I'm American and I'm writing a short story, one of the characters of which is British. I'm trying not to go overboard in my attempt to replicate British English in this character's speech, but I'm stumped about how to casually express the sentiment that one thing cannot compare to another. I want to say "they've got nothing on me," but I'm not sure this is idiomatically British. It sounds American to my ear. Is there an equivalent, or is this expression actually used in (some form of) British English; or should I just use "cannot compare to?"
If the sense is something like:
Smith thinks he's the best English teacher in the school, but he's got nothing on me.
then it wouldn't be unidiomatic. Maybe something like:
Smith thinks he's the best English teacher in the school, but he's nothing compared to me.
is more typically British (or, at least, less typically American).
The British equivalents to "they've got nothing on me" could be
- "they're not as good as me"
- "are they as good as me?" (stated rhetorically)
- "they don't compare to me"
- "they've got nothing on me" as others have said, but I give lower marks for it
- "they can't touch me" but it may also be too American
PS: I grew up in Britain, but it was a long time ago and idioms of course change. I'm now Canadian, and we pick and choose between British, American and our own English at random.