Richard Smith's

Compendium of Britishisms

This page is dedicated to the uniqueness of the British way of speaking. I hope that by creating a page such as this, foreign viewers of British television programs, or travellers to the UK are able to make head or tail of what people are talking about.

I have also included a list of famous (debatable) people that may also help in this goal.

If you see any errors, ommissions or have new explanations to add, please email me at the address shown at the end of the page.

Minor update June 16th 1996.

This page will be continuously receiving new additions, so please keep coming back !

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General British Phrases

These phrases are in everyday use around most of Britain.

I am not sure of their origin, but if you see any that 
should be moved to other sections, please email me.

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
99                         a popular style of ice cream, usually
			   ordered with a 'flake'
'A' levels                 exams taken at age 18
abso-bloody-lutely         a more definite form of 'absolutely'
afters                     dessert
aggro                      trouble; violence
all broke up               on holiday, usually from school
all of a twitter           very nervous or apprehensive
aluminium                  aluminum
arse                       bottom, or ass
arse bandit                a homosexual
arse over tit              to fall head over heels
arse about                 playing around, being silly
			   e.g. "stop arsing about!"
artic                      an articulated lorry; a bick truck
Aussie                     an Australian
backhander                 a bribe
bag                        an unattractive or elderly woman
balderdash                 rubbish; nonsense
balls-up                   a mess; a confusion
banger                     (1) an old car; (2) a sausage
barking mad                crazy
batty                      dotty; crazy
beak                       magistrate
beehive                    a tall hairstyle
bees knees                 something really good
beetle crusher             a boot; a foot
behind                     bottom; buttocks
berk                       a stupid person
			   e.g. "you silly berk"
bevvy                      a drink
bit of fluff               a pretty young single woman
bill, the                  police, sometimes called "the old bill"
binge                      a drinking bout
bin liner                  garbage bag
bin men                    garbage collectors
bint                       a rough girl
biro                       a ballpoint pen
bit of alright             something highly satisfactory
black maria                a police van
black pudding              a sausage like food made from
			    - pigs blood
			    - oats
			    - fat
black sheep of the family  a relative who gets into trouble with the
blag                       a robbery; to rob
blagger                    a robber
Blighty                    England
blimey !                   an expression of surprise
blob                       a contraceptive
blotto                     drunk
blower                     telephone
			   e.g. "there's somebody on the blower for you"
blow your own trumpet      to brag; to boast
blubber                    to cry
bobby dazzler              a remarkable person or thing
bog                        a toilet, a washroom
bollock naked              stark naked
bollocks                   testicles
bonce                      head
bonk                       to copulate
bonnet                     hood of a car
bookie                     betting shop owner
boot                       trunk of a car
boracic                    penniless
bosch                      a derogative term for germans
bovver                     trouble
bovver boot                a heavy boot, possibly with a toe cap and laces
			   quite often worn by skinheads
bovver boy                 a hooligan; a troublemaker
brass monkey weather       cold, taken from the phrase, "it's cold enough
			   to freeze the balls off a brass monkey"
breakdown van              a tow truck
brickie                    a bricklayer
brill !                    short form of brilliant, meaning fantastic
brolly                     an umbrella
browned off                bored; fed up
Brummy                     a native of Birmingham
bubble and squeak          fried cabbage and potatoes
bubbly                     champagne
bugger all                 nothing; very little
bumf                       toilet paper
			   this led to 'bumf' being used for superfluous
			   papers, letters etc.
bumming a fag              requesting a cigarette
			   e.g. "Can I bum a fag from you mate ?"
			   Note: This has a VERY different meaning
			   in the U.S.
bunch of fives             a fist
"button it !"              "be quiet !"
caff                       a cafe
cake hole                  a person's mouth
cardy                      abbreviation of cardigan
champers                   champagne
char                       tea; a domestic worker
cheeky monkey              a rude person
cheesed off                bored; fed up
chin chin                  a drinking toast
chippy                     a fish and chip shop; a carpenter
chokey                     prison
chuffed                    very pleased or proud
clapped out                worn out, broken
clappers                   to go very fast; to work hard
			   e.g. That car goes like the clappers !
			   e.g. I have to work like the clappers
			   to finish it by lunchtime !
clickety click             66 in bingo calling
clink                      prison
clinker                    somebody who is outstanding
clobber                    clothing
clodhopper                 a clumsy person
clogger                    a soccer player who tackles heavily
clot                       a fool
cloth-ears                 a person with a poor sense of hearing
cobblers                   testicles; rubbish
cock and bull              a story with very little truth in it
cock up                    to ruin something
			   e.g. "it was a real cock-up"
			   e.g. "haved you cocked it up ?"
coffin nail                a cigarette
conk                       nose
conkers                    a childrens game played with horse chestnuts
copper                     police man/woman
cough up                   to pay
crackers                   crazy
cracking                   great; fantastic
crackling                  a woman who is regarded as a sexual object
crate                      an old name for a very old plane
create                     to make a fuss or an angry scene
crown jewels               male genitalia
crumbly                    an old or senile person
crumpet                    a desirable woman
dabs                       fingerprints
daft                       stupid
dark horse                 somebody who suprises others by their actions
des res                    Estate agents use this to describe a
			   "desirable residence"
dial                       face
dickie bow                 a bow tie
diddicoy                   a gipsy
dip                        a pickpocket
dishy                      good looking
do a runner                to leave quickly avoiding punishment
doddle                     easy
dog's bollocks             something really good
dog's breakfast            a mess
donkey's breakfast         a straw hat
doodah                     to be in a state of excitement
			   e.g. "He was all in a doodah !"
doolally                   scatter-brained; crazy
doorstep                   a thick sandwich
dosh                       money
doss house                 a cheap lodging house
dosser                     a tramp
do the dirty on            to play a mean trick on 
dough                      money
droopy drawers             an untidy or sloppy person
drop a sprog               have a baby
drum                       a house or flat
duffer                     a stupid person
dummy                      a baby's pacifier
earful                     to get a shouting
			   e.g. "My mum gave me a right earful !"
easy-peasy                 something very simple
earner                     a lucrative job or task
elevenses                  morning tea break
extracting the urine       see "taking the piss"
fab                        fabulous; wonderful
face-ache                  a miserable looking person
fag                        cigarette
fag-end                    a cigarette butt
fairy                      a homosexual man
family jewels              male genitalia
fanny                      female genitalia
fence                      a receiver of stolen goods
filth, the                 police
fishy about the gills      looking the worse for drink
fizzog                     face
flake                      a stick that is made up of flaky
			   pieces of chocolate
flicks, the                the cinema
flog                       to sell
footy                      football; soccer
fuzz, the                  police
gamboll                    a somersault done on the ground
gamp                       an umbrella
gentleman's gentleman      a valet
Geordie                    a native of Newcastle
gift of the gab            being very free with speech
git                        an insult
			   e.g. "You stupid git !"
give it a whirl            try it out
give someone the pip       to get on someone's nerves
gob                        mouth
gobsmacked                 speechless
goes like stink            very fast
good nick                  very good condition
gooseberry                 a fifth wheel
goosegog                   a gooseberry
go to the dogs             to go to ruin
grass, grasser             an informant
hang about                 wait a moment
hell for leather           very fast
hols                       holidays
home and dry               to be safe
hush                       silence
inexpressibles             trousers
in good fettle             in good health
in the altogether          nude
in the know                to have inside information
in the noddy               nude
jam packed                 very full
jar                        a drink, usually a pint of beer
jelly                      jello
jerry                      a chamber pot
jerry builder              a builder of unsubstantial houses
Jock                       a scottish person
Jonah                      a bringer of bad luck
jumped up                  to be conceited
jumper                     sweater
keep you hair on           please calm down
kick the bucket            to die
kissed the Blarney Stone   a person who tells tall stories
knackered                  tired, worn out
			   derived from horses being taken to the
			   'knackers yard'
knockers                   breasts
leg it !                   quick lets run !
legless                    drunk
like a rat out of a        very fast
load of bollocks           you're talking crap
			   utter nonesense
loo                        a toilet; a washroom
Liverpudlian               a native of Liverpool (also see Scouser)
lorry                      a truck
man in blue                a policeman
marmite                    a spread for sandwiches
me old cock                my old friend
meat and two veg.          male genitalia
mind your P's and Q's      to be careful; to be polite
moggy                      cat
mom`s the word             it's a secret between you and me
			   can be abbreviated to "Keep mom !"
money for jam              an easy job
money for old rope         an easy job
mother's ruin              gin
mucker                     mate, friend
mucky pup                  someone who has soiled themselves
			   e.g. "You mucky pup !"
mug                        face
mutton chops               side whiskers
nancy boy                  an effeminate male
nark                       a police informer
nightie                    a nightdress
nick                       prison; to steal
			   e.g "Hey, my bike's been nicked !"
nick, the                  prison
nincompoop                 a fool
nipper                     a young or small child
nippy                      (1) fast, or (2) cold
			   e.g. (1) "that car is nippy !"
			   e.g. (2) "it's nippy out today"
nix                        nothing
none too easy              very difficult
			   e.g. "that exam was none too easy !"
nosey parker               somebody who is nosey
not bad                    very good
not so hot                 not very good, awful
old man                    father
old girl                   mother
old lady                   mother
one in the oven            pregnant, also "a bun in the oven",
			   "up the plum duff" and "in the pudding club"
on spec                    on chance
on the nod                 on credit
on the razzle              dressed up and looking for sex
on the tap                 looking for sex
on your bike!              go away!
out for a duck             obtained a zero score
Paddy                      an Irishman
paralitic                  to be drunk
pavement                   sidewalk
pictures, the              the cinema
pick-me-up                 a tonic
pie eyed                   to be drunk
pigs, the                  police
pigs breakfast             a mess
pigs ear                   a mess
pig in muck                somebody in their element
			   e.g. "he is as happy as a pig in muck"
pillock                    an insult
pinny                      apron
pissed                     drunk
pissed off                 to be annoyed
			   e.g. "I was pissed off !"
			   e.g. "He really pissed me off !"
			   The US replace "pissed off" with "pissed" alone.
piss head                  somebody who is drunk quite often
plastered                  drunk
			   e.g. "He's plastered !"
play hookey                to play truant
plimpsolls                 childrens non-laced sneakers
plod                       police man/woman
plonk                      cheap wine
			   e.g. "This plonk's not bad !"
plonker                    (1) penis, (2) fool
			   e.g. "you silly plonker !"
plus fours                 trousers
ponce                      a homosexual
pong                       a bad smell
pooh pooh                  to reject an idea
			   e.g. "He pooh pooh'd my idea !"
pools, the                 a weekly betting game based on the outcome
			   of soccer matches; run by Vernons and
			   Littlewoods (and possibly others)
pratt                      an insult
			   e.g. "you stupid pratt !"
preggers                   pregnant
pudding                    dessert
pull a bird                meet a woman; pick up a girl
			   quite often shortened to 'pull'
			   e.g. "Did you pull ?"
pull a fast one            to fool or swindle somebody
pull a pint                hand pump beer into a glass
pull a stroke              to outsmart
pull the other one         I don't believe you
			   short form of "pull the other one, it has
			   bells on"
pull your pud              to masterbate
pumps                      running shoes
punter                     a customer
purse                      a ladies wallet
put a sock in it           to be quiet
put the anchors on         to apply the brakes; to slow down
put the boot in            to beat somebody up
put the kibosh on          to put a stop to something
put the wind up            to scare
Queer Street               where you are if you don't have
			   any money
quiff                      a fancy hairstyle
randy                      horny
rave up                    a good party
readies                    cash
ropey                      flaky or dodgey
rozzer                     policeman
rug                        a wig; a toupee
rubbed the wrong way       to upset somebody
salt                       a sailor
same to you with brass     usually said in response to a derogatory
      knobs on !!          remark
sarnie                     a sandwich
scab                       a strike breaker
scallywag                  a mischevious person
scarper                    to run away fast, possibly avoiding
Scouser                    a native of Liverpool (see also Liverpudlian)
scrap                      a fight
scrubber                   a cheap or loose woman
shag                       to copulate
shake a leg                to get a move on
shall I be mother ?        shall I pour the tea ?
sheckels                   money
silly arse                 a foolish person
skivvy                     a domestic servant
slash                      to urinate
			   e.g. "I'm going for a slash."
smalls                     underwear
smart alec                 a clever person
snifter                    a drink of spirit
snog                       to kiss
snuff it                   to die
sod                        derogatory remark, derived from sodomy
soldiers                   bread cut into thin strips for dipping into
			   a boiled egg
so stick that in your      usually said after a derogatory remark
pipe and smoke it !
sozzled                    drunk
spam                       a rather tasteless form of tinned meat
spanner                    a wrench
sparky                     an electrician
splice the main-brace      to drink
spread                     a good meal; a feast
sprog                      a young child or baby, could also 
			   mean illegitimate
spud                       a potato
squiffed                   drunk
stewed                     drunk
strides                    trousers, pants
subway                     an underpass
			   a pedestrian walkway beneath a road
swag                       stolen money; a thief's plunder
swing the lead             a malingerer
swizz                      a swindle or cheat
swot                       somebody who studies
ta                         thankyou
Taffy                      a Welshman
ta muchly                  thankyou very much
Tandy                      Radio Shack
take French leave          to leave without permission
taking the piss            making fun of
tea leaf                   thief
terminus                   the end of the bus route
the smoke                  London
three sheets in the wind   drunk
Tic Tac Man                a bookmakers signaller
ticker                     the heart
tights                     pantyhose
"Time gentlemen please !"  Usually said as the pub is closing,
			   so as to request that the patrons
			   finish their drinks.
tip                        a mess
			   e.g. "Your room is a tip !"
toff                       a posh person
tomato sauce               ketchup
Tommy Rot                  nonsense
top sad                    extremely bad
torch                      flashlight
tosser                     see wanker
toss pot                   one who drinks too much
trainers                   running shoes
trollop                    not a nice girl
trousers                   pants
tube                       London Underground
tuck                       in schools it means cake, crisps, 
			   sweets etc.
turf accountant            betting shop owner
turn-ups                   trouser cuffs
turps                      turpentine
under the weather          ill; sick
unmentionables             underwear
vest                       a man's undershirt
wag                        a joker
wagging it                 to play truant
wallflower                 a woman who does not dance
wanger                     penis
wanker                     infers that the subject masturbates
weed                       a weak person
welly wanging              the art of throwing wellington boots
white elephant             a valuable, but useless article
willies, the               nerves
willow                     a cricket bat
willy                      penis
wings                      fenders of a car
Winkle Pickers             shoes with pointed toes
wireless                   a radio
wishy washy                feeble; stupid


Regional Slang

In this section, I have attempted to record the phrases in such a way that when the written word is spoken aloud, the regional accent can be emulated.

Brummy (Birmingham) Slang

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
aggen                      again
arffa bitta                half a pint of bitter (beer)
			   e.g. "Oi'll 'ave arffa bitta please !"
ar kid                     younger brother
arntarff                   they are indeed 
			   e.g. "they arntarff mad"
avya ?                     have you ?
			   e.g. "Avya gorra fag ?"
awroit                     that's okay, all right
			   may be used as a question to ask how 
			   somebody is
ast                        past tense of "ask"
			   "I ast him, burree didn't know !"
bab, babby                 a baby
			   e.g "The bab's croin aggen !"
bluddyell                  an exclamation of surprise
			   e.g. "Bluddyell ! Whats that ?"
boozer                     a public house
			   e.g. "Oi'm gooin to tha boozer"
borrow me                  "lend me"
			   e.g. "Canya borrow me a fiver till Thursday ?"
Brumidgum                  Birmingham
buzz                       a bus
canya ?                    can you
carntya                    can you not ?
cop'old                    to grab hold of
			   e.g. "Cop'old of this will ya !"
come off it                to show disbelief
cut                        canal
daint                      did not
daft as a box o'lights     stupid
dinna                      a lunchtime meal
dun'arf                    don't half, meaning "to really do"
			   e.g. "'e dun'arf run fast !"
ee aa, eeyar               here you are
'er                        the female subject of the conversation
'ers                       to belong to a female
forgerrit                  forget it
for us                     for me
			   e.g. "That munnee was ment for us !"
gardin                     the garden
garridge                   the garage, the place for parking cars
gerroff, gerrout           get off, i don't believe you
gew                        to go, e.g. "Where yer gewin ?"
givvitear                  give it here, give it to me
gizzussit                  give it here, give it to me
gob                        mouth
			   e.g. "Shut yer gob !"
intit                      is it not ?
'im                        the male subject of the conversation
'is                        to belong to a male
me an all                  me as well, me also
moyn                       to belong to one's self
nunk                       nothing
oydernow                   i do not know
ooz izzit ?                who does it belong to ?
owzzizz                    houses
punchyered                 to hit in the face
			   e.g. "Oi'll punchyered if ya doo'it aggen !"
rung                       incorrect
			   e.g. "Yow're rung !"
ten arff                   it really is
			   e.g. "Ten arff cold !"
terraa                     goodbye
watsmarra ?                what is wrong ?
wha ?                      what ? pardon ?
wstyme ?                   what is the time ?
wuzup ?                    what is up ? what is wrong ?
yorn                       belonging to you, e.g. "It's yorn !"
yow                        you

A comedian from Birmingham called Jasper Carrot had a hit record
called "Funky Moped" that was sung entirely with a Brummy accent.


Cockney Rhyming Slang and London area Phrases

Quite often, Cockney rhyming slang may be shortened to to the first word.
This is to increase the deception factor. 
Examples of the shortened form are given where possible.

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
abaht                      about
Adam and Eve               to beleive 
			   e.g. "I don't Adam and Eve it !!"
airs and graces            braces; suspenders in the US
Alan Whicker's             knickers, lady's underwear
Ally Pally                 a nickname for the Alexandra Palace
			   in Muswell Hill, North London
apple pie                  sky
apple pips                 lips
apples and pears           stairs
April showers              flowers
arf                        half
Artful Dodger              a lodger
army and navy              gravy
baked potatah              see you later
bakewell tart              fart                                        
barnet fair                hair
			   Derived from the annual horse fair in Barnet
			   North London.
Barney Rubble              trouble
			   e.g. "are you in a bit of Barney ?"
bar of soap                dope
battle cruiser             boozer, pub
boat race                  face
			   e.g. "She's got a nice boat race!"
bottle and stopper         copper, policeman
bottle of bear             ear

Brahms and Liszt           pissed, drunk
bricks and mortar          daughter
bride and groom            broom
bristols                   from "bristol city" meaning titties, breasts
brown bread                dead
bubble and squeak          a week
			   a greek person
butchers                   from "butchers hook" to look 
			   e.g. "have a butchers at this !"
cain and abel              a table
Captain Cook               a book
cat and mouse              a house
ceramics, ceramic tiles    piles, heamorrhoids
chalfonts                  piles, heamorrhoids from "Chalfont St. Giles"
Charlie Prescot            a waistcoat
china plate                mate, friend
			   e.g. "hello me old china !"
cock sparrow               a barrow
currant bun                son
Daisy roots                boots
dickie bird                word
			   e.g. "he didn't say a dicky" 
dickie dirt                a shirt
dickory dock               a clock
ding dong                  a song
dog and bone               a telephone
			   e.g. "somebody's on the dog and bone for you"
Duke of Fife               a knife
Duke of York               a fork
eau de cologne             a phone
elephant and castle        stick it up your arsehole
elephant's trunk           drunk
engineers and stokers      Brokers
five-to two                a jew
forsyte saga               lager
frog and toad              road 
German band                hand
Gertie Gitana              banana
ginger beer                queer, homosexual
gypsies kiss               piss
half an Oxford Scholar     half a dollar
half inch                  to pinch or steal
Hamstead Heath             teeth
Harry Randle               a candle
hey diddle diddle          fiddle
hot potater                a waiter
irish jig                  wig, hairpiece
Jack and Jill              a Bill
Jack Jones                 on your own
			   e.g. "I'm on my Jack"
Jack Tar                   a sailor
Jack the Ripper            a kipper
jam jar                    a car
Jimmy Riddle               to piddle; to urinate
Jim Skinner                dinner
Joanna                     a piano
Joe Blake                  steak
Joe soap                   a dope, stupid person
kettle                     a watch (if you "watch" a kettle, it doesn't 
King Lear                  ear
Lady Godiva                a fiver; a five pound note
Lillian Gish               fish
lilley and skinner         dinner
loaf of bread              head
			   e.g. "use your loaf !"
London fog                 a dog
Lord of the Manor          a tanner; sixpence
Major Stevens              "evens", a betting term
Marconi                    a pony = 25 pounds
marvlus                    marvellous
merchant banker            a wanker
Michaels, Michael Miles    piles, hemarroids
Mickey Mouse               a house
minces, mince pies         eyes
mortar and trowel          a towel
mutt'n jeff                deaf
Ned Kelly                  telly; television
Nelson Mandela             Stella Artios, a type of beer
north and south            mouth
oak and ash                cash; money
Oliver Twist               a fist
Oxo cube                   the tube; the London underground
Peckham Rye                a tie
pimple and blotch          scotch, whiskey
plates, plates of meat     feet
pony and trap              crap
pork and cheese            a portuguese person
pork pies, porkies         lies
rabbit and pork            to talk
rannit paw                 jaw, to talk too much
			   e.g. "She's got more rabbit than Sainsbury's"
raquel welch               belch
rats and mice              dice
raspberry tart             a fart
rob dog                    a money grabber
rosey lea                  tea
Richard the Third          a turd (I cringe when I hear that one !)
rubbadubdub                pub, drinking establishment
Ruby Murray                a curry
			   Ruby Murray was a singer in the 50's (??).
saucepan lid               kid
sausage roll               dole, unemployment benefit
Sexton Blake               a cake
shell like                 ear
Sherman Tanks              yanks; americans
skin and blister           sister
sorted                     a transaction is completed, usually profitably
stewed prune               a tune
Sweeney Todd               a police group called the "flying squad"
tea leaf                   thief
thruppeny bits             tits, breasts
tit for tat                hat, short form = "tit'fer"
Todd Sloane                on your own
			   e.g. "Are you on your Todd ?"
Tommy Tucker               supper
tom tit                    "shit"
trouble and strife         wife
turtle doves               gloves
whistle and flute          suit, gentelman's attire
woolly woofter             a pufter, an effeminate person
zeig heils                 piles, heamorrhoids

Denominations of Money:

Name           Amount

bob            a shilling
grand          1000 pounds
monkey         500 pounds
pony           25 pounds
tanner         a sixpence
tenner         10 pounds
tilbury        a sixpence


Cornish Phrases

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
bloody emmet               a tourist
cup't                      a cup of tea
like a pig in a poke       not very good
proper job                 that's good
where's it too then ?      where is it ?


Geordie Slang (Newcastle)

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
aalreet                    allright
aalreet pet i'm gannin     okay darling, i am going
bairn                      baby
bait                       a packed lunch
berra                      better
borstin                    in need of the washroom
canny                      good, lucky
fatha                      father
gan                        to go
gan canny                  take it easy
hadaway mara i'm stowed    you're joking friend, go away I'm busy
heed                       head
howay                      get off with you, you must be joking
mesel                      myself
mutha                      mother
neet                       night
netty                      outhouse, toilet
ney                        none, nothing
pet                        affectionat name for wife or darling
proppa                     proper
samidges                   sandwiches
spakka                     fantastic, great
spawny get                 a lucky person
way-ay !                   but of course !
y'cannat                   you can not
y'divvent                  you do not
yee                        you
whorrama ganna dee ?       what am i going to do ?

Watch "Spender" on Showcase Television for some "real" geordie 
verbage !


Liverpool Area Phrases

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
all fur coat an no         pretending to have more money
  knickers                 than you have
takeout                    a packed lunch


Northern England (e.g. Manchester) Area Phrases and Slang

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
adams ale                  water
anyroad                    anyway, also "anyroad up"
argy-bargy                 argument
bap                        a barmcake
barmcake                   a soft white bun
barmpot                    a fool
barmy                      being daft
belt up !                  be quiet !
bobbins                    rubbish
			   e.g. Manchester United played bobbins !
brass                      money
butty                      a sandwich, e.g. a "chip butty" made with
			   french fries
calf lick                  hair that does not lie flat at the front 
			   of the head
cat lick                   see "calf lick"
cha                        tea
champion                   fantastic, great
chara                      a bus
chinwaggin                 gossiping
chuck                      friend or darling, e.g. "hello chuck"
chippy                     a fish and chip vendor
chucky egg                 a hen's egg
clap eyes on               to see
clever clogs               a person who answers a question in a clever 
clock                      to see
cock                       friend, e.g. "hello cock"
codswallop                 nonesense, rubbish
conk                       nose
cuppa                      a cup of tea
dimp                       cigarrette butt
ding dong                  an argument
earwig                     to listen in
Eccles cake                a round-currant filled pastry
'ecky thump !              an exclamation
fair do's                  fair enough
flaming nora               an exclamation
flummoxed                  puzzled
ganzie                     a pullover
gawp                       to stare
gobslotch                  a greedy person
gooseberry                 to be the odd one out
gor blimey !               an exclamation, short for of "God blind
			   me ...", can sometimes be heard as
			   "cor blimey!"
Gordon Bennet !            an exclamation
graft                      work
gyp                        an expression of upset.
			   e.g. "my stomach is giving me gyp"
happen                     maybe
			   e.g. "Happen I will go this evening .."
harp                       to go on about something
heck as like               no, to show disagreement
hey up                     a greeting
jack it in                 stop it, cease doing something
kalied                     drunk
kid                        term of endearment
			   e.g. "hello kid!"
lardy cake                 a heavy cake made similar to bread dough
let                        to have landed on
let the dog see the        get out of the way
lummock                    a clumsy or large person
mardy                      to be spoiled
midden                     a rubbish heap
mither                     to worry or go on about something
mutton dressed as lamb     an older woman dressing in a young fashion
naff all                   nothing
not half                   absolutely, or completely
nowt                       nothing
parkin                     a cake made from oatmeal and treacle
pobs                       bread in milk
prom                       the promenade or boardwalk
put the mockers on         to put a stop to something
runt                       a weak person
scran                      food
simnel cake                a fruit cake
skint                      without money
slummock                   a dirty or unkempt person
snap                       a packed lunch
sneck                      to fasten or close
stick                      abuse
stingo                     good beer
sup up                     drink up, finish a drink
wacker                     a liverpudlian
wally                      a fool
wazzock                    a fool
wuzzock                    a fool
yonks                      a long time


Scottish Phrases and Slang

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
a'                         all
ablow                      below
aboot                      about
abune                      above
ach                        an expression of disgust
aff                        off
afore                      before
agley                      something that is not qite straight
ah                         I
ahint                      behind
ain                        own
aince                      once
Arabs                      Dundee United supporters
awa                        away
aye                        yes
baffies                    slippers
bairn                      a baby or young child
baith                      both
ballop                     a zip fly
banjo                      a single punch
Bankie                     someone from Clyde Bank
coggle                     something that is unsteady
gowk                       an April fool
hoy                        throw
Hun                        a Rangers supporter (derogative)
I cannae                   I cannot
I dinnae ken               I do not know
left footer                a Roman Catholic
lug                        an ear
micht                      might
nae                        no; not
ned                        a young hooligan or criminal
neebur                     a neighbour
peen                       a pin
piece                      sandwich
ra                         the (Glaswegian term)
roup                       an auction
tamashanta                 hat
Tartan Army                supporters of Scotlands National
			   football team
tattie                     a potato
tattie-bogle               a scarecrow
wee                        small
whit                       what
wi                         with
windae                     a window


Welsh Phrases and Slang

Before I start the list, I believe that this placename deserves mention:



"Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid 
whirlpool and the church of Saint Tysilio near a red cave."

(w) indicates that this is an actual 'Welsh' word.

Phrase                     Meaning
------                     -------
atto laugh                 had to laugh, e.g. "I atto laugh"
atuaa                      that you are
awa                        uncle
banjo                      a loaf of bread
bard minded                somebody who thinks bad of others
batch                      a loaf of bread
bished                     tired out
bonk                       a blow, a hit
boo nor bah                nothing
buzz off                   go away
cera ! (w)                 get on with it
cochyn (w)                 someone with red hair
croeso (w)                 welcome
dal                        very little
done a bunk                run away
done shee                  doesn't she
done wannoo                I do not want to
dub                        toilet
gorsaf (w)                 station
fagged out                 tired
forrid                     forehead
gissit year                give it here
gul                        girl
guts                       greedy
hawk                       carry
jest                       just
jibog                      a funny face
lay off                    stop doing it
loosed                     to have let go
never all there            acting foolishly
niff                       a smell
not fussed                 not bothered
oo off                     who gave you that
reel bard                  very bad
rheilffordd (w)            railway
tocyn (w)                  ticket
tren (w)                   train
urdy gurdy                 a circular, rotating clothes line
wine yoo sayen             what are you saying ?

British Personalities

Peronality                 Bio
----------                 ---

Abbot, Russ                entertainer and comedian
Blair, Lionel              dancer and TV personality
Cant, Brian                childrens entertainer
Cooper, Tommy              magician and TV personality, his famous 
			   catch-phrase was "not like that... 
			   like that !" (deceased)
Daniels, Paul              magician and TV personality, his catch 
			   phrase is "you will like this, not a lot,
			   but you'll like it"
Grayson, Larry             personality and game show host with a 
			   homosexual tint. (deceased) Famous catch
			   -phrases include:
			   - "shut that door"
			   - "look at this muck"
			   - "what a gay day"
Green, Hughie              ex host of the game show "Opportunity 
			   Knocks" (very much alive !)
La Rue, Danny              very famous drag artist (artiste ?)
Monkhouse, Bob             ex host of many game shows
O'Connor, Des              entertainer, usually made fun of
Parsons, Nicholas          ex host of the game show "Sale of the 
Rogers, Ted                ex host of the game show '321'
			   He is best remembered for his dextrous 
			   ability in forming the numbers 3,2 and 1 
			   quickly with his fingers.
Wogan, Terry               ex BBC radio personality, now chat show host

Just for fun !!

Here is a list of television programmes that were fun to watch when I was 
a little lad, along with a few memory joggers:

       - "but Emily loved him", the mice, professor Yaffle
     Banana Splits
       - the arabian knights "size of an elephant!"
       - "what time is it ?"
       - trendy beach buggies
     Barnaby the Bear
       - "Barnaby the bear's my name, never call me Jack or James.."
     Blue Peter
       - John Noakes, Valerie Singleton
       - Sticky backed plastic
       - "Get down Shep !"
       - Aunt Flo
     Boris the Bold
     Camberwick Green
       - Windy Miller, whistle for the wind
     Champion the Wonder Horse
       - "It's Friday, it's five to five and it's time for 
	  Crackerjack !"
     Crystal Tips and Alistair
     Double Deckers
     Finger Bobs
     Flashing Blade
     Grange Hill
       - Tucker Jenkins, her from Eastender's
     Hammy Hamsters Tales of the River Bank
     Hector's House
     Ivor the Engine
       - "sshh tickum, sshh tickum, sshh tickum etc. etc.etc."
     Marine Boy
       - jet boots, oxy gum
     Mary, Mungo and Midge
       - the lift
     Mister Men
       - Mr Happy, Mr Sad, Mr Fat, Mr Small etc.
       - Tripitaka the girl who was a boy, Sandy, Pigsy
       - "Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch, from the egg came
	  a stone monkey"
       - flying on clouds, pulling hair from chest and casting spells
     Mr Benn
       - as if by magic ... the shopkeeper appears
     Paddington Bear
       - sandwiches, hats
       - Hartley Hare, Topov the Monkey, some pig or other
     Play Away
       - Brian Cant
     Pogles Wood
       - Rod Jane and Freddy, Zippy, Bungle and George
       - "Up above the streets and houses, rainbow flying high ..."
     Sooty and Sweep
       - Sue, Mr Corbett, Mathew Corbett
       - "izzy whizzy let's get busy"
     The Clangers
       - the soup dragon
     The Herbs
       - Sage the owl, Dill the dog, Parsley the lion
     The Moomins
       - great intro music
     Noah and Nellie
       - the skylark
     The Wombles
       - Orinocho, Uncle Bulgaria, rubbish collection etc.
       - "Underground overground wombling free, the wombles of 
	  Wimbledon common are we"
       - "Time flies by when your the driver of a train, when you 
	  ride on the footplate, there and back again, under 
	  bridges, over bridges, to our destination ..."
     Vision On
     White Horses
     Why don't you
       - "why don't you switch off your television set and go and do 
     The Magic Roundabout
       - Dougal, Florence, Zebedee, Dylan, Brian
       - "Time for bed!"

Those were the days !!


Here are a couple of other good places to visit with a similar theme.

Don't forget to tell them that Richard sent you !

D.J. Barton's very funny list of translations at
The UK/US Dictionary at

Back to my homepage !.

(c) 1995 Richard Smith - A Limey originally from Birmingham, now living in Toronto Canada.