History UsefulNotes / BritishEnglish

4th Mar '18 8:39:45 PM nombretomado
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* '''''Woodentops/Woolly-backs''''': Terms used by plainclothes offices to refer to the uniformed branch. Derisory. Also used by generations of British servicemen in StrokeCountry to denote the Royal Ulster Constabulary/PSNI.

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* '''''Woodentops/Woolly-backs''''': Terms used by plainclothes offices to refer to the uniformed branch. Derisory. Also used by generations of British servicemen in StrokeCountry UsefulNotes/StrokeCountry to denote the Royal Ulster Constabulary/PSNI.
2nd Feb '18 4:58:03 AM Cryoclaste
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* '''''The Sweeney''''': Cockney rhyming slang: SweeneyTodd/Flying Squad. Hence the name of the cop show ''Series/TheSweeney''.

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* '''''The Sweeney''''': Cockney rhyming slang: SweeneyTodd/Flying ''Theatre/SweeneyTodd''/Flying Squad. Hence the name of the cop show ''Series/TheSweeney''.
17th Jan '18 6:59:10 PM Deadlock
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* In Britain and Australia, the metallic element 13 is ''a-loo-MIN-i-um'' or ''a-loo-MIN-yum'' instead of the American ''a-LOO-min-um''. Note that the International Union on Pure and Applied Chemistry (the global authority on all things elemental) agrees with the British usage; that said, IUPAC uses the American 'sulfur' and derived usages for element 16, not the British 'sulphur'.

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* In Britain and Australia, the metallic element 13 is ''a-loo-MIN-i-um'' ''a-lyoo-MIN-i-um'' or ''a-loo-MIN-yum'' ''a-lyoo-MIN-yum'' instead of the American ''a-LOO-min-um''. Note that the International Union on Pure and Applied Chemistry (the global authority on all things elemental) agrees with the British usage; that said, IUPAC uses the American 'sulfur' and derived usages for element 16, not the British 'sulphur'.
1st Oct '17 6:51:12 AM oknazevad
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* '''''Scotland Yard''''': A term which refers to the London Metropolitan Police as a collective, as in "Last night, Scotland Yard warned the public that escaped murderer Adolf [=McMachete=] is not to be approached under any circumstances." Due to the [[BritainIsOnlyLondon "we all live in London"]] mentality of the [[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers British press]], it is sometimes used to refer to the UK Police Forces as a whole. It comes from the location of the old public entrance to the Met headquarters opened on Great Scotland Yard (a street in St. James's, Westminster, which was apparently so-called because the London diplomatic offices of the Kingdom of Scotland had been there before the Union). When the Metropolitan police moved to a new and deeply ugly building in Victoria, it was dubbed "New Scotland Yard". In old dramas, famous detectives will sometimes be referred to as [[SmithOfTheYard X of the Yard.]]

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* '''''Scotland Yard''''': A term which refers to the London Metropolitan Police as a collective, as in "Last night, Scotland Yard warned the public that escaped murderer Adolf [=McMachete=] is not to be approached under any circumstances." Due to the [[BritainIsOnlyLondon "we all live in London"]] mentality of the [[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers British press]], it is sometimes used to refer to the UK Police Forces police forces as a whole. It comes from the location of the old public entrance to the Met headquarters Met's old headquarters, which opened on Great Scotland Yard (a street in St. James's, Westminster, which was apparently so-called because the London diplomatic offices of the Kingdom of Scotland had been there before the Union). When the Metropolitan police moved to a new and deeply ugly building in Victoria, it was dubbed "New Scotland Yard". In old dramas, famous detectives will sometimes be referred to as [[SmithOfTheYard X of the Yard.]]
24th Sep '17 3:01:01 PM nombretomado
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* '''Yin''': One. Used as part of a name rather than a number. Say two men with the same name or brothers can be referred to as Big Yin and Small Yin. This was the case with BillyConnolly who was Small Yin until he got bigger than his dad and became Big Yin

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* '''Yin''': One. Used as part of a name rather than a number. Say two men with the same name or brothers can be referred to as Big Yin and Small Yin. This was the case with BillyConnolly Creator/BillyConnolly who was Small Yin until he got bigger than his dad and became Big Yin
26th Aug '17 4:27:01 PM nombretomado
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* '''Besom''': Originally a rough broom made by tying twigs to a pole, the classic witch's broomstick. By extention a witch, or a feasome old woman of the [[LastOfTheSummerWine Norah Batty]] persuasion, see ApronMatron.

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* '''Besom''': Originally a rough broom made by tying twigs to a pole, the classic witch's broomstick. By extention a witch, or a feasome old woman of the [[LastOfTheSummerWine [[Series/LastOfTheSummerWine Norah Batty]] persuasion, see ApronMatron.
1st Jun '17 8:56:30 AM Kitchen90
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[[folder:Cockney Rhyming Slang]]
Note that the actual rhyming part of the name is dropped in common parlance, just to make things more impenetrable.
* '''Apples and pears''': Stairs.
* '''[Aunt] Joanna''': Piano. [[UsefulNotes/{{Australia}} Down under]], it's mutated to "Goanna", a kind of lizard. (Hence Joanna the lizard in ''Disney/TheRescuers Down Under''.)
* '''Barclays [Bank]''': Wank. Also '''Barclays Banker''' wanker, useless person, City banker.
* '''Battle cruiser''': Boozer; i.e. pub.
* '''Berk''': Literally, [[CountryMatters cunt]], from Berkeley Hunt. Nowhere near as insulting as the origin might lead you to believe, and never used to refer to a literal vagina; in fact is a mild and pretty affectionate insult calling someone silly or stupid.
** Sometimes misattributed to the term 'Berkshire Hunt' which makes less sense note that, while 'berk' is pronounced as "burk", the county of Berkshire is said "Barkshire".
** In more recent years, this has been (appropriately) replaced with "Music/JamesBlunt".
** One joke on ''Series/MockTheWeek'' states that ''Series/BargainHunt'' doubles as rhyming slang for "the bloke who presents it".
* '''Boracic [lint]''': Out of money see "skint" above.
* '''Brass tacks''': Facts. This is one of the few examples to have made it into American English; Creator/JohnWCampbell used it as the name of the ''Astounding'' (later ''Magazine/{{Analog}}'') letters page.
* '''Bristols''': Tits "Bristol City": titty[[note]]though one wonders, of all the BritishFootyTeams titled "City", why Bristol was chosen. Why not call them Hulls? Or Stokes? Or Chesters? Addendum: One theory as to this is that the choice of Bristol has nothing to do with the city itself; rather, the twin Bristol engines on certain World War II British aircraft such as the Blenheim were considered by air crews to resemble breasts.[[/note]]).
* '''Have a butcher's''': Have a look at something. "Butcher's Hook" look.
* '''Charlies''': Inoffensive term for a woman's genitals, or sometimes breasts. From "[[CountryMatters Charlie Hunt]]", whoever he was. Also "Charlie" meaning "twit", as in Berk above.
* '''Me old China''': Mate or friend ("China plate" mate).
* '''''Frontwheel''''' Jewish person (could be derogatory). "Front-wheel skid - Yid"
* '''Creator/GregoryPeck''': Neck. A common one that any British person that isn't Cockney can identify.
* '''''Harry Rag''''', a Harry: A ''fag'', strictly meaning a cigarette. Also a jolly song by Music/TheKinks. The American meaning of ''fag'' is covered by:
* '''Iron''': "Iron hoof" = Poof. Gay male, derogatory.
* Money:
** '''Dustbin lid (quid), Alan Whicker (nicker)''': £1
** '''Lady Godiva (fiver)''': £5
** '''Ayrton [Senna] (tenner)''': £10
** '''Score''': £20
** '''Pony''': £25
** '''Bullseye''': £50
** '''Ton''': £100
** '''Monkey''': £500
** '''Bag of sand (grand)''': £1000
** '''Shrapnel''': loose change.
* '''Nuclear sub''': Pub.
* '''On one's Tod [Sloan]''': Alone.
* '''Pete Tong''': Wrong.
** Named after a British dance music DJ. Also the name of a Canadian {{Mockumentary}} and a Paul Kaye film, "It's All Gone Pete Tong".
* '''Porkies [Pork pies]''': Lies.
* '''Ruby [Murray]''': Curry. Named after an otherwise obscure singer from [[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland Stroke Country]].
* '''Septic [tank]''': Yank; derogatory term for Americans. (Yank itself is rarely intended to be offensive, neither is Yankee. If they call you septic, however, well, it already sounds bad anyway).
* '''Sherbet [dab]''': Cab (taxi), though "sherbet" can also refer to cocaine.
* '''Tea leaf''': Thief.
* '''Tin tack''': Sack; as in, the metaphorical one you're given when you're dismissed from your job.
* '''Trouble [and strife]''': Wife.
* '''[[WallaceAndGromit Wallace [and Gromit]]]''': To vomit.
[[/folder]]
1st Jun '17 7:51:20 AM Kitchen90
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Added DiffLines:

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1st Jun '17 7:49:25 AM Kitchen90
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!!Ones with their own pages
[[index]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangAToF A to F]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangGToL G to L]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangMToR M to R]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangSToZ S to Z]]
* BritishEnglish/CockneyRhymingSlang
[[/index]]
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[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Misc & Grammar]]:

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!!Ones with their own pages
[[index]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangAToF A to F]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangGToL G to L]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangMToR M to R]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangSToZ S to Z]]
* BritishEnglish/CockneyRhymingSlang
[[/index]]
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[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Misc & Grammar]]:

!!A quick note on Grammar (and Miscellaneous...



[[/folder]]

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[[/folder]]
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!!Ones with their own pages
[[index]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangAToF A to F]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangGToL G to L]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangMToR M to R]]
* [[BritishEnglish/EnglishSlangSToZ S to Z]]
* BritishEnglish/CockneyRhymingSlang
[[/index]]
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[[foldercontrol]]
1st Jun '17 7:46:04 AM Kitchen90
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[[folder:General: S-Z]]
* '''''Sack''''': To fire, dismiss etc. As in "Given the sack", i.e. to put your belongings in. There was much complaining about "Americanisms" when the UK version of ''TheApprentice'' retained the catchphrase "You're fired!", but in reality that phrase is just as common nowadays, if not more so, as "You're sacked".
** There is a medieval origin to both. If a workman did a bad job, instead of being paid he was given a sack to take his tools away in. If a workman did a very bad job, said tools would be burned.
** '''''In the sack''''', however, means in bed, particularly in the "yeah, s/he's great in the sack" type of construction. "I'm going to hit the sack" just means you're going to go to bed, presumably coming from where those down on their luck or working on farms would sleep in barns and stables; "hit the hay" has the same derivation.
* '''''School''''': Education establishments up to the age of 18. Never refers to (higher education) college or university (although a ''department'' of a British university can be a "school", for instance, the School of Mines at Imperial College, London), unlike in the US; the latter use can therefore provoke a "what, you're still in school at your age?" auto-response in the British mind. See UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem for more info about actual schools; it gets quite complicated because different parts of the UK do it very differently.
* '''''Scouse''''' / '''''Scouser''''': A resident of Liverpool. Short for 'lobscouse' (derived from Norwegian 'lapskaus' and similar words in other Northern European tongues), meaning a meat stew eaten by sailors that became popular in port cities such as Liverpool.
** '''''Scouse''''' in general is the slow-cooked meat and veg stew, traditionally based on mutton but also made with beef etc. used as far away as UsefulNotes/{{Cornwall}} and [[UsefulNotes/EastAnglia Norfolk]]. 'Blind Scouse' is the vegetarian version with no meat whatsoever in it.
** '''''Sepp''''': Rhyming slang first used by British soldiers in Iraq. ''Septic Tank'' - '''Yank''', shorthand for American, generally a military one.
* '''''Series''''': When talking about TV shows, a 'series' is both the show as a whole ''and'' what Americans would call a 'season'; perhaps because [[BritishBrevity they don't last for several months]]. This has caused mild panic among American fans of British television, because when an American hears the term "Series Finale," it means the show is over ''for good,'' as opposed to being finished until next year. 'Season' is increasingly gaining traction in the UK as well. Incidentally, in British English you tend to talk about TV 'programmes' rather than 'shows'.
* '''''Set square''''': In UK English, this refers to a measuring tool which is essentially a right angled triangle shaped ruler (known as a triangle in the USA). The device sometimes known in US English as a set square (essentially a ruler with a brace on the end) is always known as a t-square.
* '''''Seven shades''''': A large quantity of shit. Something you don't want beaten out of you. This legendarily includes the two shades nobody has been able to find yet, with the added air of menace that implies there's always room for experimentation. (If you find yourself producing seven shades of shit ''without'' being beaten up, this website recommends seeking medical attention.)
* '''''Shag''''': Inoffensive word meaning "to have sex with". It can also serve as a noun for the act itself or the participants.
** Also a kind of carpet. Some believe there is a connection between the two terms.
** And a sort of coarse-cut tobacco.
** And a seabird (''Phalacrocorax aristotelis'') closely related to the cormorant. Thus "cormorant" can sometimes be heard as a euphemism for sexual intercourse, especially of an illicit variety.
* '''''Shite''''': Pretty much the same as "shit", but more often used to describe something, so "That's shite" is a bit more common, and a bit stronger, than "That's shit". Some people think it sounds nastier than 'shit', and it causes ''massive'' dissonance when [[DidNotDoTheBloodyResearch Groundskeeper Willie uses it on]] ''TheSimpsons'', though it is admittedly more common in BonnieScotland.
** So a "gobshite" is someone who talks a lot of shit.
** In Glasgow patter, a ''gab''shite is a gossipy person, coming from the word "gab", meaning talk.
* '''''Silly''''': In Britain, the word is more often used dismissively, in similar contexts to "dumb" or "stupid". In America it's acquired a meaning more along the lines of "goofy" or "wacky". Not likely to cause SeparatedByACommonLanguage, as both definitions are generally understood on either side of the Atlantic.
* '''''Skint''''': Broke, as in no money.
* '''''Skip''''': Dumpster.
* '''''Slag''''' / '''''Slapper''''': Slut, US "tramp", etc. Has connotations of less-than-desirable appearance as well as promiscuity.
** Not to be confused with the term for scrap metal, usually partially molten, left over from some industrial processes. This sense is known in Britain, especially in the iron and steel industry, and yes the engineers and scientists have a sense of humour about it. The similar byproduct of the coal industry has left large mounds all over the countryside, especially of South Wales, known as "slag heaps".
** "To slag something/someone off" means to disparage it or them.
* '''''Slash''''', to have a/go for a: A piss. This kinda makes SlashFiction sound like it's something it's not.
** It does also refer to the punctuation mark '/', more formally known in the UK as a ''stroke''. "Slash Country" (or Stroke Country) is a joke name for UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland, poking fun at the [[IHaveManyNames many different and politically sensitive ways there are to refer to it]]. (Gets ridiculous in some cases; Creator/TheBBC have taken to straight-facedly calling one city "Derry/Londonderry".)
* '''''Sleeping policeman''''': Speed bump (US), ramp (Ireland). '''Kipping'' cop' is also heard.
* '''''Snigger''''': US "snicker". Used less nowadays, as like the word "niggardly" it has an unfortunate potential for being misheard or falling victim to the ScunthorpeProblem.
* '''''Snog''''': Make out, kiss with tongues. Used a lot more by teenagers than adults, however, so can come off a bit childish. A Northern term with a similar meaning is "pash", probably derived from 'passionate'.
** In some parts of the UK, it sounds a bit [[TotallyRadical totally radical]], and the act is more commonly referred to as ''pulling''. Which causes a bit of confusion regarding the [[SexTropes other]] meanings of pulling.
* '''''Sod''''': Used in "sod off", a relatively polite way of requesting that someone should go forth and multiply (see ''fuck off''); alone, it tends to refer to an idiot, moron, or someone who can be unpleasant ("he's a ''daft'' old sod" vs "he's an absolute sod"). Comes from "Sodomite"; it is a curiosity of the modern British swearword lexicon that this most traditionally taboo sexual act tends to be the source of words at the milder end of the expletive spectrum; see also ''bugger''.
* '''''Sot''''': A drunkard. Now very old fashioned and not likely to be used.
* '''''Spanner''''': A wrench, as seen in the title of SpannerInTheWorks. May also be used as an insult, with implications of incompetence (e.g. "Don't do that, you spanner!").
* '''''Spastic''''': In America, it means hyperactive ("manic" in British English) or out of control, but to British ears, this is a major insult for the mentally disabled (like "retard", or worse). Used to be the official term for sufferers of cerebral palsy the charity The Spastic Society changed its name several years ago to "Scope". In American the term "Spaz" has the same meaning, it's an insult like "retard".
* '''''Spraff''''': To ejaculate.
* '''''Spunk''''': Semen. Of course, this one has double meanings, but can be hilarious when a character (especially female) is described as "[[HaveAGayOldTime full of spunk]]". ''Especially'' if followed up with "[[YouGotSpunk ...I like spunk]]".
** Although "spunk" is occasionally used to mean semen in America, it's far less common.
* '''''Stag''''' (also '''''buck''''') '''''night/do/party''''': Bachelor party. See ''hen night'' for the female equivalent. Stag party was common Stateside during the mid-20th century, but has faded since. These days many take a ''stag weekend'' and go to a cheap [[UsefulNotes/WithEuropeButNotOfIt European]] destination like Prague and, since the decline in FootballHooligans, have filled the niche of "rowdy drunk guys who give Europeans the worst possible impression of British people".
* '''''Still''''' Military slang. Has two derivations. See ''Boxhead'' above for the version pertaining to Germans. The General commanding British forces in Germany decreed that the derogatory noun "squareheads" should no longer be used to describe German military personnel or civilians. Overnight a new term "boxheads" was coined to get around this. Although some British servicemen started calling Germans "stills". Similarly on the Falkland Islands, soldiers and airmen were ordered not to call Falklanders "Bennies". [[note]]A reference to Benny, a developmentally challenged character on TV soap opera ''{{Crossroads}}'' Falklanders tended to wear the same sort of wooly cap as the TV character.[[/note]]. Falklanders became "stills" too. Legend has it that when asked why by an officer, a Tom replied with "Because they're still squareheads/Bennies, sir!" Has been used where objections have been raised to a previously cherished collective noun for a race or group.
** It is possible that in situations where British personnel have been instructed not to call Americans '''''Sepps''''' for diplomatic reasons, United States military personnel have also become "stills".
* '''''Stone''''': A unit of measurement equal to 14 lb, mostly used in the context of personal weight. So one says "I weigh 10 stone 4 pounds", not "I weigh 144 pounds" to a Brit, the latter seems as odd as saying "I'm 74 inches tall" instead of "I'm six foot two" would.
** Brits usually measure their weight in stones, distance in miles, their height in feet and inches, and milk, beer and blood in pints[[note]]that's 20-fluid-ounce Imperial Pints, not those wimpy 16-fluid-ounce U.S. pints[[/note]], but everything else in the metric system. (Blood is also popularly measured in Imperial standard [[HancocksHalfHour armfuls]].)
* '''''Strewth!''''': Abbreviation of "Gawd strewth!" ("God's truth!"). A general-purpose exclamation, originally Cockney but now mostly associated with Australians.
* '''''Stroke''''': A term for the "/" character, also known as slash, oblique or solidus. Tropers may know the term from [[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland Stroke Country]] (or Northern Ireland/Ulster/The Province/etc/etc/etc...).
* '''''Subway''''': Often means "underpass", and interchangeable with the latter. Not generally used for subterranean rail: the subway/metro system in London is always known as [[TheLondonUnderground the Underground]] or the Tube (after the shape of the tunnels and trains).
** In Glasgow, the underground is actually known as the subway (when it's not being referred to as the Clockwork Orange...) Cue amusement upon discovering there's a Subway (as in, the sandwich shop) right next door to the actual subway.
* '''''Take the piss (out of)''''': To make fun of or mock someone or something. "'''Take the mickey (out of)'''" is a common euphemistic variant, which can be shortened to "take the mick" or euphemised still further to "take the michael" or similar. [[note]]The latter is based on an ExpospeakGag, see [[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/micturate Micturate]][[/note]]
* '''''Tat''''': Cheap and/or tasteless trinkets.
* '''''Tin''''': A metal container or package, often synonymous with a 'can', e.g. "tin of beans", "tin-opener".[[note]]But although headphones are sometimes "cans", they are never "tins".[[/note]] Used here on Wiki/TVTropes in the trope ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** In Scotland, a '''tin''' can refer to a can of beer or lager. The plural form is '''tinnies'''. Foster's actually put the word "tinnies" on their packaging to try to appeal to the local market, an effort doomed from the outset because Foster's tastes like piss.
* '''''Tip''''': (Garbage) dump. Also applied, as is "dump" in America, to any unkempt area: "My room looks a complete tip".
* '''''Tit''''': As in every other English dialect, means "breast" (or more specifically a nipple, as in 'teat', though it can be used interchangeably for either), but it has many different uses in British usage.
** Can be used as a general (mild) insult: "You're such a tit".
** Mean a button or knob control, usually in an aircraft (though this is old-fashioned now).
** Can mean something has died or gone wrong in the expression "gone tits up".
** "Arse over tit(s)" as a synonym for "head over heels". More logical, too heads are normally found above heels, are they not?
** Can describe a person who is heavily under the influence of drugs, as being "off their tits"
** Can be used to express annoyance at someone: "He really gets on my tits". Obviously the phrase is a corruption of "gets on my nerves" or "gets on my wick", and can be used regardless of gender.
** European birds of the genus ''Parus'', the same as the American chickadees, are commonly called tits. There are Great Tits, Blue Tits and Coal Tits, amongst others. Some people find this [[IncrediblyLamePun titillating]].
** "Tit" generally only means "nipple" when referring to non-human females, eg. "a three-titted 'un" for a cow with only three functioning teats. In a human context it means "breast".
* '''''Toff''''': Posh, upper-class person. Often landed, horsey, etc.; may well be an UpperClassTwit.
* '''''Torch''''': A flashlight, shortened from "electric torch". Can completely change how a scene is imagined by American readers, as in a scene with a child reading by torchlight under the covers; it also doubtlessly caused a bit of confusion for American gamers when ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry1'' featured a level named "Torchlight Trouble" which contained no (burning) torches but a very prominent flashlight.
* '''''Tory''''': Member of the Conservative Party in politics. Can also refer to something that aligns with the Tory Party's way of doing things - 'This is a very Tory economic plan.' Sometimes also used for supporters of the party even if they're not official members.
* '''''Toss off''''': To jerk off. Except in the sense where it means casually producing a great work, say: "He tossed off another painting in an afternoon".
* '''''Tosser''''': Very similar to ''wanker'', i.e. jerkoff, though fractionally friendlier.
** '''''Toss-pot''''' used to mean "heavy drinker" (from "pot" meaning a drinking vessel, especially a pint glass, and "toss" being the action of draining it very quickly as if throwing the contents down one's throat see ''Literature/TheHobbit'' for instance), but now has the same meaning as "tosser", albeit milder.
* '''''Totty''''': Attractive woman or women, e.g. in the construction "''posh'' totty". Almost universally used as a plural noun.
* '''''Trainers''''': Short for training shoes, called "sneakers" in US English. Used to be called "plimsolls", but this usage seems to have died out, certainly in regard to adult footwear. "Sneakers" in British English tends to be reserved for small, thin shoes like Converse or clunky Skechers trainers too American to be called anything but.
** Plimsolls are a specific kind of sports shoe black rubber-soled slip-ons used primarily by primary school children and as such the term is still very much in use regarding the under-twelves at least. Tennis shoes used to be called plimsolls too but this seems to have died out as well.
* '''''Tramp''''': A homeless person, equivalent to the US "bum". Means the same thing in the US (see ''Disney/LadyAndTheTramp''), but much less common after the 30s. Since there are rather unfortunate alternative meanings to both "''bum''" (in the UK) and "tramp" (more in the US) there is much potential for SeparatedByACommonLanguage amusement here.
* '''''Transport''''': Used in the sense where Americans would use 'transportation' (which always sounds [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment amusingly redundant]] to Britons). 'Transportation' in a British context also has the now somewhat archaic meaning of being forcibly sent to a PenalColony; thus the US "Department of Transportation" can sound unintentionally sinister to British ears. "Public transport" (buses, ''railways'', etc.) is what Americans would call "public transportation" or "mass transit".
* '''''Trousers''''': Any long legwear. ''Pants'' [q.v.] invariably refers to underpants.
* '''''Truck''''': A ''railway'' freight car. What Americans call trucks are called lorries in Britain (see above), though "truck" in this sense has gained more and more use in recent decades in the UK too. What American railfans know as trucks are called bogies in Britain.
* '''Trunk call''': The British equivalent of a long-distance telephone call, as pointed out in ''Literature/MurderOnTheOrientExpress''.
* '''''Twat''''': As in America, but pronounced to rhyme with 'hat', 'bat', 'cat'. Almost never used in the American gynecological sense, but rather as a slightly harsher form of ''twit''.
** Curiously it can also be used as a verb; "to twat someone" essentially means "to hit someone very hard".
* '''''Twit''''': Nominally "idiot", as in Creator/SpikeMilligan's ''[[{{Literature/Casabianca}} Casabazonka]]'', but nearly always used as a humourous or affectionate term rather than an insult. See UpperClassTwit. May have some connection with the expression "twitter-pated", but long predates Twitter.
-->'''Diana''' (Creator/MaggieSmith): Twit.
-->'''Sidney''' (Creator/MichaelCaine): Twit and a half.
-->''California Suite''
* '''''Uni''''': Short for university. The older form "varsity" has almost vanished now, except for in the 'Varsity Boat Race', the annual rowing clash on the River Thames between the rival crews of [[{{Oxbridge}} Oxford and Cambridge Universities]].
* '''''Vanilla Slice''''': The name for a pastry also known as a Custard Slice, Napoleon, French Slice or Mille-feuille. It consists of two or three layers of puff pastry sandwiching whipped cream or confectioner's custard.
* To '''''vom''''' (v.t.) A verb contraction derived from the verb/noun "vomit", for the action and the result of throwing up. People from Somerset and the West Country tend to ''vom'' after consuming too much alcohol, and may, after five or six pints of Thatcher's finest cider, be completely and utterly '''''vommed'''''.
* '''''Wally''''': An idiot. Used most often in the [[TheEighties '80s]]. Believed to have arisen at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, where a festival-goer of that name got lost and his friends called his name to guide him, only for the rest of the crowd to take up the chant. Also sometimes used to refer to a pickled gherkin, as sold in Fish And Chip shops.
* '''''Wanker''''': The most British of insults. "To wank" is to masturbate, so calling someone a wanker implies that they spend a great deal of time playing with themselves. Often used where an American would use "Asshole," or, appropriately enough, "Jerk-off."
** Variants:
** '''Wank''': Shortened version of wanker.
-->'''[[Series/StillGame Winston Ingram]]''': Shut yer hole, Boaby. If ah wis Long John Silver you'd be first tae walk the plank ya wank.
** '''Wankshaft''': Nothing to do with [[Film/{{Shaft}} Richard Roundtree or Isaac Hayes.]]
** '''Wank-stain''': Means basically the same as wanker. Ironically, nobody would ever use it to talk about actual stains produced by wanking.
** '''Wanking chariot''': A bed. Infer from context.
** '''Wank bank''': A sort of sexy mind palace, where you save mucky memories for, er, "later." May, less commonly, refer to a physical PornStash, a sperm bank, or a sex shop.
* '''''-ward''''': In UK English this suffix tends to have an s added to the end much more often than in US English (e.g. Forwards/Forward - in UK English "forwards" is an adverb ("to move forwards") and "forward" is an adjective ("forward movement")).
* '''''Washing''''': Laundry "I'll just put the washing in the machine". "Wash" is what Americans would say.
* '''''Washing up''''': Dishwashing; "washing-up liquid" = dishwashing detergent.
* '''''{{Watershed}}''''': 9:00pm-5:30am, a time during which television programmes with more offensive language, adult themes and violence can be shown. Similar to the US safe harbor, though there are fewer words which cannot be said (in fact, it's often just cunt and nigger, although networks often try to keep very offensive language off of prime time viewing, demoting programmes like Hell'sKitchen to sister channels such as BBC 3, or ITV 2, where they can go uncensored). On premium or subscription channels there is no watershed.
** The "primary" meaning of the word watershed is to refer to "the ridge dividing two drainage basins" - ie, a dividing line separating two systems. So prevalent is awareness of the TV watershed in the UK that most people will only know about the word in relation to broadcasting.
* '''''... week''''': When preceded by a weekday (e.g. "Tuesday week"), means "next [weekday]". Although, the further North you go or in Australia, it will probably mean "[weekday] ''after'' next [weekday]". Just as there is potential for confusion with the American format, it is wise to clarify with the speaker.
* '''''Well''''': Sometimes takes the place of "really", such as "I had a well good time". For pronunciation, in almost any sentence it appears in in this context, it will have the emphasis. (Above, "I had a ''well'' good time.")
* '''''Wellingtons/Wellington boots/Wellies''''': Rain boots, rubber boots, billy boots, or gum-boots in the USA. Named after UsefulNotes/TheDukeOfWellington, who popularised them in Britain.
** Also can be used in the phrase "Give it some welly!", meaning to "put your back into it", i.e. put a lot of physical effort into something.
* '''''Whilst''''': While. Although in use in all English-speaking countries, in America it has dropped out of widespread use and is now seen as archaic or pretentious, the stuff of {{Upper Class Twit}}s. Generally speaking, North American English speakers lean towards "while", and English-speakers from other countries use both words, with a slight tendency towards "whilst".
** Similarly applies to the likes of "amid/amidst", "among/amongst", etc.
* '''''Wog''''': Slang for "foreigner", usually used to mean people of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent (though one old British proverb, popularized by a Labour backbencher to mock imperialists, joked that "the wogs begin at [[UsefulNotes/{{France}} Calais]]"). The term is of uncertain origin; there are numerous theories, one of which claims that it originated with the construction of the Egyptian railway in the 1850s or of the Suez Canal in the 1890s depending on which version you hear, where the locals employed to work on the project were denoted as "[[FunWithAcronyms Workers/Working on Government Service]]"; but none of them are confirmed (the only thing known for certain is that "wog" dates back to Victorian times), and they're all suspect as no acronym coinage has been confirmed to date back earlier than World War 1. Widely considered to be quite derogatory and offensive, and not something you use in polite company; even as far back as TheSeventies [[Series/FawltyTowers Basil Fawlty]]'s acceptance of the term was used to depict him as a LowerClassLout. Or, indeed, ten years earlier than that when ArchieBunker 's ultra-bigoted prototype AlfGarnett was given it several times an episode. Garnett claimed it used to be "Western Oriental Gentleman" but now it was just wog.
** It holds a similar meaning in UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}, though there, it also refers to people of Mediterranean European descent, among whom there has been a campaign to [[AppropriatedAppellation "take back" the word]] since TheEighties.
* '''''Yah''''' (also ''rah'', see above): A slang term denoting an upper-class ''public school'' boy or girl. Semi-equivalent to US "preppy", but rather louder and more obnoxious. Commonly associated with an irritating, braying voice (usually speaking a mangled [[UsefulNotes/BritishAccents Received Pronunciation]]), which renders "yeah" (or year) as "yah". Often found cluttering otherwise charming Scottish university towns, much to the resentment of the locals[[note]]except criminals, who find them trivially easy to mug/con, due to their general unfamiliarity with the "real world"[[/note]]. Common stereotypes including getting "Daddy" (or "Pater" if they are ''really'' upper-class) to pay for things and going on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU gap yahs]].
* '''''Yank''''': Endearing term for an American person, derived from "Yankee". It can sometimes be used in a pejorative context as well. Brits take note: to some Americans (mostly those from the southeastern US), "Yank/Yankee" is a grave insult.
* '''''Zebra crossing'''''/'''''Pelican crossing''''': US "crosswalk", as seen on [[AbbeyRoadCrossing the cover]] of [[Music/TheBeatles "Abbey Road"]]. Zebra crossings are named for their white stripes on the dark tarmac, and have no traffic lights, only yellow flashing globes known as Belisha beacons: pedestrians must rely on drivers voluntarily halting[[note]]The Highway Code actually ''requires'' drivers to stop, if it is safe to do so, if someone is waiting to use this type of crossing. Sadly, many drivers choose to completely ignore this, especially in London. London drivers also fond of stopping right over the crossing, forcing pedestrians to walk around - this is also technically against the code.[[/note]]. Pelican crossings have a button to trigger the traffic lights, and indicate to the pedestrian when it is safe to cross. Another major transatlantic difference is that the lights on a pelican crossing display a (standing) red man or a (walking) green man silhouette (similar to the ones on a toilet door) rather than "Walk" or "Don't Walk". 'Pelican' originated as an acronym, "pelicon" ('''pe'''destrian '''li'''ght-'''con'''trolled), but soon mutated into the animal-themed "pelican" by analogy with "zebra".
** American crosswalks are slowly abandoning signals that display "walk" or "don't walk", in favor of signals that display a white (or green) walking man for "walk", and a neon-orange hand for "don't walk."
** There are also Puffin crossings[[note]]similar to pelican crossings (in fact they're technically an improved version), except that they use sensors to tell whether or not someone's actually crossing the road or just pressed the button and ran off, have the little green man sign next to the button rather than perpendicular to the traffic lights and use much more detailed silhouettes.[[/note]], Toucan crossings[[note]]designed for cyclists to cross as well as pedestrians; they have an extra light to indicate when cyclists can cross and are double the width: "two-can" cross, [[PunnyName geddit?]][[/note]] and Pegasus crossings[[note]]similar to toucan crossings but with horse riders replacing cyclists; they have an extra control box 2 metres above the other so riders don't need to dismount to press it.[[/note]], which are like Pelican crossings but with minor differences. Most Brits don't know they exist unless they live in an urban area which has had them installed (and actually needs them).
* '''''Zed''''': Pronunciation for the twenty-sixth letter of the alphabet (not "zee"). Also applies to Canadian English. Similarly, that zebra crossing above? That would pronounced "zeh-bra" and not "zee-bra" like in the United States.
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