Are you fagged, zonked, dicky, and had pavement Pizza after being on the piss? Or are you knackered after being bloody lucky on the pull, bonking a dishy, blinding, dear slapper in Blighty? A word of caution. Don’t become a tosser using cobblers pretending to be a toff and cock up. Above all, don’t be fruity and ask a British lady how her father is and get slapped and blow off.
The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (1994) describes slang as:
“Words, phrases, and uses that are regarded as informal and are often restricted to special contexts or are peculiar to a specific profession, classes etc.”
The Meriam-Webster Dictionary describes slang as:
“Words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech especially by a particular group of people
Collins English Dictionary (3rd edition) describes slang as:
“Vocabulary, idiom, etc. that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language”.
In his 1999 book, “The Cassell Dictionary of Slang”, Jonathan Green defines English slang as:
“A counter language, the language of the rebel, the outlaw, the despised and the marginal.”
Recognising that there are many definitions, he adds:
“Among the many descriptions of slang, one thing is common, it is a long way from mainstream English”.
So, slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not standard in the speaker’s dialect or language. With slang one can often identify the user’s peers. It is often found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo and are euphemism.
In general, a euphemism is a bland word or expression used instead of one deemed offensive or suggest something unpleasant. People with refined vocabularies use euphemisms. Some euphemisms are intended to amuse, for example “How is Your Father?” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse or other sexual activity.
Most euphemisms use bland, inoffensive, and often misleading terms for things the user wishes to downplay. They are used to dissimulate taboo topics such as disability, sex, excretion, and death in a polite way, and to mask profanity. The opposite of euphemism roughly equates to dysphemism.
British slang is English language slang used in the United Kingdom. It is also used to a limited extent by the British expatriates in Anglophone countries.
So, roll a wacky backy and rest your wazzock peepers on the following list of British English slang words and phrases which I have compiled. Some of these words and phrases are common, and a few are redundant.
Queer as a clockwork orange: Very odd indeed; ostentatiously homosexual.
Queer Street: A difficult or odd situation, e.g. “up Queer Street”.
Queer someone’s pitch: Take the pitch of another street vendor, busker or similar; spoil someone else’s efforts.
Quim: Vagina (possibly a play on the Welsh word for valley, cwm).
Rat arsed: Drunk, sloshed; plastered; loaded.
Richard the Third: A piece of excrement (rhyming slang Richard the Third = turd).
Ring: Anal sphincter.
Ringburner: A curry; diarrhoea; painful defecation.
Roger: To copulate; to screw; to have your wicked way with a lady.
Rubber Johnny: Condom.
Rumpy pumpy: A phrase used as a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
Savvy (from the French, savoir): Knowledge; understanding.
Scally, scallywag: A hooligan youth.
Scarper: Run away.
Scouser: A person from Liverpool.
Scrote: Term of abuse, from scrotum.
Scrubber: A promiscuous woman (in Britain); a common or working class woman (in Ireland).
Scrummy: A word used to describe some food that was particularly good, and probably sweet and fattening.
Scrump: To steal fruit, especially apples.
See a man about a dog: What a person would say as an excuse for leaving, to hide their real destination, to attend a secret deal or meeting. This phrase is also used to excuse oneself to go to the toilet to shit.
Shag: Sexual intercourse.
Shagged: The past historic of shag; extremely tired, e.g. “shagged out”.
Shambolic: A state of chaos.
Shiner: Black eye.
Shitehawk: Someone of little worth.
Shirty: Ill-tempered, insolent.
Shufti: To take a look at something. An old Arabic word, picked up by British soldiers during World War II, in North Africa.
Sixes and sevens: In a mess; topsy turvy; somewhat haywire!
Skanky: Dirty, particularly of a marijuana pipe.
Skint: Without money.
Skive: a lazy character; a useless person; avoid doing something.
Slag: Worthless or insignificant person; a promiscuous woman; a prostitute.
Slag off: A verbal attack; to criticise or slander; to bad mouth in a nasty manner.
Slap-head: A bald man.
Slap and tickle: making out or heavy petting.
Slapper: An oversexed female; a tart; a tramp; promiscuous woman; prostitute.
Slash: Urinate; urination; pee; piss; piddle; siphon the python; shake the snake; wee; having a jimmy.
Sling one’s hook: Go away.
Sloshed: Drunk; plastered.
Smarmy: A smoothy, who has a way with the ladies.
Snog: French kiss; any prolonged physical intimacy without undressing or sexual contact.
Snookered: Placed in a bad situation.
Sod: Annoying person or thing (derived from sodomite).
Sod off: Piss off; go away.
Spend a penny: Use the restroom.
Spunk: Semen; ejaculate; courage; bravery.
Stag Night: Bachelor Party
Starkers: Fully naked.
Steaming: Extremely drunk; extremely angry.
Stonker: A boner.
Strawberry creams: Breasts.
Stuffed: Sexual intercourse, e.g. “get stuffed”; used negatively to mean bothered, e.g. “I can’t be stuffed to do that!”; having a full belly, e.g. “I am completely stuffed, and can’t eat another thing.”
Tad: A little bit.
Take the mickey: To tease; to mock.
Take the piss (out of), taking the piss: Messing and screwing around; making fun of; to mock.
Tart: A prostitute; a term of abuse for a woman; used affectionately for a lover; shortened version of sweetheart.
Tickety-Boo: Phrase that means everything is going well.
Toff: A person belonging to the upper class; a posh person.
Ton: A large unspecified amount (18th century); £100 (1940s); 100 MPH (1950s); any unit of 100 (1960s), e.g. a century scored in cricket.
Tosh: total bullshit, nonsense or rubbish.
Tosser: Idiot; a derogatory term for a male masturbator; an affectionate form of address, e.g. “All right you old tosser!”.
Tosspot: Drunkard; habitual drinker.
Tube: The London Underground (19th century. Originally ‘Tuppeny tube’); Penis; a person (Scottish); a general term of contempt (Irish, 1950s).
Twat: Vagina; a term of abuse; to hit hard.
Twig and berries: male genitalia, the penis and balls.
Up for it: Willing to have sex.
Up The Duff: Pregnant.
Wacky backy: marijuana.
Wag off: Skyve; play truant.
Wank: Masturbation; to masturbate; inferior.
Wanker: Masturbator; Idiot; abusive term for someone the speaker doesn’t like.
Wankered: Very drunk; exhausted.
Wanking spanner: Hand.
Warts and all: Including all negative characteristics.
Whizz: Urination; to move very fast.
Willy: Penis (hypocorism).
Willy-waving: Acting in an excessively macho fashion.
Knob: Penis (noun); to have sexual intercourse (verb).
Knob-end: Ttip of penis; an idiot.
Knob Head: Dickhead; an idiot; a stupid; an irritating person.
Knob jockey: Homosexual.
Knock off: To steal it, not to copy it!
Knock up: To wake someone up.
Knockers: Women’s breasts.
Knocking shop: A Brothel.
Know one’s onions: Knowledgeable; to be well acquainted with a subject.
Lag: Convict, particularly a long serving one (an old lag).
Lash: Urinate; alcohol.
Laughing gear: Mouth.
Leg it: Run or run for it.
Local: A public house close to one’s home.
Lost the plot: Gone crazy; become mentally unstable.
Lurgy: Sick; under the weather.
Manky: Dirty; filthy.
Marbles: Wits. As in, to lose one’s marbles.
Mare: A derogatory term for a Woman.
Mark: A suitable victim for a con or swindle.
Mate: Friend; chum.
Matelot: Sailor (derived from the French).
Meat and Two Veg: Euphemism for male genitalia. Also used sometimes to mean something unremarkable or ordinary.
Mental: Crazy; insane.
Mick: A derogatory term for an Irishman.
Miffed: Upset or offended.
Minger: Someone who smells.
Monged (out): Severely drunk.
Mooch: Loiter or wander aimlessly; skulk.
Moon: To expose one’s backside.
Moony: Crazy; foolish.
Morish or moreish: Need more!
Muck about: Waste time; interfere with.
Mucker: Mate; pal.
Muck in: Share a duty or workload.
Mufti: An old army term for civilian dress worn by someone who normally wears a military uniform. The word probably derived from the Muslim dress, popularly worn by British officers serving in India during the 19th century. Now commonly used to refer to a non-uniform day in schools.
Mug: Face; a gullible or easily swindled person.
Munta: Ugly person.
Mush: Face or mouth. Example: “shut your mush”.
Naff: Inferior or in poor taste.
Nancy boy: looking pathetic.
Nark: In a bad mood; grumpy (an old nark); annoy or irritate; a spy or informant.
Ned: A lout; a drunken brawling fellow; a tough guy. Sometimes equated with the English chav.
News: Looking pathetic; a bit of a Nancy boy.
Nick: Steal; police station or prison; to arrest; health condition, e.g. “to be in good nick”.
Nicked: Stolen; arrested.
Nob: A person of high social standing; head.
Nobble: Disable (particularly a racehorse).
Nod out: To lapse into a drug induced stupor.
Nonce: A prison slang for Sex offender, most commonly a child molester.
Nookie or nooky: Sexual intercourse.
Nose rag: Handkerchief.
Nosh: Food; to eat.
Nosh up: A feast or large, satisfying meal.
Numpty: Incompetent or unwise person.
Nut: Head; an eccentric person.
Nutcase: An insane person.
Nuthouse: A lunatic asylum.
Nutmeg: In association football, to pass the ball between an opposing player’s legs.
Nuts or nutty: Crazy or insane.
Nutter: Crazy person; insane person.
Odds and sods: Miscellaneous items or articles; bits and pieces. Substitute for ‘odds and ends’.
Oik: A derogatory term for someone of a lower social standing.
Off one’s head or out of one’s head: Mad or delirious.
Off one’s trolley: Mad; out of one’s mind.
Off the hook: Free from obligation or danger.
Off one’s nut: Crazy or foolish.
Off to Bedfordshire: Going to bed.
Old Bill: A policeman or the police collectively.
On the piss: binge drinking to get totally smashed.
On the pull: Looking for sexual intercourse.
One’s head off: Loud or excessively, e.g. “I laughed my head off.”
Packet: A large sum of money, e.g. “earn a packet”; a nasty surprise, e.g. “catch a packet”.
Paddy: A fit of temper; a derogatory term for an Irishman.
Paki: A derogatory term for a Pakistani. Sometimes used to loosely describe anyone or anything from the Indian sub- continent.
Paki-bashing: Unprovoked attacks on Pakistanis living in Britain.
Pants: Panties; total crap.
Parky: Cold weather.
Paste: To hit, punch or beat soundly.
Pasting: A sound thrashing or heavy defeat.
Pavement Pizza: A euphemism for puke or vomit.
Pear shaped: Become a disaster.
Penny-dreadful: A cheap, sensationalist magazine.
Phiz or phizog: The face (from a 17th-century colloquial shortening of physiognomy).
Pig’s ear: Cockney slang rhyming with beer; something that has been badly done or has been made a mess of.
Pikey: Pejorative term used, mainly in England to refer to travellers, gypsies or vagrants. Sometimes also used to describe people of lower social class or morals.
Pillock: Stupid or annoying person.
Pinch: Steal; robbery; sail too close to the wind (nautical slang).
Pissed, pissed up: Drunk
Pip pip: An out-dated expression meaning goodbye.
Piss up: A drinking session.
Plastered: Fully drunk.
Plonk: A pejorative word used to describe red wine of poor quality.
Plonker: Something large or substantial; penis.
Porkies: Old Cockney rhyming word for “lies”, derived from “pork pies,” which rhymes with lies.
Potty: A little crazy; looney; one card short of a full deck.
Pukka: Super or smashing.
Pull: Looking for birds.
Punt: To gamble, wager or take a chance; to sell or promote.
Punter: Gambler; a victim in a confidence trick or swindle; a customer, patron or a client of a prostitute.
Pussy: Cat as in “pussy cat”, or in the fairytale, Puss in Boots; female genitalia.
All mouth and (no) trousers: All talk and no action; a braggart; sexual bravado. (The inclusion or otherwise of “no” in the expression is disputed.)
All piss and wind: Only talk and no action. Originally the19th century phrase was, “all wind and piss”.
All to cock (or all a-cock): Unsatisfactory; mixed up.
Argy-bargy: An argument; confrontation.
Arse: The buttocks; someone who acts in a manner which is incompetent or otherwise disapproved of.
Arse about face: Doing something back to front.
Arse around: Mess around; or waste time.
Arse bandit: A derogatory term homosexual.
Arse over elbow: Head over heels.
Arse over tit: Head over heels; to fall over or take a tumble; embarrassing fall; to topple over. (Another version of arse over elbow, but a bit more graphic!)
Arsehole: The anus (a general derogatory term).
Baccy: tobacco, the sort you use to roll your own.
Ball bag: Scrotum.
Balls up: A bungled or messed up situation. (WWI Service slang)
Bang: Having sex.
Bang to rights: Caught in the act.
Bang up: To lock up in prison (prison slang); to inject an illegal drug.
Barmy: Crazy; nsane; a derogatory remark.
Barney: A noisy quarrel or fight
Bee’s Knees: Awesome.
Bellend: The end part of a penis.
Belt up: Shut up.
Bender: A derogatory term for a homosexual; a pub crawl; a heavy drinking session.
Bent: A dishonest or corrupt person; homosexual (mildly derogatory).
Bent as a nine bob note: Extremely dishonest or corrupt. A shilling (bob) note never existed and would therefore have to be counterfeit.
Berk: An idiot; stupid person.
Bespoke: Custom Made.
Best of British: Good luck, short for “best of British luck”.
Biggie: Term a child might use for his poo; an erection.
Bird: Girl; woman; jail time.
Birmingham screwdriver: A hammer.
Bizzie: Policeman (Scouse / Liverpool English).
Blag: A robbery (noun); to rob (verb).
Blague: Talking nonsense.
Blah (or blah blah): Worthless, boring or silly talk.
Blighty (or Old Blighty): Britain; home. Used especially by British troops serving abroad or expatriates.A relic of British India, probably from the Hindi billayati, meaning a foreign land.
Blimey!: An exclamation of shock or surprise similar to “My Goodness!” A corruption of the oath “God Blind Me”.
Blinkered: Narrow minded; narrow sighted
Bloke: Any man or sometimes a man in authority such as the boss.
Bloody: Damn. One of the most useful swear words in English!
Blooming, blummin’ (archaic): An alternative or euphemism for the word “bloody”. Used as an intensifier e.g. “blooming marvellous”.
Blow me: It is not a request for services to be performed, but an exclamation of surprise. Short for “Blow me down”. It is something like I am so surprised you could knock me over just by blowing. Similar to “Knock me down with a feather”.
Blow off: Fart.
Blue: Policeman; a Tory.
Bob’s your uncle: That’s it! This is a well used phrase is added to the end of sentences like “… and that’s it!”
Bod: A male person. Short for body.
Bodge (also botch): To make a mess of or to fix poorly.
Bog off: Go away (originally RAF slang).
Bog Roll: Toilet paper.
Bogtrotter: A derogatory term for an Irishman particularly an Irish peasant.
Bollocking: A severe telling off.
Bollocks: Balls; vulgar term used for testicles; talking rubbish; total shit; useless; nonsense; having poor quality.
Bomb: Expensive; going really well; really fast; to travel at high speed.
Bonce: Head, crown of the head. Also a large playing marble.
Bonk: To have sex
Booze: An alcoholic drink (noun); to drink alcohol (verb), particularly to excess.
Boozer: Someone who consumes alcohol to excess; a pub or bar.
Boracic: without money.skint.
Bottle: Have no fear; Courage after twenty pints of lager; money collected by buskers or street vendors; to attack someone with a broken bottle.
Bounce: To con someone into believing or doing something; to forcibly eject someone; swagger; impudence or cockiness.
Bouncer: A person employed to eject drunks and troublemakers.
Brass: Money; Cheek, nerve; a prostitute.
Brassed off: Fed up; pissed.
Brill: Brilliant; cool.
Bristols: The female breasts.
Bristol bits: Tits.
Bristol City: Titty..
Broke: Without money. Also ‘stoney broke’, or just ‘stoney’.
Brown bread: Dead.
Brown-tongue: Sycophant; toady or a person who attempts to curry favour with another.
Budge up: Move and make some space.
Buff: Bare skin Example: naked as in ‘in the buff’); having a lean, muscular physique (usually referring to a young man).
Bugger: As a term of abuse for someone or something contemptible, difficult or unpleasant; as an endearment, as in ‘you silly bugger’; as an exclamation of dissatisfaction, annoyance or surprise – Jerk, Fuck, Shit; to mean tired or worn out as in ‘I’m absolutely buggered; to mean frustrate, complicate or ruin completely, as in ‘You’ve buggered that up’.
Bugger about (or bugger around): To fool around or waste time; to create difficulties or complications.
Bugger all: Nothing.
Bugger off!: Go away!; Leave me alone!
Bum: Buttocks, anus or both; a tramp; scrounge.
Bumf: Derogatory reference to official memos or paperwork; toilet roll. Shortened from bum fodder.
Bumsucker: A toady, creep or someone acting in an obsequious manner.
Bung: Throw; bribe.
Bunk: To leave inappropriately as in to ‘bunk off’ school or work; to run away in suspicious circumstances as in to ‘do a bunk’.
Cabbage: A stupid person or someone with no mental abilities; cloth trimmed from a customer’s material by a tailor; pilfer or steal.
Carzey: A privy; toilet.
Chap: Male; friend.
Charver or charva: Sexual intercourse; a loose woman; someone with whom it is easy to have sexual intercourse; an easy lay; to mess up, spoil or ruin.
Chat Up: Flirt; try and pick someone.
Chav, chavi or chavvy: Child (from the Romany, chavi. Still used in rural areas).
Chav: white trash; a person who is, or pretends to be of a low social standing and who dresses in a certain style, typically badly or in sports clothing. Often used as a form of derogation.
Cheesed off: Fed up; disgusted; angry.
Chin Wag: Chat.
Chip shop: A carpentry.
Chippy: A carpenter.
Chuff: The buttocks; anus.
Chuffed: Pleased; proud.
Cobblers: talk rubbish; a load of bollocks.
Cock: Penis; nonsense; a friend or fellow.
Cockup or cock-up: Screw up; blunder; mess up; botch..
Codswallop: Talking baloney; nonsense.
Collywobbles: An upset stomach; acute feeling of nervousness.
Conk: The head or the nose; to strike the head or nose.
Cop: A policeman (short for copper).
Cor: An expression of surprise similar to “My Goodness!”
Cor blimey: An exclamation of surprise. It is a corruption of the oath “God Blind Me”.
Corker: An outstanding someone or something.
Cottage: A public lavatory.
Cottaging: Homosexual activity in a public lavatory.
Cracker: Someone or something of notable ability or quality.
Internet users coin “internet slang” to save time on keystrokes. It saves the writer’s time, but most writers do not realize that the reader of their slang spends more than twice the time to understand what the writer is trying to say. That is why I strive not to use internet slang in my communications.
While surfing, and by searching the internet, I deduced the meaning of a few internet slang plus a few others which I would like to share here with you.
Listing of Internet Slang and Acronyms
Slang and Acronyms = Meaning
1 = One / exclamation mark
2 = To / Too / Two
4 = For or Four
AFAP = As Far As Possible
A&F = AAF Always And Forever
A3 = Anywhere, Any time, Any place
AA = Alcoholics Anonymous
AAB = Average At Best
AAK = Alive And Kicking
AAMOF = As A Matter Of Fact
AAP = Always A Pleasure
AAR = At Any Rate
AAYF = As Always, Your Friend
ABD = Already Been Done
ABH = Actual Bodily Harm
ABN = Asshole By Nature
ABT = Absolutely
ABT = About
ADL = All Day Long
ADMIN = Administrator
ADN = Any Day Now
AEAE = And Ever And Ever
AEAP = As Early As Possible
AFAIAC / AFAIC = As Far As I Am Concerned
AFAICS = As Far As I Can See
AFAICT = As Far As I Can Tell
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
AFC = Away From Computer
AFD = All F***ing Day
AFT = About F***ing Time
AGW = All Going Well
Aight = Are you alright, Yo
ALOL = Actually Laughing Out Loud
ANY1 = Anyone
AYSOS = Are You Stupid Or Something?
B = Be
B4 = Before
Bb = Bye Bye, Goodbye
BBIAB = Be Back In A Bit
BBL = Be Back Later
BBS = Be Back Soon
BD = Big Deal
BRB = Be right back
BRB = Be right back / Bath-room break
BRT = Be right there
BTW = By the way
C = See
CSWS = Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
CU = See you
CUL = See you later
Cuz = Because
CYA = See you
CYS = Check Your Settings
da = The
dat = That
der = There
DIAF = Die In A Fire
Dunno = Don’t know
FAQ = Frequently Asked Questions
FOAD = **** Off And Die
FTL = For The Loss
FTUW = For The Uber Win
FTW = For The Win
FWIW = For What It’s Worth
FYI = For Your Information
G2G / GTG = Got to go
GAL = Get A Life
GFY = Good For You
GG = Good game, Good going
GIYF = Google Is Your Friend
HAND = Have A Nice Day
HS = Holy Shit
HTH = Hope This Helps
IACL = I Am Currently Laughing
IANAL = I Am Not A Lawyer
IANARS = I Am Not A Rocket Scientist
IC = I see
ICYDK = In Case You Didn’t Know
IDGI = I Don’t Get It
IDK = I Don’t Know
IIRC = If I Recall Correctly
ILY / ILU = I Love You
IMHO = In My Honest Opinion
IMNSHO = In My Not So Honest Opinion
IMO = In My Opinion
IRL = In Real Life
ITT = In This Thread
IYDMMA = If You Don’t Mind Me Asking
JJ = Just Joking
JK = Just Kidding
JOOC = Just Out Of Curiosity
JP = Just Playing
K = Okay
KKOk = Cool / Ok Kewl
KL = kool, cool
Kwl = Cool
L8r = Later
LLAH = Laughing Like A Hyena
LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off
LMFAO = Laughing My F*cking Ass Off
LOL = Laugh Out Loud
LQTM = Laugh Quietly To Myself
M8 = Mate
MYOB = Mind Your Own Business
NLS = Not Life Safe
NOYB = None Of Your Business
NP = No Problem
NSFW = Not Safe For Work
NVM = Never mind
NWS = Not Work Safe
O = Oh
O3 = Out of Office
OIC = Oh, I see
OJ = Only Joking
OMG = Oh My God! / Oh My Goodness!,
OC = Out Of Character
OP = Original Poster / Original Post
OT = Off Topic
PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between The Keyboard And The Chair
Pic = Picture
PITA = Pain In The Ass
Pix = Pictures
Plz / Pls = Please
PPMSLL = Pissing/ Pissed Myself Laughing
POSL = Piece Of ShIt
PPLL = People
PTTLL = Pop To The Loo
RL = Real Life
ROFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing
ROFLMAO = Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off
ROFLMAOL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Out Loud
Shudda = Should Have
SMH = Shaking My Head
SO = Significant Other
SOS = Same Old Shit
Soz / srry = Sorry
SSDD = Same Shit, Different Day
STFW = Search The F*cking Web
sup = What’s up?
sup homes = What’s up, friend?
SWW = Sorry, Wrong Window – typing in the wrong box
“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that–as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time.” – Charles Dickens
Here is the preface written by Charles Dickens for the memorable Christmas story of all time, “A Christmas Carol” published on December 17, 1843:
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D.
Through this novella, Charles Dickens was the first person to introduce the phrase “Merry Christmas” to English. This masterpiece also added the name “Scrooge” and the exclamation “Bah! Humbug!” to the English vernacular.
Charles Dickens (born Charles John Huffam Dickens, February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870), an English writer and social critic rose from a downtrodden family background. His early experience of a life of poverty and deprivation helped him create some of the most memorable characters of all time.
During his later life, Charles Dickens enjoyed unprecedented fame through his works, and by the twentieth century, he was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars as a literary genius. Even now, readers consider Dickens as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian Period. His novels and short stories are still widely popular. His works include A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, and many more.
Charles Dickens concerned about poor children wanted to publish a pamphlet titled “An Appeal to the People of England, on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child,” to draw the attention of workers and employers to the plight of poor children. Instead, he wrote A Christmas Carol, for he thought that an irresistible Christmas story with a plot that highlighted the struggles of the poor would have a better and broader appeal.
Dickens started writing A Christmas Carol in October 1843 and finished it by the end of November, in time to be published for Christmas. The book was illustrated by John Leech.
It was published in early Victorian Era Britain, a period when people longed for the old nostalgic Christmas traditions. It was at this time that new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards were introduced.
Dickens’ sources for the powerful, impressive, and enduring tale appear to be many and varied. He leaned on Washington Irving’s essays on Christmas published in his Sketch Book in 1820, describing the traditional old English Christmas; various Christmas stories, fairy tales and nursery stories; as well as satirical essays and religious tracts. However, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, impelled him to write the book.
The book’s first run of 6,000 copies sold out before Christmas Eve, and by the following May seven editions sold out. However, it did not produce a windfall for Dickens, who paid the original production costs due to a dispute with his publisher.
A Christmas Carol tells the story of the bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from supernatural visits by Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Past, Present, and Yet to Come Christmases. The novella was an instant success and received wide critical acclaim. It became the most popular Christmas tale ever to be written. Dickens never anticipated that his characterization of Tiny Tim, the embodiment of England’s poor children, and the personification of Scrooge modeled after his estranged father, would receive such an accolade from his readers.
Many have credited A Christmas Carol with reviving the spirit of Christmas celebration, after a period of sobriety and sombreness, as one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America.
A Christmas Carol has been adapted in numerous plays, operas, ballets and films. It is in its 24th edition. It is estimated that about five billion copies have been sold to date.
If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud. – A post on Facebook titled “English Pronunciation”
In 1945, a British soldier found a tattered typescript of ‘The Chaos‘, a classic English poem well-known for its versified catalogue of irregularities of English spelling (orthography) and pronunciation, in a girls’ High School in Germany and gave it to Tom Hazelwood, who gave it to Terry De’Ath, who gave it to Chris Upward (1939-2002), Senior Lecturer in German Aston University Birmingham, UK, and Editor-in-chief, Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society from 1985-2000 and the author of Cut Spelling Handbook.
Chris Upward also received a rather different version of the poem from Benno Jost-Westendorf of Recklinghausen. It seems that universities in South Germany used this poem in teaching English. However, No information on the author was available from any source.
Both versions received by Chris Upward appeared as carelessly copied from an original, but it was possible to correct errors in one by reference to the other.
The Simplified Spelling Society (SSS) Newsletter carried an incomplete, rather rough version in the summer of 1986 (pp.17-21) under the heading ‘Author Unknown‘, with a parallel transcription into an early form of Cut Spelling.
Hubert A. Greven’s Elements of English Phonology, published in Paris in 1972, introduced the poem quoting 48 lines from it to prove to French students how impossible English is to pronounce (to read aloud), and by way of acknowledgment said that the author “would like to pay a suitable tribute to Mr. G. Nolst Trenité for permission to copy his poem The Chaos.“
Since then a stream of further information and textual variants appeared, culminating in 1993-94 with the most complete and authoritative version of the poem ever likely to emerge ripe for republication in the Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society.
The Dutch literary (rhymed prose, drama), Anglicist and language critic Dr Gerard Nolst Trenité was born in Utrecht on July 20, 1870. He passed away on October 9, 1946, in Haarlem.
Gerard Nolst Trenité published under the pseudonym Charivarius. His poem The Chaos demonstrates many of the idiosyncrasies of English spelling. The first version of 146 lines of text appeared in an appendix to his 1920 textbook ‘Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelscheuitspraakoefeningen‘. It has about 800 of the worst irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation. Later, in 1992-93, The Spelling Society published “the most complete and authoritative version ever likely to emerge,” that has 274 lines.
The version I have reproduced below is essentially the author’s own final text, as also published by New River Project in 1993. A few minor corrections have, however, been made, and occasional words from earlier editions have been preferred. Words with clashing spellings or pronunciations are printed here in italics.
The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1922)
Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy; Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear; Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sewit! Just compare heart, hear and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written). Made has not the sound of bade, Say–said, pay–paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague, But be careful how you speak, Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir; Woven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery: Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore, Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles, Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing, Same, examining, but mining, Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far.
From “desire”: desirable–admirable from “admire”, Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier, Topsham, brougham, renown, but known, Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
Many probably have their own pet peeves while writing. I am not an authority on writing. When I was young I overcame the writer’s block on reading the masterpiece “Say What You Mean” by Rudolf Franz Flesch. Even so, I confess that my grammar is not that good and I do make silly mistakes in my writing.
Here are some common phrases which I have come across that needs everyone’s attention whether they are bloggers or not. I feel the phrases on the left are incorrect,
while the ones on the right seem to be correct.
01: All of my children | All my children
02: A mute point | A moot point
03: Anyways | Anyway
04: Baited breath | Bated breath
05: Begging the question | Raising the question
06: Brother-in-laws | Brothers-in-law
07: Case and point | Case in point
08: Chester drawers | Chest of drawers
09: Circumvent the globe | Circumnavigate the globe
10: Curl up in the feeble position | Curl up in the fetal position
11: Each one worse than the next | Each one worse than the last
12: Expresso coffee | Espresso coffee
13: Extract revenge | Exact revenge
14: Fall by the waste side | Fall by the wayside
15: For all intensive purposes | For all intents and purposes
16: Free reign | Free rein
17: He did good | He did well
18: Head towards the door | Head toward the door
19: Hunger pains | Hunger pangs
20: I’m giving you leadway | I’m giving you leeway
21: I could care less | I couldn’t care less
22: I made a complete 360 degree change in my life | I made a complete 180 degree change in my life
23: Irregardless | Regardless
24: It’s a doggy-dog world | It’s a dog-eat-dog world
25: Jive with | Jibe with
26: Make due | Make do
27: Momento | Memento
28: Near miss | Near hit
29: Nip it in the butt! | Nip it in the bud!
30: Old timer’s disease | Alzheimer’s Disease
31: On accident | By accident
32: On tender hooks | On tenterhooks”
33: One in the same | One and the same
34: Outside of | Outside
35: Pick / Peak my curiosity | Pique my curiosity
36: Runner-ups | Runners-up
37: Scotch / Scott free | Scot free
38: Self-depreciating | Self-deprecating
39: Less than 300 characters | Fewer than 300 characters
40: Should of | Should have
41: Sneak peak | Sneak peek
42: Statue of limitations | Statute of limitations
43: Step foot | Set foot
44: Suppository of information | Repository of information
45: The spitting image | The spit and image
46 They made her an escape goat for the breakup of the family | They made her a scapegoat for the breakup of the family
47: What’s your guyses opinion? | What’s your opinion, guys?
48: Without further adieu / Without further a due | Without further ado
49: Wreck havoc | Wreak havoc
50: You have another thing coming! | You have another think coming!
Many say that learning English is easy. It may be and maybe not. This two-letter word ‘UP’ listed in the dictionary as an adverb, adjective, preposition, noun or verb, perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word in English.
The word ‘UP’ could mean “toward the sky”, “at the top of a hill”, and “at the top of a list” and so on.
Wake UP. Speak UP.
At a meeting, or when conversing with friends, why does a topic always come UP?
Why does a candidate stand UP for election? If tied, it would be a toss UP.
It is UP to the secretary to write UP a report.
On a weekend, women can brighten UP the living room, polish UP the silver, clean UP the kitchen, warm UP the leftovers, and then call UP friends to come over for a card game and gossip; men can fix UP their car, lock UP the house, and then go on a drinking spree with friends.
At times, people line UP for tickets for the game, unnecessarily stir UP trouble, work UP an appetite with whiskey or whatever, and then think UP excuses to tell their wife.
Men dress UP for occasions, but women always do.
A blocked UP drain must be opened UP.
The shopkeeper opens UP his store in the morning and closes it UP at night.
To understand the proper uses of ‘UP’, look UP the word ‘UP’ in the dictionary where it takes UP almost a quarter of the page and can add UP or come up to about thirty definitions.
Why not try building UP a summary of the several ways ‘UP’ can be used? It will take UP a lot of your time. UP to it?
Anytime it threatens to rain, it clouds UP. When the sun comes out, it clears UP. When ever it rains, it soaks UP, the ground. If it does not rain, for some time, things do dry UP.