Don't Be "Naff" -- Learn To Use "Chuffed," "Laughing Gear" "Half Four" and Dozens of Other British Slang Words Before Your London Holiday

New British Airways' "English to English" Online Dictionary Helps Travellers Conquer the English's English

New York, May 4, 2005 - For the millions of Americans who will visit London for the first time this summer, British Airways has created the world's first online "English to English" dictionary to ensure travellers can confidently ask for the location of the "loo" (restroom), the "lift" (elevator), the "blower" (telephone) or the "bin" (trash can). With this bit of local knowledge, Americans will be truly "sorted" and can look forward to quite smashing holidays in the UK.

The dictionary - available at www.ba.com/know -- will feature over 80 British words and translations and will be as much fun for the homesick ex-pat and the avid Anglophile as it will be for the first time London-bound traveller who needs to learn the idioms and favored slang of the Londoner's language.

"Nearly 1.5 billion people on the planet speak some version of English - but the version of English used in the UK does take a bit of getting used to," said Robin Hayes, executive vice president, British Airways, The Americas.

"Someone planning a London holiday could rent films like "The Full Monty," or "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" to try and get a handle on the nuances of British slang", he noted. "However, our online website is a 'cheeky' bit of fun that may be the easiest and best way to learn some of the uniquely British words and phrases people often bring home from a London vacation. Our intention is that each visitor to the web site can also share the fun with his or her friends and family."

Each morning, throughout the month of May, British Airways will serve up a new British word of the day at www.ba.com/know. Viewers will learn what the word means, how to properly use it and will be able to continue to 'spread the word' via a text message to friends' cell phones or email. Examples of these words include:

  • Cheers- is a way of saying 'thanks' and 'goodbye'. If someone buys you a pint in a London pub, you'd respond with "Cheers!"
  • Chuffed- in London, means to be delighted. Used like, "I was chuffed to hear from you… it's been ages!"
  • Half-four- in London, means four-thirty. As in, "Let's meet back at the Tate Gallery at half-four."
  • Kip- in London, is a nap. As in, "Let's get a quick kip in before we go to dinner."
  • Laughing gear- in London, means mouth. When you hand someone a drink, you'd say "Wrap your laughing gear around this, mate!"
  • Loo- is the restroom. As in "Where's the loo, please?"
  • Peckish- in London, means hungry. As in, "When you get a bit peckish, give me a bell and we'll meet for lunch!"
  • Readies- available cash. As in 'Get your readies together, and let's go shopping."
  • Shout- in London, is to offer to buy someone a drink. In a pub, you might say "OK lads, whose shout?"

The "Real London" Uncovered With Tips/Hints

Once a traveller knows how to sound just like a British "bloke" or "bird," he or she needs the 'gen' (knowledge) on where to go and what to do while in London. British Airways' updated website offers customized and easy to download "insider" tips on the best, undiscovered London experiences… recommendations that allow travellers to experience London from a local's perspective, provided by those who really know London.

For example:

  • Pub Fare- for some traditional pub fare, try The Ship for a wonderful range of ales and beers and a restaurant that uses fresh, often organic products from farms also run by the owners. In the summer you'll find locals gathered on the edge of the Thames enjoying the Ship's famous outdoor barbecue - be warned it gets very busy on sunny days!
  • Puppetry- traveling with the kids? Puppets appeal to all ages and The Little Angel Theatre in Islington has been entertaining audiences since 1961. It puts on its own productions and welcomes a wide variety of visiting puppet companies to its stage - one not to miss!
  • Summer Concerts- on a summer evening, take in a live performance in one of London's many parks. Pack a picnic and glass of wine and head to Kew Gardens, Kenwood House, Regent's Park, Marble Hill or Audley End for a Shakespearian play or live music from many genres - from jazz to classical, Abba to the swinging Sixties.

British Airways - which flies from 22 gateways in North America and every year brings millions of visitors to the UK- recommends travellers save money by purchasing hotel accommodations and sightseeing tickets in North America before arriving in Europe.

BA.com offers one-stop shopping with a variety of special packages geared to just about every budget and taste. The package deals permit visitors to choose their own options, whether hotels, car rentals or a range of sightseeing excursions. A big benefit is that consumers are protected by currency fluctuation, as British Airways is able to lock in the price by bulk purchasing several months in advance.

In combination with the new site, designed by New York's Agency.com, there will be a full outdoor advertising experience in New York City for the month of May. M&C Saatchi New York collaborated with Optimedia New York to create the outdoor campaign that positions the British words near a place associated with the word. For example, Shout - is to offer to buy someone a drink, will be placed on coasters in bars.

Photographs or video of the outdoor and out-of-home "in situ," placement ads or screen shots are available at http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/britishairways/21794/.

Contact Info

John Lampl: (347) 418-4729
Diana Fung: (310) 417-9767
Honor Verrier: (416) 250-2002
Lisa Lam (347) 418-4731
Nicole Pickens/Burson-Marsteller: (212)614-4990 / nicole_pickens@nyc.bm.com

Related Links

www.ba.com/know
"BRILLIANT" NEW "ADVERTS" FROM BRITISH AIRWAYS SHOULD HAVE TRAVELERS "LEGGING IT" TO LONDON
BRITISH AIRWAYS TO LAUNCH "GO WITH THOSE WHO KNOW" LEISURE TRAVEL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
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