Ten Briticisms* That Deserve a Larger Audience

A rave about words

Ours is a semi-bilingual family. The Engineer is English. I’m American. And Darling Daughter is a charming mix of both.

That’s The Engineer and me on the right, in case you’re wondering.

One of the benefits of being a member of a bilingual family is the way it enriches our language, especially in the realm of insults.

And just for you, oh faithful readers, I’m going to share my top ten Briticisms. What that really means is these are ten I could come up with off the top of my head. Basically the same thing.

  1. Git — stupid, with a slight implication of immaturity. “Take that underwear off your head, and quit acting like such a git.”
  2. Fancy — stronger than like, weaker than love, slightly less sexual than lust. “Don’t you just fancy the pants off him?”
  3. Prat — stupid or foolish, comes from prattle. “I’d fancy him if he wasn’t such a prat.”
  4. Chat up — to flirt. “Look! It’s that girl you were chatting up last night in the pub.”
  5. Cow — unpleasant woman, often paired with “fat.” “Oy, you fat cow. Quit chatting up my boyfriend!”
  6. Knackered — exhausted. “I’m so knackered I couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.
  7. Doddle — something that’s easy. “Trust me. It’ll be a doddle.”
  8. Daft — eccentric, often used affectionately. “You’re a daft cow, but I love you anyway.”
  9. Dodgy — suspect. “I don’t know. Sounds a bit dodgy, if you ask me.”
  10. Grotty — dirty, unpleasant. “The loo at the pub was so grotty, I needed to wash my hands after washing my hands.”

As a bonus, I’m sharing one of my newest favorite words, which I discovered while browsing the dictionary during a Scrabble game. I admit I haven’t used it yet, but I’m going to as soon as I can find an appropriate moment.

Wallydraigle — a feeble or slovenly creature, originally Scottish.

Oh, and just one more — not British, but equally fun.

Katzenjammer — German for hangover. Means literally “the wailing of the cats.” Isn’t that great?


*And one Scottish and one German word that also deserve more wordplay.

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About kymlucas

"Taking care not to take love too seriously." Writer of smart, fresh, contemporary romance and women's fiction. Blogging about writing, reading, and more recently, dealing with the ins and outs of breast cancer.
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6 Responses to Ten Briticisms* That Deserve a Larger Audience

  1. Didn’t know that grotty was still around. George Harrison used it in “A Hard Day’s Night”
    I think it may have been born from the youth culture of the ’60’s.


  2. Knackered I knew, but never heard “couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding”. Love it.


  3. Tela says:

    I use the term ‘dodgy’ often, and I’m not anywhere close to being British! This was a great post~thanks for the smiles 🙂 🙂


    • kymlucas says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read it and comment. A friend reminded me of “peckish,” which is another great one, which reminded me of “moreish.” I could go on and on. 🙂


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