Articles Tagged 'Fraser's Phrases'

Vikings invade the Houses of Parliament in London (Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)

10 Words We Got from the Vikings

The English language has a nerve claiming to be Anglo-Saxon or a pure-breed of any sort. It’s a mishmash of dialects, languages and one-off words that come from several migrating nations—both into the British Isles and from the various nations Britain colonized—dating back to Roman times. And one of the largest influences on the development of modern-day […]


20 Translations from Yiddish to British

The English language has been the beneficiary of many Yiddish terms over the years, and thanks to a very healthy Jewish population in British cities—and the language’s deft ability to develop words that have no direct equivalency in English, such as shlep, shlub or mishegoss—a good many of them became firmly embedded into British culture. […]

Boats in Penzance harbor, Cornwall (Photo: Milangonda/AP Images)

20 Cornish Slang Terms That Require Translation

Cornwall is a place in which the English language is subject to a number of warping influences. There’s the lasting twist of the Cornish language. Once thought to have died out, it has been the subject of a fierce revival in recent years, bringing fresh perspective to local slang terms that long ago made the […]

The guitarist from Lubbertwort (Pic: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)

10 Old English Insults That Should be Band Names

Musicians, particularly those of a hipster disposition, we have an invaluable service to offer as you gather together into your various groups and ensembles. Rather than pinching the stage names of other performers and making your own, based on bad puns—like Joanna Gruesome, Ringo Deathstarr, Dananananaykroyd and Ryan Adams*—why not trawl through some of the […]

They are, they are, they are the mods (Pic: Terry Fincher/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1960s Mod Slang We Should Use Today

In 1983, the venerable British pop magazine Smash Hits (sadly no longer with us) published a feature called “The Things People Said,” in which Tom Hibbert pulled together a lexicon of youth slang, across the rocking ’50s, the groovy ’60s, the hippy ’70s and the heavy metal ’80s. For a young fan of pop culture […]

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (Pic: Disney)

5 Words the British Got From India

English is a mongrel tongue. It’s a language that betrays influences from every modern language you could care to name and several that no one speaks any more. The British picked up these words as they set out to invade and conquer the world, sending them back home with the exotic spices, jewels, fruits and […]

Lethal Bizzle in full ‘dench’ regalia (Pic: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

5 Newish British Slang Terms from the Kids

We present a short lexicon of modern British street slang, so that the unwary traveler does not get their peng mixed up with their YOLO and find themselves chirpsing with someone who is jokes. A most undesirable state of affairs, I trust you’ll agree. Oh my days! It may sound like the sort of expletive […]

Dolly Parton at Glastobury 2014 (Pic: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

WATCH: Dolly Parton Says “Ay Up, Me Duck”

It’s always a glorious moment when arcane and super-local British slang rolls out of the immaculate lips of American stars. Especially when those lips are also contorted into trying to do the accent and it swiftly becomes any accent, from cockney to yokel and ranging across Wales and Carlisle. So, when Dolly Parton launched the […]

Ripper Street

10 Victorian Swears from the Real ‘Ripper Street’

Ripper Street returns to BBC AMERICA this Wednesday (April 29) at 10/9c for a third season. There are new cast members—including Sherlock’s Louise Brealey—new stories and all manner of unpleasant goings-on in the grottiest parts of Victorian London. So, to get you in the mood (and possibly upset your stomach) here’s a brief working definition […]

Irish tricolour

25 Irish Sayings to Live By

This week, the rivers of major cities all over the world will run green, the bars will be filled with people wearing fake beards, green top hats and sunglasses fashioned into the shape of twin four-leaved clovers, and there will be much talk of blarney, of begorrah and of craic. So, as our own contribution […]

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