I think, monsieur, the shy, reserved Englishman is trying to tell you something

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The Independent Online
FROM TIME to time this column likes to cater for those of its readers for whom English is a second language, and do something to make them aware of the great richness of our native tongue.

The British are internationally renowned for their shyness and reserve, and today I am bringing you fourscore different ways in which the English language can be used to tell someone to go away, ranging from the silkily polite to the blunt. Next time you want to get rid of some importunate Briton, monsieur, one of the following eighty-odd phrases is bound to do the trick !

It's getting late ...

Sorry to break up the party ...

Busy day tomorrow ...

Time to wend your way, I think.

Good heavens, is that the time?

Doesn't time fly when you're

having fun?

My wife and I are going to bed now.

All good things come to an end.

Time, gents, please.

Let's be having you!

Have you no homes to go to?

Do us a favour!

Off you go now!

Be off with you!

Make yourselves scarce!

Are you still here?


On your skates!

Buzz off!


Beat it!

Avaunt my sight!


Stand not upon the order of your

going, but go!


Awa' wi' ye!

Get going!

Go away!

Just GO!

Get lost!

Push off!



Hop it!

Take a powder!


You're barred!

Get out of it!

Go to hell!

Go to blazes!

Go and take a running leap in the

nearest lake.

Go and eat coke.

Go and boil your head.


Get stuffed!

Get knotted!

Piss off!

Bugger off!

Clear off!

Clear the area.





Vacate the premises.

Do not disturb.

Trespassers will be Prosecuted.

Keep Out.

No Entry.


No admittance ( except on business ).

Callers by appointment only.


Sorry, No Callers at House.

This correspondence is now closed.

Keep moving.

Mind the gap.

Move along there, please, sir.

Keep clear.

Keep off the grass.

Staff only.

Members only.

Not beyond this point.

So far and no further.

Can't you take a hint ?

It's getting late...

Sorry to break up the party...

If you would like a full list of such phrases, just send for our "Guide to British Hospitality".