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March 12, 2008



I like that list...I'm not familiar with most of them.

Nancy Friedman

Did "by a long shot" (the idiom I'm familiar with as a native Californian) evolve through mis-hearing from "by a long chalk"?


I thought pear would mean, pregnant?!

Follow, my easy steps, and you will have Guinness cake tomorrow.

Nicole Austin

These are great. I've heard #6 & #13 used before but not the others.

Happy TT!


Great List. LOL I love hearing people use them.

Chelle Y.

Hehe, I am going to start saying, "Oi, you! On your bike!" :)


We use #2 and #6 here in California, although #6 is something mostly old grandmas say. :) Happy TT.

Wylie Kinson

Ah - you've mentioned two of my favorites - Can't organize a piss-up in a brewery (My mil's fave when discussing my fil's competence level) and take the mickey - which I picked up while living in Bermuda and still say quite a lot.
What about - They get along 'like chalk and cheese'? I'd love to know the origins of that one.


I enjoyed these very much. Thanks. I enjoy the rhyming slang--most especially a la Brendan Behan.


I could add a few more from my native Yorkshire, such as:

If thee iver dis out fer nowt, mak sure thee dis'it for thesen


1,4,6,7,and 13 are all ones I knew! Hey, 50% ain't bad. I guess I hang out with Brits a little. LOL I'm so glad you liked the graphic. It's colors match well, and I can sure see you having a drink in that bar!

ellen b

I love these kinds of lists. Have a great week!

Teena in Toronto

I haven't heard of any of them except for #13 ... I'm from Nova Scotia and we say that someone is pissed when they are hammered.

Thanks for stopping by mine!

I like the BBC version of Kitchen Nightmares too ... no bleeping the language!

Susan Helene Gottfried

I knew bee's knees. I feel very worldly. and yes, the header's great.


that was a fun tt! i'm going to start using some of, if you see me on your site meter...i'm not stalking...i'm simply copying the expressions down to use on my kids!! throw them off a bit!
as for lusting shoes...absolutely!! it's a woman thing but...without any doubt!!


I've always like idiotmatic expressions!It's funny to see how the changes through geographic place and language!

On a Limb with Claudia

I do love this - and will absolutely use them. In fact, I'm going to ue "make heavy weather" tonight. You're a novelists dream! :)


Wow...they have some funky sayings over there;) Happy TT...Loved your list!!


another blogger said she laughed like a weird is that? but, i love it. you scored a hit for six.

happy tt :)


That was great! I remember being fascinated as a kid I would listen to the Beatles or Stones or other British group be interviewed and then the host would have to "translate"!! The one that pops in my head is "fag", which, across the pond, means a cigarette --is that still right??
Great TT!

SJ Reidhead


I like #13.

The Pink Flamingo

Ann Bruce

Can we change #4 to "daft as Bush"?


What fun! lol Reminds me of Coronation Street. Happy T13!

Homemaking Mama

Love the header.:) Just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the comment you left at my blog. You never know, you could give yourself a facial, just work around the beard LOL. Great TT, too.


I've heard the bee's knees, but not most of the rest. I enjoy the examples best, so if you're in the mood to take requests, please give an example with each sentence in future versions. :)

"Pissed" reminded me of a friend I had from New Zealand, who once came back from a tour of Berkeley (California), and told me she was "stuffed". Here that means stuffed full of food, and to her, it meant exhausted. She was confused when I suggested we skip dinner.


Those are fun. I had so much fun in the UK just listening to people talk. Probably why I like BBC America too.


Hmmm this is interesting British idioms & expressions. I'm learning something new! Love your header by the way :)

Happy TTs, have a good day!


Very interesting, some of them I knew ! Sometimes the accents in London are difficult to understand. Once when we visited our son and asked a policeman the direction he said "after the roundabit, left" ! For a foreigner a little difficult to understand, lol !


brilliant T13 as always!

Hootin' Anni

I love 'daft as a brush'.......I could use this one in my daily living. LOL

Great List!!

Thanks for visiting me and reading my Thursday's entry!!

Miss Understood

I think the subject matter of this weeks Thursday 13 was right up your street mate!


You gave me a good laugh! I hope you continue next Thursday - these are fun. I'll try to use some of them. Too bad I do not have a british accent though... Happy TT!


These are such ‘colorful’ phrases that I’ve copied your list …(I hope you don’t mind)… in order to ‘fix’ a few of them into my mind to toss into conversation periodically – just to see what happens.
Hugs and blessings,


Being Canadian, we share a few more phrases, I guess. I was familiar with "bee's knees" and the drunk meaning of "pissed" but more used to "by a long stick" instead of chalk. My husband says "dumb as dirt" and I like that but "daft as a brush" would work in many of the say occasions.


great list once again, I had not heard those!


Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. :)
We love words and word games in our home, so IDIOMS are little treasures to us!


I was familiar with about half of them--probably from reading books by British authors. But that Cockney rhyming slang... I've read about it, and seen examples, seen it explained, and I still don't get it.


I'm familiar with some as I lived in England for a while. And as we're going in a week, I liked this list a lot.

My favorite britishism is one you'll need in a hotel. Often the concierge will ask, "What time shall I knock you up in the morning?" The first time I heard that I was stunned!!!! It means wake you up by pounding on your door. I told him in America it means something else!!!

Aline de Chevigny

LOL Loive it great TT


Tilly Greene

Oh man, the ridicule I went through in regards to "Pissed" was monumental! Even today I mix the two up and our friends laugh when I use "pissed" in the english way. I guess that's all they can do :-)

Love the banner!


I knew some of them! Figures I'd know what pissed off meant on your side of the pond. (thanks to a song called, "I get knocked down, but I get up again" by Chumbawamba...)

Others make sense to me...others are like, huh? Guess I'm Daft as a Bush... (I'll save the political humor I COULD make with that...)

Thanks for dropping by my TT-13




I knew some of them! Figures I'd know what pissed off meant on your side of the pond. (thanks to a song called, "I get knocked down, but I get up again" by Chumbawamba...)

Others make sense to me...others are like, huh? Guess I'm Daft as a Bush... (I'll save the political humor I COULD make with that...)

Thanks for dropping by my TT-13




Great list! I just love the Bee's Knees. I think American's used to use it back in the day.

Moondancer Drae

I've had several friends from that area, and still didn't know half of those. What a great education. Thanks for sharing.


Wonderful! I even knew some of those!

Happy TT...

Gandalf & Grayson

Mom says she loves listening to Brits, no matter what they're saying. Brits have nearly as many regional and class accents as Yanks. She also loves listing to your audios! As always, loved the list!


#6 is one I've heard more often than you might think. Maybe it's a Midwest thing. The variation of #13 I've heard is "He was piss drunk", now I know where it came from. :)

Always a great time Nicolas!

Happy TT


Dane Bramage

They say the British and the Americans are two people separated by a common language. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my 13 Things to Ponder T13.

The Happy Housewife

Your list is The Bee’s Knees.... did I get it right? Love the list, I feel like I am ready to take a trip overseas after reading it!
The Happy Housewife

The Gal Herself

I thought "to go pear shaped" would have something to do with fat rear end. I love the "shell like" one. So descriptive! PS Best of all, I like the pub in your header. Great photo! (Thanks for visiting my TT)

Cindy Swanson

Anglophile that I am, I found this list fascinating! Sometimes things are just more humorous because they're said in the British way. I found this TT "brilliant" (Americans mean very intelligent when they say that; British people mean fantastic! Take your pick! :))

Matthew Didier

I only score a lowly Canadian three this week... with "Heavy Weather", "Bee's Knees", and "Pissed"... as in, "Piss Up"... which in itself is not used that oft.


I thought "the bee's knees" was just out-dated? I know I've heard it before here. The pear-shaped one sounded familiar too, but I'm not as certain of that one. Nice header. Winter did a nice job on it.

Happy TT, Nicholas!


I've never heard of any of those except number 13


I've heard the bee's knees- my mom says that one.
I've heard pissed also. I've heard people use it for being mad and also for being drunk.

Fun list!


These were great. I remember many, many years ago, friends of my parents had moved to the UK and were shocked when a new acquaintance told them they would "knock them up" (meaning come visit). I don't know if that phrase is used anymore but I remember finding it quite hilarious at the time!


Nice header and a great list! I spent some time in Scotland and it takes a while to catch on.

Pamela Kramer

LOL - Those were new to me except for the Pissed one. LOL - No need to ask why. What a fun list. Happy TT.


Thanks for dropping by my TT and for sharing these idioms with us. :)

I don't know what your blog looked like before, but it sure looks nice now. :)


The "oi" sounds kind of Yiddish to me.

Funny...mine is about the South today. So I guess we are both writing about the idiosyncrasies of our homes.


I actually use "by a long chalk" and "The Bee's knees."

Great list (it's the bee's knees.) I'll have to remember "Daft as a Brush."


Like the header, very cozy looking :) Not familiar with these, but as you know here in T.O Brit slang is not too uncommon. Cheers!


Oooo! I love me some Brit idioms! I'll have to start using some of these in my everyday speech -- love being different! ;)

Barbara Doduk

Great stuff. I live with a Canadianized Brit. So some of these I hear all the time with his family and him.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my cat love.



This is great for me as Dubai feels like it is 80% Brits. I know #2 and #4 and will casually use the others around my friends to see if they notice.


The thing I said to myself was, "Oooh, I love that header pic"! I like #1, I AM #2-lol, I like #3, I am # 4 (silly not imcompetent), #5 reminds me of when I say fumble" anytime someone drops anything-lol, #6~hhmmmm, I have heard of #7, I like #8, I love #9, #10 I say with the description, #11 I would say "that just beats it all", #12 I would say "Poof, be gone"-lol; and finally for #13: that is hilarious! Thanks for visiting my 13 things about a teacher!


I think "shell-likes must be an English idiom, because I've never heard of that one! I have heard of the rest though. "Daft as a brush"... would that be Basil?


Thanks for your visit to my blog. It's always nice to meet new people so I had to come have a butcher's =)


I have not heard any of these, except, of course, the last one.


I love Cockney rhyming slang, that accent is cool. I've used "The Bee’s Knees" and "On Your Bike!".

I've heard used "To Take The Mickey" in books and movies, especially the Harry Potter ones :-)

Great T13!

Kat's Krackerbox

How hilarious some of them are. I can see my grandchildren (in the future) making fun of some of the sayings we say now. Thanks for the birthday wishes! Have a great weekend!

Amy @ The Q Family

Great list. I don't know any of these so it's good learning new idioms.

Thanks for checking my blog.


What a great list! I always learn something here. I'm making it a new goal to use "On your bike!" regularly, because that's my favorite.


Love your list! As an avid reader of British mystery/crime writers I've heard, or should say read quite a number of your idioms. Another one the CID officers say is "it's enough for going on with"; also "shopping the neighbours" and "shut it", oh I could go on and on.
In Canada we use "getting pissed" to mean both being angry or getting "a load on" of alcohol. Words are so much fun aren't they?


Ah! I recognize a few this time around. The bee's knees is one that I found very charming (the dog's bullocks less so but I am familiar with it). Take a mickey or a piss I also knew and I didn't know about "take a butcher" but I really like the idea of rhyming slang!


Fun list! Thanks!


Great list, though I've never heard anyone say: 'to laugh like a drain' or 'by a long chalk'.

random ramblings

Need to use one of these expressions soon!

Nice TT! Very informative!


I enjoyed your thirteen. Thanks for visiting asked what is twirling. It's baton twirling or like a majorette. I should have been more specific. It was such a big part of my life I expect everyone to know what it is. See you around

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