Phrase For Phriday

These Phrases for Phriday are something that I started a while ago in response to a suggestion from one of my readers, the lovely PJ. They (I hope) provide examples of how Brits and Americans (and other English speakers around the world) are often, as the saying goes, divided by a common language.

I prefer to begin these light-hearted posts by admitting right here that I’m not at all sure if these are particularly solely British words and phrases. However, I have to start somewhere and that means making some assumptions… they sound pretty British to me, or to put it another way, these are instances when I believe those Americans and others I mentioned might be tempted to think, “WTF does that mean?”. But I’m providing nothing more here than my personal interpretation of the words in question. Of course, I could be wrong – nothing new there then, either!


For today’s phrase, we’re back on the subject of Cockney Rhyming Slang. The phrase is… What a berk, which is a not very nice way of saying, “What an idiot!” However, most people who use it don’t understand the derivation, which is Cockney Rhyming slang – as in: What a Berk – Berkley Hunt and I’ll leave you to figure out the rhyme… Still, although I’ve never heard it, I suppose it might also be used in a more literal form when discussing a young woman with a fine pair of Bristols – Bristol Cities – er… titties (boobs) and her other attractions.

Don’t blame me for the innuendo – The Peach Tart is having a particularly smutty patch on her blog and it kinda got me thinking – ordinarily I never think about sex… Do you believe in fairies by the way?


Have a good weekend…  ; )

4 Responses to “Phrase For Phriday”

  1. Yet another I’ve never heard before. It’s too early in the morning and I haven’t had enough coffee to get my brain working, or I’d have an American expression to share.

  2. I have heard of that. I guess we Australians used many British slang terms for a long time before we developed our own rather tragic ones (a lot of cockney convicts were sent here I bet too which is probably where our accents came from). It is fascinating this rhyming slang I think! No, I was under the impression that you never thought about sex either…what is happening with you? lol!!

    • I believe the Australian accent was influenced (loosely and broadly) by the cockney type of accent, though all UK accents were very different then. Modern cockney rhyming slang is not as old as many think and is not (I believe) the same as the slang that the true “Costamongers” use. It’s a bit of fun though, isn’t it?

      What is happening, you ask. I would have thought that was obvious – you disappeared out of my life and I became a monk overnight of course…. so you do believe in fairies then… 😆

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