Hello, mate! Are you ready for the quiz? Today we will test your knowledge of British expressions and phrases. Are you going to be chuffed or miffed after receiving your score? Only one way to find out. Get down to the questions and see how many British phrases you know!
The British language is quite nuanced, and as we all know, a bit different than American English. British terms, phrases, and expressions differ from American terms and phrases.
There are some differences in vocabulary. For example, an apartment in US English is the same as a flat in British English. Vacation, french fries, elevator, and eraser in US English will mean the same as holiday, chips, lift, and rubber, respectively, in British English.
Some words are spelled in a different ways. For example, colour in British English will be color in US English. The Americans don’t spell this word with an “ou”.
Have you ever felt left enough in your group of British friends, not getting what they’re saying? Fret not, because we’re going to teach you a few British phrases you can use to impress the Brits!
“Are you having a laugh?” means pretty much the same as “You’ve got to be kidding me”. It’s a question you ask with disbelief. For example, you could say: “You think I will lend you money again after you didn’t give it back last time? Are you having a laugh?”
Give someone a bell means to call someone. For whatever reason, you use the plural form in certain accents, for example: “Give us a bell when you’re ready to go out, yeah?”
“Alright?” is an equivalent of “How are you?” in British English (even though it just means “OK” in North America). You can say it when are meeting someone.
There are some phrases in British English that sound similar, but have entirely different meanings. “Taking the piss” means making fun of someone, but “taking a piss” means going to pee. That’s an important distinction! Being pissed off means being angry, however, being pissed means being very drunk. You could say “I’m pissed” after an adventurous night out with friends. There is also the phrase “pissing down”, which just means that it’s raining a lot.
What do you do when your Brit friend drops by after their partner dumped them? You put the kettle on – literally and figuratively. “Put the kettle on” means to literally put the kettle on, but it’s also an expression used to offer comfort, warm-up, show that you are…The possibilities are endless.
Sometimes you might need to call someone a strong word. The British language has a lot of colorful insults to pick from. For example “nitwit” means someone silly, a foolish person. “Daft” means someone silly, stupid. You can say “Oh, don’t be daft” to someone when they say something ridiculous. “Cockwomble” is an idiot, a fool, an obnoxious person. “Bellend” is an idiot, though it is also a slang term for penis.
“Mad as a hatter” means mad, crazy, insane. This particular expression might come from the times when mercury was used in the hat-making process. The workers would often suffer from mercury poisoning.
“A biscuit short of a packet” is a colorful expression meaning that someone is stupid or crazy. It can also suggest illogical or stranger behavior. There is a similar phrase in the US, “a few sandwiches short of a picnic”, which has the same meaning.
The British even have slang words for potato. We’ve mentioned before that Americans use the phrase “french fries”, while Brits prefer to say “chips”. You’ve probably heard about fish and chips, the classic staple of British cuisine.
Earthapple is a no longer commonly used British slang term for potatoes. Potatoes are the same size as apples and are a staple in every home in the United Kingdom, thus the name. This term is still used in some parts of the UK where the older generation is concentrated.
Cockney slang for chips or fries is Jockeys’ Whip. It is also British slang for potato, and most people outside of the UK are confused by the term. It is widely used in the United Kingdom. By the way – in case you didn’t know, “Cockney” means a person native to East London.
“Wicked” means that something is amazing, brilliant, or great. Can also mean “very”, for example: “This girl is wicked pretty”. It can mean twisted, mean, or mad.
“Dodgy” means suspicious, not quite right, dishonest. You could say: “This man outside the building seems dodgy”, but also “I ate something dodgy last night, I don’t feel well”.
“Horses for courses”: what’s fitting for one case isn’t fitting for another. This came from racehorses being best suited to performing on racecourses.
Are you ready to test yourself? Take the quiz and find out how many British phrases you know! Have fun and the best of British to you. Don’t forget to pass the link to your mates!
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