back to article Vulture Central plans Brit-Yank dictionary

It's come to our attention (again) that some of our Stateside cousins continue to struggle with El Reg's flavour of the Beloved Mother Tongue™. We have, of course, in the past published a couple of brief guides to those terms which prove The Register is a fertile breeding ground for neologisms, as well as a treasure house for …

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Happy

How about

Bespoke?

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Coat

Usage question

Thank you, this will be a welcomed resource. I've had for some time a usage question about British English that could probably be clarified with an example rather than a definition.

Are Radiohead wankers and Coldplay tossers, or is it the other way around?

Thanks again,

Steve

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Grenade

ey up me duck? wus ow thi sthun

ar dun say unny raysin fer brittis fowk fer goo pandrin tut bl**dy yanks, if thaym wuns fer spayk englis proper layk thun um shud lern fer towcrate layk usm dow, marrer.

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This calls for some cheap shots!

How about:

Diet

Evidence

Accountability

Dignity

Tourist

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Pint

Aluminium? Leicester? Worcestershire Sauce?

knackers to the lot a ya.

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Horizontal dancing

You had better explain "shagging" to our cousins. The poor deluded fools in South Carolina have a dance called The Shag and they display signs outside venues to advertise Public Shagging Contests. You can imagine the depth of my disappointment...

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Alert

The Welsh

I have a good friend from Leeds who came to the US to work about 10 years ago. He tells me the Welsh have a certain affinity towards sheep. A co-worker from our UK division also eluded to the same thing. Any validity to that?

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Headmaster

Teach 'em to suck eggs

I'm torn between the Pedant icon and the Get-my-coat one ...

Direction words usually have an 's' as in towards/inwards/upwards. Without an 's' used as an adjective, as in a 'leftward movement.'

We dropped the 'ten' from 'gotten' centuries ago, please try to keep up.

Pants = lady's undergarment not trousers. Also another word for 'bad' as in "The film/dinner/new-IT-system was pants."

Mince = very similar to 'pants' although maybe just in Scotland, where we also use 'neds' rather than the English 'chavs' but that's by the by.

'Fanny' very specifically much more personal than the general 'bottom' they talk about on the far side of The Pond.

Hare-brained is not spelled 'hair.'

'Pissed' = drunk, it does not mean 'annoyed' (that's 'pissed off') And 'piss off' is an instruction to go away.

Twig = understand.

How hard are these wrap your heads around?

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W

@Lloyd

Don't forget Loogerberooger & Edinberrg!

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Routers

I know it's not a spelling lingo issue, but the difference between a router and a router.

As it a router - said in a yank way, is something i put nice curved edges into wood.

A router in a UK accent is something that routes my network traffic.

Every time I hear an America talk about a "rowter", I think of my black and decker with a network cable coming out of it!!

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Title

Just cut and past viz's profanisaurus, should keep them American friends of ours quite for hours.

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Happy

proper inglish init

I don't particularly care what words get put in the dictionary, but please make sure you put the bloody 'u's in the correct place - it's colour!!!

And for the love of all that's holy can someone please do something about Merkins trying to use nouns as verbs - see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/07/16/google_chillerless_data_center/ - "...When the temperature starts to excurse in a data center...". What the feck does that mean???

(And BTW it's centre, not center!!!)

Hummph!

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Bronze badge
Paris Hilton

SCART?

Well, obviously, judging from photos, it's some sort of connector for attaching devices to European TVs.

But perhaps an explanation of how it works and what type of devices use it might help.

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Pint

@Tawakalna

You're from Stoke too then

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@Steve 64

Bad example. Both bands are both tossers and wankers.

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PaulR

Hey, as a Yank, I use www.effingpot.com/slang.shtml as a reference for Britspeak.

I usually can figure out most things by context, but occasionally have to look something up.

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Anonymous Coward

Arrest

US: Something only done when the police have enough evidence to charge a person, this preserving the seriousness of the concept of depriving a person of their liberty.

UK: Something done by a lazy police force looking to criminalise and catalogue the entire "civilian" population, when they cannot be bothered to work out on the spot that allegations might be groundless, but inconveniencing people who then have to submit to extra checks for jobs, travel, finance etc.

Bitter? Yes

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how about . .

the correct pronunciation of "router" ? and Wimbledon

and please note that "Irregardless" and "getgo" annoy the sh*t out of us

humph!

PS and my fellow Brits PLEASE would you bl**dy well stop using "different to"

(I'm looking at you BBC pronunciation department)

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Thumb Up

BBC America subtitles "skins" for us...

They even have a funny little blurb about it beforehand. If you're that bored, I can dig it up and send it to you.

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Aluminium

Aluminium is actually pronounced Aluminum. The "I" was added by OSD scientists who didn't like that it didn't sound like a lot of the transition metals on the Periodic table.

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Coat

Terrible consequences

I was idly chatting to Jeffrey Dahmer one day many moons ago. I spied that he had a pack of marlboro in his coat so a said to him "If you are going to 'smoke a fag', can you do it elsewhere please". He left and then ..... Well you know the rest!

My apologies to all, I have already collected my coat and am sprinting for the door.

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why take the fun out

Half the fun of reading el reg is expanding my vocabulary.

There's plenty of existing dictionaries, both on-line and books, where the ignorant can get an edumacation.

No need to dumb yourselves down to the lowest common denominator.

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Ay say !

What a jolly spiffing wheeze !

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Megaphone

Dictionary, but they can't spell?!

Is there any point? If we are to believe all the linux and open-source evangelists we will all be drowning under a deluge of "amazing" open source software that _can't fucking spell_ anyway! Why have a dictionary at all when the English (British) version of Firefox underlines... colour, glamour, industrialise, grey, tyre, litre, metre... etc. etc. we might as well all be using txt spk or just watching TV eating crisps (because chips are something you get at the chip shop).

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv:1.9.1) Gecko/20090624 Firefox/3.5

That's not the only Yank trait these "slimmer and faster" products show... poor gas mileage (FF3.5 takes 1 minute to display a working browser window on a dual P3-800 WTF?) and it ate all the pies, then the burgers and half of the subway menu too... 83Mb memory to display this comments page (with Flash not installed & ABP). Bet it doesn't know what a fanny is either.

Well I'm not going to give up! Hah. I'm gonna spell proper and go watch the Ashes.

</rant><tea class="Earl Grey" sandwich="cucumber"/>

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Things to explain;

Aluminium

Acclimatised

Cockney rhyming slang; ruby, apples and pears, etc

That we do celebrate Christmas...

That we're not Australian.

That a "hand tossed sausage lover" isn't a type of pizza.

That "no ice" actually implies the absence of ice, rather that a large bucket full of it (and a "vermouth" of actual drink.)

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Alien

Manfrommars

Can we have a sub-dictionary for use in translating comments from themanfrommars?

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Yank time-telling

Could you tell this Brit what "a quarter of nine" means in terms of time-of-day ? I keep reading it in American horror novels. I think it's equivalent to "quarter to nine" (8:45) but I'd like to know for sure. Would you ever use "twenty to nine" to mean 8:40 ?

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Cuffed

The use of the word "cuffed" seems to cause problems with people thinking it means "lightly punched" instead of "handcuffed".

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Badgers

@SuperTim

My friend once asked if he could "bum a fag." 'Nuff said.

Lessons for the Yanks? How about Lessons For The Limeys? Too many of my fellow countrymen fail on the following:

"at the weekend." (US: "on")

"licence" (US: "license")

"cricket" (US: a game where you have to ... erm ... with the ... stumps ... out ... in ... oh, never mind)

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Coat

Useful translations

Here are some translations to help our American cousins when they visit the UK

Bollocks = Zits

"Can I have some cream for my bollocks"

Shag = Chat

"Do you fancy meeting up for a shag to catch up on old times"

Bike = Babe

"I hear your finance's a bit of a bike"

Wanker=Martial Arts expert

"Oh, you do Karate, Kung Fu *and* Ju-Jitsu. You must be a wanker"

Knob=Popsicle

"Can I have a lick of your knob"

Spunk = Spunk (exactly the same as the US)

"You seem to be full of spunk, this morning".

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Monkey

Yeah, there are a lot of weird Brit words and and expressions, "Softly, Softly catchy monkey.."???

But there are also many words Brits think are exclusive to Blighty, like strumpets and geezers with which we Yanks are quite familiar. Please have someone from the left side of the pond edit your list.

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Paris Hilton

Boughten

Can someone explain this word to me. My SO, who is from the Great White North (Canada), where they still speak with a strange accent [1], occasionally says this word. ;-)

[1] And, who, fortunately for me, doesn't regularly read The Reg!

Dave

P.S. Paris, because, well, she sort of looks like my SO.

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Having some crack in America

You think you Brits have a problem? We Irish arrive in America, and at the airport we ask the immigration officials where we can find some crack. There is a rush of uniforms ...

We finally get that misunderstanding sorted out. Then our daughter wants to do some drawing, but makes some mistakes. We try to buy a rubber, explaining that we want to have some fun with our little daughter...

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Anonymous Coward

Pedantic buggers you lot

It's MY language, myaa myaa, speak properly like us. You bloody stuck-up self important petty little whingers. I'm faintly ashamed to be british (and you can capitalise that for me) if you also fall under that banner (and 'petty little' is indeed a redundancy so live with it).

My linguistic clarification, blow is understood by my US mates as snortable coke, not the weed/resin that goes into left handed cigarettes as I know it. Caused them some unease first time round.

Anon because of the drug references and not the opening para. Which is a pathetic reflection on our society.

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Grenade

The one that really hacks me off...

is "could care less", as in "I could care less about it". It's COULDN'T. As in, "it is not possible for me to care any less about this than I already do"

grrrr

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Joke

Do the English have a word for ...

Dentistry ?

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Anonymous Coward

chuffed

I'm pretty sure it means pleased with oneself.

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Pint

To aid a former US President...

...can you clarify what "is" means?

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@Steve 64

>British English

There is no such thing. English is English full stop. The only possibly legitimate qualifier would be pidgin English which is probably what you wrongly call american English.

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Troll

Sheep shagers

You are correct jdandison that the Welsh do have the reputation of having a certain affinity with sheep as do people of the Romney Marsh but there is a rumor of interbreeding with them as well. There is an old joke about a young man from the Romney Marsh who was talking to a friend and said " I made love to my first woman in the corner of that field and her mother was standing in that corner", the friend asked what the mother said, young man replied" Baaa Baaa".

Ok Ok my coat is with shepherd's crook

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Happy

Dictionary..?

I'd just like to to point out that English is a language, while American is an accent!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: The one that really hacks me off...

No no no. "I *could* care less about this, but I don't think I can be bothered."

I love that one. Especially because it really irritates people. See also: "pissed" to mean "pissed off". Somehow "pissed" on its own sounds much angrier and more serious.

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All together now....

Wheear 'as ta bin sin ah saw thee,

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at?!

Wheear 'as ta bin sin ah saw thee?

Wheear 'as ta bin sin ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at?!

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at?!

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at?!

Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane

Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Tha's bahn t'catch thi deeath o'cowd

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Tha's bahn t'catch thi deeath o'cowd

Tha's bahn t'catch thi deeath o'cowd

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then we shall ha' to bury thee

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then we shall ha' to bury thee

Then we shall ha' to bury thee

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then t'worms 'll cum and eat thee oop

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then t'worms 'll cum and eat thee oop

Then t'worms 'll cum and eat thee oop

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then ducks 'll cum and eat oop t'worms

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then ducks 'll cum and eat oop t'worms

Then ducks 'll cum and eat oop t'worms

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then we shall go an' ate oop ducks

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then we shall go an' ate oop ducks

Then we shall go an' ate oop ducks

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then we shall all 'ave etten thee

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

Then we shall all 'ave etten thee

Then we shall all 'ave etten thee

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

On Ilkla Moor baht 'at

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@The Welsh

Quite rare, and furthermore, only with those for export to be eaten by Englishmen!

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i know...

Define 'gunt'

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Stop

@ The Original Ash

'Aluminium is actually pronounced Aluminum'

Nope, it's 'aluminium' according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (head boffins in the bangs and smells division). Sir Humphry Davy called it aluminum in 1812 before it had been isolated as an element, but this was objected to as long ago as 1813 with the 'ium' ending given on the grounds that it sounded 'more classical'.

Humphry Davy had previously called it 'alumium' but he might have been off his face on nitrous oxide at the time.

Just in case the Brits get too smug, the American spelling of 'sulfur' is the correct one. I use it just to piss off my pedantic colleagues.

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Anonymous Coward

HP

HP = Brown sauce

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Badgers

Get an education

the people that live in the colonies really should get a grip on what the local versions of words mean. this colonial independence caper was destinged to ruin from the beginning

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@jdandison re. The Welsh

Any place where sheep farming is a noticeable activity gets these comments from their neighbours. I believe that Australians make similar jokes about New Zealanders. (How they can do that when they have, or had, massive sheep farming themselves is a mystery).

Anyway, it gets lonely out on the moors and in the hills, cold too on those winter nights..........

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tips, skips, punters, tah, cheers, and all that

Great topic, although after living three years in Britain, I'm mostly bilingual now, nonetheless I am sure others will benefit. My list of interesting britishisms that yanks could learn?

"tip" (dump) including in expressions like "your room is a tip!"

"skip" (dumpster, what you send "rubbish" to the "tip" in)

"lay by" (rest area)

"punters" (I'm still not sure about this one but could be somewhere between "booster", "promoter", and "schill" which is itself a borrowing from Yiddish).

"tah" and "cheers" (largely untranslatable but something like "thanks, have a nice day")

"O-levels" and "A-levels" (no US equivalent though we're getting there with the no-child-left-behind mess)

"free-hold" at term of estate agents (real estate agents) which I believe means you have what in the U.S. is called fee ownership, and there are other property ownership types that are possibly relevant and definitely untranslatable.

"bespoke" (custom, custom made)

"engineer" which in Britain means a blue-collar technician who fixes your washing machine, but in the U.S. is someone with a wall full of diplomas who invents new kinds of washing machines

"washing up liquid" also "fairy liquid" which gave me great pause the first time I heard it

"pudding" (any dessert among the classes to whom pudding (US usage) would appeal)

"quid" (a blob of chewing tobacco...no, not that one, you mean "buck" as in slang for a dollar)

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