The Septic’s Companion is the dogs bollocks.
Anglophiles and lovers of language, this is for you.
This page made me laugh riotously the first time I went through the idioms. It has proven to be a go-to for me when I’m Brit-picking and when I just need a giggle.
Not only are the definitions themselves often worthy of a belly-laugh, but the writer is unbelievably clever and witty, often going into tangents which will make tears stream from your eyes! It’s also fun (IMHO) as a lover and collector of words to compare the differences in the English we speak, not just in spelling and grammar, but idiomatic customs. As a “septic,” I’ve found it quite delightful and thought I’d share! I’ve also added to my vocabulary of insults and rude phrases I can almost always get away with in polite American society as a result, which is always fantastic.
Slang terms are sorted alphabetically or you can view a complete list, just don’t drink anything while you browse or you may end up with a mess to clean.
cack-handed: clumsy; ineptly executed. Likely derived from a time when the left hand was used for cleaning one’s posterior after movements, and the right hand reserved for anything else. Therefore anything executed with the left hand is perhaps sub-standard. Almost all scatological etymologies are historically false, but they’re more amusing than the polite ones. The sad truth of life is that more of our language derived from the Viking term for “baking tray” than some sort of acronym which spelled “FUCK.”
car boot sale: n merry event where people get together in a field and sell the rubbish from their attic, under the secret suspicion that some part of it might turn out to be splendidly valuable. Not entirely dissimilar to a jumble sale. The term stems no doubt from the fact that this is normally carried out using the boot of your car as a headquarters. This sort of nonsense is now largely replaced by eBay, where you can sell the 1950s engraved brass Hitler moustache replica your father was awarded for twenty years’ service in the post office without actually having to meet the freak who bought it.
Seriously. It makes me go to pieces every time. I love it!!
cat’s eyes: n little reflectors mounted in the centre of the road, amid the white lines. When you’re driving along at night your headlights reflect in them to show where the road goes. When you’re driving like a screaming banshee they gently bounce the car up and down in order to unsettle it, causing you subsequently to lose traction and crash the rented 1.3-litre VW Polo through a fence and into a yard. Everything goes black — your senses are dead but for the faint smell of petrol, and the dim glow of a light coming on in the farmhouse. Somewhere in the distance a big dog barks. As you slowly regain consciousness, you find that you’re in a soft bed, surrounded by candles and with a faint whiff of incense drifting on the breeze from the open window. You see a familiar face peering down at you — could it be Stinky Potter, from down by the cottages? Wasn’t that corner just about where they found poor old Danny’s motorbike? And how does this guy know your name? If you try to run, roll the dice and turn to page seventeen. If you choose to kiss the old man, turn to page twelve.
I. Can’t. I just can’t even. I’m laughing as I type and having to go back and fix nearly every word. Best. English to English dictionary. Ever. Do yourself a favor and visit.
Also, I now know never to name a character “Randy” in seriousness when I’m writing a British story. LOL, the more you know! *ding*