SEARCHsearch icon
  • Hidden

Leaves on the Line

What the British say ... And what they really mean

Martin Toseland

Simon Toseland



ISBN: 9781907554858

Price: £ 9.99

Publication date: 5 September 2013

Category: Humour

In every walk of life, from relationships, to work, to politics, sport and the news, our everyday use of English harbours duplicities of meaning. We say ‘I’m sorry’ when we mean ‘absolute nonsense’, and write ‘Yours faithfully’ when we’re thinking ‘Sod you!’ Jealousy, rage, love, affection – we’re equally good at disguising them all. Leaves on the Line compiles this secret language – this ‘double English’ – in a hilarious and forthright volume exposing the doublespeak of the British language. For the first time, everyday terms  which we casually deploy to loved ones and total strangers, and have been thrown at us from the radio or TV will be ‘glossed’ (yes, we really mean ‘stripped’) to reveal the unadorned, raw truth below. The book will be over 200 hilarious phrases of common doublespeak and will be essential reading for everyone from puzzled foreigners to young people to whom the dark art of linguistic dissembling are not yet second nature. The book includes phrases and the truths behind them, such as:

Transport: ‘This service is delayed because of leaves on the track…’

Social: I’m not being racist but…’

Weather: ‘Nice weather we’re having…’

Sport: ‘We’re taking each game as it comes…’

Relationships: ‘I’ve never met anyone like you before…’

Polititcs: ‘Spending on health has increased in real terms, year on year, since we were elected…’

Word count: 30,000


Martin Toseland is a writer and editor, having worked for both Penguin and HarperColllins. He is an authority on language-related subjects.



Simon Toseland is an author of many books including Oz & James Drink to Britain. The are both authorities on language-related subjects.