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Sayings And Expressions

There are a number of sayings and expressions that come from England, some a little more risqué than others. The following are only a few of these:

Bloody Nora – usually said in exasperation (e.g. “Bloody Nora, I can’t seem to figure this timetable out!”)
The Bees Knees – just fabulous.
What Are You Like? – said to someone that is being silly or funny.




Tongue in Cheek Humour – referring to a wry, subtle or teasing humour that may not be obviously humorous at first.
Voddy – Vodka.
Cheesed Off – very annoyed or bored.
Spiffing – great, wonderful.
Cor – an exclamation of surprise or wonder.
Dodgy – not trustworthy.
Chuffed to bits – very pleased.
Bob’s your uncle – said in place of “and there you have it!” or “you have it made”.
Big girl’s blouse – a weakling or weak person (in terms of character).

Burning the candle at both ends – working too hard with no rest.
Your eyes are bigger than your stomach – you took more food than you were able to eat.
Tie the knot – to get married.
Talk the hind legs off a donkey – referring to an extremely talkative person.
Do you want a brew? – would you like a cup of tea?
As queer as a nine bob note – strange or odd.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – do not question it when you experience good fortune, just accept it.
A cat may look at a king – although ‘inferior’, a person is not restricted in what he can do in the presence of someone superior to him.

Many famous sayings come from the writings of acclaimed English author, poet and playwright, William Shakespeare. Just some of these include:

A dish fit for the gods – a delicious meal.
A fool’s paradise – happiness that is based on an unrealistic or false hope.
A foregone conclusion – a decision that was made before all the evidence was considered.
A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse – used when someone is looking for something that is relatively unimportant.
All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players – referring to the perceived futility of life and smallness of mankind.
All’s well that ends well – as long as a situation ended well, it can all be considered to be alright.
As pure as the driven snow – pure and clean.
At one fell swoop – something that happens suddenly and in one, swift action.
Fight fire with fire – fight with the same intensity or tools that your opponent is using.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears – usually said in jest when trying to get the attention of an audience.
I will wear my heart upon my sleeve – to be very honest and open with one’s emotions.
Love is blind – when in love, one does not see the imperfections of another as others may.
Make your hair stand on end – something that makes you feel fearful, awkward or eerie.
Much ado about nothing – making a fuss over a relatively small or unimportant situation.
Mum’s the word – keep quiet, particularly about a certain secret or piece of information.
There’s method in my madness – although my methods seem nonsensical, I have a plan.
Too much of a good thing – there is such as thing as too much of something, even if it is very enjoyable.
Wild goose chase – an unsuccessful search in the wrong places.
Woe is me – expressing pity for one’s self.