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Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang

76 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1841958347
ISBN-10: 1841958344
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Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang + The UK to USA Dictionary British English vs. American English + Brit-Think, Ameri-Think: A Transatlantic Survival Guide, Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate U.S. (October 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841958344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841958347
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi,

I am Jonathan Bernstein. Not the crisis management expert. Not the guy who writes about helicopters. Or the one who knows about sector trading. Or any of the other ones that come up when you--or,more likely, I--look for Jonathan Bernstein. Not that I'm insulted when any of their names pop up. It gives me a second of feeling like an intelligent accomplished person of experience and ability. And then I look at my own list of published works and that feeling swiftly evaporates.

I am of little help in a crisis. Unless it's a crisis involving obscure 80s teen movies.I wrote a book about that called Pretty In Pink: The Golden Age of Teenage Movies. So my credentials are pretty good in that arena. Or if it's a problem to do with teenage superheroes who shoot fire from their fingers when they're upset. I've written two novels about that very subject. One called Hottie, the other, it's sequel Burning Ambition.

My new book, Bridget Wilder: Spy-In-Training--the first in a trilogy, so there's a good chance she'll be done with her training before long-- coms out this September. It's about an unnoticed, underestimated 13 year-old girl who finds out that her biological father is a legendary spy of international renown and fearsome reputation. She also finds out that her existence is as much of a shock to him as his is to her. He wants to get to know his daughter and decides the best way to do that is to get her involved with the family business, i.e: spying. He kits her out with all manner of cool gadgets and weapons that make her super-fast and agile, that give her the ability to decry when people are lying, and that allow her to shoot laser beams from a tune of lip balm. Bridget displays a real aptitude for spying. Which is good news because she's about be plunged into a world where no one is what they seem and nothing anyone says or does can be trusted.

Currently, I'm co-author, along with my friend Lori Majewski, of the book Mad World: An Oral History Of The New Wave Artists And Songs That Defined The 1980s. That's a laborious subtitle. But it's not a laborious book. It features interviews with a whole platoon of the biggest stars of the last great period of pop music: the 1980s.

Mad World features chapters on Adam & The Ants, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode New Order, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, OMD, ABC, Bow Wow Wow, Thomas Dolby, INXS, Simple Minds, Dexys Midnight Runners, Thompson Twins, Berlin, Modern English, Howard Jones, Heaven 17 and a lot more.

I started writing about music at the end of the eighties for magazines like The Face and Blitz. I went on to work at Spin and have contributed to publications like Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The Telegraph and Interview.

I also had a hand in writing screenplays for such modern classics as Jackie Chan's The Spy Next Door, Just My Luck starring Lindsay Lohan, Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector and Max Keeble's Big Move.

I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, moved to New York and currently reside in Los Angeles.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Martin Edelweiss on October 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
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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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Sam on July 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Steffan Piper VINE VOICE on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By scuba lucy on September 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Calaway on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Just a Guy on December 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Dodd on April 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 By I. Cedron on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
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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