n adj white trash. It’s an old English word meaning “gipsy,” but nowadays pikey is also applied to people in possession of track suits, Citroen Saxos with eighteen-inch wheels and under-car lighting, and pregnant fifteen-year-old girlfriends.
n idiot. You could almost decide having read this dictionary that any unknown British word is most likely to mean “idiot.” And you could almost be right. The Brits have so many because different ones sound better in different sentences. Pillock is likely a contraction of the 16th century word “pillicock,” which was used to refer to the male member.
n, v Scottish piss. It can be used not only to refer to urine/urination, but also as a mild sort of swear word, similar to “crap.”
n useless drunk. The .com must have gone, but I’m too scared to check. Have you ever played that game where you pick a .com and bet amongst your friends as to whether it’s a porn site or not? I bet you’re sitting there thinking that sounds like a stupid game, but let me get you started. turkishdelight.com? You’re wondering, aren’t you?
adj idiot. I’m tempted to write a Dictionary of British Insults. Also (rarely) used to refer to one’s penis. Or someone else’s, if you don’t have one. Or if you do have one, but you’re trying to refer to someone else’s and not your own. I’m tempted to also write a Dictionary of British Words For Penis. A future bestseller; keep an eye out. Not that eye.
adj glum; long-faced: I bumped into Sheena in the newsagent this afternoon – she looked mighty po-faced about something. As well as being a useful word for people who want to win at Scrabble by memorising stupid goddamned two-letter words and then sitting there looking all smug about them even thought they don’t know what they mean, “Po” is an abbreviation for “chamber pot” (an old-fashioned bed-pan).
adj crappy; third-rate. Presumably derived in some way from when horrible things were described as being ridden with a pox.
n idiot: I met my sister’s boyfriend the other day and he seems like a complete prat. Derived from a time when the word was slang for your posterior (in a similar way to the more contemporaneous “arse”) from whence, interestingly, came the peculiarly American word “pratfall” (a fall on one’s behind).
n shit. The only plausible reason I can think of for this word’s existence at all is that it has more rhyming potential for football songs. Perhaps soon we’ll have the word “shitove,” giving Whitney Houston and her cohorts further opportunities to over-use the word “love” in their drivelly good-for-nothing pop songs.
adj disgusting. Describing something or someone as skanky would imply that they haven’t been cleaned in quite some time. Brits do not use the word “skank” to refer to a prostitute.
n make fun of: Andy fell down the stairs on the way into the pub last night, and everyone spent the entire night taking the piss out of him. This is the most common term in British English to describe making fun of someone. Contrary to what one might assume, it doesn’t involve a complex system of tubes or a bicycle pump.
n woman of loose morals. This is a somewhat antiquated equivalent of “tart,” and was sixteenth-century slang for a prostitute.
n rascal; tearaway. Normally used to describe children who are doing something a bit mischievous but not particularly awful. You’d be much more likely to hear “Quit spraying me with the hose, you wee tyke!” than you would “Run, the little tyke’s got a bomb!”
n dimwit; dunce. In a friendly sort of a way. You’d never leap out of your car after someone’s smashed into the back of it and shout “you complete fucking wally!”
n idiot. When I originally put this on my website I spelled it “wazzak.” I received emails variously informing me that it was spelled “wazzock” or “wuzzock.” I then received one from a chap who claimed to have invented the word in South Somerset when he was seven and that “wazzack” was in fact the correct spelling. And the one I got from a chap in Nottinghamshire claiming that he invented it and it was spelled “wassak.” Why must society be like this? Why must we all lay claim to something? I put the two people in touch via email and they have subsequently fallen in love.