No Malapropism Here


I’ve often been asked, “Hey Laurie, are you an Anglophile?”

“No” I reply. “I’m into guys!!!”

But be that as it may, that’s NOT to say that I’m not at least a little fascinated by that which is this realm, this England.

So, while surfing the Intrawebs, I happened upon a compendium of insults that a literate Brit would likely lay on ya. About 95-percent of these fall on virgin ears. I know what a wanker is, but a snog??? At first, I thought I had a cup of it last Christmas, but alas…I DID NOT!!!!

These are cuss words; some indelicate verbiage (as my sainted Mum would say) and a few are just crazy ass words, those adorable people utter from time to time.

They are as follows:

  • big jessie (someone who’s a bit of a softie)
  • daft (eccentric, crazy)
  • div (idiot)
  • dosser (someone who is lazy)
  • gormless (lacking in intelligence, with vacant expression: “Don’t just stand there looking gormless”)
  • minger (pronounced like “singer”) (an unattractive person)
  • munter (c.f. “minger”)
  • muppet (silly person)
  • nutter (eccentric person)
  • pillock (silly person)
  • pleb (person of lower class, but typically used to mean someone without taste or refinement)
  • plonker (silly person)
  • prat (incompetent person)
  • shite (jocular form of “shit”)
  • tosser (idiot)
  • toss-pot (idiot)
  • twonk (someone who’s been a bit foolish; also “dozy twonk”)
  • wazzock (fool)

Some words that aren’t insults, but sure as hell sound like they are:

  • bumf (a pile of paper you get given when you go to conferences etc.; derived from “bum fodder”)
  • chuffed (pleased)
  • faff (to dither, as in “I spent the day faffing around”)
  • guff (fart, to fart)
  • hammered (very drunk)
  • higgledy-piggledy (in disarray)
  • jammy (lucky, e.g. “jammy git”)
  • kecks (trousers aka “pants” in the US, or underwear. “Drawers” in more urban areas like Scranton)
  • knackered (tired out)
  • knackers (testicles)
  • knickers (panties)
  • naff off (go away)
  • minge (pronounced to rhyme with “whinge”) (female genitals/pubic hair)
  • pissing down (raining heavily, “It’s pissing it down out there!”)
  • punnet (basket for fruit, typically for strawberries)
  • rat-arsed (extremely drunk)
  • ropey (of poor quality)
  • shandy (lager or beer mixed with lemonade)
  • shattered (tired)
  • skew-whiff (not straight, skewed, “That shelf is a bit skew-whiff”)
  • skive (to avoid or not attend, “He skived off school”)
  • slash (go to the toilet for a wee, as in “I need a slash”)
  • snog (to kiss amorously)
  • strop (bad mood)
  • take the piss (take advantage of someone, “They’re taking the piss”; to make fun of someone, “I took the piss out of him”)
  • throw a wobbler (have a tantrum)
  • wankered (extremely drunk)
  • whinge (complain, often used to describe how children go on about things using a silly whiny voice)
  • wonky (not straight, crooked, “That shelf is wonky”, “That shelf is on the wonk”)


And last but not least, we can’t EVEN begin to discuss the many variations in the British lexicon without mentioning their keen sense of traditional and non-traditional cussing and swearing and what have you.

What you are about to view is not for the faint hearted. If vile and gratuitous vulgarity offends you, cease reading now.

But if you can handle the fact that Britain’s Channel 4 asked several celebrities (even some Americans–and by the way, the cast of “Scrubs” could use a collective mouth washin’) about their favorite cuss/swear words, then hit “play”.

But before you click anything, please note that I’m not a cusser. In fact, I find swearing to be contemptible and loathsome. I’d be completely offended if I didn’t find this exercise in cultural idioms so fucking interesting!



One comment

  1. Laurie, I love the post. I do find Britons to be funny this way. I always get a kick out of hearing them cuss. I love the term “tosser” especially in a thickly accented, emotional state.

    Me, I never cuss…(wink)

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