A British Invasion

It’s officially Brit Mania week with the “Royal Wedding” this past friday. And CNN replaced “The Situation in Libya” (or as Sarah Palin says, “Labia”), with “What William and Kate ate as their first meal as husband and wife!”.

And if your my twitter follower, you know I think William ate Kate that night.

I know. I’m nasty.

But this post has nothing to do with the wedding. Thank goodness, right? But this wedding reminded me how much I love Britain. I’ve been to London so many times that the Heathrow airport security guards know me by name (you can read more about my inner Brit here). But I noticed on one of my London trips that these people have interesting slang terms.

So I though I’d give you the lowdown on some of my favorite British slang. Of course, it would be politically incorrect for me to explain British slang is when I was born and raised in Los Angeles. So to help me out with my accuracy on these terms, I enlisted Mr. Smoothie Girl to help me out. So thank him if you get anything out of this post. Lets get started:

And Bob’s Your Uncle: Commonly used to close a sentence and explain the outcome after an array of actions. Like “and there you have it”.

As in: “You want to learn to be REALLY white? Eat lots of organic food, do lots of
yoga, grow bangs, play rugby and Bob’s your uncle.”

Spend a penny: Commonly used to say to use the toilet. The British are civilized. They would never dare say, “OMG, I need to pee and crap out that black-bean-quinoa-brownie I just scarfed!”. No, they “spend a penny”.

As in: “I just downed an entire Guinness factory! I’m off to spend a penny.

Up the Duff: Brit speak for “knocked up” or “pregnant”.

As in: “Congratulations, Your Majesty, you’re up the duff”.  

Of course the Queen is well into the menopause now. And on that note….

 On the blob : With menopause behind her is likely not to be “on the blob” (aka, her period).

As in: “I thought I was no longer on the blob until my ovaries were all ‘LOL, just kidding!!!”

Bollocks! Generally, a curse word alluding to testicles or contempt in general.

As in: “Eden was just crowned most beautiful, talented, smart, and creative person in the world? What a load of Bollocks!”

Which leads to….

“The dog’s bollocks!” : Actually meaning something really awesome like “the bee’s knees!”.

As in: “The Chetah testicles I ate in Japan were the dog’s bollocks!”

fanny: This can mean your butt (aka, fleshy part of you rear end you sit on) or….cover your kid’s ears….vagina. Heres a funny true story. I met someone in Australia who told me they spent a semester studying in the states and the word fanny completely screwed with him. He got asked out on a date to go hiking by an American girl.

American Girl: I can’t wait to go hiking! Shall I bring my fanny pack?

Aussie Guy: Ugh, I should hope so!

Do you have one?


Oh, you should get one! Wanna borrow mine?

Moral of the story, fanny packs should be outlawed.

Arse-over-tit: Commonly used to refer to someone who falls over.

As in: “I fell arse-over-tit at my high school graduation. Needless to say, the whole left side of the auditorium got good view of my fannie.” 

It IS NOT  like the American expression of “Head Over Heels”. You CANNOT fall “arse over tits” in love with someone. Unless you quite literally fell on top on them. And……You cannot deliberately go arse-over-tits, as in “The figure skater did a double axel somersault followed by a triple arse-over-tits”. This also applies to fat lad with man-boobs falling on his arse.

So there you have it. You can now speak to William and Kate yourself without sounding like. You can try my British inspired recipes like my shepherds pie. And this company sells my favorite british style “bangers” for your ultimate bangers and mash meal. And if its sweets your after, I love a proper eaton mess. Any slang terms that are your favorite?

35 thoughts on “A British Invasion

  1. These are awesome Eden! I happen to like “sticky wicket,” for difficult situation, “pissed” to mean drunk, and the excessive use of “bang next to” rather than “right next to.”
    Everything sounds funnier with a british accent, methinks?

  2. Let me get this straight: regular balls = insulting dog balls = complimentary. Makes sense! Haha. I hadn’t heard of most of these before except for fanny. And I agree, fanny packs should be outlawed.

  3. As a regular fanny-pack wearer, I take offense to the outlaw comment! haha kidding. Watch out or I’ll bring one for you to wear when we next go on a walk- hahah. Didn’t you get the one Derek’s company made?? We have extras! And I have bangs! Woo- go me!

    I loved all the uses of the terms! Especially the arse over tit at your graduation.

    You are definitely more nasty on twitter than you are in real life. I mean you’re nasty in real life, but ubernasty on twitter! And I mean that in the nicest sort of way.

    OK some of my faves are: (Like Kristine) Wanker, sod off, blimey.

    I also like crikey. Boot for trunk of a car, Bonnet for hood of a car, jumper for sweater, serviette for napkin, dummy for pacifier, tosser for a jerk. Bloke for a dude.

    And eton mess is derek’s favorite dessert other than sherry trifle!!!

  4. I just did something very inappropriate and said “oops, more tea vicar?” – unfortunately for Debs, I use that one all the time.

  5. I just did something very inappropriate and said “oops, more tea vicar?” – unfortunately for Debs, I use that one all the time.

    • For the uninitiated: This is because he let one rip. When someone farts, they pretend as if nothing happened, and assuming that your vicar is over for tea, you would then calmly ask “More tea, vicar?”. So when someone announces out of nowhere “More tea vicar?” it means they farted.

      Now you know.

  6. I’m immensely curious about the British. I LOVE it when someone says “oh bollocks!”
    Or when they say “bloody” in front of everything. It’s crass, but because it’s in a British accent, it still sounds soooo dignified.

    I used to read Tin-Tin, and I just loved when Capt. Haddock said, “Billions of Blistering Barnacles!” Don’t think anyone else says that though.

    • Ah! Tin Tin love runs in my family! We try to forget the fact that the creator was anti-semetic. What is it with brilliant cartoonists hating Jews?

  7. this is awesome! I so miss Britain too! MIND THE GAP! I was so clueless on what the hell that was when I would ride the subway. And yes, I got asked about the fanny pack thing too, except my mom was wearing one, not me. Lets just say awkwardly funny.

  8. Oh the fanny dilemma…. You have no idea how confused I’d get when it came up in books by American authors, or when used by an American friend I had. I couldn’t understand why they were all quite vagina obsessed… I spent ages thinking a ‘fanny pack’ was some sort of tampon emergency kit, you know…for when you’re on the blob. I think it’s called a ‘bum bag’ over here.

    Another thing that confused me was what ‘pants’ means: Americans use it for ‘trousers’, yet over here pants are….well…pants. Underwear.
    And ‘bollocks’ is brilliant – you should really try to use it in daily life ;). It’s not too offensive, yet quite satisfying for when you smash something on the floor. Always best said in an understated way 🙂

    I have to disagree about us all being too civilised and only saying “spend a penny” (unless I just keep questionable company). “I’m off for a piss” is the generally accepted term, particularly when you’ve ‘broken the seal’ when ‘out on the piss’ in order to get ‘sh*tfaced’. Civilised lot, eh? 😉

    • Brilliant! 😉 I’m saying “Bollocks” from now on. I usually just say, “ahhfuck!” but “bollocks” I can say in front of my boss. And not to weird you out, I DO have a tampon emergency kit! you never know, right? I keep it in my “fanny pack”.

      • I too have a tampon emergency kit…several in fact, work, gym, car, private jet..

  9. i love their version of what pants means versus an american wearing pants. also, when they call someone a git or claim how knackered they happen to be. are you takin the piss?

  10. I’m fond of referring to people as “eejits” although that might be more Irish in nature, and it’s usually prefaced by the word “f*cking”. I’m also fond of the phrase “bloody hell, ” usually when my husband or child is doing something that irritates me.

  11. Oh my gosh…when I was little I would BEG my mom to pretend to have a British accent with me at store checkouts. I wanted to nonchalantly say, “mum.. aw we havin’ stew foe suppa?” and her answer back. I had a killer accent from watching Parent Trap a thousand times. Looking back, it might have been better to learn an accent from an actual Brit rather than Lindsey Lohan.

    • The funny thing is, a lot of my family is actually from Australia so I was really good as a kid with the aussie accent. But its not as refined as the British accent so most people just thought I was retarded.

  12. It’s not slang, but I crack up every time I see “Spotted Dick” in the British foods aisle. Its some kind of sticky pudding dessert thing. Too funny. I bought it for a gag gift in a Christmas gift exchange last year.

  13. eden i am going tomake it official due to your tireless work teahing the american public all that is great about the british ( the swearing!) i now make you british!!!

  14. Oh my gosh, that last picture looks so good. Haha.
    I didn’t mean to “like” this post..whoops! but I do like it so it’s all good 😉

      • Hmm….over tea kettle sounds really odd.

        Firstly in British parlance, there’s only the kettle not a tea kettle, you’d never say “I’ll pop the tea kettle on”. Hey, we’re all different, perhaps he’s just not a tit guy?

  15. Haha this didn’t half give me a giggle. Though I’d hasten to point out that you are solely focusing on slang terms originating in london. As a resolute scouser (someone from liverpool) I think it’s only fair to add some more terms from “oop north”.

    “Brew”- Care needs to be used with this one context is important. Generally used t refer to beverage – “Fancy a brew” however can mean a cup of tea or a pint of bitter (beer) depending on where you are.

    “Boss”- Used to mean something is cool, the prefeix “Ded” can be added for emphasis.

    “S*ite” – simmilar to the other word, you know which one but it just sounds better.

    “Get a jog on”- to move with great haste.

    “Do one” – used to tell an irritating person to go away as in “Go ed lad do one.”

    “Lar” – an affectionae term for a male friend as in “alright lar”

    “Grimey” an adjective to describe something unpleasent “Oh thats grimey” or “She’s well grimey”

    “Don’t be shady” – a request for some one to not be so cruel.

    “Deffo” an abbreviation of definately though used frequently to add emphasis “I deffo need to get a jog on mate.”

    Oh I could go on. I do so love slang. It was deffo fun to look at british slang though an outsiders eyes, deffo have fun confusing your friends with these. Oh and I am serious deffo should come up like three or four times in a paragraph.

  16. Had never heard “on the blob” before, and will someone please tell me what a spotted dick is? I asked CD at dinner tonight…big mistake. My expectations for my husband’s maturity levels are way too high.

    So jealous of your weekend with Deb and Janetha. Looks like you guys had the best time together. Would love to meet up with you all someday. 🙂

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