So What Are the 'Brits' Talking About?

#1
2 years ago
WillboyWillboy Posts: 60
edited April 2016 in General Discussion
Hello chaps.

I’ve had a very boring day off so, inspired by an American friend and some people on the forums asking what the characters on the British faction were saying, I decided to write this non-gameplay thread up to pass the time. The forum could certainly use some less negative threads.

I’m certainly in on the jokes and terms in the British voice acting but I realised that quite a lot of them were very British to the point that few non-britons would understand it. I hope you chaps enjoy it, and do let me know if you heard other quotes that I haven’t caught yet. I can’t really hear their idle conversations.


Terms and Places

Staff Officer - “This isn't like Sandhurst. Not when the enemy wins.” :
Sandhurst is where the Royal Military Academy is. Every officer in the British Army had to graduate at this academy (where they were taught command, drill and strategy) to receive an officer’s commission and be recognised as a full member of the military. The RAF and Royal Navy had their own versions, being Cranwell and Dartmouth. It is basically the British equivalent of West Point Academy.

Medium Tank - “Well, here goes Bovington’s finest” & “Just like driving ‘round Bovington, eh?”
Bovington was the site of Britain’s (and probably the world’s) first tank crew training facility. Everything including theory, maintenance, gunnery and driving was taught here and in the surrounding area. Today it is also home to the Bovington Tank Museum, the world’s largest collection of armoured vehicles.

Medium Tank - “Look! This ain’t bloody Salisbury Plain!” (Pronouced “Saulz-bree”):
Salisbury Plain is the site of the Defence Training Estate; the largest military training ground in the country. All of Britain’s largest military exercises are practiced here and, due to it’s size, it is also used as the practice range for the Royal Artillery. It’s equivalent to the famous Aberdeen Proving Ground in the USA.

Medium Tank - “All shipshape and Bristol fashion.”
‘Shipshape and Bristol fashion’ is an old maritime saying, derived from the time when the City of Bristol represented the highest standards in maritime practice. It basically means “Everything is well maintained and running perfectly”.

Air-landing Officer - “Move. This isn’t a parade along Brighton Pier.”
Brighton Pier is a locally famous landmark in Brighton on the south-east coast of England. It was basically a large standing pavilion with numerous attractions and was a really popular holiday location for vacationers and beachgoers in its prime. Not really aware of any military parades happening there, though ‘parade’ could also mean a ‘mall’, or shopping centre.

Infantry Section - "That's for my Nan... and her house!"
'Nan' means grandmother. This statement is a reference to the strategic bombing of the UK by the Luftwaffe and German 'V' series missiles during the Second World War. Though London is the most famous victim, most other cities and even the countryside (especially Kent) were affected. The implication in this statement is that the character's grandmother's house was hit by a bomb and destroyed.

Royal Engineers - "Easy as picking up a bird in Cardiff"
​ 'Bird' is just British slang for a girl, and is found throughout the UK and even in some Commonwealth countries. Cardiff is the largest city in Wales, and would eventually become its capital, though not until after the Second World War.

Infantry Section - “Time to earn the King’s Shilling!”
A ‘shilling’ was a denomination of British currency worth a twentieth of a pound. (at the time, 240 pence made a pound, instead of the modern 100). As the British Armed Forces are ceremoniously commanded by the sovereign, the ‘King’s Shilling’ became a slang term for military wages.

Swearing and Expressions

Royal Engineers - “Run like buggery!”
Buggery is an old legal term meaning sodomy. It is commonly used in the UK as an out-of-context swear word. Not too different from saying something like ‘F**king run!’

Medic Squad - “Bally orders are here, chaps.”
Bally is a politer alternative to the expression ‘bloody’.

Infantry Section - “Lord love a duck, what are you like?”
A combination of two vague British sayings. One is an alternative to a regional cuss, and the other is a rhetorical expression. Directly translated it means this; “F**k a duck! What are you doing?”

Heavy Tank - “Under fire from halftrack. Silly sod.”
Sod is short for sodomite. In a modern context, it just means ‘fool’ or ‘idiot’.

Heavy Tank - “Machine gun crew playing merry hell!”
‘Playing merry hell’ is an old British expression that just means ‘disrupting’ or ‘confusing’.

Heavy Tank - “Enemy rocket! That’s not Cricket!”
A stereotypical English expression. Literally translated as ‘That’s against the rules of Cricket!’. Cricket is a popular sport that likes to associate itself with gentlemanly conduct and fair play. Basically means ‘unsporting’ or ‘unfair’. Kind of ironic, coming from a Churchill tank.

Infantry Section - "Oi! Break it up, you wankers!'
To 'wank', is a profane way of saying to 'masturbate'. The term 'wanker', while literally meaning 'masturbater', is used in the context of calling someone a 'bastard', or an 'arsehole'. Sometimes used in good humour (and often not).

​Infantry Section - "Bloody Boche! More trouble than bints!"
'Bloody' is a surviving variant of 'sblood', which in itself is a politer alternative to the medieval curse 'God's Blood!' (Thank you Shakespeare studies). It doesn't mean anything, it's just swearing. 'Boche' was a nickname for the Germans, derived from a French word for the German language 'Alboche'. 'Bint' is a very derogatory word for a woman, as if calling her a sl*t or b*tch. If I was to translate this sentence from its context, it would say something like "Bloody Germans! More trouble than b*tches." Out of all of the quotes here, this one is probably the most offensive so far.

Staff Officer - "Jerry's down to their last 50 points!"
​ 'Jerry' is just an inoffensive nickname for the Germans. Not considered politically correct these days, though, due to its association with the world wars, but not particularly malicious at the time. Funnily enough, the mainstream word 'Jerrycan' is derived from this nickname.

Medium Tank - "Come on! Give it some Oomph!"
'Oomph' is a kind of onomatopoeia. Sort of like 'Give it a push' or 'Give it some effort'.

Hawker Typhoon Pilot - "Tally Ho! Recon on the way!"
One of the most misunderstood expressions in the British vocabulary. 'Tally Ho' is often thought to be a war cry or a charge, even by the British themselves, and has somewhat evolved into one. However, during the Second World War it was actually a military term used by the Royal Air Force to mean that a target or an objective has been spotted. This is derived from a fox hunting term, where 'Tally Ho' would be used to inform the hunting party that someone had spotted their prey. The term itself is derived from the word 'tally', as in a 'score', and 'ho' which was an archaic term that could mean 'ahead' or 'onwards'.

Jokes

Universal Carrier - “Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre.”
A private joke of sorts. The driver is pretending he’s on a driving test. (As in, “Check your mirror, indicate and then turn”.)

Heavy Tank (Flamethrower) - “Got the swine! There’s pork crackling in there!”
This is a really dark joke. Crackling (noun) is the name for the crispy pig skin on a roasted pork joint. Due to its flavour and crunchiness, it’s considered a treat in the UK to eat with a roast pork dinner.

Infantry Section - "Oi! Fred Karno's Army!" (Thanks to MikeHaggar)
Fred Karno was a popular British comedian from the early 20th Century and ran his own comedy theatre. The people who worked for him included the famous Charlie Chaplain and Stan Laurel, and were collectively nicknamed 'Fred Karno's Army'. The term became slang for a chaotic group or organisation and, in this context, the Infantry Section Corporal is (probably jokingly) calling his squad ill-disciplined and disorganised.

Infantry Section - "If you see a Jerry, kill him, have a slash on his corpse and keep f*cking going." (Updated)
Not as dark as it is vulgar. To 'have a slash' means to urinate so the corporal is suggesting (not literally, one hopes) that his men should urinate over the enemy dead. In this context, it should be taken as a show of just how little regard or regret his men should have for those they've killed.

​Air-Landing Officer - "Jerry Pak over there, men. Lightweight, hard hitting, and deadly... and one careful owner in das Weirmacht".
Private joke. The officer is describing the German field gun as one would advertise a second-hand car for sale. (As in something like "Second-hand Ford. Lightweight, efficient and fast. Car was well looked after by one careful owner in Sheffield.")

Infantry Section - “There’s no time for a Shop Steward Meeting. Let’s go.” .
​ A ‘Shop Steward’ was an alternative name for a Union Representative, suggesting that the Section Corporal worked in industry during his civilian life. Here, the phrase is meant as a joke, probably in the context of saying “Stop complaining”, or “Enough politics”.

Infantry Section - “Stop playing with yourselves! Ground to take!”
‘Playing with yourself’ literally means masturbating. In this context he’s just saying “stop messing about”.

Heavy Tank - “Home James, and don’t spare the horses!”
'Home James, and Don't Spare the Horses' was a song from around 1934 by British singer Elsie Carlisle. The song is about a wealthy Lady in the 1890s whose evening date went terribly wrong and tells her coachman, James, to get her home as quickly as possible. 'Don't spare the horses' literally means to force the horses to go fast as they can. The song popularised the saying throughout the mid-20th Century and, in the context of the quotation within the game, the Tank Commander is jokingly treating his driver like a chauffeur and is telling him to move onward.

WASP Carrier - “This'll bugger the insurance!”
As said before, 'bugger' is a generic swearword derived from an alternative term for sodomy, but 'buggered' can also be used to describe something as damaged. This phrase is said when you tell a flamethrower-equipped Universal Carrier to burn a house down, so he's understating the unfortunate impact this will have on the poor homeowner's insurance.

Updated:
- 9th November, 2015.
- 22nd November 2015
- 23rd November 2015
- 30th November 2015
- 25th April 2016

P.S. Thanks to Miragefla on Youtube for your compilation of CoH2 quotes from the British tanks.

Note to moderators: This post will contain offensive terms and expressions. These are directly quoted from the game and are not intended to cause offence to any groups. Please let me know if there is a problem, before you consider placing restrictions on the thread.
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Comments

  • #2
    2 years ago
    GrenadierIT19Grenadier… ItalyPosts: 575
    Ahaha nice guide! i knew the conversations about Sandhurst and Bovington but the other ones i didn't know what they mean ahaha, very nice job!
  • #3
    2 years ago
    How about the shop's stuart meeting the Infantry Section say when they're idle and given a move order?
  • #4
    2 years ago
    This one's probably well-known in the US even now, but "blow the bloody doors off" (Universal Carrier, sometimes said when targeting a building) is a pop culture reference to a well-known Michael Cain line in the original British version of comic film The Italian Job.
  • #5
    2 years ago
    Another one that confused me until I looked it up: when the infantry section guys yell "Oi, Fred Karno's army!"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Karno
    "Fred Karno's Army", a phrase still occasionally used in the UK to refer to a chaotic group or organisation.
  • #6
    2 years ago
    The infantry sections often talk about 'wanking' and that it may cause a person to go deaf, if done excessively. Can you please explain in detail what 'wanking' is?

    Thanks.
  • #7
    2 years ago
    Dough-boy wrote: »
    How about the shop's stuart meeting the Infantry Section say when they're idle and given a move order?

    Shop Steward*
    It's a slang term for a Union Representative, which we still have today.
    And if you don't know what a union is then you aren't old enough to be playing CoH 2.
    SomePerson wrote: »
    The infantry sections often talk about 'wanking' and that it may cause a person to go deaf, if done excessively. Can you please explain in detail what 'wanking' is?

    Thanks.

    Slang for Masturbation, usually male.
  • #8
    2 years ago
    Very nice job and appreciate that. could you please explain rest of quotes?! Please?
  • #9
    2 years ago
    PastulioPastulio Posts: 2,058
    Thank you for that explanation. All non-Brit's could not understand that.
  • #10
    2 years ago
    gunquinn wrote: »
    Shop Steward* It's a slang term for a Union Representative, which we still have today. And if you don't know what a union is then you aren't old enough to be playing CoH 2. Slang for Masturbation, usually male.
    Ok Mr. Grownupman excuse me for being a 12 year old with a fucking simple question.
  • #11
    2 years ago
    gunquinn wrote: »

    Shop Steward*
    It's a slang term for a Union Representative, which we still have today.
    And if you don't know what a union is then you aren't old enough to be playing CoH 2.

    Or are American, where unions are practically extinct.
  • #12
    2 years ago
    Very nice job and appreciate that could you please explain rest of quote?! Please?


    Any specific ones? We often don't realise which phrases are specifically British (the geographical ones are obvious, many of the others not so much) or require cultural context. For instance the sappers are often heard complaining about the English - non-Brits who weren't following the early announcements may not recognise their accent as Welsh, or in some cases necessarily understand the distinction.

    Wales, a protrusion in the southwest of Great Britain, was annexed by the English monarchy in the 13th Century, but the Welsh still have a separate identity (and accent) as do the Scots and Irish; that these culturally Celtic groups resent the preeminence of the English majority is a widely-held stereotype, though in modern times is mostly fairly light-hearted among the Welsh and Scots at least. The Commandos (Ulster - another name for the British territory of Northern Ireland) I think also have script complaining about the English.
  • #13
    2 years ago
    SomePerson wrote: »
    The infantry sections often talk about 'wanking' and that it may cause a person to go deaf, if done excessively. Can you please explain in detail what 'wanking' is?

    Thanks.

    Well, when a hand and a shaft love each other very much....


    In all seriousness, I'll update these as regularly as I can. I've already learnt some new stuff myself thanks to this thread, particularly the Fred Karno quote which I will put up soon. (thank you MikeHaggar!) I'd been googling 'Fricano's Army' and never found anything.
  • #14
    2 years ago
    Is there a full list of British quotes in the game anywhere?
  • #15
    2 years ago
    PhilBowles wrote: »
    Is there a full list of British quotes in the game anywhere?


    Nope, just sound files, like in CoH.

    Edit: One more question, what do they mean when the Infantry Section says "Bloody bosch, more trouble than Benz!" or something like that when enemy units start shooting at them? I know bosch or boche in French is a word for German but what does more trouble than Bens/Benz mean?
  • #16
    2 years ago
    Boche is indeed a French word, supposedly from cabbage, meaning a troublesome or stupid person. It came to be used in WW1 by the Brits, and it might be a bit old-fashioned for WW2.

    I think they are saying "more trouble than bits" in the game. Not sure what "bits" means.

    Two more:

    - When an enemy squad is wiped out, a Brit unit (not sure which one) calls them "gormless farting skittles." Gormless means foolish, but I dunno what skittles means in this phrase.

    - When an infantry section kills off an enemy, one of them will often say "that's for my Nan...and her house!" Surely a reference to the Blitz of London, or the V1 attacks, where many civilians and their houses were bombed by the Germans.
  • #17
    2 years ago
    MikeHaggar wrote: »
    Boche is indeed a French word, supposedly from cabbage, meaning a troublesome or stupid person. It came to be used in WW1 by the Brits, and it might be a bit old-fashioned for WW2.

    I think they are saying "more trouble than bits" in the game. Not sure what "bits" means.

    Two more:

    - When an enemy squad is wiped out, a Brit unit (not sure which one) calls them "gormless farting skittles." Gormless means foolish, but I dunno what skittles means in this phrase.

    - When an infantry section kills off an enemy, one of them will often say "that's for my Nan...and her house!" Surely a reference to the Blitz of London, or the V1 attacks, where many civilians and their houses were bombed by the Germans.


    Oh and, a unit is gone, blast it all or something like that.
  • #18
    2 years ago
    MikeHaggar wrote: »
    Boche is indeed a French word, supposedly from cabbage, meaning a troublesome or stupid person. It came to be used in WW1 by the Brits, and it might be a bit old-fashioned for WW2.

    - When an infantry section kills off an enemy, one of them will often say "that's for my Nan...and her house!" Surely a reference to the Blitz of London, or the V1 attacks, where many civilians and their houses were bombed by the Germans.

    Cheers Mike. I'll update the third one. (and the second one when I find it and figure out what it means.

    As for 'Boche' it was a British nickname for the Germans in both World Wars. (Like Fritz or Kraut)
  • #19
    2 years ago
    MikeHaggar wrote: »
    Boche is indeed a French word, supposedly from cabbage, meaning a troublesome or stupid person. It came to be used in WW1 by the Brits, and it might be a bit old-fashioned for WW2.

    Probably not - the term is still sometimes used to this day.
    I think they are saying "more trouble than bits" in the game. Not sure what "bits" means.

    It's actually bints, one of numerous British slang terms for girls or women (we seem to have an excessive number of these compared with other English-speaking countries; 'bird' is used in several of the British quotes, particularly from the sappers - "Easy as picking up a bird in Cardiff", for instance, Cardiff being the Welsh capital). "Bird" is still used today, but "bints" seems archaic though possibly period-appropriate in WWII.
    Two more:

    - When an enemy squad is wiped out, a Brit unit (not sure which one) calls them "gormless farting skittles." Gormless means foolish, but I dunno what skittles means in this phrase.

    Don't think I've heard that comment. Skittles is an English term for the pins used in bowling, so maybe this is referring to the enemy falling down? I've never heard it used in a slang context to refer to people.
  • #20
    2 years ago
    Thanks Phil. These comments are really useful, chaps, because while I know a lot of these terms, I'm actually partially deaf so I only really catch half of them. Keep them coming and I'll update it!

    Edit: My original post doesn't seem to be changing my edits anymore, though they are still there when I go back to the edit window.
  • #21
    2 years ago
    Stellar Job - Thanks, always good to get a natives explanation
    And hello from across the pond. :).
  • #22
    2 years ago
    A bit of a tangent from the topic, but I do think it's a pity that none of the three post-release factions have the sort of spontaneous incidental gossip the Soviets and Ostheer do - they only seem to have scripted responses to being ordered, to being shot/losing members, or to engaging enemies, and by its nature most of this refers to what they're currently doing. The best Soviet quotes are such random asides as the Moscow Zoo comment, which just pops up occasionally as the unit's walking or idle - the Brits and Western Front factions don't have anything equivalent.
  • #23
    2 years ago
    Updated with five more quotations, chaps. Enjoy.

    Sorry it took so long. Had some issues with the forum, but it was sorted with the help of the moderators.
  • #24
    2 years ago
    SAS CommanderSAS Comma… Rule Britannia Posts: 55
    edited April 2016

    @Willboy said:

    Infantry Section - "If you see a Jerry, kill him, have a slash on his corpse and keep f*cking going."
    Not as dark as it is vulgar. To 'have a slash' means to masturbate so the corporal is suggesting (not literally of course) that his men should masturbate over the enemy dead. In this context, it should be taken as a show of just how little regard or regret his men should have for those they've killed, rather than some weird necrophiliac suggestion.

    as a heads up guys, 'have a slash' does not mean masturbate what so ever.....

    It means 'have a piss' essentially. Commonly used in bars or pubs before a particular gent pops to the loo

    to put in context the word 'slash' a person would say 'I'm desperate for a slash, but there's a line for the bog' or 'watch my pint lads, going for a slash'

    In the context of the game, much like a dog, it is for a soldier to mark them as his property, or to establish further dominance.

  • #25
    2 years ago
    SAS CommanderSAS Comma… Rule Britannia Posts: 55

    If you have any questions on my fellow brits lingo, don't hesitate to ask. Willboy was fairly spot on with most of that, however went off with the slash phrase, It's more of a southern british slang word.

  • #26
    2 years ago
    Doktor_SDoktor_S Posts: 134
    edited April 2016

    Well said OP! Have an upvote.
    Although I do believe its the other way around. Jerrycans came from the word Jerry.
    Below is more info (from Here):

    "Jerry was a World War I British Army slang for "German," 1919, probably an alteration of German, but also said to be from the shape of the German helmet, which was like a jerry, British slang for "chamber pot" (1827), probably an abbreviation of jeroboam. Hence jerry-can "5-gallon metal container" (1943), a type first used by German troops in World War II, later adopted by the Allies. The German can was superior to the British or American and they adopted the German design.

    @SAS Commander said:

    @Willboy said:

    as a heads up guys, 'have a slash' does not mean masturbate what so ever.....
    It means 'have a piss' essentially. Commonly used in bars or pubs before a particular gent pops to the loo

    Plus one on this post.
    Australian here, we use 'have a slash' frequently as well.

  • #27
    2 years ago

    "Although I do believe its the other way around. Jerrycans came from the word Jerry."

    Yep, British fuel used to come in tins, called flimsies, certainly till a decade or so ago there were still huge piles of them out in the Libyan desert as they weren't designed to be reused, just stick a knife in the top and chuck it afterwards. They used to lose a lot of fuel during transportation...

    Jerrycans were much more efficient and could be refilled, though caused problems as no bugger ever gave them back! Particularly after D-day once the Neptune pipeline was up and running as there was plenty of fuel but no way to get it to the frontlines due to a shortage of Jerrycans.

    Their original design was actually just pre-war to enable fuel to be siphoned from captured vehicles.

  • #28
    2 years ago
    illequineillequine DublinPosts: 51

    I spotted two which are slightly wrong in the OP
    "Heavy Tank - “Don’t spare the horses!”
    A play on the word ‘horsepower’. He’s basically saying ‘Go as fast as you can!’.
    "

    Dont spare the horses means, don't be afraid to whip the horses, traditionally said to a coach driver to make haste. But it's otherwise right with "Go as fast as you can!"

    Also,

    "Infantry Section - "If you see a Jerry, kill him, have a slash on his corpse and keep f*cking going."
    Not as dark as it is vulgar. To 'have a slash' means to masturbate so the corporal is suggesting (not literally of course) that his men should masturbate over the enemy dead. In this context, it should be taken as a show of just how little regard or regret his men should have for those they've killed, rather than some weird necrophiliac suggestion.
    "

    "Slash" in this context means urinate, not masturbate.
    Something like this being said is to focus the soldiers on their task, it's not literal.

  • #29
    2 years ago

    Asides the "slash" thing, pretty much bang on.

  • #30
    2 years ago
    GenObiGenObi Posts: 1,368
    So iam confused on one saying, "alright then, time to earn a kind/king shilling/shooting?? Guesssimg they are earning money or being polite about a shoot out??
  • #31
    2 years ago
    MikeHaggarMikeHaggar Posts: 634
    They say "time to earn the King's shilling." A shilling was a kind of coin used in the rather silly old three-tiered British monetary system.

    So they're saying "let's go earn our pay."
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