British English: The Top 50 Most Beautiful British Insults

It’s a proven scientific fact that insults are 100x better when they’re spoken with a British accent.

One of our favorite facets of British English are the beautiful insults that are possible with the proper turn of phrase. So, in a bid a further cultural understanding, we’ve decided to put together a list of the most beautiful British insults.

This list is not for the faint of heart and will feature some rather rude language. You’ve been warned!

  1. Tosser – Supreme Asshole or jerk.
  2. Wanker – Idiot
  3. Slag – Whore, the worst kind
  4. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys – The French
  5. Lost the plot – Gone crazy or completely stupid.
  6. Daft Cow – Dumb, large woman
  7. Arsehole – Asshole
  8. Barmy – Stupid or crazy.
  9. Chav – White Trash / Low Class
  10. Dodgy – Shady character
  11. Git – Moron, Idiot
  12. Gormless – Complete lack of common sense
  13. Manky – Disgusting
  14. Minger – Very unattractive woman
  15. Muppet – Dimwit (not the puppet variety)
  16. Naff – Tacky
  17. Nutter – Someone’s who’s clearly crazy
  18. Pikey – White trash – also used to slight Gypsies or Irish Travellers
  19. Pillock – Idiot
  20. Plonker – Idiot
  21. Prat - Idiot, asshole
  22. Scrubber – A nicer way to say slag
  23. Trollop – A lady of questionable morals
  24. Uphill Gardener – Another way of saying homosexual
  25. Twit – Idiot
  26. Knob Head – Dickhead
  27. Piss Off – Go Away
  28. Bell End – Dick Head (bell end also means penis)
  29. Lazy Sod – Useless idiot
  30. Skiver – Lazy sod
  31. Knob – Dick
  32. Wazzock – Someone so dumb they can only do manual labor (from Yorkshire)
  33. Ninny – Brilliant but inferior
  34. Berk – Idiot
  35. Airy-fairy – Not strong, weak.
  36. Ankle-biters – Children
  37. Arse-licker – A sycophant
  38. Arsemonger – A person that generate contempt.
  39. Chuffer – An annoying perfusion
  40. Daft as a bush – Silly, Crazy
  41. Dead from the neck up – Stupid.
  42. Gannet – Greedy person.
  43. Gone to the dogs – rotten, deteriorated
  44. Ligger – freeloader
  45. Like a dog with two dicks – Man whore
  46. Mad as a bag of ferrets – Crazy
  47. Maggot – A despicable person
  48. Mingebag – A bad person, an asshole who might be cheap.
  49. Not batting on a full wicket – Eccentric person a little crazy or odd.
  50. Plug-Ugly – Very Ugly person

What’s your favorite British insult? Let us know in the comments! Please try to stay away from racism and keep it relatively humorous.


Comments

  1. avatarDRP says

    I’ve heard James May refer to his “colleagues” quite a few times as “numpties.” I’m assuming that’s close to muppet or git?

  2. avatarJo says

    #8 is more commonly used to mean crazy or mental.
    #30 typo – should read ‘lazy sod’
    #33 is more silly, foolish. Would only be applied to a man if he was weedy or effeminate.
    #40 – typo – Daft as a Brush
    #43 – typo – Gone to the Dogs
    #45 more commonly used to describe extreme happiness rather than promiscuity.
    #46 – see also ‘Mad as a box of frogs’
    #48 more slag or minger – nothing to do with being cheap, just nasty. When used on a man, equivalent of wanker or douche.

    About Jo – Jo is an ex-pat Brit who has lived in the USA for 11 years. Originally from London, she has lived in Cornwall, Somerset, Milton Keynes and North Wales so has been exposed to a great deal of regional scatology as well as the regular kind over the years in her career in Customer service. Finds the American vocabulary to be distinctly lackiing when it comes to creative insults but works hard on remedying the situation. Has succeeded in introducing ‘Bollocks’, ‘Piss Off’ and ‘Bloody Hell’ into the vernacular of the western Atlanta area. :)

  3. avatarAndrew says

    A sandwich short of a picnic being one of my particular favourites. Dunderhead is another one. I am trying that East of Atlanta as the R Word just seems to cover everything mentally challenged in Georgia. I also find the word spazz abhorent but again that is viewed as acceptable in the United States.

  4. avatarGeordy says

    Dont forget that lovely description of someone ugly who is said to have a face like a Bulldog chewing a wasp

  5. avatarNic Barfield says

    There’s no way that #4 is in popular usage here in Britain. Yes, it is used in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ to refer to the French enemy, and many Python tropes have found their way into cult usage – but this isn’t one of them. I believe its familiarity to Americans probably owes more to its use in a 1990s episode of The Simpsons and its subsequent adoption by some US commentators to refer to French opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    • avatar says

      I agree with Nic, never heard #4 in our corner of South East Essex.

      We also say ‘ s/he’s got a face like a slapped ass’ where the a sounds as if it has an r in it. Not sure if it will let me comment through if I use the regular British word :)

      • avatarmartin says

        Face like a slapped arse means a miserable pissed off pouty look, not ugly looking. Could it be Essex girls are getting things wrong and displaying a poor command of English?
        Babe, basically, i was like, literally shocked to death, I promise you…like I swear, I literally died!! ..I was like, OMG wasn’t I Tiffany?

    • avatar says

      No, not lacking intelligence, a few sandwiches short of a picnic, not playing with a full deck and s/he’s lost her/his marbles all denote mental instability or insanity…. At least they do “up north”

  6. avatarAlice says

    Theres the classic “you little basket”, which is the adorable upper class English version of snarling “you little bastard” to a child before hitting them. All my best curses came from my (guess what nationality?) father.

  7. avatar says

    “Berk” is a shortened form of the rhyming slang term “Berkshire Hunt”. Princess Anne got into a lot of hot water when she employed it.

    • avatarKate Oh-Aye says

      I think that severity varies regionally on several of these though, as my (great) aunt would frequently call us kids berks and when I was older and looked up the origin, I was v shocked :) I feel like we also used it a lot at school, and not in a malicious way. More sort of, you’re a bit daft but lovable any road. Similarly, ‘prat’ was fairly mild whereas ‘twat’ was quite strong. I also would never have used ‘prat’ for vagina as has been suggested. For reference, I went to school in N Yorkshire in the 90s and she’s from Lancashire.

      As a sidenote, I would say that just because the origin of ‘wanker’ or ‘tosser’ is someone who masturbates, doesn’t mean it’s used exclusively for that. Similarly, ‘bastard’ obviously means someone who is illegitimate, but you’re not actually implying someone is when you call them that. I myself am v partial to calling someone a tosser whilst making no judgements about the frequency of their self pleasure.

  8. avatarKevon says

    It’s not an insult, but it is a pretty weird compliment: the dog’s bollocks (as in the bee’s knees)

  9. avatarPat Flannagan says

    Thanks for this. I had been looking for British terms that might be equivalent to “poor white trash” or “trailer trash” as used in America. So may I infer that chav or pikey might fit the bill?Something like “In Doctor Who Rose’s family was chav.” Or “Rose’s mom seemed like a pikey compared to other companions.” I know what they’d say in Atlanta having lived in Georgia almost a decade but I was hoping to be able to be pejorative in the UK as well.

    • avatarCoylum says

      Chav really means someone who has the very best of bad taste. i.e. Essex man with the blue & white striped zebra couch. Showy loud prat with low intelligence. Pikey is a lot closer to trailer trash. Gippo works too.

      • avatarSarah says

        ‘Wazzock’, ‘Lummox’, ‘Numpty’ and ‘Bellend’… are my favourite insults. Can’t go wrong with ‘Twat’ or ‘Wanker’ either to be fair.

        • avatarSarah says

          Apologies didn’t mean to put that there before I’d finished! One thing I did want to point out is generally ‘Chav’ is a noun to describe/insult people- in general use it tends to cover how they dress/style themselves… i.e. Cheryl Cole, Cher Lloyd etc…
          ‘Chavvy’ is the adjective…

          The only group of American people that come close to the word ‘Chav’ that I can think of are people featured on 16 and pregnant and Jersey Shore!

          The term ‘pikie’ is mildly racist- and a bit more than just someone describing trashy/chavvy people

          • avatarKatherine says

            Yeah, I wouldn’t call anyone in Britain a pikey or a gippo because it’s pretty insulting and if they are a gypsy then you’re in the shit and should run.

          • avatarRichard says

            Following on from that, ‘chav’ is originally from a Romany (Gypsy) word meaning ‘child’, so Chav specifically refers to a teenager, though it is gradually being extended to refer to somewhat older people as well as a general insult for someone with bad taste in clothing and a cheeky or antisocial attitude.You wouldn’t though refer to a middle-aged person as a Chav. ‘Shaver’ as in ‘young shaver’ referring to a cheeky youngster comes from the same source, though it’s less commonly heard now.

    • avatarrichard says

      Well, a lot of British slang only translates approximately into US equivalents because of the cultural differences. ‘Pikey’ or ‘piker’ for example, is strictly speaking a derogatory term for a Gypsy or tinker. (It’s originally a shortening of ‘turnpike’) So when used for a non-Gypsy, it implies an outsider – someone with a chaotic uprooted lifestyle who is not to be trusted or someone living off their wits, possibly ‘criminally’.

    • avatarNeil MacKinnon says

      I’d be a bit careful using the words ‘pikey’ and ‘gypo’ – yes they are commonly used to refer to something or someone lacking class but they are also hugely derogatory terms that refer to gypsies and travelers.

      On a separate note, I always though ‘wazzock’ was a West Country term.

      The trouble with British slang it is so nuanced that somebody not 100% sure of what they are saying can get theselves into a lot of trouble very quickly. I lived with a few Canadians, one of whom was always getting the context wrong. ‘Twat’ for example means ‘vagina’ and is fine among mates but I would never use it at work. ‘Bugger’ mean anal sex but would be fine to be used in the office.

      • avatarMummy not Mawmee says

        Ok, I have to jump in here. First my son popped out with proper diction and was sent to speech class to learn to speak redneck. He can mimic it for sport, but speaks a soft RP. (He was addicted to BBC and historical documentaries then began playing online with people from all over the world – he also caused a bit of a stir singing ‘God save the Queen’ at the school play when others were singing the American version of the song ) Second, he used British slang to return insults to school mates. One day a boy on the bus began a huge tirade of horrid words toward him. My son returned them in kind, emphasizing Bugger — the other little boy got expelled for language — When asked what Bugger meant by the teacher, My son replied, ‘Someone who bugs you, ma’am.” I can’t imagine the look on her face if she ever puts together that ‘he sounds kinda English err sumpthin’ with British slang — define Buggery! Still ROF

    • avatarJamie Turner says

      Just a quick heads up about “chav”… In the UK, it tends to be used by the middle and upper classes as a derogatory term for people with less money/social standing than them. We’re still ruled by class over here and many aspects of our culture are thinly disguised ways for the privileged to shit all over the less fortunate – the rise of the term “chav” is down to this. Not nice, in any way.

      Further reading: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/may/31/chav-vile-word-fractured-britain

  10. avatarjbm says

    “I’d rather eat my own hair” – particularly good when said by BBC TV presenter.
    “You big girl’s blouse” – EastEnd term even had been used by Queen Vic’s Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders once or twice.
    “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer”, “Not the brightest bulb on the tree” – said by everybody often.
    it’s pants, dog’s dinner, sling your hook, ad inf….

  11. avatarSeymour Skinner says

    “Cheese-eating surrender monkeys” is from “The Simpsons,” first uttered by the irascible Scotsman, Groundskeeper Willie, whilst substitute-teaching the French class at Springfield Elementary.

  12. avatarPJMcK1954 says

    My Scottish father-in-law once explained that “a farthing off the shilling” is one way to descibe someone who isn’t too bright. It’s synonymos with “not all there” or “a few fries short of a Happy Meal.”
    Another more common phrase, with the same meaning, is “not the full shilling.”
    A shilling is now a 5pence coin. 5p is worth slightly more than an American nickel.

    A derogatory Scottish word is “cow” which is another word for a whore.

  13. avatarKelly says

    Hey

    I’m from south London, with a Cockney mother, so there aren’t many British insults (cusses) that I haven’t heard.

    Just thought I’d correct a few things – Tosser and Wanker both mean someone who masturbates a lot ;-) and Pratt and Twat are both slang terms for Vagina, but are used as derogatory terms for an idiot or arsehole.

    Just because you seem to enjoy this stuff here is a term used when something is better than nothing (I heard this for the first time when I was about 8, after my dad had won a tenner on the lottery).

    It better than a poke in the eye with a carrot.

    Enjoy

    Kelly :-)

  14. avatarRuth Bryant says

    just got back on Sat. after 12 days in the UK. Weather changes every 15 minutes….literally…it was sunny on minute, then very dark cloudy, then rain, back to sunny. we just kept on going. This was our 6th visit to the UK and each visit is more enjoyable. We just love wandering around the villages, such as Beaconfield, Gerrards Cross, Amersham for example. Often we catch “market day” which is fun to browse the stalls of food, veggies, and “stuff”. We road the train into the city and toured St. Paul’s Cathedral one day. Also, we drove to Straford-Upon-Avon and visit “Willie’s” place. What a charming town….had a great lunch at the pub along the river…. As I said we enjoy wandering the countryside and the villages alot and just some time in the city.

    I enjoy your website alot. thanks

    ruth bryant

    • avatarDenise says

      So jealous that you were there when the weather was at least warm. I went at the end of May for 2 weeks & we froze our arse’s off!!! It was so bloomin cold & I only took warm weather clothes. Everyone must have thought I was a git! :P

      • avatarIain says

        Hi Denise. It’s unlikely anybody thought of you as a git, unless you’d taken a lollipop from a small child! Git tends to be used to describe somebody who has done something questionable, such as setting a friend up for a prank. Or, indeed, stolen confectionery from a child!

  15. avatarGina says

    Wondering about an expression i heard recently on Coronation St…Hayley Cropper was indicating that Mary was crazy or eccentric, and she referred to her as ‘dew-lalley’.

    Pardon my phonetic spelling; I’d love to know the correct spelling, please!

    Regards!
    Gina C.

    • avatarMike says

      It’s spelt Doolally, Gina. I’ve heard that the phrase comes from the Doolally Army transit camp in India – some soldiers spent so much time there, they felt they were being driven up the wall with boredom.
      Mike

  16. avatarPhil Drackley says

    Even as a non ex-pat brit of 54 years I have never heard the derivation of ‘Wazzock’ – thanks.
    As to 38 & 39 – never heard of them.

    • avatarIain says

      Phil, wazzock is (maybe more “was” now) a northern term. I haven’t heard 38 either, but I’ve chuffing well heard of 39!

      One of my favourite english expressions, though, is mardy, which means spoiled. As in the phrase “well, there’s no need to get all mardy arsed about it. Its provenance is uncertain, although I found a paper from a US Ivy League university that suggested it is a corruption of “marred”.

  17. avatarDavid says

    ‘Wazzock’ and ‘pillock’ are both totally normal Yorkshire terms for an idiot. I’ve always used them both (I was born in the early Seventies), especially to describe someone who isn’t within earshot rather than as direct insults.

  18. avatarStokieDonna says

    In my neck of the woods the word “Mucker” means mate/friend. I also think it has been used in Manchester not sure

  19. avatarSandie V says

    There are a couple of expressions I miss hearing as an expat living in the US for over 20yrs.
    1: Walks like his ass is chewing a toffee–intended for a man who walks efeminately.
    2: He/she has a face like a pound of smacked tripe!–person who is ugly
    3: Gobsmacked!–lost for words,amazed.
    4: It’s a load of shite!–shite being another way of saying shit
    5: (for women) I’m having it all taken away and a fireplace put in!–another way of saying she is having a hysterectomy!
    6: Everyone has the right to be ugly,but he/she is abusing the privilage– ugly person.
    I can think of many more.I’m originally from the North East of England,some of these words or phrases are Northern in origin.

  20. avatarmartin says

    To express love or affection for one’s beloved sweetheart, one may address the beau in the following manner….
    Ahem….I’d crawl naked through a barrel of broken glass just to pick the sweetcorn/peanuts* out of your shite.
    (*Delete as applicable.)

  21. avatarMatt says

    Your definition of a ‘wazzock’ is more offensive than the word itself, and the definitions of the truly offensive words just don’t do the original words justice.

  22. avatarKaren119 says

    I absolutely LOVE number 4! I hadn’t heard that one before and can hear my father’s ashes rising up and applauding! One of my favorite British sayings is “don’t get your knickers in a twist”.

  23. avatarAndy says

    I really enjoyed this article but I found some of it to be somewhat factually incorrect and some great opportunities have been missed. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve added corrections expanded some of the definitions for you.
    1. Tosser – Supreme Asshole or jerk. Incorrect: A tosser is someone who masturbates a lot; more specifically a man. A woman cannot ‘toss herself off’, she would have to ‘rub one out’ however it is permissible for both man and woman to not ‘give a toss’ which is pretty much the same as ‘couldn’t give a shit’. Also a word that can be combined with others for impact: “what are you looking at you fucking tosspot”?
    2. Wanker – Idiot. Incorrect: this is another word for someone who masturbates a lot and is again more properly applied to men than women – ‘to wank oneself off’ or ‘to have a wank’. Wank and toss are mostly interchangeable but it would never be proper to claim that you ‘couldn’t give a wank’ – never. Another word that can be combined for comic effect: “Oh that’s very funny that is, did you think that up yourself wankchops”?
    3. Slag – Whore, the worst kind. Partially correct: A slag is properly applied to any sexually promiscuous woman, a bit like a slut but with one big difference: A slut sleeps with everybody and anybody whereas a slag sleeps with everybody and anybody but you.
    4. Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys – The French. Correct: England versus Germany, France is the pitch.
    5. Lost the plot – Gone crazy or completely stupid. Correct.
    6. Daft Cow – Dumb, large woman. Incorrect: A woman with below average intelligence or any woman (who may be of exceptional intelligence) that has done something particular dull witted.
    7. Arsehole – Asshole. Incorrect: The correct spelling is arsehole and it always will be.
    8. Barmy – Stupid or crazy. Partially correct: Someone who is barmy is a bit eccentric rather than stupid or crazy. The important difference being that to describe someone as barmy would normally be done with affection.
    9. Chav – White Trash / Low Class. Correct: Only properly applied to whites.
    10. Dodgy – Shady character. Partially correct: A character can be dodgy but so can inanimate objects.
    “Oi Jim, fancy buying this telly for a fiver”.
    “I dunno Dave, is it dodgy”?
    “Of course it’s fucking dodgy you gormless cunt, who sells a telly for a fiver unless it’s bent? Div”!
    11. Git – Moron, Idiot. Partially correct: More proper applied to a person who takes enjoyment from petty and callow behaviour.
    12. Gormless – Complete lack of common sense. Correct: Someone who is, quite frankly, a bit of a div.
    13. Manky – Disgusting. Correct.
    14. Minger – Very unattractive woman. Correct: A woman who is only to be sexually entertained after lashings of beer. The word can also be shortened to ‘Minge’ which is another word for a ladies rude parts – twat, fanny, lovebox etc.
    15. Muppet – Dimwit (not the puppet variety). Correct.
    16. Naff – Tacky. Correct.
    17. Nutter – Someone’s who’s clearly crazy. Correct: “Stay away from him, he’s a total nutter”. Alternatively ‘To go a bit nutty’, ‘the bloke’s a total nutbar/nutjob’ etc.
    18. Pikey – White trash – also used to slight Gypsies or Irish Travellers. Partially correct: Only really properly applied to gypsies. Rhymes with ‘Do as you likey’. Gypsies don’t like being called pikeys, to be honest they don’t like being call gypsies either but hey ho.
    19. Pillock – Idiot. Correct.
    20. Plonker – Idiot. Partially correct: This comes from Person of Little Or No Knowledge, a PLONK which is slang often applied to female Police officers.
    21. Prat – Idiot, asshole. Correct: Except you spelled arsehole wrong, again.
    22. Scrubber – A nicer way to say slag. Correct: But not much nicer.
    23. Trollop – A lady of questionable morals. Correct.
    24. Uphill Gardener – Another way of saying homosexual. Correct: See also – ‘Turd burglar’, ‘Marmite driller’ etc.
    25. Twit – Idiot. Correct.
    26. Knob Head – Dickhead. Correct.
    27. Piss Off – Go Away. Correct.
    28. Bell End – Dick Head (bell end also means penis). Correct: More properly a bell end refers specifically to the glans of the penis:
    “You alright Jim, you’re walking a bit funny”?
    “Fuck me Catherine, no I ain’t. I caught my bell end in my flies, right by the fucking Japs eye. It stings like a bastard”.
    29. Lazy Sod – Useless idiot. Correct: More or less.
    30. Skiver – Lazy sod. Correct: One can be a skiver and one can also ‘skive off’ or more plainly ‘skive’.
    “Andy, have you finished that end of week report yet”?
    “Sorry John, I haven’t”.
    “Why not Andy, why not”?
    “Well John, if I gave a toss about this wanky job I’d have troubled to think of a plausible excuse but the fact is that I’ve been skiving off all morning chatting up the girls in the typing office and laughing at videos of fat people falling over on Youtube” etc.
    31. Knob – Dick. Correct.
    32. Wazzock – Someone so dumb they can only do manual labor (from Yorkshire): Correct: Except for how you’ve spelled ‘labour’.
    33. Ninny – Brilliant but inferior. Incorrect: This is just an abbreviation for ‘nincompoop’, which is an affectionate term for someone who’s not the sharpest tool in the box.
    34. Berk – Idiot. Incorrect: Actually an abbreviation for rhyming slang ‘Berkeley Hunt – Cunt’ although curiously berk is generally seen as permissible, whereas any utterance of the word cunt even Berkeley hunt is most certainly not. Strange.
    35. Airy-fairy – Not strong, weak. Pretty much.
    36. Ankle-biters – Children. Correct.
    37. Arse-licker – A sycophant. Correct:
    “Get your tongue out of my arse you obsequious fuck”!
    38. Arsemonger – A person that generate contempt. Incorrect: One who sells his arse or the arses of others. A male prostitute or a pimp.
    39. Chuffer – An annoying perfusion. Incorrect. A chuffer or chuff is synonymous with arse:
    “You alright there Esmerelda, you look like you’re walking funny”?
    “I’m in pieces actually our Margaret, it was Algernon’s Birthday yesterday so I let him give me one up the chuff for a treat and I’m still a little sore”.
    40. Daft as a bush – Silly, Crazy. Correct.
    41. Dead from the neck up – Stupid. Correct.
    42. Gannet – Greedy person. Correct.
    43. Gone to the dogs – rotten, deteriorated. Correct.
    44. Ligger – freeloader. Correct: Also see ‘ponce’.
    45. Like a dog with two dicks – Man whore. Pretty much.
    46. Mad as a bag of ferrets – Crazy. Correct: Or a ‘Box of frogs’.
    47. Maggot – A despicable person
    48. Mingebag – A bad person, an asshole who might be cheap.
    49. Not batting on a full wicket – Eccentric person a little crazy or odd.
    50. Plug-Ugly – Very Ugly person. Partially correct: Pug ugly after ugly Pug dogs or Pug ugly after pugilists i.e. someone who looks like they’ve spent life having their face smashed in.

    • avatarlouise says

      #50 plug ugly refers back to a cartoon character in the beano called plug who was extremely ugly , a youthful Shane McGowan springs to mind.

      • avatar says

        ‘minge’ is also a Romany gypsy word.
        I agree that ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’ is US not UK.
        Can’t see ‘twat’ on the original list which is a very indication of contempt but I have heard it pronounced ‘twot’ by public schoolboy types.
        ‘bollocks’ AKA ‘standard response’ when someone is talking absolute rubbish is in frequent use (certainly by me!)

  24. avatarFran says

    Not sure how widespread this is, and its not an insult as such but ‘you’ve got a face like a wet weekend’ is one of my favourites and most used!

  25. avatarbence says

    Hello
    I wonder if the word ‘div” is still a widely used insult or it’s corny, dated 70′s stuff. I think I’ve heard it used in the tv-series ‘Life on Mars’ about a hundred times. And another thing: is/was it big only in and around Machester?
    Cheers

    • avatarlouise says

      Div does have a certain retro appeal but is still used to describe someone who has done something stupid. See also ‘diddlo’ as in a bit simple.

    • avatar says

      We used “div” at school in Surrey in the 70′s, as well as:

      spanner (a wanker),

      botley (a moron – unfortunately based on the fact that Botley’s Park was a mental home),

      and Joey – after Joey Deacon, a disabled man who was on BBC kids’ show Blue Peter in order to show children how mentally challenged people were fine and normal. Within 24 hours every schoolchild in the country was calling each other “Joey”, a state of affairs that, I’m told, persists to this day. :(

  26. avatarchristine says

    not the sharpets pencil in the box. Not the brightest star in the sky, Gone out and left the lights on . all apply to someone whos not too intelligent.

    Theres nothing wrong that any expensive operation wont prolong…. a hypocondriac

    a wizz…ie taking a wizz…. passing urine or hes as a wizz. really intelligent
    a wuss. someone who frightens easily

    shreddies….. undepants

    spelk…. north east england dialect for a splinter

    • avatar says

      spelk…….In Scotland it is a skelf,it’s funny even tho they are regional terms they do look to have come from a common source.

  27. avatarAl Burnside says

    The term Wanker has a number of meanings such as idiot or arse for example, if you are driving and are cut up by fellow road user you would call them a wanker. The term can also be used to identify some one who masterbates a lot.

    My favourite is ‘mad a a bag of frogs’ meaning someone who does something silly or stupid.

    • avatar says

      We use the word ‘clatty’ in the West of Scotland and after seeing your north eastern term for muddy ‘clarty’ i’m wondering if there’s a link between both?It looks likely.

  28. avataradam john says

    Im from Somerset in england or cider country as we call it heres bit more slang for ya – proper job =. Something thats good. Mucker = mate. Wason =.wassup. knob jockey = Dick head. Giro junkie = someone on benifits. Off key = someone whos a nut job. Grass = snitch. Safe / sound = cool. Also up the wronging or up the dirt box = banging someone up the arse . Had me end away =. Had a shag and in somerset shag can mean mate aswell as in ‘ u alrite there shag how u be then ‘.

  29. avatarAmy says

    Hi, Im from a small town just outside bath in england. My mother is from yorkshire and my father is from the south west so there’s not many insults i haven’t heard :-)

    My favorite is ‘skank’ or ‘skanky’ its just so versatile! ha! If someone is considered to be promiscuous you could say ‘she is a skank’ or ‘her behaviour was skanky’
    Or if someone/something is dirty or run down it is skanky. ‘i’m not going down the rose and crown, that pub is skanky’

    It also applied to someone who is a benefit scrounger ‘get a job you skank’ although for some reason it doesnt work the same on a man as it does on a woman. dont know why.

    Anyway that’s my addition to the list :-)

  30. avatarKieran says

    Further to comments pointing out that pikey is generally used to refer to gypsies, you might be interested to know that gypsie is itself a slang word, it was a shortening of the word ‘Egyptians’ as it was widely believed that gypsies came from Egypt originaly. In fact there are huge swathes of the language that were originally slang but seem to have graduated into formal speech – ‘flare up’ for example, coud be used in a BBC news report.. Chav refers to someone who wears their baseball cap under their hoody. Allthough most chavs may come from workng class backgrounds, the term does not refer to working class people in general, who are themselves likely to use the word. As pointed out berk is rhymng slang for cunt, but you need to be aware that in London the word cunt can be used as a term of offensive or in an amiable context, i.e. ‘its good to see you again you mad cunt’, or ‘put that table down before trying to open the door you daft cunt’. Berk is most often used in this latter context, rarely as a term of offence, so I think you translation as idiot is roughly correct.

  31. avatarCarole says

    My favourits are parrot faced wazzock, stop yor winching (whining), he/she has taken a mardy pill (bad mood)

  32. avatarRolf says

    my tuppenceworth …

    Prat or Pratt is another word for vagina / cunt/ twat /burk … And this is confirmed by google which tells me its an old English word for the suchlike .

    Git is another word for bastard , being a shortened form of illigitimate .

  33. avatar says

    ‘Eejit’ is one I grew up with,polite way of dismissing an unenlightened persons point of view,As in ‘Don’t listen to him,he’s an eegit’. A favourite in lowland Scotland and widely used in Ireland but usually spelled ‘eedgit’, And one I’ve heard a few times and i’m in no way condoning such flowery language is ‘as big as a wizards sleeve’ in reference to a #3 having lost the use of her pelvic floor and used usually by jilted men describing an ex as having a f@**y like a wizards sleeve. Or my personal favourite non pc desription of someone who profusely sweats as having been ‘sweating like a paedophile on a school bus’.

  34. avatargeorgie says

    Loving all these additions. Home in bucks we had minging (adj) a lot for horrid stuff. loads of great stuff coming off ‘the inbetweeners’, if you’re not faint-hearted watch it for a scary-accurate depiction of british teenage lads! cluuunge!!! i also love ‘sponner’ (n) from the midlands for an idiot, or ‘cock off’ for go away. Munter also means an ugly person.

  35. avatarDan says

    Anyone who is interested in British insults and slang would be well-advised to try and pick up a copy of ‘Roger’s Profanisaurus’. It’s a book that has virtually every British insult and more that you can think of, and is pretty much required reading for when you’re sitting on the bog and emptying your back.

  36. avatarSharon Flint says

    My grannie used to say ” You have a mouth like a torn pocket…” A Lancashire expression meaning everything comes/ falls out of it!

  37. avatarMichael D Winchcombe says

    good old blighty (affectionate name for England)
    a backhander (a bribe)
    a bad egg (corrupt person)
    a blagger (bank robber)
    a lanky streak of piss (tall thin person)
    a lazy wind (cold wind straight through the body as oppose to around it)
    a load of old baloney (nonsense)
    a party pooper (a spoilsport)
    a peanut smuggler (woman with erect nipples)
    a right bobby dazzler (amazing thing or person)
    a right charlie (an idiot)
    a salad dodger (fat person)
    a spawney eyed wazzock (useless person)
    a tyke (mischevious person)
    a wafty crank (act of masturbation)
    a walking disaster (a person proned to causing accidents)
    a woman without any ‘Alans’ on (Alan Whicker – no knickers/ underwear)
    aairy fairy (lacking in strength)
    all to cock (messed up)
    bash the bishop (to masturbate)
    bat on a sticky wicket (to put oneself in difficulty)
    been hit with the ugly stick (unattractive person)
    beer tits (fat breasts on a male)
    better than a kick in the teeth (should be happy with the situation)
    betty swollox (sweaty uncomfortable testicles)
    billy no mates (a person devoid of friends)
    blimey o’rielly (a surprise)
    bloody nora (surprise or anger)
    blow the gaff (to reveal a plot or secret)
    bob’s your uncle (a satisfying completion or conclusion)
    bore the tits off someone (to bore someone greatly)
    brahms and liszt (rhyming slang for pissed / drunk)
    bugger that for a game of soldiers (an expression of resignation)
    chavette (a female chav)
    chavtastic (a chav wearing a Burberry baseball cap / shell suit / tracksuit bottoms/ fat gold chain around neck)
    dagenham dustbin (ford car)
    dead from the neck up (unintelligent / stupid)
    dust bunnies (clumps of dust around furniture)
    face like a wet weekend (miserable)
    fair ta middlin’ sort o’ day (weather is plain / uninteresting)
    feeling uncle dick (rhyming slang for sick)
    fit as a butcher’s dog (very healthy and strong)
    flying low (zip undone on trousers / pants)
    follically challenged (bald)
    gobbledygook (unintelligble jargon)
    going apeshit (becoming angry)
    got the arse-ache (someone looking miserable)
    got the dreaded lurgy (an illness)
    grabbing some zeds (sleep)
    having a barney (an argument)
    it’s a piece of cake (easy)
    keen as mustard (very enthusiastic)
    latch key kid (parents leaving their door unlocked to allow their children to return home whenever they wish)
    let the dog see the rabbit (move out of the way so that I can see)
    like a row of bombed houses (crooked / missing teeth)
    look like death warmed up (to look pale and sickly)
    moaning minnie (person who grumbles a lot)
    nipples like Scammell wheelnuts (women’s nipples sticking out – shape of wheel nuts as seen on old Scammell lorries)
    not batting on the full wicket (insane)
    not on your nellie (no way)
    on a bender (excessive bout of drinking alcohol)
    over the shoulder boulder holder (women’s brassierre)
    oxygen thief (elderly person)
    passion killers (women’s old fashioned knickers / underwear)
    popped his / her cloggs (died)
    put the mockers on (person who creates bad luck)
    quite a throng here (busy, crowded)
    rare as hen’s teeth (rare to nil)
    rare as rocking horse shit (rare to nil)
    rosie palm and her five sisters (hand to masturbate with)
    rough as a badger’s arse (coarse, brisly, uncouth, objectionable person)
    rumpy pumpy (sexual intercourse)
    safe as houses (safe, secure)
    same to you with brass knobs on (a dismissive, contemptuous retort)
    scumbag (a despicable, objectionable person)
    shaven haven (a depilated pubic region)
    short and curlies (pubic hair)
    skedaddle (move, go away)
    slum mums (usually chavettes pushing their snotty nosed kids around the pound shops using their government hand outs to survive on)
    sofa surfing (being homeless and relying on friends for a bed for the night)
    somewhat aerated (over excited)
    sound as a pound (wonderful, excellent)
    specky four eyes (juvenile name for a wearer of glasses)
    spitting feathers (fretful, frantic, agitated)
    square root of fuck all (absolutely nothing)
    sup up (to drink up)
    sweet as a nut (great, fine, satisfactory)
    talking the hind leg off a donkey (to talk incessantly)
    the penny dropped (to finally understand something)
    the whole kit and caboodle (the whole amount)
    thick as two short planks (very stupid)
    three sheets to the wind (drunk, very intoxicated)
    tight as a gnat’s chuff (extremely frugal, very miserly)
    tonsil tennis (passionate deep kissing)
    top totty (very attractive woman)
    tramp stamp / slag tag (tattoo at the base of the back)
    trolleys (underwear)
    under the weather (not feeling well)
    up and down like a whore’s drawers (a person who is unsettled, agitated, unrestful)
    up the duff (pregnant)
    useful as a chocolate teapot (useless)
    vinegar strokes (last thrusts of sexual intercourse / masturbation)
    wacky backy (euphenism for marijuana or cannabis)
    wedding tackle (euphenism of the male genitals)
    wet the baby’s head (to celebrate the birth of a baby with a drink of alcohol)

  38. avatarChristi says

    My mother-in-law calls my husband a “cheeky monkey” and I’ve also heard her say “I’ll have your guts for garters.”

  39. avatarNick says

    knackers (n) – male balls.
    yet
    Knackered (adj)- fatigued (for person / animal) or broken (for contraption).
    to knacker (v) – to break something

    Expression.
    “I was a gnats knacker away from winning” = “I was a very close to winning”.

  40. avatarLawrence says

    #50 – Should be pug ugly, like te dog. Other amusing things in a similar vein “face like a bag of smashed crabs” “face like a bulldog chewing a wasp” “Butters” or “Butters McGee” (Comes from “she’s hot, BUT HER face”, meaning someone with a nice body but ugly face)

  41. avatarCorinna Gordon says

    Old lady to Churchill. ‘Shame on you Mr Churchill, your fly is undone and your thing is sticking out!’
    Churchill: ‘Madam, you flatter yourself,
    It is hanging!’

  42. avatar says

    bent as a bottle of chips – corrupt
    pasting – beating up
    sketty – dirty
    sket – slut
    trollop – slut (Jeremy Kyle uses it a lot)

    by the way…
    pissed – drunk
    pissed off – annoyed

  43. avatarAndy Whitehead says

    My Favorite is ” She has a figure like a couple of bulldogs fighting under a blanket” for an extremely overweight woman.
    Also another favorite is ” he would shag a barbers floor if it had hair on it ” for a promiscuous male.

    Expat living in the US for the last 2 years. I get some weird looks when I use my British phrases :D

  44. avatarSandra Dwyer says

    i think No.50 should read Pug Ugly – as in the squashed faces of pug dogs!.
    Being British (South Coast) born and bred we have a lot of slang and sayings which I think are local to this area.
    One’s I constantly use are;
    “Chored it” as in borrowed something from someone, with the full intention of giving it back.
    “Crap Shack” for a £1 shop or discount place.
    “Fuggley” for an ugly person, stands for f**king ugly.
    “Oxygen Theif” someone who is so bad that they should not be alive.
    “For shits & giggles” doing something for no reason whatsoever.
    “Planked it” Died if refering to a person / or an accident such as “He planked his car into the tree”
    “Cough up” to pay someone what you owe them
    “Pissing in the wind” Doing something that you have no hope of finishing or achieving

    In the South, if a woman is sleeping around she is a “skank”, but I believe my friend from Glasgow calls the drains in the sides of the road “skanks”. And when she comes round for lunch, she asks for “peices” instead of a sandwich.

  45. avatarleon says

    having a wank = to jerk off. so wanker is someone who is a jerk off. its not Idiot.
    you also forgot:
    Ponce = a free loader

  46. avatarsarah says

    one of the most complex insults I have ever heard is, ‘go thou oh illegitimate son of a whoring she dog and visit a taxidermist’. Which roughly translates as go and get stuffed you bastard son of a f*****Ig bitch.

  47. avatarAndrew says

    You missed out MUNTER – An ugly woman. As in “I wouldn’t touch her, she’s a right old munter”.

  48. avatar says

    Don’t forget ‘Nesh’, meaning, feels the cold, generally a bit foppish. And of course, ‘fop, foppish’. ‘Chinless wonder’, ‘Hooray Henry’, ‘Shandy drinker’, ‘daft Apeth’,

  49. avatar says

    Nerd = A clever but hopelessly uncool person, obsessed with one particular subject, as in “computer nerd”.

    Slapper = A slag, a slut, a whore

    Village bicycle = A woman who has been “ridden” (enjoyed sexually) by practically every man locally.

    The lights are on but no one’s at home = A person who is completely “brain dead”.

    Away with the Fairies = A person who is totally crazy; mind is gone.

    Doolally = A person who is insane, crazy (British Army slang, dating from the British Raj in India).

    A brick short of a load = same as “a sandwich short of a picnic”, i.e., “not all there”, mentally.

    • avatar says

      Also:

      “Daft bint” = A silly, rather stupid girl or woman (“bint” is orig. British Army slang for “girl, young woman”; it is Arabic for “daughter” – British soldiers picked up this word when serving in Egypt)

      Sod off! = The same as “Piss off!”, a rude way of telling someone to get lost. (Sod is apparently an abbreviation of “sodomite”, meaning a homosexual.)

      Copied from Wikipedia.
      “Sod in British English is a somewhat offensive, pejorative term for a person, derived from sodomite but rarely nowadays used with this meaning. As an insult, it is generally teamed with ‘off’, i.e., ‘sod off’ meaning to get lost/go away/fuck off. It can generally be applied to refer to a person in a most basic sense and frequently preceded by a modifying adjective (“That crazy sod almost ran me over!”). It can be used as many different parts of speech – e.g. in the imperative mood, “Sod off, you slag!”; or in adjective form, “sodding bastard”. Such uses as “Sod it!” and “Sod this” are often exclamations of frustration.”

  50. avatar says

    Um…no. “Wanker” and “tosser” have the same meaning and it’s not either of the ones you posted here. They both mean someone who is so unattractive that they can only have sex with their right hand.

  51. avatarWim Stroman says

    a very simple way to upset / insult the British: When I have to pay in a shop I always say: “I promise you TWO things: today I pay you with little ponds, but in 5 years I pay you with little EURO’s. And TWO: within 10 years your traffic is going to be on the CORRECT side of the road……..

  52. avatarJacqueline Cook says

    I must have had a very sheltered life during my childhood and teenage years in Greater London, before leaving to live in Italy 44 years ago, as lots of these words I did not know, perhaps for the better. However, my mother and father were shocked and horrified when my sister and I arrived home from our all girls private school calling our mistresses (teachers) “old bags”. At the time we did not know what it meant but did not repeat the words again. However, we do use the words “silly old bats”.

  53. avatarEmma says

    A couple of my favs….
    A face only a mother could love
    Fugly = fuck ugly
    Tuna pouch = vagina
    Like throwing a sausage down an alley = small dick
    Want shaft
    Fanny cannibal = lesbian
    Purple headed womb warrior = penis
    Motting out = give a girl oral sex
    (from north west uk)

  54. avatarOtis D'Elevator says

    git = a pregnant camel.

    A pregnant camel can’t carry anything, it needs special supervision and before it gives birth is (bottom-line) a drain on water and feed resources.

    git = a useless person. Someone who can’t do the work they are given, needs lots of supervision and is a drain on team resources.

    Frequently, gits are either fired or promoted.

  55. avatar says

    A ‘Scrubber’ round my way is someone very poor and generally unkempt.

    ‘Twat’ is also a word I should have expected to see; indeed ‘to twat’ which means to hit someone.

    Do you say ‘soppy’ in the ‘states? As in “You soppy git.” Soppy is someone overly sentimental and pathetic.

  56. avatarDave W says

    Great list, although I’ve never heard the term “Ligger” (#44) before. Also “Git” (#11) doesn’t mean stupid/moron. Its a derogatory term to describe somebody who is unpleasant i.e. “He’s a nasty old git”

    How about: “Munter” (ugly person i.e. “She’s a right munter!”), or “Numpty” (‘soft’ term for somebody who is stupid: “Stop acting like a numpty”)?

  57. avatarBesina says

    Question from an American writer: Can you use the term “toss off” similarly to “piss off”? Or is it never used that way?

      • avatarBesina says

        Similar question about ‘beat the bishop’ – is there a particular area or cultural subset (or age group) that would use this phrase most often? Is it colloquial or antiquated at all?

        Thanks again!

        • avatarDave W says

          I’m English (35) and have only ever heard the phrase “bash the bishop” (although they mean the same thing of course). Its an odd phrase, its used fairly seldomly, but when it is used, it is used by all sections of society -although the posher (upper) classes wouldn’t be expected to discuss such things in polite company.
          I’m not sure if its used north of the border (Scotland) but in answer to your questions: No, its not colloquial, & no, its not antiquated and still gets used by the younger generation.

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