n aggression; trouble: Hey, you! Stop making faces at that guy outside with the knife – we don’t want any aggro around here!
v disembark. Many American tourists are confronted with this word quite rapidly after reaching the U.K., because on the London Underground the pre-recorded message says such things as: “This is Baker Street. Alight here for Madame Tussauds.” Madame Tussauds is a cheesy attraction and best avoided. The voice on the tube only says the part about the alighting.
adv very much an equivalent of “anyway.” If you think about it, “any road” pretty much means “any way,” erm, anyway.
v stake a claim for something in the same way that Americans would claim “dibbs” on or “call” some item or privilege: I bagsie the front seat or Bagsie first shot on the dodgems! It’s a rather childlike sentiment; you would be less likely to hear I bagsie being Financial Director! It doesn’t seem ridiculously far-fetched that it’d be derived from “bags I,” with “bag” meaning to catch something. But hey, who can tell. [Etymologists. –ed.]
adj darned. A very old-fashioned minor swear word, muck akin to a lighter version of “bloody”: I say, Edward! I think that ruffian is making off with your bally wallet!
n very cold: I’m not going outside without a coat, it’s bloody Baltic! Presumably named for the Baltic states, which aren’t all that cold.
n argument; fight. This is certainly rhyming slang, but no one’s sure of whence it came. It could either be “Barney Rubble” / “trouble” (Barney Rubble is a character in the cartoon “The Flintstones”), or “Barn Owl” / “row” (when it means “fight,” “row” rhymes with “now”). The latter is marginally more likely, as “trouble” could be many things other than a fight, but the former is a more popular explanation. Pick one.
interj press on regardless, to keep struggling in the face of adversity. Has nothing to do with hitting people.
n that’s that done. Popularised by T.V. chef Jamie Oliver, and now used by people who are young enough to think it sounds nice.
v wheedle; bluff; wangle: I managed to blag a ride to work. Or: I had no idea what I was talking about but I think I managed to blag it. Perhaps if I sat for a bit longer I’d think up better examples. Likely derived from the French “blague,” meaning a tall story. Americans use “mooch” and “moocher” in the same context.
adj similar to “bloody.” Used extensively by Cockneys (i.e., in London). Consequently, there are no recorded incidents of the trailing “g” being enunciated.
interj nice mild expletive, in terms of rudeness on a par with “my goodness.” It was originally part of the phrase “cor blimey,” which was likely a contraction of “God blind me,” which was in turn an abbreviated version of “may God blind me if it is not so.” There has been little evidence of God blinding users of the word, whether what they were saying was true or not. The original phrase “cor blimey” is still used, but rarely.
adj unusually wonderful. A currently popular slang term, largely interchangeable with “brilliant” or “great.” You’d use it to describe the goal that your football team just scored, or your favourite Elton John song. Though if you even had a favourite Elton John song, there’s a good chance you’re unfamiliar with current slang.
adj damned. A lesser equivalent to “bloody.” Slightly old-fashioned, but still in widespread use.
interj there you have it; ta-da! It’s a little antiquated these days but by no means out of use. It carries a cheerful connotation, so you would be more likely to hear: And then fold it back again, once over itself like that and Bob’s your uncle — an origami swan! rather than: Just get a hold of the paedophile register and Bob’s your uncle!
adj useless junk. While quite recent slang, it’s rather charming: Did your grandmother leave you anything good? / Nope, just a complete load of ancient bobbins. One possible etymology: that it’s from the north of England (particularly the Lancashire and Manchester areas), which used to be supported largely by cotton mills. As the industrial revolution drew to a close, the mills closed down and the population found itself with a surfeit of largely worthless milling machinery. During that time the phrase “‘twas worth nout but bobbins” sprung up; years later we’re left only with the last word.
1 v make a bit of a haphazard job of something 2 n something cobbled together. A “bodger” was originally a craftsman who worked on a green-wood lathe, but this information is of almost no help at all because the word “bodger” still rather implies that such a person was “bodging” something.
n no frills. The basic version. So your “bog standard” Volkswagen Golf would be one that doesn’t have electric windows, power steering or opposable thumbs. Well, nowadays a bog-standard Golf probably does have two thirds of those things. There’s no particular reason to believe that the term has anything to do with a toilet (see “bog”).
n crazy. I don’t think it really hit home that he was completely bonkers until he showed us the plan for attaching the finished device to his dog’s testicles.