New English Dictionary

Since I’ve been living in England I’ve had to learn an entirely new dialect, and in some cases a new language.

new English dictionary

A translation guide for expats

In the hope of helping newcomers to Blighty I’ve decided to publish a quick guide to the new English language.

New English Dictionary

1. Drought (dr-owt) – A period of unseasonably cool temperatures, and considerable outpourings of the ‘wrong kind of rain’. Governmental reaction employs a left field solution – announcing hose pipe bans and flood warnings within ten days of each announcement.

2. Northerner (ee – by -gum) – someone who lives in London whose ancestral home is north of the Watford Gap.

3. Health and Safety (elf n safety) – a 21st century redefinition of something that was previously known, in the dark ages, as common sense. Common sense was deemed to be significantly uncommon in the latter years of the 20 Century, so Health and Safety warnings were created to re-educate the public. Notable health and safety warnings include posters in public toilets on how to use the toilet and how to wash your hands.

3. Irish (oi-rish) – A mythical race who once (pre economic crash) lived in the green pastures of this northern land, but now typically, reside in Sydney, Australia.

4. English Summer (as if) – a period of warmish weather that lasts longer than three days at a stretch. A mysterious ball of fire may appear in the sky at this time, prompting English folk to throw off their clothes and drink lager.

5. Britain’s Got Talent (ahem) – a popular tv show that has replaced the travelling circus. Critics are however increasingly calling for the banning of BGT due to the inhumane treatment of its audience.

6. Spray tan (tango) – the process by which sticky orange liquid is squirted at your naked body by a professional stage makeup artist. The resultant fake tan is extrememly popular in Essex.

7. Bank Holidays ( bank oli daze) – days of sloth and gluttony wherein a considerable amount of television is also consumed. Alternatives to this traditional behaviour include flying Ryan Air to Ibiza to say hello to the sun, and sitting in an epic traffic jam that curls 10 miles around the M25.

8. Examinations (eggs am in- oh crap!) – devastatingly difficult tests that evaluate the student’s ability to read their text book and find the answer. Otherwise known as open book tests.

9. Disturbing the peace (diss respectin it, yeh) – what the angry, blotchy faced bunch of middle aged men and women do in an ancient old building that was once set aside in Westminster for the express purpose of leading the country.)

10. Blogger (blogger) – a specialist in publically revealing the minutiae of everyday life, in written word. Collective term – a whinge of bloggers. Requires a thick skin and SOH.


Image: Flickr CC


'New English Dictionary' has 13 comments

  1. May 2, 2012 @ 10:42 am Katriina

    “a whinge of bloggers” – excellent! I’ve always loved a good whinge.


    • May 2, 2012 @ 12:14 pm vegemitevix

      I have to confess I head it somewhere, not sure where. Hubby reckons it’s an apt description. ;-p


  2. May 2, 2012 @ 12:09 pm Maria Mesias

    This is so spot on i had to share on FB where i am in touch with Kiwi (hubby’s) family. it will serve them well!!


    • May 2, 2012 @ 12:16 pm vegemitevix

      That’s so cool thanks for sharing. Have you liked my Facebook page – Once you have you can easily share my posts as they are posted there also. Not to mention we have quite a few interesting discussions on there.


  3. May 2, 2012 @ 12:46 pm Steve

    Is it a whine of bloggers or a whinge? Or does it depend on the gender? ūüėČ


    • May 2, 2012 @ 12:50 pm vegemitevix

      ¬†Excellent question. I’m assuming a whine is more soprano than a whinge, so I’m guessing the female version is a whine. Your thoughts?


  4. May 2, 2012 @ 2:10 pm Expat Mum

    Given how much we all seem to imbibe, it could even be a “wine” of bloggers.


  5. May 2, 2012 @ 5:46 pm MidlifeSinglemum

    LOL. Could I add ‘sanwij’ – anything stuck between two slices of tasteless, plastic, white bread and¬†eaten without a plate, not¬†at a table. And of course ‘grub’ which is the generic term for anything¬†under¬†a generous covering of tomato ketchup.¬†


    • May 8, 2012 @ 8:52 am vegemitevix

      Love this, hate sanwij’s. Especially the ones on cardboard bread with rancid butter and a dribble of liquid lettuce. Ick.


  6. May 6, 2012 @ 10:47 am The Foreigner

    Especially love the defs. of English Summer and Bank Holidays. ¬†I always marvel at what happens when the sun appears. ¬†I’ve consider whipping out my mobile and taking pics of those Britons who are inappropriately dressed for the weather, posting it on the blog and titling it, “British person, Sun¬†?¬†summer.” ¬†Heh heh. ¬†


    • May 8, 2012 @ 8:51 am vegemitevix

      I know I must admit it made me laugh when I first started living here, but then last year I went to Manchester and saw girls wandering around in sleeveless tops and mini skirts (without stockings) in winter, and then I realised that this is how it’s done here. The locals obviously make their own summer, sun not actually required.


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