interj goodbye; cheerio. Rather old-fashioned. Also toodle-oo. This may be derived from English soldiers attempting to pronounce “a tout à l’heure” (“see you later”) in French during the First World War. Or perhaps toodle-pip is some sort of derivation of that involving the French word “pipe,” which is slang for a blow-job. Whilst this fact is true, the derivation idea is something I’ve just made up off the top of my head right now.
adj rubbish; nonsense: Katie’s new boyfriend was going on about how he works in high finance somewhere – personally, I think it’s all a load of tosh.
adj kitsch. Old ladies’ front rooms, tartan cloth jackets and pleasant little sleepy retirement towns are twee. Marilyn Manson, drive-by-shootings and herpes are not.
v catch on; realise that something is up: Bob just poured the contents of the ashtray into Fred’s pint but he’s so pissed I doubt he’ll twig. It may come from the Gaelic word “tig,” meaning “understand.”
n pron “volt-fass”, because it comes from French about-turn: In the end they made a complete volt-face and offered us the thing for a grand. The French comes in turn from the Italian “voltafaccia” meaning “turn face”.
n, v banal or rambling conversation. You might describe your CEO’s yearly speech to the employees as nothing more than waffle, and likewise you could accuse him of waffling. Brits do describe those cross-hatched baked batter things as “waffles,” but they don’t really eat them all that much.
1 adj Scottish small: That’s an awfully wee car – are you sure you’ll all fit in it? In a loose sense it could also be interpreted as meaning “cute” in the “cute and cuddly” sense. You could tell someone they had a “nice wee dog,” but might meet with more curious glances if you used it in a more serious scenario: “Well, Mrs. Brown, I’m sad to tell you that you have a wee tumour on your cerebral cortex.” 2 v urinate: Back in a minute, I’m going to have a wee.
interj what’s wrong? While this means something akin to “hello” in the U.S., Brits use it to mean “what is wrong with you?”
v whine: Ah, quit whinging, for heaven’s sake! whinger someone particularly partial to whinging.
n passing the hat. A collection of money – usually a somewhat impromptu and informal one. You might have a whip round for Big Mike’s bus-fare home but you probably wouldn’t have one for his triple heart bypass. Unless you were using it as an attempt to bring a spot of humour to an otherwise morbid situation in the sort of way my wife doesn’t like me trying to do.
adj cool; awesome: Jim’s got a wicked new car stereo. A little bit eighties. Okay, a lot eighties.
adj cool; awesome: Wow! That’s wizard! A bit eighties. I have to emphasise here that just because words are in the dictionary doesn’t mean to say I use them on a regular basis. As far as I’m concerned it has a similar aura to “Bitchin’!”
adj not quite right. You might say “My plans for the evening went a bit wonky”; you would not say “I’m sorry to tell you, Mr. Jones, but your wife’s cardiac operation has gone a bit wonky.” The American English word “wonk” (an expert in some particular subject) is not used in the U.K.
adj ill-defined; vague: We gave up halfway through his presentation… it all seemed a bit woolly.
interj howdy; hey there. A form of greeting, rather more familiar to Victorian schoolboys than anyone more contemporary. Harks back to a time when “cock” meant something like “mate,” but nowadays marching into a bar and greeting someone with “wotcher, cock!” is unlikely to make you more popular.
n a long time; ages. Not a specific length of time at all; it could be minutes or decades: Where have you been? I’ve been waiting here for yonks! or: Met a friend from school the other day that I haven’t seen for yonks.
n Scottish plural form of “you”: Are yous coming out later? When alien civilisations try to crack the English language, several things will make them wonder how on earth anyone managed to communicate using it. One of these things will be the fact that “pound” was both a unit of weight and a unit of currency. Another will be that “pint” represented two different volumes on different sides of our tiny planet. Perhaps the most confounding will be the fact that we had no way to make a distinction between addressing one single person, or several thousand.