50 British Slang Words and Phrases You Should Know

RealClear Staff

            

British English vs. American English is a bevy of contradictions; we share so many similarities in language, but also drastic differences in spellings, pronunciations, and slang terms.  

British slang is a fountain of beautiful words that we don’t normally use in America. Some are hilarious, some are rude, and some are just plain weird.

As a staunch Anglophile (or someone who loves and admires all things British), here are my top 50 favorite British slang words and phrases.

Sometimes it is not so much the word itself that’s awesome – but the usage of it, so I have included what the word means approximately in America after the British term.

There are some rather rude (but hilarious) words and phrases on this list – Use at your own risk!

1. Tosser – Idiot
2. Cock-up – Screw up
3. Bloody – Damn
4. Gobsmacked – Amazed
5. Blimey! – My Goodness
6. Wanker – Idiot
7. Loo – Toilet/ Bathroom
8. Nutter – Crazy Person
9. Her Majesty’s Pleasure – To be in prison
10. Horses for Courses – Won’t work for someone else
11. Sod Off – Piss off/ Go Away
12. Lost the Plot – Gone Crazy
13. Knackered – Tired
14. Taking the Piss – Screwing around/ Making fun of
15. Toff – Upper Class Person
16. Kip – Sleep or nap
17. Chav/ Chavvy – White trash
18. Know Your Onions – Knowledgeable
19. Dodgy – Suspicious
20. Wonky – Not right/ Off
21. Knob Head – Idiot/ Dickhead
22. Stag Night – Bachelor Party
23. Hen Party – Bachelorette Party 
24. Blighty – Britain
25. Skive – Lazy or avoid doing something


 

Photo Source: Scream Printing

25. Bits ‘n Bobs – Various things
26. Daft Cow – Idiot
27. Uni – College/University
28. Punter – Customer/ Prostitute’s Client
29. Chat Up – Flirt
30. Fit – Hot/ Attractive
31. On the Pull – Looking for sex
33.  I’m Off to Bedfordshire – Going to bed
34. Arse-over-tit – Fall over/ Trip on something
35. Bloody – Damn
36. Gutted – Sad/ Devastated
37. Slag – Slut
38. Biscuit – Cookie/ Cracker
39. Full monty – Whole thing/ Entire
40. Blimey! – My Goodness
41. Blinkered  – Narrow  or close minded 
42. Bob’s Your Uncle – There you go!
43. Motorway– Road/ Highway
44. Fanny – Vagina
45. Knickers – Panties/ Underwear
46. Throw a Spanner in the Works – Screw up/ Totally mess up
47. Made Redundant – Fired from a job
48. Abso-bloody-lutely – YES!
49. Dog’s Dinner – Ugly/ Dressed hideously
50. Rubbish – Garbage or ‘That’s crap!’

Ellen DeGeneres and Hugh Laurie Talk British vs. American Slang

LEADERBOARD
            

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