I’m addicted to British, Australian and New Zealand detective series. I should buy stock in Acorn and BritBox! One thing I’ve learned, besides trying to figure out who done it, is that the English speak a different language. At least different from Americans, of which I claim the distinction.
Here are a few times I’ve had to stop the show and look up what the heck they were saying. For those of you across either pond, you can laugh at my stupidity. For those of you in the States, here’s a handy primer.
Are you taking the mickey? (Agatha Raisin)
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it means “to laugh at someone and make them seem silly, in a funny or unkind way: A group of other boys were taking the mickey out of him. She's always taking the mick - she's got no respect for the managers at all.”
Having a sticky beak? (The Cry)
Australian, meaning an inquisitive person who pries into other’s affairs.
These Kilmuir crime scene photos are causing a big stooshie. (Shetland)
The Collins dictionary says “noun Scottish. 1. a commotion, rumpus, or row. 2. a state of excitement or anxiety; a tizzy.
Have a nosy (Hidden Assets)
Telling porkies or telling porkie pies (Shetland)
Means to tell a lie. From the Internet site, “Historically Speaking”: “According to the Rocking Rhyming Slang website as well as Londontopia, telling porky pies or telling porkies is one of the most well-known slang expressions throughout London and the UK. On the Londontopia website, the authors claim that rhyming slang originated in the East End of London in the 1840s. As we all know, language is a living and breathing entity and Cockney rhyming slang has continued to expand since its inception.”
Steer the punt from the Cambridge end? (Lost in Austen)
Okay, this one really caught me off guard.
Mr Bingley here offers this phrase to describe lesbians. According to IMDB, it refers “to the different practices used by Cambridge and Oxford university students when propelling punts on their respective rivers.”
Don't worry, there will be more coming. "Vera" Season 13 comes out in the States Feb. 28!!