Friday, May 4, 2012

Cultural component of phraseology in Great Britain.

When traveling:

When you arrive at the airport, you may need an airport porter (skycap) to assist you. A trolley (baggage cart) is helpful for transporting your luggage. Instead of renting a car, you hire one.

If you need to take money out from an ATM, you want to look for a cashpoint.

If you need to pop into the chemist (drugstore) to buy a few things, you may need paracetamol for a headache (this is the same as Tylenol). If you are traveling with an infant, you may want to pick up some nappies (diapers).

While traveling the London Underground, also known as the Tube (subway), you will hear a voice reminding you to "Mind the Gap!" as you step on and off the subway car. This means you should be aware of the space between the platform and the car. This phrase is world famous, and appears on many London souvenirs.
In Conversation: I'm sure most of you have heard the phrase, "Bob's your uncle!", which means, "And there you have it!"
 I haven't heard anyone say "Cheerio!", although Americans seem to think this is a common British term. I still see it in various sources on British slang, but my British friends have obvious disdain for the expression. I've heard countless Americans say, "Pip Pip Cheerio!" when trying to sound British, but pip pip is outdated. Both pip pip and cheerio mean goodbye, which renders this expression redundant.
 Americans may say, "Holy Cow!", but Britain's comparable expression is "Stone the crows!. "Blimey!" is also used.
 Americans may talk up a storm, but Britons talk the hind legs off a donkey.
 Instead of using the bathroom or going potty, the British spend a penny, although it's a rather old fashioned expression. (I've heard the expression gone potty to indicate people going crazy; the word barmy is also used for that purpose).
 You may hear the word brilliant (shortened to brill) a lot, which means the same as cool.
 Of course, you'll hear bloody A LOT, such as "that was bloody awful" or countless other ways. Blooming is a gentler form of bloody.
 Cheeky, of course, is a well-known term, which means the same as being flippant or lippy.
 When you hear someone say "Ta!", they are giving an expression of thanks.
 If something is wonky (an expression I actually use frequently), it means it is unsteady or shaky.
 If someone tells you they are chuffed, it means they are pleased.

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