Today’s special guest is the fabulous Nicky Peacock! Nicky is a multi-published author who writes Young Adult and Adult paranormal romance, horror and urban fantasy. She also a charming Brit with a stingy spot for British stereotypes and she some advice on how to avoid them. She also offering something I was delighted to read—genuine British curse words fresh from Her Majesty’s biscuit tin! I hope you’ll enjoy the list as much as I did.
Risking a stereotype here… This is a picture of Nicky.
She’s gorgeous, no munter is she. If you don’t know what a munter is keep reading and you’ll find out. I’m a bit envious. I wish I were a classic English country maiden with the face of an angel, a cascade of flaxen waves, stormy blue eyes the color of the Thames on a frozen morn, a complexion like buttermilk and an insouciant curl of the lip that hints chase-me-I’m-worth-it.
Nicky looks sweet and innocent but she’s got a biting dark sense of humor and among other things is included the “Fifty Shades of Decay—Zombie Erotica Anthology”. She’s British so its safe to assume she prefers knives to guns, so watch out if you see her reaching into her boot.
Here’s Nicky Peacock’s own words, sharing a little fun with us:
Don’t fall for stereotypes in romantic fiction.
I don’t know about you, but one of the biggest turn-offs when reading a romance is when you find yourself presented with your own nationality’s stereotype. You know the ones I mean: French man wearing stripy shirt and onion necklace, Spanish swarthy gent who fights bulls, and casual Italian mobster who runs either a pizza place or ice cream parlor. Sometimes, it’s hard to stay away from them in writing – after all, if it’s not your nationality then this is all you know of them– but it shouldn’t be. These clichés can be avoided quite easily with a bit of research and a dollop of confidence.
So, I’m English. And I hate reading about an English character who has a stiff upper lip, bowler hat, drinks too much tea and has yellow teeth. It happens more often than you think and I try not take it personally, but sometimes it even stops me reading that book out of principle. These days with eBook popularity soaring, any writer, regardless of their nationality, cannot afford to alienate any nation’s readers. So what can you do? Well, if it’s a main character, you could ideally take the opportunity to have a sneaky holiday to their country and mingle first hand with its natives. Experience the whole culture and perhaps be inspired with new characteristics and story lines. Okay, so not all of us have the time or money to do that. But there are a couple of things you can do:
Rent a movie.
World cinema offers a peak into that country’s people and customs. Have a look online for a movie that you’ll enjoy from that county, sit back and let it inspire you. Do be aware though, that some movies themselves are going to be a bit cliché themselves so pick movies that are well-made and at least appear to have some credibility. If they are made in the country of origin then stereotypes shouldn't be included (unless they are trying to be funny!). These movies can give an excellent look into that culture's society and the people dwelling within.
Read a book.
Tourist guides can be bought online and offer snatches of information about the country. Do try and buy those that are written in the country itself. There are even online sites that can give you virtual tours of places with commentary. Getting a feel for the culture can do wonders for your character.
Read a book set in that country by a native writer - again they shouldn't include stereotypes unless they are being facetious and can give you not only the feel for the people but also some dialogue tips too.
Ask a question, or several.
Social media has made interacting with other countries so much easier now. Twitter and Facebook are particularly good for making contacts for research (and not just for nationalities) finding another writer from the country your character is from and asking some poignant questions will make your characters really come alive and be accessible and comfortable for your readers. Fellow writers shouldn’t have a problem with talking to you, especially if you offer to return the favour if they ever need it.
The Englishman cometh!
Okay, so I’m English, so at the least I should give you a few pointers about writing English characters.
*Please no Dick Van Dyke accents!
*Not everyone is from London. We may be a small country but there’s more to us than our capital.
*We’re not all Cockney gangsters – regardless of what Guy Ritchie would have you believe.
*Only a minority of the English are upper class, so no watching hours and hours of Downton Abbey and assuming we’re all like Lady Mary and Lord Grantham.
*We don’t just drink tea – although it is my main beverage of choice! I do drink coffee and hot chocolate too.
*Most of us have excellent dental hygiene.
*Unless your book is set in the Victorian era, no top hats, cravats or monocles please.
*The fair majority do not have butlers and maids.
*We prefer knives to guns here - more because of accessibility than any real violent standards
*We're not all villains - although we're not all angels either!
A great way to ensure an English character is believe-able, yet not insulting, is simply by changing their choice of words to make them more English. So here is a little US to UK list, as a bit of a cheat sheet:
Beer Larger (pale) Bitter (dark)
Hickey Love Bite
Playing Hooky Skiving
License Plate Number Plate
Public Holiday Bank Holiday
Rest Room Toilet
Sweat Pants Track Bottoms
Trash Can Dust Bin
Zip Code Postcode
There’s probably a hell of lot more variations and of course you also get regional slang words in certain English counties. As this is an adult site I’m also going to supply you with a list of English curse words, or swears, + insults too (some of these are the same, but I just like writing them!) I've included a brief explanation in brackets.
Billy no-mates (someone with no friends)
Bint/ Scrubber/ Skank/ Trollop/ Slapper/ Duffer (woman of loose morals)
Bollocks/ Nuts/ Balls
Bugger (similar to fuck)
Chav (someone who thinks they’re cool when they’re not)
Cobblers (similar to rubbish)
Cock-up/ Balls Up (making a mistake)
Codger (elderly person)
Div/ Pillock/ Plonker/ Prat/ Wally (idiot)
Dodgy (something under-hand)
Git (an insult with a touch of jealousy – usually used on men)
Gordon Bennett! (translation similar to Jesus Christ!)
Gormless (dumb ass)
Grotty/ Manky (gross)
Jog-on/ Piss off (Fuck off)
Minger (unattractive lady)
Mucky (dirty/ also with sexual conatations)
Muppet (although this not technically a curse word, its still used in a derogatory fashion)
Munter (very unattractive lady)
Naff/ Pish/ Poxy (crap)
Numpty (more affectionate term for fool)
If you are writing English characters and would like to talk to a fellow author/ ask a few culture questions, then drop by my Facebook page and friend me https://www.facebook.com/nicky.peacock.10 and send me a message -
About the author: Nicky Peacock is an English author living in the UK and can be found online:
Face Book Page: https://www.facebook.com/NickyPeacockYaBooks
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky-Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_4
Share this blog or you’ll be a Billy-no-mates!
Thank you Nicky for a fun blog!