Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can you help?

I would appreciate any definitions and background info anyone could give on these.

If any of these are too vulgar, I apologize in advance.

wank, wanker

taking the piss out of you (from input so far, I'm going to say this more or less translates into "American" as: having a bit of sport with someone at that person's expense; taking someone down a peg or two; taking the wind out of someone's sails. Along those lines.) Americans also refer to an overly exuberant person as "being full of piss and vinegar". Don't know about the vinegar part, but the other may be related to this.

slapper (So, we'll say this would loosely translate into the "American" as--I don't know--slut seems too harsh for this word. Tease? Chippie? Well, I'll just leave it at "woman of questional virtue" for now.)


pratt (So we're agreed that "pratt" is the description of a clumsy fall?--Ass over elbows as the Americans would put it? Could the word also refer to a person who seemed to be abnormally clumsy in general?--what Americans would probably call a "klutz"? Which itself, I guess, is probably Yiddish.) In "Americanese" by the way, "pratt" would only be used to describe an intentional fall by a rather acrobatic person for comedic effect. I've neve heard it used otherwise in America.

whingeing (I think)


Also, another British euphemism captured my imagination the other night as I was preparing an earlier post for this blog: to "Bang one out." as in "Steve watched Bay Watch on TV and then banged one out before his mum came home."

And it struck me that this might not be the ONLY British euphemism for this sort of activity. Are there any other sly, double-entendre words or phrases which might also capture the spirit of what Steve was doing? Mind you, I still haven't received any definitions on this one from anyone yet, so I assume Steve was doing something with a hammer that he felt would annoy his mother. Am I close?


  1. Heh where shall I start? popularity of use?

  2. Do you really know them all? It would really help me to understand better if you could write me a little story, using every single word in the story--just to show me the context(s) of course.

    He grins, visualizing Claire's sometimes-evil mind at work; wonders what things might appear in such a story.

  3. I wait anxiously for the story! I think I know what a few of them mean, but I want to see Claire's story. Claire's story will be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize!

    Oh, and I'm bored at work.

  4. And I was bored without YOU. :)

    btw, you may have noticed that I am slyly adding to the list of words contained in the post while Claire is away, mostly so I can tell her she missed one...

    Is the one you know "wank"? Just askin...

  5. Claire:

    Well I guess I am pretty much busted on my idea of adding more words while you were away.

    You know what? I'm feel like living dangerously. I'm going to give you posting privileges here, for a while at least. Just continue this post thread as a conversation the whole world can see without having to keep going to the comments repeatedly. Watch your box. For an email from Google, I mean.

  6. OK, I start and the next person please continue the story with the rest of the words:

    "I may have snogged some wanker once or twice, when I had nothing better to do with my time."


  7. If I may answer Marmelade's earlier comment here rather on the TomKat post, so I don't have to keep skipping around (thank you)...

    First, tell me what is the British equivalent for for "going off half-cocked?" Cos that's what you're doing again.

    Marmelade, where on earth did THAT come from? I don't hate your hair. I've never even SEEN your hair. But I absolutely LOVE your avatar. Sheesh!

    Older than Elton John? I think not. Never-mind--I know what you meant.

    And what was that crack about American History? I don't get it. I can't find any post that relates to anything like that. Have you been down to the cantina again?


    And I've just seen your latest post here. You mean you may have drank some coffee once or twice? I don't get it. I haven't have those words defined for me yet. Have you the cojones yet? Or do we need to wonk on back to the cantina again?

    Please tell me when I've crossed the line. I never know with you. I hate it when you stomp out like that.

  8. max, you are so angry with me all the time and I'm being such a good girl. Here, let me hug you!

    ok, feeling better? So, i was joking, or, as some might say, having a piss, when i said you didn't like my hair. You said something about an orange head in an earlier comment. I know you have no idea how my real hair looks like, but I'll give you a hint: it's dark and straight. You said you started to read my early posts (you're a darling!), well, keep reading, luv, and at some point you might come across an actual picture of real me.


    nope, guess again! :-)

  9. M

    No guesses. I've learned my lesson. One time I thought I knew what "shag" meant. When Claire told me it really was just the name of some kind of bird, was I ever ashamed and embarrassed. (I had thought it meant to "bring in" players' balls.) So no more guessing for me.

    (Before you answer I need to tell you I am Pissing on you in American. Two can play at this game. But DO tell me what you think I was saying. Guess.)

  10. I haven't a clue, Max. And I'm not about to speculate either, it's just not funny anymore.
    oh, well.

  11. I'm sorry, Marmelate. It's not bad. It's just funny the way people talk, ok? I would never REALLY talk mean to you, OK? C'mon. Smile for me. I know you can do it. We will play a different game. Hug you back.

  12. I keep hitting the "t". I don't know why. Sorry.

  13. Slapper: a loose woman of questionable virtue. I've seen it said that it comes from the Irish for dirty but I think that is an urban myth.
    Pratt from prattfall - arse over tit - clumsy. Pratt used to mean arse. See h2g2, a great source!

  14. Interesting, a.

    I wonder where the word slapper came from, then. Perhaps a wife teasing other men, getting "slapped around" by her jealous husband? I guess that would be reaching a bit. What is the Irish for "dirty" then?

    Well 2 words accounted for!

  15. Interesting too, that the Oscar Wilde quote hits you when you first open that link. I'd wondered where that came from. I think I probably got it from that "Patton" movie where George C. Scott is giving a speech to the British ladies' auxilliary--that bit about being divided by a common language, I mean.

  16. The word "slag" I recall, in my own memory, as a legitimate word, meaning that scum layer or layer of impurities which rises to the top when iron ore is melted in the making of steel; it is then poured off, allowed to harden, and then discarded. I've seen a lot of that stuff in the part of the U.S. I grew up in. I wonder if the slang word might originate from something like that--a derogatory word for an inept or rather useless person, perhaps? I mean, is the word on this list, slag, used as an insult, or as something else altogether?

    By the way, tempting as it might be, I want to try and retain the "purity" of these euphemisms and sayings by asking real Brits to tell me what they THINK it means; how they themselves use the word or have seen the word used, rather than simply looking it up in a slang dictionary. I hope to make that a last resort to use only when all of us are truly stumped, if you will. Of course, I have already been stumped several times already. :)

    I wonder where "stumped" comes from.....

  17. Working on my story now max :)

  18. I really like the word wanker. Is that bad? :)

    I like 'git' can't be that bad since they use it a lot in Harry Potter. :)

    Oh and snog. What a great word!

  19. Hello CastroCreations. Thanks for stopping by.

    I dunno man. I'm the one who was asking for input.

    You might want to check today's most recent post. You'll find the answer :)

    This here post is yesterdays, by the way. We've moved on. We hope you'll join us "up there" on the newest post.

    Thanks again for dropping by, my friend.



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