Unfamiliar London Words - A Short Dictionary

Friday 27 April 2012

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One thing you’ll notice when you travel to London are all the strange words they use to describe things. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don’t.

So, to help the wayward tourist, here’s a list of words you’ll here when you travel to London.

  • Tube = London Underground Network
  • The Knowledge = The cumulative knowledge of London’s black cab drivers that they have to learn to be licensed. They have to learn every street in London.
  • Boris Bus = Boris Johnson’s key platform of replacing the old London Routemaster bus.
  • Red Ken = The name of London’s former Mayor Ken Livingston who leaned VERY far to the left.
  • The Standard = What some call the Evening Standard – the evening paper dedicated to London.
  • The City = The City of London – the square mile bit of central London that goes back 2 thousand years.
  • Square Mile = The City of London also
  • Congestion Charge = Tax on all cars entering the central London congestion charge zone.
  • Silicon Roundabout = Area around Old Street that’s a hub for new media and tech companies.
  • Council Estate = Public housing
  • The Blitz = Period in 1940 when London was bombed by the Nazis
  • M25 = The Orbital Highway that encircles London
  • Westway = Elevated Highway in West London
  • Mind the Gap = Watch your step when stepping from a train to a platform.
  • Buck House = Buckingham Palace
  • The Tower = Tower of London
  • A-Z = A popular London map guide that’s indispensable to locals and long term visitors (extra note – Londoners will say ‘A to Zed’).
  • GMT = Greenwich Mean Time
  • Cockney = Someone born within earshot of the bells of St Mary-le-Bow
  • Offy = Convenience Store
  • Off License = Convenience Store
  • Take Away = Cheap to go food.
  • Crossrail = New cross London underground railway line currently under construction.
  • Bobby = London Policeman
  • Zebra Crossing = Pedestrian crossing.
  • Home Counties = Generic name for the counties around London which are: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex.
  • Pissed = Drunk
  • Pants = Underwear or something that sucks
  • Trousers = Pants
  • Quid = Pound
  • Knackered = Tired
  • Loo = Toilet
  • Kip = Sleep/Nap
  • Tenner = £10
Did we leave anything off the list? What's your favorite London word? Let us know in the comments!
 

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