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Knickers vs. Panties? They're Coming Off, So Who Cares?!

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Being a British writer, I'm all about the knickers, but I'm quite partial to some panties, too! I can remember the first email that I received asking me what a jumper was, and then another wanting clarification on what knickers were. I sat there staring blankly at my laptop, thinking...Huh, surely not?

A bit bewildered by the questions, I Googled "jumper" and "knickers." Yes, I actually Googled them, and these are the definitions I found, courtesy of the Cambridge Dictionary Online:

JUMPER (U.S. sweater) a piece of clothing, made from wool or cotton and worn on the upper part of the body that has sleeves and does not open at the front.

KNICKERS (U.S. panties) a piece of underwear worn by women and girls covering the area between the waist and the tops of the legs.

It all became clear. (It was the parenthesis that did it!) The questions were from American readers. I was ignorant to the fact that jumpers and knickers are very British and, let's face it, quite strange words, too, Bloody hell! American women were buying my book, which was the best surprise ever - nearly as-good as Grand Central's Forever imprint bringing them straight to U.S. readers. A huge American publishing house wants this little British girl -arse and all?

So I thought perhaps I should explain...I might have even created a short glossary of British terms - might have. I'm neither confirming nor denying it. Okay, I totally did. I would love to have compiled a list of attractive terms and words - something that maybe Shakespeare himself would have been worthy of, but unfortunately I found myself cringing as I typed some of the well-known British terms. Brace yourself for some British!

Wank - I believe my American friends refer to this as "Jerk."
Wanker - Jerk off
Shag - Very uncouth reference to having sex.
How's your father?! - This is one of the oldest terms used for sex. Don't even ask.
Bonk - Another attractive word for having sex.
Hanky Panky - Sexual shenanigans, but the term is first recorded, in relation to its original "trickery" meaning, in the first edition of "Punch, or the London Charivari," Vol 1, Sept, 1841.
Nookie - A rather cheeky word for getting it on!
Slap and Tickle - Sexual fun with someone.
Bang - Screw. Have sex. You might often see a British girl with a cute smirk on her face when her male hairdresser asks her what she would like to do with her bangs.
Bollocks - This is a deep sexual word, with many variations. In general, it refers to the testicle, but can be used in many other forms. "The dog's bollocks" - Something awesome! "That's bollocks" - Something rubbish.
Fanny - A lady's genitalia. I never knew that my friends across the pond used "fanny" in reference to an arse! What you guys call a "Fanny-pack," us Brits call a "Bum-Bag."
Getting off - Making out
Tossing off - Jerking off.
Tosser - Jerk
Willy - Penis
Todger - Penis
Knockers - Breasts (Generally large ones)

So you see, the Queen's English it is not. Forgive me your Majesty! And don't even get me started on Rhyming Cockney Slang!

Blimey, I could go on forever! This topic, British versus Americanized English, has been a regular in my life since publishing This Man and Beneath This Man. I'm a British girl and my stories are based in London, so you can expect This Man Confessed, (out July 2), to be loaded with jumpers and knickers. But if I read a story that's set in New York, then I'd like a pair of panties and a sweater, please. But that's just me. It's an author's prerogative of which they use, and the reader's right to accept it and love it...or not.

One of the best things since I've released the This Man Trilogy (apart from having an American following full stop, which is both a surprise and an honour--notice the British spelling of "honour"- here we go again!) is how many of my American readers have embraced my British-isms. I bloody love it!