Friday 18 March 2011

How to Talk Posh IV

Here are some phrases to weave into your conversation (continued from How to Talk Posh, II and III):

...of catastrophic proportions
...whatever that means!
...who has so far eluded us

a bit iffy
a bit insalubrious
a bit of a frost
a bit uncalled for
a certain hollowness
a distinct disadvantage

abiding pleasures
absolute hell
ah, the classic ....
all very fine and large
an absolutely ghastly hat
an immense amount
and then we foregather at the cottage
answer came there none
appears to have
Apslootly! (absolutely)
aquapuncture (for acupuncture)
as far as I'm concerned
as I recall
as is my wont
at a low ebb
august journal

And here's how to be genteel...

back on an even keel
bailing me out
bang in the middle
banking on
belated attempt
bitten by the hang-gliding bug AB
bog (for toilet)
bore a striking resemblance
boring beyond belief
bowels of the earth
bring forth
budding laureates
bunged me into hospital
burning issues of the day

chilled to the bone
classic error
cockers pee (for cocktail party)
come down with Dutch elm disease (references are always out of date)
come Michaelmas
commensurate with
commme d'habitude
copious amounts of...
cost a bomb
crackling merrily
crashing bore
cringingly embarrassing
crush/bash/thrash/throng (for party)

Dare I say it
darkest Pimlico
dead chuffed
deathly hush
depression sets in
disembark in the nick of time
dispiriting (it was all rather dispiriting)
distinct impression (I got the distinct impression)
dizzy heights
do a X
doing your slightly insulting number/bit
Don’t be damned stupid.
Don’t make life difficult
Don’t talk to ME about...
Don't all speak at once!
down in the bowels of the earth
down with bubonic plague
drastically reduced
draw a veil over
driven barmy

eating irons (knives and forks)
emboldened to ask
engrossed in a book
ensconced in the sitting room
exceptionally stroppy

faintly off her head
fallen by the wayside
fell on stony ground
filthy lucre
flare up
follow suit
for my sins
for some unknown and obscure reason
for the nonce
force to be reckoned with
frantic search
from cover to cover
from some august, farflung journal
frozen north

gave him bottled hell
gave up the unequal struggle
generous allocation
given that...
given the boot
go berserk
God forbid!
golly gosh!
got lumbered with

haven't got a bean
hells bells
hides a multitude of sins
hold the fort
How are you? Oh, surviving.
How very enterprising of them!
Hysteria's a funny thing.

I am in a position to...
I assumed a nightdress
I begin to revive
I can already hear a chorus of
I do see what you mean.
I dread to think
I endeavour to...
I find dressing up a bit of a grind. AB
I haul myself out of bed with reluctance
I knew not how
I may well do
I mean
I must be getting forgetful in my old age.
I nearly had a heart attack
I plucked it gingerly from the mat
I promise to throw myself into a veritable frenzy of epistolary efficiency forthwith.
I rather gathered that.
I read with interest
I say
I simply loathe... (overstatement)
I suppose
I surely will do
I take your meaning
I think
I thrust her lunch at her and she departs
I volunteered/vouchsafed the information that
I wander around the garden
I was literally petrified.
I was riveted.
I was somewhat irate.
I wonder if Michael Portillo's going to be there with collecting bucket (Web overheard)
I’ll do just that
I’ll have a dekko
I’m all for...
I’m doing a spot of accounting
I’m first and foremost a...
I’m literally...
I’ve just had the most hideous thought
if they so wished
I'll do a recce
I'm all for...
I'm first and foremost a...
I'm going to be inundated. (A lot of people are coming to stay with me.)
I'm literally...

immersed in a newspaper
improve the shining hour
in a funny sort of way
in durance vile
in evidence/much in evidence
in full swing
in hot pursuit
in one fell swoop
in orbit
in that quarter
In the dim and distant past
in the fullness of time
in the nick of time

indulge in: heavy petting, horseplay, the most extraordinary antics in order to get noticed, ritual slaughter, feminist politics...

inexpressibly dreary
inflict: I don’t want to inflict myself on you
inmost secrets
intrepid new members

It was a bonus.
It was a major event (something utterly trivial)

keep sane
keeping/putting a brave face on it
kind of
kiss of death
laden with various foodstuffs
learnt a particularly painful lesson
less than charitable
like a lost soul
looks like a deranged tortoise
looks like the wrath of God/a bomb has hit it/ the wreck of the Hesperus
Lord help us!

made the effort to put pen to paper
making inroads into the mashed potatoes
manoeuvre yourself
marked lack of success
mass exodus
migrating throng
mindblowingly awful
mindless monotony of strikes/violence
more accomplished
much given to
muttered something about...

my epic novel
My eyes have been opened.
my own humble opinionmyriad activities

nearest and dearest
neck of the woods
no bones broken
No names, no pack drill
No thank you very much!
not exactly a howling successnot madly...
not particularly edifying
not very inspiring
nothing would induce me to

of any description
of catastrophic proportions
of that nature
Oh, my sainted aunt!
on a bed of sickness
on its last legs
on the blink
on these occasions
one dreads...
one of life’s abiding pleasures
only a solitary Oxfam shop
or whatever
or words to that effect
organised chaos

our illustrious/humble abode/palatial residence
our venture
out of all proportion
overwhelming support
overwhelmingly ghastly
owing to the exigencies of two small children...

Panic not!
panic stations
park your bottom
part of the world (place)
peace supervened
peculiarly revolting
pertains to

positively gasping (hungry)
prepared to divulge
profuse apologiesprofusely grateful
quite astonishingly horrid
quite considerably
quite why...

rather grim
round off

screech to halt
See you anon!
seem to
seems to be a sort of
She always looks a hollow million.
She finally attains the phone
sheer coincidence
sick of the palsy
sit thee down
Sit ye down/sit yourself down
sleeping the sleep of the just
slightly spectacular style (litotes)
so hungry we were positively gasping
somewhat tatty and wormeaten

sort of
sort of thing
speculation was rife
squirelly bananas (mad)
staggeringly nasty
stick out like a sore thumb
stood awkwardly to attentionstrangely enough
stricken in years
strict instructions
Stygian gloom
such a bore
such was my alacrity in grabbing these proffered sums of money
suitably contrite
summon up the energy

take a pew
tend to
thank you very much
that was my master plan
the apparatus (knives and forks)
the bitter end
the classic symptoms
the contemporary opera thing
the domestic front
the dreaded...
the frozen north
the habits of a lifetime
the infamous...
the kiss of death
the lesser spotted...
the mysterious/dreaded/famous/infamous...
the order of the day
the proverbial (not a proverb)
the scales fell from my eyes

there was this man
they are mostly bills which I glance at with a shudder
they demolished the...
they stood awkwardly to attention
thin on the ground
things seem to tend to
this I do insist
this must be one of these ... we hear so much about these days
to all intents and purposes
two of the more notable members of the...

under duress
under strict instructions
utterly riveting

various esteemed mandarins peered forth gloomily
vast sums
very much
waxing lyrical
We are not alone in ...
we glean from
we had a pile up of catastrophic proportions
weighty tomes
Well may it
Well, quite.
well-earned rest
whatever that means!
Who was possessed of...
who/which has so far eluded us
whole bang shoot
whole shooting match
whopping great
will remain permanently etched upon my consciousness
with impunity
with their customary alacrity
with which we shall be inundated
within the august portals
without undue effort
world class sweetie
Worry not!
would not come amiss
writhing in an agony of indecision

X has taken a dim view
X is in a bit of a state
xxxs galore

And here's how to be genteel...

How to Talk Posh I
How to Talk Posh II
How to Talk Posh III
How to Talk Posh IV

How to Talk Posh is now an ebook available


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hello. I read your post just now and it is very interesting!

    May I ask you some questian? I've heard that Hugh Grant and Emma Watson have quite posh accent. Well, Is there any other actress who has posh accent? What do you think of Joanna Lumley's accent? And what about Penelope Keith, Rosamund Pike and Rebecca Hall?

    I would be very grateful if you answer my questian.
    Thank you, and have a nice day!