Here’s the eleventh installment from “The Best of British.” I’ve heard maybe a handful of these terms my entire life. No wonder my friends across the pond chuckle at me; we essentially speak the same the same language but geography has played a big part in the diversity there is between the two counties. Enjoy!
language is NSFW
Throw a spanner in the works – This is an expression that means to wreck something.
Tickety-boo – If something is going well with no problems we would say it is tickety-boo.
Tidy – Apart from the obvious meaning of neat, tidy also means that a woman is a looker, attractive or sexy.
To – We go to school from ages 5 to 18. You might go to school from ages 5 thru 18. We don’t say thru in that context at all. If we did though, we would say “through”!
Todger – As if we don’t have enough of them already, this is yet another word for your willy
Toodle pip – This is an old expression meaning goodbye. However, I only hear it when Americans are doing impressions of Brits as it has fallen into disuse, along with steam trains and gas lights.
Tool – Yet another word for your willy or penis. You’d think we were obsessed.
Tosser – This is another word for wanker and has exactly the same meaning and shares the same hand signal. Unfortunately my house in Texas was in Tossa Lane, which was a problem when telling older members of the family where to write to me!
Totty – If a chap is out looking for totty, he is looking for a nice girl to chat up. There is an Italian football player called Totti – which is pronounced the same. It’s really funny hearing the commentators when he gets the ball saying “it’s Totty for Italy”. It sounds like some beautiful Italian girlies have invaded the pitch.
TTFN – Short for “ta ta for now”. Which in turn means goodbye! Said by older folks and one Radio Two DJ in particular.
Twat – Another word used to insult someone who has upset you. Also means the same as fanny but is less acceptable in front of your grandmother, as this refers to parts of the female anatomy. Another use for the same word is to twat something, which would be to hit it hard. Get it right or I’ll twat you over the head!
Twee – Twee is a word you would generally hear older people say. It means dainty or quaint. A bit like the way you chaps think of England I suppose.
Twit – You twit! Not so rude as calling someone an idiot but it amounts to the same thing. Remember Monty Python’s “Twit of the Year” competition? Other versions include “nitwit”.
Two finger salute – When you see a Brit stick up two fingers at you in a V shape, he may be ordering two of something (if his palms are toward you). The other way around and it’s an insult along the lines of your one finger salute. Which, by the way, is very popular here now too!
U – A letter used far more in British. It is in words like colour, favour, labour etc. I think this is why UK keyboards have 102 characters on them instead of your 101, or is it because they have a pound sign on them?
Uni – Short for university, we would say we went to uni like you would say you went to school. School here is just for kids.
Wacky backy – This is the stuff in a joint, otherwise known as pot or marijuana!
Waffle – To waffle means to talk on and on about nothing. It is not something you eat. Americans often think that Brits waffle on about the weather. The truth of course is that our news reports last 60-120 seconds and the weather man is not hyped up to be some kind of superstar as he is on the TV in the US. If you want to see an example of real waffle watch the weather channel in Texas where there is nothing to talk about other than it is hot and will remain so for the next 6 months. Another example is the ladies who waffle on about anything on the Home Shopping Network. They would probably be classed as professional wafflers!
Wangle – Some people have all the luck. I know some people that can wangle anything; upgrades on planes, better rooms in hotels. You know what I mean.
Wank – This is the verb to describe the action a wanker participates in.
Wanker – This is a derogatory term used to describe someone who is a bit of a jerk. It actually means someone who masturbates and also has a hand signal that can be done with one hand at people that cannot see you shouting “wanker” at them. This is particularly useful when driving.
Watcha – Simply means Hi. Also short for “what do you” as in “watcha think of that”?
Waz – On average, it seems that for every pint of lager you need to go for a waz twice! A complete waste of time in a serious drinking session. It means wee or pee.
Well – Well can be used to accentuate other words. for example someone might be “well hard” to mean he is a real man, as opposed to just “hard“. Something really good might be “well good”. Or if you were really really pleased with something you might be “well chuffed”. Grammatically it’s appalling but people say it anyway.
Welly – If you “give it welly”, it means you are trying harder or giving it the boot. An example would be when accelerating away from lights, you would give it welly to beat the guy in the mustang convertible in the lane next to you. Welly is also short for wellington boots, which are like your galoshes.