Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Randolf? Don't use your nickname.

RANDY is not a name in the UK. I'm pretty sure about that. It is a state of mind.

Are you traveling to Britain soon? Is your name Randy? Change it. Better yet, don't even go.

Willy is a name.

But they will giggle when you introduce yourself.

Not going to tell you why, Willy. Heh Heh Heh.

On the other hand, nobody in the entire USA is named Nigel.

Or Sian.

Some hints to Brits traveling in the U.S. as well:

Ladies, if you are staying in a hotel and you want to make sure you don't oversleep, don't ask the man at the desk to come and knock you up at 6 am.

Just don't.

But it's ok to ask your misbehaving child if she is looking for a swat on the fanny.

Also, it has been reported that beauty contestants frequently spray their fanny with glue in order to keep the swim suit in place as they parade in front of the judges. Honest.

"Bugger" is not even a word in the U.S. In fact, bugger isn't even dried snot. That's a boooger.

Americans say "freakin'" all the time. Freakin' this, freakin' that. We don't know it makes you uneasy. Really. We don't have a clue that it sounds too much like friggin'. Or why that would bother you anyway. Just smile when you hear it.

To an American, shag doesn't mean what it means to you. If you tell your hotel deskman that you are looking to shag something tonight, wink wink, he will probably hand you a baseball glove.
Back to Americans visiting Britain.

In England, a rubber is an eraser. Just keep that in mind.

If you have an urge to flash the "V for victory" sign with your fingers, be sure your palm is pointed outward. Just because I said so.

If you don't want no agro, that is.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it... Just give me plain, common, ordinary words which mean something entirely different to an American than that same exact word (or phrase) means to a person living in the UK.

Just do it. Please.


  1. here's one that caught me off-guard a few times before I figured it out: "pissed" - to the Brits it means sloshed, drunk, but use it on the other side of the pond and it means you'rs really really angry (pissed *off*, but still...)

    [dropping by via entrecard, btw] *lynne*

  2. Here try this site, should keep you busy for awhile..


  3. I've noticed one just this morning. As far as my vocabulary goes, a boo-boo is a blunder or a howler, but it seems in American it can also mean some sort of cut or graze? I haven't come across that use before.

  4. Pissed as a newt!
    Knocked up = pregnant, over here, also:
    In the club, A bun in the oven, swallowed a beach-ball, In pod, Podding...

    Bugger is not a word in the U.S.?
    You have no official word for the act for which Oscar Wilde was jailed?
    That's buggered=that is broken.
    Hurts like buggery=that really, really hurts..
    Now whilst the activity the word describes is considered to be shocking and offensive, if you hit your thumb with a hammer and yell "BUGGER!", that's not regarded as particularly offensive. There are many much less acceptable cuss words, F**k being one.
    Yep, you have fanny packs... We laugh. Fanny. Hm. Ladies have one.. gentlemen do not. fanny is actually a bit obsolete here, rarely used other than in jokes.
    A very naughty book, banned but circulated with much sniggering was called "Fanny by Gaslight".
    I thought in your world it was a dance?
    Here in Britland, shag is also a form of tobacco, a seabird, a rather unkempt carpet, and ohhh the horizontal mambo.

  5. It is amazing how word take on a different meaning. In Canada we refer to a drunk as a lush but I hear to Australians it means slut. Who would have thought one would need a translation dictionary to travel to an English country.

  6. Lynne, that's right. And the Brits refer to raining hard as "really pissing down". I love it. And more. I really appreciate your comment. Come back again, K? :)

    Chica, thanks. Lots there alright. As you might guess I have quite a few books of slang collected already. I am trying to sift out the very best for mine.

    a., It can mean that in American. Mostly a parent talking to a little child though, like, "Oh, did oo get a widdle boo boo? Let Mama kiss the baby's widdle boo boo." Don't make me do that again, a. :)

    Soubriquet, never heard the "swallowed a beach ball". Pod? Nor that one. They always seem to use the "knocked up" example as a huge difference. Not anymore, I guess. Don't forget "preggers" American, rather obsolete. Maybe British too. Ok, bugger is a word. As in "little bugger". Not used much this century I don't think, though. And my American dictionary says the (officially, I suppose) that bugger is a verb which requires a buggeree. And I will assume Wilde would have been familiar with that act. Not sure first hand. I admit that on the many occasions I have hit my finger with a hammer, I have never yelled "bugger". Are you sure that's what the Brits cry out? Ok. Shag is a dance? Missed that. I have only heard it referred to in Baseball - someone shagging flies. Fly balls in practice, that is. Not actually shagging flies in the British sense. Never mind.

    Renee, thank you for commenting. i have asked one of our Australian readers to verify (when they wake up down there). I never heard that. You are probably right. I hope you come back again. :)

  7. Go on Max, say it again, just for me:) Widdle what?

    Widdle is a baby word for pee in the UK.

  8. suckysucky.... me love you long time.

  9. Bollocks means nothing here. (In the US, I mean)
    That's all I have to say!

  10. I never heard the word "shag" refer to anything but a dance until I was in college. I wrote a poem called "Shagging" and my professor said he thought it was about baseball until he got to the second verse. It was about the Carolina shag, a dance they've been doing for decades. I used to be quite good at shagging - the dance, I mean.

    I had never heard the words "bollocks" or "bugger" until I was grown and watching English movies. I like to use them as passwords on my computer because here in Atlanta no-one would ever guess what they are.

    I love the English phrase "naughty bits." I think it's hysterical. Do Brits say "Dude" all the time? I've heard my son say it so much I now call him "Dude" - as in "Dude! Put your dirty clothes in the hamper!"

    My kids, both adopted from Russian speaking countries, tickle me all the time [make me laugh]. My daughter used to call her bellbutton her "bellybottom."

    They have to learn not only regular English but southern English. We say "fixin' to" [getting ready to] and "y'all" and they must call adults m'am or sir.

    I like your blog a lot, Dude!

  11. One of the head honcho's from Houston came over for the first time whose name was Willy, He had just had a son,also called Willy who he kept calling Little Willy when talking about him and he was known as Big Willy. As you can imagine this caused a great deal of hilarity amongst the british staff and one of us had to take him aside and have a quiet word!

  12. Ha, didn't think I would track down that post, did you?
    So just for the record: the Shag is a bird (a cormorant, to be precise), but shagging the Shag is still frowned upon, even though shagging birds is quite common. On the other hand, you may bird the Shag without raising any comment.

  13. Actually there was another post that got a bit more off color, but I think I must have taken it down for that reason. It was the first time someone pointed out to me that it was a bird, even a cormorant. But so much more. Sorry the original post has disappeared.



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