Saturday, August 13, 2011

British speak

I've been reading a lot of British chick lit lately and I have to say, I really love the way those people talk. A few of my favorite British terms:

--Brilliant: Meaning something that's really great. Now I finally understand why Simon Cowell kept saying performances on Idol were "brilliant" because I really didn't think any of them were that smart.

--Chucked: Sounds so much better saying that your boyfriend chucked you than that you got dumped


--Mobile: Meaning your cell phone. You don't call someone's cell, you dial their mobile.

--Flat: This sounds like a really swank apartment, but I guess it's just a regular apartment.

--Tart: I think this is the equivalent of hussy. And they also say "tarted up," which I think is cute.



--Takeaway: Meaning takeout. Especially takeaway curry.

--Shattered: I think this means tired.

--Fancy: I fancy you.

Why couldn't I be British? I'd be so brilliant at it.


  1. I adore British chick lit. When I read them ill adopt some of the terms. They really sound much more elegant than American english

  2. I assume they're controversial, but I still love 'chav' and 'chavvy'.

  3. We use a lot of those in Australia too (especially mobile and takeaway) but they sound so much better in a British accent.

  4. My postdoc mentor is from Scotland and studied in London. Along with using all of the above frequently, he also calls Teddy Grahams "Tasty little nibbles" and often uses the phrase "a wee bit"

  5. met my first british friend a few weeks ago. i legitimately thought that "pip pip, cheerio" was a common english greeting. apparently...not true.

  6. My favorite is "chuffed" of anything that starts with an extra silent O (oestrogen).

  7. @Rick You would be much better off with "y'alright, mate?"

  8. I always envision Flat as a very fancy apartment. Hip, with clean lines.

  9. As a speaker of British/South African English this pleases me.

  10. A gherkin is similar (and used instead of) a pickle. It's also the name of a building in least in polite company.

  11. I once had a British patient tell me that he just had a bloody large bowel movement, and I was quite worried for about 2.5 seconds.

  12. Nobody can swear like us Brits - the creativity is mind-boggling and the words so satisfying.

    Another set of words that you've missed from your list and need clarification includes derivatives of the word 'piss'.
    Piss - urine
    Pissed off = angry
    Pissed = drunk
    Pissing = urinating - but can also be substituted for other words of frustration such as 'bloody'
    Take the piss = make fun of, or take advantage of. Pissing down = raining

  13. I'm American and I use the terms brilliant, fancy and mobile in the way you described.

    Maybe I should get a flat in London and hook up with a British bloke...hmm, what's the British term for hook-up?

  14. YOB- rude, thuggish boy, which I guess is a prerequisite to become a Chav.

    Fag- a cigarette. The first time I heard the term: "Heya, give me a fag" I thought it was a rather bold request for something else.

    My fav: Bangers and mash.

  15. "Why couldn't I be British? I'd be so brilliant at it."

    Could you handle the teeth?

    1. You do realise that is just a myth and as someone from Britain I can tell you that we do know what a toothbrush is and that we have dentists.

  16. I think you'll find shattered means something more like devastated, as in: "He was shattered when he found out some bloke burnt down his flat"

  17. Food addict: I entirely forgot about "pissed". Great word.

    Lumpage: I was recently reading a Jill Marsall book and she definitely used the word "shattered" to mean tired. Something like, "I'm going to have to call it a night. I'm completely shattered."

  18. Amanda: Snog?

    Med School Odyssey: I think I could handle the teeth if it's a trade-off for that sexy accent.

  19. Lumpage -- 'shattered' means very tired.

  20. I was going to mention snogging! That term baffles me to no end! It doesn't sound sexy or sensual, like kissing truly is, it sounds like snotting which is not a turn on!

  21. It's funny you think of a flat as swanky apartment as in the UK estate agents often use apartment to mean swanky flat.

    Also shattered definitely means tired.

    Being British is brilliant, other than the recent spate of marauding chavs nicking tellies.

  22. Is a hussy a prostitute? A tart is.

  23. I really like "Tosser," meaning like, a stupid person.

  24. snogging- my fav term from harry potter lol

  25. As a British (Indian), I like this post! :) The British accent is cute, you were correct with all the definitions. :-)