Thursday, September 12, 2013

4 British Swear Words That Are Slowly Creeping Into The American Vernacular

One of the things I cherish most about living in the United States - especially as someone with a deep interest in language nuances - is witnessing the linguistic evolution of the American vernacular. And one of the most interesting (and often hilarious) recent developments in this area is the emergence here of British swear words. There is something wonderfully unnatural about hearing otherwise harsh-sounding words uttered in an American accent: more so when it becomes clear that the speaker has no idea what the words mean.




Of course, these words are occasionally uttered at an increased rate around yours truly, as Americans try to impress me with their knowledge of British vulgarity. But through the medium of television, online comments, and pub-based conversations, I have come to realise that it isn't just Harry Potter buzzwords that the kids are using these days.

Here are 4 British swear words that are slowly entering the American vernacular:

1. Bloody
Adj. An intensifier (chiefly British). E.g. bloody moron, bloody hell. 

Of the four in this list, "bloody" is by far the British swear word I hear most among Americans. Its main purpose, of course, is to intensify a noun - usually one with negative connotations (though one can declare something to be "bloody brilliant").

Unlike the remaining words on this list, it is difficult to ascertain from records just how frequently this form of "bloody" is used, simply because it becomes muddled with the more literal meaning of bloody (as in "bloody knife").

However, the odd American (sometimes very odd) will use the slang version in my presence, perhaps to describe a football/soccer team that they have taken a particular disliking to (e.g. bloody Manchester City).


2. Bollocks
Pl n. 1. Testicles
        2. Nonsense; Rubbish
Interj. 3. Exclamation of annoyance, disbelief.

In America recently, the word "bollocks" featured prominently in a televised ad campaign for the British beverage Newcastle Brown Ale. Given the perceived shock value of the word back home, the advert would not have seen the light of day in the UK. So why was it aired so readily in the United States, where swearing on television is so heavily censored that the film Die Hard is listed under the silent movie genre?


The simple explanation is that the majority of Americans (at least those who are familiar with the word) have no idea what "bollocks" means. Those I have conversed with on the matter often seem to be under the impression that it is solely an alternative to "rubbish", apparently unaware that a 2000 study found the word to be the 7th most severe in the British vernacular - ahead of "shit", "twat", and "Paki".

That said, there is something wholly comical about listening to an American - a knowing grin usually plastered on his or her face - pronouncing a word that is, let's face it, utterly unnatural to them. They place little-to-no emphasis on what linguists refer to as the voiced bilabial stop 'b' and the voiceless velar stop 'k'. In others words, Americans haven't learned yet to enunciate the hell out of the 'b' and 'ck' sounds, a compulsory action if one is to fully convey the meaning of this particular swear word. 

3. Bugger
Verb. 1. Sodemize
Interj. 3. Exclamation of annoyance, disbelief.

Just recently, I've heard more and more Americans utter the word bugger, and mostly in a correct context - that is, as a display of agitation. Again it is difficult to determine if utterances of the word are more common around  an Englishman such as myself or whether, through British popular culture, it is truly being embraced by the people who say it.


While a small selection of Americans use this word in the aforementioned context, few would ever be heard incorporating it into phrases like bugger-all or the imperative form bugger off.

Curiously, however, in a drunken stupour, Americans - on admittedly very rare occasions - complain about feeling buggered, which - coming from them - sounds both hilarious and odd at the same time.

4. Wanker
 Insult: An extremely disagreeable person

There is much confusion stateside over the definition of the word wanker. A lot of Americans I speak to are of the impression that it simply means idiot, unaware that its true usage - though still an insult - is much harsher than that.

So harsh is it, in fact, that the 2000 study referenced earlier found it be the fourth-most severe word in the British lexicon - one place above the N-word.

Meanwhile, once you explain that the root word wank is a synonym of masturbate, Americans falsely make the connection that wanker must mean someone who masturbates. Hint: the English language is odd and doesn't always adhere to logic.

But the word is in fairly common usage in certain parts of the United States, though the majority of users haven't yet learned to place true emphasis on the first syllable, as in WANKer!

Sometimes, it's better hearing me in a British accent. Click the red button below.


Laurence Brown is a British man writing his way through the truly bizarre world of America - a place he sometimes accidentally calls home and a place he still hasn't quite figured out after seven years. Thankfully, his journey is made 12% easier by the fact that his accent makes him sound much smarter than he is. For evidence of this, subscribe to his popular Lost in the Pond web series over on YouTube.

82 comments:

Expat mum said...

Great post. I often hear Americans saying bugger (or booger) when referring to something that comes out of your nose.

Laurence Brown said...

Haha, yes! I have encountered confusion over this as well. Perhaps one might say that Americans pronounce "bugger" nasally.

SJ Begonja said...

Giggle, Bollocks? I would have never thought that'd catch on...

Deanna said...

Loved this post! My husband and I laughed through the whole thing, he's from the UK and I'm from the US. He made the comment that the phrase "piss off" is way more offensive in the UK than it is here. Glad I know not to drop that phrase next time we visit the UK!

Tiggy said...

Of course the word "wanker" is becoming more popular. America has Piers Morgan now and how else can he be described?

Katt D'Alessandro said...

I am in my 50s now, and my mother and her mother--neither of whom was of British extraction--used to say "He's a bugger." or" That's a bugger." The context wasn't vulgar, as they tried to keep me was swearing. It semed more like "he's a problem" or an "aggravation."
This was in rural Pennsylvania, and it seemed to be something unique to my family, as I never heard it elswhere.

Anonymous said...

It has always been my understanding the "Bloody" is actually from a saying in Medieval times which was "By our Lady" meaning the Virgin Mary. It was slanged down to bloody. Also "buggered" in Public Schools meant a sexual encounter of male on male. Same way as "Sod Off" derived from Sodomy. Somebody needs to do some further research I think. Bollocks to this Londoner has always meant "Balls!"

limeybird2 said...

actually we Americans call what comes out of your nose a booger which is different than bugger. i have a few English friends so i'm slowly learning the slang language or what it's called there compared to here in the US like torch there for our flashlight or jumper for our sweaters.

Theresa Munroe said...




Gordon Ramsay used (uses?) bollocks all the time. I found it amusing that the tone os his UK show is so much calmer than the US show, but the swear words don't have to get bleeped out.

My theater professor in college was 100% British, and he used "bloody hell" all the time. I loved it.


Mike said...

Being the son of an "English Sweetheart", (me Mum came over after WWII to marry me Dad)... I've heard, yet been careful not to say, 'Bloody' in front of adults out of respect... but often heard Mum say 'Bugger off' meaning that neighborhood troublemaker should leave... but not until a recent visit to Mum's hometown, and subsequent talks with my now grown cousins and friends, have I encountered the words, Wanker and Blollocks.... Actually with the advent of Facebook, I get quite a joy from of the posts of my family and friends over there... :)

British American said...

I'm a British expat in the US. My American MIL has taken to saying "hugger bugger" to my 2 year old. Maybe it's meant to be "hugga bugga"? Either way, it makes me cringe as it just makes me think of swearing and sodomy! He's repeated it back a couple of times too!

Esther Schilling said...

My mother always said the word "bollocks" to refer to a man with very tight jeans or slacks on and you could see the outline of his privates. I figure she got the word from her father who was of English heritage. I always thought she made up the the word. She was always making up words. We've never been to the UK and I can't wait till one day I can go with my husband. An anglophile, Esther.

RogueFiccer said...

I don't hear many Americans using these, but if I did, I'd do a double take, and if I knew the person, I'd probably clue them in on how the words are used across the Pond (especially 'wanker'). I'm currently trying to purge 'bloody', 'bollocks', and 'bugger' from my vocabulary, but they've become so entrenched as fall backs for casual expressions of frustration and annoyance, it's difficult. During study abroad in the UK in 2004, I somehow picked up "Well, bugger me sideways with a chainsaw!" to express surprise and, when said sarcastically, displeasure. No idea where it came from, but I've worked VERY hard to get rid of that, for obvious reasons. xp

paul reynolds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A geordie actor who starred in a british comedy called auf weidersehen pet often used the words" double bollocks" and that gave the meaning of the word added impetus and always made me smile.

Michael Morley said...

An incidental stroke of genius, "Wanker" is used as a surname in the US. On the 80s show, "Married with Children", Peggy Bundy's maiden name was Wanker and one episode featured her whole family, the Wankers. At the time I thought this may have been a veiled joke but on a recent trip to California, I passed a number of political billboards urging, "Vote Kim Wanker".

Anonymous said...

I don't use curse words in general, but from watching a lot of British shows and my family being from Australia (I'm from the States), I've heard lots of them throughout the years. I knew all the correct means (as described above), but think it's funny when Americans use those words too. Many times it's just a self-proclaimed anglophile who flaunts their love of all things English, but most often it is a sub-cultural thing like those interested in Steampunk.

stephen duffy said...

I'm hearing "twat" a lot out here in Cali. But the hard 'a' is usually more of an 'o' as in twot. It has no power!

Anonymous said...

Not a swear word, but I've noticed that lately many fellow Americans have started using "holiday" as a substitute for "vacation."

Anonymous said...

Wanker does mean 'someone who masturbates' as well as a severe word for 'idiot'. That's why it's so rude to use it.

Buggered can mean the same as 'knackered' which means exhausted. 'Bugger all' means 'nothing' as in 'there was bugger all left in the shop.' 'Bugger off' is a rude way of saying 'go away'.

OK, so now, what does 'gutted' mean in UK English? Who can tell me?

Laurence Brown said...

Ah, "gutted!" It means crestfallen.

Follow Lost In The Pond | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | RSS | Pinterest | Instagram

Sui-juris Dave said...

I find it interesting and puzzling, that you write an entire article that is rife with swear words (indeed, all ABOUT swear words), and yet you feel compelled to censor yourself by writing "N-word." C'mon, grow-up! We're all adults here! Just write "nigger." It's not so hard.

Colin Campbell said...

Lived in the US in the 80s and 90s and would be excommunicated socially if those kinds of words were used.

Anonymous said...

Gutted means upset or extreamly pissed of for instance you only needed one number to win the lotto....so you'd feel gutted. You girlfriend just dumped you...Gutted. She probably dumped you cause you were a wanker anyway..

Gary Lawson said...

I use the first three quite a lot as one phrase. "bloody buggering bollocks! I cant shift this bolt! They are such lovely words.

Anonymous said...

If the expat whose MIL says "hugger bugger" is still around and reading this... she is probably saying (or trying to say) "ugga mugga", a phrase that means "I love you" on a long-running children's television show.

Dave Burgess said...

I saw a bill board sign that said, "There's no home like a Wanke (r) home"....had to smile to myself.........

Anonymous said...

Try explaining to an American that "dogs bollocks" does not refer to fido's testicles, but actually means something that is very good. That totally confuses them.

Anonymous said...

You will seldom hear Americans saying "That's jolly deep" as it has the same effect to our ears as someone asking how you are and them answering "I'm brilliant" which doesn't aswer the question since you were not asked how smart or intelligent you are! LOL!

Ian Pettman said...

My American male friends in the small town of Paxton where I live love learning new words such as 'Bollocks'. When we go fishing etc they like to make me feel welcome by talking bollocks about my fishing skills.

Mick Furby said...

Ther is a village in germany called wank. If you come from there you are surly a wanker...

Native Californian said...

I'm in my 40s, and I grew up reading and listening to probably a slightly above average amount of British literature, television, and movies. All of these terms are familiar to me, but not necessarily in the way they are used here. Here's what they mean to me and other people I know who use them. I'll say this first... All four of these words are used as soft replacements for true swear words.

"Bloody" is a complete non-swear word. It has no meaning other than as an intensifier (bloody hell, what a bloody waste, etc.). Actually, I can't even figure out why it would be considered a swear word at all. It's just blood after all. It cracks me up in Harry Potter when the instructor corrects Ron after he says "bloody brilliant". I'd really appreciate it if someone could explain how something as innocent as blood could be construed as a bad thing. The only connotation I get is someone dripping (probably fake) blood from a zombie attack in a horror film or as part of a Halloween costume.

"Bollocks" does mean testicals to me, but it's no more rude than saying "balls to the walls" (meaning to go "all out", such as fully opening the throttle in a vehicle or taking something to the extreme). Sure, it's not something you would say in prim and proper company, but then again, you'd probably not need to say any polite version of that expression, either. Mostly, it means complete disbelief (that's pure bollocks) or someone screwed up (you bollocksed it). Speaking of things being "screwed", that has a sexual connotation, too, and it used to be impolite. It's still slang, but you could probably still include it in a college application essay and not be penalized if it was in context.

"Bugger" has lost it's homosexual connotation; it just means to have sex. It's a synonym for the ever popular "fuck", and they can be interchanged with one another to give your otherwise boring swearing a slightly more sophisticated sound. Of course, as with all of these words, because it's British slang and the Brits are always so polite (in stereotypes anyway), it's the softer and more polite way to say "fuck". To put it another way, you shouldn't say "fuck" in front of your mother, but "bugger" probably wouldn't get your backside paddled (though that might be because she doesn't recognize the word for what it means). After all, it's a cute word. Thinking about cute little bugs, like ladybugs (or ladybirds if you prefer).

"Wanker" and "tosser" are both synonyms for "idiot", "stupid person", or "loser". Yes, it's technically someone who wanks, and that means to masturbate, but who cares? It's as true to its root meaning here as "gay" barely is to "happy" anymore. I especially see this among high school age students who call each other wankers and tossers simply because it sounds cool and foreign. It also sounds polite (it's British after all) while still being a silly put-down.

Native Californian said...

Also:

"Booger" is the crusty nasal discharge that can be picked out by a fingernail and then flicked on your least favorite classmate. "Bogey" is an unknown/unidentified object (like an unrecognized aircraft approaching a fighter plane). "Boogey" (as in Boogey Man) is a strange, scary creature that inhabits the dark (under the bed, in closets, etc.) that scares little children; in the case of adults, it's more likely to refer to someone up to no good, especially if there's concern about a serial killer recently escaped from the nearby prison. "Boogie" is a little dance, especially one involving some twisting or shaking of the hips and feet. None of these are swear words, and only "booger" would be considered improper and perhaps slightly rude.

"Twat" (with the "a" pronounced like "Fa" in "Do, Re, Me, Fa"), on the other hand, is a very vulgar word. It is an insulting name for a woman's reproductive parts between her legs (the exterior or interior parts, or just the entire general area, depending on whom you ask). It can be applied in a horribly rude form to a particular woman ("You fugly twat! Why don't you watch where you're going!" might be a response if she accidentally spills an inebriated guy's drink all down his shirt).

A "twit" on the other hand, it pretty much as innocent as a "wanker", and just means someone who is an idiot. It may also carry a slightly negative overtone of someone who also is a bit sadistic. This might be from the Roald Dahl book, The Twits, in which the main characters were terribly cruel to one another.

Since I mentioned it, "fugly" (or "eff'n ugly") is a combination of "fucking" and "ugly". Of course, anyone ugly (or otherwise undesirable) enough to earn that particular term or derision is certainly not someone with whom you would ever want to have sex with. Therefore, it makes no sense in that context. So, translate it as "Fuck! You're ugly!", or politely as "My goodness! Your appearance is shockingly displeasing!"

"I'm brilliant" would be an unusual (but understandable) answer to someone asking how you are doing. However, "brilliant" (or "That's brilliant!") would be a perfectly acceptable response to almost any question where you might respond with the word "wonderful" or "terrific". Generally, if someone asks you how you are, the expected response is "fine" (which works for any state of being from "abject despair" to "average", since nobody ever really wants to know when you are feeling low). If you are feeling better than average, you probably would reply "good" (unfortunately, the proper "well" is nearly universally shunned for the improper "good"). If particularly upbeat, you might say "great". If you are feeling ill, even if you are nearly dead, you might say "a little under the weather" or "I think I might have a bit of a cold". This is expressed in part to solicit a little sympathy, but also to warn the other person that you might be contagious. Under no circumstances is the question intended to probe how you REALLY are feeling, unless the person follows up with "No, how are you really feeling?" or just "Really?" In that case, it's fine to launch into a 10-second summary of your chief complaints or reasons for happiness. More than 15-seconds would be very rude, since the other person is now waiting impatiently to either try to tell you exactly how to fix your problem, share a story about the time that they felt the same way (only more so), regale you with their own story, or quickly change the subject after realizing they mistakenly asked for TMI (too much information). :)

Anonymous said...

I love it when Brit's use "Right" as opposed to the American "O.K." It's adorable.

Mark said...

Cheers, Anonymous for explaining to me about "hugger bugger". Now I have an explanation when my parents are taken aback by it :-)

Studio Kaufmann said...

I think you must have a swear happy bunch of americans in indiana. Have never heard anyone american use any of those words correctly or incorrectly in Baltimore

Anonymous said...

Wanker also become popular in the 90's as it was the maiden name for the wife on the tv show Married with Childen - Peggy Wanker don't bother to thank her, she was also from Wanker County.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on this by accident and as a Brit living in Turkey I have had such a laugh reading all your comments. I had always been a "good girl" and never a hard swearer when growing up. However, I still got into bother and once having been called to the Headmistress's office (and do not ask me how) acceptable swear words were discussed. I stated that "Bloody, Bleedin' and Sod" were OK. I was told in no uncertain terms that they were not acceptable. My home was in London and my parents were from the East End and these were words I did hear in the house from my father, and as this was around the 60s to 70s maybe they were harsher then and I did not use them myself I just classed them as OK :) I passed my teens and 20s as a regular "bloody" user and I still am today. As I approach 60 I have progressed to bollocks, tosser and knobhead are all lovely words when the mood is right :) Thank you for this lovely half hour.

Anonymous said...

Bollocks!!!!

Anonymous said...

Channel 4 are re-running Third Rock From Sun during the week at 7am at the mo (thank you Channel 4- I love you!!) I absolutely love that programme!! And I was sooo surprised to notice that scattered about the episodes they use a fairish amount of British slang and swearing and they made late 90s early noughties?
The last episode I saw, Mary's mother sitting in a restaurant replies to Dick
"If I could just finish my bloody drink!!!''
Elaine Stritch's pronunciation and tone is faultless. I can't fathom if it's intentional or if she was meant to be drinking a bloody mary so all just a coinkydink. But it's definitely not the first British swear or slang they've used.

pahaha I've just youtubed the Newky Brown ad. That's so funny they've been airing an ad who's tag line is ''No Bollocks'' Bloody brilliant. Doesn't beat the Spitfire Ale ads though. and Newky Brown... blurghh

Tony said...

That term bollocks (or bollox), also has further meanings, depending how its used.
Something that is 'the bollocks' means the best of (commonly referred to as 'the dogs bollocks', or just 'the dogs').
This has always been a source of fun when trying to teach my colleagues how to speak English.

Anonymous said...

"Bollocks" is not a swear word. Proven, in court, by a linguistic expert. Read Richard Branson's autobiography for the full story...

Tishma Sarkar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I think Americans should steer well clear of using the word "Wanker".
They really don't get what it means and it can be very very offensive to Brits.
I've had an American come up to me who I really don't know and them say "How you doing you wanker!?" - which is very similar to me going up to a yank and saying "How are you doing you c*nt?!"

Philip Osizuokhai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Philip Osizuokhai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wimberly William said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

So you use the term 'n-word' in reference to the word nigger (it's a word, grow up if you're too immature to deal with it) yet you're more than happy to post the word Paki. Both are racial slurs so your decision to exclude one but not the other is blatant racism. The ironic thing is that you clearly understand how context affects a word's use, yet you were still too scared to type nigger even under the context of you not using it as an insult.

Shame, it's an interesting article let down by tiresome mollycoddling hypocritical banality.

Laurence M. Brown said...

^Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your kind words. The word 'nigger', while profoundly abhorrent as a slur, is absolutely not one I would shy away from using in my articles. In addition to the word's presence in this comment, it can also be found in the following article, which you will see was written by Laurence Brown: http://www.lostinthepond.com/2014/01/how-britains-most-beloved-writer-enid.html

In case you missed it, by the way, Laurence Brown is me. I'd be interested to learn your name if you have a moment. I trust you're not too immature or too scared to reveal it.

Alonso Robert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Otis Darko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Otis Darko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Otis Darko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mabel john said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ryan Gernat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moore Juliet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moore Juliet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moore Juliet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Whoever did this 2000 study was a moron. 'Wanker' is worse than 'nigger'? Bollocks.

BloggingBlogger said...

Hmm that's odd because I am British and Wanker is associated with someone who wanks according to my family and friends. Actually the word bloody was considered to be one of the worst swear words used. Now the use of swear words are used in everyday conversation and people have increasingly become desensitized to hearing them. I remember when using the word "bloody" in a sentence was considered very uncouth and it was shocking to hear. Times have changed that's for sure.

Darkocean said...

I wonder if my book is going to have problems with this. As a character swears in frustration: "Bloody Harpy Hells!"

Harpy hells wouldn't have the same punch with out the word bloody as it creates a disgusting image xD

I'm not messing with the other British words as it looks like they are more tricky.

I came here looking for information on the word hell, and if it was consider a swear word still. Answer: Not really. Woo.



Anonymous said...

At Valhalla, the Graduate Student Association pub on the campus of Rice University, patrons refer to a brew called Anchor Steam as Wanker's Cream.

Heather Morgan said...

Bugger and booger are two very different words. A booger is something out of your nose. But something out of your nose is never pronounced like "bugger." But Americans do typically use bugger as a synonym to "pest" or "stinker" while booger can sometimes be used similarly but more to mean "dweeb" or another gooey-like derogatory term. Reading this however, I will NEVER use the word "bugger" again! Gosh,I've used it to describe my children's behavior "they're being little buggers" 😲 I'll not be saying things like that anymore! I'm horrified at its meaning, I had no idea!

Lopaka said...

I've always wondered why so many theaters in the US spell the word the British way: theatre. Sometimes you see the same theater using both spellings. What's up with that? ��

Ned Ludd said...

I think that the French have a more specific word for "bugger". They say "enculer" for "to sodomize". Literally it means "put it in the ass(cul)". However it is mostly used to describe as "enculé" meaning at best "a jerk" and often much worse. Don't use it unless you know French well.

Rachel Newstead said...

On "ballocks": We Americans used that word regularly at one time, but if memory serves it was typically spelled "bollix" and meant "to thoroughly mess up something." It was used mostly as part of the phrase "bollix up." In fact, in the TV series "The Flintstones," the character Wilma used the phrase at least once.

I've been known to use the word "bloody" myself, and am fully aware of its meaning--and power--in England. Odd that it's so notorious, as it really doesn't mean anything does it?

Such linguistic cross-pollenation, I suppose, is inevitable in the age of the internet. I'm glad to see the linguistic traffic go both ways for once (even if we do get some of the words wrong) since it seems for a long time American terms were invading Britain.

Incidentally, have you heard Americans use the word "pillock"? I ask because I think I have.

Anonymous said...

Someone at my work is always using these swear words incorrectly...I don't like him he's a total bellend

Unknown said...

Well, in the UK, they use the word 'fag' for a cigarette. Here in the USA it is a VERY derogatory term to gay people. About equal with the 'N' word. So, it's fair to say that you guys, across the pond, have terminology that we wouldn't deem acceptable here in the States.

Sharon N said...

We Americans do use the word bugger, but it has a totally different meaning. As a child growing up in the Western states, many used the word to mean something irritating like, "those little buggers got into my garbage again last night" or, "you little bugger!"--something that literally bugs or irritates you. I was not allowed to use the word though because my parents said it also had a vulgar meaning which I was not allowed to know. It's pretty commonly used by Americans though, just not for the same purpose as the British.

Linda Krause said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I'm wondering what words are very mild that are used by teenagers for the same purpose as swear words, but a little more acceptable - words our parents would tell us they would rather we not use, but we were not forbidden to use. Are there any?

Unknown said...

And now I think of a British Bobby Singer from Supernatural.

Simone said...

a booger is a piece of dried nasal mucus not a swear word lol. americans dont say bugger nasally, they are two totally different things.

Mystery 47 said...

Life wouldn't be worth living without British humor. Thanks for brightening my day.

Anonymous said...

Whether you're British or not, it's sodomize, not sodemize!

Donna Sue said...

I had always wondered what those words meant! Thanks for the interesting article. Visiting England is a lifelong dream I hope to achieve someday soon!!

Sevenov said...

I used to be a Londoner. Some words and phrases were not rude but not socially used. Like when didn't win 'fuck all nothing', naughty kids 'little buggers, homosexual 'queer', idiot 'twit', get lost 'bugger off' or 'fuck off', mean and miserly or small time bettor 'wanker', Chinese person 'tid' short for tidly wink, Asian 'wog', Greek 'bubble', insulting reference to an older person 'old fart', rubbish!'balls',crude response 'balls to you',fucking hell 'kinell', swear back 'up yours', black person 'golly wog' Jewish person 'yid', drink up 'down the hatch' Buckingham Palace 'Buck House', Royal family '(bunch of) wankers', violence towards Pakistanis or south Asians 'paki bashing' insulting the Irish 'go back to the bogside' toilet 'kazi', get lost 'go fuck yourself' fellatio 'gobble'. Words like shithead, fuckface, git, twat, twirp, raining cats & dogs, over the moon. These were used some 20 odd years but may have evolved or forgotten.

Chris said...

The British word for booger is "bogey," so I don't see where there would be any confusion...

Sabre said...

I use bugger like, - " It was a real bugger, getting that old couch out of the house." ie. Pain in the neck, ie. very difficult thing. Am I the only one who uses it this way, because I've been using it that way for some time, not realizing it's original meanings! 😨

Sabre said...

I use it to mean pain in the neck.

BooNuggets said...

I just adore all of your work, Laurence!! I just subscribed to your brilliant "Lost in the Pond" YouTube channel. I am a complete and total Anglophile!! Honestly..I'm a dedicated comedy lover..especially and particularly AbFab, French and Saunders, Vicar of Dibley, Keeping Up Appearances, Open All Hours, etc. Thank you SO much for the gift of your talent..and for sharing with all of us a bit of culture from the UK!! My partner, Judy lived there for 6 years while in the Air Force..stationed at Mindenhal RAF. Right, I'm off, but I am looking forward to enjoying all of your informational videos on YouTube!!!

~Donna

BooNuggets said...

Right you are, Mystery!! What are your favorites?? I LOVE AbFab, Vicar of Dibley, Keeping Up Appearances, Open All Hours, Last of the Summer Wine, and Waiting for God. French and Saunders are my all time favorites..which do you like?

Unknown said...

I'm West Coast American and I hear a total of none of these words in American vocabulary circulation. I could imagine it more of a New England trend. Hell, half the swear words were made up on the spot in five seconds between Boston and Jersey. Those guys don't like to lose arguments, lol.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...