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          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 four score 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!
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 boil your head.
Get stuffed!
Get knotted!
Piss off!
Bugger off!
Clear off!
Clear the area.
Vacate the premises
Keep Out
No Entry
No admittance (except on business )
Callers by appointment only
Sorry, No Callers at House
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”!

The Independent Wednesday Feb 25 1998



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© Caroline Kington