Since my son met and married a girl from London, his language has become peppered with UK SPK™, which I define as words and phrases he’s appropriated from his wife, her family, and friends. Because I like to be as trendy and hip as he is, if only to annoy him, I have incorporated quite a few into my daily life.

The first day he said jumper instead of sweater, I had to remind him that he holds an American passport and he was born and raised on the beach in SoCal.  And the day he told me he’d ring me on his mobile I was gobsmacked (amazed). My DIL says things all the time that I need her to translate for me. When we go shopping, she’ll look at an outfit or whatever, and say it’s naff which means tacky and def something I shouldn’t be caught dead in. Mutton dressed like lamb is a veiled way to communicate to me that the hoochie momma spandex-covered-in-rhinestones dress I picked out for myself is too young looking for my advanced years. I always say totes adorbs because Stacy from What Not To Wear says it, but it was born in the UK.  Of course, that’s totally adorable, right? Everyone knows they say boot and mean trunk, and flatmate is roommate, but did you know that knackered means tired? Pissed isn’t angry, it’s drinking too much alcohol, and to whinge is to whine. The one that really confused me for the longest time was biscuit, which to me is flour and shortening, baked in the oven and slathered in butter, but to Brits it’s a cookie, of all things! Oh, and DIL says, “I reckon” a lot, which I thought was funny ‘cos it’s kind of a Southern thang, but apparently it’s a well-used phrase they’ve appropriated from us and are now giving back!

The day my child picks up a British accent, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Prob wave an American flag back and forth in front of him until he once again sounds like the California boy he is!

Here’s a few more I hear on a regular basis:

bin=trash can

ginger= red hair

gobsmacked= amazed, gob is mouth

sorted=figured out

splash out=spend a lot

suss it out= figure it out

I know there are many more -isms, but I’m saving some for Part 2 one day. Unless everyone stops speaking to me.

27 thoughts on “UK SPK™

  1. This post made me smile. I am currently reading a book where a American goes to London. She was asked do you like ginger males. She was confused until they explained that it means Redheads.


  2. Gobsmacked? Congratulations you just had a new word to my vocabulary. I hadn’t run across this one in all of the dialect books.

    “Prob wave an American flag back and forth in front of him”
    Please do that to me too when I’m practicing a Scottish accent 😉


  3. I have, (somewhere; I have been looking for it this week) , an Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable that helps a lot,(got it at Barnes and Noble). I guess growing up with a sister who was a teenager when the Beatles came out helps;I was always translating Harry Potter-isms to the family.You might be interested to know that you are right about the Southern-Speech being British. I heard some years ago that if you wanted to hear how English was spoken in the 17th Century and before, go deep into Appalachia where they ‘reckon’ and ‘commence’ etc. SInce their ancestors settled there and they had been fairly isolated, the speech never changed.I dare to guess that better transportation, satellite TV and the internet has changed that now.
    This post was a bit of alright! Smashing!


  4. Pingback: UK SPK™- Part Two | Enchanted Seashells…Confessions of a Tugboat Captain's Wife

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