Bizarre British Phrases Quiz: How Many Can You Translate?
The Huffington Post, 18/03/2016
There are some real head-scratchers in there.
Sarah Ann Harris
News Reporter, The Huffington Post UK
Many foreigners coming to Britain are often left scratching their heads at some of our strange turns of phrase - but even Britons themselves sometimes find themselves baffled.
Now linguistics experts have revealed a list of the 30 most obscure phrases in the English language and their origins.
Franz Andres Morrissey (Lecturer in Linguistics and Creative Writing, University of Bern) and Jürg Strässler (emeritus Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Zürich) spent a month examining the English language for its most bizarre phrases.
The full list, commissioned by Privilege insurance, contains sayings from Britain’s army and navy history, the Bible and even Cockney rhyming slang...
1. Bite the bullet (Army and Navy)
2. Fly by the seats of your pants (Army and Navy)
3. Go doolally (Army and Navy)
4. It’s brass monkeys outside (Army and Navy)
5. Three sheets in the wind (Army and Navy)
6. Separate the wheat from the chaff (Bible)
7. Skin of your teeth (Bible)
8. Through the eye of a needle (Bible)
9. Happy as a sand boy (Euphemism)
10. Sweet Fanny Adams (Euphemism)
11. Up the duff/in the club (Euphemism)
12. Butter up (Figurative)
13. Kick the bucket (Figurative)
14. Storm in a teacup/tempest in a teapot (Figurative)
15. Bob’s your uncle (Historical)
16. Eat humble pie (Historical)
17. Mad as a hatter (Historical)
18. Piss Poor (Historical)
19. Kangaroo Court (Historical)
20. Skeleton in the cupboard (Historical)
21. Carry your heart on your sleeve (Literature)
22. It was a dickens of a job (Literature)
23. Have a butchers (Rhyming slang)
24. Haven’t seen you in donkey’s years (Rhyming slang)
25. Taking the Mickey (Rhyming slang)
26. It’s raining cats and dogs (Rhyming slang)
27. Horses for courses (Sports)
28. Red herring (Sports)
29. Win hands down (Sports)
30. Point Black (Sports)
Some of the sayings are fairly well-known and widely used in everyday conversation. But what about some of the more unusual ones?
Try our quiz and see if you can translate some of the more bizarre sayings and a few others we’ve thrown in for good measure...
What Do These Bizarre British Sayings Mean?
Can you translate?
terug naar Franse en Engelse invloed