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Chuffed to be visiting England? The meaning of unusual English expressions explained!
Separated by a common language?
If you're visiting England then you'll find that like any country, has it's own unique expressions which can be confusing for those not familiar with them - even if you're visiting England from an English speaking nation such as the USA or Canada. So, to help you on your way, here's a lighthearted look at 12 of the most common words or expressions you're likely to come across when visiting our shores or watching our exported TV shows.
Fancy a brew?
B is for...
Bevy - Used to describe an alcoholic drink. "Fancy a bevy?" = "Would you like to go out for a drink?". "I'll get the bevvies in." = "It's my turn to buy the drinks." From this we also get "Bevvied Up" which means drunk.
Brew - A hot drink, most commonly used in the north of England. "Do you fancy a brew?" = "Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?". Also used when making tea in the pot to describe the process of leaving it to get stronger. "I've just put the water in the pot, I'll leave it to brew a bit."
Butty - A sandwich as in "bacon butty" (breakfast), "jam butty" (lunch) and "chip butty" (dinner)
C is for...
Chinwag - To talk, most commonly used to refer to chattering or gossiping. "She's on the phone chinwagging to her mother again."
Chippy - The Fish & Chip shop, a British institution and no town or village is complete without one and neither is your visit to England. (Chips = fries). Often have humorous names such as "The Codfather". Posh ones exist in tourist spots where you're likely to get ripped off so ask a local where the nearest decent chippy is. Always sell fish, sausages and pies (and chips of course) but may also stock other local delicacies such as mushy peas, faggots (meat balls) and deep fried Mars bars. You must try a chip butty at least once in your life.
Chuffed - pleased, as in "She was chuffed with her new phone". Also used in the expression "Chuffed to bits" meaning really, really pleased. "She was chuffed to bits at winning the lottery."
Cuppa - Another expression for a hot drink but used more commonly right across England and generally refers to tea.
J is for...
Jammy - meaning lucky. "She was very jammy to win the lottery".
P is for...
Parky - meaning cold. "It's a bit parky out" = "It's cold outside"
Piece of Cake - Easy. "Signing up for Hub Pages is a piece of cake" meaning it's quick and straight forward to sign up for Hub Pages.
S is for...
Spend a penny - If you're visiting England and you need take a pee then this expression could come in handy. It's a polite way to say we want to visit the toilet. "I'm just off to spend a penny". It goes back to the time when public toilets cost 1p to visit. Probably one reason the Biritsh have fought the introduction of the Euro so hard as "I'm off to spend a Euro" simply doesn't sound the same, though it has been suggested by my husband that we could all "Euro-nate" instead.
W is for...
Welly - a wonderful word with many uses and meanings. A welly is an abbreviation for Wellington Boots (galoshes) and we all love our wellies! To welly means to travel at speed or put some effort in as in "Usain Bolt was giving it some welly up the 100m." During summer fetes and garden parties you can take part in "Welly Wanging" competitions, the object of the exercise being to throw (or wang) a welly as far as you possibly can. It even has its own World Championship. Apparently the current world record for men is 63.98m and for women it's 40.87m.
I'm sure there will be many more strange and unusual phrases you'll come across when you're visiting England, but we're a friendly bunch so just ask someone, I'm sure they'll be happy to explain.