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20 Wonderful British Words That Will Confuse All Americans

Did you shag that numpty?

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1.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

Shag is such a great word it's hard to believe America has survived for several hundred years without it. What do Americans say when they need to tell someone they've had, or intend to have, carefree sex with someone? "Did you have sex with him?" – so cold, so clinical. "Did you shag him?" "Yes, and it was a terrible disappointment." Many shags are.

2.

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One of those beautiful British words that can be applied to a plethora of circumstances. Burned the onions? "Bollocks." What do you think of The X Factor? "Bollocks." Listened to that incredibly pissed bloke in the pub? "Everything he said was utter bollocks." You probably have to spend some time here to fully grasp the nuance, but try it out and see how you go.

3.

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Just gorgeous. Calling someone a numpty is damning, but without the aggressive edge of "wanker", "prick", or "dickhead". It's basically a cosy, amicable way to indicate that someone has failed on every level.

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5.

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Pooping is for children. If "he pooped", he should be under 10. Shitting, and the past-tense "shat", are for grownups. "Massive night last night?" "Yep, shat myself." Welcome to Britain.

6.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

This wonderful word originates from the Scottish word "ming", meaning excrement. "Minging" and the related noun "minger" are often employed to describe someone you regret shagging or would never shag because they are so minging. It could also be applied to something found rotting at the back of the fridge.

7.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

Again, it is hard to understand how America has got by without this on-point word to describe a long, wet kiss. If you say you've kissed someone it could be anything from a formal peck on the cheek to a full-on session with whirling tongues and tsunamis of saliva. Say that you "snogged" someone and everything's clear.

8.

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I dunno, maybe Americans say "bigmouth"? But gobshite is so much better. Just a couple of lovely, rubbery, dirty-sounding syllables to ram home the fact that someone talks a load of shit.

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9.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

If someone spends too much time being a gobshite, they might turn into a twat. Someone who calls a girl a minger could be a twat. Someone who shags around is probably a twat. Feel for the poor Americans that don't get to enjoy using the word twat like us Brits do.

10.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

America just doesn't get the word pants. For Americans pants are like chinos. Dads wear pants to the office (a hilarious concept for many British people). But as well as meaning knickers or "panties", pants has another even better use over here, and that is to describe something that is not good at all. That is lame. Like, you'd say that Batman v Superman was pants.

11.

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A vital, essential word called upon several times a day to describe literally anything if you can't remember its name. "Pass the thingamajig." "He was with thingamajig." "Ooh, it's over by the thingamajig." Can be contracted to "thingy" when you can't even remember the word thingamajig.

12.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

Another terrific word, similar in meaning to "pants" but perhaps even more fun to say. It's more of a northern thing here in the UK, and nobody really knows where it comes from, although it probably has something to do with cotton mills that presumably had a lot of bobbins lying around. Most Johnny Depp films in recent years have been utter bobbins.

13.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

American's might have recently discovered this very special, very British word after MP Victoria Atkins branded Donald Trump a "wazzock" in a debate in the House of Commons. There couldn't really be a better definition of the word wazzock than "Donald Trump".

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15.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

In America this is known as jerking off or jacking off, which are nowhere near as versatile as "wank". In Britain you can have a wank, be a wanker (another word for a wazzock), and you can also decree something to be wank. Kale crisps (kale chips?) for instance, are total wank.

16.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

Not the same as minging, but similar. Manky suggests something that's old and probably stained or smelly. Your boyfriend's week-old socks are manky. A damp towel left on the bathroom floor is definitely manky. It's an incredibly useful word that no Brit would want to live without.

17.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

Wally is probably your uncle Walter if you live in America. If you are British your uncle probably is a wally, even though he's called Alan. Wallies are uncool. They're goofy. They wear Winnie-the-Pooh socks and dance really, really badly to Taylor Swift at parties. Then they say "Tay's cool" before tripping on the edge of the carpet and spilling their punch down their shirt. But we love Uncle Alan despite his wallyishness. Wallies are mostly quite nice.

19.

Becky Barnicoat / BuzzFeed

In America a cackhanded person would be called butterfingers, which is frankly just a bit too kind. Your hands aren't covered in butter, they are covered in cack – i.e. poo – and that's why you keep dropping things all the time, you cackhanded numpty.

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