Pool: United Kingdom, divided language

By On August 28, 2018

Pool: United Kingdom, divided language

My wife has been watching a British show on TV, something that has triggered my research into slang across the pond.

The show, from what I can tell, is about the various awkward situations of some middle-aged and elderly people in Yorkshire who are reaping the consequences of multiple romances and other eruptions of libidinous behavior.

We usually have closed captioning on, and I’ve noticed a few odd words as I pass by.

A new one to me is “owt,” as in, “I’ll have owt to say about it when your ex-husband comes skulking about.” The word means “something.” Its antonym is “nowt.” It means “nothing,” and is akin the the word “naught.”

In America we might say, “The Cowboys rallied, but it was all for naught.” In Yorkshire, you might hear, “You don’t get owt for nowt.” That means you don’t get something for nothing.

We don’t use those words, but sometim es we and the Brits use the same word in very different ways. For example, over there someone might decide to stop by a hole in the wall. For us, that means a shabby restaurant or bar. They mean they’re planning to stop by an ATM, perhaps to pick up a “tenner,” or a ten-pound note.

To ring somebody up is to make a phone call. To knock them up means you’re going to come by their front door. To chat up is to hit on someone.

An American might ask, “Who’s banging on my door?” In England, “banging” means to have carnal knowledge. Pretty girls shouldn’t be complimented on their bangs; just say their hairdo looks good. Bangers, however, are sausages.

To take the biscuit means you’ve done something that can’t be outdone. We say, “That takes the cake!” Over there a biscuit is a cookie, a trolley is a shopping cart, and a napkin is a diaper.

Speaking of diapers, you should be careful not to say something like “I’ve got a great idea, and it’s gonna be a biggie!” A biggie is what a child calls his excretory artifact â€" what we’d refer to as “number two.” Wendy’s biggie breakfast sandwich? Blimey! No!

However, “potty” is not a place for poop; it’s a word used about somebody who’s daft, a little crazy. Or, as they say, barmy.

We say “pardon me” when we don’t hear someone well; in Jolly Old England, it’s a term apologizing for a flatulent episode. To be full of beans means to be bursting with energy, not gas. To be fruity, though, means to be frisky.

While we’re at it, we should note that “pissed” means “inebriated.” A “piss-up” is a visit to the local pub. To be squiffy is to be a wee less plastered than pissed. Whereas an American might be pissed off, a Brit would be cheesed off.

If something goes like a bomb in Britain, it means it goes really well, whereas in America a movie or joke that bombs is a real loser. If you confuse the two, you might be a t wit.

In America we have waffle houses and politicians who waffle when asked a straight question. In Britain, it means to go on and on talking about nothing, which, come to think of it, a lot of politicians do.

One of my favorite Britishisms, though, has no American equivalent. It means something like “well, there you have it,” or “you’ve got it made.”

It often follows a series of instructions. If you follow them, if you succeed at something, then Bob’s your uncle.

Source: Google News United Kingdom | Netizen 24 United Kingdom

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