Here Are Some Fake Car Terms That Sound Like They Could Be British

Ever since Raph came out against the use of the term “gearbox” yesterday, I’ve been thinking about both my use of the term “gearbox” and the affected Britishisms that pepper the speech of many a gearhead. Maybe the Brits call us spannerfaces? I can never remember.

I don’t actually mind many British car terms. Hell, even ‘gearbox’ is respectable for its forceful simplicity. I mean, is a transmission not, literally a box (admittedly funny-shaped) of gears? They use this sort of extreme literalism a lot. Like how ‘tachometer’ becomes ‘rev counter.’ Sure, they have some confusing terms, too, like fixed-head coupé, or scuttle or tickover.


Anyway, I don’t really mind terms like ‘gearbox,’ so just to muddy everything up a bit, I’d like to offer you the free, unrestricted use of these made-up motoring terms that I think sound sort of British.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide what these actually mean. You’re welcome.

1. Piston Billock
2. Snatchyflaps
3. Plod Rod
4. Mollydripper
5. Spark Negotiator
6. Oblique lamp
7. Waistcoat
8. Petrol Tee/Chuff Tee
9. Galosh Undertarpaulins
10. Gennyloop

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)