n alley-cat. Implies a cat marginally more streetwise than your average “kitty.” A cat which has graduated from the university of life, if you will.
n cat. Implies a cat marginally more streetwise than your average “kitty.” A cat which has graduated from the university of life, if you will.
n pron. “nawt” the digit zero. It’s an Old English word meaning “nothing” still used in northern regional English. Also occasionally used in the U.S., along with its more common American sibling, “aught.”
n Kerosene. The fuel used in some lamps, greenhouse heaters and such like. To confuse matters somewhat further, Americans call candle-wax “paraffin.”
1 adj cold; chilly; nippy. 2 n an abbreviation for Park-keeper. Despite my cavernous capacity for humour, try as I might I couldn’t find any way to tie these in together.
n Solitaire. A card game played alone. I once wrote that the Brits would no doubt start calling it “solitaire” eventually, and some bastard half my age wrote to me to tell me that “mainly older people” call it “patience.” So, sadly, I have to add here that this term is used by “mainly older people.” This reminds me of the time my mother came home in tears when a boy scout had tried to help her across the road. Rather oddly, we Brits also call another game “Solitaire.” Just go and look it up like a man.
n House plant. Plants that one has around the house, for decoration, in pots. Because “pot” is one of the commoner worldwide terms for cannabis. it is generally only older people who can use the term pot plant without giggling.
n plant in a pot. Not a cannabis plant. Well, it could be, but more than likely it isn’t.
n pound (currency). Quid is to “pound” what “buck” is to “dollar.” The word is very widely recognised and socially acceptable but informal – you could quite easily say: “Well, they offered me ten thousand quid for the car” but you wouldn’t hear any BBC announcers reporting: “The government today authorised a ten million quid increase in health service funding.” This perhaps says more about the BBC than this one particular word, but I digress.
n, v call (as in telephone): You coming out later? / Dunno… give me a ring. A relic from the days when telephones actually rang and didn’t bleep, vibrate or send you e-mail.
n chutes and ladders. The simple board game in which you roll dice and, depending on which square you land on, you can go whizzing further up the board on ladders or slide down the board on snakes.
n a game played alone on a sort of four-pointed-star board full of pegs in little holes, where the idea is to remove pegs by jumping other pegs over the top of them, ultimately with the intention of ending up with a single peg left on the board in the middle. Traditionally, the Brits refer to card games one plays alone as “patience” rather than “solitaire” but Microsoft has gone a fair way to changing that.
v removed from a registered position of responsibility, usually the General Medical Council: Well, we were pretty sure she’d get struck off after the whole thing with the electric toothbrush and that poor man in the wheelchair. The term gave its name to the BBC radio medical comedy, Struck Off and Die.
n regular television; cable. Any television that doesn’t come from a satellite. Until recently there was no cable TV in the U.K., so any terrestrial television was beamed over radio waves and received by an aerial. The distinction is a bit hazy these days as the Brits are now fortunate enough to have cable TV. Nowadays, terrestrial television generally refers to the five channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five) which are transmitted via radio.