GOBSMACKED! (AND OTHER BRITISH WORDS WE LEARNED IN THE UK)
We knew when we touched down in London — en route for the ultimate pub (pretzel) crawl in Nottingham, UK — that we’d likely hear a lot of new words and phrases whose meanings we weren’t quite sure of.
And we were right.
“Gobsmacked,” “crackin’ good,” “aces” and “Bob’s your uncle” were all uttered more than once. We were stumped at first, but soon figured out the meaning of each. Here’s a look at a some of the most popular British words and phrases we learned during our trip to Nottingham, along with some examples of how to use them.
Gobsmacked ― To be amazed or astounded by something (“I am truly gobsmacked by how crunchy these pretzels are!”)
Crackin’ ― The best, or something that is very good (“Blimey! These pretzels are crackin’ good!”)
Bob’s your uncle ― This very common and very British phrase is hard to define, but it’s used at the end of a statement or a series of instructions to say “And that’s it!” or “That’s all!” It’s often lengthened to “Bob’s your uncle, and Fanny’s your aunt!” or even “Robert is your mother’s brother.” (“You get a pint, you get a bowl of these pretzels, and Bob’s your uncle!”)
Duck ― Pronounced “dook” (rhymes with “book”), this popular term of endearment in Nottingham and other areas is used to describe just about anyone you might meet. (As heard from one gentleman we met: “I’m a duck, you’re a duck, he’s a duck, she’s a duck. We’re all ducks.”)
What’s the crack? ― Often spelled “craic,” this phrase means “What’s the news?” or “What’s going on?” (“What’s the crack? I’m sitting here eating pretzels with an American fellow, and we’re having a jolly good time!”)