Its seems like ages ago, possibly around 1840, when we offered one of our wonderful blog followers a post on the wilder side of English vocabulary. The kind of words you could throw in to a conversation and everyone thinks ‘Ho! Ho! That person is a mighty local and sophisticated Brit’.
Of course it all proved to be more complex than we thought and when our potential blog post reached the proportions of a PhD thesis sweeping through slang, regional vocabulary, the power of forgotten, once popular words and stranger reaches of business English we had to stop and take stock.
So here is the first of a series of our key British words posts. In no particular order just words that should be in your vocabulary as you learn English.
Chortle: A low bubbling laugh often suggesting a knowing and personal humorous moment.
In context: “He was chortling to himself about the newspaper article”
Cockwomble: A purely male insult which has friendly and knowing overtones. Apparently a cockwomble is one of those young guys who hangs around the streets of major UK cities with both hands rammed down the front of his trackies ferreting with his privates like a womble searching for rubbish on Wimbledon Common. I know this is a family blog but we tell it like it is in TheBigForest.
In context: Benjamin has found this word of particular use at high end craft events ‘Hello Sir, you look like a bit of a cockwomble, if I may say so’. (Don’t try this home by the way, particularly if English isn’t your first language).
Outsource: When companies commission or procure essential services from external organisations – they outsourced the People Department – for example. Increasingly used in a slang sense to mean something that is efficient but not particularly exciting.
In context: ‘Did you outsource this curry, Jake, it tastes really bland’
Roake: The thick wet mist that descends on to a beach in the height of the English summer making you go straight from swim trunks to duvet jacket. It’s a regional word apparently – sea roake, sea fret, sea mist. All the same thing.
In context: ‘A day on the beach in Scarborough with the kiddies ruined by the sea roake’
The images show the British countryside around TheBigForest hut.