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.
Last edited by Munch; 30-Sep-2010 at 00:39. Reason: Added "heavens to betsy"
How about Gordon Bennett!
'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.)
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'!
Well, I never
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
Blimey! I just don't know.
What the dickens!