Monday, June 4, 2012

Capital, Currency and Language of London

London  for a long time was a small city and people lived inside the walls that were built by the Romans.
It became Capitol in the 12th century. Today, it is a vibrant economic center with vast diversification in its population and the capital of one of the world's leading economies. Ironically, England's past as a colonial power led to its diversification. Today immigrants from colonies in Africa, the Middle-East, Asia, and the America's add to the population that descended from Celtic, Saxon and French roots.

Currency in London is pounds. The debate over conversion to the Euro has raged in UK politics for years, but the Sterling has held on. When viewed against the backdrop of the turmoil in the Euro and the precipitous drop in value relative to the dollar, the "Save the Sterling" advocates feel very vindicated. The United Kingdom has nixed the Euro. But not to worry, you can still exchange them at local banks and even some stores.

Language is The King's English - somewhat different than American English, not just in pronunciation; but, also in word selection. As an example, if you want to tell someone you will call them, you "ring them up/" If you feel someone is misleading you, what they say is "rubbish." 

Then the slang, check some of these out!

Arse - This is a word that doesn't seem to exist in America. It basically means the same as ass, but is much ruder. It is used in phrases like "pain in the arse" (a nuisance) or I "can't be arsed" (I can't be bothered) or you might hear something was "a half arsed attempt" meaning that it was not done properly.

Bang - Nothing to do with your hair - this is a rather unattractive way of describing having sex. Always gets a smile from Brits in American hair dressers when they are asked about their bangs. 

Bloody - One of the most useful swear words in English. Mostly used as an exclamation of surprise i.e. "bloody hell". Something may be "bloody marvellous" or "bloody awful". It is also used to emphasize almost anything, "you're bloody mad", "not bloody likely" and can also be used in the middle of other words to emphasise them. E.g. "Abso-bloody-lutely"! Americans should avoid saying "bloody" as they sound silly.

Dodgy - If someone or something is a bit dodgy, it is not to be trusted. Dodgy food should be thrown away at home, or sent back in a restaurant. Dodgy people are best avoided. You never know what they are up to. Dodgy goods may have been nicked. When visiting Miami I was advised by some English chums that certain areas were a bit dodgy and should be avoided!
Mate - Most chaps like to go to the pub with their mates. Mate means friend or chum.

Pissed - This is a great one for misunderstanding. Most people go to the pub to get pissed. In fact the object of a stag night is to get as pissed as possible. Getting pissed means getting drunk. It does not mean getting angry. That would be getting pissed off!

Quid - A pound in money is called a quid. It is the equivalent to the buck or clam in America. A five pound note is called a fiver and a ten pound note is called a tenner.
Rubbish - The stuff we put in the bin. Trash or garbage to you. You might also accuse someone of talking rubbish.

Sod - This word has many uses. My father always used to say "Oh Sod!" or "Sod it!" if something went wrong and he didn't want to swear too badly in front of the children. If someone is a sod or an "old sod" then it means they are a bit of a bastard or an old git. "Sod off" is like saying "piss off" or "get lost" & "sod you" means something like "f*** off". It also means a chunk of lawn of course. You can usually tell the difference!

Hope you had some good laughs and enjoyed.

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