When our English relatives visited two weeks ago, I loved having the opportunity to be the cultural minority without needing to travel anywhere. Our group consisted of Andy, his sister Liz, her husband Ian, plus me: three English people and one American. We had a great time together, whether we were traipsing all over creation or just hanging out playing Apples to Apples in the evenings.
The best part was learning some new vocabulary. Sometimes when I heard Liz or Ian say a new-to-me word or phrase, I had to stop and ask them to repeat it. Other times, I was able to glean the meaning, no interruption necessary. Some of these I was familiar with already, either from Andy saying them once in awhile, or from books/movies. Some, like nesh, were completely new to me.
British Words & Phrases and Their Meanings
Crikey: Akin to wow, oh my gosh, etc.
Cor blimey: Another exclamation of surprise
Knackered/shattered: exhausted (that was all four of us every night)
Nesh: Basically, this is the word I’ve been searching for to describe myself and my sensitivity to temperature. Adjective: wussy, lightweight.
All right, [name]? Hey, what’s up, how are you.
Slip road: Highway on/off ramp
Settee: Couch. (I always had this idea in my head that a settee was some formal, straight-backed piece of furniture, but nope, it’s a regular couch)
Chip Butty: A sandwich of English chips (what we’d call French fries), essentially. This was completely new to me!
And a few words and phrases that Andy says fairly regularly, but I hadn’t heard before I met him:
Zed: the letter Z
Bob’s your uncle: That’s it/everything’s done
Happy as Larry: Very happy (this may have originated in New Zealand)
Cheap and cheerful
Higgledy-piggledy: In disarray, scattered, a mess.
Full of beans: Energized, awake, ready for action
Washing-up liquid: Dish soap
Washing powder: Laundry detergent
Damp squib: A let-down, disappointment, anti-climax (one of my favorites)
This is the last post in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge for April. Today’s theme was Z for Zed. I did it! 🙂