List of british words that are not used
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List of british words that are not used

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List of british words that are not used List of british words that are not used Document Transcript

  • List of British words that are not used in the United StatesWords beginning with Aabseilto descend on a rope (US: rappel). Take from German language abseilen.accountancycalculating and tracking financial matters (US: accounting). In the UK accounting is explaining oneselfor ones actions ("to give an account" or "accountability" in the U.S.A.), accountancy is theprofession.Action ManA toy similar to G.I. Joe.adderviper, a species of venomous snakeadvertadvertisement (US and UK also: ad, commercial (on TV)).agony auntthe author of an agony column – a magazine or newspaper column advising on readers personalproblems. The image presented was originally that of an older woman providing comforting adviceand maternal wisdom, hence the name "aunt". Better known to most Americans as a "Dear Abby"column or advice column.Similarly, agony uncle.air marshalan Air Force officer of high rank (US: general)all changeannouncement on train or bus on approaching the last stop (US: All out)amongstGenerally still in wide usage in the UK, with the alternative among also used. Amongst is consideredarchaic in US usage, but is still occasionally used.answerphone(originally from trademark Ansafone) automated telephone answering device (US and UK also:answering machine).anti-clockwisedirection opposite to clockwise (US: counterclockwise).approved school(old-fashioned) school for juvenile delinquents; reform school. Such institutions have not beenreferred to officially as "approved schools" since 1969. Juvenile delinquents, depending on their ageand level of malfeasance, may now be sent to Secure Training Centres (for ages 15 to 18) or YOIs(Young Offender Institutions – a prison for offenders aged between 18 and 21). (US: juveniledetention center, JDC, juvenile hall, (slang) juvie.)argy-bargy(informal) a disagreement ranging from a verbal dispute to pushing-and-shoving or outright fighting.arsebuttocks, backside or anus, depending on context (US equivalent: ass); to be arsed: to be botheredto do something, most commonly as a negative or conditional (e.g. I cant be arsed, if/when I can bearsed). (Usage of the US equivalent "ass" as a verb is uncommon except in the expression "half-
  • assed", meaning poorly, hastily, or sloppily done.) [to fall] arse over tit (vulgar) [to fall] head overheels. (US: ass over tea kettle).artic (lorry) abbreviation of articulated lorry (US: semi, semi-trailer truck, tractor-trailer).aubergine(French) a solanaceous plant bearing a fruit of the same name, commonly used as a vegetable incooking (US: eggplant). Also a dark purple colour resembling the colour of the fruit.Auntie – sometimes Auntie Beeb (see below) (affectionate slang) the BBC (British BroadcastingCorporation).autocuea prompting system for television announcers (genericised trademark, after a leading manufacturer)(US: teleprompter).Words beginning with Bballs-up(vulgar, though possibly not in origin) error, mistake, SNAFU. See also cock-up. (US: fuck up, screwup, mess up)banger(1) a sausage (from the tendency of sausages to burst during frying); (2) a type of small firework; (3)an old car (allusion to their tendency to back-fire), thus the term banger racing = stock car racing.(US: jalopy).banknote (or note)paper money issued by the central bank (US: "bill")[1]bapsoft bread roll or a sandwich made from it; in plural, breasts (vulgar slang e.g. "a lovely pair ofbaps"); a persons head (Northern Ireland).[2]barmaid *, barmana woman or man who serves drinks in a bar. Barman and the originally American bartenderappeared within a year of each other (1837 and 1836); barmaid is almost two centuries older (circa1658).barneya small quarrel or fight. Not actually from Cockney rhyming slang, trouble, "Barney Rubble" (seeBarney Rubble for the American animation character of the same name)barrister *the only type of lawyer qualified to argue a case in both higher and lower law courts; contrasts withsolicitor. Occasionally used in the US, but not to define any particular type of lawyer.bedsit (or bedsitter)one-room flat that serves as a living room, kitchen and bedroom and with shared bathroom facilities(US: see SRO; compare studio apartment (in British English a studio apartment - sometimes studioflat - would have a self-contained bathroom) efficiency)Beeb, the Beeb(affectionate slang) the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). See also Auntie (above). The nameis thought to have been coined by English BBC radio DJ and comedian Kenny Everett. English bandQueen released an album called At the Beeb in the UK and it had to be called "At the BBC" for USrelease.Belisha beacon
  • orange ball containing a flashing light mounted on a post at each end of a zebra crossing (qv); namedafter the UK Minister of Transport who introduced them in 1934.bell-endthe glans penis, (slang, vulgar) a male orientated insult.berka mildly derogatory term for a silly person. The word is an abbreviation of either Berkshire Hunt orBerkeley Hunt[citation needed] (it is uncertain which is the original phrase), rhyming slang for cunt.(Note that berk rhymes with work, whereas the first syllable of both Berkshire and Berkeley ispronounced bark, in a manner rather similar to the pronunciation of derby as darby. Note alsothat it is considerably less obscene and insulting than its basis, cunt)bespokecustom-made to a buyers specification (US:custom-made)bicky, bikkya biscuit (US: "cookie")binta condescending and sometimes derogatory term for a woman (from the Arabic for daughter).[3]Usage varies with a range of harshness from bitch, referring to a disagreeable and domineeringwoman, to only a slightly derogatory term for a young woman.biro/ˈbaəroʊ/ a ballpoint pen. Named after its Hungarian inventor LászlóBíró and the eponymous ɪcompany which first marketed them.bits and bobssundry items to purchase, pick up, et cetera (e.g. whilst grocery shopping)black pudding(US: blood sausage)blag(slang) to obtain or achieve by deception and/or ill preparation, to bluff, to scrounge, to rob, to wingit. A scam, tall story or deception. Derived from the French word blague.[4]bleederderogatory term used in place of bloke ("whats that stupid bleeder done now?"); use has declined inrecent years.blimey(informal) an exclamation of surprise. (Originally gor blimey, a euphemism for God blind me, but hasgenerally lost this connotation.)bloke(informal) man, fellow. e.g. Terry is a top bloke. Also common in Australia and New Zealand. (US andUK also: guy).blower is known as a telephone.blues and twos(slang) emergency vehicle with lights and sirens (emergency services in the UK generally use blueflashing lights and formerly used a two-tone siren) (US: lights and sirens or code)bobbypolice officer, named after Sir Robert Peel, the instigator of the worlds first organised police force.Bobs your uncle"there you go", "its that simple". Sometimes "Roberts your fathers brother" (as used in the film
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)[5] (Some areas of US do use the phrase Bobs your uncle andFannys your aunt)bobbinssomething of low quality or (more commonly) someone who lacks ability at something, (e.g. "Ournew striker is bobbins") From bobbins of cotton=rotten.bodgea cheap or poor (repair) job, can range from inelegant but effective to outright failure. e.g. Youproperly bodged that up (you really made a mess of that). (US: botch or cob, shortened form ofcobble) See Bodger.boffinscientist or engineer, sometimes abbreviated to boffboglavatory.bog roll(roll of) toilet ("bog") paper (slang). Occasionally shit roll or shit rag (vulgar). Giant bog-roll:kitchen towel.bog-standardcompletely ordinary, run-of-the-mill, unadulterated, unmodified. Originally from "British Or Germanstandard", from a time when engineers wanting a certain quality would make such a specification.(US vanilla).boiled sweettype of confection (US: hard candy)bollocks(vulgar; originally ballocks, colloquially also spelled as bollox) testicles; verbal rubbish (as in "youretalking bollocks") (US: bullshit). The somewhat similar bollix is found in American English, butwithout the anatomical connotations or vulgar sense meaning mess up. The twin pulley blocks atthe top of a ships mast are also known as bollocks, and in the 18th century priests sermons werecolloquially referred to as bollocks; it was by claiming this last usage that the Sex Pistols preventedtheir album Never Mind the Bollocks from being banned under British obscenity laws.[6] Relatedphrases include bollocksed, which means either tired ("Im bollocksed!") or broken beyond repair;bollocks up, meaning to mess up ("He really bollocksed that up"); and [a] bollocking, meaning a sterntelling off. Compare dogs bollocks, belowbone-idle * is when someone is very lazy and does not want to work.bonnetthe panel which covers a vehicles engine and various other parts (US: hood)bootSeparate rear storage compartment of a car. US: trunkbootsfootball/athletic shoes (US called cleats or spikes)bowlera type of mens hat (US: derby)brass monkeyscold – from "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey". According to a popular folketymology, this phrase derives from cannonballs stowed on a brass triangle named after a "powdermonkey" (a boy who runs gunpowder to the ships guns) spilling owing to the frames contraction in
  • cold weather. (This is however incorrect for several physical and linguistic reasons.) The phrase is a20th century variant of earlier expressions referring to other body parts, especially the nose and tail,indicating that the brass monkey took the form of a real monkey.brekkie, brekky(slang) synonym of breakfastbreve(musical) a note of two bars length (or a count of 8) in 4/4 time (US: double whole note)bristols(vulgar, rhyming slang) breasts; from football team Bristol City = tittybrolly(informal) umbrellabrown bread(rhyming slang) dead; "Youre brown bread, mate!"browned offFed up, annoyed or out of patience.bubble and squeakdish of cooked cabbage fried with cooked potatoes and other vegetables. Often made from theremains of the Sunday roast trimmings. (Irish: colcannon)buggered(vulgar, literally a synonym for sodomised) worn out; broken; thwarted, undermined, in apredicament, e.g. If we miss the last bus home, were buggered (US: screwed). Also used toindicated lack of motivation as in "I cant be buggered". Uncommon in the US.bugger alllittle or nothing at all; "I asked for a pay rise and they gave me bugger all"; "I know bugger all aboutplants"; damn all. US: zip, jack or (offensive) jack shit. Usage is rare in the US.building societyan institution, owned by its depositors rather than shareholders, that provides mortgage loans andother financial services (US equivalent: savings and loan association)bum baga bag worn on a strap around the waist (US: fanny [DM] pack)bumbleto wander aimlessly or stroll/walk without urgency to a destination; usually synonymous with bunglewhen used in the US.bumf, bumphuseless paperwork or documentation (from "bum fodder", toilet paper)buncea windfall; profit; bonusbureau de changean office where money can be exchanged (US: currency exchange)burgle *(originally colloquial, back-formation from burglar) to commit burglary (in the US, burglarize isoverwhelmingly preferred, although burgle is occasionally found).buttya sandwich (esp. chip butty or bacon butty).by-election(US: special election)
  • by-lawa local law (US: ordinance)Words beginning with Ccack(slang) faeces (feces); nonsense or rubbish: "what a load of cack" could equally be used to describesomeone talking nonsense or as a criticism of something of poor quality. Also spelt "kak" as used inDutch.Derived from an ancient Indo-European word, kakkos, cognate with German word Kacke,Welsh word "cach" and the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word "cac" which all mean shit.cack-handed(informal) clumsy * ; left-handed. Derived from cack, meaning "fæces (feces)", with reference to thetradition that only the left hand should be used for cleaning the unclean part of the human body(i.e. below the waist).cafetièredevice for making coffee (US: French press)caffabbreviation for a café; now used mainly for the old-fashioned establishment ("theres a proper caffup that side road") to distinguish from chain cafés.cagouletype of lightweight hooded waterproof clothing (US: windbreaker)call minder(rare) telephone message recorder (US and UK also: answering machine; voicemail machine)candidaturesynonymous with candidacycandy flossspun sugar confection (US: cotton candy)caravantravel trailer (US: RV)caravan parkarea where caravans are parked (US: Trailer park for near-permanently-installed mobile homes, RVpark or campground for areas intended for short term recreational vehicle parking. Trailer parks aretypically low-income permanent residencies; RV parks/campgrounds are a holiday (vacation)destination.)car bootstorage area of car (US: trunk). It also canan also mean car boot sale in the UK.car hirecar rentalcar parkarea where cars are parked (US usually parking lot if outdoor, parking garage if indoor).carriagewaythe part of a road that carries the traffic; see also dual carriageway (US and UK also: lane)carrier rocket (rare) a rocket used to place a satellite in orbit (US and UK usually: launch vehicle).cash machine, cashpointautomated teller machine. ("Cashpoint", strictly speaking, refers only to the ATMs of Lloyds TSB,
  • although the term has become generic.)cats eyereflector used to mark lane divisions and edges of roads, also written cats-eye, genericised from thetrademark Catseye (US: raised pavement marker; Botts dots are similar)central heating boiler(US: furnace)central reservationphysical barrier (usually made from armco) dividing oncoming carriageways (only on dual-carriageways or motorways) (US: median strip)chancer(slang) an opportunistchar, cha(informal) tea. From the Chinese.char(informal) see charwomancharladysee charwomanChartered Accountantone authorised to certify financial statements; the equivalent of an American CPA (Certified PublicAccountant)charwoman(dated) a woman employed as a cleaner, especially as an office cleaner Tea lady or canteen staff.chav(slang, often derogatory, used primarily in England) typically a nouveau riche or working class personof most of the time lowish intelligence who wears designer label (e.g. Burberry) copies, fake goldbling, and is a trouble-maker. "Chav" is used nationally, though "charv" or "charva" was originallyused in the northeast of England, deriving from the Roma (people) word charva, meaningdisreputable youth. The closest US equivalents to the chav stereotype are arguably wiggers,although the cultural differences are existent. To a lesser extent "Chotch" (reference sitcomcharacter Charles "Chachi" Arcola), "chinstrap", or simply "douchebag".cheeky *impertinent; noun form, cheek, impertinence; a child answering back to an adult might be told"dont give me any of your cheek" (also there is the expression "cheeky monkey!" in reaction to acheeky remark).cheerio!(informal, friendly) exclamation of farewell (similar to seeya! and ta-ra!). No connection to thebreakfast cereal Cheerios.chemistA shop selling cosmetics, various personal products and over the counter medicines with anattached pharmacy. US: drug store.child-minder(babysitter) a person who looks after babies and young children (usually in the persons own home)while the babys parents are working. Babysitter is more common in the UK.chimney potsmoke-stack atop a house. But refers to the cylindrical topmost part. The part below is the chimney
  • or chimney stack.chinagraph pencilpencil designed to write on china, glass etc. (US: grease pencil, china marker)chinkya Chinese takeaway (commonly used in the north of England). "Im going to the chinky, do you wantowt?" It can be considered offensive by some.chip shop(informal) fish-and-chip shop (parts of Scotland, Ire: chipper), also chippy (see also List of wordshaving different meanings in British and American English)chinwag(slang) chatchip and pincredit/debit cards in UK have a computer chip embedded on the card & require a pin (personal idnumber) number at time of purchase.chucked (out)thrown out; expelled (US: kicked out)chuffed(informal, becoming somewhat archaic, originally Liverpudlian) proud, satisfied, pleased. Sometimesintensified as well chuffed; cf. made upcinemaa place to watch movies (US: a movie theater)chunter(sometimes chunner) to mutter, to grumble, to talk continuously; "Whats he chuntering on about?"clanger(informal) a big mistake, blunder, bad joke or faux pas (to drop a clanger) (US: lay an egg)clapped out(informal) worn out (said of an object)cleghorse flyclingfilmthin plastic film for wrapping food (US: plastic wrap, Saran wrap)clock-watching * (plural clock-watchings)continually looking at the time to see how much longer one has to work or study.coalitiona government made up of two or more political parties (US: fusion administration)cobblersshoe repairers * ; (slang) a weaker version of bollocks, meaning nonsense (often "a load ofold cobblers"), from rhyming slang cobblers awls = ballscock-up, cockup *(mildly vulgar) error, mistake. In traditional archery, describes cock feather misalignment prior tofiring, resulting in a poor shot.[citation needed]codswallop *, codds wallop(becoming old-fashioned) similar to bollocks but less rude, "Youre talking codswallop". After HiramCodd, the inventor of the Codd bottle, which was commonly used in the late 19th Century for fizzydrinks (Codds wallop). (US: Youre talking trash)communication cord
  • near obsolete term for the emergency brake on a train. Is nowadays simply an alarm handleconnected to a PA system which alerts the driver.compère(French) master of ceremonies, MCcompulsory purchasethe power of the governmental authority to take private property for public use (similar to US:eminent domain)conservatoiremusic school (US usually conservatory)cool boxbox for keeping food and liquids cool (US and UK also: cooler)cop off with(slang) to successfully engage the company of a potential sexual partner, to "pull"; to copulate (havesexual intercourse) with.coriander *when referring to the leaves, often called "cilantro" in the USCor Blimeysee Gor Blimeycoster, costermongera seller of fruit and vegcotton budwad of cotton wool fixed to a small stick, used for cleaning (US: cotton swab, Q-Tip)cotton woolSpun cotton, used for cleaning wounds or make-up (US: Absorbent cotton, cotton ball)council house/flat, also council housing or estatepublic housing. (US: projects)counterfoil *stub of a cheque, ticket etc. (US: stub)courgette(French) the plant Cucurbitapepo (US: zucchini, from the Italian).cowl*a wind deflector fitted to a chimney top.crack on(-to)whereas "crack on" may be used in a generalised sense as "[to] get on with [something]" (often, atask), to "crack on to [some person, specifically]" indicates one was, or planned to, engage inflirtation, to varying degreescrikeyexclamation of surprise (once a euphemism for Christs keys or perhaps Christ Kill Me. Popularized inthe US by late Australian herpetologist Steve Irwin)crispsvery thinly sliced fried potatoes, often flavoured, eaten cold as a snack (US: potato chips)crotcheta musical note with a duration of one count in a time signature of 4/4 (common time) (US: quarternote; see Note value)cuddly toy
  • soft toy (sometimes used in the US; also stuffed animal, plush toy). Occurs as the title of theMonkees song "Cuddly Toy".cuppa[cup of] tea (never coffee or other beverage)current accountpersonal bank account used for everyday transactions (US: checking account)Words begging with Ddaft *odd, mad, eccentric, daffy, crazy – often with the implication of it being amusingly so. "Dont bedaft" and "dont be silly" are approximately synonymous.dekko(informal) a look, reconnoître "Ill take a dekko at it later." – British military slang derived from theHindustani dhek/dekho meaning "to see". Also less commonly decco, deccie,deek, deeks.denewooded valley or seaside dune (mainly S W England)dibsCash.dibble (or The Dibble)Police. From Officer Dibble in the early-1960s Hanna-Barbera animated television programme TopCat. Most commonly used in Manchester.div, divvy(slang) a fool or idiot; adjective form, divvy, foolish or idiotic. Also abbreviation of diviner, a personwith the ability to sniff out antiques at a distance (made popular by Jonathan Gashs characterLovejoy)doddlesomething accomplished easily - "Its a doddle", meaning "its easy".dodgems *fun-fair or fairground bumper carsdodgy *unsound, unstable, and unreliable (US: sketchy). That bloke over there looks a bit dodgydogsbodysomeone who carries out menial tasks on anothers behalf; a drudge (US: grunt)the dogs bollocks(vulgar) something excellent or top quality, the "bees knees" (the business), the "cats whiskers".Sometimes just "the bollocks." (US: the shit). In polite company this phrase may be toned down to"The mutts nuts", or the phrase "The bees knees" (the business) may be used as a polite substitute.The etymology of this expression is said by some to derive from printers slang for the punctuationsymbol :- when printing involved the use of carved metal blocks to form typesetting.[clarificationneeded]dole *(informal) welfare, specifically unemployment benefit. Sometimes used in the US, esp. oldergenerationdosh(slang) money (US: dough) "how much dosh you got on ya?"doss
  • (from docile) to be lazy, "Ive been dossing all day", also can mean to truant, "dossing off" (similar tobunking off). Additionally it can informally take the form of a noun (i.e. "that lesson was a doss",meaning that lesson was easy, or good (primarily central Scotland). Also "dosser", a lazy person, or atramp (US bum); "to doss down", to find a place to sleep, to sleep on some substitute for a bed suchas a sofa, the floor, or a park bench; "doss-house", temporary accommodation for tramps orhomeless people, cheap dilapidated rented accommodation with low standards of cleanliness (US:flophouse)double firstan undergraduate degree where the candidate has gained First-Class Honours in two separatesubjects, or alternatively in the same subject in subsequent examinations (see British undergraduatedegree classification)double parked *(slang) having two drinks in your hand (or on the table) at once (US: double fisting). Could also mean,or even originate, from the term double park; which involves parking a vehicle to the side ofanother parked vehicle, or being parked on double yellow lines/being parked illegally.drapera dealer in drapery (i.e. clothing, textiles, etc.) (US: dry goods [DM])draughtsthe board game (US: checkers)drawing pin *pin with a large, flat head, used for fixing notices to noticeboards etc. (US: thumbtack)dress circlethe seats in the first balcony of a theatre (US: balcony or loge although dress circle is used in a fewvery large opera houses that have many levels of balconies)drink-drivingoperating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (US: drunk driving; DUI [Driving Under theInfluence]; DWI [Driving While Intoxicated]; OWI [Operating While Intoxicated])driving licencedocument authorising the holder to drive a vehicle (US: drivers license, driver license)dual carriagewayroad, usually a major one, with each direction of travel separated from the opposing one by a traffic-free, and usually slightly raised, central reservation. Each direction of travel (carriageway) comprisestwo lanes. (US: divided highway)dustbin(sometimes used in the US) receptacle for rubbish, very often shortened to simply bin. (US: trashcan; wastebasket)dustbin man or dustmanrubbish collector (US: garbage man; trash man; sanitation engineer)dustcartrubbish/refuse collecting vehicle (US: garbage truck; trash truck)Words beginning with EElastoplastan adhesive bandage placed on a minor cut or scrape (UK also: sticking/sticky plaster [DM]; US:Adhesive bandage, Band-Aid)
  • electric firedomestic electric heater (US: space heater)engaged tonetone indicating a telephone line in use, (US: busy signal)estate agent *a person who sells property for others (US: realtor, real estate agent)estate cara station wagonex-directory(of a telephone number) unlisted; also informally of a person "hes ex-directory", meaning histelephone number is unlistedextension leadExtension cable typically refers to mains power but may refer to other cables like telephones, (USand UK also: extension cord)Words beginning with Ffaffto dither, futz, "I spent the day faffing about in my room". Also related noun ("Thats too muchfaff").Mainly found in the North of England, but also popular in South Wales.fag endcigarette buttfairinga gift, particularly one given or bought at a fair (obsolete); type of cookie (biscuit) made in Cornwallfairy cakea small sponge cake (US and UK also: cupcake)fairy lightsChristmas lightsfeck(vulgar) mild expletive employed as an attenuated alternative to fuck (including fecker, fecking, etc.)(originallyHiberno English and popularized by the television series Father Ted).fiddlyrequiring dexterity to operate ("the buttons on the tiny mobile phone were too fiddly")fire brigadefire departmentfiscalshort for Procurator Fiscal, name of the public prosecutor in Scotland (US: District Attorney, stateprosecutor etc.)fish fingers(US: fish sticks)fiverfive pound note (bill)fizzy drink *carbonated soft drink (US: soda, pop, coke depending on the region)[7]flannel
  • washcloth (US)flat(US: apartment); also derived from are the British terms block of flats (US: apartment block), or highflats (to describe a high-rise apartment building - see also Tower Block below)flexelectrical lead (UK); electrical cord (US)flyovera road crossing over another road (US: an overpass)footie(slang) football (US: soccer)foot-path, footpathpath that is only for use by those on foot that may or may not be alongside a road. Not usually usedfor paved or widened path that directly abuts the road at a kerb, which is referred to aspavement(US: Sidewalk).fortnight *a period of 14 days (and nights) or two weeksfreephonea telephone number where the caller is not charged for the call (US: toll-free number)French letter(slang) condomfringebangs, as in describing collective strands of hair covering part or all of the foreheadfunfaira travelling fair with amusements, stalls, rides etc. (US: carnival or traveling carnival)full stop(US: periodWords beginning with Ggaff(slang) house, home. Also any other place: cheap music hall, theatre, pub, club, shop, hangoutgaffer *(informal) old man; (informal) boss; football manager (US: soccer coach); Also in US: (professional)chief electrician on a theatrical or film set.gaffer tape *strong, woven, cloth adhesive tape, originally sourced from the gaffer on a film set. (US: gaffers tape,gaff tape)gangway *a path between the rows of seats in a theatre or elsewhere (US aisle; gangway is a naval commandto make a path for an officer)gaolA prison, mostly historical (US: jail)gearbox
  • system of gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US transmission)In UK transmission typically refers to drive shafts.gear-lever / gearstickhandle for changing gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US gearshift[10])gen(informal) information, info (short for "intelligence") (US: intel)get off with *to engage in French kissing - does not usually imply sexual intercourse. (US: make out with)git *(mildly derogatory) scumbag, idiot, annoying person (originally meaning illegitimate; from archaicform "get", bastard, which is still used to mean "git" in Northern dialects)giro(slang), social security benefit payment (US: welfare), is derived from the largely obsolete Girobankpayment system that was once used in Britain for benefit and state pension payments.glandular fevermononucleosisgob1. (n.) mouth, e.g. "Shut yer gob"2. (v.) spit phlegm (US: hock a loogie)gobbyTalkative, particularly when the user of the term does not agree with or approve of what is said.gob-shite(vulgar)(insult) slang term for a person who is being mouthy about something or someonegobsmacked(slang) utterly astonished, open-mouthedgods (the)(slang) the highest level of seating in a theatre or auditorium, usually the "Upper Circle", hence theexpression "we have a seat up in the gods"go pear-shapedsee pear-shapedgoogledconfused (from a cricketing term for a type of delivery bowled, the googly; predates Google)goolies(slang), (British) The testicles, from goli Hindi for ball. (US: genitalia)gor blimeyexclamation of surprise, also cor blimey (originally from "God blind me")gormlessstupid or clumsygo-slowa protest in which workers deliberately work slowly (US: slowdown or work to rule)grated cheese *cheese that has been shredded with a cheese grater hand-held kitchen appliance which often hasthree or four different blade types/widths. (In the US, "grated" cheese tends to be finer thanshredded cheese. One would grate a hard cheese such as Parmesan more than a soft cheese such ascheddar or mozzarella.)
  • grottydisgusting, dirty, poor quality (originally from grotesque, though now rarely used with quite thatmeaning). In a scene from the 1964 film A Hard Days Night, George Harrison has to explain themeaning and origin of the word; the impression is given that it was then considered modern slang,known only to trendy youngsters (this is no longer the case).[11] George Harrison would in fact havebeen familiar with the word as well-established Liverpool slang.[12]greasy spoon *a cheap diner or cafe, specialising in fried or fast food.green fingerstalent for growing plants (US: green thumb)greengrocer *a retail trader in fruit and vegetablesgreengrocerya greengrocers profession, premises or produce (US: Produce or Farmers Market)group captainan Air Force officer rank (US: colonel)Guards Van(n.) (also known as a Brake Van or a Driving Van Trailer) the leading or trailing carriage on a trainnowadays used for luggage storage (US: Caboose)gumption *initiative, common sense, or courageguttiesrunning shoes, tennis shoes, maybe from "guttapercha" old source of natural rubberguvnor/guv(slang) A contraction of "governor", used to describe a person in a managerial position i.e. "Sorrymate, cant come to the pub, my guvnors got me working late tonight". Heard mostly in London andthe South East of England.Words beginning with Hhalf-[as in half-eight] meaning thirty minutes past the hour (Standard English and US: "Half past").half(n.) Used mainly in Scotland a half refers to a single measure of alcoholic spirits - usually Scotchwhisky. In colloquial speech, it is usually appended with the name of the spirit (half of vodka, halfof brandy) if referring to anything other than whisky. It may also refer to half a pint of beer; acoming for a swift half? is an invitation to the pub and significantly more than half a pint is generallyinvolved.hand brake *Parking brake operated by a hand control, usually a lever (US: Emergency brake. In the US, thetraditional "hand brake" is more often to be found on a bicycle or motorcycle as opposed to a car asin the UK.); handbrake turn, a stunt where the handbrake is used to lock the rear wheels and theresulting oversteer enables the car to be turned rapidly in a small space (US related: J-turn, bootlegturn, U-turn.)hapenny
  • (pronounced "HAY-penny" or "HAYP-nee") half a penny; a coin of this denomination belonging to thepredecimal coinage which is no longer in circulation. There was also a half penny in the decimalcoinage introduced in 1971 which was 1/200 of a pound. Hapennies stopped being legal tender in1985 and were removed from circulation.haporth(pronounced "HAY-puth") halfpennyworth.hash signthe symbol "#" (US: number sign, pound sign [DM])headmaster, headmistress, headteacher, head *the person in charge of a school (US: principal [DM]; headmaster and the like are usually used forprivate schools)Heath Robinson(of a machine or contraption) absurdly complex (see Rube Goldberg machine).high streetprimary business and shopping street (US: main street)higgledy-piggledy *in disarrayhire(v.) to borrow for a set period of time (US: to rent), hence the British terms "car hire" or "bicyclehire"; distinct from the US usage which is "to employ".hire purchasea credit system by which debts for purchased articles are paid in installments (US: installment planor layaway if the item is kept at the store until the final payment is made)hoardinga panel used to display outdoor advertisements, such as on the sides of buildings, or alongsidehighways (US billboard)[1]hobthe hot surface on a stove (US: burner)hold-alla bag (US: duffel bag)holidaymakerperson on holiday [DM] (US: vacationer)hols(informal) short for holidays [DM]home and awayfixtures played at alternating venues (US: home and home). Also first and second leg (US series).hoovervacuum [cleaner], to vacuum (archaic in the US) (genericised trademark, from The Hoover Company,the first main manufacturer of vacuum cleaners)hot upto become more exciting or intimate (US: heating up). Also a word in Rhyming slang which refers totheft, usually of the opportunist type (i.e. shoplifting)hundreds-and-thousandscoloured sugar sprinkles used for dessert decoration (US: sprinkles, non-pareils, jimmies)
  • Words beginning with Iice lollyfrozen fruit juice on a stick; ice pop (US: Popsicle),icing sugar(US: powdered sugar)industrial action(see article; US: job action)inverted commasquotation marks (see also American and British English differences – Punctuation)invigilatorperson who monitors an examination (US: proctor [DM])ironmongeryironware, hardware; hardware storeWords beginning with Jjacket potatobaked potatojam sandwich(slang) police car. So called as, in the past, most UK police vehicles were white with a horizontalyellow-edged red fluorescent stripe along the entire length of their sides, giving a certainresemblance to a white bread sandwich with a coloured jam (jelly) filling. The majority of markedvehicle operated by the Metropolitan Police Service retain this livery, albeit the cars are now(mostly) silver. Some older vehicles are still in white, while the Diplomatic Protection Group (DPG)use red vehicles. (US: black-and-white. In many cities of the US, police cars are painted black at thehood and trunk and white on the doors and roof.)jammy (git, cow)(slang) lucky (person, woman)jemmyTo break into a lock, from the tool that is used in such an occasion as burglary (US: jimmy)jerry(slang) pejorative term for a German or Germans, (US: Kraut)jiggery-pokeryExpertly tinker with something in a way that a non-expert or casual observer is unlikely tocomprehend.jimmy(Rhyming slang) urinate, as in jimmy riddle - piddlejobsworth(slang) Originally a minor clerical/government worker who refuses to be flexible in the application ofrules to help clients or customers (as in "it will cost me more than my jobs worth to bend therules"). Also used more broadly to apply to anyone who uses their job description in a deliberatelyobstructive way.johnny(slang) a condom (US: rubber, Jimmy-hat)
  • John ThomasBetter known as slang for penis or "dick" (US: cock, dick, or johnson) From the novel LadyChatterleys LoverJoeyTerm of abuse used of someone perceived to be foolish, stupid, incompetent, clumsy,uncoordinated, ridiculous, idiotic. Originated with the appearances of cerebral palsy sufferer JoeyDeacon on childrens TV programme Blue Peter; still a popular insult among adults who saw theprogrammes as children.jumble sale(see article; US: rummage sale)jumpera pullover *, sweaterjump leadsbooster cables used to jump-start a car (US: jumper cables)Words beginning with KKarnos Armya chaotic, ineffective team (usually: Fred Karnos Army) (related US: Keystone Kops, Gang ThatCouldnt Shoot Straight)kecks(informal, also spelt keks) trousers or underpantskerfuffle *a disorderly outburst, disturbance or tumult; from Scots carfuffle[14][15]kazi(slang) lavatory[15] (numerous alternative spellings are seen, such as karzy, karsey, carzey etc.)kip(slang) sleep. (US and UK: nap)kit(slang) clothing: hence "Get your kit off": an exhortation to get undressedkitchen rollpaper towelsknackered(slang) exhausted, originally sexually exhausted, derived from an old use of the verb meaning tocastrateknackers yardpremises where superannuated livestock are sent for rendering, etc. (glue factory). Sometimesrefers to the same for vehicles, a scrapyard (US: junkyard)knackers(slang) testiclesknickersgirls and womens underpants (US: panties): hence, "Dont get your knickers in a twist" (US: dontget your panties in a wad, keep calm, hold your horses, chill out)
  • Words beginning with Lladybirdred and black flying insect (US: ladybug)launderetteself-service laundry (US: laundromat )lav(informal) lavatory, toilet; also, lavvy (in the US, airplane restrooms are typically called lavatories)lead (electrical, as on an appliance or musical instrument, microphone etc.)electrical cord (US)learntpast tense of "learn" (US: learned)legacy accountsfunds left in a budget (US: funds remaining)lessonsclasses (class used more common in US English)let-out(n.) a means of evading or avoiding somethingletter box1. a slot in a wall or door through which incoming post [DM] is delivered (US: mail slot, mailbox)2. (less common) a box in the street for receiving outgoing letters and other mail (more usuallycalled a postbox or pillar box) (US: mailbox)See also Letterbox (US & UK): a film display format taking its name from the shape of a letter-boxslotlife assurance(US and also occasionally UK: life insurance)liftelevatorlock-in *illegal gathering in a pub at night to drink after the pub is supposed to have stopped serving alcohol,where the landlord "locks in" his guests to avoid being caught by police. Unless the landlord chargesfor the drinks at the time, the people in the pub are considered his personal guests; if money isexchanged beforehand or afterwards then it is considered a gift from the guest to the landlord forthe hospitality. Since the introduction of the smoking ban in England and Wales in 2007, a "lock in"can now mean a landlord locking the pub doors and allowing smoking inside the premises. (US: mayrefer to a large and highly chaperoned "sleep over" at a church, school, etc.)lodger *tenant renting a room rather than an entire property; typically lives with the renter and his/herfamilylollipop man / woman / ladya school crossing guard who uses a circular stop signlolly *1. lollipop /ice lolly (US: popsicle); (q.v.)2. (slang) moneylootoilet (usually the room, not just the plumbing device) (US: bathroom, restroom)
  • lorrya large goods-carrying motor vehicle (US and UK also: truck)loudhailermegaphone (US: bullhorn)lower groundthe lower of two floors at ground level (for example, if a building is built on a slope). See "groundfloor". Also used as a euphemism for "basement" when trying to sell a flat [DM].lurgi(hard G) 1. An imaginary illness allegedly passed on by touch—used as an excuse to avoid someone.(c.f. US: cooties) From an episode of the Goon Show. 2. (slang) A fictitious, yet highly infectiousdisease; often used in the phrase "the dreaded lurgy", sometimes as a reference to flu-likesymptoms. Can also be used when informing someone you are unwell but you either do not know ordo not want to say what the illness is.Words beginning with Mmain *pipe that carries gas or water. "The water main has burst!" (US: line: e.g gas line, water line etc.)mains power, the mains230-250V (Typically denoted on domestic electricals as the rounded 240V standard) AC electricalcurrent, provided by the electricity grid to homes and businesses; also attrib. ("mains cable") (US:120 volts AC, variously called: line power, grid power, AC power, household electricity, etc.)manky(slang) feeling ill, rough, out of sorts; filthy, dirty, rotten. (poss. from French "manqué" - missed,wasted or faulty)mardy(derogatory, mainly Northern and Central England) describes someone who is in a bad mood, ormore generally a crybaby or whiner or "grumpy, difficult, unpredictable". Used, for example, bychildren in the rhyme "Mardy, mardy mustard...", and in the title of the Arctic Monkeys song "MardyBum". The verb to throw a mardy means to display an outburst of anger.mathsmathematics (US: math)MD (managing director)equivalent of US CEO (Chief Executive Officer), also used in the UKMexican wavesimply called The Wave in the USmentioned in despatchesidentified for valour or gallantry in action (US: decorated)milliardone thousand million, or 1,000,000,000 (US: billion or 1,000,000,000)[1] Now superseded by theinternationally standard usage of billion (1,000,000,000).mince *1. ground meat, especially beef (US: ground beef, hamburger meat, mince typically describes achopping style)2. Walk daintily or effeminately.
  • 3. Mince your words -- to obfuscate or conceal when talking or writing * (US: "He/She doesnt mincewords.")minge(vulgar) (rhymes with singe) female genitals or pubic hairminger(from Scots language ming "to smell strongly and unpleasantly",[17] rhymes with singer) someonewho is unattractiveminging(from Scots language "smelling strongly and unpleasantly",[17] rhymes with singing) dirty, rotting,smelly, unattractive etc. "The girl I pulled last night was minging". His friend replies, "yeah I knowmate, I saw you leave with her, she was a right mingerminima musical note with the duration of two counts in a time signature of 4/4 (US: half note; see Notevalue)mither, also moider, moithertrans. To bother, pester, worry, irritate; intr. To ramble, be delirious; to go on; to complain, make afuss, whine.[18] Alternative version in Chambers: to confuse; to work hard; to wander inthought;[19] See also mither, moider and moither at Wiktionarymoggie, moggy(informal) non-pedigree cat; alley cat; any cat regardless of pedigree; Morris Minor car; Morgan carmong(slang) disgusting, dirty, foul, idiotic person, possible derivation from mongoloid, now obsolete termfor someone with Downs syndromemonged (out)(slang) being incapable of constructive activity due to drug use, alcohol consumption or extremetirednessMOT, MOT test(pronounced emmohtee) mandatory annual safety and roadworthiness test for motor vehicles over3 years old (from "Ministry of Transport", now renamed "Department for Transport")motorwayA controlled-access highway, the largest class of road on the British road network, designed for fast,high volume traffic, usually with three or more lanes in each direction. In reference to a specificmotorway may be abbreviated to M, as in M25 or M1. (US: equivalent to freeway)mouthing offshouting, ranting or swearing a lot about something or someone. e.g.: "that guy was just mouthingoff about something" (US [DM]: backtalk; often shortened to mouth ["I dont need your mouth".])move house, move flat, etc.to move out of ones house or other residence into a new residence (US: move, move out)multi (slang)short for multi-storey, used mainly in Eastern Scotland to denote a tower block of public housing(see below)munteran ugly woman (rarely, man); similar to mingermuppet
  • an incompetent or foolish person[20]mushcasual term for friend, mate, pal. As in "Ere mush, whats going on?"Words beginning with Nnaff(slang) lame, tacky, cheap, low quality (origin uncertain – numerous suggestions include backslangfor fan, an old term for a vagina), also gay slang for a straight man (said to mean "Not Available ForFucking")naff off(dated slang) shove it, get lost, go away – a much less offensive alternative to "fuck off" (originallyobscure Polari slang, made popular by prison sitcom Porridge and famously used by Princess Anne)nark *1. (v.) (informal) irritate; also narked, the adjective.2. (n.) (slang) police informer (US: narc, derived from narcotics agent, but often used in a generalsense)nappyabsorbent garment for babies (US: diaper)National Insurancecompulsory payments made to the Government from earnings to pay for welfare benefits, theNational Health Service (see below) and the state pension fund. (US: Health Insurance)newsagentstrictly a shop owner or shop that sells newspapers, usu. refers to a small shop, e.g. corner shop,convenience store, newsstand, or similar (US: newsdealer)newsreadersomeone who reads the news on TV or radio. See news presenter for a description of the differentroles of a newscaster, a British newsreader and an American news anchor.nice one(slang) a way of thanking someone, or congratulating them. ("nice one for that pint, mate")nick1. (v.) to steal2. (n.) a police station or prisonnickedarrested ("youre nicked") - related to "the nick", above (US: up the river)nicker(colloquial) 1 pound, maintains singular form when used in a plural context ("it cost me 2 nicker"),rarely used in the singularniffan unpleasant smellNissen huthemicylindrical building of corrugated metal. Named for the designer. (US: Quonset hut, named forthe place of US manufacture)NHSthe National Health Service, the state run healthcare system within the United Kingdomnob
  • 1. head2. a person of wealth or social standing nobble(v.) to sabotage, attempt to hinder in some way. E.g. "Danny nobbled my chances at the pub quiz bygetting Gary to defect to his team."nonce1. (slang) paedophile, pimp, child molester, idiot2. the present time or occasion – now usually encountered only in the compound nonce word, onlyused in literary circles, meaning an ad hoc word coinage, and the somewhat old-fashioned phrase forthe nonce, meaning "for now". See also the Wiktionary definition.nosh1. food, meal; also "nosh up", a big satisfying meal ("I could do with a good nosh up") Cf US usage,where nosh means "snack" or "to eat" as in the original Yiddish (i.e., "Hes noshing on the shrimpcocktail.")nosy(or nosey) parkera busybody (similar to US: butt-in, buttinski, nosy)nousGood sense; shrewdness: "Hillela had the nous to take up with the General when he was on the up-and-up again" (Nadine Gordimer). Rhymes with "mouse" or "moose".nowtnothing; not anything. "Ive got nowt to do later." Northern English. (see also owt - anything; as inthe phrase "you cant get owt for nowt" or "you cant get anything for nothing")number platevehicle registration plate (sometimes used in the US; also license plate or license tag)numpty(originally Scottish,[21] now more widespread) a stupid personnutter(informal) a crazy or insane person, often violent; also used as a more light-hearted term of reproach("Oinutter!") (occasionally used in the US) (US and UK also: nut, nutcase)Words beginning with OOAPOld Age Pensioner (qv) (US: Senior Citizen)off-licence / offieshop licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises (US equivalent: liquorstore). Known in some parts of N England as "selling-out shop".off-the-pegof clothes etc., ready-made rather than made to order (US: off-the-rack)offal *the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal.oicoarse exclamation to gain attention, roughly equivalent to "hey" ("Oi, you!" = "Hey you!")the Old Bill(slang) The police - specifically the Metropolitan Police in London, but use of the term has spread tothe surrounding Home Counties.
  • one-off *something that happens only once; limited to one occasion (as an adjective, a shared synonym isone-shot; as a noun ["She is a one-off"; US: one of a kind])on the piss(vulgar) drinking heavily; going out for the purpose of drinking heavily; at a slight angle, said of anobject that should be verticalOriental *used to describe the origin of a person from East Asia (China, Japan etc.) (US:Asian - N.B. In BrE,Asian is generally reserved for people from around the Indian sub-continent: India, Pakistan,Bangladesh etc.)orientate *less common[citation needed] alternative to orient, deprecated by some as an unnecessary back-formation from orientation[citation needed]Other ranksmembers of the military who are not commissioned officers. (US: Enlisted ranks)overdraftmoney used on a bank account making a debit balance ; the amount of the debit balance, anoverdraft facility is permission from a bank to draw to a certain debit balance.overleaf *on the other side of the pageowtanything. Northern English. "Why arent you saying owt?" See also nowt - as in the phrase "cantget owt for nowt" meaning "cant get anything for nothing."oySee "oi".Words beginning with Ppackage holidaya holiday whose transport, accommodation, itinerary etc. is organised by a travel company (US andUK less frequently: package tour). Cf holiday [DM]Pakia Pakistani person; often loosely applied to anyone from South Asia, or of perceived South Asianorigin. Now considered racist.when used in England and the UK.Paki shopa newsagents run by a person of Pakistani or other South Asian origin.No longer considered anacceptable term. Not to be confused with "packie", used in some areas of the US such as NewEngland, short for "package store", meaning "liquor store".[22][unreliable source?][23][unreliablesource?]panda car(informal) police car. Small police car used for transport, as opposed to a patrol or area car(analogous to US: black-and-white) Derives from a period in the 1970s when UK police carsresembled those of their US counterparts, only with blue replacing black.paper round(the job of making) a regular series of newspaper deliveries (US: paper route)
  • paraffinkeroseneparacetamola common and widely available drug for the treatment of headaches, fever and other minor achesand pains (US: acetaminophen, Tylenol)parkie(informal) park-keeperparky(informal) cold, usually used in reference to the weatherpasty, Cornish pastyhard pastry case filled with meat and vegetables served as a main course, particularly in Cornwalland in the north of Englandpear-shapedusually in the phrase "to go pear-shaped", meaning to go drastically or dramatically wrong (possiblyfrom the idea of a ball deflating). cf tits-uppeckishmoderately hungrypelican crossingpedestrian crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians (formed by analogy with "pandacrossing" etc. Could also be from Pedestrian Light-Controlled;)people mover or people carriera minivan or other passenger vanpernicketyfastidious, precise or over-precise (US: persnickety)Perspex *Trade name for Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), a transparent thermoplastic sometimes called"acrylic glass" (US: Plexiglass; earlier form dated in the US)petrolrefined mixture of hydrocarbons, used esp. to fuel motor vehicles (short for petroleum spirit, orfrom French essence de pétrole) (US: gasoline, gas). Also variously known as motor spirit (old-fashioned), motor gasoline, mogas, aviation gasoline and avgas (the last two being a slightly heaviertype designed for light aircraft)petrol-head, petrolheadsomeone with a strong interest in cars (especially high performance cars) and motor racing (US:gearhead or motorhead).phone boxpayphone, public phone. See also "telephone kiosk" (infra) (US: phone booth)pikeya pejorative slang term, used originally to refer to Irish Travellers. Now refers to anyone whoselifestyle is characterised by itinerancy, theft, illicit land occupancy with destruction of amenities, anddisregard for authority, without reference to ethnic or national origin.pillar boxbox in the street for receiving outgoing mail, in Britain traditionally in the form of a free-standing redpillar; also called postbox or, less commonly, letter box (US: mailbox)See also Pillar box (film): an aspect ratio named for a supposed resemblance to the dimensions of
  • the slot found on a pillar box.pillar-box redthe traditional bright red colour of a British pillar box (US: fire engine red or candy apple red)pillock(slang, very mildly derogatory) foolish person, used esp. in northern England but also commonelsewhere. Derived from the Northern English term pillicock, a dialect term for penis, although theconnection is rarely made in general use.pinch *to steal.pisshead(vulgar) someone who regularly gets heavily drunk..pissing it down [with rain](slang, mildly vulgar) raining very hard (sometimes "pissing down" is used in the US, as in "Its pissingdown out there.") Also "pissing it down the drain" or "pissing it away" * meaning to wastesomething.plait *braid, as in hairplasterBand-Aidpleb(derogatory) person of lower class *, from plebs; similar to townie. Also commonly used to meanidiot.plectrum(US and UK: guitar pick)plimsolla type of shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole, formerly the typical gym shoe used in schools(US: sneaker or Tennis shoe)plodpoliceman - from PC Plod in Enid BlytonsNoddy books.[9]plonka disparaging term for cheap wine, especially cheap red wine, is now widely known in the UK andalso to a lesser extent in the USA. Derives from French vin blanc and came into English use on thewestern front in World War I.plonker(very mildly derogatory) fool *. Used esp. in the south-east of England, although not unknownelsewhere. Derived from a slang term for penis, and sometimes used in this fashion, e.g. "Are youpulling my plonker?" (to express disbelief) (US var: "Are you yanking my chain?")points(n.) mechanical crossover on a railway, (US: switch), hence the term "points failure" is a verycommon cause of delays on railroads and the London Underground.ponce(n.) (slang) someone with overly affected airs and graces; an effeminate posturing man; a pimp.Originates from Maltese slang. (related US: poncey)(v.) (slang) to act like a pimp; to cadge, to borrow with little or no intention of returning, oftenopenly so ("Can I ponce a ciggie off you, mate?")
  • ponce about/around(v.) (slang) to act like a fop, to wander about aimlessly without achieving anythingponce off(v.) (slang) to mooch, to hit up, to leave in a pompous mannerpong(n.) (slang) a strong unpleasant smell; (v.) to give off a strong unpleasant smell; (adj.) pongypop, fizzy pop(chiefly in the north) sparkling lemonade or any soft drink - the pop was originally the glass stopperin the bottlepoof, poofter(derogatory) a male homosexual (US equivalent: fag, faggot)pouffe, poof, pooveA small drum-shaped soft furnishing used as a foot rest (related US: hassock, Ottoman)porky(ies)slang for a lie or lying, from rhyming slang "pork pies" = "lies"postage and packing, P&Pcharge for said services (US: shipping and handling, S&H; the word postage is, however, used in bothdialects)postal ordera money order designed to be sent through the post, issued by the UK Post Office (US: money order,or postal money order if the context is ambiguous)postbox, post boxbox in the street for receiving outgoing mail (US: mailbox; drop box); see also letter box, pillar boxpostcodealphanumeric code used to identify an address, part of a UK-wide scheme. (US equivalent: ZIP Code)poste restanteservice whereby mail is retained at a post office for collection by the recipient (from French) (US:general delivery)postie(informal) postmanpoxy(slang) something that is unsatisfactory or in generally bad condition.pram, perambulatorwheeled conveyance for babies (US: baby-carriage)prat *(slang) an incompetent or ineffectual person, a fool, an idiotpress-upa conditioning exercise in which one lies prone and then pushes oneself up by the arms (outsideBritain: push-up)pritt-stickglue stick, from the trademark of a common brand.proper *Real or very much something. "Hes a proper hero" (US: "Hes a real hero")provisional licence, provisional driving licencea licence for a learner driver, who has not yet passed a driving test (US: learners permit)
  • pubshort for public house (US: bar)publicanthe landlord of a public house.pud(informal) short for "pudding", which may mean dessert or occasionally a savoury item such asYorkshire pudding or black pudding; a fool (informal term usually used good-naturedly betweenfamily members). pulling his pud, means male masturbation.pukkalegitimate, the real thing, of good quality (usually Southeastern England term,[citation needed]recently more widely popularised by Jamie Oliver, but dating back to the 19th century). From Hindi-Urdu .punch-upa fistfightpuncture(n.) A flat tire on a vehicle, as in "I had a puncture on my bicycle".punnetsmall basket for fruit, usually strawberriespushbike(informal) bicycle (pre-dates modern safety bicycle q.v. velocipede)pushchairforward-facing baby carriage (US: stroller)Words beginning with Qquangoquasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation. A semi-public (supposedly non-governmental)advisory or administrative body funded by the taxpayer, often having most of its membersappointed by the government, and carrying out government policy.quavera musical note with the duration of one half-count in a time signature of 4/4 (US: eighth note). Alsocompound nouns semiquaver (US: sixteenth note), demisemiquaver (US: thirty-second note),hemidemisemiquaver (US: sixty-fourth note); see note value).quid(informal) the pound sterling monetary unit; remains quid in plural form ("Can I borrow ten quid?")(similar to US buck, meaning dollar)quids in(informal) a financially positive end to a transaction or venture "After all that, well be quids in!" (US:money ahead)quietenused in the phrase "quieten down" (US: quiet down)quiffforelock (initially Hiberno-English)[citation needed]; a hairstyle (from the 1950s onward).quim
  • (vulgar slang) female genitalia, the vaginaWords beginning with Rrandy(informal) having sexual desire, lustful, horny (now more common in the US because of the AustinPowers franchise)rankeran enlisted soldier or airman or (more rarely) a commissioned officer who has been promoted fromenlisted status ("the ranks" * )rashers *cuts of baconrat-arsed(slang) extremely drunkrecce(informal) reconnoître, reconnaissance (pronounced recky) (US: recon)recorded deliverycertified mailreel of cottonin the US is spool of threadRegister Office, Registry Officeofficial office where births, marriages and deaths are recorded; usu. refers to local Register Office (ineach town or locality). General Register Office is the relevant government department. In Englandand Wales until 2001, almost all civil (non-church) marriages took place in the local Register Office;different laws apply in Scotland and N. Ireland. "Register Office" is the correct legal term, but"registry office" is in common informal use. (US: Office of Vital Statistics)ReturnA ticket that is valid for travel to a destination and back. A round trip ticket.Right of waypath (usually an old one) upon which one has the right to travel regardless of land ownership.(Americans are likely to misunderstand the phrase to mean correct way although right-of-way is inuse in the US.)road-worksupgrade or repairs of roads (US: construction; roadwork [singular])rockhard candy in cylindrical form often sold at holiday locations and made so that the locations nameappears on the end even when broken. (US: no exact equivalent, but similar to a candy cane)rodgering(vulgar) to engage in a sexual act, or suggest it. e.g.: "Id give her a good rodgering!"ropey(informal) chancy; of poor quality; uncertain (see dodgy). Can also mean unwell when used in theform to feel ropeyrow *a fight or argument (rhymes with cow)reverse charge call
  • a telephone call for which the recipient pays (US and UK also: collect call); also v. to reverse [the]charge[s] *, to make such a call (dated in US, used in the 1934 American film It Happened One Night– US usually: to call collect)rotaa roll call or roster of names, or round or rotation of dutiesroundabouta circular multi-exit road junction. (US: rotary junction; traffic circle)(the) rozzers1.(rare slang) Police ("Quick, the rozzers! Scarper!") – possibly from Robert Peel, who also gave hisname to two other slang terms for the police: peelers (archaic) and bobbies (becoming old-fashioned).rubbera pencil eraser (US: eraser. The word eraser is additionally used in the US to refer to a blackboarderaser. "Rubber" in the US is a slang term for a condom.)rubbishworthless, unwanted material that is rejected or thrown out; debris; litter (US: trash, garbage)rucksack *a backpack.rugmunchera lesbian. also carpet muncher.rumpypumpysexual intercourse, used jokingly. (Popularised by its usage in The Black Adder and subsequentseries; the suggestion of actor Alex Norton of a Scots term.)[24][25]Words beginning with Ssackto release from work "Ive been sacked! The boss just gave me the sack!" (US: fire)Saloona four door car (US: sedan)sarky(informal) sarcastic (abbrev.) "Why are you being so sarky?" (US: snarky)sarnie, sarny, sannie(informal) sandwich (abbrev.)satnavGPSscousera person from Liverpool, or the singular scouse to describe anything or anyone from either Liverpoolor Merseyside.screw *a prison guardscrubbera lower class, (usually young) woman of low moralsscrumpycloudy cider, often high in alcoholic content
  • scrumpingaction of stealing apples from an orchard; also v. to scrumpself-raising flourself-rising floursecateursgardening tool for pruning plants (US:garden shears, pruners or clippers)secondment(/sɪˈ kɒndmənt/) the assignment of a person from his or her regular organisation to temporaryassignment elsewhere. From v. second (/sɪˈ kɒnd/)Sellotapefrom Cellophane, transparent adhesive tape (genericised trademark) (US: Scotch tape)semibrevea musical note with the duration of four counts in a time signature of 4/4 (US: whole note; see Notevalue)send to Coventryostracize, shun (US: send to Siberia, vote off the island)serviette(from French) table napkin [DM]. Regarded as a non-U word, but widely used by non-U people.Frequently encountered in Canada.shaftedbroken beyond repair - can also be used to describe extreme exhaustionShagTo have sexual intercourseshandya drink consisting of lager or beer mixed with a soft drink, originally ginger beer but now moreusually lemonade, in near equal parts.shankss ponyon foot, walking – as in "The cars broken down, so its shankss pony Im afraid".shite(vulgar) variant of shitshopin the sense of "retail outlet" (US: store)sixes and sevenscrazy, muddled (usually in the phrase "at sixes and sevens"). From the London Livery Company orderof precedence, in which position 6 is claimed by both the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylorsand the Worshipful Company of Skinners.skew-whiffskewed, uneven, not straightskint(informal) out of money (US: broke)skipindustrial rubbish bin (US: dumpster)skive [off](informal) to sneak off, avoid work; to play truant (US: play hookey)slag *
  • similar to slut, a woman of loose morals and low standards.slag off *to badmouth; speak badly of someone, usually behind their backslaphead(informal) bald manslapper(vulgar) similar to slut but milder.sleeping partnera partner in business, often an investor, who is not visibly involved in running the enterprise (US:silent partner)sleeping policemanmound built into a road to slow down vehicles (UK also: hump [DM]; US & UK also: speed bump)slippy(slang) smooth, wet, with no friction or traction to grip something (US: slippery)slowcoach(slang) a slow person (US: slowpoke)smallsunderclothing, underwear, particularly underpantssmart dressformal attiresmeghead(slang) idiot; a general term of abuse (for discussion of origin, see smeg (vulgarism)). Popularised byits use in a 1980s BBC sitcom, Red Dwarf.snog(slang) a French kiss or to kiss with tongues (US [DM]: deep kiss, not necessarily with tongues)soap dodgerone who is thought to lack personal hygienesod off(vulgar, moderately offensive) go away; get lostspacker, spacky, spazmo(vulgar, offensive to many) idiot, general term of abuse: from "Spastic", referring in England almostexclusively (when not used as an insult) to a person suffering from cerebral palsy. (variant formsspaz/spastic, are used in American English) See also Joey.spanner(US: wrench)(slang) an idiot, a contemptible person (US: a less pejorative synonym for tool.) "Hes as stupid as abag of spanners." (US var.: "Hes dumber than a bag of hammers".)spawnyluckyspiffing(informal) very good (old-fashioned, or consciously used as old-fashioned, associated stereotypicallywith upper-class people) (US: spiffy)spiva dealer in black market goods (during World War II). The term wide boy is also often used in thesame sense
  • spliff *(slang) a hand-rolled cigarette containing a mixture of marijuana and tobacco, also a joint. (Alsoused in US, j or blunt more widely used)spot on *exactly (US: right on)spotted dickan English steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually currants) commonly served withcustard.squaddie(informal) a non-commissioned soldier (US: grunt)squadron leaderan Air Force officer rank (US: major)squidgy(informal) soft and soggy (US: squishy)squiffy(informal) intoxicated (popularly but probably erroneously said to be from British Prime Minister(Herbert) Asquith, a noted imbiber). The word can also be synonymous with skew-whiff.squiz(rare) look, most often used in the form to have a squiz at...stamp(slang) National Insurance payments (e.g.: I have not paid enough stamps to get my full statepension)sticky-backed plasticlarge sheet of thin, soft, coloured plastic that is sticky on one side; see Blue Peter (US similar: contactpaper)stockista seller (as a retailer) that stocks merchandise of a particular type, usually a specified brand or model(US: dealer)stone the crowsexclamation of surprise (US holy cow)straight awayimmediately (sometimes used in the US; also right away)stroketo move your hand slowly and gently over something e.g. stroke a dog. (US: pet)strop(informal) bad mood or temperstroppy, to have a strop on(informal) recalcitrant, in a bad mood or tempersubwayAn underground walkway normally under a road. Not to be confused with the US for anunderground railway.suck it and seeto undertake a course of action without knowing its full consequences (US: take your chances)suss [out] *(informal) to figure out (from suspicion)
  • suspender belta ladies undergarment to hold up stockings (US: garter belt)swot1. v. to study for an exam (US cram)2. n. (derogatory) aloof and unpopular schoolchild or student who studies to excesssweetsthe same term for candy in USsweet FA(slang) nothing (from "Sweet Fanny Adams", alternative: "Sweet Fuck All"), "I know sweet FA aboutcars!" (US: jack shit)swimming costumeswimsuit or bathing suit; also cozzy for short.Words beginning with Tta(informal) thank youTaff, Taffynickname for a Welshmantakeawayfood outlet where you can order food to go (or be delivered) (not usually applied to fast foodchains). Usage: "we had a takeaway for dinner", "we went to the local takeaway". [DM]; (US:takeout)take the piss (vulgar) * / take the mickey(slang) to make fun of somebody; to act in a non-serious manner about something important (also:take the pee). Can also mean to transgress beyond what are perceived as acceptable bounds, or totreat with perceived contempt - "the increases in car tax are taking the piss", "the new boss is reallytaking the piss with this mandatory car-sharing scheme".takings *receipts of moneyTannoyloudspeaker (a proprietary brand name), PA systemtapping upin professional team sport, attempting to persuade a player contracted to one team to transfer toanother team without the knowledge or permission of the players current team (US: "tampering")ta-ra!(informal, friendly) exclamation of farewell (similar to seeya! and cheerio! (above)). Originally fromMerseyside (see Scouser, above) but now common throughout the UK.telephone kioskpayphone, public phone. See also "phone box" (supra) (US: phone booth)tea towela cloth which is used to dry dishes, cutlery, etc., after they have been washed. (US: dish towel)telerecordinga recording of a live television broadcast made directly from a cathode ray tube onto motion picturefilm. The equivalent US term is kinescope.
  • telly(informal) televisiontennerten pound noteTerritoriala member of the Territorial Army (US: Army Reserve)tetchy *irasciblethickieperson of low intelligence.throw a wobbly(informal) to lose ones temper, throw a tantrumthruppennies(rhyming slang) breasts/tits (from thrupenny bits, obsolete British coin)tinnedcanned as in "tinned soup" or "a tin of tuna"tipa dump or to throw something awayTipp-Exwhite tape or liquid used to make corrections of ink on paper (US: Wite-Out)titchyvery small; tiny (from tich or titch a small person, from Little Tich, the stage name of Harry Relph(1867–1928), English actor noted for his small stature)titfer(rhyming slang) hat (from tit-for-tat)[go] tits up(mildly vulgar) to suddenly go wrong (literally, to fall over. US: go belly up). cf pear-shaped (appearsin the US mainly as military jargon, sometimes sanitized to "tango uniform")toad-in-the-holebatter-baked sausages, sausages baked in Yorkshire Puddingtoff(slang) member of the upper classestoffee applea sugar-glazed apple on a stick eaten esp. on Guy Fawkes Night and Halloween (US: caramel appleor candy apple)toffee-nosedanti-social in a pretentious way, stuck upTommy Atkins, Tommycommon term for a British soldier, particularly associated with World War Itonk(informal) to hit hard, sometimes used in cricket to describe a substantial boundary shot: "he tonkedit for six". In Southern England can also mean muscular. (US: ripped or buff).tosser *(slang) Largely equivalent to "wanker" but less offensive; has the same literal meaning, i.e. one whomasturbates ("tosses off"). (US: jerk).
  • tosspot(colloquial, archaic) a drunkard; also used in the sense of "tosser".totty(informal, offensive to some) sexually alluring woman or women (more recently, also applied tomales). Originally a term for a prostitute in the late 19th century.tout *usually in the context "ticket tout"; to re-sell tickets, usually to a live event. Verb: to tout, touting.Ticket touts can usually be seen outside a venue prior to the beginning of the event, selling tickets(which may well be fake) cash-in-hand. Known as scalping in the US.tower blockhigh rise public housing building. In recent years the US term apartment building has becomefashionable to create the distinction between the often stigmatised public run high-rises, and thosecontaining desirable private accommodation.trainerstraining shoes, athletic shoes. (US: sneakers).truncheona police officers weapon (US: nightstick or billy)tuppencetwo pence, also infantile euphemism for vagina. cftwopennorthtuppenny-hapennycheap, substandardturf accountantbookmaker for horse races (US and UK: bookie)turn-indicatordirection-indicator light on a vehicle (US: turn signal)turningA place where you can turn off a road. Not generally used where the turn would take you onto amore major road or for a crossroads. (US: turn). "drive past the post-office and youll see a smallturning to the right, which leads directly to our farm"turn-upsan arrangement at the bottom of trouser-legs whereby a deep hem is made, and the material isdoubled-back to provide a trough around the external portion of the bottom of the leg. (US: cuffs)twee *excessively cute, quaint, or precioustwonk *idiot. Probably a portmanteau construction of twat and plonker. Used by Timothy Spall in an episodeof Red Dwarf.twopennorth, tuppennorth, tupenothones opinion (tuppennorth is literally "two pennies worth" or "two pence worth", depending onusage); (US equivalent: two cents worth, two cents). cftuppenceWords beginning with Uunishort for university, used much like US college
  • up himself(informal) someone who is stand-offish, stuck-up, snobby. "Hes a bit up himself." Euphemisticvariation of up his own arse. (US: snotty)up sticks(US: pull up stakes)Words beginning with Vverger (virger, in some churches)someone who carries the verge or other emblem of authority before a scholastic, legal, or religiousdignitary in a procession; someone who takes care of the interior of a church and acts as anattendant during ceremonies.verrucaa wart which occurs on ones foot. (US: plantar wart)(vegetable) marrowa gourd-like fruit (treated as a vegetable) (US: squash [DM])vertically opposite angles(US: vertical angles)Words beginning with WWAGwives and girlfriends, common in headlines referring to the spouse of a footballer.wage packetweekly employee payment (usually in cash) (US: paycheck)wally(informal) buffoon, fool; milder form of idiot.wanker *(offensive) literally, a masturbator (although use in this context is uncommon); more likely to beused as a general insult or term of abuseWCtoilet (short for Water Closet). (US: bathroom [DM], US old-fashioned washroom). See also loo.washing updish washing, "the dishes": "its your turn to do the washing up"; hence washing up liquid: dishwashing detergent (US: dish soap, dishwashing liquid)wazzockan idiot. popularised by the 1981 song "Capstick Comes Home" by Tony CapstickwellExtremely, very. "Hes well rich" (US: "Hes very rich")Wellington boots, wellieswaterproof rubber boots, named after the Duke of Wellington.welly(informal) effort (e.g.: "Give it some welly" to mean "put a bit of effort into an attempt to dosomething" US: elbow grease (also UK), oomph); also the singular of "wellies", for Wellington boots(US: gumboots, rubber boots)
  • welly(slang) condom; stems from "Wellington boots" which are also known as "rubbers".What ho!(interj.) Hello! (warmly)whilst *while (US and UK); whilst is in common use in Yorkshire (UK) where while is used colloquially tomean until; (archaic in US)whinge(informal) complain, whine, especially repeated complaining about minor things (e.g. "Stopwhingeing" meaning "stop complaining"); a different word from whine, originated in Scottish andNorthern English in the 12th century. Hence whinger (derogatory), someone who complains a lot.white coffeecoffee with milk or cream.witter(informal) to continue to talk trivially about a subject long after the audiences interest has gone(assuming there was any interest in the first place). "He wittered on."wide boysee spiv, abovewindscreen The window on the front of a vehicle(US: windshield)wing mirrorsthe external mirrors on a vehicle – though no longer normally attached to the wings (US: fenders)but to the doors (US: sideview mirrors, side mirrors)winkle(slang) childish term for a penis (US: winkie) wobbler, wobbly (to have or to throw) (informal)tantrumwrite-off(slang) when cost of repair of a damaged asset (usually a car) is not feasible or exceeds its insurancevalue (US:total loss, totalled) Is also used formally in the context of accounting.wog(offensive, term of abuse) member of an ethnic minority. The word can refer to a wide variety ofnon-Europeans, including Arabs, sub-Saharans (and those of sub-Saharan descent), Iranians, andTurks.YY-frontsmens briefs with an inverted-Y-shaped frontal flap; originally a trademark (US: jockey shorts/briefs;US slang: tightywhities)yob, yobbolout, young troublemaker (origin: boy spelt backwards)yompto move on foot across rough terrain carrying heavy amounts of equipment and supplies withoutmechanised support (Royal Marines slang popularised by the Falklands war, army equivalent is totab). Also used informally for any walk across rough ground.yonksa long time, ages. "Ive not seen her for yonks." (colloquial)Z
  • zedlast letter of the alphabet, pronounced "zee" in United States