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English to American Carp Translations

I remember not so long ago that someone put together a translation of pay lake terms. I really enjoyed that. In fact, it helped me better understand what was meant when I hear something like, "Except for one yeller I mildewed today." I got to thinking (yes, it even happens to me occaisionally) that a translation from UK English to American English might be helpful.

Ale - beer purchased by the pint instead of by the can.

Angler - A person that fishes with hook and line, a fisherman

Bangers - Breakfast sausages

Backlead - A weight attached to the line near the rod tip to hold most of the line close to the bottom.

Backwind - A technique used before reels with smooth drags were developed.

Bag up - To catch many many fish. It may come from match fishing where fish are kept until the end of the match and then released.

Bailiff - The person in charge of collecting payments for fishing and for enforcing the fishery's rules.

Baiting Needle - A device used to impale hard baits so they may be threaded onto a hair rig.

Baitrunner - A type of spinning reel that allows line to be pulled under minimal resistance when the baitrunner mechanism is engaged. It is used to prevent the entire rod from being pulled into the water.

Base Mix - The dry ingredients used to make boilies. Often dry base mix is sold and anglers add their own eggs, flavours and other enhancers.

Bed Chair - A lawn recliner on steroids. Makes camping out and sleeping beside the rods much more comfortable.

Beta light - A small radio-isotope that glows in the dark. Often attached in critical positions to help an angler find or position objects in the dark.

Big pit reel - A very large spooled spinning reel (often surf fishing size). Used to aid in distance casting as may be required on large flooded gravel pits common in the UK.

Bits-n-bobs - Odds and Ends

Bitter - A type of beer.

Bivvy - Short for bivouac. In practice it means Tent.

Blank - To not catch anything as in I blanked.

Blinkered - A term stolen from horse riding which meaning you cannot see to either side, just straight ahead. In practicle terms it means a person who is locked into a single way of doing and seeing things.

Bobbin - Almost anything hung on the line to provide a visual indicataion of line movement, hopefully from a fish.

Boilie - A egg based doughball that has been hardened by boiling. The main intent is to prevent small nuisance fish from pecking away the bait before a carp can find it.

Bolt Rig - A rig intended to frighten the fish into bolting (running off) so that the heavy weight will effectively hook the fish as it swims away.

Bomb - Another word for sinker, see also lead.

Bonnet - The hood of the car.

Boot - The trunk of the car.

Breadflake - The flaky white part of the bread without the crust. Lightly pinched it floats. Tightly pinched it sinks slowly. A very adaptable bait.

Brolly - Short for Umbrella. In practice, it is an umbrella big enough to camp under. Many begin to resemble open sided tents.

Buzzers - An audible bite alarm that sounds when line moves through the sensor.

Carbon - Graphite.

Carryall - a giant duffle bag use to haul carp gear.

Catapult - Slingshot used to fire out baits like boilies or corn

Centrepin - A type of reel similar to a fly reel but very finely machined to allow line to be freely pulled off along with the current.

Chips - As in Fish and Chips, it means fried potatos like frech fries.

Chuffed - Very pleased or happy as in "I caught a new personal best, I am well chuffed!"

Chum mixer - A brand of Purina dog food in the UK. It is use frequently as a floating bait to catch carp on the surface.

Clooping - The sound made and act of carp sucking items from the surface.

Clutch - The reel's drag mechanism.

Coarse fish - Rough fish, fish other than salmon and trout.

Cockles - Some sort of shelfish occaisionaly tried as bait.

Comics - A derisive term referring to the angling publications sold in the UK.

Common - The regular scaled version of carp with normal sized scales.

Controller - A type of bobber used when fishing surface baits. The controller provides weight for the cast while still floating.

Cuppa - Slang for Cup of Tea or Cup of Coffee.

Curtain - A thin relatively delicate section of skin within the carp's mouth. An intact curtain is a good indication the carp has never been caught before.

Dangler - see "Bobbin"

Day ticket - A fishery where anglers must pay a daily fee to have the privledge to fish.

Death rig - A rig that would doom the carp to an untimely death if broken off during the fight. Examples of potential death rigs are treble hooks if they hook in both the upper an lower lip, multi hook rigs that might tether a carp to a snag, or rigs unable to allow the lead to come off that might result in the carp draging a lead around until it hangs up and tethers the fish in place.

DIY - An acronym for Do It Yourself. It is very similar in usage to home made or hand made.

Dogs Bollix - A slang term meaning very good or lucky. For example, this new bait catches a whacker every cast! Its the dogs bollix. In reallity it means the mutts nuts or testicles.

Dropback - A type of bite when the fish swims toward you creating slack rather than swimming away.

Estate lake - A farm pond.

Estate wagon - A stationwagon.

Fag - A cigarette.

Feeder - A device attached to the line which is filled with groundbait to be released in the vicinity of the bait on the hook.

Fish Finder - Sonar Depth Finder

Fixed spool reel - A spinning reel.

Float - Means bobber but usually closer to a pencil bobber. There are many, many varieties of floats.

Floaters - Baits like chum mixer that float on the surface.

Football - Soccer.

Ghostie - Carp with an odd whitish coloring and darker patches around the eyes.

Greedy pig rig - 3 or more baits on a hair. Intended to attract big greedy carp.

Groundbait - A mixture of ingredients that may be moistened to stick together. The mixture is place near the bait on the hook to attract more fish than the bait alone might attract. It is very similar to packbait except it is usually place around a feeder or the lead rather than around the hook.

Guesting - A nice word for tresspassing. Occaisionally done to fish an off limits area or water.

Hair rig - A rig using a hook with a short lenght of line (the hair) coming off the shank of the hook. The hair rig allows hard baits to be fished without blocking the hook point. See in depth discussions elsewhere.

Hair Stop - A little piece of plastic used to keep hard baits from sliding off the hair once they have been threaded on.

Heron heads - An early design of bite alarm that used line tension to pull two pieces of metal into contact, thereby completing a circuit and sounding an alarm.

HNV - An acronym meaning High Nutrition Value. It is a theory that carp will sense what foods (baits) are most nutritious and will preferrably eat these to fulfill its needs with the least amount of effort. The theory has lead to a large number of scientifically and quasi-scientifically designed baits that attempt to provide the carp with everything it needs nutritionally.

Holdall - Not to be confused with the carryall, a hold all is a rod bag capable of hauling aound several rods with reels attached an more rods without reels. Most have room for banksticks, a rod pod, the landing net, and even a brolly.

Holiday - Another word for Vacation.

Hooklength - The bit of line tied to the hook. In the USA it is typically called a leader.

Horses for courses - A typical phrase meaning different conditions require different solutions. No one thing is always applicable.

Indicator - Any visual device used to show line movement.

Isotopes - see "beta-light."

Jammy - A slang term meany lucky.

Keep sack - An alternative to a stringer. A sack used to hold a live carp until release. Made of breathable fabric with a locking draw string and a means for tying off to a fixed point on shore.

Kilo - Not really British but a euro means of expressing weight. One Kilo is about 2 lbs.

King Carp - Any of the large fast growing carp strains that have been developed. The carp imported to the USA back in the late 1800's were King Carp.

Kip - Sleep. Usually expressed as in "I'm going to lie down, close my eyes, and get a bit of kip."

Kipper - Slang for a big fish.

Knackered - Tired, sleepy, exhuasted.

Larder - A food storage or collection area. For example the base of a bar may collect food and form a natural larder.

Lead - A term meaning sinker. The heavy weight used to aid in casting and holding the line on the bottom.

Leader - Usually means a snag leader. This is a heavy peice of line use to prevent heavy leads from breaking off on a forceful cast.

Leather - A rare type of carp having no scales whatsoever.

Linear - A type of mirror carp (see below) having a line of scales along the lateral line.

Line aligner - A method of attaching a the hook that creates an optimal hooking angle.

Linebites - Fish bumping into the line and giving false indications.

Lobworm - Night crawler. A big fat variety of earthworm.

Lorry - A truck or van.

Mainline - The majority of the line on the reel not including a shock leader or backing if present.

Maize - Actaully an American Indian word for corn. It specifically refers to the hard animal feed corn that is often sold as any of the following: Whole corn, cleaned corn, recleaned corn, feed corn, deer corn, or whole kernal corn.

Margin - The zone along the shoreline. Fishing "in the margins" means fishing close to shore.

Mate - A friend, nothing more (Seriously).

Mirror - A type of carp having few but large scales. Usually there are patches of skin without scales. Sometimes the large scales cover the entire fish creating a fully scaled mirror.

Monkey climber - A visual indicator designed to be wind resistant. An indicator is place on the line and then threaded down a stiff wire stuck in the ground. The movement of the indicator up and down the wire must have reminded some creative soul of a monkey climbinb up and down a pole.

Mug - A frequently caught and photographed fish. Refers to a mug shot.

Multiplier - A level-wind baitcasting reel that rotates the spool multiple time for each complete crank of the handle.

Noddy - A slang term for an inexperienced begginner.

Old hat - means old fashion, known, not new.

Optonics - An old brand of bite alarm that functioned by placing the line on a roller. This was a step forward over the Herons because both pulls and drop back bites could be detected.

Particles - A generic term meaning seeds, beans, nuts, or vegetable used for bait.

Pasties - A slang term for small carp.

Paste - A term meaning doughbait.

PB - Personal Best, the biggest of a particular kind of fish, for example a PB common or a PB mirror or a PB grass carp

Peg - When fishing in a competition, it is the location allotted. Usually there is a drawing for pegs at the beginning of the competion.

Pint - Much more than a unit of measure, it means beer.

Pissed - In the UK this means drunk rather than angry. I downed 5 rum and cokes, now I'm pissed.

Pit - Short for gravel pit. In the UK nearly any hole in the ground fills with water. The gravel pits often produce small numbers of large carp.

Plumbing - A technique used to feel the bottom and measure the depth. Typically, a sliding sinker is placed on the line. A largish bobber is then tied to the end of the line. The combination is cast out. The bobber is reeled up tight to the sinker on the bottom. Then line is pulled from the reel in 1 ft increments. The depth is determined by counting the feet until the bobber surfaces.

Polaroids - Polarized sunglasses intended to cut the reflective glare and make it easier to see fish beneath the surface.

Pop-up - A type of boilie designed to float. Often held close to the bottom by a small weight placed on the line near the hook. Allows the bait to be fished above leaves, weeds, soft silt, etc.

Pre-baiting - chumming. Throwing in free bait to attract the fish to an area. Often pre-baiting is conducted for many days before fishing. Extensive pre-baiting is called a baiting campaign.

Public house - Longhand for Pub, a beer drinking and social establishment

PVA - poly Vinyl Acetate A plastic like material that disolves in water. It is often used to attach extra bait near the hook an the dissolve away before the fish comes along. It is made into bags, string, mesh bags etc.

Quiver - A holder for transporting fishing rods. Similar to an archery quiver with the rods replacing the arrows.

Readymades - Boilies that are premade and bought at the tackle shop. Al(ready made) and ready to fish.

Recce - To check out an area without fishing. Watching for signs of fish, patterns, other anglers, etc.

Remote - A wireless unit that sounds a bite alarm even when the fisherman is some distance from the rods or inside a shelter.

Result - A catch of fish as in, "We had quite a result."

Rod pod - A rod holder for use during fishing. Unlike a forked stick, a rod pod is able to be set up on concrete and other hard surfaces.

Rota - short for rotation. On some sydicates (see below) the fishermen fish the waters in shifts. Some the first half of the week others the second half or maybe on a week off a week.

Running rig - A rig using a sliding weight. The fish should be able to move with the bait without feeling the resistance of the weight.

Screamer - A rapid take which causes the alarm to sound in a fast series of beeps that blend into a constant screaming monotone.

Semi-fixed - A means of attaching a weight so that it does not freely slide yet can slide or come off if a fish is broken off during the fight. Bolt rigs are semi-fixed. The lead is held tighlty enough to hook the fish but not so tightly it cannot be pulled off when the mainline breaks.

Session - The time spent fishing. Often measured in days for Uk fishermen. Session fishing involves a combination of camping and fishing around the clock.

Shoal - A School of fish.

Smashed - Means the line was broken by a fish.

Snide Rod - An extra rod beyond that legally allowed.

Snotty - A descriptive term for a bream. Bream are a nusiance species that often take carp anglers baits.

Snowman rig - A method of attaching two boilies on a single hair with the heavier sinking boilie nearest the hook and the pop-up nearest the hair stop. In profile it resembles a two section snowman.

Social - A friendly get together. For example, it was raining so we decided to stay indoors and have a bit of a social until the flood waters receded."

Specimen - A large example of any species. A specimen carp is a trophy, lunker, or hawg.

Spod - A cup like device used to cast and dump bait in a fishing area. Often the device is shaped like a rocket with fins to help it fly strait. The nose is fitted with foam so it floats up and dumps the bait cargo out the back.

Stalking - A method of fishing which involves quietly sneeking up on visible fish and presenting baits to them with great stealth so as not to frighten the fish away.

Stringer - Very different than the American meaning. Here it means a length of PVA string with a few free baits attached as in a 3 bait stringer.

Sultanas - Raisins!

Swan shot - A type of adjustable sinker form by doubling over a short length of mono and then pinching on a string of split shot. The weight is adjusted by removing or adding split shot. It has the benefit of pulling free from the line when snagged.

Swim - A fishing spot. In the UK, many waters have specially prepared areas to make for easier bank angling. Each prepared area is called a swim. Often the swims have descriptive names like "The Island Swim" or "The Bog Swim."

Swinger - A type of visual indicator which can swing up and down as a fish pulls line, but not side to side in the wind.

Sydicate - A group of fishermen that pay money to fish a specific body of water on an ongoing basis. Often the most desired waters have more fishermen wanting to fish than bank space available. In such cases lengthy waiting lists may develop.

Take - A bite or a run when the carp picks up the bait and moves away.

Take away - A drive-thru or carry out food seller.

Taking the piss - Making fun of someone. Making jokes at someone elses expense. For example, "Are you seriously belittling me or are you just taking the piss?"

Throwing Stick - A tubular stick used to throw spherical boiled baits long distances. The throwing stick starts with the bait near the handle. As the throwing motion is made the bait rolls toward the tip picking up speed as it travels. By the time the bait reaches the tip it is hurled at a great velocity.

Tiger Nut - The root nodules of the yellow nutsedge plant. Also called earth almonds and chufa. The nut like nodules are soaked and boiled to produce an effective carp bait that often avoids the attentions of other species.

Torch - Flashlight

Trace - A carry over term from salt water fishing meaning the line attached to the hook, in American terms, the leader.

Unhooking Mat - A pad used to protect the fish while removing the hook. Any padded material that prevents the carp from getting cut and scraped up while lying on the bank can function as an unhooking mat. This item helps the angler return the fish in as nearly the same condition as when it was caught so other anglers can also enjoy catching a healthy fish rather than a tattered one.

Venue - This term refers to the location being fished and is wider in scope than the term swim. For example, "The Chicago River as it flowed between the skyscrapers of downtown Chicago used to be the venue of the CCC."

Waggler - An elongated bobber resembling a pencil bobber.

Watercraft - The ability to read a water and to determine where fish will be located and feeding.

Weigh sling - A device used to cradle the fish during the weighing process. Carp are too heavy to weigh from the lip or gill without inflicting serious damage. A weigh sling is used to hold the carp while the straps from the weigh sling are attached to the scale. An honest fisherman always discounts the weight of the weigh sling when reporting the weight of the fish.

Whacker - Slang term for an unusually large fish. In America we'd call a whacker a lunker, as whopper, or a Hawg!

Wildie - Before King Carp were bred to grow fast and large, the predominant variety of carp in England were smaller, lean looking commons. These fish came to be known as wildies. While not as large as the King Carp, they are now prized for their scarcity.

Zig rig - A rig used to fish a boyant bait up in mid water. Achieved by folding the a long length of line beyond the sinker in a zig zag manner. The folded line is then tied together with dissolving PVA. Once cast, the PVA dissolves and allows the boyant bait to float up off the bottom to the length of the folded line.

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I got trapped in a rainy FL hotel for about 4 days. Did manage to write another MidWest Outdoors article as well. Finished "River Carping" by Neil Wayte, see report elsewhere. Couldn't force myself to watch much TV.

I think a post like this should count as more than one toward my attaining guber status like yourself and Keith :D

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I think a post like this should count as more than one toward my attaining guber status like yourself and Keith 

I agree...you've got may vote. Enjoyed the dictionary. :D

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Pukka: Really good, First-class, Genuine.

Often used by the ECHO folk (english carp heritage organisation)

Pukka fish: English carp

Tukka: Food knifefork

Good post Brian.

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I will post my version of this tomorrow

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Guest Carpazoid

Thanks Brian! :D Now I'll have something to refer to and not look so dumb??..especially when I've had a few beers bonk :D:D

Here's another:

Car Park - Parking Lot

BTW, I believe I've attained 'Uber' as well. :D:D toot

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Couple of points

Carbon and Graphite are seperate substances in the English language

Watercraft - is much more than just "The ability to read a water and to determine where fish will be located and feeding."

Bog - Toilet as in I'm of to the bog

Fanny - is not the butt in English

PVA - Polyvinyl Alcohol not Acetate (Polyvinyl Acetate is used in wood glues and the like)

Anyone noticed that Hood and Bonnet (as in car terms) are both forms of head covering :D

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Guest Newt

Three additions (from a UK friend - the one who showed me how to tie a hair rig, in fact):

YOMP - A long walk with loads of heavy carp fishing (normally) kit. Coined

by British Infantry in the Falklands campaign.

Numpty - see 'Noddy'

Muppet - see 'Noddy'

Also, according to him, the following definitions are more accurate than those supplied:

Swan Shot - A large size of split shot so called because the unsplit variety

was used in shotguns for shooting swans.

And the definition of swan shot originally given (the doubled over line etc) is referred to as a 'LINK LEGER'

PVA - Poly Vinyl ALCOHOL not acetate (oops - already corrected).

Estate Lake - A purpose built pool associated with a stately home as part of

the gardens and certainly NOT a farm pool.

Ghostie - A cross between a King Carp and a Koi

Knackered - can also mean broken or dysfunctional. "This reel is knackered"

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Keep 'em coming fellas. I'll revise the list accordingly and maybe we can post it to the website proper when it rounds into shape.

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Guest Ian C

Hi all,

I've sent Newt a whole load more but here are some additional ones:

'D- Rig' - type of hair rig with the hair doubled back through the eye to form a 'D'. Can be used with a 'rig ring'

'Carp Barrow or Porter™' - framed wheelbarrow style device to help take the pain out of 'yomping'.

'Realtree' - US camo designed to capture UK anglers.

'Line Clip' - small clip used on the spool for locking line. Also small clip mounted on the rod blank just above the reel seating.

'Clipping Up' - Use of the line clip.

'Balling it in' - Using large balls of groundbait.

''Ballsing/Bollocking it up' - Making a mess of things.

'Pillock' - Idiot or fool

'Prat' - See pillock

'Bloke', 'Geezer', 'Fella' - Anonymous male.

'Going off on one' - Normally refers to a sulk or bad mood. Can refer to a rant or similar.

'Pulling out' - No, not the French view of war or the Catholic view of contraception. Actually the result of a hook pull.

'Hook pull' - The hook coming free from the fishes mouth under tension.

'Bollix' is correctly spelled 'Bollocks' ... 'Bollix' refers to a pronunciation thing. 'Bollocks' is also used much like 'balls' in the US as a scream of despair/frustration. Hammering your finger may cause you to scream 'bollocks!!!'.

'Hangers, danglers & swingers' - Devices used to tension line over a bite alarm

'Buzz Bars' - Spacer bars used on 'bank sticks' and 'rod pods'.

Newt's hair rigs are 'finer than frog hair' ... I can vouch for that :D


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Guest Ian C

Some more:

Method Mix - Precursor to the thick groundbait used with a method feeder

Helicopter Rig - A form of paternoster

Stringer Needle - Long form of baiting needle for making stringers

Bait Drill - Mounted small diameter drill used to bore holes for pierced


Bait Band - Small elastic band used to hold baits

Rig Ring - Small diameter metal ring used for a variety of purposes from

hinges in hooklengths to bait presentation

Marker Float - Very large, bouyant and highly visible float used for

'leading around'. See 'plumbing'.

Leading/Leading around – Plumbing

The 'Full Monty' - Used to refer to a FULL English breakfast. Everything

unhealthy included. Mostly fried stuff.

The 'Method' & 'Method Feeder' - Mealie (sp?) bombs are the closest US idea.

The Method Feeder is a large cage over which sticky groundbait is moulded.

Supposedly coined at Mallory Park fisheries.

'Pole' - does not mean rod. In Europe a pole is a long (up to 20m) sectioned

tube fitted with elastic and used without a reel.

'Beanie' - a non spherical boilie often made by mismatching extrusion

diameter and rolling table diameter

'Chops' - irregular shaped boiles chopped by a knife rather than rolled

'Rolling Table' - device for making shaped balls of paste before boiling

into 'boilies'

'Bait Gun' - device for extruding tubes of paste (normally onto a 'rolling


'Spawny' - 1. Referring to fish breeding or looking likely to. 2. Lucky or 'jammy'

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Add these too

Pastie - small carp (usually under 10lb), alternatively a type of pie

Spunker - smaller carp (usually under 5lb)

Paying the Lake - the act of throwing some small change into the lake in payment for fish to be recieved

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If we keep this up, pretty soon all of the British and US people will be able to communicate! yourock


I'm glad a lot of these are here because now, like Carpazoid says, I have something to refer to.

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Guest Ian C

If we keep this up, pretty soon all of the British and US people will be able to communicate! yourock


I'm glad a lot of these are here because now, like Carpazoid says, I have something to refer to.

It would help if you US guys gave us Brits some stuff to translate too ...

What are the confusing terms?

We might talk about 'Horseshoe' and 'Redmire' and I'll bet a load of US carpers don't know what they are.

just ask away guys ...

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Guest Ian C
Ian - super glad to see you on here.  Welcome.

And you may recognize the hat.  :D

I'm just a normal member of our UK Carp Soc ... it's nice to talk to the CAG guys...

Now where is Perdue on here?


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Guest phonebush


The problem with the reverse, American to English is that we have very little heritage with carp. Carp are the predominate species we talk about on these forums. I'm afraid the American to English would have maybe a couple words or phrases.

I'll (we) start thinking "outside the box" and see if we (all of us) can't come up with something.


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Guest Big Carphuna

Ill try to give some of the Brits here some definitions of "urban" english here in the States...just in case their carping takes them into a big city!!

187 - Well, if they mean you, run like hell!

40 - 40oz bottles of beer, usually Schlitz's and Colt "45", that is popular in the city. Often refered to as "Malt Lickahhh"..

Cheddar, loot, bling-bling, cheese, etc..... - Lots of money...something I dont have..:D

Grill , grillwork - teeth...usually with gold,platinum, or even diamonds on them!

Homey, homes (often heard around Austin and other areas of TX and CA...as in "Hey homes"..), chilly, peeps - The same as Fella, Geeza, Bloke, etc..

Crib, da place - Place of living, their house.

Mo-Fo - See above as in "All up in dis Mo-Fo"....

Anything ending in "eezey", as "Up in dis Heezey for sheezey", is just a change in the second part of any word. The above phrase means "Up in this house for sure".... You really gotta use your imagination sometimes with this saying...needs lots of experience.

Jack, pickup, took - Robbing somewhere.

Stylin', la mode, etc - Dressed up nice...looking good. Can also be refered to as "Bing- bling"....especially if said person is wearing lots of jewlery.

Rocks, mentos, shine - Wearing jewlery with lots of diamonds.

20's, dubbs, rollies - Good rims for your cars.....as in "Rollin' on dubbs"...20's stand for 20" rims....the "vogue" size for most sports cars.

Nickle, Dime - well, we wont get into this here.... :D

Gat, Slim - A couple names for guns...

There are more...but this should be a good start.... :D:D

I must emphasize I grew up in cities, so can be considered an expert....to the point some of these saying are part of MY vanacular.....Im not, however, saying which ones!!:D

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I'm just a normal member of our UK Carp Soc ... it's nice to talk to the CAG guys...

Now where is Perdue on here?


Right here mate! :D Welcome aboard! :D

Best way to get a proper list going is to go right to the source I say!

You'll soon have a book Brian! :D

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here's a few off the top of my head US to UK

Leader line between swivel and hook

Weight lead

Pole............. rod

Rod................ rod

Bobber............. float

Stringer......... A device used to keep caught fish (see Phone’s “blunder” post in the Off Topic Discussion Section)

Cork................. see bobber

Slingshot .................Catapult

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This one has been buried for quite awhile. With the growing number of new list participants, I though I'd make a post to drag it back to the top.



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