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 Dictionary entry overview: What does Britain mean? 

BRITAIN (noun)
  The noun BRITAIN has 1 sense:

1. a monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland

  Familiarity information: BRITAIN used as a noun is very rare.

 Dictionary entry details 

BRITAIN (noun)

Sense 1Britain [BACK TO TOP]


A monarchy in northwestern Europe occupying most of the British Isles; divided into England and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland

Classified under:

Nouns denoting spatial position


Britain; Great Britain; U.K.; UK; United Kingdom; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; GB

Instance hypernyms:

kingdom (a country with a king as head of state)

Meronyms (parts of "Britain"):

England (a division of the United Kingdom)

Northern Ireland (a division of the United Kingdom located on the northern part of the island of Ireland)

Scotland (one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; located on the northern part of the island of Great Britain; famous for bagpipes and plaids and kilts)

Cambria; Cymru; Wales (one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; during Roman times the region was known as Cambria)

Domain member region:

pork butcher (a vendor of pork and products made from pork)

pointsman (a policeman stationed at an intersection to direct traffic)

placeman; placeseeker (a disparaging term for an appointee)

Lady; noblewoman; peeress (a woman of the peerage in Britain)

peer of the realm (a peer who is entitled to sit in the House of Lords)

potboy; potman (a worker in an inn or public house who serves customers and does various chores)

don; preceptor (teacher at a university or college (especially at Cambridge or Oxford))

publican; tavern keeper (the keeper of a public house)

question master; quizmaster (the host or chairman of a radio or tv quiz show or panel game)

ranker (an enlisted soldier who serves in the ranks of the armed forces)

ranker (a commissioned officer who has been promoted from enlisted status)

peer (a nobleman (duke or marquis or earl or viscount or baron) who is a member of the British peerage)

patrial (a person who has the right to be considered legally a British citizen (by virtue of the birth of a parent or grandparent))

land agent (a person who administers a landed estate)

linendraper (a retail dealer in yard goods)

lollipop lady; lollipop woman (a woman hired to help children cross a road safely near a school)

Lord Chancellor; Lord High Chancellor (the highest officer of the Crown who is head of the judiciary and who presides in the House of Lords)

margrave (a German nobleman ranking above a count (corresponding in rank to a British marquess))

mate (informal term for a friend of the same sex)

mercer (a dealer in textiles (especially silks))

mod (a British teenager or young adult in the 1960s; noted for their clothes consciousness and opposition to the rockers)

muffin man (formerly an itinerant peddler of muffins)

nan (your grandmother)

copper's nark; nark (an informer or spy working for the police)

news reader; newsreader (someone who reads out broadcast news bulletin)

office-bearer (the person who holds an office)

outfitter (someone who sells men's clothes)

parliamentary agent (a person who is employed to look after the affairs of businesses that are affected by legislation of the British Parliament)

ratepayer (a person who pays local rates (especially a householder))

recorder (a barrister or solicitor who serves as part-time judge in towns or boroughs)

squire (an English country landowner)

stipendiary; stipendiary magistrate (paid magistrate (appointed by the Home Secretary) dealing with police cases)

stockjobber (one who deals only with brokers or other jobbers)

stone breaker (someone who breaks up stone)

sublieutenant (an officer ranking next below a lieutenant)

suffragette (a woman advocate of women's right to vote (especially a militant advocate in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 20th century))

supergrass (a police informer who implicates many people)

supremo (the most important person in an organization)

tallyman (one who sells goods on the installment plan)

tearaway (a reckless and impetuous person)

Ted; Teddy boy (a tough youth of 1950's and 1960's wearing Edwardian style clothes)

Thatcherite (an advocate of Thatcherism)

ticket tout; tout (someone who buys tickets to an event in order to resell them at a profit)

townee (townsman unacquainted with country life especially a slick and flashy male city dweller)

sprog (a new military recruit)

sprog (a child)

spiv (a person without employment who makes money by various dubious schemes; goes about smartly dressed and having a good time)

redcap (a member of the military police in Britain)

remover (someone who works for a company that moves furniture)

returning officer (the official in each electorate who holds the election and returns the results)

rocker (a teenager or young adult in the 1960s who wore leather jackets and rode motorcycles)

sandboy (a young peddler of sand; used now only to express great happiness in 'happy as a sandboy')

scrimshanker (a shirker)

canvasser; scrutineer (someone who examines votes at an election)

settler (a clerk in a betting shop who calculates the winnings)

Sir (a title used before the name of knight or baronet)

sixth-former (a student in the sixth form)

skivvy; slavey (a female domestic servant who does all kinds of menial work)

slop-seller; slopseller (a dealer in cheap ready-made clothing)

smallholder (a person owning or renting a smallholding)

sod (an informal British term for a youth or man)

valuer (someone who assesses the monetary worth of possessions)

kerb crawler (someone who drives slowly along the curb seeking sex from prostitutes or other women)

Open University (a British university that is open to people without formal academic qualifications and where teaching is by correspondence or broadcasting or summer school)

public school (private independent secondary school in Great Britain supported by endowment and tuition)

terrace (a row of houses built in a similar style and having common dividing walls (or the street on which they face))

spinney (a copse that shelters game)

rave-up (a raucous gathering)

local authority (an administrative unit of local government)

heath; heathland (a tract of level wasteland; uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation)

subtopia (monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings)

county town; shire town (the town or city that is the seat of government for a shire)

housing estate (a residential area where the houses were all planned and built at the same time)

stockbroker belt (a wealthy residential suburb)

shire (a former administrative district of England; equivalent to a county)

no-go area (an area that is dangerous or impossible to enter or to which entry is forbidden)

pitch (a vendor's position (especially on the sidewalk))

gutter press (press that engages in sensational journalism (especially concerning the private lives of public figures))

High Commission (an embassy of one British Commonwealth country to another)

lords temporal; second estate (the second estate of the realm: the nobility (especially British nobility) of the rank of duke or marquess or earl or viscount or baron)

privy council (an advisory council to a ruler (especially to the British crown))

works council ((chiefly Brit) a council representing employer and employees of a plant or business to discuss working conditions etc; also: a committee representing the workers elected to negotiate with management about grievances and wages etc)

parliament (a legislative assembly in certain countries)

conservancy (a commission with jurisdiction over fisheries and navigation in a port or river)

select committee (a parliamentary committee appointed for some special purpose)

Central Intelligence Machinery; CIM (the United Kingdom's central unit for the tasking and coordination and funding of intelligence and security agencies)

SAS; Special Air Service (a specialist regiment of the British army that is trained in commando techniques of warfare and used in clandestine operations (especially against terrorist groups))

MI; Military Intelligence Section 6; Secret Intelligence Service (the government agency in the United Kingdom that is responsible for internal security and counterintelligence overseas)

MI; Military Intelligence Section 5; Security Service (the government agency in the United Kingdom that is responsible for internal security and counterintelligence on British territory)

admiralty (the department in charge of the navy (as in Great Britain))

county council (the elected governing body of a county)

British Cabinet (the senior ministers of the British government)

shadow cabinet (a group of senior members of the political party that is out of power; these members would probably assume corresponding positions as ministers in the British Cabinet if their party was elected)

new town (a planned urban community created in a rural or undeveloped area and designed to be self-sufficient with its own housing and education and commerce and recreation)

outport (a subsidiary port built in deeper water than the original port (but usually farther from the center of trade))

convener (the member of a group whose duty it is to convene meetings)

crossbencher (a member of the House of Commons who does not vote regularly with either the government or the opposition)

Esq; Esquire (a title of respect for a member of the English gentry ranking just below a knight; placed after the name)

fire watcher ((during World War II in Britain) someone whose duty was to watch for fires caused by bombs dropped from the air)

frontbencher (a member of the House of Commons who is a minister or a former minister)

fruiterer (a person who sells fruit)

greengrocer (a grocer who sells fresh fruits and vegetables)

guvnor ((British slang) boss)

home help (a person hired to help in another's home (especially one employed by a local authority to help the infirm with domestic work))

Hooray Henry (a lively and ineffectual upper-class young man)

inquiry agent (a private detective)

houseman; intern; interne; medical intern (an advanced student or graduate in medicine gaining supervised practical experience ('houseman' is a British term))

invigilator (someone who watches examination candidates to prevent cheating)

constable; police constable (a police officer of the lowest rank)

commissionaire (a uniformed doorman)

Blimp; Colonel Blimp (any elderly pompous reactionary ultranationalistic person (after the cartoon character created by Sir David Low))

weald (an area of open or forested country)

Great Britain (an island comprising England and Scotland and Wales)

Home Counties (the English counties surrounding London into which Greater London has expanded)

dale (an open river valley (in a hilly area))

mere (a small pond of standing water)

Anglo-Saxon (a person of Anglo-Saxon (especially British) descent whose native tongue is English and whose culture is strongly influenced by English culture as in WASP for 'White Anglo-Saxon Protestant')

backbencher (a member of the House of Commons who is not a party leader)

berk (a stupid person who is easy to take advantage of)

boffin ((British slang) a scientist or technician engaged in military research)

chancellor (the honorary or titular head of a university)

Chief Constable (the head of the police force in a county (or similar area))

clever clogs; clever Dick (an intellectual who is ostentatiously and irritatingly knowledgeable)

coiner (a maker of counterfeit coins)

justiciar; justiciary (formerly a high judicial officer)

victualer; victualler (an innkeeper (especially British))

Boxing Day (first weekday after Christmas)

canty (lively and brisk)

common or garden (the usual or familiar type)

groovy; swagger ((British informal) very chic)

gammy ((British informal) sore or lame)

all-mains (used of a radio receiver that is adaptable to all voltages)

niffy ((British informal) malodorous)

swingeing (severe; punishingly bad)

shirty; snorty ((British informal) ill-tempered or annoyed)

crisp; frosty; nipping; nippy; parky; snappy (pleasantly cold and invigorating)

po-faced (humorless and disapproving)

peckish (somewhat hungry)

dickey; dicky ((British informal) faulty)

potty ((British informal) trivial)

whacking ((British informal) enormous)

boss-eyed ((British informal) cross-eyed)

starkers ((British informal) stark naked)

Poppy Day; Remembrance Day; Remembrance Sunday (the Sunday nearest to November 11 when those who died in World War I and World War II are commemorated)

speech day (an annual day in the schools when speeches are made and prizes are distributed)

year dot (as long ago as anyone can remember)

kip (sleep)

question time (a period during a parliamentary session when members of British Parliament may ask questions of the ministers)

judder; shake (shake or vibrate rapidly and intensively)

scrimshank (British military language: avoid work)

potted ((British informal) summarized or abridged)

fly ((British informal) not to be deceived or hoodwinked)

pawky (cunning and sly)

dinky ((British informal) pretty and neat)

dishy ((informal British) good-looking)

non-U (not characteristic of the upper classes especially in language use)

u ((chiefly British) of or appropriate to the upper classes especially in language use)

long-dated (of a gilt-edged security; having more than 15 years to run before redemption)

short-dated (of a gilt-edged security; having less than 5 years to run before redemption)

take-away; takeout (of or involving food to be taken and eaten off the premises)

spiffing (excellent or splendid)

top-flight; top-hole; topping (excellent; best possible)

ropey; ropy ((British informal) very poor in quality)

gobsmacked (utterly astounded)

jiggered ((British informal expletive) surprised)

buttoned-up ((British colloquial) not inclined to conversation)

Brummagem (cheap and showy)

ratable; rateable (liable to payment of rates or taxes)

drained; knackered (very tired)

whacked ((British informal) exhausted or worn out)

manky (inferior and worthless)

tinpot (inferior (especially of a country's leadership))

fuggy ((British informal) poorly ventilated)

clapped out (worn from age or heavy use and no longer able to operate (of cars or machines or people))

capital (first-rate)

bolshy; stroppy (obstreperous)

red-brick; redbrick (of or relating to British universities founded in the late 19th century or the 20th century)

grotty (very unpleasant or offensive)

post-free (postpaid)

buckshee (free of charge)

made-up (having been paved)

chuffed (very pleased)

jumped-up ((British informal) upstart)

toffee-nosed (snobbish; pretentiously superior)

major (of the elder of two boys with the same family name)

minor (of the younger of two boys with the same family name)

billion (denoting a quantity consisting of one million million items or units in Great Britain)

trillion (one quintillion in Great Britain)

tod (alone and on your own)

bloody-minded; cantankerous (stubbornly obstructive and unwilling to cooperate)

jolly; pretty (used as an intensifier ('jolly' is used informally in Britain))

Wally (a silly and inept person; someone who is regarded as stupid)

base rate (the interest rate set by the Bank of England for lending to other banks)

refresher (a fee (in addition to that marked on the brief) paid to counsel in a case that lasts more than one day)

water-rate (rate per quarter for water from a public supply)

assurance (a British term for some kinds of insurance)

giro account (an account at a post office that can be used in similar ways to an account at a bank)

giro; giro cheque (a check given by the British government to someone who is unemployed; it can be cashed either at a bank or at the post office)

tenpence (a decimal coin worth ten pennies)

threepence (former cupronickel coin of the United Kingdom equal to three pennies)

sixpence; tanner (a small coin of the United Kingdom worth six pennies; not minted since 1970)

Maundy money (specially minted silver coins that are distributed by the British sovereign on Maundy Thursday)

divvy (short for dividend; especially one paid by a cooperative society)

carry-forward; carry-over (the accumulated and undivided profits of a corporation after provision has been made for dividends and reserves)

Premium Bond (a government bond that bears no interest or capital gains but enters the holder into lotteries)

Civil List (a sum of money voted by British Parliament each year for the expenses of the British royal family)

poor rates (a local tax for the relief of the poor)

rates (a local tax on property (usually used in the plural))

wog ((offensive British slang) term used by the British to refer to people of color from Africa or Asia)

Wykehamist (a student enrolled in (or graduated from) Winchester College)

knock-on effect (a secondary or incidental effect)

medium wave (a radio wave with a wavelength between 100 and 1000 meters (a frequency between 300 kilohertz and 3000 kilohertz))

pot plant (a plant suitable for growing in a flowerpot (especially indoors))

ratables; rateables (property that provides tax income for local governments)

smallholding (a piece of land under 50 acres that is sold or let to someone for cultivation)

Crown land (land that belongs to the Crown)

rent-rebate (a rebate on rent given by a local government authority)

peppercorn rent (very low or nominal rent)

hire-purchase; never-never (installment plan)

sick benefit; sickness benefit (money paid (by the government) to someone who is too ill to work)

Christmas box (a present given at Christmas for services during the year)

council tax (a tax levied on households by local authorities; based on the estimated value of the property and the number of people living in it)

last (a unit of capacity for grain equal to 80 bushels)

quarter (a quarter of a hundredweight (28 pounds))

in; inch (a unit of length equal to one twelfth of a foot)

ratability; rateability (the state of being liable to assessment or taxation)

bumf; bumph (toilet paper (often used for printed matter that might as well be used as toilet paper))

town gas (coal gas manufactured for domestic and industrial use)

derv (diesel oil used in cars and lorries with diesel engines; from d(iesel) e(ngine) r(oad) v(ehicle))

clunch (hardened clay)

surgical spirit (methylated spirit used in the practice of medicine (especially for cleansing the skin before injections or before surgery))

half-term (a short vacation about halfway through a school term)

vac (informal term for vacation)

November 5 (anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot)

Guy Fawkes Day (day for the celebration of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot)

sell-by date (a date stamped on perishable produce indicating the date by which it should be sold)

quarter day (a Christian holy day; one of four specified days when certain payments are due)

guest night (an evening when members of a club or college can bring their friends as guests)

rag; rag week (a week at British universities during which side-shows and processions of floats are organized to raise money for charities)

fug ((British informal) an airless smoky smelly atmosphere)

hard cheese (bad luck)

perch; pole; rod (a linear measure of 16.5 feet)

tod (a unit of weight for wool equal to about 28 pounds)

stone (an avoirdupois unit used to measure the weight of a human body; equal to 14 pounds)

bugger all; Fanny Adams; fuck all; sweet Fanny Adams (little or nothing at all)

milliard (a billion)

1000000000000; billion; one million million (the number that is represented as a one followed by 12 zeros; in the United Kingdom the usage followed in the United States is frequently seen)

one million million million; trillion (the number that is represented as a one followed by 18 zeros)

quadrillion (the number that is represented as a one followed by 24 zeros)

bit; spot (a small quantity)

top-up (an amount needed to restore something to its former level)

poverty trap (a situation in which an increase in income results in a loss of benefits so that you are no better off)

crick; kink; rick; wrick (a painful muscle spasm especially in the neck or back ('rick' and 'wrick' are British))

dog's breakfast; dog's dinner (a poor job; a mess)

appro (an informal British abbreviation of approval)

rag day (a day on which university students hold a rag)

training college (a school providing training for a special field or profession)

free house (a public house that is not controlled by a brewery and so is free to sell different brands of beer and ale)

jobcentre (a government office in a town where information about available jobs is displayed and where unemployment benefits are administered)

lido (a recreational facility including a swimming pool for water sports)

life office (life assurance office)

lodge (small house at the entrance to the grounds of a country mansion; usually occupied by a gatekeeper or gardener)

L-plate (a square plate bearing the letter L that is attached to both ends of a car to indicate that the driver is a learner)

lumber room (a storeroom in a house where odds and ends can be stored (especially furniture))

mac; macintosh; mack; mackintosh (a waterproof raincoat made of rubberized fabric)

meat safe (a safe for storing meat)

mews (street lined with building that were originally private stables but have been remodeled as dwellings)

milk float (a van (typically powered by electricity) with an open side that is used to deliver milk to houses)

minicab (a minicar used as a taxicab)

minicar (a car that is even smaller than a subcompact car)

minster (any of certain cathedrals and large churches; originally connected to a monastery)

mod con (modern convenience; the appliances and conveniences characteristic of a modern house)

hypermarket (a huge supermarket (usually built on the outskirts of a town))

hose; hosiery (socks and stockings and tights collectively (the British include underwear))

front bench (any of the front seats in the House of Commons that are reserved for ministers or former ministers)

fruit machine (a coin-operated gambling machine that produces random combinations of symbols (usually pictures of different fruits) on rotating dials; certain combinations win money for the player)

brolly; gamp (colloquial terms for an umbrella)

glebe house (a parsonage (especially one provided for the holder of a benefice))

greengrocery (a greengrocer's grocery store)

greengrocery (groceries sold by a greengrocer)

gun room (military quarters of midshipmen and junior officers on a British warship)

Guy (an effigy of Guy Fawkes that is burned on a bonfire on Guy Fawkes Day)

gymslip (a sleeveless tunic worn by English girls as part of a school uniform)

hair slide (a decorative hinged clip that girls and women put in their hair to hold it in place)

hall of residence (a university dormitory)

hard shoulder (a paved strip beside a motorway (for stopping in emergencies))

highroad; trunk road (a highway)

home-farm (a farm that supplies the needs of a large estate of establishment)

nearside (the side of a vehicle nearest the kerb)

nick ((British slang) a prison)

boilers suit; boilersuit; overall (a loose protective coverall or smock worn over ordinary clothing for dirty work)

quarterlight (car window consisting of a small pivoted glass vent in the door of a car)

circuit; racing circuit (a racetrack for automobile races)

redbrick university ((British informal) a provincial British university of relatively recent founding; distinguished from Oxford University and Cambridge University)

rowing boat (a rowboat)

scullery (a small room (in large old British houses) next to the kitchen; where kitchen utensils are cleaned and kept and other rough household jobs are done)

secateurs (small pruning shears with a spring that holds the handles open and a single blade that closes against a flat surface)

sheeprun; sheepwalk (farm devoted to raising sheep)

estate car; shooting brake (another name for a station wagon)

skid lid (a crash helmet)

skidpan (a paved surface on which cars can be made to skid so that drivers can practice controlling them)

slip carriage; slip coach (a railway car at the end of the train; it can be detached without stopping the train)

slop basin; slop bowl (a bowl into which the dregs of teacups and coffee cups are emptied at table)

stall (seating in the forward part of the main level of a theater)

stately home (a mansion that is (or formerly was) occupied by an aristocratic family)

push-bike (a bicycle that must be pedaled)

punnet (a small light basket used as a measure for fruits)

Oxbridge (general term for an ancient and prestigious and privileged university (especially Oxford University or Cambridge University))

panda car (a police cruiser)

pannikin (a small pan or cup (usually of tin))

pantechnicon (a large moving van (especially one used for moving furniture))

anorak; parka; windbreaker; windcheater (a kind of heavy jacket ('windcheater' is a British term))

paternoster (a type of lift having a chain of open compartments that move continually in a loop so that (agile) passengers can step on or off at each floor)

pelican crossing (an acronym for pedestrian light control; a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights that are controlled by pedestrians)

pillar box (a red pillar-shaped letter box)

play-box; playbox (a box for a child's toys and personal things (especially at a boarding school))

plimsoll (a light gym shoe with a rubber sole and a canvas top)

plughole (a hole into which a plug fits (especially a hole where water drains away))

point; power point (a wall socket)

gin mill; pothouse; pub; public house; saloon; taphouse (tavern consisting of a building with a bar and public rooms; often provides light meals)

pull-in; pull-up (a roadside cafe especially for lorry drivers)

Sten gun (a lightweight British submachine gun)

balls-up; ballup; cockup; mess-up (something badly botched or muddled)

rag (a boisterous practical joke (especially by college students))

panto (an abbreviation of pantomime)

doddle (an easy task)

national service ((United Kingdom) compulsory service in the military during peacetime)

minister (the job of a head of a government department)

headship (the position of headmaster or headmistress)

costing (cost accounting)

Ministry of Transportation test; MOT; MOT test (a compulsory annual test of older motor vehicles for safety and exhaust fumes)

fire watching ((during World War II in Britain) watching for fires started by bombs that dropped from the sky)

snogging ((British informal) cuddle and kiss)

zizz (a nap)

square-bashing (drill on a barracks square)

rub up (a review that refreshes your memory)

shufti (a quick look around (originally military slang))

piss-up (vulgar expression for a bout of heavy drinking)

lucky dip (a game in which prizes (e.g., candies or coins) are concealed in a container and for a small sum a player can draw one out at random)

clanger (a conspicuous mistake whose effects seem to reverberate)

clawback (finding a way to take money back from people that they were given in another way)

lucky dip (a selection or decision purely at random)

flit (a secret move (to avoid paying debts))

rustication (temporary dismissal of a student from a university)

perambulation (a walk around a territory (a parish or manor or forest etc.) in order to officially assert and record its boundaries)

fare-stage (a section along the route of a bus for which the fare is the same)

pony-trekking (a sport in which people ride across country on ponies)

rugby; rugby football; rugger (a form of football played with an oval ball)

fives (a game resembling handball; played on a court with a front wall and two side walls)

bagatelle; bar billiards (a table game in which short cues are used to knock balls into holes that are guarded by wooden pegs; penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over)

tombola (a lottery in which tickets are drawn from a revolving drum)

ludo (a simple board game in which players move counters according to the throw of dice)

shove-ha'penny; shove-halfpenny; shovel board (a game in which coins or discs are slid by hand across a board toward a mark)

lie-in (a long stay in bed in the morning)

point duty (the control of traffic by a policeman stationed at an intersection)

national assistance; social assistance; supplementary benefit (benefits paid to bring incomes up to minimum levels established by law)

clearway (a road on which you are not allowed to stop (unless you have a breakdown))

climbing frame (a framework of bars or logs for children to climb on)

common room (a sitting room (usually at school or university))

countinghouse (office used by the accountants of a business)

croft (a small farm worked by a crofter)

crossbench (any of the seats in the House of Commons used by members who do not vote regularly with either the government or the opposition)

delf (an excavation; usually a quarry or mine)

dickey; dickey-seat; dickie; dickie-seat; dicky; dicky-seat (a small third seat in the back of an old-fashioned two-seater)

dixie (a large metal pot (12 gallon camp kettle) for cooking; used in military camps)

doorhandle; doorknob (a knob used to release the catch when opening a door (often called 'doorhandle' in Great Britain))

Elastoplast (an elastic adhesive bandage for covering cuts or wounds)

fairy light (a small colored light used for decoration (especially at Christmas))

fish slice (a food turner with a broad blade used for turning or serving fish or other food that is cooked in a frying pan)

fleapit (an old shabby movie theater)

carriageway (one of the two sides of a motorway where traffic travels in one direction only usually in two or three lanes)

caff (informal British term for a cafe)

dole; pogey; pogy (money received from the state)

boot sale; car boot sale (an outdoor sale at which people sell things from the trunk of their car)

invigilation (keeping watch over examination candidates to prevent cheating)

aggro ((informal British usage) aggravation or aggression)

punch-up (a fistfight)

go-slow (a form of protest by workers in which they deliberately slow down in order to cause problem from their employers)

Battle of Britain (the prolonged bombardment of British cities by the German Luftwaffe during World War II and the aerial combat that accompanied it)

arterial road (a major or main route)

backbench (any of the seats occupied by backbenchers in the House of Commons)

bar (a heating element in an electric fire)

betting shop (a licensed bookmaker's shop that is not at the race track)

bin liner (a plastic bag used to line a trash or garbage bin)

boot (British term for the luggage compartment in a car)

bottle bank (a place where bottles can be deposited for recycling)

footplate (the platform in the cab of a locomotive on which the engineer stands to operate the controls)

strongroom (and burglarproof and fireproof room in which valuables are kept)

zizz (a buzzing or whizzing sound)

tart (a pastry cup with a filling of fruit or custard and no top crust)

Eccles cake (a flat round cake of sweetened pastry filled with dried fruit)

Christmas cake (a rich fruitcake (usually covered with icing and marzipan) and eaten at Christmas)

simnel (a fruitcake (sometimes covered with almond paste) eaten at mid-Lent or Easter or Christmas)

tea biscuit; teacake (flat semisweet cookie or biscuit usually served with tea)

biscuit; cookie; cooky (any of various small flat sweet cakes ('biscuit' is the British term))

Victoria sandwich; Victoria sponge (a cake consisting of two layers of sponge cake with a jelly filling in between)

lemon cheese; lemon curd (a conserve with a thick consistency; made with lemons and butter and eggs and sugar)

chipolata (a small thin sausage)

polony (another name for Bologna sausage)

banger ((British informal) pork sausage)

saveloy (a ready-cooked and highly seasoned pork sausage)

butty (a sandwich)

hasty pudding (sweetened porridge made of tapioca or flour or oatmeal cooked quickly in milk or water)

spotted dick (a suet pudding containing currants)

suet pudding (a sweet or savory pudding made with suet and steamed or boiled)

tuck (eatables (especially sweets))

plain flour (flour that does not contain a raising agent)

graham; graham flour; whole meal flour; whole wheat flour (flour made by grinding the entire wheat berry including the bran; ('whole meal flour' is British usage))

Fanny Adams (nautical term for tinned meat)

high tea (substantial early evening meal including tea)

afternoon tea; tea; teatime (a light midafternoon meal of tea and sandwiches or cakes)

nosh-up (a large satisfying meal)

ploughman's lunch (a meal consisting of a sandwich of bread and cheese and a salad)

hot pot; hotpot (a stew of meat and potatoes cooked in a tightly covered pot)

caster sugar; castor sugar (very finely granulated sugar that was formerly sprinkled from a castor)

pud; pudding ((British) the dessert course of a meal ('pud' is used informally))

tipsy cake (a trifle soaked in wine and decorated with almonds and candied fruit)

pease pudding (a pudding made with strained split peas mixed with egg)

roly-poly; roly-poly pudding (pudding made of suet pastry spread with jam or fruit and rolled up and baked or steamed)

spring onion (an onion taken from the ground before the bulb has formed; eaten in salads)

Victoria plum (a large red plum served as dessert)

whitefish (any market fish--edible saltwater fish or shellfish--except herring)

al-Muhajiroun (a hard-line extremist Islamic group in Great Britain who support bin Laden and other terrorist groups)

National Trust; NT (an organization concerned to preserve historic monuments and buildings and places of historical interest or natural beauty; founded in 1895 and supported by endowment and private subscription)

Special Branch (a government police department dealing with political security)

Inland Revenue; IR (a board of the British government that administers and collects major direct taxes)

Ordnance Survey (the official cartography agency of the British government)

admass (the segment of the public that is easily influenced by mass media (chiefly British))

third estate (the third estate of the realm; the commons (especially in Britain or France) viewed as forming a political order having representation in a parliament)

Ld.; limited company; Ltd. (a company that is organized to give its owners limited liability)

slate club (a group of people who save money in a common fund for a specific purpose (usually distributed at Christmas))

sixth form (students preparing for their A levels in their final two years of secondary education)

skiffle group (a band of musicians who play skiffle)

gaudy (a celebratory feast held annually at one of the colleges in a British university)

beanfeast (an annual dinner party given by an employer for the employees)

whist drive (a party of people assembled to play progressive whist)

gob (a lump of slimy stuff)

cuppa; cupper (a cup of tea)

rock salmon (any of several coarse fishes (such as dogfish or wolffish) when used as food)

cattle cake (a concentrated feed for cattle; processed in the form of blocks or cakes)

salad cream (a creamy salad dressing resembling mayonnaise)

clotted cream; Devonshire cream (thick cream made from scalded milk)

golden syrup; treacle (a pale cane syrup)

bubble and squeak (leftover cabbage and potatoes and meat fried together)

cottage pie (a dish of minced meat topped with mashed potatoes)

kedgeree (a dish of rice and hard-boiled eggs and cooked flaked fish)

bitter (English term for a dry sharp-tasting ale with strong flavor of hops (usually on draft))

pale ale (an amber colored ale brewed with pale malts; similar to bitter but drier and lighter)

plonk (a cheap wine of inferior quality)

hock; Rhenish; Rhine wine (any of several white wines from the Rhine River valley in Germany ('hock' is British usage))

sundowner (a drink taken at sundown)

scrumpy (strong cider (as made in western England))

direct-grant school (formerly a school that charged tuition fees and also received government grants in return for admitting certain non-paying students who were nominated by the local authorities)

surgery (a room where a doctor or dentist can be consulted)

wooden spoon (a booby prize consisting of a spoon made of wood)

workhouse (a poorhouse where able-bodied poor are compelled to labor)

cert (an absolute certainty)

beastliness (unpleasant nastiness; used especially of nasty weather)

cobblers (a man's testicles (from Cockney rhyming slang: cobbler's awl rhymes with ball))

conk (informal term for the nose)

countenance; kisser; mug; phiz; physiognomy; smiler; visage (the human face ('kisser' and 'smiler' and 'mug' are informal terms for 'face' and 'phiz' is British))

noddle (an informal British expression for head or mind)

nous (common sense)

facer ((a dated Briticism) a serious difficulty with which one is suddenly faced)

snorter (something outstandingly difficult)

niff; pong (an unpleasant smell)

wheeze ((Briticism) a clever or amusing scheme or trick)

Thatcherism ((England) the political policy of Margaret Thatcher)

winceyette (cotton flannelette with a nap on both sides)

wincey (a plain or twilled fabric of wool and cotton used especially for warm shirts or skirts and pajamas)

tannoy (a loudspeaker)

tea parlor; tea parlour; teahouse; tearoom; teashop (a restaurant where tea and light meals are available)

terraced house (a house that is part of a terrace)

titfer (a hat (Cockney rhyming slang: 'tit for tat' rhymes with 'hat'))

sponge bag; toilet bag (a waterproof bag for holding bathrooms items (soap and toothpaste etc.) when you are travelling)

tuck box (a box for storing eatables (especially at boarding school))

tuck shop (a candy store in Great Britain)

underfelt (a carpet pad of thick felt)

caravan; van (a camper equipped with living quarters)

verge (a grass border along a road)

villa (detached or semidetached suburban house)

VDU; visual display unit ((British) a device for displaying input signals as letters on a screen; usually has a keyboard)

handbasin; lavabo; wash-hand basin; washbasin; washbowl (a basin for washing the hands ('wash-hand basin' is a British expression))

Norfolk wherry; wherry (sailing barge used especially in East Anglia)

Fabianism (socialism to be established by gradual reforms within the law)

Rediffusion (a system for distributing radio or tv programs)

Magna Carta; Magna Charta; The Great Charter (the royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215)

double first (a first-class honours degree in two subjects)

storm cone (a canvas cone hoisted to warn of high winds)

ticktack (system of signalling by hand signs used by bookmakers at racetracks)

shoulder flash (something worn on the shoulder of a military uniform as an emblem of a division etc.)

trad (traditional jazz as revived in the 1950s)

skiffle (a style of popular music in the 1950s; based on American folk music and played on guitars and improvised percussion instruments)

argle-bargle; argy-bargy (a verbal dispute; a wrangling argument)

green paper (a preliminary report of government proposals that is published in order to stimulate discussion)

prang (a crash involving a car or plane)

bun-fight; bunfight ((Briticism) a grand formal party on an important occasion)

jolly (a happy party)

whist drive (a progressive whist party)

Maundy (a public ceremony on Maundy Thursday when the monarch distributes Maundy money)

burnup (a high-speed motorcycle race on a public road)

first; first-class honours degree (an honours degree of the highest class)

honours; honours degree (a university degree with honors)

royal charter (a charter granted by the sovereign (especially in Great Britain))

Higher National Diploma; HND (a diploma given for vocational training that prepares the student for a career in a particular area; good students may progress to a course leading to a degree)

class list; honours list (a list issued by examiners that categorizes students according to the class of honours they achieved in their degree examinations)

short list; shortlist (a list of applicants winnowed from a longer list who have been deemed suitable and from which the successful person will be chosen)

rota (a roster of names showing the order in which people should perform certain duties)

whip-round (solicitation of money usually for a benevolent purpose)

book token (a gift voucher that can be exchanged for books costing up to an amount given on the voucher)

indent (an order for goods to be exported or imported)

colour supplement ((British) a magazine that is printed in color and circulated with a newspaper (especially on weekends))

cobblers (nonsense)

double Dutch (an incomprehensible talk)

gen (informal term for information)

Highway Code (the code of rules governing the use of public roads)

Bachelor of Medicine; MB ((a British degree) a bachelor's degree in medicine)

race meeting (a regular occasion on which a number of horse races are held on the same track)

Holonyms ("Britain" is a part of...):

British Isles (Great Britain and Ireland and adjacent islands in the north Atlantic)

Holonyms ("Britain" is a member of...):

Common Market; EC; EEC; EU; Europe; European Community; European Economic Community; European Union (an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members)

NATO; North Atlantic Treaty Organization (an international organization created in 1949 by the North Atlantic Treaty for purposes of collective security)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater." (English proverb)

"A person is known by the company he keeps." (Bulgarian proverb)

"Life is made of two days. One which is sweet and the other is bitter." (Arabic proverb)

"High trees catch lots of wind." (Dutch proverb)

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