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11 Things Brits Just Can’t Say in the US

United Kingdom Humor
by Dikson Jun 24, 2014
1. “She/he’s fit.”

You’ll just sound like a health junkie. The slang term doesn’t quite translate to “sexy” in the States…yet.

2. “That meal was the dog’s bollocks.”

Fear not, American friends, no dog was harmed in the making of this meal. It’s a term for something being really good. Similar to “the bee’s knees,” but that’s for another time.

3. “I want to smoke a fag.”

Whilst, to the average Brit, this might mean doing something as simple and personally harmful as having a cigarette, it could be taken as one’s derogatory desire to violently do away with a homosexual person.

4. “Let me have a butcher’s at your phone.”

“Have a butcher’s” is derived from the cockney slang “butcher’s hook.” Meaning “have a look,” it may come across as if you want to disembowel someone or thing.

5. “I’m so hungry — I can’t wait for tea.”

I’ve never understood the English concept of “having tea” (meaning some kind of warped early dinner). Eating tea never had much of a ring to it.

6. “I flogged my cat.”

Again, no animal was harmed in this process. Whilst flogging a cat may sound like beating it, “flog” in this sense means to sell.

7. “I love getting pissed with you.”

Your newfound English friend isn’t professing his/her love for getting irate with you, but rather for getting drunk with you.

8. “I’m on the piss.”

Whilst, in the UK, the phrase means to be out drinking, “on the piss” might sound like you’re literally standing in a puddle of urine.

9. “Stop pissing around.”

“Piss” is showing its dexterity here. Unless you have your trousers around your ankles and are indeed in the process of peeing in public, this actually means to be fooling around, or, to use another Britism, “arsing around.”

10. “Take the piss.”

One more “piss” for good measure, this means to make fun of someone.

11. “Good crack (craic).”

This Irish phrase is used a lot in English culture these days to imply a good time. The first time I heard it, I looked around for small white rocks in sandwich bags.

Any other classics to add to the list?

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