10 More British Words that Should Come Over to the States

Yes, I am continuing my efforts to bring more words from the U.K. into use over to America.  There are limits.  I don’t think we can successfully pull off phrases like, “Give us a snog.”  Actually, I don’t think anyone can pull that off.  Never mind.

1.  Boffin- n. 1)  a person who is a really smart in the STEM areas and actively does real work behind them.  2)  my husband.  Stephen Hawking is a boffin.  Alan Turing was a boffin.  Brian Cox is a poser who dumbs down science for the sake of television.

2.  Bung – v.  to throw.  An appropriate way to use that is, “Just bung that issue of US magazine in the recycling bin.”

3.  Cock up – v. a mistake. – This would be a great compromise for people who like to swear and people who are too delicate to handle the word “fuck”.  One can think of penises.  The others can think of chickens.  And don’t talk to me about combining the two.  I know I had a moment of weakness while eating fried chicken at Rip’s Tavern, but let’s not make it a theme.

4.  Faff – v. to dawdle. – We really don’t have a word that gets to the point, especially when we are trying to light a fire under our children’s feet.  Well, the Boffin and I do.  “Hurry up.  You’re wasting time!”  Sounds weak.  The kid can blow you off.  “Hurry up.  Stop faffing about!”  That’s a phrase that sounds like you mean business, especially with the Hannibal Lecter air emanating from all those “f” sounds.

5.  Prat – n. idiot – The sound of the word is perfect for the insult.  “What a prat!”  Unfortunately there will be victims in this implementation.  Even though he fought aliens, dinosaurs, and big business in LEGO form, Chris Pratt will have to consider a name change.  Them’s the breaks.  Meanwhile, politicians bearing that name will not be able to change them because the campaign signs would be truth in advertising.

The Britons find signs like this funny.   http://baltimore.shownbyphotos.com/baltimore-inner-harbor-photos.html

6.  Khazi – n. toilet – From what I understand, this is mostly used in the Liverpool area now, but I still love this word.  “Excuse me, I have to go to the khazi.”  It truly does sound like you have to go to a remote region.  It’s not a trip to the bathroom.  It’s exotic travel.

7.  Ta – n. a shortened form of saying, “Thank you.”  This one is in my own self-interest because I use it.  People look at me like I didn’t quite finish my sentence when I do.   Then I have to explain what I meant when I should have just said, “Thanks.”  Since I can’t get “Ta” out of my vocabulary, it would be easier of the rest of America accommodated me.  Most appreciated.  Ta.

8.  Bits – n. bits.  The Britons use the word more liberally more than we do, and I like that.  “That building has pointy bits.”  “The dog got into his food and scattered bits all over the floor!”  “Oh my God, my intestines have prolapsed.  I have to go to the doctor to realign my bits.”

9.  Donkey’s years – n. a really long time.  Like the dog’s bollocks in my previous post, I did not know how this particular animal became the benchmark for this particular unit.  But I did my research and found out the original Cockney expression was “donkey’s ears” which meant “years”.  So this expression completely defeats the original purpose of Cockney rhyming slang.  That’s absurd.  All the more reason to bring it over.

10.  The Local – n. the beloved watering hole of choice.  Of course, in the UK, that would be the local pub.  Over here, it could be the bar, the pub-like places, or your living room.  The point being, I would love there to be more of the neighborhood gathering points for socializing.  I do miss the nicer parts of pub culture and wish we had that sort of thing over here.  I just don’t know where we can get carpets that worn and sticky.

14 thoughts on “10 More British Words that Should Come Over to the States

  1. Umm… the most reliable :p dictionary on the planet… Wictionary… has a possible root of ‘Khazi’ as the South African word ‘M’khazi’, meaning latrine. Well… I’m going to bet my shirt on that one, thanks to a small amount of inside information. Y’see, there is a section of Liverpool’s football ground (bear with me…) called The Kop, which has its roots in the South African word kopje (my Afrikaans isn’t that brilliant, but I think that’s the correct spelling) meaning a low hill.. The Kop was so called by soldiers coming back from the South African wars and nicknaming a section of terracing after a type of hill that they recognised in South Africa. So, if they brought back kopje/kop then why not m’khazi/khazi?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wondered about the Pratt Street sign because I knew it was in Baltimore, but thought maybe there was another one somewhere else. I did know Prat meant idiot, thanks to Harry Potter, but I never made the connection when thinking about Pratt Street. Ta for that. Now I will think of it as Idiot Street and laugh every time it is on the news. Oh that happened there? Well of course it did, it is Idiot Street after all!

    Liked by 1 person

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