23 May 2015

Useful facts for tourists: London expressions

Lively, excitable. “He’s a bit barking, isn’t he?”

Dresses on the left
A polite way to describe someone who holds left-wing political views.

Euphemism for sexual congress. As in ‘Do you fancy a flutter?’

Full English
A particularly confusing one – this is the ubiquitous name for a traditional fried breakfast, but more recently it has acquired a double meaning, as a euphemism for sexual congress. So use it with care at the breakfast table!

How’s your father
Polite enquiry about one’s relatives.

A powerful and moving experience, such as hearing a Shakespeare soliloquy read by a great actor, or a beautiful aria sung at the opera.

Leave it out
Please do not include it. For example, when offered salt or pepper at a restaurant.

Old chap
Father. As in ‘My old chap’s not been looking too good recently.’

Pigeon pie
Also known as a ‘Saturday night special’, the all-too familiar pile of vomit on the pavement.

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