The real meanings of some thoroughly British phrases

By Qin Xie

A new infographic has revealed some common phrases Britons utter ... and what they actually mean.

'Lovely weather we're having,' and other unusual turns of phrase have been deciphered in an infographic created by London City Airport. Photo / 123RF
'Lovely weather we're having,' and other unusual turns of phrase have been deciphered in an infographic created by London City Airport. Photo / 123RF

Language barriers can make journeys abroad difficult as travellers may find it impossible to communicate their needs.

But sometimes, even when two people are speaking the same language, they still might not understand each other.

In the case of Brits in particular, what they say and what they mean can be very different things.

Take the weather for example, someone might sarcastically comment on how lovely the weather is when it's actually raining.

While most Brits would understand the phrase as 'this weather is awful', those not familiar with local customs might be confused about why rain is considered pleasant or think that Brits actually like the rain.

Especially topical right now is Rio 2016.

According to an infographic created by London City Airport, if someone says that Team GB will do OK at the Rio Olympics, they actually mean that Team GB will triumph at the Games.

There are plenty of similar scenarios - some of which will be very familiar to visitors to the UK.

For example, a Brit might say "great to meet you, let's stay in touch", when really, they fully anticipate they will never see the person again.

When they say "when you get a minute", they really mean right now.

And when they say they're glad they missed something, they're actually wishing they were there.

- Daily Mail

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