England and America are two nations separated by a common language.”

–George Bernard Shaw.

One hardly needs to be British to enjoy “Last Tango in Halifax,” the terrific comedy-drama that debuted in 2012 (and that my wife and I recently binge-watched — who says that the pandemic doesn’t have any silver linings??).

As a service to American viewers, however, I offer this handy cheat sheet to convert (to my ear) the quirky English lexicon:

“Bollocks”:  %$#@!!

“Dozy bugger” (also: “silly bugger,” “tosser,” “wanker”): jerk; asshole.

“Fall out”: fight; become estranged.

“Love” (noun): “dear.” See, “our.”

“Mobile” (noun): cell phone.

“Niggly”: cheap.

“Our”: third-person variant of “dear” (“Our Gillian . . .”).

“Owt”: anything; nothing.

“Pilfer”: shoplift; steal.

“Pillock”: head case.

“Pissed”: drunk; inebriated.

“Puncture” (noun): flat tire.

“Ring” (verb): call (as, “on a mobile”).

“Sod that” (verb): #$%@! that.

“Ta-ta” (also “ta-ra”):  goodbye; see you later.

“Toff” (noun): rich or upper-class person; snob.

Fortunately, there’s one commonly used expression on the show that needs no translation: “Would you like some tea?”

Apparently, the British answer to that is always, “Why yes, love!” . . . 🙂

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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