Americans in London for the Olympics will find the chasm between British and American English can seem as large as the ocean that separates the two nations. Here's a primer:
Brilliant: The land that gave us the poetic cadence of William Shakespeare now places everything into one of two categories: brilliant and rubbish. Brilliant does not mean smart or ingenious. It can mean anything from "OK," "great" or "fun" to "stop asking questions."
Brolly: Essential British accoutrement also known as an umbrella, carried by men and women alike daily without embarrassment. See weather.
Football: A way of life not related to the American game with helmets. Describing this as "soccer" might get your teeth knocked out in a bar fight (see trollied).
Gutted: An emotion beyond "disappointed" but not quite "suicidal." Unlike fish, British athletes can be gutted more than once. Related to the nation's historic inability to win football matches on penalty kicks.
Kettle: Electric device used to boil water for tea. Also the British police practice of corralling protesters.
The loo: The toilet.
Over the moon: The opposite of gutted.
Punter: Nothing to do with a fourth down. A bettor in a land where casinos are as common as pharmacies.
Rain: See Inuit entry for snow. Too many variations to list.
Rubbish: See brilliant. No plural. Conjugate as: "I was rubbish," "we were rubbish," "the ref was rubbish," "the decision to ban me for doping was rubbish." Occasionally also used to mean "garbage."
Sticky wicket: A cricket term used to describe when one is between a rock and a hard place. Easily applicable to other sports.
Trollied: Drunk, as in taking too much from the drinks trolley.
Weather: See brolly. Also see rubbish.
-- Sheila Norman-Culp, Associated Press