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English Slang

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Let’s face it — English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweet-meats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

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Dictionary – UK to USA
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Add to My List Dictionary – UK to USA

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* The list below and the article above are not the actual content of this product, but rather a list compiled by our webmaster for your entertainment only. The content of this book is BETTER! Containing similar content it is a must read for anyone interested in Anglo-American relations!! *

All the world and his wife = a large number of people
All right? = How are you?
A load of old cobblers = A load of lies (i.e. what a load of old cobblers!)
And pigs might fly! = Yeah right!
Argy-bargy = Heated Argument
Anyroad = Anyway
All mouth and no trousers = Boastful and without just reason
Agro = Hassle/trouble
Adam & Eve = Believe – Cockney Ryming Slang (as in would you Adam & Eve it?!?)
Apples & Pears = Stairs – Cockney Ryming Slang (up the apples and pears)
A- Z = A guide, usually a road map/atlas

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Boat race = Face – Cockney Ryming Slang (as in ugly boat)
Brown Bread = Dead – Cockney Ryming Slang
Butchers Hook = Look (as in take a butcher’s at that!)
Bob’s your uncle = There you go – that’s all there is to it – sorted!
Back of Beyond = Middle of Nowhere
Bobby-dazzler = A amazing thing or person.
Brassed off = Fed up (i.e. I’m brassed off)
Blabbermouth = A person who reveals too much in conversation, a gossip.
Birdbrain = Stupid, lacking commonsense.
By eck! = An exclamation of suprise
Barney = An arguement.
Banger = Sausage, or an old car
Bit of alright = An attractive person. (i.e. She’s a bit of alright!)
Bog = Toilet
Barmy = Gone mad! (i.e. you’re barmy!)
Bag = thing, or old woman
Belt up! = Shut up!
Berk = Fool (you berk!)
Bird = One’s girlfriend (not very politically correct)
Bubble & Squeak = Potato and Cabbage Dish
Busker = Street Performer
Butty = Sandwich
Bloke = A guy
Bugger = An insult (means sodomy)
Bairn = Scottish for Baby
Bender = a drinking session, or a homosexual depending on the context
Bill = the total amount for something (a check in the US)
Blower = Telephone
Blimey! = from ‘cor blimey’, an exclamation of suprise
Bevvies = Lager
Brass = Money
Button it! = Shut up!
Belly = Stomach
Bull in a china shop = Someone who acts before they think, without tact (i.e. you just barged in like a bull in a china shop!)

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Cheesed off = Fed up!
Cake’ole = mouth (cake hole i.e. shut your cake ‘ole)
Cacky = Dirty, rubbishy
Chew the fat = To chat.
Chuck it down = To rain, often heavily. (i.e. it’s going to chuck it down)
Clever cloggs = very clever! (sarcastically)
Cock = same as tackle
Cock up = a mistake (nothing to do with ‘cock’)
Clapped out = Worn out, usually applied to machinery (i.e. that car’s just a clapped out heap of junk)
Caper = Some kind of unsuccessful activity (i.e. that was a right caper)
Cloth-ears = Someone who doesn’t pay attention to imparted information.
Chuffed = Pleased
Cheeky monkey = A light-hearted name for a verbally impertinent person
Choke your chicken = see Yank your plank
Crikey = another exclamation of suprise
Cor Blimey = an exclamation of suprise
Cob = To throw. Northern expression
Clock = to recognise (I clocked him, or I clocked his game – I knew what he was up to)
Codswallop = Baloney/Rubbish! (i.e. what a load of codswallop!)
Come a cropper = To fail (i.e.you’re gonna come a cropper if you carry on…)
Corporation pop = Water. Northern use.
Crap = Rubbish (means excreta)
Cuppa = Cup of Tea
Chop chop = Quick, quick!
Chick = same as bird
Cushy number = Something easy (i.e. you’re job may be a cushy number)
Chubbychops = Jocular and affectionate term of address for a fat person
Chucky-egg = a boiled egg, or a pet name for partner, or young child
Crackers = Stupid
Creepy-crawly = An insect, spider, worm etc.
Cradle snatcher = person who dates or marries someone considerably younger than themselves.
Cream Crackered = Knackered – Cockney Ryming Slang (tired)

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Dog & Bone = Telephone – Cockney Ryming Slang
Daft as a brush = Stupid (i.e. you’re as daft as a brush)
Drive you round the bend/up the wall = to get frustrated
D.I.Y. = Do it yourself
Doddle = Easy Task (i.e. that’s a doddle!)
Dodgy = Suspect (i.e. that seems a bit dodgy)
Doole Alley = Gone mad (i.e. he just went doole alley!)
Dab hand = A person highly skilled at a given task
Daft/Daft Apeth = Stupid (refering to someone i.e. you’re a daft apeth!)
Dole = State benefit from being unemployed
Duck = friendly term used to refer to someone (i.e. hello, duck, what can I do for you?)
Done a bunk/runner = Disappeared, or someone on the run

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Ey up = Hiya
Eyes are bigger than your belly = someone who thinks they can eat more than they can

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Fanny’s your aunt = same as Bob’s your uncle!
Full of beans = Very lively and energetic (i.e. he’s full of beans)
Fly off the handle = Lose ones cool
Flog = Sell (i.e. he’s flogging some cheap videos)
Fog Horn = Insinuating that someone has a loud voice
Faggot = Homosexual
Fart = to pass wind
Fag = Ciggarette, not a homosexual
Film = Movie
Flaming Nora! = An exclamation of anger or surprise
For Goodness Sake! = a statement of frustration

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Gas = fuel used for cooking or heating, not cars, thats petrol (gasoline)
Gas = to talk or gossip (i.e. she was on the phone gassing for hours!)
Give it some wellie! = Get some energy into it!
Get your kit off = Get undressed
Giving the elbow = Rejecting (i.e. I got the elbow, was given the elbow)
Get away! = I don’t believe you!
Get your finger out = (…of your arse) get a move on, get going
Get your skates on! = get a move on, get going! Shift!
Get off with = Manage to attract, and date, a person of the opposite sex
Gaff = Home
Git = Prat
Gordon Bennett! = Bloody hell! You’re kidding!
Gob = Mouth (i.e. shut your gob!)
Gander = Look (i.e. have a gander at that…)
Get your skates on! = Hurry up!
Gaffer = The boss
Geezer = Fella
Grub = Food
Graft = hard work
Greedy Guts = Refering to someone with a big appetite
Gearstick = shiftstick in the US

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How’s your father? = sex (eg: fancy a bit of ‘how’s your father’?)
Hollow legs = Refers to someone who could eat all day, and never fill up
Hold your horses! = Just hold on a minute!
Hammered = beaten up or drunk
Holiday = Vacation in the US
Hangover = Sickness from excess alcohol consumption

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In Good Nick = In Good Condition
Init/Intit = Isn’t it

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Jacksie = the buttocks
Jimmy riddle = to pass water
Jennel = an alley
Jumper = sweater

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Keep your pecker up = Try to remain cheerful even if times are difficult
Keep your hair on! = Calm down! or remain calm!
Knickers in a twist = To get frustrated (i.e. don’t get your knickers in a twist!)
Knickers! = Get lost!
Kegs =Trousers (pants in the US)
Knockers = the breasts
Knocking shop = A brothel
Knocked up = Pregnant

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Life of Riley = An easy life (i.e. he’s got the life of Riley)
Lad = Boy
Lass = Girl
Lunchbox = A fellas ‘tackle’
Lug ‘ole = Ear (i.e. open your lug ‘oles!)
Love bite = Hickies in the US
Losing your bottle = Losing your nerve
Lord Muck = The depreciatory name for a pompous conceited man, the female equivalent being Lady Muck

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Misery-guts = A killjoy.
Moaning Minnie = A person who persistently grumbles
Monkey = One pound sterling (less well known)
Marlarky = Rubbish/Non-sense (i.e. …and all that malarky)
Make a bob or two = to make some money
Mash = A brew (of tea)
Mate/Matey = a friend, nothing more

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Naff = Worthless or Useless
Nesh = Cold
Not much cop = Not very good
Nick = to Steal, or a prison.
Nipper = child
Nowt = Nothing
Noggin = brains (i.e. use a bit of noggin)
Nathen = Now then.. (listen…)
Nathen, me old china/mucker = Now then, my old friend
Not a full shilling = Stupid (refering to an old 5p coin, pre-decimalisation)
Not wired up right = same as above! (i.e. he’s not wired up right)
Nowt so queer as folk = There’s nothing more strange than people

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Order of the boot = to get lost (past tense, i.e. I gave him the order of the boot)
On your bike = Clear off/you must be joking
Old Bag = Ugly woman
Over the Moon = Delighted, Elated
Off one’s rocker = Insane, crazy, mad
Off one’s head = Insane, crazy, mad
Okay-dokay/Okay-doke = OK
Oh my giddy aunt! = A mild exclamation of surprise.
One for the road =. A final alcoholic drink before setting off on one’s journey.
On one’s tod = Alone
Over the Top (O.T.T.) = Carried Away (i.e. that was a bi O.T.T.)
Old Codger = old person.
Owt = Anything (i.e. owt like that ‘ill do)
Once-over = An inspection, a quick look over something or someone. (i.e. I gave it the once over)

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Popped your cloggs = died/dead (i.e. he popped his cloggs…)
Pipped at the post = Beaten at the last minute
Put wood in ‘ole = Shut the door (put the wood in the hole)
Pants = underwear, not trousers
Peckish = Hungry
Polish off = to finnish (usually food, i.e. you polished that burger off quick!)
Pinch = Steal
Punter = A customer
Plastered = Drunk
Put paid to … = Put an end to …
Prat/Plonker= Idiot
Puff/pufter = Homosexual
Pork Pie = Lie – to tell a lie (i.e. are you telling porkies?)
Pen & Ink = Stink (as in it pen & inks in here!)
Putting your foot in it/in your mouth = Someone who speaks before they think (i.e. he’s put his foot in it)

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Quid = One pound sterling
Queer = Homosexual
Queer as a nine bob note = A phrase refering to someone as undoubtedly homosexual

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Roasting = Telling off (i.e. I gave him a right roasting)
Rabbit/rattle (verb) = Talking a lot (i.e. women tend to rattle a heck of a lot)
Rollicking = A reprimand , a telling off
Run of the mill = Something which is ordinary
Reight = Right

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Sound as a pound = Can’t fault it! He’s alright.
Sithee = I’ll see you (goodbye)
Shenanigans = Unruly behaviour, mischievous antics
Spend a penny = Go to the toilet
Sweet Fanny Adams = Absolutely nothing!
Swings and roundabouts = Refers to a situation where positive and negatives balance
Sept = Except
Snog = Serious Kissing
Sods Law = Murphys Law
Scouser = Someone from Liverpool
Sleeping Policeman = Speed Bump
Sling you hook = Clear off! Get lost!
Straight up? = Are you joking?
Strop = Bad Mood (i.e. you’re in a bit of a strop)
Stroppy = Argumentative
Shag = Sexual intercourse
Shift = move (i.e. shift it!) nothing to do with transmission, see gearstick
Slapper = a woman who is out to get herself a bloke, any bloke
Scallywag = Rascal
Summat = Something

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Talent = An attractive person
Take-away = ‘To go’ in the US
Trap = same as cake’ole
The Full Monty = to take all one’s clothes off or to go the whole way.
Thin on the ground = Scarce
Thingy/Thingymajig = You know…! (when you can’t quite remember)
That ‘ill cost a bom! = That will cost a fortune
Thick as two short planks = Stupid (i.e. he is as thick as two short planks!)
Thick as pudding = Stupid (i.e. refering to Yorkshire pudding)
That takes the biscuit = That’s the last straw
Take the Micky (Mick/Michael) = again, to laugh at someone
Throw a wobbly = Get very angry
Tint ‘ere = It isn’t here
The old bill = The police
Toe wrag = Rascal
Totty = Women (i.e. thats a nice bit a totty!)
Tad = Little (i.e. it was a tad small)
Tripe = Rubbish! (i.e. thats a load of tripe! – Tripe is actually a cows stomach lining)
Twat = an idiot
Tart = same as slapper, but harsher, suggesting they sleep around
Toffee-nosed = Snobby
Tosser = a masturbater
Tea Leaf = Thief – Cockney Ryming Slang
Trouble & Strife = Wife – Cockney Ryming Slang

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Umpteen = Many, a lot of (i.e. there was umpteen colours to choose from)
Under the weather = Out of sorts, not currently in good health
Up for it = Phrase encompassing the enthusiasm of a person for an event
Up road = nearby (could be serveral miles, i.e. the arena is just up road from our house)
Up one’s street = something which is suited to a person (i.e. that club is right up your street)
Up the swanny = In a hopeless situation. Meaning the same as ‘up the creek without a paddle’

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Veggie = abbreviation of a vegetarian
Verbal diarrhoea = Incessant and aimless talk, someone may have ‘verbal diarrhoea’

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Wet your whistle = Have a drink
Works like a Trojan = Works very hard
What-not = same as Thingymajig
Waterworks = The act of crying (i.e. she turned on the waterworks)
Wonky = Unstable
Wally = friendly term for ‘idiot’
Wufter = Homosexual
Wellingtons = wellington boots – rubber boots in the US
Whatchamacallit? = What is that called, I can’t remember?
Wanker = same as a tosser. This is often used in conjunction with a hand signal by motorists during instances of momentary road rage…

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If anyone can think of any X’s, please let me know!

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Yank = An American (though not common knowledge amongst Brits, this would be considered offensive to most Americans living in southern US states. ‘Yank’ or ‘Yankee’ should only be used when referring to those from the northern US states. (Thank you Linda Kearney for this little known fact!). To ‘Yank’ can also mean ‘to snatch something fiercely’ (i.e. he yanked it off me)
Yonks = Ages/For ever (i.e. it lasted for yonks)

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Zilch = Nothing, zero in U.S.