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54 Reviews
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usefully funny!
Fans of Bernstein's Guardian column in the UK will be well-acquainted with his trenchant wit - on brilliant display here, too, as he tackles a potentially unwieldy subject. Where most dictionaries of this type are poorly written and dry as dust, "Knickers" handles both the well-known (e.g. the title) and the obscure (too many examples to list) linguistic peculiarities of...
Published on October 30, 2006 by Martin Edelweiss

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Book written in a weekend while pissed
This was one of the biggest disappointments in my reading life. I love British TV and humour, so have gone all out on books about social history and culture. This was so poorly written that some of the definitions appear to have been pulled out of a hat (I am referring mostly to the US equivalents). Some slang words and phrases gave an example; most did not (oddly,...
Published 20 months ago by Kathleen Calaway


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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Usefully funny!, October 30, 2006
By 
Martin Edelweiss "M.E." (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Fans of Bernstein's Guardian column in the UK will be well-acquainted with his trenchant wit - on brilliant display here, too, as he tackles a potentially unwieldy subject. Where most dictionaries of this type are poorly written and dry as dust, "Knickers" handles both the well-known (e.g. the title) and the obscure (too many examples to list) linguistic peculiarities of the Queen's English with style. A must for Anglophiles and a rare treat for the casual reader and/or traveler.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For those who are not familar with British slang, July 9, 2008
I am completely, and utterly in love with England, every single aspect of it is lovely. I was surprised that a book on British Slang was out, I went out and bought it the very next day. As soon as I got home I stuffed it into my bag for school the next day. During one class when I had finished my work earlier I decided to open this book up, what a horrible decision! This book was absolutely hilarious! Which was bad since the rest of the class was finishing a test, and I had to leave the room to get rid of my laughter.

Now I use these terms all over the school that leaves other students stare at me with bewilderment. It's great to know terms that others are not familiar with.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for just the ol' blue rinsers ..., April 23, 2008
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A very well compiled and concise collection of British slang and colloquial expressions that seemingly date back two hundred years. However a good fifty percent are more common to the last forty years and probably another thirty percent are the last fifteen to a close ten. While this tome might be devoid of the more obscure statements like: "Jimmy Hill", no one's going to notice or fault the compilers for it.

This is a good writers reference for anyone on the island or across the pond. Anyone interested in seeking other quality slang reference books can look here:

1. The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary

2. The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms

3. Urban Dictionary: Street Slang Defined

4. Depraved and Insulting English

5. The Highly Selective Dictionary For The Extraordinarily Literate

6. The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions

7. How Not To Say What You Mean: A Dictionary of Euphemisms

Got that, Gaffer? Cheers, me old son!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knickers in a Twist, September 17, 2010
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I am originally from England and have been living in Mexico for 5 years. I am in contact with Americans and Canadians all day every day and had reformed my speach to be understood....After reading this book I realized how many words I have lost in my vocabulary and have since started using them again whether people understand me or not! Chuckled my way through the book. Great book very accurate and not outdated! Makes a change from the books that think all English people are living in cockney London in the 18 hundreds!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Book written in a weekend while pissed, November 8, 2012
This was one of the biggest disappointments in my reading life. I love British TV and humour, so have gone all out on books about social history and culture. This was so poorly written that some of the definitions appear to have been pulled out of a hat (I am referring mostly to the US equivalents). Some slang words and phrases gave an example; most did not (oddly, there were a few that seemed to merit half a page). The examples were very poor. Here is one of the worst: "Toad in the Hole; pork sausages covered in batter. U.S. equivalent: Toad the Wet Sprocket." WAAAAHT???? Many of the words or phrases would be familiar to anyone (same in both cultures) and didn't really need to be included, while others were missing that should have been included. Wow! Don't buy this book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither Deep nor Enlghtening, September 12, 2009
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I enjoy watching British comedies and my wife spent some time in Scotland, so I was looking for a treasure trove of slang that was not such common knowledge. On this point I was disappointed. If you have watched enough episodes of BBCAmerica you will have heard most of it.

Similarly, I was expecting a bit more depth to the list; perhaps some back story, history or examples from popular culture. Instead, it has a few pages for each section; sections revolve around food, sex, travel and the like. There is no background on the subject; it is a list of terms and their meaning. The author tries to be light and funny, but after the tenth "definition" it gets stale.

So, the lack of anything new word-wise combined with the lack of anything knew about those words makes for a dull book.

Good for those who know little about the language or don't watch British shows.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to speak "English" for Americans!, April 4, 2008
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Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang

Although some of the phrases mentioned in the book are widely used in the USA, it still is a very interesting and educational book for the about-to- be tourist, or just English movie fan. I know I found out what "bobby dazzler" means.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fun Read, December 20, 2013
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This review is from: Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang (Kindle Edition)
Unfortunately this "dictionary" is not arranged as a dictionary but as a series of articles. It is not indexed like a dictionary so it is not searchable. It is unfortunate because the writing is fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUN BOOK!!, August 6, 2009
I bought this for my wife so she can understand a bit of my jib, which she claims I make up on a daily basis!! Ha, I was not!! : ) Missing a few of the key words from my neck of the woods (London), and does not cover cuss words which to make it for an all age audience is understandable and a few of the terminologies have actually made it accross the pond as reqular speak. All in all a great buy!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great or british comedy translations, April 24, 2009
Bought this for my wife, she loves the UK comedy. Now she gets the jokes. Transaction was perfect AAAA++++++
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