The Brits–TRU London Lingo

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I certainly enjoyed my visit to London to attend the TRU London conference.  As someone who has a background and a love of culture and anthropology (my undergrad is in Anthro.), I love to soak up the people, the places, the culture, and nuisances of wherever I am traveling at the moment.

What I have found and always loved is that the British language is so enjoyable and endearing.  And because of this and just my love of the Brits, I’ve compiled a top 10 list of my favorite British sayings or words that have caught my attention over the last week.

As I’m learning more about the language there are different meanings associated depending on your tone and intent.  The same is true for the United States version of English Language but things can be quickly be taken out of context.  Some words when said a certain way are extremely vulgar and mean different things.  While I’d love to go into more detail specifically, this blog must remain a PG rated show for the purposes of the audience.  However, if you are interested in learning more about what exactly I mean, give me a shout, and I’ll fill you in.

  1. Bonny. My friend, @lasanto who lives outside of London in a beautiful Victorian home that he is currently renovating used bonny to describe someone’s laugh as bonny.
  2. Dodgy. As in the context of Bill’s hair who was in need of a good cut.  It just sounds fun and makes me laugh.  Dodgy.
  3. Pikey. Meaning trashy and the Irish not necessarily an assumed connection in the states.  Where do they get this stuff?
  4. Bloody. As in absolbloodylutely which according to my TRU London friends is a word.  Love it especially over beers among friends at the pubs.  It just screams British.
  5. Would you Adam and Eve it? Meaning would you believe it.  I thought this one was particularly interesting.
  6. Ankle Biter. Also known as a child.  In the States, we associate an ankle biter with small breeded dogs.
  7. Bacon Sarnie. My love of bacon comes to London.  This is a bacon sandwich.  Those of us in the HR space appreciate our affinity and obsession for bacon.  No unconference can be complete without some sort of bacon reference.
  8. Billy No Mates. Has no friends.  Certainly not the case at this unconference.
  9. Bacon Butty. Another name for the bacon sandwich.  Man, I love England!
  10. Cheap as Chips. As in inexpensive and cheap.  Loving this saying.

Is there something I left off the list?  Let me know. . . Cheerio!

Photo Credit Cantuar.


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  1. So funny. I hear these terms on a regular basis since hubby is a Brit.

    You should also include:

    -Bollocks (British swear word)
    -Fit (as in, pretty or hot)
    -Boot (I believe that’s the trunk of a car)
    -Easy peasy (simple)

    I could probably write a whole post of British terminology since I pride myself in being “bilingual.”

    Glad you enjoyed it there. We are going again soon to see the family.


  2. Jessica,

    Ha ha ha!!

    It was great to meet you in London,over the last couple of days.

    I love it that you have created this top 10. But should you have included these?

    Guv – A manager / leader

    Knob – an idiot (Laurie referred to the US equivilent being a ‘dick’!!)

    Real Beer – I believe you referred to this as a ‘cling to your insides’ beer!! Then you proceeded to down a pint of IPA 🙂

    Good luck with your new book, I will send you a copy of mine when it is finished.


  3. Hi Jessica.

    It was great to meet you this week, and discuss this “thing” that we do, called social media in recruitment.

    As a fellow Brit, but also a fellow foreigner when in London, I too find the similarities and differences of language to be fascinating. There are possibly more Scots in London than in Scotland, but I still find my accent needs a little fine tuning, to be understood, and I often accidentally adopt Londonisms in order to converse (often with funny consequences).

    I’ll be reading your blog from now on, and hope you don’t mind me chipping in on occasion. If you ever want a comment or guest blog, just say the word.


  4. I still don’t understand why HR people are so much into bacon. But then again, we all need our veggies.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed my “XL Bacon Double Cheese” at Victoria before heading to the airport today 😉

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    Johnie London |
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