Queen's English To American English Translation Guide

I was the ugly American living in London trying to fit in and comprehend what was going on around me. I always thought the English were reserved, prim, proper, etc, but boy was I in for a shock. The English way of life is much more like Monty Python than Masterpiece Theater, at least from personal experience.

Soooo, after struggling for 9 years to understand the Queenís English, and my ex-husbandís own unique version of it, I have decided to compile a quick guide to help others with the same problem.

By the way, Cockney Rhyme & Slang is a whole other language they speak. Thatís a job for another dayÖÖ.

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English Terminology

Type

Definition

Example

Cheeky monkey

Description

If you call someone a cheeky monkey, it usually means they are being a bit too forward, bordering on obnoxious.

I take the last beer from the fridge and pretend like Iím going to drink it, my hubby would call me a cheeky monkey then take it away from me

Gets on my tits

Complaining

Gets on my nerves

That referee really gets on my tits.

Wanker/Tosser/Prat

Derogatory

Asshole, sometimes accompanied with arm movement similar to shaking dice before rolling

"Heís a wanker, heís a wanker, and it serves him good as it bloody well should."

The C word

Derogatory

Big time asshole, differs from the US version in that we tend to use it to refer to females who are really bitchy. In England, guys use it more to name call other guys.

That c*** nearly spilled my beer!

Blinding

Description

Really cool, job well done or good sports performance.

Heís a blinding geezer!

Geezer

Description

In the US, we refer to males who are "of a certain age" as geezers, whereas in England they just refer to any guy as a geezer.

See above

Bloke

Description

Reference to a guy

Heís a top bloke!

Mate

Description

Friend

Heís my best mate, he doesnít hit me when I puke in his car!

Bender/Poof

Description

Homosexual male, US equivalent is fag

You can tell heís a poof by his handbag. It matches his eyeshadow.

Fag

Addiction

Cigarette

Fancy a fag?

Fancy

Inclination

Means feel like

See above

Fancy dress

Event

Costume party

I need help designing my tampon costume for the fancy dress party, got any string?

Pub

Place

Drinking establishment

"Weíre goiní down the pub!"

Off License (Offy)

Place

Liquor store

Donít forget to get fags at the offy!

Piss/plonk

Drink

Beer or other alcoholic beverage of choice

Bring some piss over with you when you come.

Pissed

State of being

Drunk

He must be pissed, he normally doesnít watch the home shopping network.

Pissed as a fart

State of being

Drunk as a skunk

I got pissed as a fart, fell over and knocked my front teeth out.

Pisshead

Description

Person who drinks a lot, an alcoholic perhaps

That pisshead, he passed out on the bus and ended up in Peckham, again!

Pisser

Exasperation

Used to express disappointment or exasperation or both

The price of beer is going up again, what a pisser!

Itís not cricket

Correcting

What you have just done is not proper

I canít believe he just dropped his pants in the supermarket, thatís not cricket

Dubry

Description

Whatchamacallit

Iíve lost the dubryÖ.. You know, the dubryÖ.. Oh never mind.

Football

Sport

We call it soccer

The English say: Itís football, not soccer, the WHOLE WORLD plays it. Itís not like your American football with your girlie crash helmets and padding.

Slapper/Tart

Derogatory

Woman of ill repute, similar to ho

Sheís such a slapper, she gets her clothes at "Tarts R Us"

Bollocks

Multiple

This is my personal favorite, rolls off the tongue nicely. Used in much the same way we Americans use the word shit.

Multiple uses: bollock brain (shit for brains), dogís bollocks (shit hot), oh bollocks (oh shit), load of bollocks (you get the point by now!)

Quid

Money

Slang for money, like buck

Iíll give you a quid if you turn off that damn pop music.

Skint

Lack of money

Broke

Sorry mate, I still canít pay you back the 50 quid I owe you, Iím skint.

Ponce

Description

Person who never seems to have any money and tends to borrow things too

He still hasnít bought a round, what a ponce!

Bugger

Exasperation

The literal meaning is sodomy, but itís generally used to indicate exasperation

Oh bugger, I forgot to get beer!

Shag

Activity

Screw

My first shag was in a Reliant Robin

Reliant Robin

Automobile

3-wheeled car

See above

The Tube

Transportation

Londonís subway system, the oldest in the world

Oh no, thereís a drunk begging on the Tube, quick letís get off here.

Snog

Activity

Smooch

Iím not snogging you until you brush your teeth!

Wind

Bodily function

Gas

Iíve got terrible wind!

Break wind

Bodily function

Fart

Damn, you coulda opened the window before you broke wind!

Rubbish

Yuck

Trash

Husband to wife: Thatís not rubbish, thatís my beer mat collection!

Bin

Object

Trash can

Stephanie put the remote in the bin again, your turn to get it out!

Dummy

Object

Pacifier

Emily, donít put your dummy in the toilet!

Nappy

Yuck

Diaper

Either you macaronied your pants, or Zoe needs a new nappy!

Sprog

Description

Child

One of our sprogs spilled raisins in here, at least it looks like raisins, ewwwwww, Zoe!

Knickers

Clothing

Womenís underpants

Wife to husband: Get my knickers off your head!

Y-Fronts

Clothing

Menís briefs

Because of the state of his Y-Fronts, the kids call him Captain Skidmark.

This is pants

Derogatory

This is really awful

The Backstreet Boys are absolute pants!

Loo/Bog/Head

Object

Toilet

I need to puke, hope I can make it to the loo!

Iíve pulled

Expression

Got lucky, in the picked someone up at the bar kinda way

Pick up line to use on a nice looking member of the opposite sex: "Get your coat, youíve pulled."

Whinge

Action

To complain/bitch/moan

Stop whinging you miserable prat!

Hoover

Object

Vacuum cleaner

That Hoover is so good, it can suck the snot out of dead catís nose!

Up the duff

State of being

Pregnant, similar to bun in the oven

Sheís up the duff again? What a slapper!

Happy Harry

State of being

Very miserable person

I see Happy Harryís throwing a wobbly again.

Throwing a wobbly

Activity

Throwing a fit

See above

Mucky Mary

State of being

Unclean person

I see Mucky Mary dribbled beer down her blouse again.

Oi!

Exclamation

Like shouting "Hey!"

Oi! Sparky, let go of that chicken!

Sparky

Animal

The neighborís dog

Just to clarify the above, Sparky got ahold of a roast chicken in our kitchen.

Holiday

Activity

Vacation

We had a lovely holiday in Spain, I got burnt like a chip.

Chips

Food

French fries

See above

Chippie

Place

Restaurant that sells fish & chips, generally

He was ever so upset when he drunkenly stumbled on the curb outside the chippie and dropped all his food.

Crisps

Food

Potato chips

Girls, wait until Nan puts her teeth back in to give her a packet of crisps.

Biscuit

Food

Cookie

Weíll never get all of the biscuit out of the video player, but at least is still works

Sarnie

Food

Sandwich

Want a bacon sarnie? OK, will you make me one too?

Telly

Object

Television

Wish theyíd stop playing that crap pop music on the telly.

Settee

Object

Couch

She needs to get her fat ass off the settee for a change, there are permanent imprints.

Take away

Description

Carry out

He has to get his food to take away because of his behavior on the previous occasion in the restaurant, similar to the supermarket incident.

Chemist

Place

Pharmacy

He went to the Chemist to get something to clear up his little problem.

High Road/Street

Place

Similar to referring to Main Street

Sheís down the High Road trying to drum up some business.

Plonker/Knob/Nonce

Description

Idiot

You plonker, of course she took your wallet. You met her down the High Road.

Gobshite

Description

Someone who talks a load of crap

Stop talking bollocks you gobshite!

Bonnet

Object

Hood of a car

Why must he look under the bonnet like he knows how to fix it?

Boot

Object

Trunk of a car

She left her bum prints on the boot. What was she doing on there?

Bum

Body Part

Butt

See above

Randy

Description

Horny

Wife to Husband: He's Randy. Husband: Bloody well keep him away from me, I'm not a poof!

Chuffed/Stoked

Description

Happy

He was dead chuffed to find out he doesn't have the pox.

Slash

Bodily function

Have a pee

I'm dying for a slash, but there's a line for the bog.

Ta/Cheers

Expression

Thank you

Ta very much for the pain killers, I was sooooo pissed last night.

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Slagging off

Activity

Make fun of someone, sometimes in a bad way

Stop slagging me off or I'll have to give you a slap!

Lift

Object

Elevator

His lift definitely doesn't go to the top floor!