• Ditzy

22 British Euphemisms Translated

Excavating the true meaning from a British person’s words is an elaborate archeological undertaking. The bones of the beast often lie beneath layers of euphemism that can be completely baffling for anyone who subscribes to the traditional model of ‘words as direct vehicles for meaning’. To save time, DITZY has put together a cheat-sheet of some our most trusted phrases - designed to deflect offence and avoid honesty at all costs.


  1. ‘How about the week after?’ [how about never?]

  2. ‘So sorry, work has been crazy!!’ [I had not have enough serotonin for social contact this week]

  3. ‘Thanks a mill’ [why the fuck haven’t you done it yet Sandra]

  4. ‘Just a gentle reminder’ [I’m coming for your first born Sandra]

  5. ‘Yeah, maybe!’ [no]

  6. ‘Absolutely!’ [no]

  7. ‘I don’t think it’s a thing’ [the sex is great, but he’s a bit minging so probs won’t introduce you]

  8. ‘Let’s play it by ear’ [give me time to come up with my excuse]

  9. ‘Feel free to invite anyone I’ve missed off!’ [except people I’ve purposefully missed off]

  10. ‘You wanna get a joint gift?’ [you wanna sort a gift?]

  11. ‘It’s 20 mins away’ [it’s far as fuck away]

  12. ‘Woah - that’s crazy!’ [I’m not listening]

  13. ‘In these unprecedented times’ [we have no idea what’s going on]

  14. ‘He’s one of the lads!’ [we share the same 3 brain cells]

  15. ‘I don’t really enjoy drama’ [it is my fucking lifeblood]

  16. ‘I don’t mind’ [I mind horribly, but i’m gonna make you guess the right answer]

  17. ‘Oh my god NO WAY’ [this is totally as I expected]

  18. ‘You’re welcome to stay’ [your welcome = outstayed]

  19. ‘I’ll monzo you’ [you can kiss that £7.50 goodbye!]

  20. After you [arsehole]

  21. Aw yeah she’s so lovely! [my mortal enemy]

  22. Yeah, that’s a cool idea!! [that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard]

Written by Jess Bird

Illustration: Rachel Martin, thisisnthappiness.com



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Cover illustration by Christopher Bragg

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