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Expand your UK IQ: Throw a benny

UK weekly edition, Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Admittedly, I’d have to raise one perplexed American eyebrow at any Brit who ever said I was throwing a benny. But to be fair, Americans say that people are “spazzing out” or “having a cow” when they freak out in comparison, so who am I to judge?

But in the U.K., you don’t spazz out or bug out. You have a benny.

According to peevish.co.uk/slang, a dictionary of U.K. slang, to throw a benny is to have a tantrum or a fit of anger.

So try it next time you’re out with your British or American friends. Maybe you’ll impress that local lad or lass standing next to the bar as you belittle an upset friend with some local lingo.

To sweeten your buddy’s angst a bit more, say that they’re a “benny woman,” a derogatory remark for a male friend that is said to inflame them even more by questioning their masculinity as they throw said benny, according to The Online Dictionary of Playground Slang.

It’s not known for sure, but it’s believed that throwing a benny was derived from a dimwitted character on a soap called “Crossroads” in the 1970s.

Got a question about something you’ve seen or heard around the United Kingdom? E-mail us at: uknews@estripes.osd.mil


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