I was gobsmacked last week when someone asked me what I meant when I said I was knackered. In an effort to ameliorate further confusion, I offer this brief guide to Brit-speak.

Tower Bridge, London during 2012 Olympics (Look4mybio, Creative Commons)

“Oh, sorry!” = “Hey idiot, you just stepped on my freaking toe!”

“Sorry?” = Speak up, I can’t barely hear you!

“Sorry” = sorry.

“Head down that way and take a right at the lights” = I have no idea how to get there, but I’d die of embarrassment to have to admit it.

“Not bad” = bloody brilliant

“Could be worse” = see “Not bad.”

“The bee’s knees” = totally awesome

“Spiffing” = excellent

“Chuffed” = happy

“Skint” = broke

“It’s fine, really” = I can’t start to tell you how pissed at you I am.

“Lovely!” = can we finish this conversation right now please?

“Spend a penny” = have a pee

“Take the Mickey” = tease, ridicule

“Extract the Michael” = see above

“Sweet Fanny Adams (FA)” = nothing

“Brass monkey weather” = cold (i.e. cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey)

“Pull the other one (leg)” = I don’t believe a word you’re saying

“A bit of the other,” “Nookie,” “How’s your father,” “You know,” = sex, sex, sex, sex

“Bristols” = breasts

“Winge” = complain

“Feeling grotty” = feeling sick

“Gone pear-shaped” = SNAFU

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist!” = Calm down!

“Bit of a sticky wicket” = life-threatening situation

“Bit of a pickle” = see above

“Bollocks!” = bullshit!

“Bob’s your uncle” = everything’s OK

Blimey, that took a bit of a balls-to-the-wall effort. Now I’m knackered. Time for a quick cuppa before the trouble-and-strife gets home. Sorry.