Sunday, May 15, 2011

Top Ten British Words (according to Merriam-Webster)

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary has (AmE) / have (BrE) put together their favourite (BrE) / favorite (AmE) ten British words, and I thought they might be worth a little exercise.
Merriam-Webster are (BrE) / is (AmE) one of the best-known American publishers of dictionaries, and direct heir(s) of Noah Webster, whose An American Dictionary of the English Language was first published in 1828. It was Noah Webster who established the American system of spelling.
I have to admit I didn't realise they were all British. And one of them, chunter, was completely new to me.
Have a look at their definitions here first, then do the exercise. I've also added some of my own (not necessarily British); mouse over the words in blue for their definitions.


Exercise 1 - The Merriam-Webster Top Ten. Fill the gaps with the words in the box. ?

prat   ·   twee   ·   knackered   ·   jiggery-pokery   ·   plonk
chuntering   ·   whingeing   ·   gormless   ·   boffin   ·   pukka
1.It sounds really dodgy, I get the feeling there's some going on.
2.That Indian meal was really , absolutely top class nosh.
3.Australians have occasionally been known to refer to the British as poms. They think we're always complaining about something.
4.Her songs can be a bit , some might even say precious, but I quite like them.
5.It's not a bad bottle of , this. I got it at the local offie.
6.She spent all morning on about what a naff party she had been to the night before.
7.God I'm after all that exercise. I think I'll have a bit of a snooze.
8.He used to be a bit of an anorak. Then he studied particle physics at university and now he's a at some top secret defence establishment.
9.Dave made a real of himself at the boozer again last night. He just can't hold his drink, that one.
10.And Brad's as as his brother Dave. He's totally lacking in any nous.

Exercise 2 - Now do the same with the words in blue from the previous exercise. Fill the gaps with the words in the box. ?

poms   ·   naff   ·   nous   ·   snooze   ·   booze   ·   offie   ·   nosh   ·   precious   ·   anorak   ·   dodgy   ·  
1.What's the recipe for Tapenade? Use your and google it.
2.He always wears such clothes, he's got no sense of style.
3.He always likes to have a short after Sunday lunch.
4.Why the Ozzies call us Brits , I have no idea.
5.He's such a(n) . He really needs to get a life and get out more.
6.She can be very charming, but in a slightly way.
7.Where's Tim? - Oh, he's gone down to the for some beer.
8.The doctor says I've got to lay off the for a while.
9.I feel like a really good up tonight, I'm starving.
10.I find him rather a character. I've never really trusted him.


  1. 1. jiggery-pokery, 2. pukka, 3. whingeing, 4. twee, 5. plonk, 6. chuntering, 7. knackered, 8. boffin, 9. gormless, 10. prat
  2. 1. nous, 2. naff, 3. snooze, 4. poms, 5. anorak, 6. precious, 7. offie, 8. booze, 9. nosh, 10. dodgy


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