Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dictionary for Americans

It has recently come to my attention that I've started to pick up so many British-isms that I don't even notice anymore. This is good for me, as I am now starting to fit in, at least as far as my vocabulary and slang are concerned. However, as most of my readers are American, I figure I should probably put up a vocabulary list so that you can decipher my musings. Enjoy!

Tube (n): Metro
Trainers (n pl): Sneakers (they can be any kind, not just running shoes. For example, my Converse sneakers are called trainers as are my exercise shoes)
Flat (n): Apartment, though flats can be as large as a townhouse, or even a duplex. Basically, it's anything that's not a free-standing house (which doesn't exist in London, anyway)
Top-Up (v): To put money on something, i.e. your tube card or mobile.
Mobile (n): Cell phone. Most people do pay-as-you-go, forcing them to top up whenever they run out of credit.
Pub (n): Anywhere with a walk-up bar that serves beer and food. If they only serve alchohol and not food, it's a bar, not a pub.
Mate (n): Friend. Only used among men. If a guy calls you his mate, and you're a girl, there's something wrong with either you or him. Probably you.
Snog (v): Make out.
Lovely (adj): Same meaning as in the US; however, it can be used by the general public as opposed to just by pretentious assholes. Is often used to describe a person's character, as in "Oh, he's lovely!" (N.B.: this does not imply that he's gay)
N.B.(?): Note well, look here, read this, etc.
Loo Roll (n): Toilet paper
Pants (n pl): Underwear. Never, I repeat, NEVER describes trousers (see below)
Trousers (n pl): Anything Americans would call "pants". Slacks, jeans, sweats, whatever.
Trakkies (n pl): Sweatsuit, work-out clothes.
Chav (n): The English version of white trash.
Hot Cross Buns (n pl): A breakfast food. Very good when they have chocolate chips in them.
Bit: Singular (adv): little, as in, "I like him a bit", or "I'd only like a bit of sugar"
Plural (n): 1) Orange juice pulp ("OJ with bits")
2) Chocolate chips ("chocolate bits")
Chips (n pl): Fries
Crisps (n pl): Chips
American (n or adj): An obnoxiously loud probably overweight tourist who wears a bumbag (see below)
Bumbag (n): Fanny-pack. Do not ever call it a fanny-pack.
Fanny(n): A rude word for the female genetalia.
Cheers (?): 1) The same as in the US, when toasting with drinks
2) Thanks ("Cheers for the pint, mate!"
Let's Go For a Pint: Let's Go Get Shitfaced. Does not necessarily mean you have to drink pints of beer. You can go for a pint and drink a bottle of wine if you so choose.
Bully (adj): Good, as in "Bully for you!"
Buggered (adj): Fucked (in the bad way)
Shagged (v, adj): Fucked (in the good way)
Knackered (adj): Tired
Gutted (adj): Exhausted to the point of feeling sick
Kings (n): Kings College London, aka The Most Evil Place in the Universe.
Uni (n): College (can also mean "campus", as in "I'll be at uni all day")
College (n): Last 2 years of high school
A-Levels (n pl): AP exams, except everyone has to take them
Well (adj): Very, way, as in "I'm well excited about this weekend!"
Fit (adj): Hot. Can also mean physically in-shape, but usually just means very attractive.
Society (n): Club, i.e. Drama Society, Chess Society
Professor (n): the head of the department
Lecturer (n): Everyone else who teaches at Uni
You all right?: How are you?
Fancy Dress Party: Costume party
Kebab (n): a pita-type thing filled with meat

So, with this guide, you should be able to successfully translate the following exercise (Picture a guy on the phone):
"Hey, you all right? I just took the tube down to Uni to have a pint with my mates, and I saw this really fit girl out at the pub with her friends. They were having a fancy dress party, so she was dressed as a Chav. I think it was a party for the dance society. All her friends were well fit! I'm a bit buggered right now as I need to top up my mobile, but if you're not completely gutted after meeting with your lecturers all day, then we should totally go meet up with them. Just put on some nice trousers and come meet me; there's a kebab-and-chips shop right near where we're going, so we can stop there on the way back to the flat. You should be fine to just wear your trainers. Maybe if we're lucky we'll get to snog one of them, or even shag them! Don't worry, I don't think any of her friends were Americans or Kings students-I think they're all from our uni. Right, see you in a bit. Cheers, bye!"

Once you can translate that passage successfully, you are officially competent in the art of British slang. Congratulations!


jake kim said...

quid (n) British pound Sterling

iOna.ox said...

not that im facebook stalking you but i really couldnt resist...