On being the token Yank: Things my British friends say (that I wish I could)

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(retrieved from http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01/05/yanks-and-brits-is-america-really-the-best/)

So as I mentioned in my previous post, over in Singapore, I have loads of British friends and that’s who I hang out with the most. One of the most fun parts of this, for me, is learning the dialect differences–as there are many. My friends have also unknowingly been my research subjects! They’ve helped me write a bunch of my characters in my novel, which is set in the UK. Today I’m posting a list of some of the words my friends use that I find awesome but don’t feel I have the street cred to use. It would just sound weird if I said it. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of vocabulary differences, though perhaps some day……

Gutted (this is my favorite I think): like you’re devastated. Like “Arsenal lost and I was just gutted.”

gutted

(retrieved fromhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2013120/JLS-left-gutted-forced-cancel-T4-On-The-Beach-performance.html)

Knackered: tired/beat

Shattered: tired

Dodgy: sketchy, questionable

bonds_dodgy_undie_amnesty(retrieved from theinspirationroom.com)

Posh: upper class and likely snobby. Yeah, like Posh Spice, but I’m not sure why she was called Posh Spice. My friends don’t use it in a complimentary fashion, particularly when talking about posh Londoners. There’s also posh accents. I’d say that posh British people are what Americans might stereotypically think of all British people as being (which is obviously not true lol). We’d probably consider those old money Martha’s Vineyard types that play polo posh in the US.

 Posh at the Duke of York's theatre

 (retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2012/may/23/posh-duke-yorks-review-billington)

Wanker: idiot. Wank means to masturbate, so wanker would be one who masturbates, but this is used as a generally insulting term.

lrgmagnet-i-have-a-diagnosis

(image retrieved from www.kitschagogo.com)

Rubbish: garbage or crap. This can refer to actual garbage, like “Put it in the rubbish bin” or generally to desribe a situation or thing that is crap or no good, like “That’s rubbish.”

Chav: white trash. Also maybe like a poser, too.

chav1

(retrieved from hfboards.hockeysfuture.com)

Bollocks: literally means balls, but is used in many ways. Used in isolation, I think it means like bullshit. Examples of uses in sentences: “Bollocks you do” “That’s a load of bollocks” “Made a bollocks out of it.” “Bollocksed it up.”  Also, that’s the dog’s bollocks, which apparently means it’s awesome.

wtbollocks_i

(retrieved from www.thecalmgallery.com)

The loo: the bathroom. Example: I’m going to nip to the loo. I’m going to quickly go to the bathroom. I will say I’ve stopped calling it a bathroom and call it a toilet instead as, at least in public places, there is no bath in it

A few phrases I’d like to use:

  • Couldn’t be bothered
  • if you/do you fancy…: would you like to…
  • I’m keen to…: I’d like to….
  • I’m going to the cinema to see a film

Also, I’d like to use those little xx after text messages or other messages.  like “See you tonight! xx”

I’m sure I’ll have a follow up post to this.  Not sure what next post’s topic will be, but I’ll definitely do one about words I say my British friends don’t know 😛

Have you encountered words other people say that you either started using or wished you could use? Also, did I get any definitions wrong?

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36 comments

  1. seaangel4444 · May 19, 2014

    *LOL* Awh, great post! I say a lot of those, too! hehehehe Cher xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      That means you’re cool then 😛 Maybe by the time I’m done in Singapore I will be too!

      Like

      • seaangel4444 · May 19, 2014

        Start telling people you are knackered from all the wankers you have to put up with; they are rubbish!! 😉 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

        Hahaaaa yes! That’s the dog’s bollocks!

        Like

      • seaangel4444 · May 19, 2014

        *LOL* HEE!

        Like

  2. Bookgirl · May 19, 2014

    I hadn’t heard of Chav before, that’s a newbie to me. When i lived in Manchester they would say ” your alright” meaning how are you. Where we would say “how ya goin”.They also would say “what you like” meaning aren’t you funny.
    Don’t get me started on the Geordie’s, I couldn’t understand a word they said, all that rhyming slang.:)

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      Haha. Apparently getting your belly button pierced is a bit “chavvy.” Yeah, I’m still figuring out the different parts of England if you will, but some accents are definitely harder for me to understand. One of my friends is from Lancashire and I have a hard time with that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. annabelwriter · May 19, 2014

    Cute post! I didn’t realise you didn’t say these things. We Aussies say ninety percent of them. And no reason at all that you can’t finish with a xx. Annabel. xx 😀

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      Haha no I just can’t do it. Just can’t :P. Ok I’ll half do it x

      Liked by 1 person

    • sjoycarlson · May 21, 2014

      Update…. I just used the term dodgy on facebook to describe the countries around Singapore and my sister says, “What did you turn British now?” Hahahaaaa

      Like

      • annabelwriter · May 21, 2014

        Haha! 😀 oh you mean like the one I live in? 😉 I hope you replied to tgat with a xx

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · May 28, 2014

        Um…… no Malaysia is great. No dodginess there xxxxxxxxx

        Like

      • annabelwriter · May 28, 2014

        🙂

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · May 28, 2014

        KL seemed pretty nice. Except for you know the two airport thing that are both the KL international airport or whatever. And the one Tiger Air flies into…. That was Dodgy.

        Like

  4. echoesofthepen · May 19, 2014

    lol… Great post! As a Limey I do of course recognise these terms; a lot depends of course on tone and context, and to who or whose saying them.. In the army for example, some of the most graphic and abusive terms were in fact nothing more than friendly banter between good mates (friends).

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      Haha glad you enjoyed it! I’m sure I’ll have more. I’m learning more about the fine art of sarcasm and banter every day!

      Like

  5. Harliqueen · May 19, 2014

    I have an American friend, and it was really weird having to explain what words like, ‘posh’ meant 😀

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      Hahaha I’m sure. I don’t know that we have an equivalent because it’s my understanding that it’s not just being rich and snobby, there’s also like an aristocratic class piece to it that we don’t have. I have to say the language differences have fascinated me! I think I’ll do another post someday on words I use that my English friends don’t get 😛 though usually I just filter them out but there have been a few surprises.

      Like

  6. teannadorsey · May 19, 2014

    My family is from England although came here two generations ago and I say almost all of these things and didn’t even realize they were British. Guess I picked up more than I thought. 🙂

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      Haha it’s in your genes 😉 maybe there are parts of the US that say them? I’ve never heard Americans say it and I’ve got friends from every major region apart from the Plains and the Deep South. It’s so interesting though the way language evolves and changes 🙂

      Like

      • teannadorsey · May 20, 2014

        I’m actually Canadian and I know some of these are used commonly but I already knew I do say a lot of British things, and have a slight accent when I get mad according to my friends. I don’t hear it though.

        Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 21, 2014

      Update…. I just used the term dodgy on facebook to describe the counties around Singapore and my sister says, “What did you turn British now?” Hahahaaaa

      Like

  7. Jay Dee · May 19, 2014

    I’m Canadian, and some of these are used in Canada. You know, the whole Commonwealth thing has a bit of influence.

    Like

  8. sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

    Haha I suppose it does. You all also call your moms mum too right? My moms Canadian so I have a special bond to all Canadians though I do call her mom 😛

    Like

  9. Heather M. · May 19, 2014

    I’m not British but I saw a few of these on a regular basis. I use wanker all the time. Lol Maybe it’s because I grew up sitting in front of a computer and talked to a lot of British friends. I just picked up the words and claimed them as part of my vocab.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 19, 2014

      Hahaha see you’re more confident than me 😛 I really will use gutted though.

      Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 21, 2014

      Update…. I just used the term dodgy on facebook to describe the counties around Singapore and my sister says, “What did you turn British now?” Hahahaaaa

      Like

      • Heather M. · May 21, 2014

        Lol! That’s awesome! My friends and family expect me to use slang words from around the world. It’s my way of avoiding cuss words I guess.

        Like

  10. Kate and Britt · May 20, 2014

    Reading this reminded me of the first time I saw the movie “Eastern Promises,” where after the soccer/football game the fans are walking along jeering at each other. “ARSENAL!” “WANKER!” “ARSENAL!” “WANKER!” At the time I remember thinking “Who the hell is Arsenal?” I suppose I just outed myself as American with that one. 😀

    Regarding the -xx or -xo at the end of a message, I use xo fairly often and always took it to mean “hugs and kisses.” To be used with good friends only, of course. Great post! -Kate

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 20, 2014

      Haha the only reason I even knew Arsenal was a football/soccer team before I came here was because my friends had this joke about pretending to know about soccer which went like this: “You know the thing about Arsenal? They always try to walk it in” or something like that haha

      Maybe the xx thing is in the US too but my friends just don’t do it lol.

      Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

      Like

  11. Rachael C Marek · May 21, 2014

    I’m hoping to be an expat, I’m a total Anglophile, and use a lot of these words myself. This post made me realize I need more British friends…asap! Cheers! 😉

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · May 21, 2014

      All the best xx (there’s some more Britishness for you :P)

      Like

      • Rachael C Marek · May 21, 2014

        Here’s a few more for the dictionary – cheeky, prat, twat, and bugger. xx Obviously, none of these are in reference to anyone in particular 🙂 just some of my faves.

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · May 21, 2014

        Haha those ones are good, too! I forgot to include taking the piss

        Like

      • Rachael C Marek · May 21, 2014

        Yes! And how about “having a laugh” and “taking a slash”?

        Like

      • sjoycarlson · May 21, 2014

        haven’t heard the slash one 😛

        Like

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