n breasts: She was a bit dull but what a cracking pair of thrupney bits! From Cockney rhyming slang “thrupney bits” / “tits.” The thrupney bit was once a three-pence coin but is no longer in circulation. Although I’ve been doing my best to avoid putting plurals into this piece of work, I have a lot of trouble trying to think of any situation in which you would ever refer to a single thrupney bit. Perhaps someday the terms “thrupney bit implants” or “thrupney bit cancer” will be commonplace, but they aren’t now.
n 1 check; check-mark. One of those little (usually handwritten) marks people put next to things to show that they’re correct. Not the X (that’s for wrong answers), the other one. 2 moment. A very short space of time, very much equivalent to the way “second” is used in conversation: Try and hold it on for the moment, I’ll be back in a tick once I’ve phoned an ambulance. No doubt derived from clock noises.
n scalper. The people that hang around outside concert venues trying to sell second-hand tickets at vastly inflated prices. Everyone love to hate them, until they need them. To my mind, they perform two useful functions. First off, they create liquidity in the second-hand ticket market. And secondly, they give the rest of us someone to feel superior to in a kind of minor, petty way. It’s win-win.
adj in a good state; going well: We spent all the weekend on our knees and the garden’s tickety-boo now!
adj a fine example of his/her gender: Did you see the tidy new bloke working in the sweet shop? Blokes rather like this word because it has a definite subtext suggesting dusting and hoovering.
adj 1 drunk: My mother-in-law seemed rather nice the first time I met her, but I could swear she was tight. 2 miserly. I’m too tired to think of an example phrase, you’ll have to make your own up.
n pantyhose. I’m getting rather out of my depth here. Opaque, very thin women’s leggings and generally skin-coloured or black. “Tights” in the U.S. are generally coloured, thicker, more like leggings and rarely worn. All of this makes little difference to me because the only reason I’d ever think about buying either would be if I was considering a career in armed robbery.
n cash register. The device at the checkout of a shop upon which the assistant works out how much you have to pay, and which contains the money paid by other customers. That has to be the most long-winded and hapless definition I’ve written lately. The word “till” is used in the U.S. but refers to the removable drawer tray in the machine, not the whole device.
1 n place in great disarray: Your flat is a complete tip! Derived I think from the British term rubbish tip, where one goes to tip rubbish. 2 a gratuity (universal).
n whiteout; Liquid Paper. You know, the stuff that you use to paint over mistakes you’ve made on bits of paper. The stuff that smells good. Fuck, that’s good. Look at the pretty colours. Who wants popcorn?
n a demure, civilised drink. Usually of sherry, Martini or some other light spirit measure. You grandmother might acquiesce to a tipple before dinner. My grandmother, as it happens, acquiesced to several tipples before dinner, and a few after.
adj very small; ickle. Perhaps slightly childish, but in common use in the U.K.: Well, the food was very nice, but the helpings were titchy!
adj awry: As soon as the squirrel escaped the whole thing went tits up. Whilst the term originally referred to something which was dead (presumably derived from the orientation of said tits), it’s evolved to mean anything in a poor shape.
n a delicacy consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, in a sort of pie shape. The etymology is a tough one to guess at, as the dish itself contains no obvious holes and it’s difficult, although not impossible, to confuse sausages and toads.
n penis. “Tadger,” “todge” and “tadge” have been known to slip in too. As it were.
n scumbag. Someone worthy of contempt – scoundrel, rotter, that sort of thing. A rather antiquated word. I am reliably informed that the term derives from weaving, where “tow” refers to short bits of fibre left over after combing the longer flax (“line”). Tow can be used as-is for cleaning guns, lighting fires or strangling small children, or it can be made into “tow cloth”; cheap clothing worn by manual labourers. A “tow rag” is a piece of tow cloth which has finished its useful clothing life and is now being used to stop oil dripping out of the car or such like. I can’t help wondering whether “toe-rag” is the Victorian equivalent of “douchebag”.
n member of the upper classes – someone born with a silver spoon in their mouth, you might say. A rather esoteric working-class term.
n tomato ketchup. In the U.K. these two terms are interchangeable although “tomato ketchup” is in more common use, as tomato sauce could equally easily refer to the pasta-type sauce in a jar or can.
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.