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Glossary of British Terms
beginning with letter G
Browse the British Glossary
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Gaby Tweet Definition of Gaby Like Definition of Gaby on Facebook
noun (given=yes)
  1. Short form of the female given name Gabrielle.
gaff Tweet Definition of gaff Like Definition of gaff on Facebook
noun (plural gaffs)
  1. (context, fishing) A tool consisting of a large metal hook with a handle or pole, used to pull in large fish.
  2. (British slang) A place of residence.
We're going round to Mike's gaff later to watch the footie.
  1. (context, nautical) The upper spar used to control a gaff-rigged sail.
gaffer Tweet Definition of gaffer Like Definition of gaffer on Facebook
  1. (context, Filmology): A lighting electrician for a motion-picture or television production.
galah Tweet Definition of galah Like Definition of galah on Facebook
  1. A pink and grey species of cockatoo native to Australia. Scientific name: Eolophus roseicapilla.
  2. (AU, slang) An idiot, particularly when driving.
That nearly drove me off the road.
gammon Tweet Definition of gammon Like Definition of gammon on Facebook
  1. The lower or hind part of a side of bacon
  2. A victory in backgammon achieved without losing a single piece
  1. (nautical) A rope fastening a bowsprit to the stem of a ship
gamp Tweet Definition of gamp Like Definition of gamp on Facebook
  1. (context, UK) (archaic or dialect): An umbrella.
ganger Tweet Definition of ganger Like Definition of ganger on Facebook
  1. One who oversees a gang of workmen.
gaol Tweet Definition of gaol Like Definition of gaol on Facebook
  1. (context, UK, archaic) (alternative spelling of, jail)
  2. (context, AU, NZ) prefered (alternative spelling of, jail)
garnish Tweet Definition of garnish Like Definition of garnish on Facebook
  1. a set of dishes, often pewter, containing a dozen pieces of several types.
  2. pewter vessels in general.
  • 1882: The accounts of collegiate and monastic institutions give abundant entries of the price of pewter vessels, called also . — James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, Volume 4, p. 478.
verb (garnishes, garnished, garnishing)
  1. To decorate with ornamental appendages; to set off; to adorn; to embellish; as, all within with flowers was garnished.
  2. (cookery) To ornament, as a dish, with something laid about it; as, a dish garnished with parsley.
  3. To furnish; to supply.
By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. (Job 26:13, KJV)
  1. To fit with fetters.
  2. To warn by garnishment; to give notice to; to garnishee.
gaudy Tweet Definition of gaudy Like Definition of gaudy on Facebook
noun (gaud, ies)
  1. A reunion held by one of the colleges of the University of Oxford for alumni, normally held during the summer vacations.
adjective (gaud, ier)
  1. Excessively showy or ornamented in a tasteless or vulgar manner.
George Tweet Definition of George Like Definition of George on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. (given name, male).
  2. (slang), (archaic) A coin with King George"s profile.
Take the Georges, Pew, and don"t stand here squalling. — Robert Louis Stevenson.
geyser Tweet Definition of geyser Like Definition of geyser on Facebook
  1. A boiling spring which throws forth at frequent intervals jets of water, mud, etc., driven up by the expansive power of steam.
  2. (context, British, archaic) An instantaneous, and often dangerous, hot water heater.
    • 1902: William Paton Buchan, Plumbing: A Text-book to the Practice of the Art Or Craft of the Plumber - Where a Geyser or hot-water heater is used it is a good and wise precaution to see that the bath-room, &c., when it is used is well ventilated.
    • 1998: Gordon S Riess, Confessions of a Corporate Centurion: Tales of International Adventures - Water was heated either on the gas stove, or on a wall mounted gas-fired "" heater.
    • 2002: Alaine Polcz, One woman in the war: Hungary, 1944-1945 - It was here I saw a gas water heater in a bathroom for the first time. (I was afraid of it).
gilgai Tweet Definition of gilgai Like Definition of gilgai on Facebook
  1. (Australian English) a small concavity or depression between ridges, where rainwater gathers
  • 1988: Though it wasn't a heavy storm it was enough to put water in holes and scatter the horses. " Tom Cole, Hell West and Crooked (Angus&Robertson 1995 p.160)
gill Tweet Definition of gill Like Definition of gill on Facebook
noun (rfc-level, Noun at L4+ not in L3 POS section)
  1. The breathing organ of fish and other aquatic animals.
  2. One of the radial folds on the underside of the cap of a mushroom, on the surface of which the spore-producing organs are borne.
gin Tweet Definition of gin Like Definition of gin on Facebook
  1. (obsolete) A trick; a device or instrument.
  2. A snare or trap for game.
  3. A machine for hoisting or moving heavy objects.
  4. A pile driver.
  5. A windpump.
  6. A cotton gin.
= verb (gin, n, ed)
  1. (transitive) To remove the seeds from cotton with a cotton gin.
  2. (transitive) To trap something in a gin.
gipsy Tweet Definition of gipsy Like Definition of gipsy on Facebook
  1. Spelling variant of gypsy
glasshouse Tweet Definition of glasshouse Like Definition of glasshouse on Facebook
  1. A building made of glass in which plants are grown more rapidly than outside such a building by the action of heat from the sun, this heat being trapped inside by the glass. (chiefly commercial).
  2. A building where glass or glassware is manufactured.
  3. (British army slang) A military prison.
glebe Tweet Definition of glebe Like Definition of glebe on Facebook
  1. Turf; soil; ground; sod.
  2. In medieval Europe, a glebe was an area of land, belonging to a parish, whose revenues contributed towards the parish expenses.
gob Tweet Definition of gob Like Definition of gob on Facebook
  1. (countable) A lump of soft or sticky material.
  2. (context, UK, countable, slang) The mouth.
He's always stuffing her with fast food.
Oi, you, shut your !
She's got such a on her - she's always gossiping about someone or other.
  1. (context, uncountable, slang) Saliva or phlegm.
He spat a big ball of on to the pavement.
  1. (context, US military slang) Sailor.
verb to gob
  1. To spit, especially to spit phlegm
gombeen Tweet Definition of gombeen Like Definition of gombeen on Facebook
  1. Usury.
  2. A moneylender.
  3. (slang) A fool or idiot.
  1. Stupid.
They were talking gombeen politics.
GOOG Tweet Definition of GOOG Like Definition of GOOG on Facebook
  1. (NASDAQ Symbol) Google
gossip Tweet Definition of gossip Like Definition of gossip on Facebook
  1. Someone who likes to talk about someone else"s private or personal business.
  2. Idle talk about someone"s private or personal matters, especially someone not present.
  1. Talking about someone else's private or personal business.
  2. Talking idly.
gowk Tweet Definition of gowk Like Definition of gowk on Facebook
  1. a cuckoo
  2. a fool
  • 1976: God has sent me gowks for secretaries. " Robert Nye, Falstaff
Graeco-Roman Tweet Definition of Graeco-Roman Like Definition of Graeco-Roman on Facebook
  1. Of or pertaining to Greek or Roman culture.
graft Tweet Definition of graft Like Definition of graft on Facebook
noun (plural: grafts)
  1. A small shoot or scion of a tree inserted in another tree, the stock of which is to support and nourish it. The two unite and become one tree, but the graft determines the kind of fruit.
  2. A branch or portion of a tree growing from such a shoot.
  3. (surgery) A portion of living tissue used in the operation of autoplasty.
  4. Hard work (colloq)
  5. (slang) A criminal's special branch of practice
  6. Illicit profit by corrupt means, public life.
  7. Corruption in official life.
  8. A con job.
  9. (slang): A cut of the take (money).
  10. , (context, Politics): A bribe, especially on an ongoing basis. (uncountable)
  1. To insert (a graft) in a branch or stem of another tree; to propagate by insertion in another stock; also, to insert a graft upon.
  2. (surgery) To implant a portion of (living flesh or akin) in a lesion so as to form an organic union.
  3. To join (one thing) to another as if by grafting, so as to bring about a close union.
  • And my love immortal on thy fame! " Pope
    1. (nautical) To cover, as a ring bolt, block strap, splicing, etc., with a weaving of small cord or rope-yarns.
    2. (intransitive) To insert scions from one tree, or kind of tree, etc., into another; to practice grafting.
Grange Tweet Definition of Grange Like Definition of Grange on Facebook
proper noun 
  1. (usually, with "The") National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, an association of farmers; one of the branch lodges of this association
gree Tweet Definition of gree Like Definition of gree on Facebook
  1. (archaic) pleasure, Pleasure, goodwill, satisfaction.
    • Late C14: And notified is í¾urÈ�out í¾e toun / í�at every wiÈ�t, wií¾ greet devocioun, / Sholde preyen Crist í¾at he í¾is mariage / Recyve in and spede í¾is viage. " Geoffrey Chaucer, The Man of Law's Tale
    • 1885: When it was the Second Night, said Dunyazad to her sister Shahrazad, "O my sister, finish for us that story of the Merchant and the Jinni;" and she answered "With joy and goodly , if the King permit me." " Sir Richard Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. vol. 1
green fingers Tweet Definition of green fingers Like Definition of green fingers on Facebook
  1. (idiom) A seemingly natural gardening ability
greengrocer Tweet Definition of greengrocer Like Definition of greengrocer on Facebook
  1. (context, mostly, UK) A person who sells fresh vegetables and fruit, normally from a relatively small shop
greenie Tweet Definition of greenie Like Definition of greenie on Facebook
  1. (Australian English) A member of the Green Party; an environmentalist.
grig Tweet Definition of grig Like Definition of grig on Facebook
  1. little creature, reptile;
  1. A cricket or grasshopper.
  2. Any small eel.
  3. The broad-nosed eel. See Glut
    1. heath.
verb (grig, g, ed)
  1. (transitive) To irritate or annoy.
grizzle Tweet Definition of grizzle Like Definition of grizzle on Facebook
  1. (colour) a grey colour.
<table><tr><td>grizzle colour: &nbsp;</td><td bgcolor="
  1. 626461" width="80">&nbsp; </td></tr></table>
    1. grey hair.
    2. a grey wig.
verb (grizzl, ing)
  1. to make or become grey.
  1. (colour) of a grey colour.
grocery Tweet Definition of grocery Like Definition of grocery on Facebook
noun (groceri, es)
  1. retail, Retail foodstuffs and other household supplies.
    • 1776: s:Adam Smith, Adam Smith, s:The Wealth of Nations/Book I/Chapter 10, The Wealth of Nations
    • :Where ten thousand pounds can be employed in the trade, the wages of the grocer's labour make but a very trifling addition...
      1. A shop or store that sells groceries; a grocery store.
    • 1854: s:Henry David Thoreau, Henry David Thoreau, s:Walden/Chapter_VIII, Walden
    • :I observed that the vitals of the village were the , the bar-room, the post-office, and the bank...
grouse Tweet Definition of grouse Like Definition of grouse on Facebook
noun (pl=grouse, pl2=grouses)
  1. Any of various game birds of the family ''Tetraonidae which inhabit temperate and subarctic regions of the northern hemisphere.
verb (grous, ing)
  1. To complain or grumble. As in 'Duck or Grouse', often written on low beams in pubs.
adjective (grous, er)
  1. (italbrac, Australian slang) excellent
I had a day.
That food was .
growler Tweet Definition of growler Like Definition of growler on Facebook
  1. A person, creature or thing that growls.
  2. (context, historical, slang) A cab with four wheels.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 254:
    • :Lew pulled his socks from a jacket pocket, grabbed his own shoes, and together they proceeded to the street and into a , and were off.
      1. (rfv-sense) A small iceberg or ice floe which is barely visible over the surface of the water.
      2. (rfv-sense) (informal) A roughly half gallon jug typically used to carry beer.
      3. (italbrac, dialect) A Yorkshire term for a pork pie.
      4. (rfv-sense) (context, UK, slang) The vagina.
guard Tweet Definition of guard Like Definition of guard on Facebook
  1. a person who protects or watches over something
  2. (military) A squad responsible for protecting something.
The president inspected the of honour.
  1. a part of a machine which blocks access to dangerous parts
  2. (Aus) panel of a car which encloses the wheel area, especially the front wheels.
  3. (context, Basketball) A relatively short player, playing farther from the basket than a forward or center.
  4. (cricket) The position on the popping crease where a batsman makes a mark to align himself with the wicket (see to take guard)
  5. The offensive positions between the center and each of the offensive tackles
  6. (sports) A player playing a position named guard
  7. (railways) An employee who normally travels in the last vehicle of a train and is responsible for the safety of the train
  1. To protect from some offence (specific or abstract.)
gun Tweet Definition of gun Like Definition of gun on Facebook
  1. (context, Military) A cannon with relatively long barrel, operating with relatively low angle of fire, and having a high muzzle velocity. JP 1-02.
  2. (context, Military) A cannon with tube length 30 calibers or more. See also: howitzer; mortar. JP 1-02.
  3. A very portable, short weapon, for hand use; a bullet or projectile-firing weapon; a handgun.
  4. A less portable, long weapon; a bullet or projectile firing weapon; a rifle, either manual, automatic or semi-automatic, or a shotgun (or, historically, a musket or other firearm now obsolete).
This is my rifle, this is my gun. One is for fighting, one is for fun. (U.S. military cadence, used to make recruits memorize that the only correct term for a soldier's firearm is 'rifle', not some 'gun'.)
  1. Any weapon that launches a projectile from a tube, even if it is not a firearm, e.g., potato gun, air-pressure pellet gun.
  2. Any device or tool that projects a payload in a superficially similar fashion to a firearm, e.g., nail gun, squirt gun, spray gun, grease gun.
  3. A device or tool shaped like a pistol and operated in similar fashion by pulling a trigger with the index finger, e.g., rivet gun, price gun, screw gun.
  4. (context, surfing) A long surfboard designed for surfing big waves (not the same as a longboard, a gun has a pointed nose and is generally a little narrower).
2000: by the winter of 1962, the Brewer Surfboards Hawaii was the most in-demand big-wave equipment on the North Shore. &mdash; Drew Kampion at
  1. (context, colloquial, usually plural) biceps.
verb (gun, n, ing)
  1. (italbrac, with "down") To shoot someone or something, usually with a firearm.
He gunned down the hitmen.
The CEO gunned down that idea before we could present it to the board.
  1. To speed something up.
He gunned the engine up.
  1. To offer vigorous support to a person or cause.
He"s gunning for you.
gunyah Tweet Definition of gunyah Like Definition of gunyah on Facebook
  1. Traditional Aboriginal dwelling in some parts of Australia.
guv Tweet Definition of guv Like Definition of guv on Facebook
  1. (context, UK, especially, London, informal) a form of address, usually to an unknown male or a superior. An informal form of sir.
Spare two quid, ? I 'aven't eaten since yesterday.
Right away, ... I mean, sarge.
Guy Tweet Definition of Guy Like Definition of Guy on Facebook
  1. (British) An effigy of w:Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes burned on Bonfire Night
proper noun 
  1. (given name, male).
gammy Tweet Definition of gammy Like Definition of gammy on Facebook
  1. (substandard) Grandmother.
  1. injured, Injured, or not functioning properly.
  • I have got a leg, and can't walk far.
    1. (alternative spelling of, gamy)(rfv-sense)
GCE Tweet Definition of GCE Like Definition of GCE on Facebook
  1. General Certificate of Education. w:General Certificate of Education, Wikipedia has an article General Certificate of Education
  2. Global Campaign for Education
  3. Gross Conceptual Error
gong Tweet Definition of gong Like Definition of gong on Facebook
noun (gongs)
  1. (musici) a percussion instrument consisting of a metal disk that emits a sonorous sound when struck with a soft hammer
  2. a medal or award
gormless Tweet Definition of gormless Like Definition of gormless on Facebook
  1. (context, chiefly, UK, of a person) Lacking intelligence, sense or discernment, often implying lack of capacity of will to remedy the condition.
  2. inexperienced, Inexperienced, naí¯ve, innocent to the point of foolishness.
gunge Tweet Definition of gunge Like Definition of gunge on Facebook
  1. A soft, sticky mass; goo; gunk.
They call this solid material tholin (after the Greek word for muddy), but it seems likely that chemists will continue to call this rather familiar material "gunge."
--New Scientist
verb (gung, es)
  1. To clog with gunge (often constructed as gunge up.)
  2. To cover someone with gunge.

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