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Thread: Being British XIII

  1. #11
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    It depends on who you're insulting and why, I suppose. I'd use 'git', but only 'dolt' when I was being sarcastic; I've never really heard it used elsewhere. 'Idiot', 'loser', 'twit', 'sod' are all words you could use. My dad uses 'wally' when one of us are being stupid, but that's only on humourous occasions. They're all I can really think of at the moment.

    Sarah x


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  2. #12
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Umm, I use 'muppet' when I'm being humorous.

    There are other mild insults that are more insulting. 'Dolt' is a bit old fashioned, I'd have thought, but maybe it's come back into vogue. 'Twonk' is like a cross between 'twit' and 'plonker'. Plonker is a great 1980's one from a TV series.

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  3. #13
    Angel of Lily
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    Prat and nitwit are two I've heard a lot. They're often quite regional, when I lived futher north I heard eejit a fair bit but now I'm down Derbyshire way the most common one is 'Numpty'.

  4. #14
    Serinah
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    slang for police

    What would a British person call a police station?
    One of my professors said that a police officer could be caller a bear, a female officer was a mama bear and police station was a bear den? Police helicopter was supposed to be a flying bear.

    Is it rubbish or can I trust this professor for once?
    I know that policemen are called bobbies and pigs. Is there any more slang words for police?

    Thank you in advance.

  5. #15
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Serinah- I have never heard a police station referred to as a bear, or any of the rest of it. I've never heard a police officer being specifically called a 'pig'- it's just a generic insult. Also bobby is very old-fashioned and normally used in quite a self conscious way. I can't think of any slang words for police officers but they are generally not very well-thought of (at least at the moment). Hope that helps.

    Can I also ask- when did the word 'dumped' enter into British slang? I think it's an americanism but we use it all the time now. I was just wondering if characters in the seventies would and if not what would they say instead? Also I need some slang words for getting drunk, again for the seventies? And help would be great!
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  6. #16
    Serinah
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    slang words for police

    Thanks, Welshdevondragon, it is just as I always suspected - never trust an old professor. I'll just got with some generic insult then.

  7. #17
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Can I also ask- when did the word 'dumped' enter into British slang? I think it's an americanism but we use it all the time now. I was just wondering if characters in the seventies would and if not what would they say instead? Also I need some slang words for getting drunk, again for the seventies? And help would be great!
    Umm, I seem to remember my sister 'dumping' or 'ditching' a boyfriend in the seventies, so I think you could use either of them.

    Words for drunk in seventies.

    P*ssed, blotto, plastered, pie-eyed (that's quite old), tiddly and tipsy (both of these are for when you're a bit drunk - they're also quite female), merry, sloshed, sozzled.

    Carole
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  8. #18
    Serinah
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    police slang

    I don't think the professor was having me on, since he spoke of the terms during a lecture to the whole class. So I rather think that he happened to read some obscure research that talked about some particular area in a particular time and apparently the phrases were not widespread.
    Or someone else was having the professor on.
    I also doubt Malfoy would use any of the terms, so like I said, I'll stick to 'git' or 'bastard' or I'll find a way around it.
    Thanks for contributing everybody.

  9. #19
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    I think your professor might have been having you on, Serinah, or else he's a little misinformed. I've never heard police men refered to as 'bears'. Bobby is a rather old slang term to use. I don't know if the Marauders would use it, but their parents (if any are Muggles) probably would have. The Trio wouldn't. The police force is sometimes known as 'the Old Bill' (no idea why), but that's definitely slang. 'Copper' is also slang for a policeman. However, I can't imagine someone like Harry using those phrases. Mundungus, however, probably would, if he was a Muggle.

    I have to disagree with the statement that police officers aren't generally well thought of. It varies from area to area, but I definitely wouldn't say that most people dislike the police. In areas where crime rates are high, people generally mistrust the police more than areas where crime rates are low.

    Sarah x


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  10. #20
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    Hello British Mugglenetters :]

    I have a quick question. Do words that end in -ize (i.e. organize, apologize) in American always end in -ise (i.e. organise, apologise) in the British spelling? What about words that end in -or (color, harbor) - do they always change to -our (colour, harbour)?
    Basically, I'm wondering if you have any words that end in -ize / -or or if they all have the different spelling.
    Also, is it always 'Happy Christmas' or do people say 'Merry Christmas'? I'm mostly wondering if that's just a stereotype that we Americans have come up with or if it's legitimate.
    Thanks.

    By the way, I'm planning on travelling to London next summer so these Being British threads are helping me - I don't want to seem like the lazy American who doesn't know anything about other cultures. Thanks for that too

    -Ayra

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