My Other Blog

What's a Wreck?

A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

Now, don't you have a photo you want to send me? ;)

- Jen

Blimey, Somebody Call 999!

Stewart C., a self-proclaimed "Wreckie-in-Training, UK Division" has informed me that today is the unofficial Emergency Services Day in the UK, on account of it being 9/9/09. (See, here in the U.S. we dial 911 for an emergency, but in the UK, it's 999.) Now, I know what you're thinking: does that mean there's an official Emergency Services Day? And if so, what day is that on? We may never know.

Regardless, I think that we should celebrate this occasion with our perfectly smashing neighbors across the pond, if only so I can liberally sprinkle what few bits of British slang I know gratuitously throughout. So, with a hi and a ho, and a cheerio, let's go!

Oi! See here, now: This poor sod's not only hit the sleeping policeman of the century, but he was apparently eaten by those dodgy spiders as well. 'Sa right shame, tha' is. The date's quite fitting, though, innit? Pip pip!

Cor! Did you know there's actually a cake kit for car accidents? Straight up. Check it out:

For today, I think I'll call this the "Bangers & Mash Cake." Just take a gander at the ickle bobby wagon! Bent as a bottle of a chips, is what that is. [nodding earnestly]

And here's how you add a bit of jiggery pokery to a car wreck cake:

Say, where IS the accident? This cake is all fur coat and no knickers, if you know what I'm saying. (What, you don't? Oh. Well, that makes two of us.)

And to really throw a spanner in the works, you could add a little fancy man jibber jabber:

Gaw, that's right cheeky, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick, eh? Bob's your uncle!

Hey Hunter S., Tara T., Tim G., and Michelle B., if Bob's your uncle, then how's your father?

John's Helpful Index For Ruddy Yanks:
Oi!- Hey there!
Poor Sod- A pitiable fellow
Sleeping policeman- Speed bump
Dodgy- Risky, suspicious
'Sa right shame, tha' is- How unfortunate
Cor!- My goodness!
Straight up- True True
Ickle bobby wagon- Small police car
Bent as a bottle of a chips- Crooked
Jiggery pokery- Deception
All fur coat and no knickers- No substance beneath
Spanner- Wrench
Fancy man jibber jabber- Love talk
Gaw- Exclamation
Right Cheeky- Attractively impudent
Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick- Not so bad
Bob's your uncle!- There you have it!
How's your father?- A nudge-nudge wink-wink bit of innuendo
Ruddy Yanks- Americans

Related Wreckage: Transformers Going Down In Flames

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Reader Comments (147)

whoa! That was like being in french class all over again. Like, it was homework. That post was WORK! Good. Now I don't have to go to the gym.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpeewee

Anon, it's "tickety-boo", although I've heard "that's the ticket" more, and they're supposedly related.

Thanks Jen, I had a good giggle at that. Needed the translation at points too, but then I need the same sometimes for my fellow countrymen (and women)!

Do Americans use the phrase "takes the cake" or "takes the biscuit"? For example: "winning that sports car just takes the cake" means "winning that sports car is the best thing ever". It means being the best at something or that something is the best. The opposite of "takes the piss" basically.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEmma (a slightly odd Brit)

it's a right good post, innit?

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNil Zed

your new format is awful. I can't change the text size so that I can read anything. Change it back please so this lady with the coke bottle glasses can read it again!!!!

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennfer

awright treacle! how's it hanging me old mukka? john bruv, your missis is proper funny innit!
Ha ha ha ha ha!
i've read your blog for ages now and never felt such an urge to comment. But being English and living in south london, i think that was knicker-wettingly funny! i've heard all those phrases used - 'cept for the bottle of chips one - in genuine conversation!
i reckon you should try a bit of the ole cockney rhyming slang, i think you'd get it bang-on!

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea B

I think we should all be thankful that no one at these bakeries had access to gel icing and red food coloring.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwe took the bait

You know you're a dork when you read the post in your head with a British accent ;)

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

whoa boy. as a brit myself, i'm not sure whether to feel amused, ashamed, or irritated. all of the above, perhaps? ruddy yanks indeed! ;)

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTomLehrerLover

This is a funny wreck topic. Kinda strange, this "Holiday" and all. I like the cakes though -

Also - lovin' the new look. (Yes, I've been away awhile).

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Of course there were all those accidents! No traffic lights, no stop signs - those were collisions waiting to happen!

I couldn't help reading today's post with my "Jim Dale" voice (he narrates all the "Harry Potter" audiobooks, and I've listened to each of them at least a dozen times while I'm at work). Classic lexicon today, Jen.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

We don't all talk like we just walked off the set of Mary Poppins, y'know. Some of us are quite well educated.
So stop taking the piss, gobshite.
(Just kidding! Love your stuff.)

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Hickmott

I'm from the UK, love the blog, and I've heard all of them except 'bobby wagon' and 'bent as a bottle of chips' - it's 'bent as a nine-bob note' in my neck of the woods (since a nine-shilling note would obviously be a forgery). I've even used a few of your phrases, so they're not that unusual.

Fur coat and no knickers is generally used to cast aspersions on a woman's morals. 'All mouth and no trousers' might be more appropriate, meaning that bold claims aren't fulfilled. You can probably work out the derivation of that one yourself :)

Anyway, as they say in Bristol, those are gurt macky wrecks. Thanks for sharing.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte


first time commenting i believe..though i've been reading for a bit...

enjoyed the cakes and the slang..
but completely broke down laughing at tigerwolf's "song"

(because i recognized the stinkin' thing! lol)

bushel and a peck to y'all for such a great site.


September 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commentereileen pennington

Had to stick in my 'penorth again LOL its fun and banter,not griping.
Im not clecking on you ,Tidy mun,Chware a teg, Dim upset.
BUT Jeeves and Wooster? comedy stories written 50 years ago? by a comedy englishman who camped it up on purpose? as a guide to the UK?
Thats like using Mark Twain as a guidebook to USA now.or Amos and Andy.
And Engerlund Engerlund |Engerlund for the Cup! our girls playing the Krauts today 10.09.09 !!!

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdiddleymaz

Just a quickie from over the pond -What kinda strange people are you getting your English slang from!!

Thought you might like to add a bit of "Scottish slang" to repertoire - "Fit like Min, Foos yer doos?" translation - "Hello there Sir/Madam, How are things with you?"
Thanks for a great site, our whole family finds it a riot. Kerri x

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChaotic Kerri

I didn't know that so many of those expressions weren't used outside the UK... I'm proud to belong to a nation that routinely says 'better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick'. But I've never met anyone who says 'bent as a bottle of chips' - though I hope to do so soon.

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStuckInABook

Please never, ever do that again, I've never read anything so painful.

- A Brit

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Long time reader and first time commentator dragged out of the woodwork.
I'm a 50 mumble mumble woman from Shropshire UK. The vast majority of phrases you quoted were instantly recognisable, if not in those exact words, but certainly in words approximating.
Yes, no one but Bertie Wooster says "pip pip", the "Ickle bobby wagon" is a total mystery to me and "Fancy man jibber jabber" sounds like a chat up line from "1984" (the book, not the year). As to the rest, use any of them and you would be as one with both my family and my colleagues!
John, when hearing "Bob's your uncle" the usual response is "Fanny's your Aunt". Another regular greeting is "Ha do cocker - how's your mother off for soap?" meaning is all well in your world. Other than these date back to ITMA, a war time radio programme I can cast no light. I must live in some kind of dialectic bubble, but truly all these and many many more are in regular use. In the most commonly used word of praise in these parts, your blog and the discussions they prompt are all "bostin".

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMort's Mom

Another top post! But...

The cockney slang made my eyes sad, please don't do it again?

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGuff

I always thought the phrase 'jibber-jabber' came from the A-Team. When I was at school, we often told each other to 'quit your jibber-jabber' in a Mr T voice. I've never heard of a 'bobby-wagon' either, as I always thought wagon was a word we got from the US, but bobby is the right term for the police. Our politicians often talk about putting 'more bobbies on the beat' as something they'll do if elected. Sadly this doesn't mean dancing police, but just getting the police out patrolling in public, rather than sat at the station doing paperwork. Telling someone that they're a 'right bobby dazzler' is something completely different though (and is a compliment).

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbi

Don't... just, don't.

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Doctor

I knew having some British friends would come in handy someday; didn't have to use the lexicon for most of those. ;)
That was funny. Definitely very literal cake wrecks. :)

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

HehHeh, glad to see we Brits can hold our own in wreckiness stakes. I've got a birthday coming up soon - maybe I should ask for a road-accident cake?

We don't have an official emergency services day. Perhaps we should.

I assume you went to the Dick van Dyke school of English Idiom & Slang.....

I've never heard the expression 'bent as a bottle of chips' - normally it would be 'bent as a nine-bob (or £3, for the post-decimal generations) note'

Your affectionate neighbour

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarjorie

all those coloquials (ooh, how do you spell that word?) make me think of Harry Potter when Tonks keeps saying 'Wotcher 'arry' and I had to go online to figure out what the heck 'wotcher' meant.

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercannwin

'''Sa right shame, tha' is. The date's quite fitting, though, innit? Pip pip!''

Congrats on knowing british slang from every class/era/location and then mashing them together into one beautiful sentence... made me laugh out loud!!

Nice one, bruv ;)

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Fancy man jibber jabber? we do not either say that.
Where did you get all that gaff?
Sort it out luv!

I'm well insulted.

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

LOL! Good attempt at the British slang... but I think it's a few decades old!! I'm British and had to look at your translations hehe!!

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHolly Wilcox

Reading this entry made me cringe so hard. Please don't do that ever again.

September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterArwen

Pip pip, cheerio, Harry Potter!

You are crackin' on this one, you are... I mean, you are the dog's bollocks!

Thanks for the London funny,


September 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJen Huddleston

@The Doctor and @ Some Frood
Oh my god, I LOVE finding fellow geeks! Doctor, don't think I missed your Midnight reference, either! :D
oh, and i definitely recognize 'bobby wagon'. dunno what folks in the other commenters' areas are talking about.

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTomLehrerLover

Did they create these cakes just to be on the 'wreck' blog? Or is this where you got the inspiration for your blog name?

LOL I can't even imagine a place where a wreck would be appropriate for birthday wishes...

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I need a settler (translation: stomach antacid tablet) after seeing those.

Thanks for trying to put cakes to right, from a Britophile stuck in the northern US (with only Canadian English as a meagre substitute).

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEdinaCake-Eater

just to let u know its
bent as a nine bob note
lol as in there is no nine bob note

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

your British slang was hilarious, i think we should see this used in more posts!

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Cor blimey guvna, I larfed like a drain!

Now can anyone confirm, to be a true Cockney you have to be born with bow legs?

September 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCasey

My 4 year old says about this post "All those cars in the picture fell down!"

September 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergoldenecho

Actually the phrase "Bob's your uncle!" has its origin in British Military slang. Its original meaning was more akin to 'you have nothing to worry about' rather than 'there you have it.' It refers to Lord Roberts, a famous Victorian soldier and eventual Field Marshall and commander of all British Forces (until 1904).

His nickname to his troops was 'Bobs' and his favor meant the making of a career as his word was golden in the social circles of the day.

Hence, 'Bob's your uncle' = 'No worries'.


September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSullivan013

He he - I love this post, but your British slang is all London, Mareee Pawpinns.
Yorkshire slang is much more creative. For example you could denfinately describe some cake wrecks as "looking like a bucket of smashed crabs". We also call a mouth a "Cake hole" :-)

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Quirky Confectioner

I've scanned the comments, so do forgive me if I'm posting something that's already been said, but the only way I've ever heard "All fur coat & no knickers" used is to mean "looks classy, but is actually a bit of a dirty ho"

And, for the anonymous commenter - your fave phrase is actually "Tickety-boo", like a nice tick-tock clock working right. Sounds the same as "tiggerty boo", but at least you'll know what you're saying! ;)

It is an excellent phrase, I agree.

I've never ever heard or seen the 'bent as a bottle of chips' phrase, but it make sense, as chips come a bottle, do they? They come in a nice paper parcel.

My eyes are also bleeding, but gor' bless ya, I loves you too much to care.

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlaurie pink

I want to commend you on your correct usage of the English phrases! Though, I don't believe I've ever heard anyone use 'Pip Pip' in conversation, only Americans thinking they are speaking "Briddish" ;-)

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCraig 'Anthony' ;-)

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Instead of "Ruddy Yanks" it's "Septic Tanks". Septic for short ;P

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I'm british and I was laughing so much at this post. I love America's perception of us. I also have NO idea what a bent bottle of chips is so thanks for the key at the bottom!

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSelf

Straight up is a new one on me as British slang, I admit.

September 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Shouldn't Ruddy Yanks = United Statians?
I've never heard it used in reference to Canadians, Mexians, Chileans, Brazilians etc.


October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaldasan

With reference to your 'British Slang' - the phrase is 'Bent as a none bob note', referring to pre-decimalised currency of pounds shillings and pence - when a shilling was referred to as a 'bob' and clearly a none shilling note would have been a blatant forgery.

Happiefaerie, UK

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Sorry - it's also a Paddy Wagon, not a Bobby Wagon. The Bobby is the policeman (from Robert Peel who is credited with 'inventing' the police force) and the black vans that they usde to drive were commonly called Black Maria's or Paddy Wagon (as in used to transport the Irish).

November 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

haha, your british accent was a true frankensteins monster of all sorts of diferent british accents! This idea that you Yanks seem to have about their actually being A british accent (like there is only one) cracks me up. :P There are actually dozens if not hundreds of wildly varying british accents. It always makes me laugh watching tv shows on the internet made with actors that have various northern accents like brummie or east yorkshire, because the amount of people thinking that the shows aren't made by the british (according to the comments) is amazing. The most internationally known and understood accents tend to be southern british accents, the many London accents in particular.
From a Grimbarian, (not many brits know of that accent, mostly because we are over-shadowed by the ridiculousness of the nearby Hullites, no offense to Hullites intended, I know you make fun of Grimbarians and Cleethespians too, and everyone likes to gang up on Louth anyway!) ;P

February 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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