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.
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
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.