Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Few Things Reese Needs To Know

Yesterday Reese emailed me with some pretty interesting terms that she needs to learn while living over in England. I thought it would be interesting to find a few more for her:

ARTICULATED LORRY n. 1. A semi truck. This is almost always shortened to ARTIC (pronounced AR-TICK with the emphasis on the second syllable).

AUNT SALLY n. 1. A person at a carnival game that you throw sponges etc. at. This is often generalized to be anyone that is commonly castigated or insulted. To quote a BBC radio broadcaster: "Well, you know, the Post Office is everyone's AUNT SALLY".

BELISHA BEACON (be-lee-shah bee-con) n. 1. A traffic signal consisting of a yellow sphere with a flashing light and mounted atop a black and white striped pole. This is used to indicate the presence of a ZEBRA, but not a PELICAN. The term is named after Hore Belisha who was the Home Secretary at the time when BELISHA BEACONS were introduced into the U.K.

BOB'S YOUR UNCLE phrase. 1. Everything is complete. There is no more to be done. As in, "Set up register 13 and BOB'S YOUR UNCLE". (I had to add this one since I do have an Uncle Bob!)

BOOB TUBE n. 1. Slang term for a tank top or knitted sleeve top. This never means TELLY. "The men were all glued to the BOOB TUBE" would raise a completely wrong image to the British.

RHUBARB n. 1. Nonsense or noise spoken by a person. The origin of this term comes from the stage. People in crowd scenes who are to make "crowd noises" might say, "RHUBARB, RHUBARB, RHUBARB...". This is exactly the background sound one hears in the houses of Parliament. Whether the other MPs agree or disagree with the speaker of the moment, one hears a rumble which sounds remarkably like "RHUBARB, RHUBARB, RHUBARB ...". I'm told the reason for such Parliamentary grunting is because the MPs are not allowed to clap or boo.

SICK AS A PARROT phrase. 1. Very displeased. This is the exact opposite of OVER THE MOON.

FLYOVER n. 1. Overpass

This is only just a few..there are many more here:

Posted by Heather


  1. Wow! That's alot to remember!

    I've seen road signs warning of "lorries." It always make me think of Hugh Laurie!

    I've also seen belisha beacons, but I didn't know that's what they were called!

    I, too, have an Uncle Bob. Love 'im!

    As for the "rhubarb" rumbling, have you ever heard that in the House of Parliament? It's very disturbing! I saw it tv a few years back and I couldn't figure it out. As someone talks, all these people are making the rudest sounding noises! It must take a special level of talent to continue making a speech with all that distraction. It's quite interesting.

    I'll try to remember "sick as a parrot." I"m sure it'll come in handy at some point. It stirs up images of pirates and giant ships in the Caribbean. If I give it a little more thought, Johnny Depp comes to mind, and suddenly I don't feel very displeased any more.

    The site I visit quite often, especially for a few laughs is

  2. Here's another one I like:

    Blow off - Who blew off? Means who farted? Constant source of amusement to us Brits when you guys talk about blowing people off. Conjours up all sort of bizarre images!