Saturday, April 19, 2008

The word list grows. Need definition Help

Max is continually looking for contributions of British slang or phrases. Below is a sampling of the incredible support this blog has received during the past few weeks. Unbelievable! Of course, this list hardly begins to scratch the surface. You would really be doing us a favor if you would make a comment to this post and list your interesting words (and meanings, too--most are not obvious to Max, I'm afraid.) The book on the subject that some of us are putting together concentrates on usage in the UK itself, but Max really welcomes contributions from any country and anyone. THANKS A LOT!

The following words (not all are "slang") concentrate primarily on the Australian branch of the English language. How many of these can YOU define? (Thanks to Justine and Brett for all their help in collecting these words and so many more!) Caution!--definitions are not always obvious. Answers will appear later. NOTE; I HAVE STARTED TO PUT IN SOME DEFINITIONS NOW, AND THE ANWERS WILL CONTINUE TO BE POSTED OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

gag, gagging
brick shithouse
Tall Poppy Syndrome
wag, wagging
A over T
Cark it
Cossie or cozzie
“a bit more choke and you would have started”
Stunned mullet
Spit the dummy
Holy snapping duckshit
SFA (Sweet Fanny Adams)--but what does it mean??
Rice Bubbles
pull the pin
pissing down
poof (or poofter)
cunning stunts


  1. Tall Poppy Syndrome?!
    Sounds funny!

    I'm looking forward to see some explanations.

  2. I have more, too, which I will post soon. I like Aussie words. I guess I'll soon find out which ones are also British usage. You could cheat and look at the answers, but I know you won't. You like to guess too much.

    You should have popped in on us last night. We were at it all night long. Your night, at least. No, I don't think I want to know where you were, but thanks for asking. :) (The little dog drips with sarcasm at Marmelade's habitual carousing. Marmelade sighs, rolls her eyes, and picks up the dictionary...)

    No more flame wars today, ok? Back to words. Back to the clubhouse. And where is that next story? You promised me one short story per week, remember? (I lie. But I want to remind you that I could use your help on this.)

    I'm sorry: Good Morning, Marmelade! How are you this morning? I didn't answer your first comment, but quickly made the new post as you directed. Come badger me on entetalk. :)

  3. Oh Max! You actually spelled "come". That's so mature of you!

  4. My other resolution today is to listen to Claire and not let BritishSpeak turn into a chat room today. This will be an especially hard one for me to keep. Speaking of chat rooms, do you know anything about how to set one up on the Google gmail thing? I've never done it. Answer on entre if you want to explain it to me. I'd appreciate it.

  5. I guess I must have deserved that.

    I just wanted a pretty girl to explain it to me and help me set it up. I'm sorry.

    Never mind.

  6. Spit the Dummy? Sounds like something my girlfriend would say (or do) to me...Cheers Max!!

  7. Thanks for stoppng by matt-man. I'm flattered that a person I consider and "elite" blogger is slumming today. :)

    By the way, to "spit the dummy" is simply to get upset about something.

  8. Quite a few are used in the UK too, but whether the meaning has stayed the same remains to be seen.

    I remember my my grandmother (and you will appreciate how long ago this was young Max) saying SFA, and I asked her what it meant. That's when I found out about Sweet Fanny Adams. Granny did look sheepish, I do remember that too. It means, and I hope you aren't too young for this, sweet f**k all.

  9. a. - Okay. So far so good. Can you tell under what circumstances a person might use this term--what it really MEANS? :)

  10. Gag, gagging (for it) - desperate for it. But to gag is to retch.
    Gob - shut your gob, shut your cakehole, shut your mouth.
    Heaps - love you heaps, love you lots.
    A over T - arse over tits.
    Cossie - costume as in swimming costume.
    dunny - I suppose you would call it a bathroom but it's really an outdoor one, a bog.
    pissing down - with rain
    pash - passionate
    poof, poofter - gay or effeminate
    sheila - woman, girl
    spit the dummy - get angry
    And as for the last one, just do a bit of transliteration there Max.

  11. What it means? It means nothing at all. eg Question: What did you do today? Answer: SFA.

    The language gap is larger than I thought...

  12. a. - Say! Are you sure you're not Aussie? Would it make you laugh to know that not a single thing on this list is understandable by an American? Or at least the meanings would be different to an American. I will give you a little more info on some of them, based on my Aussie friends' statements (although, technically, you got them all correct.)

    Gagging to an American means only to be choking, never to be eager to do something. Oh, it also might possibly mean to play a trick on someone--to "pull a gag" on someone.

    Gob is not a mouth to us; only a sticky amount of some "goopy" substance, such as a large "wad" of bubble gum, or a handful of grease. For older Americans (older even than I) a gob could also mean a sailor.

    Arse over Tits would not be used or understood by an American (it means, by the way, to stumble and fall awkwardly.) An American would probably simply say, "He fell on his ass" and let it go at that.

    Pash, to the Aussies does indeed mean passionate, but more particularly it is the term Aussies use to describe what the Americans call "French kissing."

    SFA is really interesting. Of course "Sweet Fanny Adams" is indeed a euphemism for that awful word you used, a.-Max can't bring his fingers to type it--but the term itself (and this is what I was trying to get at before) means "nothing", or "nothing at all". It is used when your are truly doing nothing at all, or (more likely) when you are not making much progress in what you are trying to get accomplished: "What're ya up to, Mate?"--"SFA". This term, as you probably suspect would draw you blank looks in America. The only possible similar thing I have heard in America is "I can't seem to use my head to save my heels today." Used only by older generations. But I have heard it. From my studies of BritSpeak, I am thinking SFA might be akin to "Can't arse this" or (my particular favorite, as you know): "Bugger this for a game of Soldiers." I have begun saying this a lot, btw, and my American friends usually politely respond with something like, "What the fuck does that mean, Max?"

    OMG! I used that word without the dashes! Arrrrghhh!

  13. Quite a few of the words you listed are indeed used in Britain, especially in the North East, but been as I have lived both in Australia and England, I am not sure I can tell you what is used in both. I get so muddled.

    I am rather useless today, I must admit :).

    Thanks for the recommendation by the way :)

  14. Well, I have to run downtown to the drug store. Will be back in 30 minutes or. So. And, yes, I suppose that would be the "chemist" to you. But we all know the Amrican version of chemist is more correct: a person who wears a long white coat and works in a laboratory. :)

    Ahl bee bock.

  15. Sorry, Caroline. Didn't see your comment. Slow email again. You are never never useless, sweet one. Let's talk in a few minutes when I get back. :)

    How are you today, btw? Sleepy? :)

  16. I am good, and not at all sleepy.

  17. The Max is back in the building...

    @a - if you are still here, which probably you are not, knowing your social calendar as I do, I was on your blog this morning...tried to not get it dirty btw...and saw you were doing some sort of photo thing that many other people are doing this morning as well, wherein each photo must somehow portray the number 13. And I had a question. (If a. would allow Max to comment on her blog, then he could have asked the question there, btw. But noooooo. How long a penance do I have to serve?) Anyway, one of your photos (you did several, the overachiever that you are) was a photo of a thermostat (which I see one of your readers mistakenly called a "central heating dial") which was set to the number thirteen. And my question is, respectfully, why would anyone set a thermostat on 13? Wouldn't you freeze your arse off? Just asking. And you must answer this question without using the words Fahrenheit or celsius or however you spell that one with the c in it. And next we will talk about.. well, let's just let you explain THAT little screwup in your photo, first. :)

    @Caroline, don't go away if you haven't. I need to talk to YOU next about being good and nursery rhymes. Of course. :)

  18. I am still here.

    Nursery Ryhmes such as:

    Hey! Rub-a-dub-dub! Ho! Rub-a-dub-dub!
    Three maids in a tub,
    And who do you think were there?
    The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,
    They all sailed out to sea.

  19. Well, Max is obviously talking to the wall here. Caroline, I have given you warning, so I'm sure you have that Mother Goose book out that you keep handy, right. But this is not a test, it is an obvservation...

    But first, let me tell you I already know you are good. I asked you how you were this morning? In American, this means you have to say, something like "I am fine Max," or "Still pukin' Max." But our answer was better because of the quality of the mental image it evoked.

    So on to nursery rhymes. (The fact that you said you were good inspire this, btw.)

    At least we share the same nursery rhymes in our culture. (Right?)

    There once was a girl
    Who had a little curl
    Right in the middle of her forehead.
    And when she was good,
    She was very VERY good;
    And when she was bad
    She was simply marvelous.

    I thought of you when I thought of that little girl, Caroline. Is your avatar up to date? Or do you no longer have that little curl right in the middddd Awwwk!!! Awwwk!

  20. i still have a curl, right in the middle actually.
    On the avatar i had my hair straightened, but its naturally curly.

    My parents, would sing that rhyme to me all the time

  21. It IS Max's job--duty, really--to keep those few people who happened to type in the wrong URL and ended up here by mistake, amused. Next show starts in 10 minutes. That would be 12:30 her in the mountains. Amazingly it also corresponds to the time Max must stuff his gob. He will return after he grabs some junk food from the 'fridge.

  22. Rubadubbdub. Max is working on that one right now Caroline. In Max's version they don't sail out to sea. Just warnin'...

  23. for some reason that doesn't surprise me. There are lots of alternative suggestions, but none of them quite like what you'd come up with I am sure

  24. Ok, first of all...and I continue here because we already have too many comments and therefore Claire is not going to visit my blog today anyway, so there's no longer a reason to keep it short...first of all, I say, these people were not maids. Doesn't matter what your parents sang to you. They were MEN.

    Worse, they were Aussie poofs I think it says. In my Americanized version anyway. And they didn't sail out to sea. They parked in the alley behind the Piggly-Wiggly and everybody came out back and started blowing fags. No, wait. That's the BRITISH version, isn't it. I think you have them mixed up with Winken and Blinken and knothead anyway. I'll check again.

  25. Yeah, we used to sing men actually, I changed it up for you. I thought you'd prefer the image of 3 maids, but you sussed it out.

  26. All you throngs who are leaning eagerly into your monitors, just gagging as it were: I release you and set you free. I am going to drop entre cards. Yesterday I only had 3 cards dropped on me and they were all from filipinos telling me how to get rich. Must improve before adverts (ads, really) are simply given away on britishspeak.

  27. For heaven's sake Max! Is there to be no peace? I'm back I'm back.

    "photo of a thermostat (which I see one of your readers mistakenly called a "central heating dial") which was set to the number thirteen. And my question is, respectfully, why would anyone set a thermostat on 13? Wouldn't you freeze your arse off?"

    You're trying to flusterate me again, aren't you? And I'm falling for it again.

    You know perfectly well it's not a thermostat, it's a timer, both of them are, and they are set to 13 hours on the 24 hour clock. Do you people in the US (note correct terminology) use a 24 hour clock? You manage to use Fahrenheit and that involves lots of sums too.

  28. Who said you can't comment there anyway? I didn't.

  29. Poofs Caroline. Don't your realize today is Aussie day? Must speakadaKangarooLIngo today. Canadian was yesterday. Aussie today. Let's go drop some cards if you're not at work, which you probably slacker you. You'll never realize the American dream this way, baby.

  30. It's even worse than you think, a. Max posted his last foul comment on your blog by mistake. All your photo admirers are screaming and running out the door.


  31. I was already dropping cards, hence my delayed responses.

    And they may not have been poofs, they could just be friends, who couldn't afford the water bill.

  32. Carolyn, remember the other night when I was posting on your blog by mistake and wondering why Briget wouldn't answer?? What a hoot. Unfortunately, I don't think a. is going to be as understanding.

  33. The chat room that has replaced BritishSpeak..

    And she's serious as a heart attack about that too!

  34. why are you calling me by my american name?

    It was pretty funny, you seem to do that quite a lot, not so good at multitasking it would seem.

  35. What *are* you doing Max? I cannot believe that was a genuine mistake. For others' benefit, a reply to Caroline has been left on my 13 post...

  36. @You'll be sorry your said that a. Make it so you can see my avatar, and remove comment moderation, and I will be on my way over to change your audience. You won't ever have to post photos ever again. Well, not THOSE kinds of photos anyway...

    Can Lord Likely come with me? Just askin'...

  37. @ a.- Yes it WAS an accident. And I tried to delete it as soon as I discovered my error. I had your blog open because I had gone there to see that themostat thing again and see what "Catherine who hates Max" had mistakenly called it.

    And if you don't back off and de-anal-ize, I am going to cut and paste your F-word remark right in the middle of your blog. What will they think THEN?


  38. Play nice? a. and Max ALWAYS plays nice. We never have any misunderstandings. That young lady just needs to grow up, that's all. Christ am I ever afraid to check my email right now...

  39. what, what have I done now?

    Jeez, I am a small comment and woosh... I need to grow up.

    Perhaps i don't want to grow up... did you think of that. Needs to grow up indeed. I can't help it if I am short.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. a.- Please don't go away mad. :)

    Pretty please? :) :) :)

    C'mon back. Let's talk nice. I promise to be meek and penitent.

    I erased it before anyone saw it. I think. And it wasn't that bad anyway.

    And what did you mean about Caroline having a comment? I think that was the one.

  42. darn double posting again.

    I was just joking maxy boy. :)

  43. Yes ettarose, you DO have a fucking big mouth.

  44. I just did it again, didn't I?

    Too many windows open.

  45. I mean my little a. needs to grow up. I'm dead, aren't i? Just fuckin' dead....

    On the bright side, I think I made nice with Debbie early this morning. Did you read my comment that she let on. I will try soooooo hard. That was awful that I did.

  46. Dead meat.

    Listen sunshine, I spend a lot of time making sure that the people who visit for my photo thing, some are sensitive souls, are never assailed by anything controversial. Controversial is mid-week.

    You've blown it.

    Mind you, the people who visit for the photo thing read just about as much as Entrecarders do.

  47. :) :) :) :) :)

    (For my a. and her sense of humor)

  48. Max,

    Has anyone told you what an eraser is called in Wales? I have a friend from Wales, who asked for one in his terms when he first arrived and his assistant threatened to quit on the spot!

  49. lol, i can see that happening debbie.

  50. Why am I so suspicious? Why can I think only of the Cluck Kent now?

    I'm willing to trust you, I think. I want to trust you, for sure. By golly, I WILL trust you.

    Tell me about the Welsh eraser Debbie. I'll never threaten to quit.

    Please. The floor is yours.

  51. Caroline,

    I defer to you. If the naughty max is to know, you may share.

  52. It had better not be one of THOSE kinds of jokes. Not on THIS blog. Besides, Max promised if Debbie would forgive him, he would turn over a new leaf. Is this a test from God? Or Debbie? Is that the same thing?

  53. @a - Okay

    (And that better not be an empty threat! :)

  54. I am assuming it went something like this:

    Welshman: Hello, do you happen to have a rubber I could use?

    Assistant: s'cuse me!

    Although in this case it seems she said "I quit"

  55. Max, you are posting to the wrong thread again... or was that intentiona?

  56. I wasn't watching. Thanks. I just didn't think there would be a comment up there, I guess. No biggie, but thanks.

  57. My dear little max,

    Debbie spent the day poolside at the club, sipping mint juleps with her very best friend Belladona. There simply is no energy left to test you.

    I will be watching those leaves though.....

  58. Oh and by the by...

    Arse over Tits would not be used or understood by an American (it means, by the way, to stumble and fall awkwardly.) An American would probably simply say, "He fell on his ass" and let it go at that.

    My dear Mumsy always said Arse over teakettle. (She is American)

  59. Debbie: sorry it took so long for me to answer. I was making the correction to the notes for my book to make sure they included:

    "One well-travelled Floridan uses obscure British slang, although she changes part of it to suit her taste. Uses the word arse instead of ass. People often look away nervously when she does this."

    Ok. Think I've got it!

    Hey, lady! Is that what you rich beauties do all day? Sit by the pool and suck down julips with theri best friend and appraise the boy-beef as it wiggles by?

    You're killin' me Debbie. You just wear me out.

    God, how I love it!

    Test me Monday, though? Okay? :)

  60. I'm sorry. You were talking about Mumsy. I missed that. Well, that's very different. Let me start over...


    I think you may be dead by Monday evening. I plot as I type. Don't worry. Your demise with be pleasant...

    What am I saying! I forgot about Cluck!

  61. Don't say it. I despise spell checkers as much as I do comment moderators. I really know how to spell, I just REFUSE to spell correctly!

    BTW (if you are still by chance reading this and are still semi-julep conscious, did you read that neat comment by Canuclehead on your blog last night? Poor guy--he is the world's worst speller normally. He must have gone over that comment with a fine tooth comb. Hilarious. Jesus, do you have him whupped or what??

  62. Or you edited it for him during moderation. Yes!

  63. @Canucklehead - And I know you are lurking out there! Canucklehead is WHUPPED! This is how Canucklehead spells: ccniauf[oΩ∆lkjlfkdas'poirpoudvm[ [ ookdjf!!!!

    Canucklehead has been MODERATED!

    Just kidding, man. Don't start this thing up again.

  64. I think you may be dead by Monday evening. I plot as I type. Don't worry. Your demise with be pleasant...

    What am I saying! I forgot about Cluck!

    If I am to be dead by Monday, it will simply be from two much julep and not enough mint. However, I will make you the same promise I have made my sons. I will haunt you, you will know it was me!

  65. Or you edited it for him during moderation.

    That fine young man treats me with the respect a lady deserves...

  66. I have read your list with great interest, and I feel able to commit my definition of two of these...
    -nappy: I believe you'd say diaper.
    -poof (poofter): a male individual of the homosexual persuasion. My late (ex) British husband gave me two other definitions: Shirtlifter and Fudgepacker.
    What is BS2? Found that mailadress yet?

  67. @stine-I love "shirtlifter and will add it. Fudgepacker is strictly American. I had thought. BS2 is the blog where we work on the book associated with THIS blog, the one you refused to join when I sent you an invitation so long ago. It is
    And, no, although I visit your blog daily, you do NOT have contact info. I am not THAT blind to be missing it all these times. There is only one portion of your blog which doesn't load with Safari, but that is a graphic, and probably not a contact link. Pity, too. You are probably a good story teller. :)

  68. SFA - right so far, it does mean sweet f*ck all now. it means nothing, like whats left in the biscuit tin, SFA - there is nothing in the tin it started in the 19th century, a little girl was murdered and chopped up. it was big news, later on sailors likened their rations to her corpse(british sense of humour)

    cark it- die

    bogan(i think this should be boggin/bogging) - thats horrible

    pash- kissing passionatly possibly leading to a "screw/shag"

    Jack- as in "i'll jack this in" or "i'm finishing"

    great site. the first time i was in states i asked for chips with my steak and got crisps. boy i was confused

  69. Hi Andy! Thanks for stopping by. Aren't those words cool? I must confess I have the definitions hidden away, which were given to me by the friendly Aussies who gave me the words in the first place, and will be posting the "answers" in a couple of days. Needless to say you were spot on in your definitions. :) Also thank you for your new words, too. And I stopped by your blog on the subject of fishing and found even more words. Words that you perhaps weren't even thinking about!

    Thanks again for stopping by, BigAndy--don't be a stranger!

  70. Oh, dear - you poor thing. Blind AND stubborn. Under PAGES. One page called About & Contact. It's there. You may have to scroll a tiny bit, and you do have to click to get to the page.
    Anyway - I might go and lurk now that I know where to go.

  71. @stine-of course I finally found it. Of course I am blind. Of course I am stupid. You are not stubborn for refusing to simply give it me in this comment. I even wrote a poem for you because I felt so bad about being blind and stupid:

    Max is blind
    Max is stupid
    Max loves stine
    Just like Cupid




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