If a British Doctor Invites You to ‘Surgery,’ Should You Be Worried?

9. Gip vs. Ache

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You might hear one Brit say to another: “My knee has been giving me gip since I started running.” They don’t mean anything offensive about it, but the term evolved, regrettably, from a mid-1800s slur against the Roma, or travelers. These itinerant people were known informally as Gypsies and were easily blamed for committing crimes because they isolated themselves from mainstream society and had no friends in the UK’s courts and newspapers. Nowadays, “gip” is a catchall term for giving someone pain or a bad time. If someone at a hospital asks if some part of your body is giving you the gip, the person is simply asking if you’re aching.

NEXT: “Elastoplast” isn’t the name for a UK rock band.

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