Etymology 1Late 17th century, unknown origin, possibly moedrodd to worry or bother. Possible alternative from the meidda or perhaps meiddio. Bear in mind that the "dd" in Welsh corresponds in sound to the "th" in mither.
intransitive: to mither
- Interlingua: preoccupar se de bagatelas
- Portuguese: fazer tempestade em um copo d'água
transitive to mither
- Dutch: lastigvallen
- Interlingua: importunar
- Portuguese: importunar
Etymology 2Late variant of modor.
- In the context of "Scottish|Northern England": mother
EtymologyVariant of mother < modor. Compare moder.
- Words with specific British English meanings that have different meanings in American and/or additional meanings common to both languages (eg pants, cot) are to be found at List of words having different meanings in American and British English, as are compounds derived from such words (eg cot death). When such words are herein used or referenced, they are marked with the flag [DM] (different meaning).
- Asterisks (*) denote words and meanings having appreciable (that is, not occasional) currency in American, but nonetheless notable for their relatively greater frequency in British speech and writing.
- British English spelling is consistently used throughout the article, except when explicitly referencing American terms.
A; abseil : to descend on a rope (US: rappel).: In the UK accounting is the school subject, but accountancy the professional qualification.; agony aunt : the author of an agony column – a magazine or newspaper column advising on readers' personal problems. The image presented was originally that of an older woman providing comforting advice and maternal wisdom, hence the name "aunt". Better known to most Americans as a "Dear Abby" column or advice column.; answerphone : (originally from trademark Ansafone) automated telephone answering device (US and UK also: answering machine).; approved school : school for juvenile delinquents; reform school. (Note that such institutions have not been referred to officially as "approved schools" since 1969. Juvenile delinquents, depending on their level of malfeasance, are now sent to PRUs (Pupil Referral Units) or YOIs (Young Offender Institutions - a correctional facility for Juvenile Delinquents. (US: juvenile detention center, juvenile hall, (slang) juvie).; argy-bargy : (informal) pushing-and-shoving or outright fighting.; [to fall] arse over tit : (vulgar, alternatively arse over tit/tip) [to fall] head over heels. (US: ass over tea kettle).; ashet : (Scottish) a deep plate or dish.; autocue : a prompting system for television announcers (genericised trademark, after a leading manufacturer) (US: teleprompter).
B; bang to rights : (slang) in the act of committing an offence (US: dead to rights); bankman : (not widespread) person in charge of a bus or taxi stand (US: dispatcher); barmaid *, barman : A woman or man who serves drinks in a bar. Barman and the originally American bartender appeared within a year of each other (1837 and 1836); barmaid is almost two centuries older (circa 1658). ; barrister *: a type of lawyer (one qualified to give specialist legal advice and argue a case in both higher and lower law courts). Sometimes used in US with pejorative connotations.; bedsit (or bedsitter) : one-room apartment that serves as a bedroom and a living room (US: see SRO; compare studio apartment, efficiency (apartment)); berk : a mildly derogatory term for a silly person. The word is an abbreviation of either 'Berkshire Hunt' or 'Berkeley Hunt' (it is uncertain which is the original phrase), cockney rhyming slang for cunt. (Note that 'berk' rhymes with 'work', whereas the first syllable of both 'Berkshire' and 'Berkeley' is pronounced 'bark'.); bint : a derogatory term for a woman. Usage varies with a range of harshness from 'bitch', referring to a disagreeable and domineering woman, to only a slightly derogatory term for a young woman (from the Arabic for a girl).; bish bash bosh : emphatic way of stating that something is simple, and will be/has been easy to do. ; blag : (slang) to obtain or achieve by deception, to bluff, to scrounge, to rob, robbery, tall story, bluff, deception; bloke : (informal) man, fellow; blues and twos : (slang, uncommon) emergency vehicle with lights and sirens (emergency services in the UK generally use blue flashing lights and a two-tone siren); bobbie, bobby : police officer, named after Sir Robert Peel, the instigator of the world's first organised police force; bobbins : something of low quality or (more commonly) someone who lacks ability at something, (e.g."Our new striker is bobbins"); boffin : scientist or engineer, geek, nerd, sometimes abbreviated to boff; bog-standard: completely ordinary, run-of-the-mill, unadulterated, unmodified; bollocks : (vulgar; originally ballocks, colloquially also spelled as bollox) testicles; verbal rubbish (as in "you're talking bollocks") (US: bullshit). The somewhat similar bollix is found in American English, but without the anatomical connotations or vulgar sense meaning 'mess up'. The twin pulley blocks at the top of a ship's mast are also known as bollocks, and in the 18th century priests were colloquially referred to as bollocks; it was by claiming this last usage that the Sex Pistols prevented their album Never Mind the Bollocks from being banned under British obscenity laws. Related phrases include bollocksed, which means either tired ("I'm bollocksed!") or broken beyond repair; bollocks up, meaning to mess up ("He really bollocksed that up"); and [a] bollocking, meaning a stern telling off. Also The dog's bollocks is a fairly common phrase used in British English, although this has the opposite meaning - something described as "The dog's bollocks" or sometimes even just "The bollocks" is something considered to be very good. In mixed company this phrase may be toned down to "The mutt's nuts", or the phrase "The Bee's Knees" may be used as a polite substitute. ; brass-monkeys : cold - from "cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey" This is often said to derive from cannonballs stowed on a brass triangle named after a "powder monkey" (a boy who run gunpowder to the ship's guns), spilling due to the frame's contraction in cold weather. However this is doubtful since these were wooden (possibly for this reason) and its more obviously vulgar derivation may be the correct one. ; brolly : (informal) umbrella; bugger-all : little or nothing at all; "I asked for a pay rise and they gave me bugger-all"; "I know bugger-all about plants"; damn it all (US: zip, jack or jack shit; US and UK also fuck-all); bum bag : a bag worn on a strap around the waist (US: fanny [DM] pack); bureau de change : an office where money can be exchanged (US and UK also: currency exchange); busk : 1: * to play live music, perform or otherwise entertain in a public place, usually in the hope of receiving small monetary contributions from spectators and passersby. American English has no exact equivalent, but a busker is a "street musician" or "street performer". Gradually, "busk" (v) and "busker/busking" (n) are becoming increasingly common in US English usage, at least among professional musicians.2: used to imply rapid improvisation in a working environment, for example: "we'll have to busk it" (we'll have to make it up as we go along). The latter meaning comes from the former, specifically from the concept of performing without sheet music or script.: (Northern and Central England) a workmate, and thus an unpowered barge towed by a powered one, such as a narrowboat
- (Welsh English colloquialism) friend, similar to usage of word mate (usually "butt").
C; cack : (slang) faeces (feces); nonsense or rubbish: "what a load of cack" could equally be used to describe someone talking nonsense or as a criticism of something of poor quality. Also spelt "kak". (derived from an ancient Indo-European word, kakkos, cognate with German word Kacke), (US: crap, caca). See also kaka one's grits below; cafetière : device for making coffee (US: French press); call box, phone box : public phone (US and UK also: payphone); call up : compulsory enlistment into the military (US: the draft); candy floss : spun sugar confection (US: cotton candy). Otherwise, 'candy' is a not a broadly used term, though it would be understood if used in an American context.; caravan park : area where caravans are parked (US: Trailer park); car park : area where cars are parked (US usually parking lot if outdoor, parking garage if indoor).; carrier rocket : a rocket used to place a satellite in orbit (rare, US: "launch vehicle" generally used in both).; cat's eye : reflector used to mark lane divisions and edges of roads, also written cat's-eye, genericised from the trademark Catseye (US: raised pavement marker; Botts' Dots are similar); central heating boiler : (US: furnace); chamber pot: porcelain receptacle kept under the bed; char, cha: (informal) tea. From the Chinese, chá.; Chartered Accountant : one authorised to certify financial statements (US: Certified Public Accountant); charv or chav : (slang, often derogatory) typically a working class person of lowish intelligence who wears designer label (eg Burberry) copies, fake gold bling, and is a trouble-maker. "Chav" is more common in Southern English. Charv or charva was originally used in the northeast of England, from the adopting the Roma word charva, meaning disreputable youth. Often referred to as Wiggers in the US, although the cultural differences are vast.; cheeky : impertinent; chinagraph pencil : pencil designed to write on china, glass etc. (US: grease pencil, china marker); chinwag : (slang) chat; chuffed : (informal, becoming somewhat archaic, originally Liverpudlian) proud, satisfied, pleased. Sometimes intensified as well chuffed; cf. made up; clanger : (informal) a big mistake, blunder, bad joke or faux pas ('to drop a clanger'); cleg : horse fly; cobblers : shoemakers; (slang) a weaker version of bollocks, meaning 'nonsense' (often "a load of old cobblers"), from rhyming slang 'cobbler's awls' = balls; cock-up, cockup : (mildly vulgar) error, mistake; compère : master of ceremonies, MC; conservatoire : music school (US usually conservatory); cop off with : (slang) to successfully engage the company of a potential sexual partner, to "pull"; to copulate (have sexual intercourse) with.; cotton bud : wad of cotton wool fixed to a small stick, used for cleaning (US: cotton swab, Q-Tip); council house/flat , also council housing or estate : public housing. (US: projects); courgette : the plant Cucurbita pepo (US: zucchini); craic : joking talk among lads, common over cards or pints. Pronounced "crack." Irish usage. ; crisps : very thinly sliced fried potatoes, often flavoured, eaten cold as a snack (US: potato chips); current account : personal bank account used for everyday transactions (US: checking account)
D; dekko : (informal) a look, reconnoître "I'll take a dekko at it later." – British military slang derived from the Hindustani dhek/dekho meaning "to see". Also less commonly decco, deccie,deek, deeks.; div : (slang) a fool or idiot, hence divvy foolish or idiotic.; dodgy : unsound, unstable, and unreliable; the dog's bollocks : (vulgar) something excellent or top quality, the "bee's knees" (the business), the "cat's whiskers". Nowadays is becoming "mutt's nuts".; dosh : (slang) money (US: dough) "how much dosh you got on ya?"; double first : an undergraduate degree where the candidate has gained First-Class Honours in two separate subjects, or alternatively in the same subject in subsequent examinations (see British undergraduate degree classification); draper : a dealer in drapery (i.e. clothing, textiles, etc.) (US: dry goods [DM]); drawing pin * : pin with a large, flat head, used for fixing notices to noticeboards etc. (US: thumbtack); driving licence : document authorising the holder to drive a vehicle (US: driver's license, driver license); dustbin : (sometimes used in the US) receptacle for rubbish, very often shortened to simply 'bin'. (US: trash can; wastebasket)
E; electric fire : domestic electric heater (US: space heater); estate agent: a person who sells property for others (US: realtor); extension lead : mains extension cable, (US and UK also: extension cord)
F; ; fairy cake : a small sponge cake (US and UK also: cupcake); fancy dress : a costume worn to impersonate a well-known character, animal etc., typically at a fancy dress party (US: costume party) ; fettle : (uncommon except in dialect) state of something, as in "My business is in fine fettle"; to fettle (dialect word) : to sort out, fix (e.g. "that's fettled it") : to adjust with the intention of fixing (e.g. "He's got his head under the bonnet fettling the engine") ; fiver : five pounds; fizzy drink : carbonated soft drink (US: soda, pop, coke depending on the region); fortnight *: a period of 14 days (and nights) or two weeks ; french letter: (slang) condom http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/french%20letter; Full stop : a dot that comes after the ending of a sentence (US: period)
G; gaffer: (informal) old man; (informal) boss; football manager (US: soccer coach); Also in US: (professional) chief electrician on a theatrical or film set.; gangway: a path between the rows of seats in a theatre (US aisle; gangway is a naval command to make a path for an officer)); gear-lever / gearstick : handle for changing gears in a vehicle or other machinery (US stick shift); get off with * : same as cop off with (q.v.); git : (mildly derogatory) scumbag, idiot, annoying person (originally meaning illegitimate); go pear-shaped : see pear-shaped; Gor Blimey : exclamation of surprise, also Cor Blimey (originally from "God blind me"); go-slow : a protest in which workers deliberately work slowly (US: slowdown or work to rule); green fingers : talent for growing plants (US: green thumb); greengrocery : a greengrocer's profession, premises or produce; guitar lead : high impedance coaxial guitar cable (US guitar cord)
H; hash sign : the symbol "#" (US: number sign, pound sign [DM]); headmaster, headmistress, headteacher *: the person in charge of an educational institution (US: principal [DM]; headmaster and the like are usually used for private schools) ; hey up : (informal greeting) ( often pronounced: AY up) how's it going?; higgledy-piggledy : in disarray; holidaymaker : person on holiday [DM] (US: vacationer); home and away : fixtures played at alternating venues (US: home and home). Also 'first and second leg' (US series).; hot up : to become more exciting or intimate (US: heating up); hundreds-and-thousands: coloured sugar sprinkles used for dessert decoration (US: non-pareils)
I; iced water :(US: ice water); industrial action : (see article; US: job action); invigilator : person who monitors an examination (US: proctor [DM])
J; jammy (git) : (slang) lucky (person); jerry : (slang) pejorative term for a German or Germans, (US and sometimes Canada: Kraut); jobsworth : (slang) Originally a minor clerical/government worker who refuses to be flexible in the application of rules to help clients or customers (as in "it will cost me more than my job's worth to bend the rules"). Also used more broadly to apply to anyone who uses their job description in a deliberately obstructive way. (US: see DMV); John Thomas : (slang) To engage in sexual intercourse. Better known as slang for penis or "dick" (US: cock, dick, or johnson); jumper : a pullover sweater
K; Karno's Army: a chaotic, ineffective team (usually: Fred Karno's Army); kecks : (informal) trousers or underpants; ken : to know (Scotland and northern England) - also used to refer to one's specific range of knowledge (e.g. "beyond my ken"), ; can also mean "house" (e.g.: our ken = our house); kev : (slang) equivalent to "chav", derivative of "Kevin" – typically a working class person that wears designer labels, fake gold, has to always be "in", is most likely a troublemaker and most likely smokes. Popularised by British comedian Harry Enfield.; kip : (informal) sleep (US: nap); klaxon : (insult) an idiot, simple folk (in reference to Devo the Internet chav). verb: Klaxonate, to do something idiotic.; knackers : (colloquial) testicles ( e.g., "Ouch, she kicked me right in the knackers"); knicker : (colloquial) 1 pound, maintains singular form when used in a plural context (it cost me 2 knicker)
L; lav : also, lavy (informal, increasingly uncommon) lavatory, toilet (in the US, airplane restrooms are typically called lavatories); let-out (n.) : a means of evading or avoiding something: 2. (less common) a box in the street for receiving outgoing letters and other mail (more usually called a postbox or pillar box) (US: mailbox)
- See also Letterbox (US & UK): a film display format taking its name from the shape of a letter-box slot; lock-in : illegal gathering in a pub at night to drink after the pub is supposed to have stopped serving alcohol, where the landlord "locks in" his guests to avoid being caught by police. Unless the landlord charges for the drinks at the time, the people in the pub are considered his personal guests; if money is exchanged beforehand or afterwards then it is considered a gift from the guest to the landlord for the hospitality. ; lollipop man / woman / lady : a school crossing guard who uses a circular stop sign: 2. (slang) money; lorry : a large goods-carrying motor vehicle (US and UK also: truck); lower ground : the lower of two floors at ground level (for example, if a building is built on a slope). See "ground floor". Also used as a euphemism for "basement" when trying to sell a flat [DM].
M; mains power, the mains : 240V AC electrical current, provided by the electricity grid to homes and businesses; also attrib. ("mains cable") (US: variously called: line power, grid power, AC power, household electricity, etc.); mardy : (derogatory, mainly Northern and Central England) describes someone who is in a bad mood, or more generally a crybaby or whiner or "grumpy, difficult, unpredictable". Used, for example, by children in the rhyme "Mardy, mardy mustard...", and in the title of the Arctic Monkeys song "Mardy Bum". The verb to throw a mardy means to display an outburst of anger.; mash : (informal) mashed/whipped potatoes ; MD (managing director) : equivalent of US CEO (Chief Executive Officer), also used in the UK; mercer : (rare, old-fashioned) a dealer in textiles, esp. expensive ones; a dealer in small wares; mince : 1. ground meat, especially beef (US: ground beef, hamburger meat, mince typically describes a chopping style) 2. Walk daintily. 3 "Mince your words;" to obfuscate or conceal when talking or writing.; minge : (vulgar) (rhymes with singe) female genitals or pubic hair ; minging : (originally Scottish slang, rhymes with singing) dirty, rotting, smelly, unattractive etc; moggie, moggy : (informal) non-pedigree cat; alley cat; monged (out) : (slang) being incapable of constructive activity due to drug use, alcohol consumption or extreme tiredness; MOT, MOT test : (pronounced M-O-T) mandatory annual safety and roadworthiness test for motor vehicles (from "Ministry of Transport", now renamed "Department for Transport"); move house, move flat, etc. : to move out of one's house or other residence into a new residence; muppet : (slang) silly person; a milder alternative to "idiot" ("You forgot to get the paper, you muppet!"). From the Muppets.
N; naff off : (dated slang) shove it, get lost, go away – a much less offensive alternative to "fuck off" (originally obscure Polari slang, made popular by prison sitcom Porridge and famously used by Princess Anne) : 2. (n.) (slang) police informer (US: narc, derived from narcotics agent, but often used in a general sense); ned : (Scotland) (slang) a working class person with a certain cheap and tasteless style (see chav). Also "schemie" (greater emphasis on anti-social behaviour).; nesh : (central England, north-west, Yorkshire, also once western England, gently derogative) of a person, sensitive to the cold, delicate (typical usage, of someone who wears a coat on a mildly cold day: "He's nesh", meaning "He's a bit soft").; newsreader : someone who reads the news on TV or radio. See news presenter for a description of the different roles of a newscaster, a British newsreader and an American news anchor.; nob : see knob: 2. the present time or occasion – now usually encountered only in the compound nonce word, meaning an ad hoc word coinage, and the somewhat old-fashioned phrase for the nonce, meaning "for now". See also the Wiktionary definition.: 2. (slang) oral sex ; nous : Good sense; shrewdness: “Hillela had the nous to take up with the General when he was on the up-and-up again” (Nadine Gordimer); number plate : vehicle registration plate (sometimes used in the US; also license plate or license tag); nutter: (informal) a crazy or insane person, often violent; also used as a more light-hearted term of reproach ("Oi nutter!") (occasionally used in the US) (US and UK also: nut, nutcase)
O; off-licence : shop licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises, informally abbreviated to offy; also known as an Outdoor (West Midlands) (US equivalent: liquor store) ; oi : coarse exclamation to gain attention, roughly equivalent to "hey" ("Oi, you!" = "Hey you!"); one-off : something that happens only once; limited to one occasion (as an adjective, a shared synonym is one-shot; as a noun, it has no exact US equivalent); orientate : less common alternative to orient, deprecated by some as an unnecessary back-formation from orientation; outwith: (Scotland) opposite of within and a local alternative to one meaning of without. For example, "Advanced Quantum Mechanics is outwith the scope of an introductory physics textbook".; owt : (Northern English) anything. From Standard English "ought" ; oy: See "oi".
P; paki : (often offensive) Pakistani; loosely applied to anyone from South Asia, or of perceived South Asian origin (sometimes used in the US; in the US "paki", spelled packy, can suggest a package store, i.e. a liquor store, which could not be referred to as such under blue laws). ; paper round : (the job of making) a regular series of newspaper deliveries (US: paper route); parkie : (informal) park-keeper; (Cornish) pasty : hard pastry case filled with meat and vegetables served as a main course, particularly in Cornwall and in the north of England; pear-shaped : usually in the phrase "to go pear-shaped", meaning to go drastically or dramatically wrong (possibly from the idea of a ball deflating). cf tits-up; pelican crossing : pedestrian crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians (from Pedestrian Light-Controlled); petrol : refined mixture of hydrocarbons, used esp. to fuel motor vehicles (short for petroleum spirit, or from French essence de pétrole) (US: gasoline, gas). Also variously known as motor spirit (old-fashioned), motor gasoline, mogas, aviation gasoline and avgas (the last two being a slightly heavier type designed for light aircraft) ; pikey : a pejorative slang term, used originally to refer to Irish travellers: See also Pillar box (film): an aspect ratio named for a supposed resemblance to the dimensions of the slot found on a pillar box.; pillock : (slang, very mildly derogatory) foolish person, used esp. in northern England but also common elsewhere. Derived from the Northern English term pillicock, a dialect term for penis, although the connection is rarely made in general use.; pisshead : (vulgar) someone who regularly gets heavily drunk (cf. BrE meaning of pissed).; pleb : (derogatory) person of lower class, from plebeian; similar to townie. Also commonly used to mean idiot.; plimsoll : a type of shoe with a canvas upper and rubber sole, formerly the typical gym shoe used in schools (US: sneaker or Tennis shoe); plonk : a disparaging term for cheap wine, especially cheap red wine, is now widely known in the UK and also to a lesser extent in the USA. Derives from French vin blanc and came into English use on the western front in WWI. ; ponce : (n.) (slang) someone with overly affected airs and graces; an effeminate posturing man; a pimp. Originates from Maltese slang.
- (v.) (slang) to act like a pimp; to cadge, to borrow with little or no intention of returning, often openly so ("Can I ponce a ciggie off you, mate?"); ponce off : (v.) (slang) to mooch, to hit up, to leave in a pompous manner; poof, poove : A small drum-shaped soft furnishing used as a foot rest.; postage and packing, P&P : charge for said services (US: shipping and handling, S&H; the word postage is, however, used in both dialects); postbox, post box : box in the street for receiving outgoing mail (US: mailbox; drop box); see also letter box, pillar box; poste restante : service whereby mail is retained at a post office for collection by the recipient (from the French) (US: general delivery); postman : person who delivers mail (post) to residences and businesses (US: letter carrier, mailman, mail carrier; the term postman is also sometimes used in the US, esp. by older generations); poxy : (slang) something that is unsatisfactory or in generally bad condition.; prat : (slang) an incompetent or ineffectual person, a fool, an idiot; provisional licence, provisional driving licence : a licence for a learner driver, who has not yet passed a driving test (US: learner's permit); pukka : (informal) legitimate, the real thing, of good quality (usually Southeastern England term, recently made famous by Jamie Oliver but dating back to the 19th century). From Hindi. ; punkah-wallah : a usually South Asian servant whose role is to operate a manual fan. From Urdu pankhaa, fan, and -wallah, -man; pushbike : (informal) bicycle (pre-dates modern safety bicycle q.v. velocipede)
Q; queue : N. a waiting line (as of persons, vehicles etc.) * (US usually: line [DM]; queue is used in computer applications, such as printer queue or render queue); hence jump the queue); V. to wait in line (US line up); quids in : (informal) a financially positive end to a transaction or venture "After all that, we'll be quids in!"; quiff : forelock (initially Hiberno-English); a hairstyle (from the 1950s onward).
R; ranker : an enlisted soldier or airman or (more rarely) a commissioned officer who has been promoted from enlisted status ("the ranks"); rat-arsed : (slang) extremely drunk; Register Office, Registry Office : official office where births, marriages and deaths are recorded; usu. refers to local Register Office (in each town or locality). General Register Office is the relevant government department. In England and Wales until 2001, almost all civil (non-church) marriages took place in the local Register Office; different laws apply in Scotland and N. Ireland.; ropey : (informal) chancy; of poor quality; uncertain (see dodgy). Can also mean unwell when used in the form to feel ropey; rota : a roll call or roster of names, or round or rotation of duties; rubbish *: refuse, waste (in the US found mainly as regionalism or legal/technical term – US usually: garbage or trash); something worthless (as writing, talk, etc.), often used to impugn a statement (US speakers deriding an idea as 'rubbish' can sometimes sound 'stuck up' or pompous). ; rumpy pumpy : (informal) Sexual intercourse, used slightly jokingly.
S; sanitary towel, sanitary pad : sanitary napkin, maxi pad; sarnie, sarny : (informal) sandwich (abbrev.) ; schemie : (Scot) (derog. slang) working class person with traits of anti-social/criminal behaviour. From 'council housing scheme'. Compare ned/chav.; scrumping : action of stealing apples from an orchard; also v. to scrump; secateurs : gardening tool for pruning plants (US:pruners of clippers); Sellotape : from Cellophane, transparent adhesive tape (genericised trademark) (US: Scotch tape); shandy : lager or beer mixed close to equal parts with lemonade [DM]; singleton : a single, unmarried person; skew-whiff / skew-whift : skewed, uneven, not straight; skip : large container used for trash or waste (U.S.-dumpster); slag : slut (but in a milder sense);[DM]. Occasionally used to refer to a male.; slaphead : (informal) bald man; sleeping partner : a partner in business, often an investor, who is not visibly involved in running the enterprise (US: silent partner); smalls : underclothing (US: panties); smeghead : (slang) idiot; a general term of abuse (for discussion of origin, see smeg (vulgarism)). Popularised by its use in the sitcom Red Dwarf.; soap dodger : one who is thought to lack personal hygiene; spacker (spacky) : (vulgar, offensive to many) idiot, general term of abuse: from "Spastic", referring in England almost exclusively (when not used as an insult) to a person suffering from cerebral palsy.(variant forms spaz/spastic, are used in American English); spawny : lucky; spiv : an unemployed person who lives by their wits; someone who shirks work or responsibility; a slacker, a dealer in black market goods (during World War II). The term wide boy is also often used in the same sense; spod : someone who spends too much time in internet chat rooms and discussion forums. Also verb: to spod.; spot on : exactly (US: right on); squidgy : (informal) soft and soggy; squint, squintie : crooked; cf on the skunt; stalls : the seats closest to the stage in a theater/orchestra; sticky-backed plastic : large sheet of thin, soft, coloured plastic that is sticky on one side; see Blue Peter (US similar: contact paper); straightaway : immediately (sometimes used in the US; also right away); stroppy, to have a strop on : (informal) recalcitrant, in a bad mood or temper; suss [out] : (informal) to figure out (from suspicion); swot : 1. v. to study for an exam (US cram)
- 2. n. (derogatory) aloof and unpopular schoolchild or student who studies to excess; swimming costume: swimsuit or bathing suit; also cozzy for short.
T; takeaway : food outlet where you can order food to go (or be delivered) (not usually applied to fast food chains). Usage: "we had a takeaway for dinner", "we went to the local takeaway". [DM]; (US: takeout); takings : receipts of money; tarn : small mountain lake. Used especially in the Lake District; telly : (informal) television; Territorial: a member of the Territorial Army (US: Army Reserve); tingy : (from Ireland) cf wotsit; thruppennies : (Cockney rhyming slang) breasts/tits (from thruppeny bits, obsolete British coin); [go] tits up : (mildly vulgar) to suddenly go wrong (literally, to fall over). cf pear-shaped (appears in the US mainly as military jargon, sometimes sanitized to "tango uniform"); toff : (slang) member of the upper classes; toffee nosed : anti-social in a pretentious way, stuck up; tony : expensive or luxurious.; tosspot :(colloquial) a drunkard. (slang) a no-good waster, a jerk.; training shoes, trainers: athletic shoes. (US: sneakers).; tuppence : two pence, also infantile euphemism for vagina. cf twopenn'orth; turf accountant : bookmaker for horse races; turn-ups: an arrangement at the bottom of trouser-legs whereby a deep hem is made, and the material is doubled-back to provide a trough around the external portion of the bottom of the leg. (US: cuffs); twonk : idiot. Probably a portmanteau construction of twat and plonker
U; up himself : (informal) someone who is stand-offish, stuck-up, snobby. "He's a bit up himself."
V;verruca : a wart which occurs on one's foot. Called a plantar wart in USA
W; wally : (informal) buffoon, fool; milder form of idiot. Now considered an old-fashioned word. See muppet.; WC : toilet (short for Water Closet). (US: bathroom [DM], US old-fashioned, Canada washroom). See also loo.; way out : exit. Used primarily on signs; welly : (informal) effort (e.g.: "Give it some welly" to mean "put a bit of effort into an attempt to do something"); also the singular of "wellies", for Wellington boots; whilst *: while (US and UK), (archaic in US); white pudding : oat and fat sausage often eaten at breakfast, common in Ireland and Scotland; wibble : (informal) to talk at length aimlessly; willy * : (slang) a childish term for a penis.; winkle * : (slang) another childish term for a penis.; wonky : (informal) wrong, awry, not straight or stable; shaky, feeble (usually applied to furniture)
Y; yob : lout, young troublemaker (from boy spelt backwards)
- Hargraves, Orin (2002). Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515704-4.
- Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62181-X.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/ A large project being undertaken by the BBC to document and chart the different word-usage and accents in the British Isles.
- Effingpot.com An American's guide to speaking British, written by a Brit living in Texas.
- Translating American to British A guide to British slang.
- American-British/British-American Dictionaries An American to British dictionary and a British to American Dictionary.
- The English-to-American Dictionary A very large British to American dictionary.