Tag Archives: Fraser’s Phrases

Why Did America Drop The ‘U’ In British Spellings?

Whichever branch of the English language you are brought up with, you have to admit parts of it are an inconsistent mess. There are words that are spelled broadly the same but pronounced entirely differently—cough, bough, borough, ...

Fraser’s Phrases: “Oh My Giddy Aunt!”

Expletives are terrific fun, aren’t they? A little verbal firework display in response to a surprise of some sort—usually either painful, delightful or disgusting—without which the English language would be infinitely poorer.

45 Everyday Phrases Coined By Shakespeare

April 23rd is generally considered to be a good day to celebrate the birth of England’s greatest poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. This is partly because there are no records of his birth—although he was baptized on ...

Fraser’s Phrases: “What The Dickens”

By rights, this should be an open and shut case. If you’re surprised by something, if a thing happens that causes shock and befuddlement, and you exclaim “what the dickens?

10 Old British Slang Terms That Deserve A Revival

Just because it’s Friday and old words are amazing, here’s a list of delightful slang terms that are around 200 years old. Some of them describe acts people simply don’t perform any more, or suggest manners and ...

Five Tiny U.S. Phrases With Opposite Meanings In The U.K.

Two nations sharing a common language will always come up with regional variations in how they choose to express themselves, but some expressions appear to be trying to cause trouble, albeit in a really innocuous way.

Five Phrases, Five Tiny Differences

Given that the idea of a uniform spelling for any word you’d care to name has only been in existence for a fraction of the time that written language has, you’d think people would make less fuss about tiny regional ...

10 Myths of the Supernatural, Taken From British Folklore

Today (March 20) is World Storytelling Day, a perfect chance to celebrate the traditional tales and oral myths that give a nation a sense of itself.

‘Wackadoodle’ Makes It To The Oxford English Dictionary

Whenever fresh additions are made to the fusty old Oxford English Dictionary, a certain type of person will throw their hands up and openly bemoan the death of the British version of the English language. This cry is only intensified if ...

St. Patrick’s Day: 10 Irish Slang Terms Americans Should Adopt

We’ve written a fair amount about British slang over the years, but there’s an equally strong pot of lexicographical gold on the other side of the Irish sea from the U.K. and as it’s St.