A Question of Us: English slang glossary!

As a reference for US readers and others from outside the UK, I thought it might be helpful to produce a glossary of English/British slang terms and cultural references in my Yorkshire-set book A Question of Us. Some of these are specific to the north of England, others are used throughout the country. And yes, I know what you’re thinking: we Brits certainly have a lot of euphemisms for sex and drunkenness. I’m not sure what that says about us as a nation!

  • A-Levels – exams taken at age 18
  • afters – dessert
  • all right? – greeting. Means “are you well?” but doesn’t necessarily require an answer!
  • Argos – British shop where items are ordered from a catalogue
  • arse over tit – head over heels
  • arse – bottom
  • backhander – bribe
  • bagsied – staked a claim to something
  • Baltic – very cold
  • banging (exclamation) – great
  • Bash Street – reference to The Bash Street Kids, a long-running school series in British children’s comic book The Beano
  • bawdy – loud; raucous
  • beanie – warm knitted hat
  • bellend – an insult
  • The BillBritish police drama
  • bird – woman
  • biscuit – cookie
  • bitter – a type of beer
  • Blockbusters British quiz show
  • bloke – man (informal); guy
  • bloody – mild curse word
  • boffed – had sex with
  • (to) bollock (verb) – to tell someone off; give them a bollocking
  • bollocks (exclamation) – expression of frustration. Can also mean “bullshit”, as in “talking bollocks”
  • bollocks (noun) – testicles
  • bonking – having sex
  • boobs – breasts
  • booze – alcohol
  • bouncer – nightclub doorman
  • boxers – boxer shorts (male underwear)
  • brew up – make hot drinks
  • bugger (exclamation) – mild curse word
  • bugger (noun) – mild insult
  • bugger all – nothing
  • buggering up – screwing something up; making a mess of something
  • bugger off – get lost
  • bum – bottom
  • butty – sandwich (northern English slang)
  • cadge – scrounge; beg (northern English slang)
  • can’t be arsed – can’t be bothered
  • Carling – a brand of lager beer
  • Carlsberg – a brand of lager beer
  • (to) chat someone up – to talk to someone in a flirtatious way
  • cheers – thanks. Also used as a drinking toast
  • The Chippendales – male stripper act
  • chips – French fries
  • chuddy – chewing gum (northern English slang)
  • chuffed – pleased; happy
  • cig – cigarette
  • cop off with – make out with
  • coppering up – counting out amounts of money in small change
  • copper – policeman
  • Countdown British quiz show
  • cracking (exclamation) – great
  • crisps – potato chips
  • cuppa – cup of tea
  • daft – silly; foolish
  • Dear Deirdre – agony aunt column in British newspaper The Sun
  • (to) deck someone – to beat them up
  • dicking about – messing about
  • did a bunk – ran away; split
  • dim – stupid
  • div/divvy – idiot
  • a dive – a dump; a dirty or unpleasant place
  • dogging – sex with strangers in a public place
  • doing it – having sex
  • do one – get lost; go, leave
  • Eton – prestigious English private school for boys
  • fag – cigarette
  • (to) fancy someone – be attracted to them
  • fanny – vagina
  • fannying – messing about
  • fib – a lie
  • Fifteen to OneBritish quiz show
  • fit – sexually attractive; hot
  • fiver – five pounds
  • (to) fob someone off – make an excuse
  • GCSEs – exams taken at age 16
  • geezer – man; cool person
  • Gents – men’s public toilets
  • get off with – make out with
  • (to) get one’s end away – to have sex
  • (to) get one’s leg over – to have sex
  • getting you done – telling a tale on you
  • git (noun) – mild insult
  • give him/her one – have sex with him/her
  • give over (instruction) – stop
  • give up (instruction) – stop
  • gob – mouth
  • going off on one – displaying a fit of anger
  • going out with someone – dating them
  • Gold Run – a round in British quiz show Blockbusters
  • hammered – drunk
  • (to) have someone on – to attempt to fool someone
  • head/headteacher – school principal
  • heyup – hello (informal; northern English)
  • hiya – hello (informal)
  • HP – a brand of brown sauce
  • jelly – jello
  • johnny/rubber johnny – condom
  • knackered – tired; exhausted
  • knee-trembler – orgasm
  • knickers – female underwear
  • knobbing – having sex
  • knob – penis
  • knockers – breasts
  • knockout (exclamation) – excellent
  • Ladbrokes – chain of UK betting shops
  • Ladies – women’s public toilets
  • lad – boy
  • lager – a type of beer
  • lager lout – drunken, badly behaved person
  • lairy – loud; raucous
  • landlord/landlady – the manager of a pub
  • Landlord – a brand of ale
  • lass – girl
  • launderette – laundromat
  • leathered – drunk
  • lippy – lipstick
  • the local – your local pub
  • loo – toilet
  • love (noun) – term of endearment (northern English)
  • lunchbox – slang for male genitals when covered by clothing
  • Lynx Africa – a brand of deodorant
  • manky – dirty or gross
  • mardy – miserable; sulky (northern English slang)
  • mate – friend (informal); used in a similar way to US “buddy”
  • mobile/mobile phone – cellphone
  • Nessie – the Loch Ness Monster
  • Newky Brown – Newcastle Brown ale
  • (to) nick something – to steal it
  • nits – head lice eggs, common in young schoolchildren
  • Nobby’s Nuts – a brand of salted peanuts
  • on a promise – having a guaranteed offer of sex
  • on the job – having sex
  • on the pull – trying to find someone to hook up with
  • Oxfam – charity that runs a chain of second-hand (thrift) shops
  • pack it in (instruction) – stop it
  • pants – male or female underwear
  • papers – newspapers
  • Penguin – brand of chocolate biscuit
  • pet (noun) – term of endearment (northern English)
  • pictures (as in “going to the pictures”) – cinema
  • pillock – idiot
  • pissed – drunk
  • pisshead – drunken person
  • pissing about – messing about
  • PointlessBritish quiz show
  • poorly – sick; ill
  • posh – upper-class; sophisticated
  • primary – primary school (age four to eleven)
  • pub crawl – a walk from pub to pub, stopping for a drink in each
  • pud/pudding – dessert
  • (to) pull – to successfully hook up with someone; score
  • punch-up – a fight
  • quid – a pound
  • Rag Week – fundraising week at UK universities in which stunts and pranks are staged to raise money for charity
  • randy – lustful; horny
  • Reception – the first year of primary school (age four to five)
  • RE – Religious Education
  • Rich Tea – brand of biscuit (cookie)
  • roasties – roast potatoes
  • round (noun) – when you buy a drink for everyone in your group
  • (to) scoff – to exhibit disbelief; also, to eat greedily
  • scuffer – scruffy or low-status person (northern English slang)
  • secondary – secondary school (age eleven to sixteen or eighteen)
  • settee – couch
  • shagging – having sex
  • sixth form – the last two non-compulsory years of secondary school (age sixteen to eighteen)
  • skint – short of money; poor; broke
  • slag – sexually promiscuous person; slut
  • slammed – drunk
  • slap (noun) – make-up
  • slaughtered – drunk
  • smack (noun) – heroin
  • smartarse – person who is smugly or ostentatiously knowledgeable; clever clogs, smarty pants
  • smashed – drunk
  • snog – French kiss
  • snug – small, semi-enclosed area in a pub, historically used by those who didn’t want to be seen in the public bar
  • sod (noun) – mild insult
  • sod off – get lost
  • soppy – overly sentimental
  • the spit of you – the spitting image of you (i.e. looks just like you)
  • squaddie – soldier
  • stag do – bachelor party
  • stroppy – argumentative; having an attitude
  • swotting – studying hard
  • swot – a studious or clever person
  • taking the mickey/the Michael/the piss – mocking; making fun of someone (also “ripping the piss”)
  • ta – thanks (northern English slang)
  • tea – as well as the drink, in the north of England this refers to the evening meal
  • telly – television
  • tenner – ten pounds
  • Tesco – British supermarket
  • thick – stupid
  • thump – punch
  • Top GearBritish car review TV show
  • trackie bottoms – sweatpants
  • trollop – promiscuous woman
  • tuppence – two pence
  • twat – an insult
  • University ChallengeBritish quiz show for teams of university students
  • uni – university
  • V-sign – a rude gesture made with two fingers
  • wacky baccy – cannabis
  • (to) wang something – to throw it
  • wanker – an insult; unpleasant person or idiot
  • Waterstone’s – bookshop chain
  • weed – cannabis
  • wendy house – children’s play house
  • willy – penis
  • wind-up merchant – someone who frequently mocks or teases
  • (to) wind someone up – to tease or attempt to fool someone
  • WipeoutBritish quiz show
  • Yorkshire pudding – savoury batter pudding served with a roast dinner
  • Z-CarsBritish police drama

COVER REVEAL: A Question of Us

Click to enlarge!

I’m thrilled to reveal the gorgeous cover of my next book, A Question of Us!

A Question of Us tells the story of best friends Clarrie and Simon as they battle to win their town’s pub quiz league – and find themselves reassessing their feelings for one another into the bargain. The blurb is given below.

Two best friends. Eight pub quizzes. One shot at love…

There are some people who seem like they have all the answers in life. Clarrie Midwinter isn’t one of them.

At the age of 26, tomboy Clarrie is still struggling to become a ‘proper’ grown-up. She’s eternally strapped for cash, she hasn’t had a date in nearly a year and her attempts to quit smoking tend to take a nosedive after the second pint. Most annoyingly of all, her ladykiller best friend Simon just won’t stop asking her out. The only thing keeping her sane is her pub quiz team, the Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers.

But when Simon bets her a date their team will win the quiz league, Clarrie is forced to confront what she really wants out of life – and love. Is it finally time for her to grow up?

Gloriously irreverent, badly behaved romantic comedy from the author of Meet Me at the Lighthouse.

A Question of Us will be published by Aria Fiction on 5th September 2019.

New book deal announcement!

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ve signed a two-book deal with the lovely folk at Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus.

A Question of Us, a romantic comedy following the ups and downs of a northern pub quiz team as they give it everything to try to win the inter-pub quiz league, is out on 5th September. I’m delighted to be working with Hannah Smith and the team at Aria to bring this book into the world. It features some of my very favourite characters and has a special place in my heart.

The full blurb is given below. The book is available to pre-order on Kindle from Amazon at a price of £1.99.

A Question of Us

Two best friends. Eight pub quizzes. One shot at love…

There are some people who seem like they have all the answers in life. Clarrie Midwinter isn’t one of them.

At the age of 26, tomboy Clarrie is still struggling to become a ‘proper’ grown-up. She’s eternally strapped for cash, she hasn’t had a date in nearly a year and her attempts to quit smoking tend to take a nosedive after the second pint. Most annoyingly of all, her ladykiller best friend Simon just won’t stop asking her out. The only thing keeping her sane is her pub quiz team, the Mighty Morphin’ Flower Arrangers.

But when Simon bets her a date their team will win the quiz league, Clarrie is forced to confront what she really wants out of life – and love. Is it finally time for her to grow up?

Gloriously irreverent, badly behaved romantic comedy from the author of Meet Me at the Lighthouse and A Bicycle Made for Two.