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Synonyms: britpicking, brit-picked.
See also: Beta, Britfic, Yank-wank, Britpickery
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(v. and n.) To proofread a work of fanfiction in order to ensure that British (or more widely, United Kingdom) characters and settings are accurately depicted, using correct language, spellings, slang and colloquialisms.

The term appeared in Harry Potter fandom around 2003, presumably because American and other cultures were not familiar with the British culture that the Wizarding world exists in.[1][2]

American and other non-British fans writing stories set in or characters native to the United Kingdom (e.g. some segments of bandom, LOTRPS, Doctor Who, Sherlock (BBC), etc.) sometimes put out a call for United Kingdom fans to help them with a spot of Brit-picking, in order to ensure the veracity of their characters' interactions, settings and speech. For instance, an American might take his flashlight out to investigate the loud noise from the garbage cans in the backyard; a British character might take his torch out to investigate the loud noise from the dustbins in the back garden. More generally, a Brit-picker might correct a story that showed British police casually going about armed with handguns, British teenagers attending the senior prom, or other such assumptions.

Conversely, British writers in American fandoms sometimes have the same problem in reverse, and need someone to check that their work uses US/American idioms and cultural references rather than British ones.

The term Brit-pick is a pun on "nit-pick," the act of pointing out minor errors or mistakes; however, "-pick" has evolved to become an all-purpose fannish suffix, meaning "to beta with an emphasis on accuracy in some area where the author lacks sufficient knowledge." The topic could be a different nationality/culture, or some other topic such as religion, law, the military, medical knowledge, different eras of history, etc. Terms like "Ameri-pick," "Kiwi-pick," or "medi-pick" are quite common, though someone might also refer to the person providing this service as simply "my history beta" or "my cooking beta."

Britpicking LJ communities: britpickery, dw_britglish, hp_britglish


  1. ^ " Usenet news group".
  2. ^ Google as Nov 10. "League of Extraordinary Fanfiction betas list". Archived from the original on 2004-06-15. Retrieved 2009-12-27. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)