60 British slang words you should know


If you are in Rome, do as the Romans do. This is also true of spoken communication. There are handful of non-standard words that the Brits use in everyday conversation. I honestly think It would make you feel at home in Britain if you learned some of them. Here  are the most commonly used British slang in my opinion:

Any road – ”Any road” is another way of saying ”anyway”. It is commonly used up north. Instead of saying anyway, they say “any road”!  It’s like in Nigeria, instead of people saying ”How is it going?”  they say ”How far?”

All right? –  This is technically a form of greeting. It is used a lot in London and the south to mean “Hello, how are you” . It is usually said as a question. Sometimes it gets expanded to “All right mate“? You would say it to someone you knew or a complete stranger. The normal response would be  to say “All right”? back to speaker.

Ace – This is used a lot  in Liverpool. If something is ace, it means it is awesome! 

Anal – When someone is being anal about something, he is choosing to be an asshole. He is choosing to be tight and strong minded like the anal sphincter. Therefore, you tell him; ”Don’t be anal”.

Ass– This means your buttocks, your backside, but mostly a donkey!

Arse – This word means the same as ass, but is much ruder. It is used in phrases like “pain in the arse” (a nuisance) or I “can’t be arsed” (I can’t be bothered) or you might hear someone say “a half arsed attempt” meaning that it was not done properly.

Aye – It  means yes. It is commonly used in Scotland. It was used in the film ”Brave Heart”,

Bang – To have sexual intercourse with some one. e.g he banged her. 

Bladdered – When a Brit say you are Bladdered, they mean you are drunk.

Ballistic  – It is used in informal settings to describe anger and rage. e.g He went ballistic ( meaning he went mad)

Bloke –  Another word for male

Barmy – If someone tells you that you’re barmy they mean you have gone mad or crazy. For example you’d have to be barmy to visit England without trying black pudding!

Beastly – You would call something or somebody beastly if they were really nasty or unpleasant. Most people would consider you a snob  if you used this word. People like Fergie can get away with it though.

Blinding – If something is a blinding success – it means it’s a great success!

Blinkered – Someone who is blinkered is narrow minded or narrow sighted – they only see one view on a subject.

Bloody – One of the most useful swear words in English. It is used for emphasis. e.g “bloody awful” or “bloody hell”. “bloody brilliant “. It is used to emphasize almost anything!

Bollocks – This is a great English word with many excellent uses. Technically speaking it means testicles but is typically used to describe something that is no good (that’s bollocks) or that someone is talking rubbish (he’s talking bollocks).

Bugger all – If something costs bugger all, it means that it costs nothing. Meaning it is cheap. If you have bugger all, it means you have nothing.

Cheers – This word is obviously used when drinking with friends. However, it also has other colloquial meanings. For example when saying goodbye you could say “cheers”, or “cheers then”. It also means thank you.

Chips –  French fries. it is basically a deep fried finger length potatoes eaten in the UK not to be confused with American potato chips-  these are known a crisps in the UK

Chat up – To be flirtatious, that is, to speak to someone with the intent of eventually engaging in sexual intercourse with them. Generally conducted in a relaxed, playful and outstandingly obvious manner. e

Cock up – A cock up means you have made a mistake. It has nothing to do with parts of the male body.

Cracking – Another word for good. Usually said without pronouncing the last “G”. If a girl is cracking it means she is stunning.

Daft –  Basically means stupid, insane, nuts, moronic, asinine.

Dear – If something is dear it means it is expensive. e.g Don’t you think flights to Nigeria is are dear.

Dodgy –  Bad quality and untrustworthy. If someone or something is a bit dodgy, it is not to be trusted. e.g Nigerians are not as dodgy as the Irish

DIY – It is Commonly used in Britain as a short for do it yourself.

Excuse me – Technically, it is used when addressing a stranger, when interrupting or disagreeing with someone, or to request repetition of what has just been said.

Fancy – Like or desire.  In America it means to like some one in a sexual way, to want to be with them,  to want to go out with them.

In Britain, fancy means the same but it also means ‘want’ e.g  Do you fancy a cake? Technically, fancy is used for both people and food.

Geezer – old man

Grub – Food. e.g I’m hungry, Let’s get some grub

Gutted –  This is a very common slang in Britain. It means to be sad or upset. e.g like when you fail your driving test!

Her Majesty’s pleasure – When visiting England, try to avoid being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure. This means being put in prison with no release date!

Jolly Good – Very good. e.g a Jolly good fellow.

Knackered –  Tired or sleepy; exhausted. e.g I am feeling a bit knackered today.

Loaded – This has nothing to do with loading a van. It simply means ‘rich‘. When a Brit says that guy is loaded, it means he is rich!

Loony – Mad, crazy

Luvvly-jubbly – Clearly another way of saying lovely. Made famous by the TV show Only Fools and Horses.

Mufti – An old army term for your “civvies”. Civilian clothes that is, rather than your uniform.

Mug – Naive.. If the Brits say you are a mug, it means you are gullible.

Na – Used in Scotland. means No.

Nicked – Stolen. Something that has been nicked has been stolen. Also, when a copper catches a burglar red handed he might say “you’ve been nicked”!

On about – This is a very handy one to know. It means what are you talking about?

One off -A one off is used to describe a one time event that is never to be repeated.

Piece of Cake – When something is exceptionally easy. e.g He makes that dance look like a piece of cake

Pissed – Another word for Drunk

Posh – High class, sophisticated.

Puke – Vomit

Quid – A pound in English money.

Shag – To have sex with someone

Smart – Smart means clever and intelligent

Smashing – If something is smashing, it means it is terrific.

Snog – A term to describe heavy kissing like a french kiss.

Ta – A slang word for Thank you.

Taking a Piss – This has nothing to do with Urine. It basically means making fun of someone.

Taking the mickey – See taking the piss. Variations include “taking the mick” and “taking the Michael”.

Twat – a word used to insult someone who has offended you. It means a person who is a stupid and lacks good sense of judgement. It is also a slang for female genitals.

Up for it –  To be available. When a Brit say they are up for it, it means you are willing to come along. e.g You up for going down the pub?”
“Yeah mate, i’m up for it”

Uni : short word for university

Wanker – This is a derogatory term used to describe someone who is a bit of a jerk. It actually means someone who masturbates and also has a hand signal that can be done with one hand at people that cannot see you shouting “wanker” at them. This is particularly useful when driving.

Wind up – This has a couple of meanings. If something you do is a “wind up” it means you are making fun of someone. However it you are “wound up” it means you are annoyed.


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