Archive for the ‘Britisms’ Category

“Can I ask you to take off your baseball cap please?”

You can.


“Well go on then, take it off.”

You asked if you could ask me to to take off my baseball cap and I said yes, so go ahead and ask. Then I’ll take it off.


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When it’s a pint of beer.

“Dad’s gone for a jar.”

I don’t ever recall seeing beer in a jar but my dad still goes for a jar.

Sometimes he goes for a pot. Not “some pot” but “a pot”. Two different things entirely.

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This is one I used to struggle with regularly in my day-to-day work, until I got used to it.

Someone pled guilty or pleaded guilty?

The rule for us in journalism is pleaded. The lawyers like pled.

I imagine this goes back to the good ole English court terminology somewhere in history.

In any case … I like pled.  It sounds more natural.

You don’t say you “saided” something.

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I remember thinking some years back about one of my cousins back home and how she has such a deep Southern accent that she almost sounds British.

And when you think about it, it almost makes sense. At one time, not too long ago when you really think about it, everyone spoke that way here.

And with the isolation of the rural South, it’s logical to think that the Southern accent might not have Americanized like others have.

Which goes to show that the South, in some far, remote locales, can resemble its own country.

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When we talk about writing letters, us Brits have a certain…overly long way about asking people to send us mail:

“Send a letter to me.”

“Write me a letter.”

Whereas some other nations are somewhat more economic with words:

“Write me.”

Call me old fashioned but I like the long-winded approach:

“Go forth and reproduce” is sometimes a better way of saying “Fuck off.”

But then, this is where I get incongruent…because it can be just as good to say “Go forth” and leave it at that…well, you could add the middle finger in just for good measure. After all, body language is just as important.

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Jim Davidson's (British 80's stand-up comedian) catch-phrase used to be "nick,nick".  You'd hear him say it more than a few times in a show.
You see, he often got nicked himself, and I don't necessarily mean with a razor blade.

When you get nicked, you get taken down the nick. 

Furthermore, some people get nicked for nicking things.

Usage in this instance

  1. verb. to steal – He nicked some vodka from the offy.
  2. verb. to arrest – He got nicked for nicking vodka.
  3. noun. police station or prison – He's in the nick for nicking vodka.

I've looked in loads of really old dictionaries and failed to find any etymology regarding these usages.  If any readers want to contribute or just even bullshit about where these usages come from, feel free.

Alternatively, just tell us if you've got an amusing story about you or someone you know getting nicked for something stupid.  

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Scud Tharriz

It's good that is.

Actually, some people say "it's mint" or "last night was mint".

It's an expression that has finally started to bug the crap out of me, but folk around here are saying it all the time. I've no idea where it comes from. Can anybody help?

What pisses me off more is when the same people describe wealthy – and I don't mean merely affluent, I mean with more money than I could earn in 20 years – folk as being "minted".

Now, I can understand that one but it's still annoying. Probably to do with coins being minted. Does it count for notes? Do notes get minted or are they just printed. Printed I think, so why minted then? If they were that loaded (and why are rich people loaded; doesn't that mean drunk?) they wouldn't go near coins, just notes. Coins are for peasants and peasants can't afford pheasants and besides that they taste like shit…the pheasants that is, or so I'm told.

So, I don't understand after all; the connection or any of it.

It's mint that one is. Mint. Oh bollocks, I said it. My marbles are well and truly lost.

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