There aren’t too many nations in this world that can hold a candle to the British when it comes to moaning and whining (and I say that lovingly, as a Brit myself). Whether they are standing at the back of a particularly long queue or simply lamenting the gloomy weather, the British know how to get upset in style. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that British English (BrE) plays host to numerous words along this theme. Listed below are 7 such words.
1. Benny on
Chiefly a northern phrase confined to Yorkshire and surrounding counties. e.g. Gemma got a right benny on when she found out Gareth had sold her Doctor Who collection.
2. Get your knickers in a twist
Similar to the American variant, get your panties in a twist. e.g. Gareth was told not to get his panties in a twist over Manchester United’s latest defeat.
Similar in many ways to “benny on” in that it can be preceded by the word “throw” and is often followed by the word “on”. e.g. Gemma looked like she was going to throw a strop right in the middle of the supermarket. OR Gareth got a strop on when he realised the chip shop had sold out of chip butties.
Chiefly confined to the north and midlands. e.g. The fact that all the pubs closed after 11 made Gareth mardy.
5. Mouthing off
A more verbal/aggressive form of getting upset, usually involving expletives. e.g. Because Gareth was getting his knickers in a twist, Gemma decided to start mouthing off behind his back.
Similar to “benny” and “strop” in that the word is often preceded by “throw” or followed by the word “on.” e.g. Gareth got a wobbler on when the referee issued a red card to United’s Wayne Rooney. OR Gemma threw a wobbly when she realised Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t going to feature in Star Wars: Episode VII.
Similar in both meaning and spelling to “whine”. e.g. Gemma was whinging about the fact that Gareth kept mispronouncing “scone.”