So most of these are from Harry Potter, actually all except 1 are, but these are moments when British slang and phrases defeated me in my quest for literary excitement.
Literary Listings: 4 Moments when British Phrases Defeated Claire (in Fiction)
Mogget from The Abhorsen series by Garth Nix
So Nicole and I have mentioned this in a previous post but when I first read the series, I pronounced Mogget as Mo-ghay in a bit of a fluffy boogie french accent. After tweeting Garth Nix and having many discussions with fellow Abhorsen fans, I found out that it’s pronounced Mog-get, because apparently in British and Australian culture, Moggy is another way of describing a cat. At 26 years old, I had no idea but Mogget will always and forever Mo-ghay to me!
Troll Bogey from The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
Straight-up as a child I had no righteous idea what a troll bogey was. I surmised that it was some sort of bodily fluid from the troll’s nose but I deduced at the tender age of 10 that it was a special fluid unique only to troll-kind. It was only when they kept saying it in the film and I had discovered the advent of google at 14, that I decided to research the phrase and was surprised as heck to find out that it was British equivalent of “boogers“. Legit thought it was a special
Anything “Pants” and “Merlin’s most baggy Y–fronts” from Ron Weasley in The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Pants are things that you wear on your legs that is an umbrella term for jeans, trousers, etcs. It is not underwear. Only underwear is underwear. However, as I came to realise at the ripe age of 25 when my little cousins kept giggling at my complaints of my pants falling down, or when I complained of the sort at work (to many horrified faces) that my 21 year old coworker explained to me that in the UK pants refers to underwear. Trousers is what you wore over that. What the heck?!
Also what in the earth is a baggy y-front? I still don’t know what it is and when I google it, I’m still confused. I’m 26 and I’ve been pondering that phrase for nearly 13 years. Someone, please save me.
“Jumper” anything in The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
Growing up I wore jumpers in primary school, which to me was a dress. A weird sort of uniform style dress. So when I read Harry Potter firs and everyone kept referring to their new Christmas jumpers, I thought meant dresses. This added to the illusion in my head that wizards just wear giant dress-like cape things (especially since she describes robes as giant balloon-like dresses as well). It wasn’t till I went to university that someone told me that jumpers were umbrella terms for what I think of as sweaters and cardigans. Huh, who-woulda-thought?
Have you read any great British phrases in your quest for literature?