Tuesday, March 19

British slang

(1) Real-life UK students’ slang
British student slang includes the following for ‘drunk’: ‘trollied’, ‘muntered’, ‘klangered’, ‘steaming’, ‘lashed’, ‘gazumped’, ‘bladdered’, ‘bazeracked’, ‘kettled’, ‘mashed’, ‘hammered’, ‘wombled’, ‘blatted’, ‘mullered’, ‘messy’ and ‘willied’. You can also have a ‘sesh’ (a drinking session) and go out ‘on the lash’ or for a ‘complete bender’ (i.e. get drunk). The next day, the result may be ‘carnage’.

Students use rhyming slang as well. When it comes to a degree, they aim for a ‘Geoff Hurst’ (first), but are more likely to get a ‘Trevor Nunn’ (2:1) or a ‘Desmond’ (2:2, as in ‘Archbishop Desmond Tutu’). But those who have skipped too many lectures may find themselves with a ‘Douglas Hurd’ (third) or even a ‘Dan Quayle’ (fail).

(2) Fictional UK teenage slang
The fictional diaries of Georgia Nicolson, aged 14, are a hit with teenagers across the Atlantic. Some of Georgia’s slang words and expressions (‘full-frontal snogging’, ‘naff’, ‘po faced’, ‘prat’, ‘gormless’, ‘oik’) are common parlance, others date back to the 50-year-old author Louise Rennison’s days as a teenager and others are pure invention. ‘Georgia may not sound like a bona fide British teenager, but ‘Ms Rennison is proud to have turned the tables on the nation which unleashed "cool", "like" and "wassup" upon the world,’ reports BBC News Online. She attributes the American craze for British slang to its being ‘a bit rude, a little bit naughty –– something of a novelty in these days of political correctness.’ And: ‘Teenagers really love something that’s theirs, something secret. I think that's why they've adopted Georgia's language.’

(3) Cockney rhyming-slang Bible
With the full backing of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mike Coles (a teacher in East London) has translated the Bible into cockney rhyming slang to make it more fun for his pupils. His interpretation of nine stories from the Old Testament and St. Mark’s Gospel, published in May 2001, has Jesus walking on ‘fisherman's daughter’ (water), breaking ‘Uncle Ned’ (bread) and turning water into ‘rise and shine’ (wine). Mr Coles hopes that his ‘Captain Hook’ (book) might even persuade ‘saucepan lids’ (kids) to read more, and spend less time in front of the ‘custard and jelly’ (telly). Dr George Carey, the A of C, says: ‘The Bible in cockney takes it out of the formal church setting, and puts it back into the marketplace, into the streets, where it originally took place.’