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  1. #1
    hrdsmj is offline Newbie
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    Default British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    Hi all,

    I am looking for British idioms that express surprise at something. I am looking for something along the order of American "Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle." I haven't turned up anything more than "Blimey" in my web searches, and I am hoping to find a phrase, not just one word. Any ideas out there?

    Thank you in advance.

    stephanie

  2. #2
    Munch's Avatar
    Munch is offline Member
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    Quote Originally Posted by hrdsmj View Post
    Hi all,

    I am looking for British idioms that express surprise at something. I am looking for something along the order of American "Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle." I haven't turned up anything more than "Blimey" in my web searches, and I am hoping to find a phrase, not just one word. Any ideas out there?

    Thank you in advance.

    stephanie
    Well blow me down!
    related: You could knock me down with a feather!

    "Heavens to Betsy!" is a fun one, but would mostly be used by older people (women?) these days.
    That was the first one that came to mind but I will try to keep thinking about it throughout the day.
    Last edited by Munch; 30-Sep-2010 at 00:39. Reason: Added "heavens to betsy"

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    How about Gordon Bennett!

  4. #4
    sunnyday2410 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    Well blow me down!
    related: You could knock me down with a feather!
    .
    It can be used for all situation ?

  5. #5
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    'Well, there's a thing!' Or there are many versions of 'I'll be blowed' - using a variety of adjectives with varying levels of social accepability. Often, what the speaker will be is unstated: 'Well I'll be...'

    A rather dated one is 'My sainted aunt.'

    Or a Northern one that always tickles me - though I've no idea what it means:
    'I'll go to the foot of our stairs'. (I think this one has to be filed in the same inexplicable category as 'good enough for gravy' and 'daft as a brush' - similar in that they're opaque, not having the same meaning.)

    b

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    With appropriate intonation, Jesus Christ or just Christ can be used to express surprise. Be careful; many Christians can be offended by what they consider to be taking the Lord's name in vain.

    Similarly, with appropriate intonation, Fuck me and I'll be fucked are frequently used. These can give offence to many people, who consider them to be obscene.
    Last edited by 5jj; 19-Oct-2010 at 16:30. Reason: I'd managed to misspell 'be'!

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    Well, I never

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    I bet you did

    (added a week later) This is NOT used to express surprise. When I originally read this thread, I interpreted Tdol's Well I never as an expression of surprise at my using the F-word in a thread. My I bet you did was a facetious response to that. I have belatedly realised that Tdol was simply adding an expression of surprise to the list. Sorry if my self-centredness caused anybody to be confused.
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Nov-2010 at 20:13. Reason: to correct an error of interpretation

  9. #9
    youandcorey's Avatar
    youandcorey is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    Blimey! I just don't know.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: British English idioms or sayings for surprise

    What the dickens!

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