A Glossary of Words and Phrases Discovered Whilst Overseas
"If you travel to the States... they have a lot of different words than like what we use. For instance: they say 'elevator', we say 'lift'; they say 'drapes', we say 'curtains'; they say 'president', we say 'seriously deranged git'." -Alexei Sayle
One of the great joys of traveling is to learn new and unnecessarily complicated ways of saying the same drivel that you've always been spouting. I mean, what is the point of traveling if not to have lots of new ways to swear and curse and complain about things? Of course, along with this goes the joy of using words that you know your friends won't understand, so you get to explain about all the exotic new vocabulary you just happened to pick up while traveling to exotic new places.
In the interest of having all my friends learn the exotic new vocabulary ahead of time and spare me the trouble of explaining it, here is my glossary o' words and phrases, in no particular order.
Table of Contents
- Anger and Irritation
- Happiness/Compliments/Things You Like
Anger and Irritation
It shits me: Aus. "I am terribly vexed by that."
whinge: to complain excessively and without sufficient reason. The proper response to someone who is whinging is to abusively say, "whinge, whinge, fucking whinge."
it's all gone pear shaped: it started out okay, but it's ballooned out of control
it's all gone tits up: see "it's all gone pear shaped"
shite: Scot. "shit" in a more enjoyable to exclaim package
feck/feik: Irish. "Fuck", except more fun to say.
sepo: "septic tank yank," a stereotypical American; the type of person proud that George W. Bush is their president.
dodgy: questionable, shady, shitty
taking the piss (out of him/you/me/etc): mocking, teasing, fooling. A favorite thing to do to tourists, especially the irony bereft Americans
feral: foul tasting/smelling
couldn't be arsed/couldn't be fucked: "couldn't be bothered to get off my lazy ass and do that"
it's doing my head in: driving me nuts
minging: approximately, "awful" or "skanky"
take the mick: to take the piss out of someone, playfully.
slag: to insult. Stronger than "taking the piss" out of someone
dodgy as: short for "dodgy as hell" aka very dodgy.
Oi!: a phrase that everyone from the Scots to the British to the Kiwis use, meaning basically, "hey! asshole!" It's a sharp explosive sound that demands that everyone pay attention to you and how you've been wronged, and how you're now going to take revenge. (Not to be confused with the Yiddish "oy," which is resigned, makes no demands, points out that you've been wronged, and admits that you'll continue to be wronged for quite some time.)
Sook: Aus. Spoilsport. Whinger. A Wet blanket
Happiness/Compliments/Things You Like
mates: the people you get drunk with, not necessarily your "friends," but someone you might nevertheless buy a pint for once in awhile.
no worries: the quintessential Aussie phrase, meaning no problem, nothing to worry about. A proper response to everything from, "Thank you" to "You'd better put on your pants and leave, I think that's my husband home early."
cheers: an all purpose word like the Hawaiian "aloha," meaning everything from "goodbye" to "thank you" to "bottoms up"
no wuckers: a cutesy way of saying, "no wucking furries" aka "no fucking worries"
ya reckon?: "do you think?" usually (but not always) a sarcastic response to a stupidly obvious statement
it's all good: see "no worries"
as you do: a standard response to any story, usually after someone has described an extremely stupid or ludicrous action they just did, "So I punched that fucking bouncer in the face." "As you do."
This one: usually accompanied with a pointing finger as you are telling a story about something stupid or ludicrous that a mate did, while said mate is in your presence. "Then this one punched the bouncer in the face for some reason." (Note, "as you do" is not an appropriate response when "this one" has been used)
brilliant: Not anything exceptionally smart, but something good. "If you could spot me a tenner, that'd be brilliant, mate."
musn't grumble: While the Aussies get "no worries" as their catchphrase, the English stick themselves with "musn't grumble," which roughly means, "We've caused so much pain and death in this world that I suppose a little inconvenience is worth bearing."
good on ya: Aussie version of "good for you."
craic: Irish a rather indescribably Irish term meaning "aura of fun from good conversation, music, and atmosphere" A good bar has good craic. There is no such thing as bad craic.
"what's the craic?": Irish Informal, meaning approximately, "What's up?" "What's going on?" "What are we doing?" or "Have you bought the alcohol yet, and do you think it'll be enough?"
getting pissed: getting drunk
on the piss: consuming alcohol
maggoted: pissed, extremely drunk
rat-arsed: pissed, extremely drunk
off his tit: pissed, extremely drunk
rotten: pissed, extremely drunk
pished: pissed, extremely drunk
knackered: exhausted, usually as a result of a night out on the piss
the jacks: Irish, pronounced, "the jakes," the jacks is the Irish equivalent of the john. Where the pissed go to piss when there isn't a doorway nearby.
skul: from the Swedish "skol" (spelled incorrectly, I know, but my computer can't handle the special letter), meaning, "to chug." "Skul your drink," to have a "skuling contest." If you have a low alcohol tolerance, pretend you don't know what this word means, and try to figure out where the nearest exit is as quietly and as quickly as possible.
lolly water: a nicer word for "bitch drinks", the drinks you give someone who wants to try to convince themselves they're not actually drinking alcohol; in my opinion, the phrase "lolly water" is too nice for these people. Also used to coax women into a state where they'll willingly sleep with you.
shag/root: recreational sex
snog: recreational kissing, "making out," usually in a very casual sort of way
slapper: technically a woman of questionable virtue, more likely the girl who decided to shag someone other than you, or the girl who is shagging the guy you wanted to shag (depending on your gender and/or orientation)
pull: to pick up a bird/bloke during a night out on the piss
Kylie: Kylie Minogue, an Aussie pop "artist," as famously for her improbably pert bottom as for her bland unexceptional music. Many Aussies are inexplicably proud of Kylie, but not of someone like Paul Hogan or Steve Irwin. Perhaps best known to non-Aussies as the Green Absinthe Fairy from "Moulin Rouge," but becoming more popular in the States day by day
schemies: Scottish white trash. Literally, someone who lives in the low rent housing schemes
bin: trash can
chips: french fries
crisps: potato chips
the penny dropped: the lightbulb just went on and it started making sense to me
knock you up: wake you up (literally, knock on the door to wake you up)
your man/your one: Irish, for that random guy/girl, not, as it sounds, someone you know well.
pants: your underpants (how they can be both "pants" and "the thing under the pants" at the same time is beyond me); also, an expression of how crappy something is, "utter pants" is not a compliment
IRN-BRU: claims to be Scotland's "other" national drink, an odd drink, bright orange, that manages to combine citrus and cream soda almost successfully. Also, legendarily a hangover cure
dosh: cash, money
Milngavie: A town outside of Glasgow, unexceptional except (that's kind of an odd phrase, isn't it? Just say it out loud with me: "unexceptional except" Has a nice ring to it, if I do say so myself) that it's pronounced "Mill-guy" for some reason
Kirkcudsbrightshire: A county in Scotland, pronounced, "kir-coo-bree-sher"
vegemite: Like Kylie, another thing that Aussies are proud of for no discernible reason. Vegemite is a sandwich spread the color and consistency of smeared shit. It's prime ingredient? Yeast. I shit you not.
a&e: Brit. Not the lovely Arts and Entertainment section, but Accidents and Emergency. Their version of the E.R.
What are you like!: As far as I can tell, a general Kiwi phrase, like "get out of town!", "What were you thinking?" or "You don't say!"
bevvy: In the fine Aussie tradition of adding an -ie or -y onto everything, a bevvy is a beverage. "Are you going to come out for a couple of bevvies?" I believe is supposed to distract you from the undertone of the question: "a couple of bevvies" means you'll wake up somewhere outside of Glasgow four days later wearing someone else's clothes inside out and a tutu on your head. As you do.
Straya, mate!: An Aussie pisstake of the way they pronounce their own country's name.
Maccas/Mackers: Aus. MacDonalds
duvet, douna, comforter, covers, blanket, afghan, bedspread: These all mean the same thing.
grand: Irish The Irish equivalent of "brilliant," more relaxed and calm. "Brilliant" is a better exclamation, "that's grand," seems more zen.
ocker: Aus. Pronounced "ocka," an ocker is a stereotypical Aussie male.
"how are you going?": Aus. How the Aussies say, "How are you doing?"
Piker/piking out: to "pike out" is to give up and leave a party or gathering early.
langer: Irish Dick. To call someone a "langer" (usually stretching out the L so it builds up "lllllanger!") is below calling them a wanker, but it's in the same ballpark.
muppet: Irish Sadly, a muppet is a fairly harsh insult, and is often paired with "fucking muppet." Probably a step or two worse than calling someone a wanker.
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