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English Teacher Jonathan
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#48 What time do you call this?  (phrase) = a phrase used when another person is late to show your anger or disapproval

Example: A: What time do you call this? B: Sorry I'm late.

Note: This phrase usually expresses the fact that you are unhappy with another person because they are late. It is an example of a rhetorical question because there is no answer to the question. It just expresses your disapproval of another person's lateness.
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Easter special offer! Buy 16 lessons for £320 and save 33% instead of the usual 15%. Offer available until March 31st! http://bit.ly/19KwlnV
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#45 a petrolhead  (n) = a person who is crazy about cars and everything to do with cars

Example: My old flatmate Dean was a real petrolhead. He could talk about cars for hours and watched nothing but Top Gear on TV.
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I´m not a petrolhead at all, however I enjoyed watching Top Gear on TV. The presenters were amusing and I always learnt something about cars.
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#43 he/she/they couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery (n) = describes a person who is unable to do even the most simple possible task

Example: All he had to do was book a table at the restaurant and he couldn't even do that. Honestly, he couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.

Note: This phrase seems quite complex but once you understand the vocabulary it's not so difficult to understand. A piss-up means a party involving alcohol. A brewery is the place where beer is manufactured. The phrase means that if someone is in a situation that should be easy to manage, they still can't do it.

Watch the video to listen to an example of how this phrase was used in a modified form to make a joke in the British Parliament a few years ago.
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Commenting ideas

Here are some ideas you can use which may help you think about what kind of comments you can add to my posts. 

1) Comment on whether you know the slang vocabulary or not. If you have heard the word or phrase before you may have some useful information to share with others about it.

2) Comment on the word or phrase itself. How does it sound to you? Do you think it's useful vocabulary? Do you have a similar slang expression in your own language?

3) Comment by writing your own example sentence. One of the best ways to learn new vocabulary is to use it, so why not practice the word or phrase by writing an example sentence. Try to be creative with your example sentences and don't just write the minimum possible though!

4) Comment on what other people have written. It would be great if we can generate discussion by people talking to each other about their comments.

So there's no excuse for not having any ideas about how to comment. When people start adding comments on a daily basis, I'll be posting again on a daily basis!
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Slang vocabulary is great 
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Dear followers

I'm looking for a little more input from followers so let's use a different system regarding my posts. I'll add a new post every time there is a new comment regarding my posts from readers. Deal?
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Raiyan Ibne Hossain (R.I.H-121)'s profile photoLyudmila Meshkanova's profile photo
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Good way to make us more talkative
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A note about slang and social class

You may know that Britain is a very class-conscious country and that some people refer to the working, middle and upper class layers of society. This is not how I like to think about people but it's a very common way of thinking in the UK. A lot of British English slang expressions tend to be used by people who belong to a particular layer of society. For example, people who are described as working class may refer to the toilet as the bog and to toilet paper as bog roll. A person who belonged to the aristocracy would be very unlikely to use these words unless they were joking!

Many (but not all!) of the slang expressions I'm adding to this page tend to be used more by the so-called lower class members of society so when you learn new words like these you should be aware of the class element to this kind of vocabulary. I don't suggest that you can use all of these words in your everyday English but if you are working with native speakers from the UK they may be helpful to you in understanding what people are talking about.

Similarly, if you watch British films or TV series I'm sure you will hear a lot of these words being used. They may help you to better understand some of the strange and rich vocabulary you may hear.

So don't think that all of these words are appropriate for certain situations such as more formal writing or speaking - they aren't. but hopefully they will give you insight into a different kind of English that is used by real people in everyday life.
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#47 as thick as two short planks  (phrase) = describes a person who is very stupid

Example: Don't ask him to do it. He's as thick as two short planks.

Note: A plank is the name for the piece of wood you can see in the picture. Usually, a plank is a long piece of wood. This is quite a rude and offensive way to say someone is stupid and should only be used in suitable contexts.
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#46 tara  (interjection) = goodbye

Example: A: See you later! B: OK, tara.

Note: Tara is a very casual and informal way to say goodbye in the UK. I always think it sounds very cheerful when people say it, as if they are in a good mood. The pronunciation is 'tuh-rah' so it starts with a short vowel sound and then finishes with a long vowel sound.
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#44 a wet blanket (n) = a negative person who spoils other people's fun and enjoyment

Example: Don't let John come our trip, he's only going to be a wet blanket and take the fun out of everything.

Note: There is another way to say something similar in English which is the word party-pooper. This has more or less the same meaning as a wet blanket.
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Learn British English slang on Google Plus

#42 a scaredy-cat (n) = a person who is easily frightened by things

Example: Come on! Don't be such a scaredy-cat. It's only a mouse.

Note: This word always has a negative meaning and suggests that a person is being weak or pathetic in their fear of something.
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Raiyan Ibne Hossain (R.I.H-121)'s profile photoLyudmila Meshkanova's profile photoAbid Ali's profile photo
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At the university I knew the cleverest programmer who was very shy. As it usually happens he liked a wonderful girl a lot. But even her approaching made him a scaredy-cat. Fortunately, after couple terms he acquired some confidence and started dating with another beauty
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Test yourself

Word #38 was chinwag (n) meaning a chat.

Listen to this comedy song called Shopkeepers in the North by John Shuttleworth and try to identify when the word 'chinwag' is used in the song. Write the time it is used in the video and the sentence it's used in if you can too!

By the way, the song is about a stereotype in the UK that people from the North of England are very friendly but that people in London are much colder and more reserved. The singer is pretending he's a character from the north of England.
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Have him in circles
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rawan mosa's profile photo
Ram Krishna Bastola's profile photo
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  • English Teacher Jonathan
    English Teacher, 2005 - present
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Online English teacher working with English learners from all over the world using Skype and screen-sharing software. I'm using Google Plus for a series of posts about British English slang.
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My name is Jonathan and I've been working as an online English teacher since 2005. Visit my website at English Teacher Jonathan to find out more about my online teaching system.
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