The New York Knicks and Ball Don’t Lie present a helpful guide to understanding England

Ball Don't Lie

On Thursday afternoon, stateside time, the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks will play a regulation game in London’s O2 Arena. In anticipation of the event, Knicks website maestro Jonah Ballow put together an interview collection featuring various Knickerbockers attempting to discern various Anglo-isms. Steve Novak, Chris Copeland, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace were all game participants as they attempted to make their way through various English terms that somehow failed to cross the Atlantic.


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Because England and America are separated by a common language, and because I am the NBA blogosphere’s resident Anglophile, I figured it was time to lend a hand in order to help those that might be left gobsmacked as they attempt to follow Thursday’s back and forth from London. What follows is a list, one you should probably print out, that can help you make it through the telecast.


“Pillock.” – A unit of measurement that equals roughly one American d-bag.

“Bangers.” – Something Americans eat four times a day.

“Fortnight.” – Something that feels like a day and a half in Albuquerque.

“The tube.” – A telly you get five different BBC stations on.

“The telly.” – A public transit system.

“Chuffed.” – A pleasantry aurally provided by a vicar, usually.

“Vicar.” – A prostitute.

“Fish and chips.” This:

“Translative commodity.” – The royal family.

"The lady's not for turning." -- Various uses; but whatever the impetus it's not happening, pal.

“A pallet of rye.” – Your dead uncle, Bob.

“Bob’s not your uncle.” – What your father says when you’re being told about your 1987 adoption.

“Twistledom Castle.” – A fictional building that most Americans probably believe the Queen lives in.

Fred.” – The monarch that shall rightfully rule over the isle until its demise.

“Jiminy Christmas.” – The most wonderful of holidays.

“Christmas.” – Something you shan’t utter in contemplative company.

“The war.” – The 1982 Falklands conflict.

“A brief misunderstanding.” – The American Revolution, War of 1812, Anglo-Spanish War, World War I, and World War II.

“Hessian marauders.” – Germans.

“Blair’s colonists.” – Americans.

“Hedonistic prats.” – Spaniards.

“Dutiful besotted servants.” – Irish.

“F***ing wankers.” – French.

“Smythe and Wes’une.” – Smith and Wesson.

“Smith and Wesson.” – A shave and a haircut.

“Shave and a haircut.” – Two pence.

“Two pence.” – Twenty-four thousand American dollars.

“Fanny.” – Jay Leno.

“Fancy.” – “Fancy,” according to Rasheed Wallace who is entirely correct.

“Irony.” – What happens when you lose the empire.

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