List of British Words Not Widely Used in The United States - M


main *
pipe that carries gas or water. "The water main has burst!"
mains power, the mains
230-250V (Typically denoted on domestic electricals as the rounded 240V standard) AC electrical current, provided by the electricity grid to homes and businesses; also attrib. ("mains cable") (US: 120 volts AC, variously called: line power, grid power, AC power, household electricity, etc.)
(slang) feeling ill, rough, out of sorts; filthy, dirty, rotten. (poss. from French "manqué" - missed, wasted or faulty)
(derogatory, mainly Northern and Central England) describes someone who is in a bad mood, or more generally a crybaby or whiner or "grumpy, difficult, unpredictable". Used, for example, by children in the rhyme "Mardy, mardy mustard...", and in the title of the Arctic Monkeys song "Mardy Bum". The verb to throw a mardy means to display an outburst of anger.
mathematics (US: math)
MD (managing director)
equivalent of US CEO (Chief Executive Officer), also used in the UK
Mexican wave
simply called The Wave in the US
mentioned in despatches
identified for valour or gallantry in action (US: decorated)
one thousand million, or 1,000,000,000 (US: billion or 1,000,000,000) Now superseded by the internationally standard usage of billion (1,000,000,000).
mince *
1. ground meat, especially beef (US: ground beef, hamburger meat, mince typically describes a chopping style)
2. Walk daintily or effeminately.
3. Mince your words -- to obfuscate or conceal when talking or writing * (US: "He/She doesn't mince words.")
(vulgar) (rhymes with singe) female genitals or pubic hair
(from Scots language ming "to smell strongly and unpleasantly", rhymes with singer) someone who is unattractive
(from Scots language "smelling strongly and unpleasantly", rhymes with singing) dirty, rotting, smelly, unattractive etc. "The girl I pulled last night was minging". His friend replies, "yeah I know mate, I saw you leave with her, she was a right minger".
a musical note with the duration of two counts in a time signature of 4/4 (US: half note; see Note value)
mither, moider, moither
trans. To bother, pester, worry, irritate; intr. To ramble, be delirious; to ‘go on’; to complain, make a fuss, whine. Alternative version in Chambers: to confuse; to work hard; to wander in thought; See also mither, moider and moither at Wiktionary
moggie, moggy
(informal) non-pedigree cat; alley cat; any cat regardless of pedigree; Morris Minor car; Morgan car
(slang) disgusting, dirty, foul, idiotic person, possible derivation from mongoloid, now obsolete term for someone with Down's syndrome
monged (out)
(slang) being incapable of constructive activity due to drug use, alcohol consumption or extreme tiredness
MOT, MOT test
(pronounced emm'oh'tee) mandatory annual safety and roadworthiness test for motor vehicles over 3 years old (from "Ministry of Transport", now renamed "Department for Transport")
A controlled-access highway, the largest class of road on the British road network, designed for fast, high volume traffic, usually with three or more lanes in each direction. In reference to a specific motorway may be abbreviated to M, as in M25 or M1. (US: equivalent to freeway)
mouthing off
shouting, ranting or swearing a lot about something or someone. e.g.: "that guy was just mouthing off about something" (US : backtalk; often shortened to mouth )
move house, move flat, etc.
to move out of one's house or other residence into a new residence (US: move, move out)
multi (slang)
short for multi-storey, used mainly in Eastern Scotland to denote a tower block of public housing (see below)
an ugly woman (rarely, man); similar to minger
an incompetent or foolish person
casual term for friend, mate, pal. As in "'Ere mush, what's going on?"

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