It seems my British characters are confusing some of my readers across the pond! Although people have still enjoyed reading my books some have mentioned that they’ve had to stop and Google every now and then 😀 I have to admit, I’ve done this with some unusual American words and terms before, and I think it’s fun learning new words! I’ve also seen people reference my ‘spelling mistakes’. This isn’t always the obvious differences like ‘favourite’ and ‘favorite’, ‘centre’ and ‘center’, ‘specialize’ and ‘specialise’ and so on and so forth…but sometimes we just spell and say things completely differently – like aluminium and aluminum! Weird, right?!

So I thought it might also be fun to put together a little glossary for my overseas readers. So here it is – maybe I should even include it in the end of my books for easy referencing? 😉

Before I start, I don’t speak like the Queen. I am common as muck, I swear profusely and I also say a lot of words which are more common in the North of England. So when my characters come from England, you can imagine them all sounding like me!

I’ll start with my favourite – Swear words!

wanker twatted me

Tosser – idiot

Wanker – Idiot

Nobhead – idiot

Gobshite – idiot

Wank stain – idiot

Arsewipe – idiot

Nob – idiot (we have a lot of idiots over here!)

Wank – jerk off

Pissed – drunk

Shite – shit

Sod off – piss off

Twat – punch, idiot, vagina – it has a lot of meanings!

Bellend – idiot, or the end of a penis

British sayings, phrases and slang

Baccy – Tobacco (Wacky baccy – Marijuana)

Barmy – Crazy

Bits and bobs – various bits and pieces

Bob’s your uncle – Understood/successfully done something.”There you go! You’ve got it!”

Bollocks – Balls! Or ‘that’s bollocks’ means ‘that’s shit’

Chav – white trash (Google the Jeremy Kyle show for perfect examples!)

Cheeky – rude/disrespectful/presumptuous

Daft cow – silly woman!

The dog’s bollocks – Awesome!

Donkey’s years – Ages. As in ‘I haven’t seen you in donkey’s years’

To fall arse over tit – To fall or trip over very ungracefully!

Eh? – Pardon, huh, or what do you say?

Fanny – Vagina 😉

Fortnight – two weeks

Get stuffed – a polite way of saying ‘fuck off’

Give you a bell – give you a call

Gobby – loud mouthed and opinionated

Gobsmacked – astonished

Gormless – clueless, dumb, slow on the uptake

Her Majesty’s pleasure – to be in prison

How’s your father? – euphemism for sex

Kip – nap/sleep

Knackered – tired, exhausted

Legless – drunk

Lost the plot – gone crazy

Nicked – stolen

Pissed as a fart – VERY drunk

On the piss – binge drinking

Slapper/slag – slut

Slagging off – saying bad things about someone

Spunk – semen

Starkers – naked

Tad – a little

Taking the piss – making fun of someone

Todger – Penis

Quid – pound (money)

Up the duff – pregnant

General words

Aubergine – Eggplant 

Biscuit – Cookie

Flat – Apartment

Car bonnet – Car hood

Car boot – Car trunk

Candyfloss – Cotton candy

Casualty/A&E – Emergency room

Chemist – Drug store

Chips – French fries

Cinema – Movie theatre/Multiplex

Cling film – Saran wrap

Courgette – Zucchini (seriously I’d never heard of a zucchini until today!)

Crisps – Chips/potato chips

diamante – rhinestone

drawing pin – thumbtack

Dressing gown – bathrobe

Estate agent – Realtor

Flannel – Washcloth

Full stop – Period (I remember the first time I came across this one. I was beta reading for someone and my notes confused them. She was like ‘it doesn’t make sense. What’s a full stop?’ And I was ‘It’s a full stop! How doesn’t that make sense? A full stop is a full stop. Like a tiny dot at the end of a sentence’ ‘ooooh you mean a period?’ ‘Oh my god I can’t believe you guys don’t have full stops!’ You get the idea…. 😉

Grill – Broil

Hen Night – Bachelorette party

Holdall – Carryall

Holiday/Hols – Vacation/Vacay

Hundreds and thousands – Sprinkles

Ice lolly – Popsicle

Knickers – Panties

Jumper – Sweater

Lift – Elevator

Lorry – Truck

Maths – Math

Minger – Ugly person

Minging – not nice

Mint – awesome!

Motorway – Highway

Nappy – Diaper

Noughts and crosses – Tic-tac-toe

Off licence – Liquor store

Number plate – license plate

Pavement – Sidewalk

Petrol – Gas

Postbox – Mailbox

Solicitor – Lawyer

Stag night – Bachelor party

Starter – Appetizer

Swede – rutabaga

Sweets – Candy

Tea towel – dish towel

Tick – Check

Tights – Pantyhose

Trainers – Sneakers

Tram – Streetcar/Cablecar

Trolley – Shopping cart

Underground – Subway

Vest – Undershirt

Wardrobe – Closet

So there you have it. Now you just need to work on your accent and you can sound just like me! Now I’m knackered, so sod off. 😉



2 thoughts on “One must know one’s Britishisms!

  1. That was so funny I was literally cracking up. I’m from the UK but you forgot Shagging – Sex, Fucking, Intecourse.
    Some Americans might know what it means but the ones I have spoke to having (stupified face) anyways happy reading y’all

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