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flutherother's avatar

Do you use any Britishisms in your everyday speech?

Asked by flutherother (21904 points ) October 18th, 2012

Particularly if you are an American. Here is a list of some British expressions Have you heard any of these words or similar being used in the States?

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32 Answers

GracieT's avatar

I personally use across the pond to refer to Europe. Not sure where I picked up, just that I do it.

deni's avatar

I didn’t see BOLLOCKS on the list. But I do use it in place of “Dammit!” fairly often. It’s a great word. Thank you England.

muppetish's avatar

I use a few from the list posted, including autumn, bloody, chav (though only to refer to British chavs), cheeky, cheers (so does most of my English department, though! It’s a regular sign-off for e-mail), flat (and lift), holiday, kit (though only in reference to football), mobile (on occasion), and wonky. I knew all of the terms, but I only really use those ones.

And I take offense to using Muppet as pejorative!

picante's avatar

“Wonky” and “Cheers” are common expressions for me. I’ve been known to spew forth a “Lor’ love a duck” on occasion.

jordym84's avatar

Bum, flat, loo, holiday, knickers, mate, mobile, proper, twit, etc. When I first started learning English, even though I live in the US, I used to read a lot of British young adult literature (Louise Rennison, anyone?) so a lot of these words stuck. Also, I’m not much of a swearer so when I feel strongly about something, I convey my delight, annoyance, etc with a Britishism because it sounds more proper and passionate lol A lot of my friends are from former British colonies, so I’ve picked up some Britishisms from them as well.

mangeons's avatar

I’m not a huge one for Britishisms, but I do use “proper” pretty often.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Nope. And this comes from an American bird whose bloke is born and bred British. After five years, a translator is still necessary at times. I feel like a gobbin when visiting the market. There is no bloody way I will ever adopt their lingo.

Off to pack jumpers and the new biscuit tin before the next holiday abroad in a fortnight. Ta!

janbb's avatar

Was partnered to a Brit for 40 years so yes, some Britishisms have crept into my speech. I used “chuffed” in a Fluther answer a week ago and @gailcalled actually learned something new!

downtide's avatar

I use them all, obviously. Well actually no, I use 29 out of 30 on that list. I don’t use “innit” because that’s a southern phrase. Up here we say “aintit”.

My favourite is Gobsmacked. I never heard that myself until I moved to Manchester.

wundayatta's avatar

I use a lot of them. A lot of them seem firmly entrenched in American English, like wonky, suss, twit, queue, roundabout and more. I blame it on the telly.

sinscriven's avatar

I use proper, and I don’t see how that’s uniquely British.

I do use bloody alot as a direct euphemism for “fucking”.
“That’s bloody brilliant.” and “You’re a bloody moron”. pretty sure my past life I was an angry Brit.

gailcalled's avatar

“Bloody” and “autumn,” although that doesn’t strike me as uniquely British.

Autumn in New York sung by Biliie Holiday.

downtide's avatar

@wundayatta funny, we blame the telly for the amount of American slang in use over here…

ucme's avatar

Fanny takes on a whole new meaning.
@flutherother I saw this article in today’s newspaper & thought about asking on here too, good catch.

RareDenver's avatar

@ucme my (female) friend found it highly amusing while on holiday in the States to spill her drink on her seat, sit in it then exclaim “My fanny is soaking wet”

ucme's avatar

@RareDenver She sounds like a right “goer!”

ucme's avatar

According to the piece I read, Obama once used “gobsmacked” in one of his speeches, if that’s true, then good on the fella.

Sunny2's avatar

“chav” and “dumpty” were the only ones I wasn’t aware of. But what does “pants” mean? I’ve heard it used by a schoolboy on a telly play and it obviously has a negative connotation, but I don’t know what it means.

Symbeline's avatar

Actually I use ’‘bloody hell’’ a lot. I love that one, must be why it was easy to integrate in my vocabulary. I also like saying aye, but this never happens unless I’m on the Internet. ;/

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Sunny2 “pants” means underpants. “Trousers” is the proper term. Do not compliment a Brit on their pants in public unless you want to see them blush.

ucme's avatar

Pants can be a negative remark, “that song/film/game is pants!”

rojo's avatar

@Symbeline I larnt that phrase with a silent “Aich” as in “Bludy ‘ell”

Grisson's avatar

In never use any Britishisms.
Cheers,
—g

bookish1's avatar

I’ve picked up a number both from my postcolonial relatives, and from Monty Python.
I am particularly fond of “bollocks” and “bloody hell.” Especially when Michael Palin says it ;)

El_Cadejo's avatar

Bloody, twit, fancy, and safe.

I’ll occasionally call someone a wanker just because how funny it sounds coming from an american accent.

I always thought “going on holiday” sounded kinda funny. But its got some weird appeal to me lol

Adagio's avatar

NZ is full of Britishisms, but that should not surprise anyone. And to answer your question, I use them every day, bloody is a particular favourite of mine.

gailcalled's avatar

A better word for Britishism is Briticism.

GracieT's avatar

I forgot that I’m also fond of “twit,” and we just had at least five “roundabouts” open close to us.

cazzie's avatar

I am American and lived in New Zealand for 15 years, so I use British English and their quirky little terms quite a bit, but I am not typical. Also, I have lived away from the US longer than I lived there and currently use a European language as a second language on a daily basis.

‘Teatowel’, ‘twit’, ‘bloody’ as well as a long list of terms and terminology including the ‘windscreen’ and ‘boot’ of a car have all become part of my every day vocabulary, My family thinks, I ‘talk funny’. Oh, well. *sigh

cookieman's avatar

I use Autumn, Bum, Cheeky, Cheers, Flat, Frock, Holiday, Loo, Mobile, Queue, Row, Shag, Sussed, Twit, and Wonky all the time.

I’m an American and have only been to London once, briefly. I had no idea many of those were British in origin.

Apparently I just picked them up along the way.

I also dislike that “Muppet” is used negatively there. Muppets are the epitome of positive.

harple's avatar

To be fair, muppet is used in a sweetly negative way, as opposed to a nasty negative way. It’s like a modern equivalent of Delboy’s Plonker.

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