The Monday Mess – Odd English slang part 1 – 26 Nov 2012

Once upon a time I lived in a quaint old place, old enough to have history. The island has a surprising amount of different regional accents, given the size of it, most likely somewhat unintelligible to your average American who is more tuned into simple, easy to understand terms, like Hamburger, Cola, and taxes. Anyhoo, I digress, said place has some interesting slang terms which might sound a bit odd if you’ve never heard them before. Here is a selection:

But what does it mean?
(Click to see)

  • how’s your father – Something I heard my old man say a few times when I was younger, and he was referring to other people. Well hopefully not my mother and him. It means getting your leg over, or er, giving her one, you know, sex. According to the Urban Dictionary its origin can be traced back to several places, but it is basically about covering up the deed with polite language. I would often hear it as a teen in the context of “I think they went for a bit of how’s your father”.
  • “getting your leg over – See above. It’s about having your way with a lady. The phrasing would imply more that it is for a male conversation.
  • “feel a right tit” – Not literally to feel a woman’s right breast, which was once taken that way when I used it to comment on Mr Faulkner’s blog. Or on this T-shirt link here. It is more along the lines of “I felt like a complete idiot” or more slang like “I felt a right idiot”.
  • Taking a slash – Not whipping your knife out, and thrusting it across a smooth surface causing a tear, but actually to whip something else out, no thrusting required, in order to relieve oneself. Yes it means you are off to urinate.
  • “bloody nora” – is one I still like a lot now. Where I grew up you would sometimes hear the variation “Chuffing Nora“. It is used in a situation where something bad is happening but not panic / really awful bad. Like a pile of papers you have stood up three times, slides down again. You deal with it in a relative calmness, like the whole thing is a joke, hence “bloody nora”. You could also use it when someone is asking you to do something for the 15th time as a way to register some annoyance, without making it a big deal, and more of a joke. An interesting explanation on the potential origins of the phrase can be found here.

And this being monday I have to try cram it into some form of poetry. This week Nonet:

Bloody nora! I felt a right tit

Looked at her, said How’s your father?

she said he’s in hospital

that aint good then, said I

no leg over then

so off I went

to take a

big long


And that concludes a short story of a caring individual. Well I crammed all the phrases in so “jobs a good un”

Have a nice week, and tune in somewhen further down it for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: ameliorate.


22 comments on “The Monday Mess – Odd English slang part 1 – 26 Nov 2012

  1. DyingNote says:

    “How’s your father?” is a revelation. Round here, we use it in the literal sense. Useful when we do visit England. The wife was there for some time. Hmmmm

    • Elliot says:

      Well it does get used in the literal sense also. That saying is a bit of an old one, and I used to hear it more growing up in the North of England, than I did until moving to the US, living in the south. It is an amusing one to me

      I shall try catch up on your blog later. I didn’t get a whole lot of net time over the weekend, and I cannot listen to the samples via the rss reader I use on the ipad. I tend to listen to them on my Mac at home.

  2. Excellent! I say most of those, apart from the 4th one as I’m a lady πŸ™‚


  3. I have several followers from England. When I read their posts I am very surprised to see the use of a lot of slang that I consider uniquely American. Certainly here in US few people are hip to English slang.

    A few from my college days: dollar – first class quality as in “Her boobs are top dollar”
    2. cool as a moose-don’t know how the moose got involved but estimate since moose live in cold climates and cool means really hip maybe that’s the connection.
    3.bucket-a real loser

    One I still use from the 1980’s: drop a dime. A dime is a US 10 cent coin but to “drop a dime” on someone is to expose them as frauds or inform on them to the police for their crime.

    • Elliot says:

      It is probably the influence of the films, and tv shows. I sometimes forget about the slang and how it might be misunderstood when commenting on blogs and on occasion, have had to go back later to explain.

      I love “top dollar”, I’d forgotten about it, and I like your example. “Cool as a moose” I don’t think I’ve heard, but I like it. I’m not sure where I could slip it into conversation, but I think I shall try.

  4. paulaacton says:

    I did my first video blog post a couple of weeks ago and one of te comments was they loved my accent, my daughter was reading it and looked over at me and said she didn;t have a clue what they were talking about that i didn’t have an accent lol

    • Elliot says:

      I see her point. I never noticed the accent much until I moved away (aged 16) and my accent changed a bit. Now when I go back, it really stands out, and I feel foreign to the area and the accents.

      But I had a similar problem to your daughter with my Gran. People would ask where in Scotland she came from and I would wonder how they knew. Her accent never seemed an accent to me, having grown up with it.

  5. robincoyle says:

    Now . . . how can I work these new (to me) phrases into my novel? Bloody Nora, that is going to be hard!

  6. LOL @ “our average American who is more tuned into simple, easy to understand terms, like Hamburger, Cola, and taxes”

    • Elliot says:

      To give my local American friends credit, that is a bit of a joke between us all, a bit like how the Brits always talk about the weather, but in a slightly different context. I thought it would be appropriate here πŸ™‚

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    Hmm, I don’t recall hearing these on Monty Python, which was my introduction to all things British. πŸ˜‰

    My old high school pen pal from Australia found me again a couple years ago, and now we’re Facebook friends. I’ll see her post a comment about something Australian and wonder what language she’s using. Add the accent on top of that, and how long will it be before American English and Australian English are two separate languages? Not quite the subject of your post, but that’s where my thoughts went!

    • Elliot says:

      The slang differs region to region, in England, so it is no surprise to see it doing the same, country to country. These are just some slang terms a little away from the usual, and what I found or still find, amusing.

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    That is by far the oddest euphemism for sex I’ve ever heard. Not sure one wants to bring his or her father into the mix. πŸ˜‰

    Loved your nonet! Very clever. πŸ™‚

    • Elliot says:

      If I heard it new now, I would likely agree with you. However I think I heard the phrase many times long before I knew what sex was. So in a sense it had always been there and I don’t bring the association with it. To me it is more about the secret, the whisper behind someone’s back.

      Glad you liked the nonet. I like that one too.

  9. Excellent, my friend, excellent! I shall use Bloody Nora on this side of the pond and see who responds. HF

  10. Thanks for the fun lesson in slang. πŸ™‚ I love how you went on to use each phrase in the nonet too. Really drove home the meanings for me. And gave me a giggle. πŸ™‚

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