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


(informal) thank you
Taff, Taffy
nickname for a Welshman
food outlet where you can order food to go (or be delivered) (not usually applied to fast food chains). Usage: "we had a takeaway for dinner", "we went to the local takeaway". ; (US: takeout)
take the piss (vulgar) * / take the mickey
(slang) to make fun of somebody; to act in a non-serious manner about something important (also: take the pee). Can also mean to transgress beyond what are perceived as acceptable bounds, or to treat with perceived contempt - "the increases in car tax are taking the piss", "the new boss is really taking the piss with this mandatory car-sharing scheme".
takings *
receipts of money
loudspeaker (a proprietary brand name), PA system
tapping up
in professional team sport, attempting to persuade a player contracted to one team to transfer to another team without the knowledge or permission of the player's current team (US: "tampering")
(informal, friendly) exclamation of farewell (similar to 'seeya!' and 'cheerio!' (above)). Originally from Merseyside (see Scouser, above) but now common throughout the UK.
telephone kiosk
payphone, public phone. See also "phone box" (supra) (US: phone booth)
tea towel
a cloth which is used to dry dishes, cutlery, etc., after they have been washed. (US: dish towel)
a recording of a live television broadcast made directly from a cathode ray tube onto motion picture film. The equivalent US term is kinescope.
(informal) television
ten pound note
a member of the Territorial Army (US: Army Reserve)
tetchy *
person of low intelligence.
throw a wobbly
(informal) to lose one's temper, throw a tantrum
(rhyming slang) breasts/tits (from thrupenny bits, obsolete British coin)
canned as in "tinned soup" or "a tin of tuna"
a dump or to throw something away
white tape or liquid used to make corrections of ink on paper (US: Wite-Out)
very small; tiny (from tich or titch a small person, from Little Tich, the stage name of Harry Relph (1867–1928), English actor noted for his small stature)
(rhyming slang) hat (from tit-for-tat)
tits up
(mildly vulgar) to suddenly go wrong (literally, to fall over. US: go belly up). cf pear-shaped (appears in the US mainly as military jargon, sometimes sanitized to "tango uniform")
batter-baked sausages, sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding
(slang) member of the upper classes
toffee apple
a sugar-glazed apple on a stick eaten esp. on Guy Fawkes Night and Hallowe'en (US: caramel apple or candy apple)
anti-social in a pretentious way, stuck up
Tommy Atkins, Tommy
common term for a British soldier, particularly associated with World War I
(informal) to hit hard, sometimes used in cricket to describe a substantial boundary shot: "he tonked it for six". In Southern England can also mean muscular. (US: ripped or buff).
tosser *
(slang) Largely equivalent to "wanker" but less offensive; has the same literal meaning, i.e. one who masturbates ("tosses off"). (US: jerk).
(colloquial, archaic) a drunkard; also used in the sense of "tosser".
(informal, offensive to some) sexually alluring woman or women (more recently, also applied to males). Originally a term for a prostitute in the late 19th century.
tout *
usually in the context "ticket tout"; to re-sell tickets, usually to a live event. Verb: to tout, touting. Ticket touts can usually be seen outside a venue prior to the beginning of the event, selling tickets (which may well be fake) cash-in-hand. Known as scalping in the US.
tower block
high rise public housing building. In recent years the US term apartment building has become fashionable to create the distinction between the often stigmatised public run high-rises, and those containing desirable private accommodation.
training shoes, athletic shoes. (US: sneakers).
a police officer's weapon (US: nightstick or billy)
two pence, also infantile euphemism for vagina. cf twopenn'orth
cheap, substandard
turf accountant
bookmaker for horse races (US and UK: bookie)
direction-indicator light on a vehicle (US: turn signal)
A place where you can turn off a road. Not generally used where the turn would take you onto a more major road or for a crossroads. (US: turn). "drive past the post-office and you'll see a small turning to the right, which leads directly to our farm"
an arrangement at the bottom of trouser-legs whereby a deep hem is made, and the material is doubled-back to provide a trough around the external portion of the bottom of the leg. (US: cuffs)
twee *
excessively cute, quaint, or 'precious'
twonk *
idiot. Probably a portmanteau construction of twat and plonker. Used by Timothy Spall in an episode of Red Dwarf.
twopenn'orth, tuppenn'orth, tup'en'oth
one's opinion (tuppenn'orth is literally "two pennies worth" or "two pence worth", depending on usage); (US equivalent: two cents' worth, two cents). cf tuppence

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