In Praise of British Slang ~ A Poem

A short time ago, I had the privilege of speaking to an English author who is also a wonderful poet. During our conversation, he asked if I was still writing poetry. The question caught me off guard. I don’t write poetry regularly and have not done so since working on my current novel.

It got me thinking though, because I adored his English accent and way of speaking. He used words and phrasing I never hear in conversation with friends—which I found both amusing and endearing. As Canadians, we have adopted British words in our day-to-day language, but there are many we don’t use.

It also amazed me to discover how much of British slang sounds vulgar, even when the words are not. Some of the words in my poem may be regional or outdated, but they entertained me nonetheless. Brits can comment and tell me if I’ve made a twit of myself.

I hope you enjoy this short poem inspired by a special Englishman. I know he fancies wordplay and has a healthy sense of humour (that’s humour with a second ‘u’ since I’m being British and all). 😉



In Praise of British Slang

The dog’s bollocks is the best
But bollocks alone is rubbish
And rubbish is actually garbage
Don’t speak it; throw it in a bin

If you spend a penny in England
Expect to be in the loo
But if you get diddled while in there
Check that you still have all your pennies

No point fannying around
As the arse is the ass
And the fanny is not the arse
It’s the female naughty bits

And what of the John Thomas or Todger?
Found on a mate, a bloke, or a codger
So many names to describe a plonker
There should be as many words for a lughole

You may think I’m barmy or bladdered
I’m neither, just a wee bit knackered
In need of a good eight hours
And I’ll be full of beans again

Yes I do love many things British
The language, the slang, the humour
A dry cocktail of irony and wit
Perfect for taking the piss



Filed under Revelations & Humor, Short Stories & Poetry

20 responses to “In Praise of British Slang ~ A Poem

  1. Eden,
    This is absolutely wonderful, or ‘spiffing’ or ‘top hole’ as we Children of Perfidious Albion might say. Thank you for sharing. Now more poetry, please!


  2. I’d love to hear you read it, eden, with a British accent, that is :). Great effort – I did imagine the wee you reading it in my head – honest, I’m not taking the piss 🙂


    • Ha, Junying! I have the worst English accent ever. Trust me, I would crack you up! Thanks hon for coming by and reading.

      And … for the record…”taking the piss” is such an odd expression. I thought it was meant for the person who accepts being made fun of as opposed to the person who’s perpetrating the fun.

      You Brits! Such wacky people! xoxo


  3. Thanks to my friends from across the pond and my love of reading I was savvy to most of your poem and enjoyed it greatly. I love slang and the variations in language especially among those of us purported to speak English even though I am aware that some would say that Americans having spoken English in decades(maybe longer). Thank you for your poem I enjoyed it very much. It brought forth a joyful grin this morning.




    • Ardee-ann, thanks so much for reading and your comment. I was brought up on British English and spelling of course, but we don’t use many of the words. And you’re right that it’s easy to tell when a British author has written something as opposed to an American just by the words used.

      In looking up slang for this poem, I’ve never seen so many that described: drunkenness and penis.

      Fascinating, I thought. 🙂



  4. Well, Bob’s your uncle, Eden. You’ve made me proud and pondering. I can sit for hours listening to English, Irish and Scottish folks talk– even if I don’t have a clue. Wonderful poem– so well done!


  5. ‘ear, ‘ear, darlin’, what’s all dis I ‘ear abart your bleedin’ lughole!!

    You must have Bri’ish blood in you, lydy, this is really quite off the wall, bit of a larf, eccentric, goonish and what not!


  6. Sure, Eden. Lugholes are ears. (wink wink) Lug nuts, on the other hand… Oh yeah. They’re those thingies that hold the wheels on your car.

    Love watching Brit movies, scratching my head and going WTF?


    • Tim, you’re a hoot! As opposed to a hooter (which is a nose! *wink*)
      Oh yeah, lug nuts — I know what those are – ha!
      I love British film and the language is not usually a problem for me, though I used to watch “Coronation Street” and there were a few people on that show who were really difficult to understand.
      Thanks hon, for commenting.


  7. Very good, I have many British peers at work and I almost associate their accent while I read your poem. I really like, it’s funny and fresh.


  8. Oh, boy, is that a lot of slang! Very well done, Eden!


  9. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website
    in my social networks!


  10. We absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.
    Does one offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write about here.

    Again, awesome weblog!


Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s