Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fun British Words: Monday Listicles

Today's Monday Listicles is "Words that Make You Smile." I was going to do a serious list until I read Stasha's collection and saw a few of the Queen's English listed there.
Mike (on the right, in his Andy Murray t-shirt),
 6:00 a.m.

Today is an important day for the United Kingdom because (if you've been sleeping all day...), Andy Murray won the Wimbledon men's final. My British husband is a tennis freak, and he's extremely agitated by the fact that Wimbledon has sold out to ESPN. We have no cable, so he has to go beg and borrow a TV to watch the tennis. This morning he got up at 5:30 a.m. to go visit a friend who was hosting a little "Breakfast at Wimbledon" party.

We went to a British (actually, Scottish) pub to celebrate after church, and we were quite surprised when the (American) waitress didn't even know who Andy Murray was! It was very sedate there...we thought all the Scots would be descending to celebrate.

In such an amazing day for the Brits (and Scots), I thought I'd focus on wonderful British words:

1. Aggro: Short for aggravation, as in "There would have been aggro at Wimbledon if Andy Murray hadn't won."

2. Fanny: I learned many years ago in Japan that "fanny" means the front of a woman rather than the back of her, as in her genitals!

3. Dodgy: not to be trusted, as in food or people..."This fish looks a bit dodgy."

4. Barmy: mad or crazy, as in "You'd be barmy not to root for Andy Murray."

5. Faff: to dither or procrastinate (waste time), as in "Stop faffing around."

6. Bollocks: technically means testicles, but generally used to describe something that is no good or if someone is talking rubbish. Oddly enough, can also be used to describe something that is the best.

7. Gormless: to be clueless...the first time my husband said this, I found it very amusing!

8. Pissed: to get drunk; it does not mean getting angry like it does in the U.S. And a piss up is a drinking session.

9. Love bite: Americans call these hickies.

10. Shufti (shooftee): take a look at something (Arabic word picked up by British soldiers in North Africa)...this word always reminds me of my late father-in-law...

And a few of my favorite British phrases:

"Keep your pecker up," similar to saying "keep your chin up" in American English.

"Not my cup of tea," which means not to your liking. I say this all the time in the U.S., and I imagine people don't always know what I'm talking about.

"Taking the piss" means making fun of someone or teasing someone...similar to "taking the mickey."

If you're a word nerd like me, you'll want to read the other lists at Monday Listicles. Join in the fun!


  1. Thanks for educating me today. Lots of fantastic words and phrases.

  2. OMG...such great words babe, some I hear from watching British movies, others I didn't know bout and laughed pretty hard...great list.

  3. What an awesome list!!! Is "keep your pecker up" really an expression? I nearly fell over at that one. I didn't see "wanker", which is another favorite of mine.

    1. Yes, "keep your pecker up" is really an expression! I didn't include wanker, because I was going for the less-known ones...that's a good one though! We have a place here in Oregon called "Wanker's Corner," which our British guests love!

  4. I use dodgy all the time. Great list - thanks for sharing.

  5. I love the word 'dodgy' and whenever I watch British movies - hearing 'Bollucks' makes me giggle a little - I love the way it sounds. I saw the match before the finals with Murray and I'm glad he won.

    Happy Monday Listicles!
    Yona from

  6. Clever list!! Dodgy is a new one I'd like to take on! I am queen of Faffing!!!

    1. Yes, I'm the queen of faffing too!

  7. Very nice! Now if only I could sport the fabulous British accent as well. I'm a sucker for British accents. Happy Monday!

  8. Oh, this list brings back memories! I studied in the UK for my degree and it was a fabulous time soaking up in life what I'd always read in books.

    1. Fun! I have never lived there--it would be fun to do so sometime.

  9. >> 8. Pissed: to get drunk; it does not mean getting angry like it does in the U.S. And a piss up is a drinking session. <<

    Yes and No! You are correct getting pissed means getting drunk, but if using as angry it requires that addition of the word off.

    He was really pissed = He was really drunk
    He was really pissed off = He was really angry.

    (Or) That great wazzock was completely pissed (or sloshed) and really pissed me off. He was talking utter bollocks so I clocked him one.

    That idiot was drunk and really annoyed me so I hit him.