The Inbetweeners - Some UK to Yank translations?

As I’ve often said everything I’ve learned about The King’s English has been from Britcoms (Python, Fawlty, Young Ones etc.) I recently started watching The Inbetweeners on BBC America and its pretty good. I can’t believe the language you can get away with in the UK for a show specifically aimed at teenagers!

Anyway, besides the accents being so thick that I sometimes have to turn on Closed Captioning I’ve come across some British slang that I’ve never heard and want to clarify if I’m right:
[li]Grass = A Rat Fink (i.e. tattletale)[/li][li]Bent = Gay[/li][li]Ton = 100 MPH[/li][li]Clunge Mag = Porn Mag[/li][/ul]
If I’m correct any explanation as to their origins?!

You are correct, although bent can also mean “corrupt” eg a bent copper. I’ve no idea about origins.

A ton is not 100MPH, it’s an out of date unit of measure for weight. It’s roughly 1000kg I think. As slang it is used to describe a large amount of something, and can be used in phrases such as ‘love you tons’.

“I was doing a ton on the motorway”. Is this now totally obsolete?

You’re right on most of 'em, but I’ve never heard ‘ton’ to mean 100 mph. I’d just say it was slang for ‘a lot’. What was the context?

As for origins; ‘bent’ is obvious - the opposite of straight.
This site give the origins for ‘grass’ meaning an informant.
‘Clunge’ is a slang term for the vagina, so ‘clunge mag’ - an explicit magazine.

It means you were doing high speeds. As the poster above says, it means ‘a lot’. I’ve never known it to refer to a specific speed, but wikipedia tells me it can mean ‘100’ of something. So it can be £100, or 100 litres or whatever (and 100 MPH). But I have never heard that (Yorkshire born and bred).

When it refers to velocity, a ton is indeed 100mph.

With a screenname like that you must be from Rotherham…

Anyway, as a southerner I can attest that a ‘ton’ when referring to speed does indeed mean doing a 100mph.


Also true in the midlands.

OK, I can concede that I’ve been walking around unaware of some meaning behind it, and it’s entirely possible I’ve never heard it used in that context, but that isn’t how it is mostly used, is it? In my experience it’s usually used to simply mean a lot. “I bought a ton of milk, because my kids go through cereal like nobodies business”, “You’ll have to do tons of work to be able to afford that!” Though most often I hear it when someone picks something very heavy. “It weighs a ton”. I’m fairly certain they’re not guessing a specific weight that the item might actually be.

Similar to how ‘heaps’ is used in Australia.

Yeah, a ton means 100mph. Some folk say a ton for a hundred quid too. It’s common where I am(London) and where I grew up (East Anglia).

As for grass, there’s loads of claims to its origin, mostly rhyming slang. Grass in the park - nark. Grasshopper - copper. I don’t know for sure although I’ve mostly heard it in the criminal sense, i.e. being grassed up the police, rather than to teacher or parents.

I hadn’t heard the word clunge before this show, not sure about that - I’m certainly not going to google it as I am at work! I assumed it was a new word as I am only 27 and if this word had been around when I was at school 10-15 years ago, it was the type of school where I would have heard it.

And excellent taste by the way, OP :slight_smile: The Inbetweeners is some of the funniest comedy from the UK in years. I’ve sometimes laughed so hard at that show it’s been difficult to breathe.

Wouldn’t “The Inbetweeners - Some UK to Septic translations?” be more appropriate as a title?

“Clunge” actually means female genitalia.

No, you’re right: “ton” meaning 100mph is just one specific usage, separate from the more common “lots” meaning. And one you could quite easily miss, I suppose, unless you hang around with people who habitually exceed the speed limit.

I must say, in fact, that it seems a bit dated to me – I sort of associate it with greasy bikers in the late fifties/early sixties. There’s a definite whiff of coffee shops and transport caffs about it: a heady mix of motor oil, Brylcreem, Woodbines, espresso, bacon fat and Spam.

Or that might be just me.

Heh, welcome to my experiences trying to watch Glee! :smiley:

How odd, I could swear I’ve heard or read the word somewhere before and I’m Canadian, though I thought it was spelled “klunge”.

Out of curiosity, where are you from and which characters’ accents are you having trouble understanding?

Ok, if clunge means vagina what does minge (sp) mean? Or don’t I want to know…

I wouldn’t say that Ton is an obsolete measurement, unless you consider the whole Imperial System obsolete. Which it kinda is, but as an arrogant American I say My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead and that’s the way I likes it!

Also in regards to The Inbetweeners: Sigh, the British school system always confuses the hell out of me! A levels, O levels?!? In the US its grades K thru 12, simple! So I gather from the intro that the star kid used to go to private school, but now he has to go to… What exactly? Because the school in the show doesn’t look like a public school, uniforms and such!

minge is basically the same
or refers to female public hair.

likes it?
That’s about 1/504th of a mile per gallon – or about 10 feet (3 meters) to a gallon! What kind of a car are you driving? Even an aircraft carrier gets 4-5 times that mielage!

Most particularly, the red-headed teacher who was also in Heroes. Never managed to figure out a single word she said. I gather she likes the lead teacher guy?