As Winston Churchill (okay, it was really someone else – see the Trivia Questions below) once said, the Americans and the British are two people separeted by a common language. Yet, as Margaret Thatcher observed, when we stand together, we always win. On this page, we’re going to have some fun with how much the same, yet different, we are.
Primarily, we’re going to go with those wonderful quandries observed in the Pub when the cultures get together. We are definitely open to contributions, though. Feel free to submit them to
The Webmaster – and chief bottle washer. I’m also open to comments, suggestions, feedback, bribes, a free pint or two…
Words and Phrases
Here we present those words and phrases that ever confuse the traveller between the two cultures. The most
recent submissions and suggestions, first. As one concession, since the Pub is in the US, we start with the
British word or phrase.
Just in case you are interested in a unique language from the Isles, we offer this link to a dictionary of
Cockney Rhyming Slang. A very unique form of our joint language! Recommend by Jennifer N.
Aye-up – greeting/hello (by Heather and Charlie)
Lass – female (by Heather and Charlie)
Holiday – vacation (by Jeffrey)
footy – english football (by Lyle)
boots – footy cleets (by Lyle)
toilet – the modern “loo” (by Lyle)
cash point – ATM (by Lyle)
wife beater – Stella Artois (by Lyle)
bloke – man (opposite a bird) (by Lyle)
geeza – a wordly and adventurous bloke (by Lyle)
lad – one of the boys (by Lyle)
fit – sexy or healthy; “fit bird” or “fit for the match” (by Lyle)
“at the end of the day…” – when any situation has come to its conclusion (by Lyle)
Lift – elevator.
Boot – trunk of a car
Bonnet – the hood of a car
Lorry – truck.
Articulated lorry – Tractor-trailer, semi, big rig.
Loo – the john, restroom, bathroom.
Super Loo – a bathroom with showers and such (public).
Tourch – flashlight.
Fag – cigarette.
Poof – our version of a fag.
Banger – a tube sausage.
1st Floor – Second floor – their ground is our first.
Chips – French Fries.
Crisps – Potato Chips.
Pavement – Sidewalk.
Nappies – Diapers.
Mind the Gap – watch your step, usually when stepping from a platform onto a train. Signs everywhere.
Garden – our version of a yard, not that one place in the yard we garden.
Flat – apartment on one floor in a multi-floor building.
Mews – alley – in their case, developed and full of shops and such.
Pants – what you wear under your “trousers.”
Trousers – what we wear on the outside – pants.
Knickers – the female version of pants (their usage) – panties.
Bum – While in this vein, your ass.
Pissed – drunk.
Rat-eyed – pissed (in their sense).
Legless – Beyond rat-eyed.
Local – where you get legless.
Mash – mashed potatoes.
Walking the dog – from Newcastle – going to the local.
Knocking you up – nope – not that fun, just going to come by and knock on your door sometime.
Ringing you up – As above, with a phone.
Mobile – cellular phone (not too different).
Subway – a tunnel under a busy road in London or other city.
Tube/Underground – the subway, as we think of them.
Football – As Terry says, something played with your feet – Soccer to us.
Whisky – A single-malt from Scotland we call Scotch.
Claret – A wonderful French Bordeaux.
Daft – less than a clue.
Bird – chick, usually hot.
Julie – girlfriend.
On the job – not as in training, something one does with their significant other in an intimate way.
Reverse peace sign – when our ’70′s peace sign is turned backwards, it means the same as the univeral sign of displeasure – with a deep history.
Pudding – don’t think Jello, think Pop-overs or Stuffing, or sweets like you wouldn’t believe.
Biscuits – cookies.
Tea – two uses: the drink, of course – hot, with cream. The meal: the afternoon/early evening snack or sandwich.
Cuppa – A cup of tea, now sometimes used to refer to coffee.
In the bin – buying a pint or a drink in advance of having it served.
Dole – unemployment/welfare.
Roundabout – a traffic circle – the death of any novice driver in the UK.
Bottie – for us – an overcooked biscuit, usually with “bacon” – see below.
Bacon – a flat piece of “ham” – not the strips of heaven we know.
Tosser – a contemptible person
Bevvy/Bevvies – drinks (usually involving alcohol)
Yonks – a very long time.
Tasty – a very attractive (usually) female
Earwig – eavesdropping
Boozer – public house/Pub
Shirty – ill-tempered
Dole – welfare payments
The readies – cash
A nine-bob note – three dollar bill
The Bill – police
Nick – police station
Narked – annoyed/angry
Suss – understand (or in some instances, suspicious)
On the quiet – on the sly
Fleapit – shabby theater (make out place for teens)
Anglophile? Expert on British Culture? Native? Let’s test your knowledge! Send me your answers, no prizes (yet) – let’s just have
some fun. Help me expand this. If you want to answer, use this link (which is encoded so I know what version you are answering):
Tell us your answer.
“England and America are two countries separeted by the same language.” – Who first articulated this (documented).
What is the oldest pub still in operation in the UK?
What beer also enjoys the oldest registered trademark in the world?
What is “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” known for?
Old London was known for it’s collections of similar businesses within a certain district. For example, Fleet Street
was the home of the newspapers and publishers. Where were the tailors? The lawyers? Jewelers? Butchers? When did the pub closing laws become univeral in the UK and why?
Bonus points – what was the only district of London excempted? And why?
Is there an American equivalent of Anglophile (other than soon to become a hostage somewhere)? Please,
let me know. Whatever, let’s test you knowledge of the USA, should you be a Brit.
This space left intentionally blank until we find non-Revolutionary War (American) questions.
Okay, I couldn’t resist, here we go:
What kind of dogs did Cornwallis keep while in the Colonies?
The first Virginia legislative body was called what?
Bonus: Where was it located?
The city of Richmond (VA) was blessed with it’s name how? And the giver of the blessing?
The settlers that landed at Plymouth, MA and Jamestown, VA were prompted to come to the new world by what?
Where did Patrick Henry make his most famous pronouncement: “give me liberty, or give me death”? – be specific.
We do share a very rich language. Some say the most difficult to master of all the languages. From the magic of Shakespeare and Dickens
to the power of King and Kennedy – we share a language that absorbs, transforms, and then produces an ability to express poetry,
wage war, make peace, and advance the sciences. Beyond that, we have the ability to live very rich daily lives. In the process
we have a rich language that has powerful idioms. Here we want to show some of the more powerful and interesting – no trivia. Feel free
Blue moon – those rare occasions where there are two full moons in one calendar month. 2004 saw one.
A bibliophile is a collector of rare books. A bibliopole is a seller of rare books.
The QWERTY keyboard was invented to slow typists down because the mechanical typewriters often jammed.