10 British slang words, kindly translated for Americans
Barmy – If someone tells you that you’re barmy they mean you have gone mad or crazy. For example you’d have to be barmy to visit England without trying black pudding!
Bees Knees – This is the polite version of the dog’s bollocks. So if you are in polite company and want to say that something was fabulous, this phrase might come in handy.
Biggie – This is unusual. A biggie is what a child calls his poo! Hence the reason Wendy’s Hamburgers has never really taken off in England – who would buy “biggie fries”? Yuck – I’m sure you wouldn’t buy poo fries! The other meaning of Biggie is erection. It just gets worse!
Blimey – Another exclamation of surprise. My Dad used to say “Gawd Blimey” or “Gor Blimey” or even “Cor Blimey”. It is all a corruption of the oath God Blind Me.
Blinkered – Someone who is blinkered is narrow minded or narrow sighted – they only see one view on a subject. It comes from when horses that pulled carriages wore blinkers to stop them seeing to the side or behind them which stopped them from being startled and only let them see where they were going.
Bob’s your uncle – This is a well used phrase. It is added to the end of sentences a bit like and that’s it! For example if you are telling someone how to make that fabulous banoffee pie you just served them, you would tell them to boil the condensed milk for three hours, spread it onto a basic cheesecake base, slice bananas on top, add some whipped double cream, another layer of banana and Bob’s your uncle!
Box your ears – Many young chaps heard their dads threaten to box their ears when I was a littlun. Generally meant a slap around the head for misbehaving. Probably illegal these days!
Budge up – If you want to sit down and someone is taking up too much space, you’d ask them to budge up – move and make some space.
Bugger all – If something costs bugger all, it means that it costs nothing. Meaning it is cheap. If you have bugger all, it means you have nothing.
Butchers – To have a butchers at something is to have a look. This is a cockney rhyming slang word that has become common. The reason “butchers” means a look even though it doesn’t rhyme is because it is short for “butchers hook” and “hook” of course, does rhyme.