In case you’re heading out to London to take in the Bears – Bucs game, I thought this handy guide to British slang might be helpful when you read a paragraph like this:
The Bears offense had been sod all, huddling up after another cock up by bloody Frank Omiyale, leaving another third and long.
When the play came in late, Jay Cutler was pretty narked and told Mike Martz “On your bike” and then threw a wobbler. You can’t blame Cutler for being brassed off – he had already burned two time outs thanks to the blinkered Martz and his 7 step drops.
After a heated exchange with quarterbacks coach Shane Day, where Day told Cutler to keep his pecker up, a cheeky Cutler came back into the huddle and asked, “who blew off?” Finally getting some decent protection, Cutler bunged it down to Devin Hester, who had gotten his ears boxed in a local casino the week before. Hester made an incredible one-handed grab to which Roy Williams exclaimed, “Blow me!” On the incredible play, Hester took a cheap shot to the goolies and proceeded to give the Bucs sideline the two finger salute. It was an ace play to give the Bears a first down and give the zonked defense a little more time to get their wind. It was a great play by the Bears and Bob’s your uncle.
Check out the glossary after the jump including meanings for the BOLD words above along with a bunch more. To see a complete list, check out this site, which I found quite helpful:
Ace – If something is ace it is awesome. I used to hear it a lot in Liverpool. Kids thought all cool stuff was ace, or brill.
Arse – This is a word that doesn’t seem to exist in America. It basically means the same as ass, but is much ruder. It is used in phrases like “pain in the arse” (a nuisance) or I “can’t be arsed” (I can’t be bothered) or you might hear something was “a half arsed attempt” meaning that it was not done properly.
Baccy – Tobacco. The sort you use to roll your own.
Biggie – This is unusual. A biggie is what a child calls his poo! Hence the reason Wendy’s Hamburgers has never really taken off in England – who would buy “biggie fries”? Yuck – I’m sure you wouldn’t buy poo fries! The other meaning of Biggie is erection. It just gets worse!
Blinding – If something is a blinding success – it does not mean that any eyes were poked out with sharp sticks – it means it was awesome.
Blinkered – Someone who is blinkered is narrow minded or narrow sighted – they only see one view on a subject. It comes from when horses that pulled carriages wore blinkers to stop them seeing to the side or behind them which stopped them from being startled and only let them see where they were going.
Bloody – One of the most useful swear words in English. Mostly used as an exclamation of surprise i.e. “bloody hell” or “bloody nora”. Something may be “bloody marvellous” or “bloody awful”. It is also used to emphasise almost anything, “you’re bloody mad”, “not bloody likely” and can also be used in the middle of other words to emphasise them. E.g. “Abso-bloody-lutely”! Americans should avoid saying “bloody” as they sound silly.
Blow me – When an English colleague of mine exclaimed “Blow Me” in front of a large American audience, he brought the house down. It is simply an exclamation of surprise, short for “Blow me down”, meaning something like I am so surprised you could knock me over just by blowing. Similar to “Well knock me down with a feather”. It is not a request for services to be performed.
Blow off – Who blew off? Means who farted? Constant source of amusement to us Brits when you guys talk about blowing people off. Conjours up all sort of bizarre images!
Bob’s your uncle – This is a well used phrase. It is added to the end of sentences a bit like and that’s it! For example if you are telling someone how to make that fabulous banoffee pie you just served them, you would tell them to boil the condensed milk for three hours, spread it onto a basic cheesecake base, slice bananas on top, add some whipped double cream, another layer of banana and Bob’s your uncle!
Bodge – We bodge things all the time here. I’m sure you do too! To do a bodge job means to do a quick and dirty. Make it look good for the next day or two and if it falls down after that – hey well we only bodged it! Applies to building, DIY, programming and most other things.
Bollocks – This is a great English word with many excellent uses. Technically speaking it means testicles but is typically used to describe something that is no good (that’s bollocks) or that someone is talking rubbish (he’s talking bollocks). Surprisingly it is also used in a positive manner to describe something that is the best, in which case you would describe it as being “the dog’s bollocks”. Englishmen who live in America take great delight in ordering specialised registration plates for their cars using the letters B.O.L.L.O.X. Good eh?
Bomb – If something costs a bomb it means that it is really expensive. We say it when we see the price of insurance in the US, you could try saying it when you see how much jeans or petrol cost over here!
Bomb – If something goes like a bomb it means it is going really well or really fast. Or you could say an event went down like a bomb and it would mean that the people really enjoyed it. In the US the meaning would be almost exactly the reverse.
Bonk – Same meaning as shag. Means to have sex. E.g. “Did you bonk him/her?”.
Bottle – Something you have after twenty pints of lager and a curry. A lotta bottle! This means courage. If you have a lotta bottle you have no fear.
Box your ears – Many young chaps heard their dads threaten to box their ears when I was a littlun. Generally meant a slap around the head for misbehaving. Probably illegal these days!!
Brassed off – If you are brassed off with something or someone, you are fed up. Pissed perhaps.
Bum – This is the part of your body you sit on. Your ass! It might also be someone who is down and out, like a tramp. You might also bum around, if you are doing nothing in particular, just hanging out. Finally to bum something means to scrounge it from someone.
Bung – To bung something means to throw it. For example a street trader might bung something in for free if you pay cash right now! Or you could say “bung my car keys over, mate“.