Friday, January 14, 2022

Quote of the Week: Always Someone Else's Shout

I've had to explain some of the peculiarities of British English swearing to my North American colleagues on several occasions. Those most often eliciting a degree of bafflement are tosser, wanker, and twat, so for the sake of North Americans reading this, here's my handy guide.

[description of buying rounds in a pub excised: the important bit is that you're supposed to buy at least one round for the whole group, on pain of social opprobrium]

So, with this in mind, let's meet Adam, Barry, and Chris.

  • Adam has forgotten his wallet tonight. He has to borrow some money so he can get a round in. Adam is a tosser.
  • Barry has forgotten his wallet but makes no attempt to borrow money. He drinks but doesn't buy a round. Barry is a wanker.
  • Chris always "forgets" his wallet, accepts a drink at every round and then tries to cadge some money for a kebab on the way home. Chris is a twat.

 - Emma Bryne, Swearing Is Good for You, pp.19-20

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