We all know the Brits do things a bit... differently. Not wrong, of course, just different. If you are familiar with the way the British communicate, then take this quiz to test your knowledge.
Look, here in the United States, football is a game that you play by throwing the ball. In the UK, football is what we call soccer, a game that is played by kicking the ball. Sigh... we're not even going to spend too much time wondering why we don't call soccer football and rename the game of football to something that is more aligned with the goal of the sport, like throwball... just throwing that out there.
Anyway, the sport of US football is actually thought to have derived from the British name for soccer. Just stay with us, now. First, there was soccer, which was called football; then there was rugby, which was sometimes called rugby football; then there was football, which is what we here in the US know as football. Is this true? Who knows, but it sounds plausible, right?
So, back to British idioms. Are you enough of an Anglophile to identify these 35 British idioms and common phrases? Let's get started to find out how much you really know.
Hey, what do they have against pears?
Well, we already know the Brits refer to soccer as football, so this makes sense!
Here's an example... "You want me to lend you $100.00! Are you having a laugh?"
Of course, the word "brilliant" still means brilliant, too!
"Wanker" is another one of those terms that might have a completely different meaning here in the States.
Not exclusively British, we use this phrase both sarcastically and earnestly as well.
The word "kerfuffle" is not completely unheard of here in the states. Can't say it's used much here though.
It's been a long day; I'm a bit knackered!
A Brit would be gobsmacked should he or she find something beyond belief. The word is thought to step from the British slang for mouth, which is "gob."
To Brits, the "pond" refers to the Atlantic Ocean. Whether one is in the UK or the US depends on where the speaker is.
To a Brit, "Bob's your uncle" is a variant of "ta da!" The actual name of your uncle has no bearing on the exclamation.
A knees-up is another way for Brits to describe a lively party. Maybe the expression came from enthusiastic dancing?
A chinwag can range from an innocent conversation to outright gossip. In either case, chins are literally wagging.
The American version of "get stuffed" might be considered rather crass in comparison to our cousins across the pond.
A person can also be "dead chuffed," which is better than it sounds.
"I've got the hump" means, to the British at least, that something is less than pleasing. They use this phrase instead of saying, "I'm not very happy with that," or, "I'm upset."
When one is at the end of one's rope, he/she might be ready to give up.
We might lose our minds here in the States, but the British lose a plot. Go figure.
To a Brit, the word "cheers" means "thank you" or "thanks." It does also serve as a toast, even to the British.
The phrase "damp squib" refers to something that just isn't right or fun. A squib is a firework, and damp fireworks just fizzle.
While here in the States, we might say that something has "gone to pot," the Brits say that it has "gone all to pot." Guess we get our reference from them.
We use the phrase "the bee's knees" here in the states, as well, even though it seems a bit old-timey. Guess some references are universal.
The word "chunder" to those of us across the pond seems to have little to do with vomit, but there it is.
The phrase "up the spout" is used to refer to any number of situations when the individual might be between a rock and a hard place (but that's another phrase altogether).
The British use the word "fortnight" to refer to a period of two weeks. A bit different from Lincoln's "score," isn't it?
It's true, after all, that a brass monkey would be really cold. Wear gloves before you touch one.
Not sure how this one got started, but it certainly is expressive. We would have guessed it's a bad thing.
The word "tosh" means "crap" or "rubbish" to our cousins across the pond.
A car park can mean either a parking lot or a parking garage. It's definitely a place to park your car.
"Skive" is a word Brits may use when they fake an illness or make up some other excuse to get out of an obligation. Don't skive the rest of this quiz.
In another reference to clothing, the same person might be getting her knickers in a twist.
Whew, take a breath. That's some pretty fast talking.
A spanner is a wrench to the Brits. A wrench will span things, after all.
We can thank "Bridget Jones' Diary" for introducing us to the word "snog." The word appears to have first been used in the mid 20th century.
This substitute for the word "penniless" appears to have first been used in the early 1900s.