📚 What does it mean? 📚

Hey there, lovely reader!

The mornings are getting cooler. I had to put a jacket on to go for a walk this morning. I usually like to get out for an hour before everyone else and before it gets to hot and before I write for the day. It sets me up well. I listen to podcasts or music or sometimes nothing at all.

I've got something interesting, something fun, and a notice for you today.

What does this mean exactly?

I often get asked about the meaning of British colloquialisms. I tend not to use too many in my books because they aren't easily understood outside the UK and often it isn't easy to work them out. It's an ongoing debate whether to include them. Some readers like them and want more, some don't. Some readers have requested glossaries!

Before publishing, my well-travelled American editor will flag any of these phrases that creep into my manuscripts and I'll make a decision on whether to keep them in or not. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It depends on whether I think readers will be able to gather the meaning from the context, or if they'll be taken out of the story too much, or what's happening in the scene and how important it is. And sometimes, it's simply down to my mood.

Here are a few that I've used or been tempted to include.

“Around Will's mum's.” I've no idea who Will was but this means “to go the long way around.” It's the opposite of “as the crow flies.”

“On your todd.” Again, no idea where it came from or who or what todd is, but this means “on your own.” I might say, “She went to the party on her todd.”

“Off with the fairies.” This means being unrealistic.

“What a shower.” This has nothing to do with rain or bathing, although it might depending on the context, but in can refer to incompetence or a fool. “What a shower those plumbers were when they came to fix the shower on that showery day. It's still not working.”

“Gubbins” is a word that needs no explanation to those who know what it means but others might struggle. It has different meanings depending on the context. (If you look it up, you'll see it can mean almost anything.) But I generally use it to mean “details” or use it as a replacement word for a broad term like “stuff” or “thing.” I might say, “I'll send over the gubbins,” meaning paperwork or information. Or, “Have you got the gubbins to build it?” as I did recently when helping my son to build an IKEA coffee table.

There are literally thousands of these words and phrases that are used in everyday language in Britain. I could go on and on. But I'll stop now.

Write and tell me any British words or phrases that you love or perhaps don't know the meaning of. I would love to know.

Facebook down

My Facebook page is down at the moment. It got swarmed by thousands of bots who left messages, some of them nasty. I'm sorry if you got treated to any of those. I have shut the page so no more can join, and hopefully they will go away and not come back. I'll open things back up in a bit.

I'll be back next week with more fun information, announcements, and bonuses next week. Check your inbox on Thursday. I'll see you then. Happy reading!

Chaos in Cambridge by Alison Golden
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