British Slang

British Slang

Bloke – “Bloke” would be the American English equivalent of “dude.” It means a “man.”

Lad – In the same vein as “bloke,” “lad” is used, however, for boys and younger men.

Bonkers – Not necessarily intended in a bad way, “bonkers” means “mad” or “crazy.”

To leg it – This term means to run away, usually from some trouble! “I legged it from the police.”

Dodgy – This England slang word is used to describe something or someone a little suspicious or questionable. For example, it can refer to food which tastes out of date or, when referring to a person, it can mean that they are a bit sketchy.

Lost the plot – Someone who has “lost the plot” has become either angry, irrational, or is acting ridiculously. For example, “When my dad saw the mess I made, he lost the plot.”

Taking the piss – This is one of the most commonly used British slang phrases. To “take the piss” means to mock, or generally be sarcastic towards something. For example, “Don’t be so serious, I was only taking the piss.” Not to be confused with “being pissed” (see below).

A cuppa  – A cuppa is the shortened version of “a cup of tea.” You might hear the expression “fancy a cuppa?” quite often which is normally always referring to tea. The British do love their tea after all!

Bloody – As British slang, “bloody” places emphasis on a comment or another word. “That’s bloody brilliant!” for example. It is regarded as a mild expletive (swear word) but due to its common usage, it is generally acceptable. For example, “Oh bloody hell!”

Can’t be arsed – A commonly used British slang sentence is “Can’t be arsed.” This is a less polite version of saying that you can’t be bothered doing something. You might also see this abbreviated to “CBA” in textspeak.

Bird – This is British slang for a girl or a woman.

Cheeky – This is used to describe someone’s behavior. If someone is being “cheeky,” they are being slightly rude or disrespectful but in a charming or amusing way. If you are a “cheeky” child, you are being brash or disrespectful and will probably get into trouble.

Sod – This British expression shares a similar meaning to “devil” or “thing” and is used to refer to a person, particularly a man. “You stupid sod!“ or “You lucky sod!” for example.

Pants – In the UK, “pants” typically refers to underwear. However, “pants” can also be used as an equivalent of the word “bad” e.g. “That’s pants!”

Nosh – “That’s real good nosh!” “Nosh” is a British expression for “food.”

To crack on – “To crack on with something” means to get started or continue with something. To use these UK slang words in a sentence you’d say, “It’s getting late, I better crack on.”

Kerfuffle – If you’ve gotten yourself into a “kerfuffle,” you are generally involved in a disagreement with someone. “Kerfuffle” also has a similar meaning to “fuss.” For example, you can say, “It was all a big kerfuffle.”

Innit – This is one of the most commonly heard UK slangs. It’s the shortened and easier version of “isn’t it?” It’s seen as a general filler in a conversation or when seeking confirmation, eg. “Cool, innit.”

Cracking – When something or someone is “cracking” it means that the thing or the person is particularly good or excellent. For example, “He’s a cracking lad” or “That’s a cracking cuppa.”

Minging – This is British slang for “disgusting” or “gross.”

Proper – “Proper” is used as an alternative to “very” or “extremely.” For example, “That’s proper good nosh, innit.”

To nick – This is a British expression to mean stealing. As in “I nicked these sweets from the shop.”

Faffing around – “Faffing around” is a very British pleasure. It means doing nothing particularly productive or taking unnecessary time to do something that should be relatively quick or straightforward.

Insults

Prat – Yet another classic British slang term of insult. A “prat” is someone who is full of themselves and, almost invariably, stupid as well. With a hint of delusion.

Muppet – Another great British insult. A “muppet” is a person who is ignorant and is generally a bit clueless.

Mug – “Mug” is more specifically London slang and is associated with the cockney accent. This is not a particularly nice word to describe someone as it means a fool or a stupid person.

Chav – This is a derogatory British slang word for a young hooligan who normally starts fights and makes trouble. “Chavs” are usually seen as lower class.

Git – “Git” is a British expression of insult. It’s chav slang to describe a person, usually a man, who is very unpleasant, incompetent, or is an idiot.

Daft – Used to mean if something is a bit stupid. It’s not particularly offensive, just a mildly silly or foolish piece of UK slang.

Feelings

Gutted – Meaning of being bitterly disappointed about something. “I was absolutely gutted when I heard the bad news.”

Pied off – This is not a nice feeling. If you’ve been “pied off,” you’ve been rejected or shot down.

Chuffed – If someone is “chuffed,” they are very happy or delighted.

Knackered – “Knackered” is used when someone is extremely tired. For example, “I was up studying all night last night, I’m absolutely knackered.”

Gobsmacked – This is a truly British expression. “Gobsmacked” means to be utterly shocked or surprised beyond belief. “Gob” is a British expression for “mouth”.

Alcohol

Bevvy – This is short for the word “beverages,” usually alcoholic, most often beer.

Trollied / Plastered – These two words are British slang for drunk. One can get creative here and just add “ed” to the end of practically any object to get across the same meaning eg. hammered.

Pissed – The British sure do love their bevvys. This is one of the many British terms for being drunk

Buzzin’ – “Buzzin’” can mean to be tipsy or slightly drunk, “I’m buzzin’ after that pint.” It’s also British slang for being excited or very happy, “I just booked my holiday to Spain, I’m absolutely buzzin’.”

Money

Skint  – “Skint” is a British expression to mean being broke or having no money. Lacking “fivers” and “tenners” if you will (see below).

Fiver – A five-pound note.

Tenner – A ten-pound note.

Quid – This is British slang for British pounds. Some people also refer to it as “squid.”