Did you know that there are around 40 different English dialects in the UK, each with its own accent and slang? This can create a lot of confusion when exploring the country or even watching the latest UK TV series.
To get you started, here are some of my favorite British Isles slang, phrases and expressions.
01. in this
What a great way to start the list. A donkey is your ass (not to be confused with a donkey being a donkey). But it could also be a reference to a boring person: "stop being such an idiot".
Make jokes, often at the expense of others in your organization. The British love to crack jokes, and anyone with a good joke is likely to be popular. Even if it looks like we're insulting each other from the outside, it's actually a show of affection.
It is mostly used in London to mean "many". "There were naked men at the rave."
Note the use of "mann" in the singular to mean "men" or even "people". I just added some extra slang for free.
04. Are there?
Crazy. "That's a stupid idea."
The British love to have fun. A binge can last a significant amount of time and involve large amounts of alcohol or drugs. "He made a curve for a week." Think rock stars, mid-90s footballers, and Prince Harry.
A man. Often used with the suffix "good". "He's a nice guy."
You don't care if you did something you shouldn't have done. "I didn't do my homework and the teacher really screwed me over."
testicles They can also "talk nonsense" (talk nonsense or lie) and if something is "nonsense" it is not true. Not used in polite company.
It can mean "mad" or "angry" depending on the context. Someone can be "completely crazy" or "insane" (the latter can also mean losing one's temper).
Used in Scotland, this word means 'beautiful' or 'beautiful' and is usually used in relation to a woman. Some believe it has its origin in the French wordintestine, which means "good".
Short for "brother", this London street slang is used to refer to a friend. "Are you okay, brother?"
12. Screw it all
Absolutely nothing. "I screwed up all her shit today."
13. A soma
It is mostly used in Manchester to mean "very excited/happy". "I swear".
A versatile word that can be used as a toast to thank someone or even to say goodbye.
What's more British than fish and chips? And the best place to get some of them is at your local Chippy's. Don't forget the mushy peas.
To be happy or satisfied with something. Often preceded by the word "pretty" or "pretty" because Brits don't like to show off. "I am very happy with my results in this exam."
An exclamation of surprise. "My God, did you see that?" See more use cases atthis instructional videoby British rapper Bigz.
Short for "of course" and usually followed by a word like "fellow" or "bruv". "Did you take care of that thing? Of course, bruv."
London street slang for tennis (which the British callsports shoes).
It used to mean 'a lot', especially in the north of England. "Have you seen the boy? He's drop-dead gorgeous.
Unreliable. A person can be doubtful, but so can be an object: "I think I had a questionable curry."
a britishcolloquial term for money.
London slang for the area you're from. It is important to represent your goals.
This slang word for cigarettes doesn't have derogatory connotations in the UK, but it causes all sorts of problems for Brits visiting the US. They just want a cigarette, guys.
It is used as a verb to show desire for something or someone. "I really like her" is a declaration of love, but you can also ask someone "Would you like to get some lunch?"
A shortened version of "Family" mainly used in London. It can refer to your real family, but it's usually just the way you greet a friend. "Are you okay family?"
A £5 note.
While most Britons think of "food" as something you eat, it's also street slang for drugs. Think twice before asking someone if they know a good place to eat...
Slang for the national sport of football. This is the game you play with your feet, hence the name. Don't say football to a Brit. You can earn a dollar.
House. "Do you want to get around my hook?"
boss or manager. Often known as "The Gaffer".
It is used in northern England to mean "thirsty".
Mostly heard in London, it means "ladies". See also Almond.
Someone from Newcastle. It can also be used as an adjective to describe something from Newcastle.
A mouth. If someone is bothering you, you can say, "Shut up." Better from a distance, as there may be repercussions.
36. ¡Gordon Bennett!
An exclamation of surprise. The origin of this phrase is disputed, but the most likely candidate for the phrase's inspiration is an eccentric and wealthy newspaper owner namedJames Gordon Bennet Jr..
£1000. Interestingly, it is only used in the singular. Whether it's 1,000 or 20,000, never add an "s" at the end. Also used as an adjective for 'fantastic' in parts of northern England: 'That's great'.
38. Grass above
Report someone to the authorities. May refer to a person who referred to you as "weed".
39. Have a leash
Throw a tantrum or get angry. It is used in young children, adolescents and adults.
A short form of "not like that" that can be added to the end of sentences for emphasis. "Damn, it's too hot today, no!"
A short time. "I'll be with you shortly."
It is used as an adjective to mean "funny" or simply "entertaining". "We're going to town tonight man, this is going to be a prank."
Extremely tired. A possible result of a knee.
44. Knees up
A lively party. "We had some knee pain last night."
A penis, but also a boring person. "Don't be so stingy."
It is generally understood in London as "too much effort" or "annoying".
A shower. The origins of this word are disputed, but every Brit knows what you mean when you say "I'm just going to the loo".
It is often referred to as "excellent" or "very good" in Wales, but also in parts of northern England.
Someone from Manchester.
50. From you
Mostly heard in London, it means "men". See toogaldem.
Another London term that describes the area you're from.
A form of address, usually addressed to a man, but not always. "How are you buddy?"
Crazy. An object or event can be mental (“Did you see the target? Mental!”) and also a person (“The new mental taskmaster”). When someone "freaks out", it means they got really mad.
54. Merc (or merk or darkness)
You'll find several spellings of this word, which is mostly used in London and means "to kill". "It was noticed last week."
It is usually referred to as "cool" in Manchester.
56. And relieve
very rich "She is absolutely impressed, man."
Cash. "He moolahs a lot." Yes, the British have a lot of slang for money.
A face or an idiot, depending on the context. "He has an ugly face" would be the first, "Do you think I'm a face?" would be the second.
Tasteless, looks cheap. It is usually used with "a little". "These curtains are a little strange, don't you think?"
be arrested. Possibly because you stole something.
A little cold, as if the cold air was biting your skin. "It's a little spicy, isn't it?"
A crazy person. "He's a complete idiot."
London street slang for someone who cannot be trusted.
Another London term for someone or something attractive or desirable. A person can be Peng, but he can also be food. check out somepeng chicken.
66. pig's ear
If you've made a pig's ear out of something, you've really screwed up. "He made a complete pig's ear out of this project."
An idiot or an annoying person.
One beer. Beer is drunk from pints in the UK, which is still fighting valiantly against encroachment on the EU's mandatory metric system. A UK pint is about 20% larger than a US pint, meaning Brits are 20% more likely to get drunk.
Someone who is a little bit stupid or annoying. A little more loving than calling someone an idiot. "Don't be such an idiot."
Cockney rhyming slang: pork pies = lies. Nobody likes someone who speaks piggy.
London street slang for money, short for "pound".
Short for "Public House", these are the standard places for Brits to meet for beer, and they're everywhere. Unlike bars, they open in the morning, they usually serve food, and usually at least one resident is drunk.
A customer. "You have to keep the players happy"
A pound. Like "great", quid always appears in the singular.
Rugby union, another popular sport that the British invented just so everyone else could win.
A person who is from Liverpool. The Beatles, for example, were Scousers.
A not-so-misleading way of referring to sexual intercourse. It can be a verb ("I'd like to have sex with her") or a noun ("She was a great fuck").
a blue eye Possibly caused by someone being told to shut up.
London street slang for "fear".
run out of money
Criticize. "Stop shooting him in the back."
An approximate term for urinating. "I'm just going to take a quick hit."
A big effort. Can be combined with "difficult" for emphasis. "This project was really hard work."
Much funnier than a slog, that's a term for a French kiss. It can be a noun ("Do you want to kiss?") or a verb ("Did you make out with him?").
85. Fuck you
A not-so-polite way to ask someone out. "Ah, fuck, huh?"
86. Make a punt
Accept risks. Originally a reference to the game, but can now be used in a wider context.
87. Catch Mickey
Cockney rhyming slang: get the Mickey Bliss = piss. This is a slightly more polite way of expressing our following expression:
88. Take a piss
To mock or laugh at someone or something. Alternatively, not being serious ("That essay was a joke, are you going to pee?"). You can make fun of your friends as part of the pranks.
A 10 pound note.
90. The Dog's Eggs
Something or someone who is the best they could be. "Our new defender is the dog's tail." "This new Chippy is the dog's ass."
91. The facilities
A pub closest to you or just your regular favourite. For some reason he doesn't "go" to the bar, he "down/down" to the bar. He will be at the bar.
It is used in Wales to mean "fantastic". The Welsh clearly value order.
A thing, a person, or even a situation, that's a great all-purpose word. Originating from Caribbean English, it is mostly spoken in London. Can be combined with other slang for added effect: "Look at that peng ting over there, fam."
A derogatory term for someone from the upper classes of British society.
Just like an idiot, an idiot is someone annoying or a bit of an idiot. Calling someone an idiot usually doesn't go down well.
96. Wagwan (or Wawarn)
Imported to the streets of London from Jamaica, this short form of "What's up?" It is used as a greeting between friends.
97. More magical
This classic British slur literally means someone masturbates but loves to be used.cushionyFraud. It is not considered appropriate for use in polite society.
Usually used with "completely" means to be drunk. "I completely masturbated last night."
99. The dump
Sense: A London street slur apparently coming from someone wasting their lives or wasting space.
A Scottish classic that is also popular in Northern Ireland. It means "little", but can be added to almost anything. "What a beautiful little dog you have there."
Now you are definitely ready to stream this new British TV show or join the locals on your next trip to the UK. Did I miss any of your favorite British slang words on the list? Let us know in the comments.
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Samuel Green, Autor de Marketing e Wix
I like languages, puns and rappers.