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Friday, 10 June 2011

A Guide To Swearing in English

The english equivalent of flipping the bird.

As a Canadian living in England, I quickly had to learn that they have a whole vocabulary of ridiculous swear words and expressions that never quite made it across the pond.  If I had read a guide like this before I left, I could have avoided a plethora of situations that left me red-faced and all my "mates" laughing at me.  I'm not even going to get into words like "Mangetout" (snowpea), "Aubergine" (eggplant) or "Courgette" (zucchini), we'll save that for another day. 

First, and most importantly, is slang words for genitalia.  All cultures seem to have an endless supply of words for Penis and Vagina, and the English are no different.  Some of my favorites are: Clunge, Minge, Twat, and the best of all...Fanny.  I was sitting on the tube with a Canadian friends visiting London, and she loudly mentioned she forgot her fanny pack.  I flailed like an idiot trying to shush her before the whole train starting inwardly laughing at her.  Don't pretend like you don't inwardly laugh at idiots on public transport, we all do.  It's a comedy gold mine.  Over there, it's a "bum bag" not a fanny pack.  You may as well call it your cunt sack.  Which brings me to my next vagina word.  The always impressive....Cunt.  It's an offensive word, sometimes considered to be the most offensive word, in most of the world.  But those brits reaaaaallllyyy don't like it.  If you want to get punched in the face, call a guy a cunt and see what happens.  I learned this the hard way when I dropped the dreaded C-Bomb not once, not twice, but thrice the first time I went for dinner with my boyfriends parents.  They didn't punch me in the face or anything, but I still want to crawl into a hole and die when I think about how badly I embarassed myself.  Don't even get me started on the the time I made Hitler jokes to his (unknown to me) Jewish stepmother.

Of course, you can't have vaginas without penises!  Unless you're a lesbian, in which case, stop cutting your hair so short and piercing your eyebrow.  My ultimate favorite for english penis slang is Bell End.  So descriptive, yet subtle!  We actually managed to convince a South African co-worker that Bell End Brie was a kind of artisan cheese and that he should offer it to all the customers in the pub.  Magical.  Other options for penis words include Knob, Willy and another favorite of mine, Chode.  Chode is a bit more specific, referring to a penis that is as short as it is wide.  It is almost always an exceptional insult.  Another extremely popular word is Bollocks, which refers to testicles.  It's especially useful when you've just slammed your finger in the car door and need to scream something foul to make yourself feel better.  (It's true, studies have shown that swearing when you've hurt yourself reduces pain.)

Now, just because you know these slang words doesn't mean you won't sound like a complete douche if you try to use them.  North Americans should be forbidden from ever saying the words wanker or tosser.  English people don't procounce their R's and we do.  So when they say "wankah" we say "wank-ERR" and sound like try-hard idiots.  The best bet is just stay informed, so when you're playing with a ring on your finger and it falls off, you know not to say "Oh shit, I dropped my ring".  It means you've farted, or blown off, another lesson I learned the hard way. 

If you have any further questions.....The Inbetweeners are here to help.
It kind of goes without saying that this is NSFW, but I'll say it anyway so you don't get sacked (fired)

I hope this guide has helped you from looking like a complete dickhead if you ever decide to visit england.  I'm sure you can find plenty of fun, original ways to make a complete asshole of yourself in a foreign country.  It's what we North Americans do best!

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