British English That Confuses American People

British English is pretty hard to understand if you are an English learner, right? What about American people though? Can they understand British English? Today we are going to find out.

British English That Confuses American People

A bodge job

A job that is completed quickly and carelessly, with the minimum effort possible.

For example: The plumber just put a load of gaffer tape on the leaking pipe. It was such a bodge job!

Getting Pissed

In the UK, getting pissed usually means getting drunk rather than being angry.

For example: I’m going out with my mates this weekend and we are going to get pissed!

A tinkle on the blower

To call someone on the phone. We also say “give you a bell”

For example: I’ll give you a tinkle on the blower later this week to sort out all the details. 

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Horses for courses

It is important to choose the person with the best skills for the task.

For example: It’s a case of horses for courses. No point hiring a lawyer to fix your car. 


To lay claim to something. We also say calling dibs on something.

For example: I bagsied the best seat in the car before anyone else arrived.

Have a chinwag

In the UK, this means to have a chat with someone, usually a friend or family member.

For example: I haven’t seen you for ages! Let’s get together and have a chinwag as soon as possible!

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Chalk and Cheese

When two things are totally different to each other and they don’t mix well.

For example: Me and my boss are like chalk and cheese. We have totally different opinions about everything.

Pop your clogs

A humorous British idiom that basically means to die.

For example: I’m going to leave all my money to my cats when I pop my clogs.

Sod’s law

If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. In the USA they say “Murphy’s law”

For example: The bus is always late but today, when I was late, it came on time – that’s Sod’s law, innit!

Bob’s your uncle

It means “and there you are” or “it’s that easy!” or “(after that) it’s done!”

For example: Just put in your credit card number, confirm your address and bob’s your uncle.


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