If there is one thing that most people in the world agree with, it is the idea that British accents and slang is the best. While the days of the British ruling the world are long behind, English is now an international language that is used as a universal language and every country has its own English. However, there are some terms that are deeply entangled in British culture, and that is where British slang emerges from.
British slang is, in a way, a language in a language. British shows like “Downtown Abbey”, “Fleabag”, “Bodyguard”, “Black Mirror”, “The Crown”, to name a few, have really brought British slang into focus and increased the global fascination with the British slang.
This focus has lead to an increase in the interest in its slang, and its usage, and everyone wants a guidebook. Sometimes, British slang can be quite confusing, because it can certainly sound odd at times. Some of the phrases used may completely elude us as we use those words to refer to something different. Some just sound odd and confusing.
Using British slang words are a great way to expand your vocabulary, and saying things in a different way.
75 Must-Know British Slang Words and Phrases
Most of the time your friends would not even know what you are talking about, making it funnier!Here is the only guidebook you will need to understand that charming and quaint British slang:
Cheerio: Americans will be confused by this, but when the British say “cheerio” it is not the cereal they refer to, but actually is a slang word that is used to say goodbye.
Dive – No, we are not talking about leaping into the swimming pool. “Dive” is how the British say that something isn’t very nice, or has taken a turn for the worse. “Taking a dive” is another way of saying that something is not as nice as it used to be.
Nosh – is slang for food.
Snookered- Use snookered if you are in a situation where there is no escape. Or use it when you and your friends are playing a game and you have cornered them. It is all about how you choose to see things!
Put a sock on it- Do you want to be rude to someone but not so much that they will be offended? Use this British slang phrase, which means be quiet. Some may understand, some may not, but you will know and be satisfied with it!
Fit- a British word for attractive! It might get confusing because fit usually means being in physical good health, but hey, it’s shorter and easier to say.
Skint- how to say you are broke without actually saying it? Just say skint, it means the same thing! You can also use the word ‘skinflint’ to describe your stingy friend.
Learn More British slang Phrases
Piece of cake- Do you want to impress your boss by telling him or her that the job they assigned was very easy? Say that it was a piece of cake. They will not only be impressed with your work but also your vocabulary.
Wonky- a versatile British slang word for shaky and unstable. It can be used for both people and objects. For example, you can say that the table’s leg is wonky.
Fag- While Americans use it as a deragatory term for gays, the British use it to refer to a cigarette. “Taking a fag break” or “smoking a fag” are two ways to use this term.
Blimey- a slang word to express your surprise with something. It is usually used to express a pleasant surprise and not something ugly.
Cheeky- this slang word is used to describe a person who is being a little rude or disrespectful but in a cute way, without meaning to offend.
Eejit- just another way of saying idiot. British slang words make great insults, and most people would not even know that you’re insulting them. A definite plus.
Bloke- A slang word for ‘dude’ or ‘man’.
Zonked- Are you very sleepy, or want to say that someone is sleeping? Use the British slang word zonk. It can be applied in both the scenarios.
Starkers- a British slang word for nude or naked.
Mugging off- a very interesting way to say take advantage of something and fooling a person.
More British English Learning Guide
Posh- This is a classic British slang word that everyone is familiar with. Posh means high class and sophisticated. If you want to praise a fancy venue or dress, use the word posh. It is a much better way of expressing your admiration. Posh can also be used derogatorily. It is all up to you!
Yonks- a very interesting way to say that you have not done something in a very long time. An example of this can be” I haven’t attended a class in yonks
Twee — Small and dainty, or even quaint. A very British expression
Waffle- a British slang word for going on and on about something.
To skive- a British slang verb for saying missing a class or work deliberately and playing truant.
Yakking- a slang word for talking endlessly. An example of usage can be “what are you yakking about?”
Beef- Just had a fight or disagreement with someone and need a better way to describe it? Use the word beef instead by saying “I had a beef with him” yesterday.
Pissed- another word for drunk and
Vibe- a slang word for atmosphere, mood and feelings.
Mate- It does not mean a life partner, it means a friend in Britain! It is a great way to express your affection for someone.
The bee’s knees- This slang word has a number of uses. It is used to describe something you value highly, but can also be used in a sarcastic way. It is all about making the right choices!
Bog roll- a very funny slang word for toilet roll, or toilet paper.
Uni- the British have the best short forms of long words and phrases. Uni is a short form of university, and is now used everywhere in the world because it is much easier to say.
Travelers Guide to More British Slang Words
Gutted- Are you really sad and disappointed with someone or even yourself and are running out of words? Use gutted. The impact will be greater than sad.
Barmy- Crazy, mad and insane are just so boring. Everyone uses it. The next time you want to call someone crazy, say barmy instead.
Odds and sods- a charming phrase that is used as a replacement for ‘bits and pieces’.
Quid- just another British word for pound!
Porkies- a funnier, more interesting word for lies. This word Porkies is a short form, the actual phrase is “telling pork pies”. Porkies, then, becomes the slang word for a slang phrase.
Scrummy- Want to praise someone’s cooking and you have already used the word delicious and tasty? Say ‘scrummy’ instead, which is a shortened form of scrumptious and delight your hosts.
Sick- This word doesn’t only mean being physically unwell. British youth used it as a way of saying cool. Who would have thought that being sick will become cool one day?
Git- The British certainly have a colourful language and this is a slang word for an incomptent idiot. This word is widely used in television shows, movies and novels, and is slowly becoming very popular in the entire world.
Give/get a bollocking- A very creative slang word for scolding. You may be sad after getting one, but just using this word makes it funnier.
Aye- Saying yes is just so boring and mainstream. Start saying ‘aye’. You will feel like a sailor without actually being one!
Gnashers- a very funny slang word for teeth. It is used by others as an action by saying ‘gnashing your teeth’ but British slang words are all about cutting down on time.
British Phrases That will Confuse Your Self
Throw a spanner in the works- an interesting British way of saying that someone has made a mistake and is preventing something from going smoothly.
Fiver- a slang word for a five pound note. Time is money, so save your time by using this word for money!
Collywobbles- This very cute sounding British slang word is another way of expressing your acute nervousness.
Full of beans – a slang phrase for saying that someone is very energetic and vivacious. Much more interesting than saying something blah like ‘energetic’.
Dodgy- a slang word used to describe something that is unusual, evasive, unreliable and suspicious. A quintessentially British expression.
Muppet- a British slang word for idiot. Add colour to your insults and thank the British for this interesting vocabulary!
Tenner- a British slang term for a ten pound note.
Wazzock- What do you say when you want to call someone an idiot but want to say it several times? Just call the person a ‘wazzock’. You’ll be insulting someone and sound smart doing it.
Not my cup of tea- The British love of tea has also found its way in its slang. It is definitely fitting in a way. “Not my cup of tea” means that something is not to your liking.
Chuffed- a slang word for proud. Certainly sounds better!
Miffed- Offended is so boring. Use ‘miffed’ and stun your friends with you British slang vocabulary.
Kerfuffle- what the British say when they were involved in a disagreement , or if someone is creating a fuss.
Codswallop- how do you make the phrase rubbish more interesting? By using this awesome British slang word!
Cock-up- A very colourful, British way for saying ‘mixed up’.
Reem – A British slang term for something nice, good or cool that has its roots in Essex.
Small Dictionary of English Colloquialisms
Cuppa- Just another way of saying ‘a cup of tea’. The British love their tea, and it is not surprising that they have come up with a shortened term for it.
Botched- a slang word for a situation in which something does not go according to the plan.
Brass monkeys- a very unique slang word for freezing cold and is very appropriate to describe the British climate.
Cheers- A widely used term, cheers has a lot of meanings and is not just used when you click your glasses with your friends. It is used to say thank you and express gratitude.
Hunky-dory- This may seem like a nursery rhyme’s name but it actually means that everything is alright. You can use it when someone asks you how you are doing. It may confuse some, but it is definitely a unique word.
Uncle Ned- no, this is not someone’s uncle’s name, it is a British slang word for bed!
Lost the plot- no, this doesn’t mean losing the plot of a book. This means that someone is very angry or exasperated and has stopped making sense.
Lurgy- use this British slang word for the flu or the cold the next time you fall sick.
15 Typical British Slang Words
Chips- no, when the British say chips, they do not mean our average Lay’s chips, they call that crisps. Chips is what the British call fries, and is commonly used in the famous British dish fish and chips.
Grockel- We have all been annoyed by tourists, and this derogatory slam word for tourists is a great way of expressing our irritation!
Chock-a-block- What do you say when your room is crammed with things? Say “chock-a-block’, it sounds so much more interesting.
Jim jams- No, it is not the biscuit, but how the British say “pyjamas”. Yes, you read that right. Imagine someone saying “I am going to get into my Jim Jams” without knowing what they mean.
Daft- just another British slang word for stupid, silly or foolish.
Chunder- a slang word for vomitting or being sick. It sounds much better than its alternatives.
Damp squib- a very interesting way to refer to something which fails on all accounts.
Knackered- This is a classic British slang word that means extremely tired. It is among the most widely used phrases in the world, and sometimes you can hear non-Britishers casually use it in everyday conversation.
Bloody- just another charming slang word that places emphasis on the word that comes after it. Even though it is an expletive, it is used widely by people of all ages and is used globally.
Taking the piss – If you hear this being used, it means that laughing at someone without being offended. British slang words certainly make long things and phrases easier to say!
The British slang is English language slang used in United Kingdom and also used in Anglophone countries. This short dictionary of British slang includes popular words and phrases that you should know if you are a frequent flyer to Britain .