Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

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Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by MajorHoy on Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:51 am

By the way, happened to notice this on the internet and thought, as an American, it was my duty to share it with you folks who reside "across the pond". Wink

12 British Sayings That Americans Don't Understand
Business Insider
By Megan Willett

Everyone knows that for the Brits, an elevator is a “lift,” an apartment is a “flat,” and those chips you’re snacking on are actually called “crisps.”

But British people also say some other really weird, confusing things.

To celebrate the launch of Business Insider's UK website, we compiled 12 British phrases that will leave Americans utterly flummoxed. You might just see these on our new site.

1. “They lost the plot.”
When someone has “lost the plot,” it means they have lost their cool. The phrase is particularly common in English football, where it is generally used when a player or coach gets in a fight or performs poorly during the game.

2. “I haven’t seen that in donkey's years.”
“Donkey’s years” translates to “a really long time,” mainly because “donkey’s ears” kind of sounded like “donkey’s years” and became a rhyming slang term.

The phrase was underscored by the belief that donkeys live a long time (which can be true) and have very long ears (definitely true).

3. “Quit your whinging!”
When someone is “whinging,” it means they’re whining or crying. The next time your coworker is complaining about something, feel free to call him a whinger.

4. “He’s such a chav.”
This is a pejorative epithet in Britain that’s used to described a specific kind of stereotype: A working-class person who is loud or brash and wears (usually fake) designer clothes — especially the classic Burberry check.

It is essentially the British version of “white trash” and should be used sparingly.

5. “You’ve thrown a spanner in the works.”
When you “put/throw a spanner in the works,” it means you’ve ruined a plan. A spanner is the word for a wrench in England, so it’s the British equivalent of “throwing a wrench in the plan.”

6. “Let’s have a chin-wag.”
Though fairly self-explanatory, having a “chinwag” (sometimes "chin-wag") means that you’re having a brief chat with someone, usually associated with gossip. Just imagine a chin wagging up and down, and you’ll get the idea why.

7. “I’m chuffed to bits.”
If you’re “chuffed to bits,” it means that you’re really happy or thrilled about something. It’s also acceptable to say “chuffed” all on its own: “I’ve just scored free tickets to the Beyoncé concert, and I’m well chuffed!”

8. “That’s manky.”
Something that is “manky” is unpleasantly dirty or disgusting. Its slang usage dates back to the 1950s and was probably a combination of "mank" (meaning mutilated or maimed), the Old French word "manqué" (to fail), and the Latin "mancus" (maimed).

You can also feel “manky” if you’re under the weather.

9. “My cat? She’s a moggy.”
A “moggy” or “moggie” refers to an alley cat or a cat without a pedigree, but it is often used interchangeably as another word for “cat."

10. “This was an absolute doddle to do.”
A “doddle” is a task or activity that is extremely easy. Though the origin is unknown, it dates back to the 1930s and is still common.

11. “You’re taking the piss.”
When you “take the piss” with someone, that means that you’re being unreasonable or taking liberties. For example, if a cashier overcharges you on something, he is taking the piss.

It can also be a stand-in phrase for when you’re mocking or teasing someone, though this is more commonly said as “taking the piss out of” someone or something. For example: “They’re always taking the piss out of John because he likes Taylor Swift.”

12. “I’ve dropped a clanger.”
When someone makes an embarrassing gaffe that upsets someone else, that person has “dropped a clanger.”

For example, if you offer your seat to a pregnant woman on the subway and she tells you she’s not actually pregnant, you may have dropped a clanger.
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/12-british-sayings-americans-dont-214038733.html

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:12 pm

[quote="MajorHoy"]
12 British Sayings That Americans Don't Understand

I watch a lot of British TV, and read a lot of British writers, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised that I knew most of them. But, not all, which DID surprise me. Always more to learn, I guess.

My friends picked up "chav" years ago from UrbanDictionary.com, and I've found it funny since.

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by tony ingram on Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:02 pm

Actually, I've never been entirely clear on what a chav is...

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:18 pm

tony ingram wrote:Actually, I've never been entirely clear on what a chav is...

www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chav

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by tony ingram on Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:14 am

Well, that is certainly enlightening. But at one point in the Doctor Who episode New Earth, Rose Tyler is also referred to as a chav, so clearly the term is non gender specific...hmmm...

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:30 pm

tony ingram wrote:Well, that is certainly enlightening. But at one point in the Doctor Who episode New Earth, Rose Tyler is also referred to as a chav, so clearly the term is non gender specific...hmmm...

Yes, she was. I didn't catch that the first time I watched it, but yes, that's what was said. I think it's just meant as a generic insult for lower-class people, from what I've seen.

When I said I found it funny, what I meant is that I find it funny they use it, since it describes MANY people we know, including (So I'd guess) us as teens, in that we're all from working-class families.

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by tony ingram on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:37 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:Well, that is certainly enlightening. But at one point in the Doctor Who episode New Earth, Rose Tyler is also referred to as a chav, so clearly the term is non gender specific...hmmm...

Yes, she was. I didn't catch that the first time I watched it, but yes, that's what was said. I think it's just meant as a generic insult for lower-class people, from what I've seen.

When I said I found it funny, what I meant is that I find it funny they use it, since it describes MANY people we know, including (So I'd guess) us as teens, in that we're all from working-class families.
Actually, I think it's less aimed at working class people in general than at what my grandmother would have called "common" people-"common" in this sense meaning uncouth, ignorant, ill-mannered, and unwarrantedly flashy or loud. A person from a working class background who flaunts their expensive gadgets, designer knock-off clothes and fake 'bling' is a chav, I would say.


Last edited by tony ingram on Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by Mbast1 on Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:56 pm

tony ingram wrote:Actually, I think it's less aimed at working class people in general than at what my grandmother would have called "common" people-"common" in this sense meaning uncouth, ignorant, ill-mannered, and unwarrantedly flashy or loud. A person from a working class background who flaunts their expensive gadgets, designer knock-off clothes and fake 'bling' is a chav, I would say.

I don't know that I agree, especially here. We (Americans) do our best to pretend class doesn't exist, but it does. And I've seen enough from other classes and how they view the working-class and poor to think they see us as ALL that way, whether they'll admit it in public or not. I've known too many people who will say one thing in public but another when they think all of "us" are "them". Too many of them who'll claim to be making a distinction, but then lump everyone together.

Anyway...

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by tony ingram on Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:01 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:Actually, I think it's less aimed at working class people in general than at what my grandmother would have called "common" people-"common" in this sense meaning uncouth, ignorant, ill-mannered, and unwarrantedly flashy or loud. A person from a working class background who flaunts their expensive gadgets, designer knock-off clothes and fake 'bling' is a chav, I would say.

I don't know that I agree, especially here. We (Americans) do our best to pretend class doesn't exist, but it does. And I've seen enough from other classes and how they view the working-class and poor to think they see us as ALL that way, whether they'll admit it in public or not. I've known too many people who will say one thing in public but another when they think all of "us" are "them". Too many of them who'll claim to be making a distinction, but then lump everyone together.

Anyway...
Maybe, but I don't think the term 'chav' would be applied to every working class person over here. Just a particularly despised subset.

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:50 pm

tony ingram wrote:Maybe, but I don't think the term 'chav' would be applied to every working class person over here. Just a particularly despised subset.

Maybe that's a difference. For a lot of Americans, all working class people are despised.

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

Post by tony ingram on Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:29 am

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:Maybe, but I don't think the term 'chav' would be applied to every working class person over here. Just a particularly despised subset.

Maybe that's a difference. For a lot of Americans, all working class people are despised.
Ah. See, here there's a very definite difference between the working class (but more often than not unemployed or working in a garage) yobbo who spends his nights causing drunken chaos, and the Salt of the Earth labourer who is the backbone of Britain. I'm not entirely sure how that difference is worked out, of course, when it comes to individuals-it just seems to be an instinctive thing... Twisted Evil

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Re: Oh, that crazy Brit-speak . . .

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