1. Fag - Simply means a cigarette and is used quite commonly. It's not considered offensive (the word that is) and to be honest, I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone use this as a derogatory word for a gay man here, which isn't to say it's not uttered at all, but I've not heard it. Every day my coworkers say as they're gathering their cigarettes and lighters for a smoke break, "Just popping out for a fag."
2. Faggot - In my experience, the only time you ever really see or hear this word is with regards to food. It's a type of sausage made from meat cut-offs and these cuts offs are even grosser than a normal sausage (says the vegetarian blogger writing this). "Faggots, mash & peas" might be something you see on a traditional English or Welsh menu.
|Faggots with peas and mash.|
4. Fairy lights - These are what we would call Christmas lights. But isn't "fairy lights" a more fun and whimsical phrase for them?
5. Father Christmas - Since my first life here in the early 90's, I've noticed Father Christmas is being used less and less each year and Santa Claus is emerging more commonly. I blame globalisation as I'm sure you do. :) But doesn't Father Christmas conjure up a gentle, jolly old man?
6. Fire Brigade - If you have an emergency and call 999 here (not 911) and can either contact police or fire and choose the latter, it's the fire brigade who will show up at your house. To me, "brigade" really brings to mind heroes working together (which all firemen are, but this word somehow gives it extra emphasis).
|Fire Brigade at your rescue!|
8. Full stop - Period! And by that I mean, punctuation (written and emphasis in speaking). It took me at least a year to figure out they meant the same thing! Example: a mother says to her teenager, "You are not going out until you clean up your room, no negotiation, not discussion. Full stop!"
|I must check out this children's book!|
9. Fringe- Bangs. Brits giggle that we would call something so obviously a fringe an odd word like bangs. And to be honest, they've got a point. Why do Americans call the shorter hair at the top of their forehead bangs? Bangs is used as a plural but fringe singular. "I'm going for something different at my next hair appointment, think I'll get a fringe."
|That is one blunt fringe!|
And honorable mention goes to...
Fanny - rarely used here because to be honest, it's used to describe a woman's woohoo! Unlike in American English when it means anyone's bum, here fanny means genitalia. Therefore it makes me smile as Brits explain their surprise at what we Americans call "Fanny packs". You can understand why it has them in stitches!
Fortnight - 2 weeks. Used quite often. Speaking about an upcoming vacation (holiday), you may hear a Brit say, "We're spending a fortnight in Greece, can't wait!"
What do you think have I missed any out/ What other F words or phrases should be in the list?