Say what?! – The British Edition

I recently made a new ex-pat friend from England. We were chatting and the word “windscreen” came up about his car. He then said “That’s a windshield, sorry need to use the North American word!”.

I already knew this but it made me remember that I had started a list of the British words and translations that I have learned and compiled over the years of visiting  my second favourite rainy place after Vancouver. I learn at least three new words from Stephen and Lesley every time I go to Edinburgh. I also thoroughly enjoy seeing/hearing North American tourists trying to figure out what people are saying. (It took me a while, too!)

So on this rainy Vancouver day, here is my current list of “Say what?!” British (But mostly Scottish) words and their translations.

British Word North American Translation How It Would Be Used
Aubergine (vegetable) Eggplant
Aye Yes “Aye, laddy!”
Biscuit Cookie Tea and biscuits
Bonnet Car hood
Bonnet Hood (of car)
Bonnie Pretty A bonny lass
Boot Car trunk
Bouffin’ (BOUGH-fin) Horrible, awful, inedible, disgusting “That’s bouffin’!”
Braw (like raw) Good “That’s braw!”
Brolly Umbrella
Candy Chocolate
Chippy The fish and chips shop; no real North American equivalent “I’ll grab something at the chippy”
Chips Fries As in fish and chips
Chuffed Happy I was feeling rather chuffed with myself.
Coriander Cilantro
Crisps Chips Ask for chips and you’ll get fries
Dinna Don’t “I dinna ken”
Driech Damp, drizzly weather Pronounced dreek with with a rolled “r” and phlegm at the end. “It looked driech outside.”
Football Soccer
Git Silly, stupid, incompetent, or childish person “You git…”
Glen Valley The glen was full of sheep and just one cow.
Grand Good “That’s grand”
Har Mist Pronounced like car; with a Scottish accent, this can sound like a lot like another, less complimentary word.
Hiya Hello, hi
Juice Soda, pop “I’ll have a juice, please.”
Ken Know or understand “I dinna ken”
Kirk Church
Knickers Underwear
Laddy Guy/boy
Lassy Girl
Lift Elevator
Loch Lake or sea inlet Pronounced “lock” with some phlegm behind it.
Loo Bathroom, washroom
Lorry Truck
Mac(Intosh) Rain coat
Mardy Sulky or moody He was feeling a bit mardy when he got home.
Mince Ground meat
Mingin Horrible, awful, inedible, disgusting “That’s mingin’!”
Motorway Highway
Muppet Ignorant, idiot or moronic person “What a muppet…”
Nappy Diaper
Neeps Turnips
Neeps’ n’ tatties Turnips and potatoes A common Scottish dish
Pants Underwear A highly recommended word to use otherwise, everyone will either look scandalized when you say pants, or just have a good snicker…
Pitch Field Football/soccer or rugby (or Quidditch!) pitch
Pram Stroller
Proper Really “That was a proper good dinner”
Pudding Dessert Pronounced “puddin’ “
Rocket (vegetable) Arugula
Shag 😉 I’m assuming Austin Powers has made this a fairly explanatory one. Ha.
Skits Upset digestive system
Skunnert Fed up or stuck He’s skunnert or “I’m so skunnert”
Strop* Hissy fit, tantrum She had a proper strop. *I LOVE this word!
Sweeties Candy
Tatties Potatoes
Tea Dinner; or just to be confusing, it’s also literally having a cup of tea “What do you fancy for tea?”
Trainers Running shoes. sneakers
Trousers Pants To be used instead of pants as everyone will look at you funny otherwise and snicker
Wee Small, tiny The dog was just a wee thing.
Wellies Rain boots
Whinge Whine “Stop your whingeing and get on with it!”
Wind screen Windshield
© West Coast City Girl 2015

I’m likely forgetting some so please leave any missing ones in the comments box! You’re on your own for the accents. That’s a whole other ball of wax. 🙂

We all smile in the same language.

~ Unknown ~

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