits eat "food"
'My country is changing all around me. This is not the country that my forefathers built. It must be because those brown-skinned people are coming in and destroying it.' - Mark Potok the racist

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Old June 17th, 2010 #17
Art Cast
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So the other day I drove down to the gas station,slammed on my brakes and ran inside to buy a pack of smokes and a bag of potato chips.How do you say that in British?
Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Old June 17th, 2010 #18
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.How do you say that in British?
I'm not sure but you can bet it'll involve the misuse of the word "fag".
Worse than a million megaHitlers all smushed together.
Old June 17th, 2010 #19
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abseil *
to descend on a rope (US: rappel). From German abseilen.
calculating and tracking financial matters (US: accounting).
In the UK accounting is the school subject, but accountancy is the professional qualification.
Action Man
the UK's counterpart to G.I. Joe.
advertisement (US and UK also: ad, commercial (on TV)).
agony aunt
the author of an agony column – a magazine or newspaper column advising on readers' personal problems. The image presented was originally that of an older woman providing comforting advice and maternal wisdom, hence the name "aunt". Better known to most Americans as a "Dear Abby" column or advice column. Similarly, agony uncle.
(originally from trademark Ansafone) automated telephone answering device (US and UK also: answering machine).
direction opposite to clockwise (US: counterclockwise).
approved school
(old-fashioned) school for juvenile delinquents; reform school. Such institutions have not been referred to officially as "approved schools" since 1969. Juvenile delinquents, depending on their age and level of malfeasance, may now be sent to Secure Units or YOIs (Young Offender Institutions – a correctional facility for juvenile delinquents). (US: juvenile detention center, juvenile hall, (slang) juvie.)
an Argentine.
(informal) pushing-and-shoving or outright fighting.
arse *
buttocks (US equivalent: ass), backside or anus, depending on context; to be arsed: to be bothered to do something, most commonly as a negative or conditional (e.g. I can't be arsed, if/when I can be arsed). Sometimes used in the US but only as a noun, and often as a euphemism for ass.
[to fall] arse over tit
(vulgar, alternatively arse over tip) [to fall] head over heels. (US: ass over tea kettle).
artic (lorry)
abbreviation of 'articulated lorry' (US: semi, semi-trailer truck, tractor-trailer)
a solanaceous plant bearing a fruit of the same name, commonly used as a vegetable in cooking (US: eggplant).
a prompting system for television announcers (genericised trademark, after a leading manufacturer) (US: teleprompter).
(vulgar) error, mistake, SNAFU. See also cock-up.
(1) a sausage (from the tendency of sausages to burst during frying); (2) a firework; (3) an old car [old banger] (allusion to their tendency to back-fire).
banknote (or note)
paper money issued by the central bank (US: "bill")[1]
soft bread roll or a sandwich made from it; in plural, breasts (vulgar slang).
barmaid *, barman
a woman or man who serves drinks in a bar. Barman and the originally American bartender appeared within a year of each other (1837 and 1836); barmaid is almost two centuries older (circa 1658).
a small quarrell or fight
barrister *
a type of lawyer (one qualified to give specialist legal advice and, traditionally, argue a case in both higher and lower law courts); contrasts with solicitor. Sometimes used in US, but with pejorative connotations there.
bedsit (or bedsitter)
one-room apartment that serves as a bedroom and a living room (US: see SRO; compare studio apartment, efficiency)
Belisha beacon
orange ball containing a flashing light mounted on a post at each end of a zebra crossing (qv); named after the UK Minister of Transport who introduced them in 1934.
the end part of a penis, (slang, vulgar) a male oriented insult.
a mildly derogatory term for a silly person. The word is an abbreviation of either 'Berkshire Hunt' or 'Berkeley Hunt' (it is uncertain which is the original phrase), rhyming slang for cunt. (Note that 'berk' rhymes with 'work', whereas the first syllable of both 'Berkshire' and 'Berkeley' is pronounced 'bark', in a manner rather similar to the pronunciation of 'derby' as 'darby'.)
custom-made to a buyer's specification (US:custom-made)
a million million, or 1,000,000,000,000 (US: [DM] a thousand million, or 1,000,000,000)
a derogatory term for a woman (from the Arabic for 'girl'). Usage varies with a range of harshness from 'bitch', referring to a disagreeable and domineering woman, to only a slightly derogatory term for a young woman.
(in English IPA: /ˈbaɪroʊ/) a ballpoint pen. Named after its Hungarian inventor László Bíró and the eponymous company which first marketed them.
black pudding
(US: blood sausage)
(slang) to obtain or achieve by deception, to bluff, to scrounge, to rob, robbery, tall story, bluff, deception
(informal) an exclamation of surprise. (Originally gor blimey, a euphemism for God blind me, but has generally lost this connotation.)
(informal) man, fellow
blues and twos
(slang, uncommon) emergency vehicle with lights and sirens (emergency services in the UK generally use blue flashing lights and formerly used a two-tone siren) (US: lights and sirens)
long shorts used for surfing or beachwear (US and UK also: board shorts or swimming trunks)
police officer, named after Sir Robert Peel, the instigator of the world's first organised police force
Bob's your uncle
"there you go", "it's that simple".[2]
something of low quality or (more commonly) someone who lacks ability at something, (e.g. "Our new striker is bobbins") From bobbins of cotton=rotten.
a poor job (repair) that just about works. See Bodger.
scientist or engineer, sometimes abbreviated to boff
bog roll
(roll of) toilet paper (slang)
completely ordinary, run-of-the-mill, unadulterated, unmodified
boiled sweet
type of confection (US: hard candy)
(vulgar; originally ballocks, colloquially also spelled as bollox) testicles; verbal rubbish (as in "you're talking bollocks") (US: bullshit). The somewhat similar bollix is found in American English, but without the anatomical connotations or vulgar sense meaning 'mess up'. The twin pulley blocks at the top of a ship's mast are also known as bollocks, and in the 18th century priests' sermons were colloquially referred to as bollocks; it was by claiming this last usage that the Sex Pistols prevented their album Never Mind the Bollocks from being banned under British obscenity laws. Related phrases include bollocksed, which means either tired ("I'm bollocksed!") or broken beyond repair; bollocks up, meaning to mess up ("He really bollocksed that up"); and [a] bollocking, meaning a stern telling off.
The dog's bollocks is a fairly common phrase used in British English, although this has the opposite meaning – something described as "The dog's bollocks" or sometimes even just "The bollocks" is something considered to be very good (US: the shit). In mixed company this phrase may be toned down to "The mutt's nuts", or the phrase "The bee's knees" (the business) may be used as a polite substitute. The etymology of this expression is said by some to derive from printers' slang for the punctuation symbol ':-' when printing involved the use of carved metal blocks to form typesetting.[clarification needed]
bone-idle *
brass monkeys
cold – from "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey". According to a popular folk etymology, this phrase derives from cannonballs stowed on a brass triangle named after a "powder monkey" (a boy who runs gunpowder to the ship's guns) spilling owing to the frame's contraction in cold weather. (This is however incorrect for several physical and linguistic reasons.) The phrase is a 20th century variant of earlier expressions referring to other body parts, especially the nose and tail, indicating that the brass monkey took the form of a real monkey.
(slang) synonym of Breakfast
(musical) a note of two bars' length (or a count of 8) in 4/4 time
(vulgar, rhyming slang) breasts; from football team Bristol City = titty
(informal) umbrella
bubble and squeak
dish of cooked cabbage fried with cooked potatoes and other vegetables. Often made from the remains of the Sunday roast trimmings. (Irish: colcannon)
(vulgar) a spontaneous expression of alarm or frustration, e.g. 'Oh bugger, I've just missed the last bus home'
(vulgar, literally a synonym for 'sodomised') worn out; broken; thwarted, undermined, in a predicament, e.g. 'If we miss the last bus home, we're buggered' (US: screwed)
bugger all
little or nothing at all; "I asked for a pay rise and they gave me bugger all"; "I know bugger all about plants"; damn it all. US: zip, jack or (offensive) jack shit.
building society
an institution, owned by its depositors rather than shareholders, that provides mortgage loans and other financial services (US equivalent: savings and loan association)
bum bag
a bag worn on a strap around the waist (US: fanny [DM] pack)
to wander aimlessly or stroll/walk without urgency to a destination; usually synonymous with bungle when used in the US.
bumf, bumph
useless paperwork or documentation (from "bum fodder", toilet paper)
bureau de change
an office where money can be exchanged (US: currency exchange)
burgle *
(originally colloquial, back-formation from burglar) to commit burglary (in the US, burglarize is overwhelmingly preferred, although burgle is occasionally found).
a sandwich (esp. chip butty, bacon butty).
(slang) faeces (feces); nonsense or rubbish: "what a load of cack" could equally be used to describe someone talking nonsense or as a criticism of something of poor quality. Also spelt "kak". Derived from an ancient Indo-European word, kakkos, cognate with German word Kacke, and Welsh word "cach".
(informal) clumsy * ; left-handed. Derived from cack, meaning "fćces (feces)", with reference to the Quranic rules that only the left hand should be used for cleaning the 'unclean' part of the human body (i.e. below the waist).
device for making coffee (US: French press)
type of lightweight hooded waterproof clothing (US: windbreaker)
call minder
(rare) telephone message recorder (US and UK also: answering machine; voicemail machine)
synonymous with candidacy
candy floss
spun sugar confection (US: cotton candy)
caravan park
area where caravans are parked (US: Trailer park for near-permanently-installed mobile homes, or RV park for areas intended for short term recreational vehicle parking. Trailer parks are typically low-income permanent residencies; RV parks are a holiday destination.)
car hire
car rental
car park
area where cars are parked (US usually parking lot if outdoor, parking garage if indoor).
the part of a road that carries the traffic; see also dual carriageway (US and UK also: lane)
carrier rocket
(rare) a rocket used to place a satellite in orbit (US and UK usually: launch vehicle).
cash machine, cashpoint
automated teller machine. ("Cashpoint", strictly speaking, refers only to the ATMs of Lloyds TSB, although the term has become generic.)
cats eye
reflector used to mark lane divisions and edges of roads, also written cat's-eye, genericised from the trademark Catseye (US: raised pavement marker; Botts' dots are similar)
central heating boiler
(US: furnace)
central reservation
physical barrier (usually made from armco) dividing oncoming carriageways (only on dual-carriageways or motorways) (US: median strip)
(slang) an opportunist
char, cha
(informal) tea. From the Chinese.
(informal) short for charwoman or charlady, a domestic cleaner
Chartered Accountant
one authorised to certify financial statements; the equivalent of an American CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
a usually South Asian servant whose role is to provide freshly brewed tea on demand. From Urdu chai, tea, and -wallah, -man.
(dated) a woman employed as a cleaner, especially as an office cleaner
(slang, often derogatory) typically a nouveau riche or working class person of most of the time lowish intelligence who wears designer label (e.g. Burberry) copies, fake gold bling, and is a trouble-maker. "Chav" is used nationally, though "charv" or "charva" was originally used in the northeast of England, deriving from the Roma (people) word charva, meaning disreputable youth. The closest US equivalents to the chav stereotype are arguably wiggers, although the cultural differences are existent.
cheeky *
impertinent; noun form, cheek, impertinence; a child answering back to an adult might be told "don't give me any of your cheek".
chimney pot
smoke-stack atop a house. But refers to the cylindrical topmost part. The part below is the chimney or chimney stack.
chinagraph pencil
pencil designed to write on china, glass etc. (US: grease pencil, china marker)
chip shop
(informal) fish-and-chip shop (Scot, Ire: chipper), also chippy (see also List of words having different meanings in British and American English)
(slang) chat
(slang) attractive person - usually referring to a female. Used mostly in a urban youth/chav setting.
(informal, becoming somewhat archaic, originally Liverpudlian) proud, satisfied, pleased. Sometimes intensified as well chuffed; cf. made up
chunter *
(sometimes chunner) to mutter, to grumble, to talk continuously; "What's he chuntering on about?"
(informal) a big mistake, blunder, bad joke or faux pas ('to drop a clanger') (US: lay an egg)
clapped out
(informal) worn out (said of an object)
horse fly
thin plastic film for wrapping food (US: plastic wrap, Saran wrap)
clock -watching (plural clock-watchings)
continually looking at the time to see how much longer one has to work or study.
a bread roll of any kind, especially in the West Midlands and East Midlands
shoemakers * ; (slang) a weaker version of bollocks, meaning 'nonsense' (often "a load of old cobblers"), from rhyming slang 'cobbler's awls' = balls
cock-up, cockup *
(mildly vulgar) error, mistake
codswallop *, codd's wallop
(becoming old-fashioned) similar to bollocks but less rude, "You're talking codswallop". After Hiram Codd, the inventor of the Codd bottle, which was commonly used in the late 19th Century for fizzy drinks (Codd's wallop). (US: You're talking trash)
master of ceremonies, MC
compulsory purchase
the power of the governmental authority to take private property for public use (similar to US: eminent domain)
music school (US usually conservatory)
cool box
box for keeping food and liquids cool (US and UK also: cooler)
cop off with
(slang) to successfully engage the company of a potential sexual partner, to "pull"; to copulate (have sexual intercourse) with.
coriander *
when referring to the leaves, often called "cilantro" in the US
Cor Blimey
see Gor Blimey
cotton bud
wad of cotton wool fixed to a small stick, used for cleaning (US: cotton swab, Q-Tip)
cotton wool
Spun cotton, used for cleaning wounds or make-up (US: Absorbent cotton, cotton ball)
council house/flat , also council housing or estate
public housing. (US: projects)
counterfoil *
stub of a cheque, ticket etc. (US: stub)
the plant Cucurbita pepo (US: zucchini, from the Italian).
a wind deflector fitted to a chimney top.
(becoming old-fashioned) exclamation of surprise (once a euphemism for Christ's keys or perhaps Christ Kill Me) (Popularized in the US by late Australian herpetologist Steve Irwin )
very thinly sliced fried potatoes, often flavoured, eaten cold as a snack (US: potato chips)
a musical note with a duration of one count in a time signature of 4/4 (common time) (US: quarter note; see Note value)
cuddly toy
soft toy (sometimes used in the US; also stuffed animal, plush toy)
current account
personal bank account used for everyday transactions (US: checking account)
curriculum vitae *
a document summarising occupational experience used to obtain a job, often abbreviated CV (US: resumé)
daft *
odd, mad, eccentric, crazy – often with the implication of it being amusingly so. "Don't be daft" and "don't be silly" are approximately synonymous.
(informal) a look, reconnoître "I'll take a dekko at it later." – British military slang derived from the Hindustani dhek/dekho meaning "to see". Also less commonly decco, deccie,deek, deeks.
wooded valley or seaside dune (mainly S W England)
div, divvy
(slang) a fool or idiot; adjective form, divvy, foolish or idiotic. Also abbreviation of diviner, a person with the ability to sniff out antiques at a distance (made popular by Jonathan Gash's character Lovejoy)
dodgems *
fun-fair or fairground bumper cars
dodgy *
unsound, unstable, and unreliable (US: sketchy)
dogsbody *
someone who carries out menial tasks; a drudge
the dog's bollocks
(vulgar) something excellent or top quality, the "bee's knees" (the business), the "cat's whiskers". Nowadays is becoming "mutt's nuts".
dole *
(informal) welfare, specifically unemployment benefit. Sometimes used in the US, esp. older generation
dosh *
(slang) money (US: dough) "how much dosh you got on ya?"
(from docile) to be lazy, "I've been dossing all day", also can mean to truant, "dossing off" (similar to bunking off). Additionally it can informally take the form of a noun (i.e. "that lesson was a doss"). Also "dosser", a lazy person, or a tramp (US bum); "to doss down", to find a place to sleep, to sleep on some substitute for a bed such as a sofa, the floor, or a park bench; "doss-house", temporary accommodation for tramps or homeless people, cheap dilapidated rented accommodation with low standards of cleanliness (US: flophouse)
double first
an undergraduate degree where the candidate has gained First-Class Honours in two separate subjects, or alternatively in the same subject in subsequent examinations (see British undergraduate degree classification)
double parked *
(slang) having two drinks in your hand at once (US: double fisting). Could also mean, or even originate, from the term 'double park'; which involves parking a vehicle to the side of another parked vehicle, or being parked on double yellow lines/being parked illegally.
a dealer in drapery (i.e. clothing, textiles, etc.) (US: dry goods [DM])
the board game (US: checkers)
drawing pin *
pin with a large, flat head, used for fixing notices to noticeboards etc. (US: thumbtack)
dress circle
the seats in the first balcony of a theatre (US: balcony or loge although dress circle is used in a few very large opera houses that have many levels of balconies)
drink driving
operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (US: drunk driving; DUI [Driving Under the Influence]; DWI [Driving While Intoxicated] )
driving licence
document authorising the holder to drive a vehicle (US: driver's license, driver license)
dual carriageway
major road with some physical barrier or separation between the lanes going in opposite directions (US: divided highway)
(sometimes used in the US) receptacle for rubbish, very often shortened to simply 'bin'. (US: trash can; wastebasket)
dustbin man or dustman
rubbish collector (US: garbage man; trash man; sanitation engineer)
an adhesive bandage placed on a minor cut or scrape (UK also: sticking/sticky plaster [DM]; US: Band-Aid)
electric fire
domestic electric heater (US: space heater)
engaged tone
tone indicating a telephone line in use, (US: busy signal)
estate agent *
a person who sells property for others (US: realtor, real estate agent)
estate car
a station wagon
(of a telephone number) unlisted; also informally of a person "he's ex-directory", meaning his telephone number is unlisted
extension lead
mains extension cable, (US and UK also: extension cord)
to dither, futz, diddle, “I spent the day faffing about in my room”. Also related noun ("That's too much faff"). Mainly found in the North of England, but also popular in South Wales.
fag end
cigarette butt
a gift, particularly one given or bought at a fair (obsolete); type of cookie (biscuit) made in Cornwall
fairy cake
a small sponge cake (US and UK also: cupcake)
fairy floss
(US: cotton candy)
fairy lights
Christmas lights
feck *
(vulgar) mild expletive employed as an attenuated alternative to fuck (including fecker, fecking, etc.) (originally Hiberno English and popularized by the television series Father Ted).
fiddly *
requiring dexterity to operate ("the buttons on the tiny mobile phone were too fiddly")
five pound note (bill)
fizzy drink *
carbonated soft drink (US: soda, pop, coke depending on the region)
(slang) football (US: soccer)
foot path
pavement on the side of a road, most commonly shortened to just the word 'path'. (US: side walk)
fortnight *
a period of 14 days (and nights) or two weeks
(old-fashioned) four pence worth (fourpenn'orth is literally "four pennies' worth") (and similarly for other numbers)
a telephone number where the caller is not charged for the call (US: toll-free number)
French letter
(slang) condom [1]
bangs, as in describing collective strands of hair covering part or all of the forehead
a travelling fair with amusements, stalls, rides etc. (US: carnival; in the UK "amusement park" refers to a larger and more permanent establishment)
(slang) house, home. Also any other place: cheap music hall, theatre, pub, club, shop, hangout
gaffer *
(informal) old man; (informal) boss; football manager (US: soccer coach); Also in US: (professional) chief electrician on a theatrical or film set.
gaffer tape *
strong, woven, cloth adhesive tape, originally sourced from the gaffer on a film set. (US: gaffers tape, gaff tape)
gangway *
a path between the rows of seats in a theatre or elsewhere (US aisle; gangway is a naval command to make a path for an officer)
(US: jail)
system of gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US transmission)
gear-lever / gearstick
handle for changing gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US gear shifter or stick shifter)
(informal) information, info (short for "intelligence") (US: intel)
get off with *
to engage in passionate kissing and fondling - does not usually imply sexual intercourse. (US: make out)
red haired (now somewhat known in the United States due to its use in an episode of the cartoon South Park).
git *
(mildly derogatory) scumbag, idiot, annoying person (originally meaning illegitimate; from archaic form "get", bastard, which is still used to mean "git" in Northern dialects)
(vulgar) (slang) oral sex performed on a male
(vulgar)(insult) slang term for a person who is being mouthy about something or someone
(slang) utterly astonished, openmouthed
go pear-shaped
see pear-shaped
confused (from a cricketing term for a type of delivery bowled, the googly; predates Google)
(slang), (British) The testicles or Bollocks.(US: "genitalia")

He was getting on my nerves so I decided to kick him in the goolies. That shut him up.
gor blimey
exclamation of surprise, also cor blimey (originally from "God blind me")
gormless (mainly N England)
lacking in intelligence; with a vacant expression
a protest in which workers deliberately work slowly (US: slowdown or work to rule)
good, fine. A response to a question such as "How are you?"
grated cheese *
shredded cheese (In the US, "grated" cheese tends to be finer than shredded cheese. One would grate a hard cheese such as Parmesan more than a soft cheese such as cheddar or mozzarella.)
disgusting, dirty, poor quality (originally from grotesque, though now rarely used with quite that meaning). In a scene from the 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, George Harrison has to explain the meaning and origin of the word; the impression is given that it was then considered modern slang, known only to trendy youngsters (this is no longer the case). [2]
green fingers
talent for growing plants (US: green thumb)
a retail trader in fruit and vegetables
a greengrocer's profession, premises or produce
running shoes, tennis shoes, maybe from "gutta percha" old source of natural rubber
[as in 'half-eight'] meaning thirty minutes past the hour (US: "Half past").
hand brake *
Parking brake operated by a hand control, usually a lever (US: Emergency brake. In the US, the traditional "hand brake" is more often to be found on a bicycle or motorcycle as opposed to a car as in the UK.); handbrake turn, a stunt where the handbrake is used to lock the rear wheels and the resulting oversteer enables the car to be turned rapidly in a small space (US related: J-turn, bootleg turn, U-turn.)
(pronounced "HAY-penny" or "HAYP-nee") half a penny; a coin of this denomination belonging to the predecimal coinage which is no longer in circulation. There was also a half penny in the decimal coinage introduced in 1971 which was 1/200 of a pound, although this is also no longer in circulation or legal tender.
hash sign
the symbol "#" (US: number sign, pound sign [DM])
headmaster, headmistress, headteacher *
the person in charge of an educational institution (US: principal [DM]; headmaster and the like are usually used for private schools)
Heath Robinson
(of a machine or contraption) absurdly complex (see Rube Goldberg machine).
high street
primary business and shopping street (US: main street)
higgledy-piggledy *
in disarray
hire purchase
a credit system by which debts for purchased articles are paid in installments (US: installment plan or layaway if the item is kept at the store until the final payment is made)
a panel used to display outdoor advertisements, such as on the sides of buildings, or alongside highways (U.S. "billboard")[1]
the hot surface on a stove (US: burner)
person on holiday [DM] (US: vacationer)
(informal) short for holidays [DM]
home and away
fixtures played at alternating venues (US: home and home). Also 'first and second leg' (US series).
vacuum [cleaner], to vacuum (archaic in the US) (genericised trademark, from The Hoover Company, the first main manufacturer of vacuum cleaners)
hot up
to become more exciting or intimate (US: heating up). Also a word in Rhyming slang which refers to theft, usually of the opportunist type (i.e. shoplifting)
coloured sugar sprinkles used for dessert decoration (US: sprinkles,non-pareils, jimmies)
ice lolly
frozen fruit juice on a stick; ice pop (US: Popsicle),
icing sugar
(US: powdered sugar)
industrial action
(see article; US: job action)
inverted commas
quotation marks (see also American and British English differences – Punctuation)
person who monitors an examination (US: proctor [DM])
ironware, hardware; hardware store
jacket potato
baked potato
jam sandwich
(slang) police car. So called as, in the past, most UK police vehicles were white with a horizontal yellow-edged red fluorescent stripe along the entire length of their sides, giving a certain resemblance to a white bread sandwich with a coloured jam (jelly) filling. (US: black-and-white. In many cities of the US, police cars are painted black at the hood and trunk and white on the doors and roof.)
jammy (git)
(slang) lucky (person)
To break into a lock (US: jimmy)
(slang) pejorative term for a German or Germans, (US: Kraut)
(Rhyming slang) urinate, as in jimmy riddle - piddle
An alley way connecting two streets.
(slang) Originally a minor clerical/government worker who refuses to be flexible in the application of rules to help clients or customers (as in "it will cost me more than my job's worth to bend the rules"). Also used more broadly to apply to anyone who uses their job description in a deliberately obstructive way. (US: see DMV)
(slang) a condom (US: rubber)
John Thomas
(slang) To engage in sexual intercourse. Better known as slang for penis or "dick" (US: cock, dick, or johnson) From the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover
Term of abuse used of someone perceived to be foolish, stupid, incompetent, clumsy, uncoordinated, ridiculous, idiotic. Originated with the appearances of cerebral palsy sufferer Joey Deacon on children's TV programme Blue Peter; still a popular insult among adults who saw the programmes as children.[3]
jumble sale
(see article; US: rummage sale)
a pullover, sweater
jump leads
booster cables used to jump-start a car (US: jumper cables)
Karno's Army
a chaotic, ineffective team (usually: Fred Karno's Army) (related US: Keystone Cops, Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight)
(derogatory slang) promiscuous lower-class female, similar to "kev" or "chav" (from Kappa, a clothing brand supposedly worn by such women, and slapper, a slovenly, sluttish woman)
(informal, also spelt keks) trousers or underpants
keep fit costume
exercise, dance or training suit
kerfuffle *
a disorderly outburst, disturbance or tumult, from Scottish origin
(slang) Derivative of "Kevin", has become equivalent to "chav" - typically a working class person that wears designer labels, fake gold, has to always be "in", is most likely a troublemaker and most likely smokes. Its use to describe the majority troublesome teenage subculture predates the use of "chav"; the British comedian Harry Enfield based one of his characters on this use.
(slang) lavatory (numerous alternative spellings are seen, such as karzy, karsey, carzey etc.)
(slang) sleep. (US and UK: nap)
kitchen roll
paper towels
(slang) exhausted, originally 'sexually exhausted', perhaps derived from knacker's yard
knacker's yard
premises where superannuated livestock are sent for rendering, etc. (glue factory). Sometimes refers to the same for vehicles, a scrapyard (US: junkyard)
girl's and women's underpants (US: panties)
red and black flying insect (US: Ladybug)
self-service laundry (US: Laundromat )
also, lavy (informal, increasingly uncommon) lavatory, toilet (in the US, airplane restrooms are typically called lavatories)
past tense of "learn" (US: learned)
legacy accounts
funds left in a budget (US: funds remaining)
let-out (n.)
a means of evading or avoiding something
letter box
1. a slot in a wall or door through which incoming post [DM] is delivered (US: mail slot, mailbox)
2. (less common) a box in the street for receiving outgoing letters and other mail (more usually called a postbox or pillar box) (US: mailbox)
See also Letterbox (US & UK): a film display format taking its name from the shape of a letter-box slot
lock-in *
illegal gathering in a pub at night to drink after the pub is supposed to have stopped serving alcohol, where the landlord "locks in" his guests to avoid being caught by police. Unless the landlord charges for the drinks at the time, the people in the pub are considered his personal guests; if money is exchanged beforehand or afterwards then it is considered a gift from the guest to the landlord for the hospitality (US: may refer to a large and highly chaperoned "sleep over" at a church, school, etc.)
lodger *
tenant [3]
lollipop man / woman / lady
a school crossing guard who uses a circular stop sign
lolly *
1. lollipop /ice lolly (US: popsicle); (q.v.)
2. (slang) money
toilet (usually the room, not just the plumbing device) (US: bathroom, restroom)
a large goods-carrying motor vehicle (US and UK also: truck)
megaphone (US: bullhorn)
lower ground
the lower of two floors at ground level (for example, if a building is built on a slope). See "ground floor". Also used as a euphemism for "basement" when trying to sell a flat [DM].
1. An imaginary illness allegedly passed on by touch—used as an excuse to avoid someone. (c.f. US: cooties) From a legendary sketch on the Goon Show. 2. (slang) A fictitious, yet highly infectious disease; often used in the phrase "the dreaded lurgy", sometimes as a reference to flu-like symptoms
mains power, the mains
230-250V (Typically denoted on domestic electricals as the rounded 240V standard) AC electrical current, provided by the electricity grid to homes and businesses; also attrib. ("mains cable") (US: variously called: line power, grid power, AC power, household electricity, etc.)
(slang) feeling ill, rough, out of sorts; filthy, dirty, rotten. (poss. from French "manqué" - missed, wasted or faulty)
(derogatory, mainly Northern and Central England) describes someone who is in a bad mood, or more generally a crybaby or whiner or "grumpy, difficult, unpredictable". Used, for example, by children in the rhyme "Mardy, mardy mustard...", and in the title of the Arctic Monkeys song "Mardy Bum". The verb to throw a mardy means to display an outburst of anger.
mathematics (US: math)
MD (managing director)
equivalent of US CEO (Chief Executive Officer), also used in the UK
mentioned in despatches
identified for valour or gallantry in action (US: decorated)
one thousand million, or 1,000,000,000 (US: billion or 1,000,000,000) [1]
mince *
1. ground meat, especially beef (US: ground beef, hamburger meat, mince typically describes a chopping style) 2. Walk daintily or effeminately. 3. Mince your words -- to obfuscate or conceal when talking or writing * (US: "He/She doesn't mince words.")
(vulgar) (rhymes with singe) female genitals or pubic hair
(originally Scottish slang, rhymes with singer) someone who is unattractive
(originally Scottish slang, rhymes with singing) dirty, rotting, smelly, unattractive etc.
a musical note with the duration of two counts in a time signature of 4/4 (US: half note; see Note value)
mither, also moider, moither
to confuse; to work hard; to wander in thought;[4] See also mither, moider and moither at Wiktionary
moggie, moggy
(informal) non-pedigree cat; alley cat; any cat regardless of pedigree; Morris Minor car; Morgan car
(slang) disgusting, dirty, foul, idiotic person, possible derivation from mongoloid, now obsolete term for someone with Down's syndrome
monged (out)
(slang) being incapable of constructive activity due to drug use, alcohol consumption or extreme tiredness
the largest class of road on the British road network, designed for fast, high volume traffic, usually with three or more lanes in each direction. In reference to a specific motorway may be abbreviated to M, as in M25 or M1. (US: equivalent to an interstate, occasionally used; also freeway, expressway, superhighway)
MOT, MOT test
(pronounced M-O-T) mandatory annual safety and roadworthiness test for motor vehicles over 3 years old (from "Ministry of Transport", now renamed "Department for Transport")
mouthing off
shouting, ranting or swearing a lot about something or someone. e.g.: "that guy was just mouthing off about something"
move house, move flat, etc.
to move out of one's house or other residence into a new residence (US: move, move out)
(slang) lame, tacky, cheap, low quality (origin uncertain – numerous suggestions include backslang for fan, an old term for a vagina), also gay slang for a straight man (said to mean "Not Available For Fucking")
naff off
(dated slang) shove it, get lost, go away – a much less offensive alternative to "fuck off" (originally obscure Polari slang, made popular by prison sitcom Porridge and famously used by Princess Anne)
nark *
1. (v.) (informal) irritate
2. (n.) (slang) police informer (US: narc, derived from narcotics agent, but often used in a general sense)
absorbent garment for babies (US: diaper)
an English dialect adjective (central and north England), gently derogative of a person, sensitive to the cold, delicate (typical usage, of someone who wears a coat on a mildly cold day: "He's nesh", meaning "He's a bit soft").
strictly a shop owner or shop that sells newspapers, usu. refers to a small shop, e.g. corner shop, convenience store, newsstand, or similar (US: newsdealer)
someone who reads the news on TV or radio. See news presenter for a description of the different roles of a newscaster, a British newsreader and an American news anchor.
(colloquial) 1 pound, maintains singular form when used in a plural context ("it cost me 2 nicker"), rarely used in the singular
see knob
1. (slang) paedophile, pimp, child molester, idiot
2. the present time or occasion – now usually encountered only in the compound nonce word, only used in literary circles, meaning an ad hoc word coinage, and the somewhat old-fashioned phrase for the nonce, meaning "for now". See also the Wiktionary definition.
1. food, meal; also "nosh up", a big satisfying meal ("I could do with a good nosh up") Cf US usage, where nosh means "snack" or "to eat" as in the original Yiddish (i.e., "He's noshing on the shrimp cocktail.")
2. (slang) oral sex
nosy (or nosey) parker
a busybody (similar to US: butt-in, buttinski, nosy)
Good sense; shrewdness: "Hillela had the nous to take up with the General when he was on the up-and-up again" (Nadine Gordimer). Rhymes with "mouse".
number plate
vehicle registration plate (sometimes used in the US; also license plate or license tag)
(possibly originally Scottish, now widespread) a stupid person
(informal) a crazy or insane person, often violent; also used as a more light-hearted term of reproach ("Oi nutter!") (occasionally used in the US) (US and UK also: nut, nutcase)
Old Age Pensioner (qv) (US: Senior Citizen)
shop licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises (US equivalent: liquor store). Known in some parts of N England as "selling-out shop".
of clothes etc., ready-made rather than made to order (US: off-the-rack)
coarse exclamation to gain attention, roughly equivalent to "hey" ("Oi, you!" = "Hey you!")
the Old Bill
(slang) The police
old iron
a junky or dated vehicle(US: jalopy)
one-off *
something that happens only once; limited to one occasion (as an adjective, a shared synonym is one-shot; as a noun, it has no exact US equivalent, perhaps "one shot deal")
on the piss
(vulgar) drinking heavily; going out for the purpose of drinking heavily; at a slight angle, said of an object that should be vertical
Oriental *
used to describe the origin of a person from East Asia (China, Japan etc.) (US:Asian - N.B. In BrE, Asian is generally reserved for people from around the Indian sub-continent: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.)
orientate *
less common alternative to orient, deprecated by some as an unnecessary back-formation from orientation
Other Ranks
members of the military who are not commissioned, warrant or non-commissioned officers (US:junior enlisted personnel)
money used on a bank account making a debit balance
overleaf *
on the other side of the page
See "oi".
package holiday
a holiday whose transport, accommodation, itinerary etc. is organised by a travel company (US and UK less frequently: package tour). Cf holiday [DM]
(offensive) Pakistani; loosely applied to anyone from South Asia, or of perceived South Asian origin
panda car
(informal) police car. Small police car used for transport, as opposed to a patrol or area car (analogous to US: black-and-white) Derives from a period in the 1970s when UK police cars resembled those of their US counterparts, only with blue replacing black.
paper round
(the job of making) a regular series of newspaper deliveries (US: paper route)
a common and widely available drug for the treatment of headaches, fever and other minor aches and pains (US: acetaminophen, Tylenol)
(informal) park-keeper
(informal) cold, usually used in reference to the weather
(Cornish) pasty
hard pastry case filled with meat and vegetables served as a main course, particularly in Cornwall and in the north of England
usually in the phrase "to go pear-shaped", meaning to go drastically or dramatically wrong (possibly from the idea of a ball deflating). cf tits-up
pelican crossing
pedestrian crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians (formed by analogy with "panda crossing" etc. Could also be from Pedestrian Light-Controlled
people mover or people carrier
a minivan or other passenger van
fastidious, precise or over-precise (US: persnickety)
refined mixture of hydrocarbons, used esp. to fuel motor vehicles (short for petroleum spirit, or from French essence de pétrole) (US: gasoline, gas). Also variously known as motor spirit (old-fashioned), motor gasoline, mogas, aviation gasoline and avgas (the last two being a slightly heavier type designed for light aircraft)
petrol-head, petrolhead
someone with a strong interest in cars (especially high performance cars) and motor racing (US: gearhead or motorhead).
phone box
payphone, public phone (US: phone booth)
a pejorative slang term, used originally to refer to Irish travellers. Now refers to anyone whose lifestyle is characterised by itinerancy, theft, illicit land occupancy with destruction of amenities, and disregard for authority, without reference to ethnic or national origin.
pillar box
box in the street for receiving outgoing mail, in Britain traditionally in the form of a free-standing red pillar; also called postbox or, less commonly, letter box (US: mailbox)
See also Pillar box (film): an aspect ratio named for a supposed resemblance to the dimensions of the slot found on a pillar box.
pillar-box red
the traditional bright red colour of a British pillar box (US: fire engine red or candy apple red)
(slang, very mildly derogatory) foolish person, used esp. in northern England but also common elsewhere. Derived from the Northern English term pillicock, a dialect term for penis, although the connection is rarely made in general use.
(vulgar) someone who regularly gets heavily drunk (cf. BrE meaning of pissed).
pissing it down [with rain]
(slang, mildly vulgar) raining very hard (sometimes "pissing down" is used in the US, as in "It's pissing down out there.") Also "pissing it down the drain" or "pissing it away" * meaning to waste something.
plait *
braid, as in hair
(derogatory) person of lower class *, from plebs; similar to townie. Also commonly used to mean idiot.
also: guitar-pleck; plectrum (US: guitar pick)
a type of shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole, formerly the typical gym shoe used in schools (US: sneaker or Tennis shoe)
policeman - from PC Plod in Enid Blyton's Noddy books.
a disparaging term for cheap wine, especially cheap red wine, is now widely known in the UK and also to a lesser extent in the USA. Derives from French vin blanc and came into English use on the western front in World War I.
(very mildly derogatory) fool *. Used esp. in the south-east of England, although not unknown elsewhere. Derived from a slang term for penis, and sometimes used in this fashion, e.g. "Are you pulling my plonker?" (to express disbelief)
(n.) (slang) someone with overly affected airs and graces; an effeminate posturing man; a pimp. Originates from Maltese slang. (related US: poncey)
(v.) (slang) to act like a pimp; to cadge, to borrow with little or no intention of returning, often openly so ("Can I ponce a ciggie off you, mate?")
ponce about/around
(v.) (slang) to act like a fop, to wander about aimlessly without achieving anything
ponce off
(v.) (slang) to mooch, to hit up, to leave in a pompous manner
(n.) (slang) a strong unpleasant smell; (v.) to give off a strong unpleasant smell; (adj.) pongy
poof, poofter
(derogatory) a male homosexual (US equivalent: fag, faggot)
pouffe, poof, poove
A small drum-shaped soft furnishing used as a foot rest (related US: hassock, Ottoman)
slang for a lie or lying, from rhyming slang "pork pies" = "lies"
postage and packing, P&P
charge for said services (US: shipping and handling, S&H; the word postage is, however, used in both dialects)
postal order
a money order designed to be sent through the post, issued by the UK Post Office (US: money order, or postal money order if the context is ambiguous)
postbox, post box
box in the street for receiving outgoing mail (US: mailbox; drop box); see also letter box, pillar box
alphanumeric code used to identify an address, part of a UK-wide scheme. (US equivalent: ZIP Code)
poste restante
service whereby mail is retained at a post office for collection by the recipient (from the Latin) (US: general delivery)
(informal) postman
(slang) something that is unsatisfactory or in generally bad condition.
pram, perambulator
wheeled conveyance for babies (US: baby-carriage) Similarly, a "pram-face" sometimes refers to a very young or young-looking mum (US: "baby-face" meaning a young-looking person in general, not necessarily a mother.)
prat *
(slang) an incompetent or ineffectual person, a fool, an idiot
a conditioning exercise in which one lies prone and then pushes oneself up by the arms (US: push-up)
provisional licence, provisional driving licence
a licence for a learner driver, who has not yet passed a driving test (US: learner's permit)
(informal) short for "pudding", which may mean dessert or occasionally a savoury item such as Yorkshire pudding or black pudding; a fool (informal term usually used good-naturedly between family members). pulling his pud, means male masturbation.
(informal) legitimate, the real thing, of good quality (usually Southeastern England term, recently more widely popularised by Jamie Oliver, but dating back to the 19th century). From Hindi.
a fistfight
a usually South Asian servant whose role is to operate a manual fan. From Urdu pankhaa, fan, and -wallah, -man
small basket for fruit, usually strawberries
(informal) bicycle (pre-dates modern safety bicycle q.v. velocipede)
forward-facing baby carriage (US: stroller)
quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation. A semi-public (supposedly non-governmental) advisory or administrative body funded by the taxpayer, often having most of its members appointed by the government, and carrying out government policy.
a musical note with the duration of one half-count in a time signature of 4/4 (US: eighth note). Also compound nouns semiquaver (US: sixteenth note), demisemiquaver (US: thirty-second note), hemidemisemiquaver (US: sixty-fourth note); see note value).
(informal) the pound sterling monetary unit; remains quid in plural form ("Can I borrow ten quid?") (similar to US buck, meaning dollar)
quids in
(informal) a financially positive end to a transaction or venture "After all that, we'll be quids in!" (US: money ahead)
used in the phrase "quieten down" (US: quiet down)
forelock (initially Hiberno-English); a hairstyle (from the 1950s onward).
(vulgar slang) female genitalia, the vagina
(informal) having sexual desire, lustful, horny (now more common in the US because of the Austin Powers franchise)
an enlisted soldier or airman or (more rarely) a commissioned officer who has been promoted from enlisted status ("the ranks")
rashers *
cuts of bacon
(slang) extremely drunk
(informal) reconnoître, reconnaissance (pronounced recky) (US: recon)
Register Office, Registry Office
official office where births, marriages and deaths are recorded; usu. refers to local Register Office (in each town or locality). General Register Office is the relevant government department. In England and Wales until 2001, almost all civil (non-church) marriages took place in the local Register Office; different laws apply in Scotland and N. Ireland. "Register Office" is the correct legal term, but "registry office" is in common informal use.
upgrade or repairs of roads (US: construction; roadwork [singular])
hard candy in cylindrical form often sold at holiday locations and made so that the location's name appears on the end even when broken. (US: no exact equivalent, but similar to a candy cane)
(vulgar) to engage in a sexual act, or suggest it. e.g.: "I'd give her a good rodgering!"
circle in road to control traffic flow, used instead of crossroads as it gives each road the same priority. I.E traffic ON the roundabout has right of way(traffic circle)
(informal) chancy; of poor quality; uncertain (see dodgy). Can also mean unwell when used in the form to feel ropey
row *
a fight or argument (rhymes with cow)
reverse charge call
a telephone call for which the recipient pays (US and UK also: collect call); also v. to reverse [the] charge[s] *, to make such a call (dated in US, used in the 1934 American film It Happened One Night – US usually: to call collect)
a roll call or roster of names, or round or rotation of duties
(the) rozzers
(rare slang) Police ("Quick, the rozzers!") – possibly from Robert Peel, who also gave his name to two other slang terms for the police: peelers (archaic) and bobbies (becoming old-fashioned).
worthless, unwanted material that is rejected or thrown out; debris; litter (US: trash, garbage)
rucksack *
a backpack.
rumpy pumpy
(informal) Sexual intercourse, used slightly jokingly.
a four door car (US: Sedan)
(informal) an overweight person
(informal) sarcastic (abbrev.) "why are you being so sarky?"
sarnie, sarny, sannie
(informal) sandwich (abbrev.)
sat nav
a lower class, (usually young) woman of low morals
cloudy cider, often high in alcoholic content
action of stealing apples from an orchard; also v. to scrump
self-raising flour
self-rising flour
gardening tool for pruning plants (US:garden shears, pruners or clippers)
(/sɪˈkɒndmənt/) the assignment of a person from his or her regular organisation to temporary assignment elsewhere. From v. second (/sɪˈkɒnd/)
from Cellophane, transparent adhesive tape (genericised trademark) (US: Scotch tape)
a musical note with the duration of four counts in a time signature of 4/4 (US: whole note; see Note value)
(from French) table napkin [DM]. Regarded as a non-U word, but widely used by non-U people.
shag *
(verb, vulgar, usually transitive) the act of sexual intercourse (Introduced to the US via the Austin Powers franchise.)
a drink consisting of lager or beer mixed with a soft drink, originally ginger beer but now more usually lemonade, in near equal parts.
(vulgar) variant of shit, often seen as more jocular. rhymes with 'kite'.
sixes and sevens
crazy, muddled (usually in the phrase "at sixes and sevens"). From the London Livery Company order of precedence, in which position 6 is claimed by both the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors and the Worshipful Company of Skinners.
skew-whiff / skew-whift
skewed, uneven, not straight
(informal) out of money (US: broke)
industrial rubbish bin (US: dumpster)
skive [off]
(informal) to sneak off, avoid work; to play truant (U.S.-"Play Hookey")
slag *
similar to 'slut', a woman of loose morals and low standards; sometimes implying the woman is of an undesirable age or has become aged by her lifestyle. Occasionally used to refer to a male, though does not then have sexual connotations.
slag off *
to badmouth; speak badly of someone, usually behind their back
(informal) bald man (pronounced slap-headed or slap-'ed)
(vulgar) similar to slut but milder. Implies drunken, flirtatious behaviour as opposed to frequent sexual conquests
sleeping partner
a partner in business, often an investor, who is not visibly involved in running the enterprise (US: silent partner)
sleeping policeman
mound built into a road to slow down vehicles (UK also: hump [DM]; US & UK also: speed bump)
(slang) smooth, wet, with no friction or traction to grip something (US: slippery)
(slang) a slow person (US: slowpoke)
(slang) loose change
underclothing, underwear, particularly underpants
smart dress
formal attire
(slang) idiot; a general term of abuse (for discussion of origin, see smeg (vulgarism)). Popularised by its use in the sitcom Red Dwarf.
(slang) a 'French kiss' or to kiss with tongues
soap dodger
one who is thought to lack personal hygiene
sod off
(vulgar, moderately offensive) go away; get lost
spacker, spacky, spazmo
(vulgar, offensive to many) idiot, general term of abuse: from "Spastic", referring in England almost exclusively (when not used as an insult) to a person suffering from cerebral palsy. (variant forms spaz/spastic, are used in American English) See also Joey.
Spanish archer
give someone the "elbow",[clarification needed] which means to sack or fire them
(informal) very good (old-fashioned, or consciously used as old-fashioned, associated stereotypically with upper-class people) (US: spiffy)
an unemployed person who lives by their wits; someone who shirks work or responsibility; a slacker, a dealer in black market goods (during World War II). The term wide boy is also often used in the same sense
spliff *
(slang) a hand-rolled cigarette containing a mixture of marijuana and tobacco, also 'a joint.' (Also used in US, j or blunt more widely used)
An early 1980s derogatory expression for someone who performed well at school, did their homework and wore the correct uniform. Somewhat equivalent to US: 'geek'. This has, since the late 1980s, changed to mean someone who spends too much time in internet chat rooms and discussion forums. Also verb: to spod.
spot on *
exactly (US: right on)
(informal) a non-commissioned soldier (US: grunt)
(informal) soft and soggy (US: squishy)
(informal) intoxicated (popularly but probably erroneously said to be from British Prime Minister (Herbert)Asquith, a noted imbiber). The word can also be synonymous with skew-whiff.
squintie, squint
crooked; cf on the skunt
(rare) look, most often used in the form to have a squiz at...
sticky-backed plastic
large sheet of thin, soft, coloured plastic that is sticky on one side; see Blue Peter (US similar: contact paper)
a seller (as a retailer) that stocks merchandise of a particular type, usually a specified brand or model
14 pounds in weight, usually used to describe body weight ("He lost two stone!")
straight away
immediately (sometimes used in the US; also right away)
to move your hand slowly and gently over something e.g. stroke a dog.
(informal) bad mood or temper
stroppy, to have a strop on
(informal) recalcitrant, in a bad mood or temper
suck it and see
to undertake a course of action without knowing its full consequences (US: take your chances)
suss [out] *
(informal) to figure out (from suspicion)
suspender belt
a ladies' undergarment to hold up stockings (US: garter belt)
1. v. to study for an exam (US cram)
2. n. (derogatory) aloof and unpopular schoolchild or student who studies to excess
sweet FA
(slang) nothing (from "Sweet Fanny Adams", alternative: "Sweet Fuck All"), "I know sweet FA about cars!" (US: jack shit)
swimming costume
swimsuit or bathing suit; also cozzy for short.
(informal) thank you; TA also standing for "thanks awfully"
food outlet where you can order food to go (or be delivered) (not usually applied to fast food chains). Usage: "we had a takeaway for dinner", "we went to the local takeaway". [DM]; (US: takeout)
take the piss (vulgar) * / take the mickey
(slang) to make fun of somebody; to act in a non-serious manner about something important (also: take the pee). Can also mean to transgress beyond what are perceived as acceptable bounds, or to treat with perceived contempt - "the increases in car tax are taking the piss", "the new boss is really taking the piss with this mandatory car-sharing scheme".
takings *
receipts of money
loudspeaker (a proprietary brand name), PA system
tapping up
in professional team sport, attempting to persuade a player contracted to one team to transfer to another team without the knowledge or permission of the player's current team (US: "tampering")
a recording of a live television broadcast made directly from a cathode ray tube onto motion picture film. The equivalent US term is kinescope.
(informal) television
ten pound note
a member of the Territorial Army (US: Army Reserve)
[throw one's] toys out of the pram
In response to someone being angry/irate ("Stop throwing your toys out the pram".)
Tiger nuts
(vulgar slang) small remnants of toilet paper that cling to body hair after bowel movement clean-up (originates from small chocolate covered caramel candy of the same name). (Commonly "tigers") (compare to US dingleberries).
canned as in "tinned soup" or "a tin of tuna"
white tape or liquid used to make corrections of ink on paper (US: Wite-Out)
throw a wobbly
(informal) to lose one's temper, throw a tantrum
(rhyming slang) breasts/tits (from thrupenny bits, obsolete British coin)
(rhyming slang) hat (from tit-for-tat)
[go] tits up
(mildly vulgar) to suddenly go wrong (literally, to fall over. US: go belly up). cf pear-shaped (appears in the US mainly as military jargon, sometimes sanitized to "tango uniform")
batter-baked sausages, sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding
(slang) member of the upper classes
toffee apple
a sugar-glazed apple on a stick eaten esp. on Guy Fawkes Night and Hallowe'en (US: caramel apple or candy apple)
anti-social in a pretentious way, stuck up
(informal) to hit hard, sometimes used in cricket to describe a substantial boundary shot: "he tonked it for six". In Southern England can also mean muscular. (US: ripped or buff).
tony *
expensive or luxurious.
tosser *
(slang) Largely equivalent to "wanker" but less offensive; has the same literal meaning, i.e. one who masturbates ("tosses off"). (US: jerk).
(colloquial, archaic) a drunkard; also used in the sense of "tosser".
(informal, offensive to some) sexually alluring woman or women (more recently, also applied to males). Originally a term for a prostitute in the late 1800s.
training shoes, athletic shoes. (US: sneakers).
slang, jovial greeting/term of endearment from male to female i.e. "alright treacle"
two pence, also infantile euphemism for vagina. cf twopenn'orth
cheap, substandard
turf accountant
bookmaker for horse races (US: bookie)
direction-indicator light on a vehicle (US: turn signal)
an arrangement at the bottom of trouser-legs whereby a deep hem is made, and the material is doubled-back to provide a trough around the external portion of the bottom of the leg. (US: cuffs)
twee *
excessively cute, quaint, or 'precious'
twonk *
idiot. Probably a portmanteau construction of twat and plonker. Used by Timothy Spall in an episode of Red Dwarf.
twopenn'orth, tuppenn'orth, tup'en'oth
one's opinion (tuppenn'orth is literally "two pennies worth" or "two pence worth", depending on usage); (US equivalent: two cents' worth, two cents). cf tuppence
short for university, used much like US college
up himself
(informal) someone who is stand-offish, stuck-up, snobby. "He's a bit up himself." Euphemistic variation of up his own arse.
up sticks
(US: pull up stakes)
verger (virger in some churches)
someone who carries the verge or other emblem of authority before a scholastic, legal, or religious dignitary in a procession; someone who takes care of the interior of a church and acts as an attendant during ceremonies.
a wart which occurs on one's foot. (US: plantar wart)
(vegetable) marrow
a gourd-like fruit (treated as a vegetable) (US: squash)
vertically opposite angles
Called vertical angles in the United States
wives and girlfriends, common in headlines referring to the spouse of a male athlete
wage packet
weekly employee payment (usually in cash) (US: paycheck)
(informal) buffoon, fool; milder form of idiot. Now considered an old-fashioned word. See muppet.
wanker *
(offensive) literally, a masturbator; used as a general insult or term of abuse
toilet (short for Water Closet). (US: bathroom [DM], US old-fashioned washroom). See also loo.
washing up
dish washing, "the dishes": "it's your turn to do the washing up"; hence washing up liquid: dish washing detergent (US: dish soap, dishwashing liquid)
way out
exit. Used primarily on signs
Wellington boots, wellies
waterproof rubber boots, named after the Duke of Wellington. (more common in the US now)
(informal) effort (e.g.: "Give it some welly" to mean "put a bit of effort into an attempt to do something"; US: elbow grease); also the singular of "wellies", for Wellington boots
(slang) condom; stems from "Wellington boots" which are also known as "rubbers"
whilst *
while (US and UK); 'whilst' is in common use in Yorkshire (UK) where 'while' is used colloquially to mean 'until'; (archaic in US)
(informal) complain, whine, especially repeated complaining about minor things (e.g. "Stop whingeing" meaning "stop complaining"); a different word from whine, originated in Scottish and Northern English in the 12th century. Hence whinger (derogatory), someone who complains a lot. As in "My wife Kerry is always whingeing about the state we leave the house in".
white coffee
coffee with milk or cream.
white pudding
oat and fat sausage often eaten at breakfast, common in Ireland and Scotland
(informal) to continue to talk trivially about a subject long after the audience's interest has gone. "He wittered on."
(informal) to talk at length aimlessly; but also an exclamation of astonishment.
wide boy
see spiv, above
wing mirrors
the external mirrors on a vehicle – though no longer normally attached to the 'wings' (US: fenders) but to the doors (US: sideview mirrors, side mirrors)
winkle *
(slang) another childish term for a penis (US: winkie)
wobbler, wobbly (to have or to throw)
(informal) tantrum
(offensive, term of abuse) member of an ethnic minority; (allegedly) originally "Western Oriental Gentleman". The word can refer to a wide variety of non-Europeans, including Arabs, sub-Saharans (and those of sub-Saharan descent), Iranians, and Turks.
wonky *
(informal) wrong, awry, not straight or stable; shaky, feeble (usually applied to furniture)(US [DM]: geeky, nerdy. Former President Clinton was said to be a "policy wonk".)
men's briefs with an inverted-Y-shaped frontal flap; originally a trademark (US: jockey shorts/briefs; US slang: tighty whities)
lout, young troublemaker (thought to be from boy spelt backwards)
to move on foot across rough terrain carrying heavy amounts of equipment and supplies without mechanised support (Royal Marines slang popularised by the Falklands war, army equivalent is to tab). Also used informally for any walk across rough ground.
last letter of the alphabet, usually called "zee" in United States
zebra crossing
(US: crosswalk))
Zimmer frame
Old June 17th, 2010 #20
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,808

Originally Posted by MikeTodd View Post
I'm not sure but you can bet it'll involve the misuse of the word "fag".
Best not to ask an English fellow if you may "bum a fag".


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