Howfur mony Scots wurds dae ye ken? Do you know enough Scots to read the last sentence? Scotland has two variations of the Scotch dialect: Scots and Scots Gaelic. Also known as Lowland Scots to distinguish it from the Gaelic form spoken mostly in the Highlands, Scots is Germanic like English. UNESCO regards Scots as a vulnerable language and as of the last census in 2011, … [Read more...] about Ten Scots Language Words to Know
Every so often something lovely pops up on my Facebook feed, and last week it was a map of Great Britain. Not just any old map, but a map highlighting the silly and often rude names we have for places here. Anglotopia has already made an impressive start at listing all the weird and wonderful place names in the UK here. The maps are produced by a company called Marvellous … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: There is nothing like British Place Names!
Being American, you probably think you know all the insults there are in the English language, but England has many more to share. Whether you’re having it out with a mate and want to throw a good jab at him or you need to tell someone what a terrible person they really are, there are plenty of great insults for all occasions in England. We have identified ten of our … [Read more...] about Brit Slang: Ten English Insults Every Anglophile Should Know
Well, technically this whole column is about a confused, repatriated Brit, but Marks and Spencer have just really taken the biscuit. Into my UK inbox last week popped an ad from the very British retailer Marks and Spencer, which said, - well here, take a look … Notice anything amiss? What are they playing at? “Fall”?? At first, I thought it was from the US arm of Marks and … [Read more...] about The Repat Report: Marks and Spencer – confusing the heck out of this repat
Watching this promotional Video for Britbox brought to mind a conversation I’ve had countless times with Brits in America. Them: I’m going to make my kids say “mummy”. None of that American “mom” stuff. Me: Why are you choosing to raise them in the USA but insisting they speak British English? (I realize some people don’t choose, but most do.) Although I brought my kids up to … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: Un-Guessable British Words – British Slang
Slang in Scotland is practically an art form. In most places, slang is merely an informal way of speaking, a group of colloquialisms whose meanings are lost on outsiders. In Scotland, however, slang practically becomes is own language. You might be surprised (or then again, you might not) how many Scottish slang words are insults, but they do make for some of the most fun … [Read more...] about English Language: Ten Fun Scottish Slang Words
Going beyond normal language usage, slang is defined as an informal type of speech. Every language in the world has its own slang and some regions even have their own unique slang. Wales is no different and has a language all its own as well as English, Welsh slang can be in English, Welsh, or some hybrid of the two. In some cases, Welsh slang terms can be very similar to … [Read more...] about English Language: Ten Fun Welsh Slang Words
Britain is known as a rainy country, despite the fact that it doesn’t get any more rain than say, Seattle. But it’s true that Britain is very wet. Their soggy maritime climate has shaped their history and culture, and it’s no surprise that like the Inuit with multiple words to describe snow, the British also have many different phrases to describe the different kinds of rain. … [Read more...] about British Slang: It’s Bucketing Down – Lovely British Words and Phrases for Rain
We’re all from somewhere and oftentimes the places where we were born or where we live brands us with unique nicknames based on something from the area’s history or in its culture. While the United States has nicknames for people like Cajun (Louisiana), Tarheel (North Carolina), and Hoosier (Indiana), amongst others, places in the United Kingdom have their own colorful … [Read more...] about Do You Know Your Scouser from a Geordie? Ten Regional Nicknames for Locals Around the UK
A&E - n - Accident and Emergency, what Americans would call the Emergency Room. Antenatal - adj - Prenatal care. Anti-Histamines - n - Allergy/hayfever medication. Bairn - n - Another word for baby, usually used in Scotland, but also common in the north of England – particularly in Newcastle. British Medical Association (The BMA) - abbr - The main association and trade … [Read more...] about British Slang: British Medical Related Terms You Might Not Know
The English language is a fascinating thing. Even though it is one language, it has many dialects, and even within those dialects, whole cultures can develop their own words, phrases, and meanings. Pub culture is no different. If you find yourself in a British pub, you might hear the following words and sayings below and wonder what they mean. Well, we’ve come along to help … [Read more...] about Down the Pub: British Pub Related Slang Words and Phrases
So yes, on the political front, it’s been quite the fortnight in the UK. Without wishing to get into too much debate, I thought I’d share some of the priceless insults that have been flying around in the press and on social media. If there’s one thing we Brits do rather well, in my humble opinion, it’s a withering put down. First we had the Tweet from actor Hugh Grant which … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: There’s Nothing Quite Like an Angry Brit – Glorious British Insults
After recently binge-watching the entire run of Endeavour, Inspector Morse, and Lewis, I heard lots of unusual words related to British policing. So, I thought it would be fun and useful to put together a list. I’ve tried to be comprehensive, if there’s a word I left off, please leave it in the comments and I’ll update the list later. Bobby - Police Officer, so named because … [Read more...] about British Slang: Your Guide to British Police Slang for the Telly Watcher
In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a lot of politicky stuff going on at the moment – on both sides of the pond. Labour Party leader Jerremy Corbyn is one of many making the news every day here. He’s called many things, as you can imagine, including the classic British habit of changing the ending of his name to a “Z” – (That would be “zed”, by the way.) He’s very often … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: British Nick Names and Our Love of the “Zed”
Just like in the USA, there are a few proper nouns that have been given other uses in the UK. You’re very likely to hear someone saying they’ve just finished “hoovering” as you are to hear reports of them “vacuuming”. Although there are obviously many brands of vacuum cleaner on the market now, the verb “to hoover” is still as popular as ever here. I’m sure that’s in part … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: “It’s Marmite” – But What Does That Mean?
I spent a lovely weekend with the family up in Northumberland recently. Walking around the tiny village of Greenhead (near Hadrian’s Wall), my Yankee son noticed this sign outside the local pub and it made no sense to him. Pensioners' Pudding Club at the Greenhead Hotel Pensioners? In the UK, that’s the name we often give our senior citizens – originating from the fact … [Read more...] about A Brit Back Home: Puddings and Pensioners or Just What Exactly Is the Pensioners Pudding Club?
Tea is a culture entirely of its own in Britain. It’s not a stereotype; most Brits really do love their tea and cherish a good cuppa. It’s a form of relaxation and socialization that is key to ‘getting’ Britain (like talking about the weather). But there is a lot of confusion out there - many people don’t realize the difference between High Tea or Afternoon Tea or Cream Tea. … [Read more...] about British Slang: Tea Time – British Words for Tea and Tea Related Culture
A round-up of railway terms related to train travel in Britain that may differ from American understandings. Every issue of the Anglotopia Print Magazine features 'The Slang Page' on the back page of the magazine. Each issue covers an interesting exploration of British English. Subscribe to the Anglotopia Print Magzine to make sure you get the latest lists! Tube - Nickname for … [Read more...] about British Slang: British Railway Terms
The Bodleian Library in Oxford – the library of the prestigious University of Oxford – is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. In Britain, it is second in size only to the British Library in London. The Bodleian first opened to scholars in 1602. Its incomparable collections of books, papers and manuscripts are housed in buildings in the city center, and you can book a … [Read more...] about Laura’s Britain: Exploring the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford – An Inside Tour – Tons of Pictures Inside!
As we journeyed from Cornwall to Scotland on our recent Grand Adventure, I started to notice something, which made me start to take pictures. I started seeing very interesting signs. Everywhere. And then once I started noticing a few, I started to notice more. Some were funny; some were dark. But what surprised me, especially about the ones warning of danger, was how specific … [Read more...] about Anglotopia’s Grand Adventure: Amusing British Signs We Spotted On Our Journey
The whole first part of this past week was just surreal. That’s really the only way to describe it. It didn’t quite seem real when the bags were all packed and set to the side in a nice row, not for a vacation, but for a migration. The morning we left, it was not too different a morning from any other that I had spent over the past seven years in Craig, Colorado. I had … [Read more...] about An American Student Abroad: My First Week as a Student in England
So Jonathan & Jackie are on their travels as I write. By British standards, he’s making the horrendously long journey from Lands’ End (at the tip of Cornwall in England) to John o’ Groats in Scotland. We Brits don’t usually drive that far so we’d generally dismiss this as madness, before deluging him with tips on how to get there faster via planes or trains. Anyway, on … [Read more...] about The Repat Report: Quirky British Weather Words
I’ve written a little about the very British food I’m discovering on British shelves. Only in the UK can you market Wonky Food really. (Question – if you did so in the USA, would people assume the veg were “preoccupied with arcane details or procedures in a specialized field" as per the Merriam Webster dictionary?) Although in general Brits don’t go in for overt displays of … [Read more...] about The Repat Report: Very British Marketing – A Clever Use of British-isms
So, I was in my life-saver Post Office yesterday, buying dog food actually (told you they were great), and the sales person bade me farewell with “Have a nice day!” I have heard variants of this in shops, train stations, pubs, petrol (gas) stations and public parks, since my return. “Enjoy your day”, and “See you later”. What’s going on? If memory serves, I was reading … [Read more...] about Have a Nice Day – and other New Words in the UK
Welsh culture emerged following the withdrawal of the Romans, developing its own rituals, its own identity, and its own language. Despite conquest by the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans, Welsh culture has remained fiercely distinct and proud even to this day. While the majority of Welsh persons speak English, the country remains bilingual, and many signs throughout the country … [Read more...] about Cymru: Ten Interesting Welsh Place Names and Their Meanings