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HOW TO SPEAK BRITISH. BLIMEY... WHAT ARE THEY SAYING???

British English VS American English Flags

We may technically speak the same language but man oh man there are some phrases and words that have left me "scratching my head". Wait is that an American phrase?  Do the Brits know that means it has left me confused. 

To make the navigation through the British language and its unusual terms a little more easy to understand I created this handy dandy user guide, A Broad In London's How To Speak British.  I will help unravel those confusing British English words and phrases and tell you what the hell they are trying to tell us. Hopefully not only will this help you blend right in at the local pub but might just keep you out of trouble cause trust me if someone asks you if you want a shag you need to know they are not trying to sell you a carpet.  You're welcome. 

Let me start with.... BRITISH PHRASES.

  • Meat and two veg 

Meaning: A man’s ‘private parts’ (this might be my new favourite phrase EVER!!!). Be careful ordering this on any British menu. The men might also refer to their "member" as John Thomas or Twigs & Berries.  Bell-end. They also use the term "Gentleman Sausage". Very confusing when you are hungry. 

  • Don't get your knickers in a twist

Meaning :  Don't get worked up about it. 

  • Up for it. 

Meaning : Willing to have sex. (this term I learned the hard way)

  • On the Pull

Meaning : Looking to have sex. Again, information I wish I knew a year ago. 

  • Chat Up

Meaning : Flirt

  • On the Duff

Meaning : Pregnant. I guess a direct cause and effect from chat-up, on the pull and up for it. 

  • Did you just fluff? or “Did you just pop?

Meaning: Did you fart or let one rip?

  • Spend a penny, Going for a slash

Meaning: To visit the bathroom or the loo. 

  • Can I bum a fag?

Meaning: Can I bum a cigarette? How this saying came into being I do not want to imagine. Such a WAY different meaning back home. 

  • Careful, he’s on the Chunder Bus

Meaning: He’s going to throw up, ride the porcelain bus, hurl.

  • We’re having a right old knees up

Meaning: To go out for the night to have a good time. I guess that is like "kicking up one's heels" it just sounds a whole lot dirtier. 

  • Stop being such a big girl’s blouse

Meaning: Stop being such a wimp

  • Chin wag

Meaning:  A good intense, gossipy chat

  • Bob’s Your Uncle

Meaning: There you have it

  • Sweet Fanny Adams

Meaning: Nothing. Such as when being asked what you did for the day or what you’re currently doing. I think back home we say, “sweet f*ck all”. 

  • Dog's Bullocks

Meaning : Awesome. Now never would I have thought that calling someone a dog's "anything" in England would be a compliment. Just goes to show you cannot underestimated the Brit's love for dogs and horses. 

  • Dog's Dinner

Meaning : Dressed Nicely. Again note the positive influence of the British canine. My mom used to say my room looked like a dog's breakfast. Maybe all these years she was praising my disaster of a room. 

  • I’ve got the hump

Meaning: I am feeling grumpy or down for no real reason. 

  • Making a right pig's ear of something.   

Meaning: Did a bad job, totally screwed up. 

  • I’ll give you a bunch of fives

Meaning: You’re going to get a punch in the face, a knuckle sandwich.

  • It looks a bit black over Bill’s mother.  

Meaning: It looks like it is about to pour rain. This sounds very specific in location I must say. Must of started with "small town Bill" pissing a few people off. Or his mom might have been a right old tosser. 

  • “He’s such a plonker,” “ponce,” “pillock,” “tosser,” “ twit,” “knob"

Meaning: He’s an idiot

  • Did you see her? She’s such a chav

Meaning: White trash

  • It’s brass monkeys out

Meaning: It’s freezing outside

  • To go pear shaped  

Meaning: To go drastically wrong

  • She’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

Meaning: She is not very bright. A few bricks short of a load. 

  • I’m knackered

Meaning: I’m tired, exhausted

  • Let’s have a butcher’s

Meaning: Lets have a look

  • Her Majesty's Pleasure

Meaning : In prison, doing time. 

  • Arse-over-tit

Meaning : Fall Over. 

  • I’ve got to go see a man about a dog

Meaning. Need to tend to some business and I don’t necessarily what to share all the details. Not to be confused with the American phrase seeing a man about a horse. That means they are going for a pee (aka whizz)

  • He’s a bit Dishy

Meaning: He’s hot. Indeed he is. 

Now that we have covered some of the phrases, here are some words that have VERY different meanings on the two continents. For greater clarification I will use visual aids. 

Jumper 

Hooker

Pants 

Bird

Trainer

Rubber 

Shag

Bog

And finally... what the British mean when they say the following;

Flat : Apartment

Fringe : Bangs

Sweet : Candy

Mobile : Cell

Anti-Clockwise : Counter Clockwise

Nappy : Diaper

Chemist : Drugstore

Chips : French Fries

Off License : Liquor Store

Public School : Private School

State School : Public School

Faith School : Parochial School

Pavement : Sidewalk

Boiler Suit : Overalls

Dual Carriageway : Divided Highway

Hot flush : Hot flash

Biro : Ballpoint Pen

Bog Roll : Toilet Paper

Brolly : Umbrella 

Fortnight : Two Weeks

Hoover : Vacuum

Toff : Upper Class Person

Uni : University/College

Loo : Bathroom

Knob : Dick

Knickers : Underwear

Starkers : Naked

Arse : Ass

Bullocks : Balls

Fanny : Vagina, lady parts. Not ass, as we know the word fanny to mean in the States. Brings a whole new meaning to Fanny-pack

Blighty : Britain

Hope this How To Speak British User Guide will help you next time you are in Britain or maybe prepare you for a chin wag with the Queen.  At the very least you could make a little more sense when watching The Eastenders or Gavin and Stacey. Would love to hear if you have any terms, phrases or words too that could contribute to this User-Guide.  Ta Ta for now (so long).

P.S.If you haven't watched Gavin & Stacey put it on your next binge watching cycle. This is where my man James Corden (love!) got his start as he starred and created the show. Although barely recognized him as he was twice the size and he is still a big boy. It was his character Smithy in the show that was responsible for the first Car-Pool Karaoke (love again) with Geroge Michaels. It is smashing, brilliant (very good) although can't help you with understanding the accents. A blog for another time.