English: and you thought you knew how to speak it? Hah!

Could you…

1.Receive a stiffie in Stamford, Lincolnshire?

2.Buy some broadloom in Bradford, Yorkshire?

3.Get gazumped in Galveston, Texas?

4.Eat arugula in Aberdeen, Scotland?

5.Go to the carsey in Cleveland, Ohio?

6.Get your bangs trimmed in Belfast, northern Ireland?

(Answers below!)

This handy A to Z brings you bang up to date on over 2,000 commonly used English words that can cause confusion, chaos, red faces and even cost you money if you use them in the wrong way, in the wrong country … especially for business and social purposes. Perfect when you want to…

  • Avoid those horribly embarrassing social gaffes
  • Stay clear of potentially costly business term goofs
  • Understand what people really mean, wherever you are
  • Catch up with basic slang from Canada and Australia as well as UK-USA
  • Understand regional slang and jargon in parts of the USA and UK

Whatever your international English needs and wants, stick this guide in your pocket, briefcase or on your favourite electronic device … and avoid ever making embarrassing goofs in this complex language of ours, ever again.

“An invaluable guide to possible, indeed probable pitfalls” – says Jonathon Green, ‘The most-acclaimed British lexicographer since Johnson’ (The Independent).

Grab your copy now:

Print: Amazon.co.uk here, Amazon.com here, Amazon.ca here

Kindle: Amazon.co.uk here, Amazon.com here

It’s a great gift idea … if you can bring yourself to part with it! (Tip: buy two.)

*Answers: (1.Yes, a stiffie is a formal invitation card. 2.Yes, as long as you called it fitted carpet.3.Possibly: gazumping is a real estate term. 4.Yes, provided you asked for rocket (salad.) 5.Yes, as long as you want to go to the washroom. 6.Yes, but you’d need to ask them to trim your fringe.




  1. Sounds like an essential item for anyone conversing with people across the pond. Who was it said something like two nations divided by the same language? Or something like that.

    • Apparently it was George Bernard Shaw who said “two nations separated by a common language,” but the quote has been attributed to quite a few others as well. Whoever said it, it’s a good point Jane – thanks!

  2. I knew gazumping and bangs and guessed correctly on the carsey! An essential guide indeed! One to give the American niece & nephews I think before they venture over to the UK for their gap years!

    • That would be great Lynn – I think I will be updating the book once a year or thereabouts, so we’ll need to make sure your folks have the latest update. I’m collecting further terms and phrases as I come across them, and then some of the financial/business terms will need updating soon too. It’s an ongoing project and great fun!

    • I thought carsey was spelt karsi? lol

  3. Carsey has so many spellings, us Cockneys pronounce the S like a Z…

    • Sarah’s right, Nicola – there are several spellings of carsey including khazi which has a vaguely exotic hint …! No-one’s sure of the word’s origins though – there are several versions.

  4. The book sounds fascinating. Here in the States, a “stiffie” is, well, let’s just say NOT a word to be used in a business meeting.