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British English for the Novice U-V-W-X-Y-Z

British English for the Novice U-V-W-X-Y-Z

Date: Oct 03 2007

Topic: British English

Author: rhyme_reason


UNDERGROUND n. 1. Subway.

UNDERTAKE v. 1. Pass on the left. This is illegal in the UK except when passing a car that is turning right. The normal meaning of this is a mortician. UK bumper sticker: "OVERTAKERS to the right. UNDERTAKERS to the left." See OVERTAKE.

UP/DOWN MARKET phrase. 1. Of a higher or lower economic status. As in, "The new 3.5 Rover from British Leyland is definitely UP MARKET".

VACANT adj. 1. The state a lavatory is in when it's not ENGAGED. Curiously this is not used of telephones.

VERGER n. 1. Sober guardians, usually dressed in black, found in many churches. Their principle purpose seems to be to remind tourists to remove their hats in church.

VERGES n. 1. Shoulder of a road as in, "SOFT VERGES".

VEST n. 1. A tee shirt. Undershirt.

VOLLEY n. 1. A term used in tennis or squash meaning to strike the ball with your racket without allowing it to bounce on the ground. The also leads to the term HALF-VOLLEY which occurs when you do not properly VOLLEY the ball, but rather strike it on the short hop.

V-SIGN n. 1. Clenched fist with the index and first finger raised to form a V shape (meaning "victory"). 2. Clenched fist with the index and first finger raised to form a V shape (being a rude insult to the audience).   These two forms are distinguished by the direction of the knuckles: knuckles toward audience being an insult (2) and knuckles toward the gesticulator meaning victory (1). Winston Churchill was much given to getting these confused. Use of form (2) to indicate the number two may result in unexpected GBH.

WAIST COAT n. 1. Vest.  

WALLY n. 1. An idiot. Someone who is so dumb, he doesn't even know he is dumb.  

WANK v. 1. To masturbate.

WASH UP v. 1. To wash pots, pans, knives, forks etc. It does not mean to wash hands and face.

WASTE BIN n. 1. Waste paper basket.

WAY OUT n. 1. Exit. This phrase will be found in place of "exit" signs in buildings in the United Kingdom.

WELLIES n. 1. WELLINGTONS. Rubber boots. The Duke of Wellington invented rubber boots, hence the name.

WHACKED adj. 1. Tired. Exhausted. As in, "Went to a party on Saturday and I'm still WHACKED".

WHISKY n. 1. Unless otherwise specified, this means Scotch whisky. See WHISKEY.

WHISKEY n. 1. Irish whiskey. Since the pronunciation is identical to WHISKY, it's safer to ask for IRISH WHISKEY if that is what you want.   The word WHISKEY has its origins in the Gaelic (Irish) word UISCE BEATHA (ish-ka bah-ah) which means "water of life".

WIDEBOY n. 1. Shady operator. SPIV.

WILLIE n. 1. School boy's term for a penis.

WINDSCREEN n. 1. Car windshield. WING n. 1. Fender of a car.

WINKERS n. 1. Directional signals (as on a car). Since one blinks with two eyes and winks with one eye, directional signals should be WINKERS and not blinkers.

WITH THE GREATEST RESPECT phrase. 1. Phrase used when discussing matters with your superiors. The phrase is emphasized when you have no respect for the person you are speaking to. This is a safe way of saying he doesn't have any idea what he is talking about.

WOOD LICE n. 1. Potato bugs.

YORKSHIRE PUDDING n. 1. Not a dessert but a kind of baked batter mix usually eaten with roast beef.

YOU LOT n. 1. You. This phrase is used exactly as y'all is used in the South. As in, "If YOU LOT think I'm going to wait till you come back from the PUB, you're DAFT."

ZEBRA CROSSING (zeb-rah not zee-bra) n. 1. One of several types of pedestrian crossings, so named because of the distinctive black and white stripes which mark the road where the pedestrian is to cross. ZEBRA CROSSINGS are important because pedestrians have the right of way at all times -- one foot on the crossing is enough to stop approaching vehicles (PIGS MIGHT FLY too!). Apart from being highly illegal, running down pedestrians on ZEBRA CROSSINGS is considered NOT CRICKET. A ZEBRA CROSSING can be distinguished from other pedestrian crossings by means of the BELISHA BEACONS at each end. Note: Although you are required to stop if you are about to hit a pedestrian on this type of crossing, other drivers may not stop if you are the pedestrian. If you are run down by a passing motorist, be sure to check his accent; if this reveals a PUBLIC SCHOOL education then prosecution is unlikely to be successful against the motorist (you may of course be sued for 'contributory negligence' or some such).

ZED n. 1. The letter "Z".

ZED BED n. 1. A type of fold away bed.

ZED BEND n. 1. A double bend in the road (similar to an S-curve). After driving the narrow winding roads of England (especially in the South West), an American would feel that the ZED BEND is a particularly appropriate term to use. Roads that only "S" curve are considered to be minor variations of a straight road. A ZED BEND actually does resemble the shape of the letter "Z".


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Ahhh :D
I like these terms..
Even if they are so pretty hard :p

12:25 AM May 25 2011 |



Viet Nam

it’s good

01:45 AM Jan 17 2008 |




me cuesta

01:31 AM Jan 17 2008 |



Saudi Arabia

so difficult


08:15 PM Jan 16 2008 |




it's good to me

03:17 PM Jan 16 2008 |



 hi my thear how are you? i need a good and best girl frind to chat with me .to improve our english and be good and lovly relashan between ech other .if my english is week it is your respancebilty to improve it .thanks and regards.

i am waiting for your nice respans .see you

11:37 AM Jan 16 2008 |




09:10 AM Jan 16 2008 |





  it is not easy for me i think it is better to use pictures .i'd like to learn british and american english. mixtured .

05:41 AM Jan 16 2008 |



Saudi Arabia

u r a good teacher.


10:30 PM Jan 15 2008 |



Cool! I´ve learned many new  words.

07:21 PM Jan 15 2008 |






06:09 PM Jan 15 2008 |

Rebecca Simone


oh my God


04:34 PM Jan 15 2008 |



Syrian Arab Republic

Thanks for you all, but please add more examples for any grammer, My best regards to the whole team of this web site..

Thanks & Regards,

07:00 AM Jan 15 2008 |



i want to learn english very much


04:38 AM Jan 15 2008 |



I think its a collection of words and their meaning. I like this very much.

02:31 AM Jan 15 2008 |



is this a vocabulary

02:29 AM Jan 15 2008 |



hi huny how are you can you add me this my email adress

09:37 PM Jan 14 2008 |




what i tell about it's really cool

09:16 PM Jan 14 2008 |


United Arab Emirates

it is normal but passible

07:17 PM Jan 14 2008 |




soy tambien nuevo aqui, pero por lo que he visto aqui como mas aprendes es encontrando algun nativo y ablando! xq stas class algunas expresiones son interesantes xo x lo general…son una tontada!

un beso and take advantage of this site! its very useful to improve your english!

07:11 PM Jan 14 2008 |

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