We Know All The British Slang Words, But What About British Idioms?

Submitted by: fancylad 2 months ago in Lifestyle


"Brian used to know his onions, but he made a right royal cock-up, now he's living at Her Majesty's pleasure." 

OK.
There are 10 comments:
Male 38,457
Favorite phrase would be "Give over ya piggin Gobshite!" because that's what my mum yelled at me all the time. Dear old mum.... may she rot in hell.
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Female 7,866
I actually listened to this- despite knowing it because I am actually British lOL. Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your Aunt.
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Male 206
My personal favourite: 'It's looking bit black over Bill's mother's'.

But that's regional rather than British; had a guy in Yorkshire (?) buy me (Scottish!) a pint once because he heard me using it.

It's from the Midlands.
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Male 307
I always use "Have a gander at" to mean have a look at. There is a very good comedy piece about all the different phrases we can use for getting drunk which you can watch here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2hyB_Eg6q8
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Male 1,012
They sell coal-rakes in Brighouse....that's what my father used to say whenever he saw somebody picking their nose...(my family is from Halifax in West Yorkshire, Brighouse is about 4 miles away)...the statement basically means, in a sarcastic fashion; If you can't get enough snot out with just a finger, maybe a coal-rake would be better suited to task. I know where you can buy one....

Another favourite was "it's a lazy wind". This refers to a really cold wind...it's too lazy to go around you, so it goes straight through you.....

And when my great-grandmother used to send my mother (as a child) to the shop for a ha'pennys woth of snuff (yeah, snuf. The shit you snort.), she used to say "make sure you run both ways, and walk back".

British Idioms, like in any nation, have regional varieties....I may have bias, but I think the North has some of the richest. Like " 'Ey up!", which has a dozen or so meanings, based on context and intonation....or, "thick as shit, and twice as wooden" (a favourite of my father's), meaning someones an idiot, which doesn't even make sense... 

Or an odd one from Derbyshire...they call everyone "duck". (with a soft 'u', rhymes with book)....

I think we can all agree that there's nowt as queer as folk!

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256
buttersrules 'lazy wind' is great, hadn't heard of that before. 

Speaking of which, do the poms really say 'knows his onions' commonly? I would have thought I'd've heard it by now, at least once, but the video seems to suggest that it's common.

Worst slang ever was a cockney bloke who went into a mate's bar and asked for a pint of Nelson. Nelson -> Nelson Mandela -> Stella Artois...
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Male 1,012
barry9a never heard 'knows his onions'...sounds southern to me. Almost a different language...although, I haven't been back to the UK since I was a kid. My family was from there, but I consider myself to be an Adelaide boy....

re the Stella....most common name I've head for that is 'wife beater'

Most confusing thing I've heard was when I was approaching puberty....I couldn't work out why Seppos were all turned on by women wearing thongs.....it took a couple of years for me to twig that a thong in the US is a totally different thing to what a thongg is in Australia...
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Male 276
buttersrules I agree the north does have some great sayings and I think they've spread around the country far and wide in many cases.
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Female 1,163
That was good, and it reminded me of alot on how words are often used here in the south....Interesting.
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Male 325
Ok.  I am Canadian, born in the UK, but been here for almost 50 years.  Yes, I use a number of these.  Donkey's years is one (although the North American 'coon's age' I use in equal measure.)
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