MORE BRITISH SLANG
I'm always trying to help writers - and add to their vocabulary. Read on ...
Posh - Roughly translates as high class, though if you look at Posh Spice there are clearly exceptions to the rule! Comes from the cabins used by the upper class on early voyages from England to India. The coolest (and most expensive cabins) were Port side on the way Out and Starboard on the way Home.
Potty - This isn't just the thing you sit a toddler on - if you are potty it means you are a little crazy, a bit of a looney, one card short of a full deck.
Pound sign - Ever wondered why Brits flounder when voicemail messages say to press the pound sign? What on earth is the British currency doing on a phone anyway? Well, it isn't. To a Brit, the pound sign is the wiggly thing we use to denote the UK pound (or quid), in the same way you have a dollar sign.
Prat - Yet another mildly insulting name for someone. In fact, this one is a bit ruder than pillock so you probably wouldn't say it in front of Grandma.
PTO - This is an abbreviation for "please turn over". You will see it on forms in the UK where you would see the single word over in the USA.
Puff - If a Brit starts giggling in your local drugstore - it may be because they have just found a box of Puffs. To some of us Brits a Puff is another word for a fart. Stems from the cockney rhyming slang, to "Puff a dart".
Pukka - This term has been revived recently by one of our popular young TV chefs. It means super or smashing, which of course is how he describes all his food.
Pull - Me and the lads used to go to the disco when we were on the pull. It means looking for birds. Of course, it works the other way round too. The ladies may also be on the pull, though probably a bit more subtly than the chaps!
Pussy - This is what we call our cat, as in "pussy cat", or in the fairytale, Puss in Boots. So if you have a Brit neighbour who asks if you have seen their pussy - try to keep a straight face and think back the last time you saw their cat!
Put a sock in it - This is one way of telling someone to shut up. Clearly the sock needs to be put in their loud mouth!
Put paid to - This is an expression which means to put an end to something. For example you could say that rain put paid to the cricket match, meaning it stopped play.
Queer - Apart from the obvious gay link, this word used to be used a lot to mean someone looked ill. As in "You look queer". Of course you might not say that these days in case you get either picked up, or thumped!
Quid - A pound in money is called a quid. It is the equivalent to the buck or clam in America. A five pound note is called a fiver and a ten pound note is called a tenner.
Quite - When used alone, this word means the same as absolutely!
Rat arsed - Yet another term for drunk, sloshed or plastered. You might say loaded. In the UK, loaded is a men's magazine that covers sex and football.
Read - If someone asks you what you read at university, they mean what was your major at school.
Really - This is one of those words where you say almost the same thing as us, but just can't be fagged to finish it off. The word is "really", not real. You say things like it's real hot, something's real cool, a baby is real cute. If we said that we would be sent to the back of the class for our grammar - or lack of it!
Redundancy - If you are made redundant it means you are laid off.
Reverse the charges - When you want to ring someone up and you have no money you can call the operator and ask to reverse the charges in the UK. In the US you would call collect.
Right - I'm feeling right knackered. That would mean you were feeling very tired.
Ring - You would ring someone on the phone not call them, in the UK. Try saying "give me a ring" to the next Brit you meet. This does not work well in reverse. I asked someone in a shop to ring me up and he dragged me to the till and pulled my head across the scanner!
Roger - Same kind of problem that Randy has here, except we have people called Roger and no Randys. You will see a strange smile on the face of a Brit every time "Roger the Rabbit" is mentioned!! To roger means to have your wicked way with a lady. My Oxford English Dictionary says to copulate. You might say screw.
Round - When you hear the words "your round" in the pub, it means it is your turn to buy the drinks for everyone in the group - nothing to do with the size of your tummy! Since beers are more and more expensive these days, the art of buying the rounds has developed into ensuring you buy the first one before everyone has arrived, without being obvious!
Row - Rhymes with "cow" this means an argument. You might hear your Mum having a row with your Dad, or your neighbours might be rowing so loud you can hear them!
Rubbish - The stuff we put in the bin. Trash or garbage to you. You might also accuse someone of talking rubbish.
Clancy's comment: Okay, time to put a sock in it and go ...
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