Friday, April 07, 2006


Greetings Americans, and others. This blog is the Glossary where i shall attempt to translate some of the odd English-isms, slang and everyday twisting of our language that we British do and you lot do not understand. I hope it will help you to understand our culture, my blog, and British films a bit better and learn that although we made the language up we can also bugger it up with equal enthusiasm. It's in no particular order yet and im starting off with phrases ive used in my posts, ill add to it bit by bit and see where it goes.

Aveing a Laugh- meaning ''I don't believe it, im exasperated'' used in the context of for example a bouncer refuses you entry into a nightclub. Notice the dropped H in this phrase, very important you cannot say 'having a laugh' it would not scan to an Englishman it has to be said as ''No youre Aving a laugh mate!''

Ave it large- Meaning boasting or acting in a boisterous or offensive manner used in context ''look at this wanker- Aveing it large int he?'' again never use the H and say 'having it large' noone would understand you.

Giving it 'all that'- Being cocky and self assured, context: 'that wanker was giving it all that'

Laughing boy- unkind referral to an individual who is a Geek or misfit, sometimes used for the character of a related story whose name is unknown for instance ''so the door opens and in comes laughing boy'' Never used for someone close or whose name is known.

Luv-a-duck- Blimey, fuck-a-pig , sod me, stone me, same as saying Jesus, or jess, or shoot in American.

Git- used as a friendly insult in a jokey manner to someone you like context ''pete Townsend is a genius.....the git'' always use a pause for maximum effect.

Jolly boys outing- Night out drinking and looking at women same as Jolly up

Blighty- Name Britishers give to England usually when abroad, affectionate term comes from the Indian word Blaty meaning 'home' and used by troops stationed there when we owned the world.

Muckers- Cockney phrase for best friend

My Hoppo- Same as above

Knocking em back- getting drunk can only be used in context of alcohol for instance never say 'see him drinking those diet cokes he was knocking em back' the correst phrase would be ''see him knocking back those beers?''

Posh Gaff- Very upper class establishment

Whips it off- takes something (clothing for instance) off very quickly usually used in a sexual context i.e ''she whipped her bra off''

Rifling through- looking through something in a quick fashion context- someone burgling a house for instance would rifle through the knicker drawers.

Tosser- This is almost a swear word but not for instance you would never call someone you like a tosser, it is like wanker, in fact it is the same thing, can be used in its original sexual manner i.e ''tossing off'' same as ''jerking'' or ''wanking'' off.

Sod, sodding Sod off Sod you Sod it- Very common english swear word less offensive now as it used to be originates from the act of Sodommy meaning anal sex.

Gutted- devastated, really upset. context- ''i was gutted'''' hes gutted''

Ruck- fight as in ''she wanted a ruck'' can mean verbal

Half-inched- Cockney ryhming slang for Pinched i.e to steal.

Berk- light hearted name for a person of a lesser intellectual standard ''you berk'' Cockney ryhming slang comes from ''berkshire Hunt'' - Cunt

My old man- my father

Get yer kit off- Please undress quickly

Tottie- good looking women, can also be used as ''look at the tottage in ere''

Stroll on- no way will i comply with you in american you would say 'get out of town'

Bleeding- same as bloody

Family jewels- Male Genitals, never use as female genitals, it dont make sense.

Borrasic- without money, cockney ryhyming slang- Borrasic lint- Skint

Skint- No money

Creased up- Laughed a lot

Boat-Race- Cockney Ryhming slang- meaning Face

Claret- Londoners word for blood named after the colour of course!

Pony- Twenty English Pounds

Monkey- Fifty English pounds but also oddly 500 quid

Quid - A pound

Riff-Raff- Cockney phrase for people of a lesser social standing than oneslf. Later picked up and nowadays only used by middle-class idiots or as a joke phrase.

Up-West- If you live in the East End of London to go out on the town is reffered to as ''going up west'' because central London and the clubs etc are in the west of the City. Used as ''i may even go up west and treat meself''

Tarby- Jimmy Tarbuck- startingly bad comedian whose only punchline is that he comes from Liverpool. Thankfully Tarby had the most success in the 70's but chillingly he is appearing more and more lately on British TV, god help us.

Getting on my Tits- Really annoying me or 'bugging me' in american.

Ronnie Ancona- By far the most beautiful, sexy and talented woman on British TV, the ultimate woman

Giving Grief- Having a go at, denouncing them or telling off in american 'breaking my balls'

Cream-crackered- Cockney ryhming slang for 'Knackered' meaning tired. You will notice that only the British would change the name of slang itself for instance 'Knackered' is already a slang phrase- only the british would think of rhyming slang for it to pervert it further.

Knackered- see above

Giving me the right hump- to get the hump in english means to get annoyed with used in these contexts-'' hes got the right hump'' ''hes giving me the right hump'' ''dont get the hump with me''

Sling your Hook- to sling your hook means to go away quickly used in an argument or when someone is ''giving you the right hump'' (see above) context- ''you are giving me the right hump- sling your bleeding hook''

Screaming ab-dabs- absoulute terror or fear- context ''gave me the screaming ab-dabs it did''

Would you Adam and Eve it- Cockney rhyming slang Adam and Eve it- you wont believe it i.e Adam n eve = belive.

All mouth and no trousers- phrase given to a boastful man never a woman

Blinding- outstanding brilliant

Brass neck- very bold -pre-supposing cocky cheeky context shes got a brass neck on her

Brass monkeys- freezing cold weather full version ''cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey'' hardly ever used in its entirety anymore.

Dab-hand- to be expert at something context ''im a dab hand with a paintbrush''

Diamond Geezer- a lovely bloke very nice man context ''that Pete townshend is a diamond geezer''

Munter or Munta- very ugly woman, possibly fat usually wearing mini skirt and high heels

Thruppenny Bits- cockney ryhming slang for tits

Old lil's- womens breasts

Uphill gardener- a homosexual

Knobster- same as knob Knob as in derogatory term for a fool not (as it can be used) the slang name for the male apendage.

Slapper- derogatory term for a woman with no sexual morality in context ''look at that old slapper''

Schlepp- out on the pull meaning out to meet the opposite sex for a sexual liason, can also be used as an insult, context- 'you are an old schlepp'

The old in-out- Slang for the act of intercourse

Bonking- as above

Four legged humping beast- as above

Shagging- as above

knee trembler- as above but in a standing position

A right goer- female who enjoys the above activity

going like the clappers- description of a good sexual experience

Giving it some welly- as above

Bees Knees- the dogs bollocks as in something very fantastic

Cor!- as in wow, blimey! an expresion of surprise and enjoyment- context ''cor look at her''

Doddle- if something is a doddle then it is easy

Fanny- This is not bottom in english as you americans say it, fanny is the female sexual organ- be very careful when and how you use this word

Lovely Jubbly- something is brilliant or well pleased with how it has gone

Sweet fanny adams- sweet F.A meaning Fuck all nothing i have sweet fanny adams

Yonks- years -context havent seen you for yonks mate

Gerroutoffit- quikened version of Get out of it- means to go away

Mad!- brilliant good great

Wicked- the same as above

One wave short of an ocean- insane

sandwich short of a picnick- as above

totally tonto- as above

Fuming- very mad (angry)

made up- northern phrase for pleased

Wind-up-merchant- someone who enjoys playing tricks on people, leading them to believe some rubbish for fun in context - ''Pete townshend is a bloody wind-merchant because he thinks im crap'' in american it would be ''im just fucking wid you''

Do one- originally a scouse phrase for 'go away' now used by everyone context ''oi, mate- do one''

Ansome- derives from Handsome, used when you are very pleased with something primarily a Londoners phrase.

TA- derived from Thanks meaning thankyou

Do what?- pardon? even if the unheard statement was not containing an order to do something

Chav- person of questionable background 'trailer park trash' in american

Gypo- as above

Pikey- as above

Urchin- as above

Hoodie- as above except these are their offspring named after the hooded top that is their uniform

Wicked- very good excellent

Nice one mate- thats great my friend

butchers- to have a butchers is to have a look, derives from butchers hook- cockney ryming slang

Dilly-Dally- to waste time and hang around, hesitation

Cock-linnet- a minute

ang on a tic- hold on for one minute

Hand Shandy- male masturbation

One off the wrist- as above

J. Arthur - As above- derives from cockney ryhming slang J.Arthur Rank= Wank

A sort- A sort is a very good looking girl its not a derogatory term and is quite a compliment context ''yeh shes a rigtht sort an all''

An-all- Small phrase that britishers add to a sentence for no apparent reason- for instance ''ive an eadache an-all'' derives from as well.

Pull the other one its got bells on- meaning 'i dont believe you i am not that gullible 'derives from 'pulling the leg' leg pulling is the same as wind-up, meaning to 'fuck wid someone' in american.

Pete tong- Meaning to go wrong, cockney ryming slang- named after the famous British DJ Pete Tong

Hank Marvin- Starving- Derives from ryming of shadows Guitarist Hank Marvin

Brown Bread- Dead

'Sharon' - derogatory name for a bird that usually has dyed blonde hair wears miniskirts, white stillettos and is relatively easy with her virtue

Mush- Londoners phrase for face

Blag- to borrow or take with no intention of giving it back

Ratners- VERY cheap and nasty jewellers on every high street famous for the quote of their owner John Ratner who said ''we only sell crap'' sometime in the late eighties.

Gob- can mean ones mouth, or to gob on one - context 'he gobbed on me'' he spat at me.

Gobbing off- chatting about nothing or boasting

Flasher- someone who exposes himself in a public place

Old chap- Penis

Old Fellah- as above

Old man- father

Old lady- either mother or wife

Er indoors- wife

Vicar- a preist

Off my Gourd- very drunk or drugged up

Caned- as above

Welsher- Very unfourtunate person who was born in the country of Wales which is tacked on the side of England and is full of people with very low foreheads and no sense of humour

Harry Lash- either cockney ryming slang for 'slash' meaning to piss, or it can mean going out for a few drinks, I.E - Harry lash = slash slash= Piss out on the piss =to get drunk

'On the Piss- to get drunk, name derives from how much beer makes you urinate

Vicar- man of the cloth, preist

Man carrying a brick- term for a man of very religous tendancies

Man who punches buns (bun-puncher) tea totaller

Bible Puncher- religous person

Jacksie- arse, bottom backside

At the dogs- Greyhound racing exactly as horse racing but with ....dogs

Pished- pissed in scottish

Dutyfree- as the taxes are terrible in England common people travel out of the UK by ferry usually with the sole intention of not paying the excise duty on booze and fags, therefore getting it cheaper, this is legal although there is a certain amount you can bring back before you have to pay the duty on it.

A do- a 'do' is a party or function for example what yanks would call a bachelor party we would call a 'stag do' can be used for any type of party- for example a 'posh do', ''theyre having a do'', '''i went to a great do the other night''

Get up- ''in the full get up'' used as in a costume or outfit ie- wearing the full getup, fully dressed in that outfit.

Soap-dodger- dirty person, person who goes to glastonbury every year or a traveller

Two- and eight - a state cockney ryming slang, a state being in a mess ''look at the state of me''

Bang out of order!- very wrong in your actions in a deliberate way

brass neck to have cheek, to have a nerve, cheeky

noone knew from adam- English phrase to emphasise the fact that nooone knows you.

Binbag- black plastic garbage bag

Porkie Pies- cockney ryming slang porkie pies- Lies , not to be confused with mince-pies-eyes

Offering up prayers for his soul- wishing illness or death for someone

Gone for a burton- ended up i a bad way, example when someone dies they have gone for a burton, if you lose something, drop or break something it can be used.

Stone the Crows- sod me, Blow me down, i am very surprised

Wind-up- teasing

Chops- Cockney phrase for face usually the cheeks for example, ''tears rolling down his chops''

Arkright- stuttering like Arkright- Arkright was a character in the hit British sit-com 'Open all hours' written by comedy genius Ronnie Barker.

Nicked- to be arrested or charged with an offence

Old Bill- The Police, unkown origin

Scouser- Denzien of the northern town that the beatles come from....Liverpool

In a right two and eight- Cockney ryhming slang 2 and 8- state

Twat- The term may be an insult but also as a fun phrase when used about oneself ' 'Im such a twat'' meaning fool -it is used in the jocular as it is prone to wordplay, a common example being the dirty pun, "twat did you say I 'cunt hear you?'' The truth is it is a slang term for the female genitals that dates back further than early victorian times. In short I am a twat.

Bob- ''Lend us a few bob till payday' term for any amount of money 'quite a few bob' just a few bob' etc derives from pre decimal days bob was slang term for shillings.

Gregory- Neck, gregory peck= Neck cockney ryhming slang

And then some- ''Hes a twat'' ''Yeh and then some'' to agree with a statement and add some to it

I should coco- No i wont- god only knows why this is said or where it came from


Blogger Dale said...

Now who's stalking who...

I feel like a stalker - I love your blog(s).

And this is the blog I've been waiting for!

I'm not American, but I'm Canadian & have some different ways, too, eh...

I'm also a stickler for proper grammar, punctuation, etc.

Sometime I should just write outside of the box.


10:17 PM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

this is priceless for me, given all the new non-yankees i have been befriending. thanks! but is it real, or made up?

4:45 AM  
Blogger neilbymouth said...

Dale- proper grammer dont matter none do it? what box do you mean and if you write outside it what have you written on? (lol only joking with you)
Elizabeth- everything in this blog is seriously real British slang used everyday by us mad lot of britishers- the other blog contains them in its posts so this is the explanation to their meanings

7:37 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

On the floor, the walls, the ceiling, the attic...

3:37 PM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

You gotta be kidding! These are not real!
Once I told an Italian friend of mine that a refrigerator was a friggy-diggy. I was only 15 but I regret it now. That was a bit cruel.

4:37 PM  
Blogger neilbymouth said...

Elizabeth- these are very real, read a book like quadrophenia or watch an episode of eastenders on the bbc channel over there, they are real im afraid to say.

7:57 AM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

quadrophenia's a book?
-clueless in nyc

10:27 AM  
Blogger James Casey said...

Neil's not kidding, all of this is very real.

"And Koos" - brilliant. Made me grin a lot. Even if this website becomes the standard glossary of modern English ther web-wide, you should keep the "and Koos". I can just picture people six years from now saying to each other, "Koos? Where do Koos live?"

7:41 AM  
Blogger neilbymouth said...

lol you had me laughing outloud at that thought james- something ive not done since 1973- classic. Thanks for your words about it being true people think its all made up!!!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

...and Koos.

Missed it all these times, but had to check back with my glasses on...
I can see much better that way.

In Canada we have a lot of the same terms.

My husband keeps the family jewels with him at all times, so that when we get broken into, the burglar can rifle through all the drawers & still not find them...

4:25 PM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

i esp like the cockney rhymes. my friend shanon and i talk in rhyme also, we call oakland goatland, and san francisco, sam clam's disco. etc etc.
my son, 5, is busta rhyme himself.
he can rhyme any word . . .

4:16 AM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

Are the exclamations: "Steaming Pistons!" and "Bust my Boiler!" real, or made up for the children's book/tv series of Thomas the Tank Engine?
My son wants to know.

4:35 AM  
Blogger neilbymouth said...

theyre made up for the show, elizabeth- at least ive never heard them myself if they are real !

7:19 AM  
Blogger James Casey said...

Oh good, I was just about to say you need to add 'jacksie'. I love that word.

10:59 AM  
Blogger elizabeth solaka said...

this glossary is a gem. i have a fondness for glossaries/dictionaries/textbooks. I have had the same dictionary for years, and each time I look up a word, I mark it.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

You've missed binbag...

5:03 PM  
Blogger Ben R said...

Can't believe the acronym Norwich isn't there mate!

As Manuel would say ,"Que?" (I don't have any bloody upside-downy Spanish question marks!)

(K)nickers Off Ready When I Come Home.

Worthy of a mention methinks!!

Ben R

12:47 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Thank you, Neil.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Tia said...


This glossary is great. Funny stuff. I hope you add to it occasionaly.

If I hear any new phraseses that I don't understand, I'll be sure to contact you.

Here's one you Brits use...Bird.. is this used in reference to a female?

Here's one of ours... bust a gut = eat way too much or laugh so hard ya 'bust a gut'. What's the Brit slang for that?

Oh yeah, I've always wondered... what do you guys call a large deli meat and cheese sandwich made on italian or french bread? We have a few names depending on where you live... in Connecticut we call it a Sub (after the sandwich shop "Subway" headquartered in Milford, Connecticut) But in Massachusetts they call it a Hoagy. And some of my New York friends call it a grinder. And and in Chicago i heard them call it a torpedo.

SMiLE- Tia

6:56 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

...bloody roymin' cockneys...

6:21 PM  
Blogger Metalchick said...

Hi Neil,
I like this glossary, I'll definately be coming back. I've always wanted to learn British slang. Thank You!

2:39 AM  
Blogger MargieCM said...

Neil - this is brilliant, as of course are you. An old boyfriend of mine's dad was an aficionado of British and Australian slang, (we pinched a lot of yours; we were a colony, after all), so what with that and an addiction to old episodes of Minder, this is like looking through an album of old friends. I'm also married to an Englishman, although as he was born in Cambridge he's pretty useless on this sort of vocabulary.

Here in Australia - it may be a regional thing, I'm not sure - a munter would be something different, although I haven't heard it used as a noun; it's more a verb-only word. To munt is to be physically sick / vomit / hurl / technicolour yawn etc., as in: "It was a great night, but I had so many vodka cruisers I nearly munted in the daisies". Cross-culturalsim is a wonderful thing. (Vodka cruisers are not).

There's a great little scene in one of the Austin Powers movies with Michael Caine and Mike Myers talking in rhyming slang. I have to admit there were one or two words I didn't recognise in that, so if you ever feel like posting a full translation I'd be grateful. Let me know if you want a transcript.

Anyway, a couple of others: Tia - "bird" is a young or youngish female, but to "do bird" can also mean to do a stretch in jail.

Ben r - don't forget "BURMA" (Be Upstairs Ready My Angel") Both from Alan Bennett's telegram sketch - hilarious.

Did I do OK Neil?

Thanks for the pointer here!
M x

5:48 PM  
Blogger Alecia said...

I'm still looking for the definition of twat! - dear kind Sir Neil of Slangdom.

8:23 AM  
Blogger sue-from-barking said...

Stalker? Not the creepy follower, what does it mean in London

2:35 PM  

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