Blimey! the British slang the Patriots need to know

Published On October 26, 2012 | By Alice Cook

I’ve been to London twice, most recently in the summer of 2010. My daughter talked me into it after her high school graduation. As we took in the sights, the museums and the pubs for ten days, we also discovered that British English is a language of its own. Amazing how it could sound so “proper” and be so hilarious at the same time.

The following is a list of British slang the Patriots should be familiar with as they travel across the pond for the second time. Bill Belichick has made it clear that this is strictly a ‘business trip,” so we’ll try to keep it football related, not to be confused with soccer, which is their version of football. You know what I mean.

1. Arse over elbow- Like when we say head over heels. “Brandon Spikes just sent the Ram’s Chris Givens arse over elbow. What a play.”

2. Belt up- This is the British version of our “shut up.” It’s what Tom Brady should have said to ‘U Mad Bro’  Richard Sherman walking off the field in Seattle.

3. Bender- A heavy drinking session. Rest assured there will be no “benders” for Patriots players while in London … we think.

4. Blimey- An expression of surprise. “That was a blimey good play, don’t you think chap?”

5. Bloody- A very useful word (but considered a swear by the British) to emphasize almost anything. “The defensive  backs were bloody awful today.” This is also a word that Americans should avoid saying. It’s just all wrong without the accent.

6. Bomb- This is not a pass completion over 60 yards, although the expression does work in this instance because the British version means something is going “really well,” or “really fast.”

7.Cheerio- Here this a breakfast cereal, over there it’s a friendly way of saying goodbye. Imagine Belichick saying “cheerio” at the conclusion of his post game news conference. Right.

8.Cock up- I know what you’re thinking. In Britain, it means you made a mistake. Really. Look it up.

9.Clear off- Over there it means get lost. It could come in handy from the Patriots sideline when they have too many men on the field.

10. Dishy-  Our word for attractive or good looking. “Many women agree Tom Brady is dishy.” Synonym: fit.

11. Get stuffed. We think of it as an excellent defensive play on the ball carrier. It’s the British not-so-polite was of saying “go away.”

12. Knees up- In England, if they are having a knees up, they are going to a party, as a opposed to a “kneel down” in football- a play designed to run out the clock

13. Leg it- A British term for run for it. Will the Patriots pass or leg it more?

14. Mate- Another word for friend. The Patriots have “team mates.”  Same kind of thing- we hope.

15. Mind the gap – This expression has  nothing to do with the 2-gap or 3-gap defense. The “gap” in England is that space between the train or tube platform and the train car. Our equivalent expression is “watch your step.”  Mind the gap is just so “proper.”

16. Piss poor- No explanation needed here.

17. Piss Up – A drinking session. Patriots fans making the trip are likely to have one of these.

18.Sack/sacked – In England it means getting fired. Same thing here. The fine fans in London will learn it also means flattening a quarterback.

19.Skive – What someone does to avoid something, like Tom Brady evading a sack. “Nice skive there by Brady.”

20.Chuffed- Proud. Belichick will be so “chuffed” if his team plays well. Coach may wrap it up by saying something like this after the game (imagine Belichick saying this in a British accent):

“Coming here to London was the bee’s knees (awesome). I fancied (liked) our approach, especially considering everyone was so knackered (tired) after the long flight. There are bits and bobs (various things) that we still have to work on. Nothing is easy peasy (easy) in this league.  So we’ll get back to Boston, try to get our batteries re-charged during the bye week and we’ll see all you chaps again in a fortnight (two weeks). Cheers.”


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About The Author

is a veteran television sports reporter and Olympian. Her experience includes 25 years of sports reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS and former NBC affiliate in Boston. Cook has worked for ESPN, Turner Sports, and WTBS. Cook is a feature writer for She's Game Sports and She is also President and Founder of She's Game Sports LLC.