“Hilarious and entertaining.” Chicago Tribune
Knickers in a Twist
A Dictionary of British Slang
978-1-84195-834-7 • $15.00 • Paperback • Nov. 2006
Got your knickers in a twist? Or are you completely chuffed? With the cheekiness of Austin Powers and the tidbit quotient of Schott’s Miscellany, don’t dream of visiting the UK, dating a Brit, or truly understanding what Jude Law is saying without this handy, hilarious, and informative guide to Britspeak.
“Take a butcher’s at me new daisy roots. They’re the business!”
If a rather large British bloke directed the previous demand at you, and during your puzzled silence he took offense and offered to “sort you out,” waving his fist in your face, perhaps it’s time you studied up on the intricacies of everyday British slang. Screenwriter Jonathan Bernstein’s collection of Cockney rhyming slang, insults culled from British television shows of yore, and regional and “high British” favorites provides hours of educational, enlightening, even lifesaving hilarity.
Brits and Americans dress the same, eat at the same chain restaurants, pass music back and forth across the Atlantic, and our national leaders are practically conjoined twins. But the second the Brits open their mouths, all bets are off. The aim of these unscholarly pages is to guide you through the jungle of British slang, uncovering the etymology but also illuminating the correct usage. And if it doesn’t accomplish that, at least you’ll be aware that when a British citizen describes you as a “wally,” a “herbert,” a “spanner,” or a “bampot,” he’s not showering you with compliments. Knickers in a Twist is as indispensable as a London city guide, as spot-on funny as an episode of The Office, and as edifying as Born to Kvetch and Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
Sweet as a nut: Okay, fine, things are great.
The Filth: The police.
To pull someone’s plonker: Pull someone’s leg. And by leg I mean leg. Not what you were thinking. Cheeky monkey.
Wanking chariot: Bed.