As Winston Churchill famously said, England and America are “Two countries separated by a common language.”
It’s true, there are many things that divide us. We say tomato, you say tomato, you say partato and we say potato. You say pickles, we say pickles… Erm, yes. Anyway. Where was I? Yes, the following is a list of the top 25 British slang words in British English and what they mean in “American” English.
But to start with.. there is one word that’s out on its own. It’s a bit fruity, mind. So watch out. The first is an all-time classic mistake of American tourists in England (especially London)….
Fanny – There is no polite way of saying this. But a fanny in England is not a fanny in America. A fanny in England is a ladies important front parts. Her Vagina, if you will. Whilst in America, it simply means your bum. So. DON’T say Fanny-pack in England unless you want to keep experiencing the laughter of the locals. Especially over dinner.
Okay… the list!
Blimey! – Interchangeable Good and Bad exclamation. Like Wow! (Blimey! Did you see that girls outfit?)
Fortnight – Two weeks (See you in a fortnight)
Tosser – A total idiot (What a tosser)
Wanker – A total idiot too (That guy was a right wanker)
Chuffed – Very proud of something (I’m chuffed to bits!)
Dodgy – Something not right, quite suspicious (I don’t like the look of him. He looks really dodgy)
Quid – Pound sterling currency (£) (It’s thirty quid that mate)
Knackered – Tired out (I’m knackered, that was a long run)
Arse – Ass (Kicked his arse)
Shag – Sex (He shagged her)
Ace – Cool (That’s ace!)
Yonks – Ages (I’ve been gone yonks on that job)
Plonker – Stupid (He’s a right plonker)
Bollocks – Nonsense (That’s a load of bollocks)
Rubbish – No good, trash (That movie was utter rubbish)
Chav – UK version of a Redneck (Loads of chavs outside the off-licence)
Telly – TV/Television (Turn the telly on, love!)
Chinwag – Having a chat (Had a good chinwag with Tony today)
Skint – No money (I’m totally skint)
Gormless – Clueless (He is so gormless)
Tad – A little bit (Move that over here, just a tad)
Legless – Drunk (Let’s get legless tonight!)
Sod off – Get lost (Oh do sod off, will you)
Fit – Beautiful and very sexy (She’s fit)
Bob’s your uncle – There you are! (Put that there and bob’s your uncle, it will turn the door!)
There will be another list of slang words (there are hundreds!) in the future, so stay tuned. As they say on the telly.