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some British colloquialisms

28 Antworten   
Verfasserjamqueen (1129860) 13 Nov 17, 21:05
Aus dem Link im OP :

88 very British phrases that will confuse anybody who didn't grow up in the UK
Every language has a few phrases that don't always translate well — and the British English has some absolute corkers.
Our team has compiled a list of the best British slang and idioms that define the weird and wonderful British dialect we grew up with.
From our linguistic research, we've confirmed that above all, British people can be sarcastic, unsympathetic, and often rather drunk.
Each term is partnered with a description and example. Some entries also feature surprising facts about the phrase's origins, with a few quintessentially British idioms not actually coming from British roots at all. ...
#1Verfasserno me bré (700807) 13 Nov 17, 21:31
Of the 88, I think about a dozen are also perfectly good AE, at least another dozen easily understood, a few more understandable but clearly BE and one more that would be good AE except for the BE spelling.
#2VerfasserJurist (US) (804041) 13 Nov 17, 22:47
I doubt if every bog-standard BE speaker is familiar with ALL of them. I hadn't heard of 'cream-crackered' for example, but I have heard of 'cobbler's', which is also rhyming slang, rather more common and not on the list.

Incidentally, the phrase 'spend a penny', while often related to the first public conveniences at the 1851 Great Exhibition (which cost a penny to use), is far older. I have a collection of letters from an eighteenth-century Irish bishop to his teenage daughter in which he uses the phrase to mean just this.

I note that the list gives one of the two meanings of 'chuffed'. The other is the opposite.
#3Verfasserescoville (237761) 14 Nov 17, 08:57


Edith just 'ad a shufti or butcher's - "88 very British phrases that will confuse anybody who didn't grow up in the UK" is clearly not correct. Neither did I grow up in the UK nor did I spend any significant length of time there, but quite a few are very familiar to me ;-)
#4VerfasserB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 Nov 17, 09:20
Könnte man die Liste nicht hier einfach erweitern? Das wär doch interessant.
#5VerfasserB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 Nov 17, 09:26
"Give me a tinkle on the blower" ??? Wie alt sind denn diese phrases? Und wo ist "My postillion has been struck by lightning!"? :-)
#6VerfasserSpinatwachtel (341764) 14 Nov 17, 09:27
A 'tinkle on the blower' is old enough for me to know it. But today's young?

Delete and substitute 'porkies' = 'lies' (pork pies). Though in Jamaica I'm told it means 'white women'.
#7Verfasserescoville (237761) 14 Nov 17, 09:59
Hmmm.... strange list. Some phrases I have not heard in YEARS and then only by methusalehic speakers (codswallop, poppycock), some I would class as youth-speak and therefore do not know (dench, par, long) and some must have eluded me due to a sheltered upbringing (pinch, punch...).
#8Verfasserlaalaa (238508) 14 Nov 17, 10:01
it's an odd mix of old and new - "dench"??? "long" (= tedious) ??

But I like the way that past-tensing any random noun can be made to mean "drunk" - (I was completely cheesegratered last night!  - Tell me about it, I've not been so combine-harvestered in years!)

edit: #8 was not there when I posted my missive...
#9VerfasserSpinatwachtel (341764) 14 Nov 17, 10:04
Ist "nick" wirklich auch (und nur) "Gefängnis"? Ich kenne das eher als Bezeichnung für die Polizeistation.

Weiterführung der Liste:

- "Chelsea tractor" - teure SUVs

- "'blige!" (wie in "much obliged") soll angeblich erfreutes Erstaunen über ein unerwartetes Kompliment ausdrücken und aus Nord-London kommen.

- "tea" für "dinner"
#10VerfasserB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 Nov 17, 10:05
Of course you might end up getting interference from the British ability to turn practically any word into innuendo. If you say: "I've not been so combine-harvestered in years!", the other person might wiggle their eyebrows and go, "... as the actress said to the bishop."
#11VerfasserThirith (1037221) 14 Nov 17, 10:27
Wird "discussing Ugandan affairs" noch verwendet?

#12VerfasserB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 Nov 17, 10:29
re # 7 porkies (Cockney rhyming slang) - also meaning white women in Jamaica.

This is perfectly feasible as porker is generally a derogatory term for overweight/obese people.

We've not come across this in Jamaica. A less derogatory and more common word would be "whitie".

Also I'm not convinced's it's exclusively for women.
#13Verfasserjamqueen (1129860) 14 Nov 17, 10:30
oh, nice one. One of my favourite comebacks - "as the actress said to the bishop" (or vice versa) :-))) I love inferring innuendo where none was intended (cf. "...if that's not too personal a question...")
#14VerfasserSpinatwachtel (341764) 14 Nov 17, 10:31
Und wo ist "My postillion has been struck by lightning!"? :-) (#6)

... or "My hovercraft is full of eels"? :-)
#15VerfasserStravinsky (637051) 14 Nov 17, 10:56
'Spanish practices'

Certainly used in the 90s to refer to arcane procedures in the workplace, tacitly recognized and agreed to by management and workforce alike, but incomprehensible to outsiders.

to be 'on the wagon' (scil. water wagon) = to abstain from alcohol

'away fixture' = Seitensprung

'see a man about a dog' = use the toilet (of men only, I think)

Does anyone still use the term 'how's yer father' for hanky-panky? Come to that, does anyone still say hanky-panky (= Ugandan discussions)?
#16Verfasserescoville (237761) 14 Nov 17, 11:06
Does anyone still use the term 'how's yer father' for hanky-panky?
oh yes!  (usually only "a bit of how's yer father", though.) But we also say "consider my flabber well and truly gasted" when shocked, so we probably don't count as proof of everyday, modern usage.
#17VerfasserSpinatwachtel (341764) 14 Nov 17, 11:10
You're a real brick, spinatwachtel! How's a fellow to know what to say these days?
#18Verfasserescoville (237761) 14 Nov 17, 11:13
"Making random words past-tense to mean drunk"

Adding "-ed" to nouns, surely. This always works. It needs a grammatical rule named after it or something.

I don't think there's been a pea-souper in the UK since the 1960s, but it's still in the national conscience.

"A bit of how's yer father" - I can't think of any situation in which I could get away with using this.

I love "wind your neck in" and "shirty" for sheer power of expression.

Suggested addition: "Keep your beak out" (used in response to nosiness).
#19VerfasserPipper (917363) 14 Nov 17, 12:02
"don't get your knickers in a twist"

"plimsolls" und "pumps" für Sportschuhe
#20VerfasserB.L.Z. Bubb (601295) 14 Nov 17, 12:05
Die einzigen, die mir nichts gesagt haben, waren Dench für "super" (soll das was mit Judy zu tun haben?), par als "Beleidigung" und slumped als Synonym zu cream crackered/knackered.
#21VerfasserLady Grey (235863) 14 Nov 17, 16:23
Just for the record, the following are examples of what Jurist was referring to as 'also perfectly good AE':

on the wagon (= sober, abstaining from alcohol)
see a man about a dog (= go to the toilet)
pea-souper (= a thick fog)

So I don't think they count as colorful BE.
#22Verfasserhm -- us (236141) 14 Nov 17, 17:21
Wenn schon brolly in der Liste steht, warum dann nicht auch dies:

wellies = Wellington boots = Gumminstiefel
#23VerfasserDr. Dark (658186) 14 Nov 17, 18:25

Thanks for that, hm--us, it surprises me a little (at least the last two).

What it is to live in England. You've heard more of these than I have.

I note that the original list explains 'leg it' by giving 'scarper' as a synonym, which I suspect is not AE. I have heard that it is also rhyming slang, from Scapa Flow = go, but that may be a load of cobbler's.
#24Verfasserescoville (237761) 14 Nov 17, 18:31
wellies = Wellington boots = Gummistiefel (#23)

They're gumboots to us.
#25VerfasserStravinsky (637051) 14 Nov 17, 18:36
Ich überlege grade, ob die eigentlich hench meinten statt Dench - die Bedeutung würde passen. Autocorrect failure?
#26VerfasserLady Grey (235863) 14 Nov 17, 21:50
Don't think so, LG. Dench appears in most slang dictionaries. (Though not the one I keep in my head.)
#27Verfasserescoville (237761) 14 Nov 17, 22:51
#26: My younger cousins use "dench"...

The story of its coinage may be found here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/12...

No word on whether or not Judi was the inspiration behind it, although she is aware of the phenomenon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAj0OPbcFLc&f...

And they have also collaborated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7ojygIbMYk
#28VerfasserPipper (917363) 15 Nov 17, 09:44
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