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'.
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.
- 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.