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British Synonyms

fcuknu

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I watch a good amount of British "Tele" and I work with a british woman and I have come to enjoy the words that "pop in" to an otherwise americanized conversation. Some examples include...

Holiday rather than vacation. "I am going on Holiday tomorrow"

Cheeky rather than gaudy. "Oh Kevin, always talking about money, youre so cheeky".

Mental rather than retarded. "Oh he is just mental"

Cock rather than prick. "That guy with the oakley sunglasses is a cock.

Anybody else have any other examples?
 

FLMountainMan

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There are many, many divergences, as one would expect after three hundred years. A few:

Fanny
Lift
Dodgy
Having a laugh
Work up
Wind up
university
pensioner
 

amerikajinda

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here are some clothing-related ones: anorak 1 n someone who’s a little bit too knowledgeable about one subject. Generally a subject like seventeenth-century flower pots or steam trains, rather than athletic sexual positions or gun-fighting. Americans (and also Brits, as our languages merge ever closer) would call such a person a “geek.” It may originate with the fans of Radio Caroline, a U.K. offshore pirate radio station, whose fans had to don anoraks in order to visit the station. 2 n waterproof jacket (universal). box 1 n item that fits down the front of a bloke’s underwear and protects the crown jewels. Americans know it as a “cup,” although I suppose in the U.S. such an item is less likely to be protecting the crown jewels and perhaps instead protects “the Bill of Rights” or some such. 2 female genitalia (universal). braces 1 n suspenders. Beware of the cross-definition — in the U.K., “suspenders” are something else entirely (you’ll just have to look it up like a man). 2 metal devices used to straighten one’s teeth (universal). cardie n abbr cardigan. A common abbreviation, at least for anyone who still wears cardigans. clobber n clothing; vestments. You might hear: OK, OK, I’ll be out in two minutes once I’ve got my nightclubbing clobber on. It’s possible this definition is of Scottish origin. Brits do also use “clobber” to mean hitting something. court shoes n pumps. Lightweight heeled women’s dress shoes with enclosed toes. dapper adj as befitting someone who is very much the country squire — well-spoken, well-dressed and rather upper-class. Despite once having been a compliment, the recent unpopularity of the upper classes in the U.K. has made this a mild insult. dressing gown n bathrobe; the outfit that you wear if you’re an attractive young lady coming out of the bath to answer the door in a coffee advertisement. Or if you’re Hugh Heffner. Ah, the great contradictions of modern life. jumper n sweater. What Americans call a “jumper” (a set of overalls with a skirt instead of trousers), Brits would call a “pinafore.” kagoul n wind breaker; poncho. A light waterproof jacket, usually one that zips up into an unfeasibly small self-contained package. The word derives from the French “cagoule” (meaning much the same thing), which in turn comes from the Latin “cuculla,” meaning “hood.” In the U.S. technical theatre industry a “kagoul” is a black hood worn by magicians' stagehands to render them invisible-ish. I once thought about writing a whole book dedicated to the word “kagoul,” but then decided against it. kecks n pants (U.S. pants); trousers. May come from India, where “kachs” are loose-fitting trousers with a low crotch. Kirby grip n Bobby pin. The little pins you poke in your hair to keep it in place. knickers n women's underpants. In old-fashioned English and American English, “knickers” (an abbreviation of the Dutch-derived word “knickerbockers”) are knee-length trousers most often seen nowadays on golfers. ladder n run. In the sense of a “ladder in your tights” being the British equivalent of a “run in your pantyhose.” In all other circumstances, this word means exactly the same in the U.K. as it does in the U.S. Mac n 1 (abbr. of “Macintosh”) light waterproof jacket which can usually be squashed up into an impressively small size for packing away. Possibly derived from the name of the gentleman who worked out how to infuse rubber and cloth. Americans call the same sort of thing a “slicker.” 2 buddy: Are you alright Mac? The two meanings appear together in the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band's song “Big Shot,” which features the lines: On the way home a punk stopped me: “You got a light, mac?” / I said “No, but I've got a dark brown overcoat.” nappy n diaper. pants 1 n underpants. What Americans call “pants,” Brits call “trousers.” 2 interj crap. A general derogatory word: We went to see Andy playing in his band but to be honest they were pants. plus-fours n an awful item of clothing which consists of sort-of-dungarees which stop at the knee. Whilst popular in pre-World-War Britain, plus-fours these days are firmly in the realms of brightly-colours golfers or inbreds. polo-neck n, adj turtle-neck. A style of sweater in which the neck runs right up to the chin; far enough up to cover even the most adventurous of love-bites. pump n gym shoes. A rather antiquated term. The confusion arises because in the U.S., it means high heels or stilettos. purse n money-purse. A little bag that women generally keep money in. Brits call anything larger than a money-purse a “handbag.” rucksack n backpack. One of those bags you wear over your shoulder on two straps (or one, if you want to look misguidedly fashionable). The word is used in the U.S. armed forces specifically to mean a framed pack, but in the U.K. it means any sort of backpack. stockings n tights. I think. I don't wear a lot of women's underwear. Well, there was that one time. suspenders n garters. The things used by women to hold up their stockings. They are not used by men to hold up their trousers (Brits call those devices “braces”) or their socks (they call those things, umm, “garters”). swimming costume n abbr “swimming cozzie” bathing suit. One of those women's swimsuits that covers your midriff - not a bikini. I suppose technically there's nothing to stop men wearing them either, though that's perhaps less conventional. You can't pigeonhole me. tartan n, adj plaid. The stripes-and-checkers pattern that Scotsmen use for their kilts but is also used for all sorts of things from throw rugs to tacky seat covers. tights n pantyhose. I'm getting rather out of my depth here. Opaque, very thin women's leggings and generally skin-coloured or black. “Tights” in the U.S. are generally coloured, thicker, more like leggings and rarely worn. All of this makes little difference to me because the only reason I'd ever think about buying either would be if I was considering a career in armed robbery. trainers n sneakers; running shoes. trilby n a mens' felt-type hat (generally brown). I don't know much about hats, so can't enlighten you much more. Really, I wish I could. It’s just not within my power. trousers n pants. In the U.K., “pants” are underpants, and so being “caught with your pants down” has even more graphic connotations. vest n undershirt. The item of clothing worn under your shirt. What Americans call a “vest,” Brits call a “waistcoat.” waistcoat n vest. An odd sort of article of clothing worn over your shirt but under your jacket, often with a bow-tie. In the U.K., “vest” means something else, as usual. wellies n Wellington boots. Look it up. It can't be far. wellingtons n rubber boots; galoshes. A contraction of the term “Wellington boots,” which was the inventive name given to boots made popular by the Duke of Wellington. The further abbreviation “wellies” is also in common use. welly n Scottish (when talking about automobiles) stick; punch: If you give it some welly you'll hit fifty through the corners! This may or may not be related to the “wellington boot” definition. Y-fronts n briefs. The more form-fitting old-fashioned equivalent of boxer shorts. The name derives from the upside-down 'Y' shape on the front, through the convergence of which you extract your old man in order to pee. from here.
 

Connemara

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As usual, jinda brings teh weirdness.

I've always been fond of "in hospital" as opposed to "in the hospital."
 

romafan

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Originally Posted by fcuknu
I watch a good amount of British "Tele" and I work with a british woman and I have come to enjoy the words that "pop in" to an otherwise americanized conversation. Some examples include...

Holiday rather than vacation. "I am going on Holiday tomorrow"

Cheeky rather than gaudy. "Oh Kevin, always talking about money, youre so cheeky".

Mental rather than retarded. "Oh he is just mental"

Cock rather than prick. "That guy with the oakley sunglasses is a cock.

Anybody else have any other examples?


I think mental has more to do w/ psycho behavior (think hooligans destroying the city center) rather than retarded. Also, knob rather than cock.
Originally Posted by dexterhaven
Fag

Originally Posted by FLMountainMan
There are many, many divergences, as one would expect after three hundred years. A few:

Fanny
Lift
Dodgy
Having a laugh
Work up
Wind up
university
pensioner


wireless, petrol, lorry, takeaway, drinks (as opposed to cocktails), brilliant, bevvy, taking the piss. football! strange word for aspirin (maybe it's scottish?) that I can't remember (percematol?
)

Originally Posted by Connemara
As usual, jinda brings teh weirdness.

I've always been fond of "in hospital" as opposed to "in the hospital."


I like how they say road instead of street. there's the high street, where all the nice shops are, but your neighbor lives across/down the road.
 

eg1

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lorry = truck
bobby = policeman
boot = car trunk
bonnet = car hood
petrol = gas
saloon = sedan
underground = subway
pitch = field
pram = baby carriage
torch = flashlight
 

EnglishGent

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This thread reminds me of when a simple language misunderstanding almost cost me my engagement when I first came to the US. I was in the car with the future wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law when someone asked me a question about one of my friends. I said that he could be a bit of a twat sometimes (not an unusual term to here where I grew up and not all the offensive in the sense it was intended). The jaws of the three in the car dropped and I was told to get out of the car, after some quick thinking/talking I managed to figure out the mistake I'd made and explain the situation. I later found out how offensive many people deem the word twat to be and never used it infront of the wife.
 

bassmanpatsfan18

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coupÃ
= coupe
indicators = blinkers

Watch an episode of Top Gear and you'll probably learn about a thousand car-related synonyms.
 

Britalian

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Cigarette/ciggy for fag always amuses.

Toilet instead of bathroom/restroom always disturbs.
 

Britalian

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Originally Posted by romafan
I think mental has more to do w/ psycho behavior (think hooligans destroying the city center) rather than retarded. Also, knob rather than cock.




wireless, petrol, lorry, takeaway, drinks (as opposed to cocktails), brilliant, bevvy, taking the piss. football! strange word for aspirin (maybe it's scottish?) that I can't remember (percematol?
)



I like how they say road instead of street. there's the high street, where all the nice shops are, but your neighbor lives across/down the road.


Paracetamol is an alternative to aspirin; the former doesn't thin ones blood, I believe.
Wireless is not really in modern use as a synonym (for radio). Maybe used by the older generations principally.
 

rhys

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The whole "pants meaning trousers" thing gives us the most laughs, I think.

I'll add two more:

chav
rozzers
 

fcuknu

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Originally Posted by bassmanpatsfan18
coupÃ
= coupe
indicators = blinkers

Watch an episode of Top Gear and you'll probably learn about a thousand car-related synonyms.


yeah, I watch top gear all the time, so this pretty much how I became interested in it. The first time I watched it and I heard all the words like bonnet, boot, saloon, I was like wtf r they talking about...
 

Pookehs

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I like car park (instead of parking lot). Schools have headmasters instead of principals. How has no one mentioned "flat" yet?

It's funny that this thread popped up, because my mom just moved back to Canada (from Hong Kong) and she still uses some of the British English terms that are popular there.
 

Nugget

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hmm.. I'm an Aussie but they all just sound like English to me... some of the Americanisms are quaint though.
 

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