Day 8 of Glosso’s popular evergreen advent calendar, “Baubles of Britishisms”. Each day, leading up to the quintessential British day of rest and relaxation (“Boxing Day”), you’ll open a window to the world of quirky Brit-speak.
Don’t get your knickers in a twist.
“Steven Pinker’s The Sense of Style will get grammar pedants’ knickers in a twist.” — Management Today, 30 Oct 2014
“The Hudl runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Tesco’s custom launcher over the top. Now for those of you who don’t like custom UIs, before you get your knickers in a twist it’s worth noting that this means the interface is actually more or less stock Android.” — Know Your Mobile, 14 Nov 2014
That’s what Brits say when someone is overreacting and getting hot under the collar when they really don’t need to. Fraser’s Phrases looks at the history of the expression.
But when a Brit loses it completely, they:
Go off on one. “Speaker Bercow has been sweating about his future recently and went off on one, first viciously attacking a jokey Tory MP for being ‘exceptionally ignorant’.” — Daily Mail, 11 Nov 2014
Go spare: “Former Tory minister Kenneth Clarke said Mr Cameron ‘knows perfectly well’ that free movement is essential to the EU. He told the BBC’s Sunday Politics: ‘All our companies, multinational companies, will go spare if you start interfering with that.’” — Daily Mail, 12 Nov 2014
Throw a wobbly/wobbler: “The president of the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company Toula Onoufriou threw a wobbly at an energy conference in Tel Aviv when she saw that the pseudo foreign minister Ozdil Nami was participating and immediately put the uppity Turk in his place.” — Cyprus Mail, 12 Nov 2014
That’s what Brits do when they’re upset or angry …