Top 100 Most Beautiful British Slang Words and Phrases – Guide to English Slang

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… interesting.

Here’s our list of our top 100 favorite British slang words and phrases. Oftentimes, it’s not so much the word itself that’s awesome – but the usage of it so we’ve included what the word means approximately ‘in American.’ Consider this your brief primier guide to English Slang words and phrases.

There are some rather rude words and phrases on this list – you’ve been warned!

Anglotopia’s Top 100 Favorite British Slang Words and Phrases


1. Tosser – Idiot
2. Cock-up – Screw up
3. Bloody – Damn
4. Give You A Bell – Call you
5. Blimey! – My Goodness
6. Wanker – Idiot
7. Gutted – Devastated
8. Bespoke – Custom Made
9. Chuffed – Proud
10. Fancy – Like
11. Sod Off – Piss off
12. Lost the Plot – Gone Crazy
13. Fortnight – Two Weeks
14. Sorted – Arranged
15. Hoover – Vacuum
16. Kip – Sleep or nap
17. Bee’s Knees – Awesome
18. Know Your Onions – Knowledgeable
19. Dodgy – Suspicious
20. Wonky – Not right
21. Wicked – Cool!
22. Whinge – Whine
23. Tad – Little bit
24. Tenner – £10
25. Fiver – £5
26. Skive – Lazy or avoid doing something
27. Toff – Upper Class Person
28. Punter – Customer/Prostitute’s Client
29. Scouser – Someone from Liverpool
30. Quid – £
31. Taking the Piss – Screwing around32. Pissed – Drunk
33. Loo – Toilet
34. Nicked – Stolen
35. Nutter – Crazy Person
36. Knackered – Tired
37. Gobsmacked – Amazed
38. Dog’s Bollocks – Awesome
39. Chap – Male or friend
40. Bugger – Jerk
41. Bog Roll – Toilet Paper
42. Bob’s Your Uncle – There you go!
43. Anti-Clockwise – We Say Counter Clockwise
44. C of E – Church of England
45. Pants – Panties
46. Throw a Spanner in the Works – Screw up
47. Zed – We say ZZZZZZZ
48. Absobloodylootely – YES!
49. Nosh – Food
50. One Off – One time only
51. Shambles – Mess
52. Arse-over-tit – Fall over
53. Brilliant! – Great!
54. Dog’s Dinner – Dressed Nicely
55. Up for it – Willing to have sex
56. On the Pull – Looking for sex
57. Made Redundant – Fired from a job
58. Easy Peasy – Easy
59. See a Man About a Dog – Do a deal or take a dump
60. Up the Duff – Pregnant
61. DIY – Do It Yourself home improvements
62. Chat Up – Flirt
63. Fit – Hot
64. Arse – Ass
65. Strawberry Creams – Breasts
66. Shag – Screw
67. Gentleman Sausage – Penis
68. Twigs & Berries – Genitalia
69. Fanny – Vagina
70. Bollocks – Balls
71. Ponce – Poser
72. Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist – Don’t Get worked up
73. The Telly – Television
74. Bangers – Sausage
75. Chips – French Fries
76. Daft Cow – Idiot
77. Do – Party
78. Uni – College/University
79. Starkers – Naked
80. Smeg – From Red Dwarf
81. Bits ‘n Bobs – Various things
82. Anorak – A person weirdly interested in something
83. Shambles – bad shape/plan gone wrong
84. I’m Off to Bedfordshire – Going to bed
85. Her Majesty’s Pleasure – To be in prison
86. Horses for Courses – Won’t work for someone else
87. John Thomas – Penis
88. Plastered – Drunk
89. Meat and Two Veg – Genitalia
90. Knob Head – Idiot/Dickhead
91. Knob – Penis
92. Chav – White trash
93. It`s monkeys outside – it is very cold
94. Stag Night – Bachelor Party
95. Ace – Cool!
96. Plonker – Idiot
97. Dobber – Penis
98. BellEnd – Penis
99. Blighty – Britain
100. Rubbish – Garbage or ‘That’s crap!’

Did you enjoy this list? Then check out Anglotopia’s Dictionary of British English – Brit Slang from A to Zed!

What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Read More at Anglotopia


  1. avatarCaryn says

    Interesting list – some thoughts: #89 should be ‘meat and two veg’; knob also refers to male genitalia; vacuum has 2 ‘u’s in it and one ‘c’; ‘bloody’ doesn’t really mean ‘damn’, IMO there is no direct translation; not sure about #26 – I’ve heard ‘skive off’ as in someone took off early from their job/school and are shirking their responsibility but you always hear it paired with ‘off’; Taking the Piss also means just trying to get a rise out of someone by verbally giving them a hard time – it can be done in a teasing fun way or a mean-spirited way; ‘pants’ can also mean bad as in, ‘it’s just pants’; on the pull does not always mean sex, it can just mean meeting someone you fancy; if you have stag night, you ought to have hen night, too!

    • avatarEmily says

      In relation to skive. you can have skiver. As in
      harry isnt sick today he is just being a dirty skiver.


      Im not going to go to that lesson I think Im gonna skive it.

    • avatarSir Keef says

      I think I can shed a bit of light on this – the use of the word ‘bloody’ as a curse and a general emphatic particle actually derives from the old English expression ‘By Our Lady’ (i.e the VIrgin Mary) obviously from the days when England was predominantly Catholic. Similar etymology for the cockney expression often written as ‘Cor Blimey’ which was another religious invocation and is a corruption of the term ‘God blind me’ as in may God blind me if I’m not telling the truth etc.

      Also #71. ‘Ponce’ – I would be more inclined to substitute the word ‘freeloader’ as it always had that connotation when I heard it as a kid (also a bit like a pimp maybe, flashy but cheap!)
      and 72. Don’t Get Your Knickers in a Twist – some nice variations: tits in a tangle, knickers in a knot, or my favourite, pants in a pandemonium (heard that one from dear old Frankie Howerd…)

      • avatarJulie says

        A ponce is someone who lives off immoral earnings in origin in its rudest sense which has become used less offensively as a freeloader. Ie older generations can find it more offensive than younger generations.

        Also used as a verb. As in “can I ponce a fag”. Ie can I have one of your cigarettes

      • avatarMatt says

        Re “bloody”, sorry but that’s nonsense. The word dates back to pre-1000AD and it means exactly what it says it means – “bloody” (in the sense of murderous, gory, etc.) , coming from the Old English “blodig”.

        • avatarHanna says

          ‘Blodig,’ old English? As ‘bloody’, in its leteral sense, translates to ‘blodig’ in Swedish, I can’t help but wonder if we got it from the English language, or if English got it from Old Norse?

    • avataremma says

      Just would like to point out as i’m from the uk that 93 should be ‘its brass monkeys outside’ and ‘throw a spanner in the works’ is to have made something more complicated or difficult. Other than that most of them are pretty much what they mean but I did find in funny that easy peasy needed to be explained.

      • avatar says

        To further explain the Brass Monkeys bit, it comes from royal Navy usage, the full phrase being “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. A brass monkey was a brass ring on a warship, that held a lead cannon storage. As brass and lead are different metals which expand or contract at different rates according to the ambient temperatures, in extreme cold, the ball would shrink enough to fall through the ring.

        #57 being made redundant and getting fired are technically two separate entities. Being fired often stems from involvement one or more misdemeanors and the perpetrator(s) can be replaced. However those being made redundant, will find their position or role has ended, usually economic reasons, and won’t be replaced unless business picks up again.

    • avatarJ says

      Tosser and Wanker is specifically about masturbation, or one who masturbates.
      Yes this could refer to anyone, but there are also the terms ‘tossing’ and ‘wanking’ which is specifically about cracking out the knuckle children.
      Dobber usually means a condom.
      Rubber here means eraser, which is hilarious.
      Hope that helps

      • avatarSR says

        When I first moved to the states as a teen and asked for a rubber in class you should have seen the look on my teacher’s face!!! I also remember asking for Jelly and getting Jam which was very confusing until I discovered that in the US Jelly is called Jello. I still cannot bring myself to say yoowgurt and get odd looks when I pronounce it yogurt with a short ‘O’. I could go on and on…… and I have been here over 20 years!

    • avatarSHA says

      I wouldn’t consider fancy, chuffed, bespoke, sorted, dodgy, wonky, whinge, tad, knackered, gobsmacked, loo or rubbish slangs. Surprisingly, these words are often used by Indians (here in India), too. So, I think it’s more about the regularity with which they are used in British countries or Commonwealth nations like India. Indians have a habit of adding ‘bloody’ to everything. I think it’s safe to call it an intensifier than giving it a proper definition.

      Uni, I thought, was just short for university. Generally…

      And, HOW can fortnight be considered a slang! I went to school in Saudi Arabia, and it was one of those things you were taught as child. You’d have to be a special sort of stupid to be unaware of that. We learnt it when we learnt time.

      • avatar says

        They’re not words commonly used in America, as this website is geared for Americans, they would surely like to know what those words mean.

          • avatarconor says

            Well we would say that was funny and if it wasn’t funny we would call it shit! We also say i was pissing myself (means it was really funny ) or that was piss your pants funny but this was a piece of piss means it was rubbish! Also funny can mean that your being sarcastic or not handling a stiuation right (i’m not sure how to translate it) so you would say, why is she being funny with me? and thaty is commom

          • avatarRose says

            When we find something funny we sometimes say ‘that cracked me up’.as in that made me laugh or ‘you crack me up’ if someone is funny

        • avatar says

          Idiom would be more correct than ‘slang’.

          The terms tosser/wanker don’t mean idiot, they mean asshole.

          Chips =/= French fries. French fries (the long skinny things in McDonalds) we call french fries. Chips are specifically fat chips.

          Horses for courses means that not everything suits everyone. As in:

      • avatarAnon says

        That’s interesting, because I would define them as slang (most of them, at least). “Loo”, for example, is listed as “informal” in the Oxford dictionary, as are “dodgy”, “wonky”, “whinge”… and that’s when I stopped checking.
        I don’t think the regularity with which a word is used designates it a slang word or not (though I suppose if it became so commonly used that it passed from informal to formal language, maybe then…)

    • avatarHarry the Horse says

      Be careful where you use 49. Nosh is also slang for oral sex. Dog’s Dinner at 54 can also mean something that is a complete mess: ” Kevin had a go at repairing it but it was a right dog’s dinner and wouldn’t work.” I laughed out loud at 65 . In fifty years I’ve never heard breasts called “strawberry creams”. Tits, knockers, boobs, fun bags, bristols – from Bristol City – but never strawberry creams. Sounds like something toffs at Eton might have said in the Edwardian period.

      • avatarJo says

        or something Austin Powers might say, like Twigs and Berries – I never heard that before the movie.

        • avatarLucy says

          I have never heard strawberry creams or twigs and berries and I’m English. I love that there is an interest though.

  2. avatarSuzie says

    My favorite is Ace! I thought wanker was a bit ruder than idiot, though. I had to get used to the way the British use the word “rude”. I learned the hard way that it wasn’t just surly. I also like their use of the word “mental” for describing a crazy person.

    • avatarDixieBrit says

      Suzie, you are correct. Wanker is an extremely rude term, referring to someone who “wanks off”, similar to US Slang for a “jerk off.” You get the picture. Not nice. It is usually reserved for someone who is a real arse.

    • avatarGracie says

      About half of these words, no one’s said since Dickins died. Also, about half the comments are BS. Also no-one under the age of 40 would EVER say about 95% of these words.

      Trust I’m from the LDN

      • avatarJodie says

        So am I lol I guess it depends what part, we use a lot of these, though some are actualy legal or dictionary terms so i dont know why they’re classed as slang.., but yeah. Some are a bit… Up north.

        • avatar says

          They’re words we don’t use and have a different meaning sometimes. So now if you anyone watches British shows, they’ll know what they hear.

          • avatarAmy says

            …I’m British and I’m young, and I use loads of these words on a daily basis.

            Completely unrelated, but being ‘made redundant’ shouldn’t really be translated as ‘being fired’. We have both terms here, but being made redundant is more like being told that the position you had just doesn’t exist anymore, whereas her, being fired implies that you did something wrong to warrant losing your job ie. you slacked off or something :)

          • avatar says

            Amy’s right. Being made redundant is what happens when a company is doing badly and needs to lose staff, or when two companies merge and they have two HR departments when they only need one. It often comes with a settlement package and no-one would look askance at a cv with a redundancy on it. Legally, the company has to be able to prove that your job isn’t required any more. Being sacked (US fired) is when you are bad at your job and are told to leave so that they can employ someone more capable.

      • avatarNatalie says

        I am in my 20’s, I work and live in London, and quite frankly, I don’t think 95% of Londoners (especially working class ones) have referred to it as “the LDN” since 2006, only now it’s used by wannabe “gangstas” (and no, I don’t think 95% of londoners have their sights set that low), how quaint and middle class!

        Phrases mentioned on this page has been around for centuries, and will still very much be in use in the future, the gangsta slang you use will vanish once the fad passes, just like the Happy Hardcore scene, Madchester and the slang which came and went with it.

        But then again, I can’t expect much more than text speak, lazy sentence structure and an insular attitude to language from someone who refers to one of the greatest novellists of all time and one of the catalysts for social change for the Working class (especially in London) as “Dickins”.

        Words fail me.

        • avatarDanny Shevlin says

          Slang translations in brackets: Back in the day (a long time ago) I was a bit of a rude boy (juvenile delinquent) and did my fair share of bird (time in prison) for twoccing (stealing,taking without owners consent) rides(cars) and serving up (distributing) gear(drugs) Now I’m not trying to give it large(impress) by saying this but inside(in prison) is where you’re likely to clock(notice,hear)the most patter(patois,slang) I’ve done bird (served time) in London jails like Wanno(Wandsworth) Fetham and the Ville(Pentonville)and have used and clocked(noticed,heard) spars(friends) and the next man(other people)use shitloads(alot)of these words bare (many) times. Sorry about the unashamed display of slang but my point is there.In the jails of London town which is undoubtedly where most slang thrives and can even be necessary,the vast majority will use many of these words at some time or another.There is newer slang coming in from the youts and some will stick about for a long time whilst some will just vanish.The same thing happens with every new generation.But to say that most people under 40 don’t use these examples is just plain wrong…!

      • avatarsus says

        I’m a nicely brought up gel from the South of England and at some time or other I have probably used all these words, though not many in polite company! It is more likely that most would be used by the under 40s. You wouldn’t expect your grandmother to say many of them. I agree with the first poster about the minor tweaks.

        • avatar says

          Well I’m a grandmother who was born and brought up in England but left at 25 and now live in Canada! We still use some of these terms, understand and know all (except 65??) and indeed heard them used in Rhodesia where we lived for 10 years and now in Canada where we have been for 34 years! If you’re English, you know these words and language! I do love the American seriousness in deciding to provide a guide to Englishisms , they re quite fascinated by all things British due to watching stuff on TV! Downton Abbey etc.
          We should reciprocate and give a guide to all the delightful Americanisms that abound! Trouble is they do not think it’s needed, as they truly believe their language is God given!meantime, we can thoroughly enjoy our great British dialogues and quirks! Really enjoyed this!

          • avatar says

            Actually, Elizabeth, I think we Americans just don’t generally think of our slang as very interesting or amusing. The older generation (I’m 49, so older than me!) tend to adhere, however, to the idea that American English is superior and everyone ought to know it. I say whatevs.

          • avatar says

            Elizabeth – I would love to see a guide to American slang. I am an American woman in my mid-30’s, and I have no clue what many people younger than me are saying half of the time! I’m never sure if it is new slang or the laziness of today’s youth. I do not think that Americans, as a generalization, believe that our language is God given…’s a bastardization of yours, is it not? I did enjoy this list, as there were numerous terms that I had been “translating” rather incorrectly, or did not know the meaning of in the first place. As far as American English being superior to British English….I don’t think that one is better than the other, as there are so many dialects (if you will) and slang words used in the everyday vernacular that I’m fairly sure that not many people speak either properly to begin with!

        • avatarSoos says

          I was thinking about MY grandmother when I wrote my comment, or even my mother. I mean. I actually could be a legal great grandmother myself and adding another great soon. Thank goodness I’m only at mother level so far!

      • avatarAshley says

        I’m 13 :p have used about 1/3 of these words… *tisk tisk*

        I am trying to learn British English, as I already know American English but the correct way is how the British say it. “U” “eu” they are all proper and I want to be as sophisticated as can be. Most aren’t too off! Don’t get your panties in a twist.

        • avatartheresa says

          Well,im not trying to be mean or anything but i thought you might wanna know since you’re interested it’s called the Queen’s English not British English…And like i said i’m not trying to be a know it all or anything*blush*I hope i helped.

          • avatarrajivusa says

            No, the queens english is just the way she speaks it and that class of people and for generations before have spoken it. On the other hand we have british english, inclusive of many british dialects such as scouser, cockney etc..American english rocks, so if you know that cant see why you want to take a step back! LAKERS BABY!

        • avatarKelly says

          When you are referred to ask speaking correctly you can sometimes hear, “Ain’t she being all posh and pound noteish”, or “Don’t she speak proppa”. There taking a jab at the way you are speaking.

      • avatarPadie says

        We may not use these terms often (some I hear daily others only on 1970’s TV reruns) but as a Brit I understand each one…so I guess they are relevant today.

        My only comment was ‘taking the piss’ is not related to being drunk but means to make fun of something/someone…

      • avatarAbi says

        Maybe not where your from in England, but I’m from yorkshire and I’d say me and my mates use most of these on a daily basis, and we’re 17.

  3. avatarDerGolem says

    Lippy Cow

    (Thanks to Top Gear and Beautiful People)

    Best thing about using these words in the U.S. is that most people have never heard them and just think you’re being clever…

      • avatarMike says

        Not sure if I saw the word ”’Plonker” amongst the list. Plonker is a fun term meaning silly. It was made famous by British ( and VERY sucsessful ) TV Show called Fools & Horses. Another ”term” used back in the 70s, was ”Gordon Bennet”. In fact it was probably used to death. Dont know how it came about, but it was used as an ”Exclamation”. It was used in frustration, when the user couldnt actually believe what had just happened to them. They HAD to say something, so they would say ”Gordon Bennet”.

        • avatarEmily says

          Gordon Bennet so my parents and grandparents have told me was a man who was shot for cowadice in the first world war.

          His name became a swear word after that.

          • avatarThe Vicar says

            “Gordon Bennett!” Is actually a way of exclaiming “God!” (Gawd!) without actually doing so. We tend not to sound the letter “R” you see.. Just as those in the USA used to say “Gee”, which is actually the short form of “Jesus!”. My old drummer’s dad was actually named Gordon Bennett.

  4. avatarKatlyn says

    Ponce actually means an effeminate man
    Bugger denotes sodomy
    Wanker and Tosser both mean some who masturbates…just thought you should know

    • avatar says

      Buggery is sodomy
      To wank is to Masturbate – a wanker is a jerk/asshole. Same with Tosser. They have dual meanings. I think Tosser is my favorite word.

      • avatarIan Leah says

        I think you’ve undersold BUGGER. A most versatile word:
        Oh! bugger, I just hit my thumb with the hammer.
        You won the lottery, you lucky bugger!
        Which bugger drank my beer?
        I dropped the old clock; that’s buggered it.
        I’ve had a tiring day at work and I’m buggered.
        Some bugger drove into my car at the supermarket.
        Well bugger me! (an exclamation of amazement and not an invitation).
        Bugger it (meaning I can’t be bothered).
        I’m buggered if I will (meaning there’s no way I’m going to do it).
        You’ll be buggered if you don’t (meaning you’ll be buggered if you don’t!!).

        I’m buggered if i can think of any more for now.

          • avatarMartin says

            Some favourite geordie slang

            how man = request for attention
            shut your dish = a request for silence (can be used most effectively precursed with ‘how man’)
            gowk = apple core
            bins or geps = spectacles
            hoy = throw or pass something
            eg. ‘hoy the chetties doon the chyebble’ = pass the potatoes down the dining table, there’s a good chap’
            also ‘go out on the hoy’ = a night of enhanced relaxation and socialisation through significant consumption of alcoholic beverages which one ‘hoys doon the neck’

            ‘Geordie’ means person from North East England eg Newcastle / Gateshead by the way !

    • avatarmark says

      Ponce also means a person who uses other people for drinks etc.Poncing the ability to use people so you don’t have to use your own money.

    • avatarNatalie says

      Also, “ponce” is another word with various meanings, and also a verb, don’t you know?

      yes, “ponce” is used more as a term indicating that they are very flashy or even a bit camp.
      You also have ‘ponce about’ (“stop poncing about !”) is directed at someone who is aimless or slow especially when the person using the term is impatiently waiting for them. i.e. “Stop poncing about, we’ve got to be there in 5 minutes !”.
      To ‘ponce off’ means ‘to scrounge’ an example would be “Are you gonna ponce off me all night or are you gonna get your own fags ?”.
      An offshoot of this is “on the ponce” (usually used if going out on the piss), which is, in a nutshell, out for the night with no intention of paying for your drinks.

    • avatarJo says

      You are right Katlyn with your definitions of bugger and wanker, but when used as a slang word we don’t mean it literally! Bugger is usually said in frustration about something and wanker usually means the person is a prat or a plonker or a prick!!
      Some countries are a little more liberal using slang!

    • avatarBarry says

      ‘PONCE’ is some one who lives of the earnings of a Prostitute, has been since Victorian time. Nothing to do with an effeminate man. Ponce is also used as to some one who is always on the cadge for drings hence the expression ‘Hes a Right Ponce’ Baz in East London where the word Ponce came from

      • avatarMouse says

        Well, I guess it truly depends on where you live… Ponce around here means ‘effeminate man’. *shrugs*

        • avatarRuth says

          Some people hear a word, get the wrong end of the stick and the meaning becomes changed, but in fact, a ponce is nothing to do with an effeminate man at all, it is to do with free-loading or living off the proceeds of prostitution. It has since become a term meaning a person who relys on others to get what they want or need without paying for it.

      • avatar says

        Ponce in south london means either someone who lives off the social when there’s nothing wrong with them, or someone who goes around collecting freebies. It can also be for someone who we suspect is a bit of an iron hoof based on how effeminate we perceive him to be! So he’s right.

  5. avatarPaul says

    Dog’s Dinner actually means you look terrible, rather than look good,
    and is usually said about women who have tried to dress up but got it a bit wrong i.e ‘she is done up like a dog’s dinner’

    • avatarPeter says

      OK, let’s just get this ‘bollocks’ thing cleared up

      If you look like a dog’s dinner, you probably got dressed in the dark
      If you are the best of the best then you’re the bollocks
      If you make a mistake, you dropped a bollock
      If you’re talking rubbish, you’re talking bollocks

      There are bound to be more, but you get the frift! 😉

      • avatarPickled Wizard says

        Peter, you forgot the descriptive ‘top bollocks’ as in she’s got ‘andsome pair of top bollocks!

        And, while we’re at it, what about the butchers?………..Skinny? I’ve seen more more meat on a butchers pencil!


        Cop her, fit as the butchers dog!

  6. avatar says

    Hi! Nice list, but some of the translations are slightly out!

    To ‘look like a dog’s dinner’ means to look a mess, as the other Paul mentioned above (or possibly below).

    To be made redundant means to lose your job because the company can’t afford to pay you. It doesn’t mean to be fired, which implies that you screwed up!

    We Brits have lots of euphemisms for rude body parts, but I’ve never heard of #65 or #68 before, so while they might be your favourites, I wouldn’t say they’re used very often.

    Plus, you have “chap” twice. It refers to a pleasant middle-to-upper class man, not a friend specifically. So I might call Stephen Fry a nice chap, despite not knowing him.


    • avatarDai says

      Actually Paul, i have and have heard used the word ‘Chap’ very frequently to refer to a friend as in ‘Hey, You allright Chap?’, or ‘Hey chap, How Things?’ etc etc.
      Yes there are many words here that have not quite hit the nail on the head with their interpretations, most of which have already been covered by previous posters.

  7. avatar says

    fave of mine my husband uses is “mutton dressed as lamb” referring to an older woman dressed in too youthful clothes Love your site Jonathan, many thanks Cheers!

    • avatarMJ says

      Yes, “Mutton dressed as lamb” is a very common term, as is referring to a woman as a cow. I was shocked when I first heard it but I don’t think it’s as offensive to a Brit. “That silly old cow…”

      • avatarEmily says

        mutton dressed as lamb is reffering to a woman as a sheep not a cow.

        mutton is the name for a joint of meat from a sheep that is deemed to old to be sold as lamb.

        • avatarMJ says

          I understand that & if you read carefully, you’ll see that I was referring to two separate expressions, mutton as lamb & woman as cow. :-)

      • avatarMark says

        Never heard that before in my life Colin. Maybe it’s a you and you mates thing…. “mutton dressed as lamb” standard phrase however.
        I’m strangely drawn by your list and have to say it’s reasonably accurate. I’d give it 95%. Upset to see the word ‘awesome’ in the intro paragraph though… points you out as being American instantly, although that has wormed it’s way into the UK now too……
        Mark (UK)

  8. avatarJimBy says

    Yes, 65 and 68 are a mystery to me to. Breasts were always “bristols” – from rhyming slang: Bristol cities. Or “knockers”. Also ” nosh” now means something entirely different from food. ” scoff” refers to any meal.
    Others missed out were:
    berk. : from Berkley Hunt. Work it out for yourself
    two bagger : an unpleasantly ugly person whose head needs to be covered
    by not one but two bags
    porridge : prison
    moody : suspicious. fake. something that may be stolen property
    carrot cruncher : somebody from a rural area
    Old Bill : the police
    gizzit : something nice, worth having ie. give it to me
    scal or scally : young man intent on minor crime. from rascal
    sweded : badly hungover. your head is about as functioning as the vegetable

    • avatarEric says

      some of your defs are too polite.
      In responce to a “two bagger”: yes it’s an ugly person, but you don’t cover their head with two bags. You cover their head with one bag and ONE BAG FOR YOUR HEAD IN CASE THE BAG ON THEIR HEAD BLOWS OFF!

    • avatarJimBy says

      A few more:

      munter a not particularly attractive girl

      divvy an idiot

      strides or kecks trousers

      bills undies, from Bill Grundy

      chocker crowded

      Alan Whickers knickers

      a monkey £500

      a oner or a long ‘un £100

      a pony £25

      chunder vomit

      butchers look , butchers hook

      deffo definitely

  9. avatarChristine says

    Can you do a top 100 of Cockney rhyming slang? I know a few….but there are some that have been shortened (e.g. “berk” ) that I had no idea of the actual meaning.

    • avatarEtta says

      As opposed to the cat’s arse….tho I have to point out that these are very old expressions (tho still ace, to use another) – but I’d like to see a bit of urban slang, a bit of what the kids say, innit?

  10. avatarMad_Andy says

    PS, as a Londoner born and bred, I know what “berk” is short for, but that one is terribly rude!!!

  11. avatarRobert says

    pretty good overall but a few were a little off the mark

    28, a Punter is most often used to describe someone placing any bet or a wager “taking a punt on a horse” although it can mean a customer in general

    31, Taking the Piss, doesn’t mean screwing around, that would be “pissing about”,
    Taking the Piss means to directly make fun of someone usually in a negative way

    45. Pants refers to any under pants for both genders, ‘panties’ would only be worn by women

    54. Dogs Dinner, means to dress messily or uncoordinated, “you look like a dogs dinner”

    57, Made Redundant, means to lose a job through no fault. In the States “Fired” can mean this too, but in Britain “Fired” means you were let go because you did something wrong

    65. I have never ever heard the phrase “Strawberry Creams” to mean ‘Breasts”?

    70. Bollocks, although it can generally mean the male genitalia, it is more likely to be used as an exclamation for something that’s wrong or messed up, “that’s a load of Bollocks”,

    unless you say, “That’s The Bollocks”, then it means it’s good (a shortened version of The Dogs Bollocks)

    76. Daft Cow, the word Daft can be used to describe an idiot, but ‘Daft Cow’ would only be used to describe a female idiot

    86. this one is completely incorrect, Horses for Courses, means “each to his own”, in other words different people like different things (different horses run better on different courses)

    93. Chap, doesn’t really mean ‘friend’ it usually refers to a male adult of decent behavior, you would never call a Chav a Chap

    • avatarKelly says

      82. Anorak A woman’s jacket used for the cold, like a light raincoat. 55. Up for it Are you in with what the group is going to do, ( do you want to come too, Are you up for it). 52. Arse over tea kettle That’s the one my Mum always used I was never aloud to use the other ones, swear words could only be heard from adult mouths, or we got slapped, and sent up the apple & pears to our room. LOL apple & pears (stairs)

  12. avatar says

    PLONKER! I just love that word!!! Vernon loves the way I say it too. I never have an opportunity to use it because we just don’t use that word here where I live in the US.

  13. avatarJeanne says

    Where’s the term “bloke”? I think it should be on your list. And if I never hear the word “brilliant” again, I won’t miss it. It seems to be the most overused slang phrase in England right now, just like “awesome” is here. I left England last Fall thinking how intelligent my conversation must be since many of my comments were deemed “Brilliant”!

    • avatar says

      I handed my train ticket to the conductor, and he handed it back and said, “Brilliant”. I thought, “gee, do others not know how to hand a ticket to a conductor?” :-)))

  14. avatarLolly says

    What about bathbun and toad?
    I grew up hearing my mum call other adults that. They thought they were terms of endearment and not bastard or ass she was really calling them.

  15. avatarPhionna says

    Thank you for the list and the chuckle. I think “lost the plot” is very clever. I would never have thought of “twigs and berries” in those terms.

  16. avatarWade says

    I was giving a talk to a bunch of kids while visiting England and expressed that something was a real let down or depressing. I said that it was a real “Bummer.” Got such a good(laughing) response from the kids that I used it again. Was told later, by a group of young girls.

    A.K.A. “homosexual”………..what a bummer. ; )

    • avatar says

      In NYC, the word “gap” refers to the female genitalia. When I was in London, and the voice came over the speaker to “Mind the Gap”, I thought that if the NY teens were there, they would have thought that they were being told to practice birth control! I told my London friend this, and we both had a good laugh. I said, “I am minding my gap, thank you!” :)

    • avatarRuth says

      No! if something is a bummer, it means it’s a sad event! “it rained on your wedding day? oh, what a bummer!”

    • avatarMike Moulton says

      Although similar, wicked is not used in the same way. In England wicked is used as an adjective as in “That movie was wicked!”. In New England it is used as an adverb “The movie was wicked good!”. Slightly different but you can see where it originated.

      Also, I’m unsure about #80: Smeg – From Red Dwarf

      Although Smeg was a character from Red Dwarf, the slang term “smeg” refers to smegma. If you’re unsure what it is look it up.

      • avatarLeanne Parker says

        smeg was not a character from red dwarf. it was what lister used to call rimmer (smeg head). thus, a nickname, derived from slang meaning the gunk that comes from under a guys foreskin (or so im told….) x

          • avatarMatt says

            Actually when Rob Grant and doug Naylor were writing Red Dwarf they chose Smeg as the main swear word as it didn’t really mean anything at the time. While it is clearly a shortning of smegma there was no use of it all in that way at that time.

            It would mean that the characters could then “swear” to their hearts content on TV with no fear of censorship. It’s only now, because of the show being so popular it has become a (very) mild swear word.

          • avatarSammy says

            I believe Smeg is actually Australian slang… which is where Grant and Naylor got it from and as you said meant the characters could ‘swear’ on the bbc.

        • avatarGizzy says

          Dayle, No, I believe an American slang-equivalent would be “spooge.” It is the substance that is excreted.

  17. avatarKelli says

    Not sure #46 is quite right…to throw a spanner in the works means you’ve potentially messed up someone’s plans – for example, if someone has made reservations for dinner at a steakhouse and you don’t eat meat, you could say:

    “Sorry to throw a spanner in the works, but I’m a vegetarian.”

  18. avatarwd says

    what about “knock you up” for wake you up? we americans find this absolutely brill. p.s. some of these (i.e. #s 17, 23, 50, 61, 77 are pretty common in the u.s.)

    • avatarSammy says

      Never heard it mean that… if you knock someone up you got them pregnant (which, I believe, is used in the states too).

  19. avatarPat says

    One of my favorites was not on the list. Winker for turn signals. A friend from England stationed in the US quite a few years ago was driving her kids to school one morning when the turn signal lever fell off the steering wheel. She pulled into a gas station and told the attendant “I need help. My winker fell out!” The guy was so puzzled, she got upset and couldn’t remember to call it a turn signal. Finally she pointed to the place where the lever fell out and he realized what she was talking about and fixed it. We laughed about this for days!

  20. avatargenagirl says

    Restroom, for breakroom. It worried me at first because Bodie and Doyle of the PROFESSIONALS were always going to make tea in the restroom. Seemed a bit unhygienic to me!

    • avatarPeter says

      Well, makes sense though… when we visit the toilet, we don’t go for a rest[room] or to put on powder[room]… though I hear that some do sniff powder there!

      So we have many other useful words for this room:

      For #1s we go for a slash or go to pay the water bill or paint the porcelain
      For #2s we go for a Queensway (used to be a large department store that always had sales with the sign in the window reading “Massive Clearout”)

      Oh, and on aside, when we make our own cigarette over here, we roll a fag… I believe some other activity entirely ensues in America when you do this! 😀

    • avatarMinerva says

      Never heard of ‘scrumpish’ as a word…..scrumptious, yes…….but not scrumpish.

  21. avatarWankingYank says

    Thought I knew all the British slang but recently learned that “minge” was slang for female genitalia and/or pubic hair. I’m assuming that “mange” is slang for the male equivalent 😉

    • avatarPeter says

      So now you understand that when you describe someone as a “minger” (say as ‘singer’), we are alluding to the fact that we do not find that person (male or female) aesthetically pleasing!

    • avatarRuth says

      Yes, mangy is used when something is dirty, scruffy and looks like it’s been on the streets for a while and probably got some infectious disease, such as mange! Minge is strictly for female “pubes” or fanny.

  22. avatarLeo says

    Hmmm,thinking about dosh for money but not sure it’s cockney or not.I know some cockney slang but you said you were doing that list soon.

    mobile=cell phone
    to ring=to call someone
    lovely=nice,not necessarily pretty
    cheers=thanks,or thanks alot

      • avatargnome alice says

        Natalie, I’ve never heard of “Mickey Bliss”, but that may be a London expression so I wouldn’t have. My understanding was that ‘Micky’ was a contraction of ‘micturition’ which is a synonym of ‘urination’, thus “taking the mickey’ for ‘taking the piss’ which used to mean mocking but seems also to mean ‘taking advantage of” or ‘pulling a fast one’ nowadays.

        • avatar says

          Of course you won’t hear “Mickey Bliss”, because, as with all Rhyming slang, only the first word or couple of syllables are used. I mean, come on, who on earth refers to a curry as a “Ruby Murray” your hair as “Barnet Fair” a look as a “Butcher’s Hook”, own/alone as “Tod Sloan” or one’s breasticles as “Thrupenny Bits” or “Bristol Cities” ?

          It’s a having Ruby, getting your Barnet sorted, taking a Butcher’s, on your Tod, and it’s your Thupennies or Britsols – never, EVER the full phrase – The only time your hear a full phrase is when a Mockney (or The Sun) tries to force a phrase for it to catch on, like Britney Spears/Ray Mears for beers 😀

          I’ll give you one thing, rhyming slang is esoteric 😉

  23. avatarDenise says

    You are having a giraffe – a laugh, you are making fun of me
    spending a penny – going for a pee
    having a butcher`s – having a look – butcher`s hookrhimes with look…
    fags – cigarettes
    It`s monkeys outside – it is very cold
    apple and pears – upstairs


      • avatarFiendishgames says

        I believe a “brass monkey” was a device upon which cannonballs were stored, When the weather got really cold, the balls would stick to the brass monkey, hence “brass monkeys weather”.

        I will now Google the phrase and find out the above is a right load of old pony!

    • avatarNicola says

      I’ve also heard “it’s taters” (being potatoes I think) for it’s cold, not sure where that originates from, probably Cockney rhyming slang somewhere.

      • avatarPickled Wizard says

        Taters derives from taters mold – cold. Ive got a feeling it has something to do with potato blight which happens when it gets frosty (or summer as they call it in Scotland)

        There is an amusing dictionary of Rhyming slang called Fletchers Book of Rhyming slang which was published in 1978 – Fletch was the unlikely hero in a programme called Porridge, about life in a prison, and was played by the wonderful Ronnie Barker. I’ve got a copy – if you can find one, its well worth a punt.

        Be Lucky!

  24. avatarPeter says

    I heard “gormless bugger” from the English hostess at a restaurant in the 1960’s. It meant very stupid.
    The Bees Knees was used in the U.S. back in the 1920’s.
    Don’t get your knickers in a twist has a closer American counterpart in “don’t get your panties in a wad”.
    I’ve heard of ‘screwed’ in Britain meaning very drunk.

    • avatarNicola says

      “trolleyed” is another one for being very drunk. “Off his/her trolley”, means nuts or mad (crazy). Off his/her head also means very drunk or sometimes mad/crazy.

    • avatarMike says

      Never heard screwed that way but bladdered I heard in the 80’s meaning wasted or drunk.

      Going on a ‘bender’ and having a ‘black un’ meaning drinking so much you eihter collapse or can’t recall anything of the previous night.

    • avatarRuth says

      Screwed, can mean to have had sex, to have ruined something, as in “screwed up”, or it can mean that someone has conned you out of money [or something valuable], as in “he’s screwed us over”. There is also “he’s onto a good screw there”, which means he’s conning someone out of something, or someone is being paid a lot of money for doing something very easy.

  25. avatarKim says

    Here’s my two cents.

    Minger – Not a very nice female, ugly or generally distasteful, following on from “Minge”

    Knackered – Not just tired, also can mean worn out or broken, come from the old term of “Knacker’s Yard” or something, like a scrap yard.

    Anorak – it’s more of a geek term, someone who is very clever, knows a lot about something. Partially from the actual item of clothing, a waterproof rain coat, sometimes used with train-spotters who are out in the rain watching trains.

    NEVER heard of Twigs and berries, or Strawberries and creams in my life. And I’m off to bedfordshire? Maybe that’s a regional one…

    And I could be wrong, but “Blighty” … isn’t that Brighton, not Britain?

    Might need to change “Do” to “A do”, like “going to a do tonight” as it doesn’t really work on it’s own.

    Leave the Smeg in, maybe it’s a little old school (ohhh is that another one? xD) but I’ve heard people use “Smeghead” plenty of times haha.

    And some some suggestions from down south!

    “Innit” – I lived in London for two years, you soon pick this one up, meant to be “Isn’t it?” but is used as an agreement or just a one word sentence ending.

    “Dinlow” or “Dim glow” seems to be South West term I’ve never heard until recently, means a little slow, or stupid.

    Twat needs to go in, agreeing with a comment above, it’s so useful for everything and I hear it and use it all of the time!

    Twit – Idiot “What a twit”

    That’s all I can think of right now.

    But this list is brilliant, will be sharing this around my US friends, so they can understand me!!

    • avatardayle says

      Innit is also now used at least in sussex where my family are to refer to tourists – they are ‘innit’s” because they walk around saying thing like ” innit pretty” or ” it’s nice here innit”! down south my relies call them grockles – no idea where that came from though! Love this website!

    • avatarlaura says

      And I’m off to bedfordshire? Maybe that’s a regional one…

      And I could be wrong, but “Blighty” … isn’t that Brighton, not Britain?

      I’m off to Bedfordshire. I’ve heard that quite a few times as in “Up the wooden hills to Bedfordshire” (up the stairs to bed)
      And Blighty is definitely Britain 😀

      I’ve heard of ‘screwed’ in Britain meaning very drunk.

      I always think of ‘screwed’ as either ” i screwed him/her ( i sha**ed him/her) or as in “oh dear, he’s screwed!” as in he’s in a lot of trouble.

      • avatarStephen Carter says

        “Blighty” means Britain. It comes from British troops stationed in India who heard the Indian population talking about them coming from “abroad”, which is Bahlati in Hindi. So Blighty is only used when referring to Britain when you are away from it, or maybe humorously.

        • avatarDr. Rajiv says

          Well, its not Bahlati in Hindi, it is Vilayati. It has been derived from the Arabic “wilayah” which means “province”. In Persian and Urdu, it became Vilayat and we Indians used it in the ancient days to refer to provinces lying beyond the Hindukush mountains.

    • avatarLeigh Mariana says

      Nah, Blighty is definitely Britain :) I’m pretty sure that it originated from the Royal Navy

      “Innit” is a really chavy thing to say, you wouldn’t catch older or higher class people saying it. If I or any of my friends say it by accident , then we get the piss out of us :)

    • avatarFiendishgames says

      Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire – Small Faces.

      Blighty is definitely Britain, and not Brighton. I think it is Indian in origin (like pajamas, bungalow, etc.) but I could be wrong.

      Which reminds me: “ruby” – as in “Ruby Murray = curry” should be on the list. A few years back “pukka” would have been but the fat-tongued chef has killed that one off.

    • avatarMike says

      Gone the journey ( they are not coming back) only the first part is used and means someone who has tipped over the edge into unreasonable behaviour or belief.

  26. avatar says

    Oh yeah, “knackered” and “shitfaced” are two of my favorites. Great words. One other funny one that I liked was “dragon lady.” I lived in the Lake District for “a tad”. I swear my English has never been the same since. Oh, and don’t forget “brolly.”

  27. avatarMick Cooper says

    All I can say as a Canadian-born Brit is ….. Thank God we still use the much,more more intelligent British Slangs. Not to mention the real English Language. Let’s face facts, the whole language that the Yank’s call ‘American English’ is all a slang version of the one and only true English Language.Just as French Canadian is to Parisian French. God Save the Queen,England, and the Commonwealth !!

  28. avatarAlyson says

    Dobber – never, ever heard that in relation to a penis, and I know most of them (plonker also means penis…) anyway – back in the ’70’s a dobber was an enormous marble in the game of marbles….so anything that is bigger than it would normally be is known as a dobber!! :)

    Again, never heard taking the mick or taking the michael to have come from rhyming slang, but I’m happy to be corrected!

  29. avatarJenny Doughty says

    ‘Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire’ = going to bed.

    ‘Blimey’ is an abbreviated version of a very old oath – ‘may God blind me’, but honestly most people probably don’t know that.

    Dob – to dob somebody in is to tell on them.

    I’ve never heard of #65 or #68, and I lived in the UK until I was 52. Bristols would be the more familiar name for breasts (rhyming slang – Bristol City/titty). Another term for male genitalia might be ‘Crown Jewels’.

    • avatarCristina Prado says

      There’s a scene in the film “The full monty” in which Gaz ( Robert Carlyle) exclaims “God Blimey!” Never forgot that! :-)

  30. avatarVictoria says

    With regards to #82: Anorak. As a Brit meself, it’s always meant a raincoat or waterproof to me. But most of them are spot on. Are you a yank yourself?

    • avatarPickled Wizard says

      Yank = septic (work out the rhyme yourselves)

      ‘See that bloke with the check strides and the hawaiian dickie – reckon he’s a septic’

      • avatarChris says

        Knocked up doesn’t mean to be woken up it, I’ve never heard it used like that. It definatley means to be pregnant, you might have confused it with ‘knock for me’ as in ‘knock for me at about half ten’ (call round my house at about half ten)

        Also no one seems to have listed ‘gander’ meaning to look, as in ‘have a gander at that’

        • avatarjess says

          No, my mum used to say ‘knock you up’ (actually she still does) without realising what it means to young people now.
          Still makes me laugh when she says it, it must be an americanism that’s crept into our language through television, as the older British generation say it in a ‘knock on your door to wake you up’ type of way, but my friends and I would say in a ‘get ya preggers’ type of way.

        • avatarMike says

          I’ll give you a knock about six meaning I will call at six and knock on the door. Quite usual when most people didn’t have or shared cars and everyone had jobs and went to work together.

          • avatarRuth says

            I agree that “give you a knock” means knock on your door. “Knocked up” is more modern and probably comes from an Americanism.

          • avatarJames says

            Yes. The words give and up are very important in fixing the meaning here. “Give me a knock about eight” means come around and pick me up at 8 o clock. “Knock me up about 8” would mean make me pregnant at 8 o clock

      • avatarRuth says

        Me either, Mike. I’m English, lived most of my life in England and traveled extensively around Britain and I have never come across this euphemism before. I’m an English teacher in Spain and I love etymology, so if I’ve not heard of it then it is certainly not in common use. Baps, Jugs [there was a porno mag called Jugs of Joy!], Paps is a really ancient British word for breasts and some hills are called the paps of so-and-so, like The Paps of Jura. I’d say, “tits” is the most common word, or “boobs” these days – don’t forget “tit-sling” for bra! :-)

  31. avatarChristine says

    As an Aussie, I know most of these sayings but when you see them written down like this you realise what a very strange language we have.

  32. avatardayle says

    I love arse over tit – my nan used to say it. Also love the alternative ‘base over apex’!
    you forgot ” keep a hand on ya ha’penny” ( good advice to teenage females going out) and definitely ” Gordon Bennet!” i think you missed “chav” too – which has come in since I have been away…..

  33. avatarJenni R says

    what about “legless” for “very drunk” – at least my Welsh cousin-in-law knew what I meant with that one
    Thanks for the great site, I’m adding it to my list of favourites

  34. avatarChristian Cull says

    No, chaps, smeg head is not a polite version if anything. Smeg is what comes out, nit the dick itself.
    Check out the Viz Profanisaurus app (if Apple haven’t blocked it yet) for the true depths – but you will need to be brave.

  35. avatarJohn Morgan says

    Plonker …. If someone asks you to get your plonker out they are asking to see your penis. So plonker is akin to calling someone a prick, which is a dick.

  36. avatarMJ says

    Where is PRAT? “He’s a right prat!” It’s yet another word for idiot.

    Because a fanny in the UK is a vagina, using the noun “fanny pack” can cause unintentional hilarity. It means…packing the fanny! (But you wouldn’t wear one of these anyway, would you? It brands you as an anorak.)

  37. avatarJames says

    I’m from yorkshire hehehe

    Am off darn to shop to get some milk fo’ tea, does tha’ want summat bringin’ fo’ the’ lad?
    Aye ‘ad bloody like sum spice from behind carnter. On’y if it in’t too deer tho’.
    Or’eyt then mucka al seeya in a bit, when av come back like.

    • avatarMouse says

      Oh Jeez–
      Except the word “to” and “the” don’t really exist though do they?

      “Off down t’shop”
      Reading this was almost painful because it’s so true-

  38. avatarAndy U says

    Don’t wish to be an Anorak, but Whinge, Chunder and Dob/Dobber are Australian terms, #34 Nicked can also mean Arrested “You’re nicked!” (by the Police or ‘Fuzz’) and Monkey’s (Peter) isn’t from the expression about the cold, it’s from “don’t give a monkey’s…”. Cold Enough to Freeze the Balls off a Brass Monkey is a Royal Navy term from the days of cannon balls. Cannon balls used to be kept in a frame made of brass, called a ‘monkey’. They were a tight fit – they had to be. In cold weather, though, the metal of the cannon balls would contract more than the brass, thus becoming loose and falling from the monkey with the movement of the ship. OMG – I AM an ANORAK!


    • avatarPatrick says

      Actually the naval monkey’s story isn’t true at all, it’s just one of those stories that gets fired around on emails that gullible people swallow whole.

      Monkeys is used in both expressions, cold and ‘not giving a…’ so why label one incorrect?

  39. avatarMark says

    I think I can help you with “smeg” and “smeg head” from Red Dwarf. This is a reference to smegma which is a substance occaisionally found under the foreskin of un-circumcised males (known in the US as Fromunda cheese) . Hence Lister’s colorful terminology.

    • avatarMike says

      In the North it’s ‘get’ a kind of mild swearword when I was young. ‘stupid get’

      • avatarMinerva says

        In coalmining parlance to be called a ‘get’ (or ‘git’) was to be declared ‘born out of wedlock’ (or ‘on the wrong side of the blanket’!)……not a mild swearword at all, but a slur that would seriously get ‘your block knocked off’ if caught.
        In the early coalmining days when pit safety was pretty basic, men died & commonly left expecting lasses without a ring on their finger to a life of shame.

  40. avatarChris says

    Sod, which can be used effectionatly as in ‘you little sod’ -a rascal and Sod off, meaning go away, and also sodding, if your car broke down you’d say that sodding car! meaning ‘damn car’

    Mooch – meaning a slow look around, I mooched around the shop

    Dawdal – meaning to walk slowly or drag your feet, my Mum used to tell me to stop dawdling when she took me shopping with her.

  41. avatarBrooke says

    An old nursery rhyme reads:
    “Up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire, down sheet lane to blanket fair.”
    Never meant anything to me being American, but now I get it! Going to bed; brilliant!

  42. avatarTo7m says

    47’s wrong, Americans don’t say “ZZZZZZZ” instead of “Zed”, they say “Zee”… or possibly “Zi”

  43. avatarDaniel says

    Also the phrase “Now Then” would be a useful one.
    It is mostly used in the north of England and some of Wales.
    It is a greeting term used informally.
    Another good one would be; Kid, not as in a small child but, but used to describe a friend you deem to be close too
    It is mostly used in the north of England and some of Wales.
    It is a greeting term used informally
    I.E. Now then kid, how you doing?

  44. avatarOsmium says

    You have not included the now ubiquitous ‘Jafrican’ UK street slang, a mixture of cockney, Caribbean patois and South East Asian inflections. I have heard everyone from David Cameron, Tony Blair and younger members of the royal family adopt the words and phrases (particularly when they want to ‘be down’ with the youngsters)

    Shank Knife
    Heavy Good
    Butters Ugly
    Jacked Robbed
    Banged Slept with
    A next Another
    Sket Slag
    Blood Brother/friend
    Buff Fit/attractive
    Creps Trainers
    Breas Guys/men
    Beanie Girl
    My manor/my endz

  45. avatarCathryn says

    @Chris – there’s also “Oh, sod it” as an expression of frustration. That was one of my mother’s oft-used expressions!

    BTW I think you mean “dawdle” not “dawdal.” Yep, often used by British mothers to their children – “Stop dawdling, we haven’t got all day!” I’m not sure that would be classified as slang, though – and according to Collins and Oxford dictionaries it’s a word that’s been used since the 17th century.

    • avatarMike says

      Frig !!! This, as my good friend Cracker assures me, was always a women’s swear word
      as in ‘Frigging hell’ What the frig are you doing” I might be showing my age here?

  46. avatarJoel says

    Here’s some definitions (some of these are rude by the way, because we have some very inventive and old Saxon words for rude things). Alot of our slang is now becoming more Americanised however, like people using the word ‘cop’ to mean policeman:

    Twigs and berries, strawberry creams, gentleman sausage – don’t exist, it was invented by an American for films. Meat and two veg does exist, meaning penis and testicles.

    Twat: can be – a thick idiot, a gay bloke, a punch or smack, or a vagina.

    Pants, does not mean ‘panties’ The word for that is ‘knickers’. Pants means underwear. Trousers means what Americans call pants.

    Ponce can be: a pimp, an effeminate bloke, a gay bloke or a poser.

    Spuds: potatos
    Taters: potatos
    Ruby: curry
    Chinky: Chinese food
    Chips: these are NOT French fries. chips are much thickers than fries. Fries are called fries here too. Chips will be found in a chip shop, not in Maccy D’s.
    Fanny about: to mess about.
    Shag: sex
    Wank: masturbate
    Muff: vagina
    Flange: vagina
    Tit-head: idiot
    Smeg: knob cheese
    Dump: deficate
    Slash: urinate
    James: James Hunt is a rhyming slang.
    Plod/Old Bill/Rozzers: police
    Copper: policeman (NOT ‘cop’ as the tabloids now call them)

    Words for foreginers. these are actually slang and jest words, not racial slurs, but these days they are seen as offensive. Some of these are also used in the US of course:
    Chink: Chinaman
    Nips: Japanese
    Kraut/Fritz: German
    Ivan: Russian
    Yanks: Americans
    Frog: Frenchman
    Paddy: Irishman
    Taff/sheep shagger: Welshman
    Jock: Scotsman
    I-ties: Italians
    Aussies: Australians
    Pakis (really a racist term, but originally just slang. Do NOT use this, but simply because you will no doubt hear people use it): Anyone from South and west Asia, Indian Sub-continent, but from the name Pakistan.

    Chin-wag: Chat
    Gobbledegook: Words which make no sense or don’t seem to.
    Taxi: cab
    Pavement: sidewalk
    Torch: flashlight
    Boot: trunk (of a car)
    Gary: Rhyming slang again… Gary Glitter… your arsehole.
    Cheesed off: Pissed off
    Pissed off: pissed
    Pissed: drunk
    Pisser: toilet
    Bog: toilet
    Cellar: Basement
    Loft: attic
    Kosher: real, legitimate
    Couldn’t care less: for some reason in the US this is ‘could care less’
    Pikey/gippo: Gypsey/”traveller”
    The Pond: The Atlantic Ocean
    Septics: Yanks (not because we think you have diseases, but because the USA ‘infects’ everywhere else with its culture)
    Lipski: Pole (old)
    Half-inching: Stealing
    Nicking: stealing
    Nicked: can be stolen or arrested
    Twatted: drunk or punched
    Brick it: shit yourself from fear
    Leg it: Run off
    Arm and a leg: Very expensive
    Bell end: Not actually a penis, just the bell shaped end (glans)
    Japs eye: pee-hole
    Dab hand: highly skilled
    Dingbat: Idiot
    Doughnut: idiot
    Dustbin: trashcan
    Tonsil tennis: tongue kissing
    Jumper: sweater
    Jersey: jumper
    Tight-arse/Scrooge/Stingey: Miserly
    Hard-nut: tough bloke
    Barney: trouble/argument
    Dilly-dally: Waste time, hang about getting nothing done
    Bloke/geezer/chap: man
    Bird: woman
    Send into Coventry: ignore, shun
    Brew: cup of tea
    Bevvy: alcoholic drink
    Botch job: cheap, badly dont work
    Bodge it: do it badly on the cheap

    Use of swear words in Britain, particularly England.

    Various swear words are used outside of offending people. The most commonly used words are ‘bollocks’, ‘shit’, and, strangely to a lot of Americans, ‘c*nt’.

    Bollocking: telling off
    Bollocksed: pissed (i.e. drunk)
    Bollocks: rubbish, made-up, stupid, bull shit
    The bollocks: the best, excellent
    Drop a bollock: screw up
    Bollocks: testicles
    Bollocks: exclaimation
    You can also ‘shout your bollocks off’, or tell someone ‘bollocks to that’ if you don’t fancy doing something, etc

    Bollocks is a very British word really, as we can use it for so many things. We’re strange like that…

    Shit-faced: very drunk
    Shitting it: scared
    Shit: normal US usage
    Shit-head: speaks for itself this one!
    Up shit creek: In a big dilemma
    Shit-stirrer: one who spreads rumours
    Shite: shit
    Shitter: toilet
    Shit: mess, stuff

    C*nt is used in various ways: For vagina, term of endearment, rude name for someone, someone who’s winding you up or annoying you is ‘being c*ntish’. Something that is very hard is ‘a right c*nt’.

    • avatarPhil says

      ‘Cunt’ is a funny one. Calling a group of men, an organisation or firm ‘a bunch of cunts’ is par for the course (treated as normal). It’s much more offensive if used misogynistically about women. Like many vulgarisms, it’s Middle English for female genitalia, as opposed to ‘vagina’, which is imported from Latin. The equivalent Middle English word for penis is ‘yard’ (I wish!), which is way out of use (in that context) and not offensive.

    • avatarHoward Makin says

      Joel, “cop” is not originally American. It’s from Northern English “copper”, one who “cops”, or catches.

  47. avatarTamara K. Rollins says

    I have always been fond of the word “rubbish”. But all British sounds great to me. I like old words the best.

  48. avatarGraham says

    ‘Septics: Yanks (not because we think you have diseases, but because the USA ‘infects’ ‘

    Septics for Americans is actually from the term septic tank which rhymes with Yank.

    Having lived in the North-East, North-West, South-East, South-West, London and Scotland as well as working with some of the most imaginative users of English for a decade in the Royal Navy I can honestly say that if you used the term strawberry creams or twig and berries, nobody would have a clue as to what you were talking about.

    Also be aware that 49. Nosh although it does mean food can also mean a blow job, as in ‘she gave me nosh’ or ‘she noshed me off’.

    Many of these words have different meanings depending on which area you’re in. Bugger can be an endearing word in the North-East with kids being called little buggers and bugger-lugs (lugs are ears).

    Overall a very good list but be aware of regionalisms. Being a northerner with a southern girlfriend I find we disagree on the most basic words and uses of the english language. An old saying goes ‘when an englishman opens his mouth he offends an other’.

  49. avatarKara says

    I call the French “Frogs” some times because I read a lot of classic British Literature.
    I mean it with all the love in my heart. :)
    I love ” lost the plot ” it describes me so well. I discovered it in fan fiction, though, so I wasn’t sure if people actually said it or not. Most of the other words I’ve heard in a show that has Tim Roth as the main character. Plonked, wanker and the like were thrown around very easily. I thought that was great. The show is called “Lie to me”.

  50. avatarJane Thompson says

    How about “It’s all gone tits-up”

    And a good one for the bank holiday “See you next tuesday” (quite similar to “There we are then”)

  51. avatarDan says

    A few errors with this:

    1: Tosser and wanker are the same thing, used as an insult but generally means someone who masturbates to have a wank.

    2: dogs dinner = a mess. (you made a right dogs dinner of that = you really screwed that up)

    3: made redundant is to be laid off job no longer there or no longer needed. To get fired is getting sacked. Never confuse reduncy with getting the sack (fired).

    4: no one says gentlemen sausage or off to bedfordshire.

    Also there are few more names for money value like:

    A score £20
    Oner (wonner) £100
    Monkey £500
    Grand £1000

    Hope this helps. :)

  52. avatarDan says

    Someone asked the meaning of “berk” it’s an old saing for berkshire hunt meaning cunt

    Cunt meaning vagina. Not nice word it offends many people.

  53. avatarmark says

    #93-‘Monkeys’ is much more often ‘brass Monkeys’, or even ‘brassic’, for ‘very cold’. The use of these words comes from the saying ‘freeze the balls off a brass monkey’. Some say this is an old naval expression: the balls being iron shot and the brass monkey, a brass tray.

    • avatarPickled Wizard says

      brassic means to have no money – borassic lint – skint. Brass monkeys is the usual term for cold – you can imagine turning up at the pub on a winters evening and the landlord asking ‘is it cold out?’ you reply may well be ‘ its brass bleedin’ monkeys out there mate – by the way I’m brassic so can I stick a pint on my slate!’ (luvly jubbly!)

  54. avatarJodie says

    I forget how alien we look to the Americans :p

    1 = 6 = masturbater or arsehole (jerk, basically)
    53 is in the dictionary… Pretty sure its a real word ..
    57 is a legal term when you’re laid off work because the firm can’t afford to keep you,
    58 comes from a famous little rhyme, easy peasy lemony squeezy. I have no idea where that came from lol
    Have never heard 65,67 or 68 said with that meaning…
    71 means .. Well if you’re poncing, you’re trying to get something for nothing, taking advantage of someone’s kindness to get free stuff basically.
    85 is a legal term, to be held at her majesties pleasure is the old but still in use term for inprisonment, but it is not slang.

  55. avatarPhil says

    “Well, I went to this do (party), right? Innit? It was the fuckin’ dog’s bollocks (very good), even though I couldn’t pull (attract) nuffin (nothing=anything). Fuck all (no) crumpet (attractive members of the opposite sex), just wall to wall fuckin foul baggage (unattractive members of the opposite sex). So I just got pissed as a fart (drunk as a skunk). Actually a Shakespeare quote). At one point I popped (went) upstairs to have a butcher’s (butcher’s hook=look) and all I sees is this great big fuckin moon (bottom) goin up and down shagging (fucking) some tart (girl or woman, possibly of low status). It was like a bleeding lunar fuckin eclipse or summink (something). I got such a shock I suddenly had to puke my fuckin ring (anus) up, so I spent the rest of the night calling Huey and Ralph (onomatapeoia, punking sounds) down the great white telephone (the toilet).”

  56. avatarPhil says

    “Mummy, do showgirls come apart?”

    “I don’t know dear. Why?”

    “Daddy said he just screwed the arse off of one.”

  57. avatargeorgia says

    No seriously, Im British.
    I just want to correct a few things:
    Tosser does not mean idiot. it means the same as wanker.
    some people seem to have the wrong idea about the word cunt, it is one of the foulest insults over here. Some people might say to someone “C U Next Tuesday” (C-U-N-T)
    If you say it to someone even as a joke you WILL get a punch in the face.

  58. avatarAndrew says

    You missed one a good old cockney one “BOTTLE”

    wow!! look at the BOTTLE on that = a Woman’s fabulous figure
    or he has no BOTTLE someone afraid to have a fight/conflict

    And it is pronounced bot all wit a near silent T

    • avatarSir Keef says

      Would be more likely to be said as : ‘He ain’t got the bottle’ rather than ‘he has no bottle’ – that would be a frightfully posh expression for a cockney to use and would sound pretty strange not to mention ridiculous!!!

      Never heard of ‘look at the bottle’ on that either

      More common would have been (back in the bad old pre- political correctness days that is):

      Cor (as in Cor Blimey!) look at the bristols on that (Bristol CIty- Titty!)

      Another breast inspired comment could be ‘and check out the raspberry ripples they’re like a pair of Scammel wheel nuts’

      Raspberry Ripple a variety of Ice Cream – I’ll let you work out what that one rhymes with for yourselves if you don’t already know ;O)

      Scammel is a very robust make of British truck and ladies with very prominent Raspberry Ripples are occasionally (with a healthy dose of exaggeration) given the dubious compliment of having ones which resemble the nuts that hold the wheels on to the said vehicle…

    • avatarFJK says

      ” Get up off your aris ! ” is double rhyming slang.

      Aris, being short for Aristotle; Aristotle = bottle; bottle and glass = arse

      • avatarMike says

        Oh sod it !!!
        Doddle meaning something was easy as in ‘the first part was difficult but after that it was a bit of a doddle.”

        Arse is a great word but I can’t be arsed to give any examples.

  59. avatarpeta taylor says

    Not a bad list with so many more to choose from and if you want some really inventive British filth-wit Roger’s Profanisaurus of ‘Viz’ comic spin-off is worth a look. I would say that cold weather is more likely to be ‘brass monkeys out’. ..still used if quite old school.

  60. avatarHolly says

    Um, a few of the one’s on here I’ve never heard of… and actually a few of them may not be so common in Britain.

    I’ve personally never come across; #27, #54 (This one actually means you are dressed messily), #57 (When you’re made redundant it means the company can’t afford to keep you on any more, not that you’ve screwed up and are therefore fired), #65, #68, #74 (when you say ‘bangers’ you normally have ‘and mash’ on the end, because I wouldn’t say can I have a banger sandwich please- I’d say can I have a sausage sandwich and then I’d also say can I have Bangers and mash please), #75 (chips are not French fries, chips are a lot thicker and you get them from the fish and chip shop, we call the skinny, covered in salt, can get them from Mac Donalds chips, fries the same as you do), #80, #82 (an anorak is sort of like a waterproof jacket for me), #84, #89 and #93….

    But saying this, it really depends where you go in Britain to here the different words. Just like in America they have different states, in England we have almost a miniature version of that with our different county’s. If you go down to London or up to Yorkshire the words and accents they use WILL be different!

    So I may not get some of these, but other people may…

    I must say though, you have got a lot up there that I use everyday, for example bollocks and fit, arse and brilliant are just a few that are in my everyday vocab.

    Anyway, well done on your list :)

    • avatarHolly says

      Oh and I’ve got to say that some of you have got the wrong idea about the word c*nt, it is a SERIOUSLY offensive word and if you say it to someone (even as a joke) you will get a broken nose from a lot of people.
      For example, if someone called me a c*nt- I would B*tch slap the mother f*cker…. HARD!!!!

      • avatarDave says

        I disagree, very common to call someone a cunt and be called a cunt.
        In fact to call any thing a cunt is very common in my opinion and it’s not that offensive.
        North East England.

  61. avatardiego says

    can someone help me with the word AMAZING that usually use Cheryl Cole in The X factor.

    • avatarPickled Wizard says

      It has nothing to do with slang – the sainted Cheryl just has a limited vocabulary!

  62. avatar says

    Some of these weren’t necessary to translate, either because they are self-explanatory (“brilliant”) or because they are used in North American society (“easy peasy” – I mean, if you’ve never heard another person use that, you must live under a rock.) Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian and am far more British than Americans. (/sarcasm) Also, “shambles” is repeated, and therefore there are only 99 terms.
    Of course, I obsess over British television and know what most of these terms mean, but I think the only one that was helpful was “bangers” because I never knew what “bangers and mash” was…
    Erm. Yeah.

  63. avatarBrummieDave says

    “57. Made Redundant – Fired from a job”

    Can i just make the point here, it seems everyone as missed.
    Being made redundant is specific to losing your job because your employers can not afford to employ you anymore, The most extreme example being the company going bankrupt, rather then “being fired” which implies your at fault for losing your job.

    Being honest I though Americans used that phrase too.

    Just in case.

    • avatar says

      No we don’t. We used ‘fired’ for losing your job if it’s your fault and ‘laid off’ if it’s not your fault.

  64. avatarJo says

    What about ‘numpty’? A nice way of calling someone an idiot….used a lot in our house!

  65. avataralex says

    If you’ve got twigs and berries there’s something wrong. Don’t know about you but I’ve only got 1 twig.

  66. avatarJohn says

    I like ‘sack it’ or ‘sack it off’ = can’t be arsed (bothered); give it up; forget about it..

    Also ‘box’ = TV; telly. Ergo, “Anything decent on the ‘box tonight?”

  67. avatarJohn says

    Hank Marvin = starving (Cockney rhyming slang)

    “Hurry up with that grub (food), I’m fucking hank marvin here!”

  68. avatarNicky from Yorkshire says

    Wally = silly person (polite version for wanker)
    She’s bang tidy = she’s an attractive person
    Nice one = good job/well done
    Weirdo = strange individual
    Cretin = git = obnoxious person, often male
    Naff = something uncool or pathetic (or ‘pants’)
    Chin up, son = cheer up there, fella = hold your head up, mate, it’s not that bad
    I’m skint = I’m totally out of cash (Got no moolah, mate)
    Bairn = child (common to Northern England and Scotland only)
    He’s playing a blinder = He’s having a good game/making a good effort at something
    He’s doing my head in = He’s annoying hell out of me (possibly Northern only)
    Silly bint = silly cow = dumb female (mild insult; can be offered endearingly)
    He’s got worked up over nothing = He’s got upset over nothing
    I’m shitting/crapping myself = I’m very scared about something
    What’s cooking? = What’s going on?
    Mardy cow = Grumpy/moody woman (Northern only)
    You’re flying without a license = your zipper is down (your ‘flies’ = your zipper)
    Slag = ‘slut’ = insult = ‘loose’ woman (also ‘slapper’ or ‘tramp’)
    Shut your mush = shut your mouth …or ‘stop your yapping’
    Gobbing off = talking a load of bollocks = or a load of tripe = or just talking ‘out of your arse’
    The man’s a tool (or prize tool) = He’s a ‘knobhead’ (male only; milder than ‘wanker’)
    Stop showing off = Stop seeking people’s attention. Also, a “show off” is a poser or somebody who “shows off”.
    He’s/she’s a ‘skank’ = dirty (literally), trashy person…needs a wash (poss. Northern)
    Poss = possibly or possible…”I’ll do it, if poss”
    Soz = sorry: “Soz about that”
    Well jel = I’m very jealous (this is currently in fashion or ‘trendy’…or yoof = youth)
    I’ll have your guts for garters = old expression for ‘I’m going to rip you a new one’ or physically harm you (though not usually literally)
    Right, I’m ‘off to get my head down’. Er, nooo…This means I’m off to bed…To get some ‘shut eye’. See ya!

  69. avatarKatherine says

    You don’t use ‘fortnight’ in America? What? You’ve pretty much got the definitions spot on but the harsher ones aren’t used that sparingly. My dad calls people nob jockeys all the time and there are two people calling each other wankers and twats outside of my window right now!

  70. avatarLiz says

    Interesting list (and detailed corrections).

    There are loads of words for a man’s bits – don’t know if it would number a hundred, but it could have it’s own list!!:)

    That aside, here’s my my two pence worth (forgive me if I’m repeating anyone’s feedback:

    Bollocks is an English word. Literally, it means testicles/balls, but a rude way of saying something has gone totally tits up. Frequently heard when someone makes a mistake, breaks something, failed something (bollocksed.). Also when one disagrees (That’s bollocks!). Or just as an expression of frustration. (Bollocks! Look at the time!)

    Americans use monkey wrench in the expression ‘throw a spammer in the works’.

    DIY is popular in the US as well I believe?

    Mentioned Stag Night/Do, but not Hen Nights? :)

  71. avatarRuby says

    Ok I live in Bristol the actual city in the UK, never hear breasts described as Bristols?:/ take the mick means to take the piss. ‘chockablock’ is usually paired with chockablock, meaning there is the traffic is very busy. Wanker and tosser doesn’t mean to have a wank as such, it means idiot. Also, if you call someone a cunt I doubt you will walk away without anything broken, it’s THE MOST offensive swear word in the UK. @nicky from Yorkshire, some good ones there, if anyone’s really wants to learn some slang the inbetweeners, celebrity juice and towie (the only way is Essex) are some good program’s to watch. P.s never call tits ‘Bristols’ in the UK, they’ll look at you like wtf, that isn’t British slang, just a bit odd tbh

    • avatarLee says

      Hi Ruby , you live in Bristol and have never heard of “Bristols” used to describe boobs, that amazes me, I live 25 miles away across the border in Newport, Wales and the term is very common to me, you might say to your buttys (mates) , she has a tidy pair of Bristols, nipples like Scammell wheel nuts , which translates as, she has a nice (tidy) pair of breasts with very prominent nipples.

      Very interesting site, a bit of fun, we complain about Americanisms polluting our language and I recently heard of Americans complaining about British phrases invading American English, that did make me laugh.

      As mentioned before, the Britain is very much like a small United States with Counties instead of states, where the accent and meaning of words can change within a few miles, for example there is a noticeable difference in the Newport (Wales) accent, and the accent of Risca, not more than 10 miles away. As Wales has 2 languages, (the great majority speak English), Welsh words are used in English sentences , such as I want to give you a cwtch , meaning I want to give you a hug, usually said to someone you love rather that an acquaintance

      There is a form of Wenglish (Welsh/English dialect) spoken in South Wales that may be of interest, see

      I like people’s names for the Police: Rozzers, Sweeny, old bill, bobby, PC plod,

  72. avatarRuby says

    Also a few words that I actually use include ‘ballin’ e.g. ‘We ballin’ meaning we’re living a good life. Rad, meaning radical. Epic means awesome. Laters, Loosly ‘I’ll see you later’ bu more so goodbye. ‘In a bit ‘means bye. Scrounger, meaning they don’t like to spend money and try and scrounge off other, get stuff for free. Bromance, a ‘romance’ between two guys, not that they’re gay but very good/very very close mates. Someone wrote about bummer for someone who is gay, not true, bummer is like damn or bollocks. Slang for gay people, most common one I know is ‘bent’ some others are ‘straight as a roundabout’ or ‘fudgepacker’

  73. avatar says

    How about a couple of sayings for a bloke urinating: “going for a leak”, “just off to point percy at the porcelain” or “just going to shake hands with the unemployed”.

  74. avatarDominic says

    Many of these aren’t slang, but in fact just the English word for something. Bespoke and redundant are just words that have a meaning.

    • avatar says

      But they are not words that Americans use regularly. We don’t use the word ‘bespoke’ or ‘made redundant’. We say custom-made or fired. That’s what this list is about – those differences.

      • avatarMinerva says

        That might be so….but just because they aren’t used in America doesn’t make them ‘Slang’, does it?

      • avatar says

        I’ve been reading this and realised that there is no point in any of the hundreds of comments. It’s ridiculous, actual British people who use these words have corrected your inaccuracies, and yet you’ve let them all stand? Why not update your inaccurate ‘translations’? Odd to describe yourself as an Anglophile when you appear to think you know better than us…

  75. avatarJane says

    This one goes out to all the US Whovians following the latest on Series 7…apparently “pondlife” (as in the upcoming Amy/Rory mini web series “Pond Life”) is a, um, less-than-complimentary British term, something along the lines of lowlife or scum.

  76. avatarMissMavisCruet says

    The British word for ‘fired’ is ‘sacked’, i.e. let go from your job because you did something that breached your contract of employment.

    ‘Made redundant’ is being ‘laid off’, i.e. let go from your job because the company is making cut backs or having a structural reorganisation, or your job is no longer needed.

    Bell-end has been slightly misinterpreted above. It is a derogatory term to describe a male individual who’s acting like a tosser. It is harsher than ‘wally’ and not as harsh as ‘wanker’. As in ‘Paul McCartney is such a bell-end’

  77. avatarsmegontoast says

    Smeg is from Red Dwarf but is actually is the smelly chesse like substance you get on an unwashed bell end. Or ridge chesse, knob cheese etc as we would call it!

  78. avatarDavid says

    A lot of these are said in the U.S. as well (and nosh is Yiddish and thus more common in the US than the UK). Knucklehead!

  79. avatarVictor says

    How about FOLKS for parents.and hey guys,is whats cuting and whats cooking mean the same?

  80. avatarDave D says

    “P.s never call tits ‘Bristols’ in the UK, they’ll look at you like wtf, that isn’t British slang, just a bit odd tbh”

    They definitely are called bristols BUT it’s a little bit old fashioned (more 60’s & 70’s), I still use it but I’m probably a lot older that you.

    “Someone wrote about bummer for someone who is gay, not true,”

    Yes, it is true BUT like above, it’s more 60’s, 70’s 80’s.

    • avatarDave Bagnall says

      Bristols is more cockney rhyming slang – not everyone would get it.
      Bristol Cities – Titties!

  81. avatarBrian says

    There’s lots of British military language too. Some of it is known everywhere (I think) eg: a long shot while other expression have only found their way into British English. Below some that I’ve heard:

    Arse bandit – Homosexual
    char- tea
    Chuffed – Very pleased
    Dhoby – Dhobi -To have a wash or wash your clothes
    Dhoby dust- Washing powder
    Dhobey Wallah- Laundryman
    Fanny rat – Womaniser
    Gen – information, to inform
    God wallah – priest/chaplain
    Pavement pizza – Vomit
    pop-wallah – Non-alcohol drinker, a drinker of soda pop
    Pukka – reliable, excellent
    Pukka gen – reliable information
    Spasm chasm – Vagina
    Yomp – To force march with a heavy load

  82. avatar says

    I think u 4got jumper, which means sweater; sithee, which means bye; axe, which means guitar!! I think, I’m right u didn’t get those. THANKS!!!

  83. avatarTrish says

    Ever heard a Brit saying: “A Painful Face Full of Fives”….or something to that effect? Any idea of what it means?

    • avatarDave D says

      “I’m going to give you a face full of fives” or more commonly “a bunch of fives”, is a punch in the face.

  84. avatarPolly says

    Providing you are fast on your feet, try these:- LOL

    1. “Does that take up hems ?” – When referring to a nolsy old car being driven by boy racer.
    2. She’s got a face like a slapped arse.- Moody
    3. “You talking to me or chewing a wasp?” – Someone who is rudely interrupting & talking nonsense.

  85. avatarKebab says

    Arse over Tit is the vulgar version of Head Over Heels (to fall over)

    How’do, Ay up, oi oi savaloy = hello/how are you
    Watcha/wotcher = hello/what are you up to 70s/early 80s
    Mardy = moody (orig. midlands)
    Cheerio/Ta Ta/toodle pip/toodle-oo = goodbye (I still use these!!)
    Prick = penis/idiot
    Johnny = condom
    Joey Deacon/Joey = a stupid person (not PC, named after a disabled person 70s/80s)
    Action Man = GI Joe, can be used in a positive or derogatory way
    Puff = gay
    Jobby/turd = lump/piece of shit
    Head case/nutter = someone not quite there especially in a slightly psychotic way
    Porridge = doing time in prison

  86. avatarBjorn says

    Gassing – On auto gas – Lieing talking rubbish

    On the rock n roll – Doll – Claiming benefits

    China plate – Mate

    Piff – Very good quality

    Smashed – Very drunk

    Flogging a dead horse – Not going to plan

    Half arsed – putting in no effort

    • avatarMike says

      Flogging a dead horse……………………wasting your time/not worth it ???

  87. avatarlee says

    Southern shandy drinker was missed
    Lizard -a women
    Tit – someones a idiot
    Lorry – truck
    Jizz – sperm

  88. avatarShady Elmm says

    I’m from Scotland and cunt can definitely be used as a term of affection here, as in “Aye, I like him. He’s a good cunt”. Also, I didn’t see “A face like a bulldog chewing a wasp”, meaning not at all attractive.

  89. avatarSilvertongue says

    Another one for making reference to the male ‘gay’ brigade is ‘Shirt lifter’. That’s a man who lifts the shirt up off the posterior of his intended recipient! Bloody shirt lifters!

    Brilliant list, especially as its instigated by a Septic!

  90. avatarEleanor says

    what about the expression
    ” Who’s she? the cat’s Mother?” this is because here it’s rude to refer to someone as “she” without saying her name…. So you might say: “She did it” and your mum would say “who’s she? the cat’s mother?” brilliant silly little phrase…
    also what about getting mashed? means getting fucked on pills… very common weekend activity in UK- esp in the 90s/00s.
    And to get wankered? = very drunk
    what about billy no-mates,(self explanatory- affectionate term for if your mates abandon you in the pub and you feel like billy no-mates)
    tom, Dick and Harry, (meaning any old tom, dick or harry- )hard to translate actually
    Joe Bloggs (same thing- the guy on the street- what does joe bloggs think )(ie the common(average) person)
    Cunt is def a term of affection as well as being the most offensive swear word… typical British irony I suppose… sarcasm.
    like taking the piss out of someone is also seen as a term of endearment… it’s the action of being close enough to someone that you know its ok to call them the harshest thing… cunt.
    and what about poonani- for Vagina or Vag as people say…
    and vagazzle- putting jewels on your vagina..
    and foof – for vagina…
    bender- gay
    I can’t beleive gobsmacked is English and not used in the states- and fortnight? you’re a word down if you don’t use that!
    Cwtch is a great one- welsh for hug- snuggle
    snugglebomb? a bundle of hugs with frineds… or someone you fancy

    god there’s so many expressions you could go on forever…

  91. avatarEleanor says

    .also not three bad…. instead of not too bad… if someone asks how you are..
    and blato plato- like that’s so obvious- blantant.

    And the word Mad is banded about a lot meaning- brilliant- or interesting or crazy – all at the same time…

  92. avatarEleanor says

    geezer- a lad- a bloke- the man about town
    Yobs- like rascals or scoundrals but harsher- likely to be vandals (people who destroy things for fun/ cause petty crime)

    • avatarMike says

      Gadge (pron Gad-gee) Northern for bloke
      Radged meant diseased or rotten, no good.

  93. avatar says

    Hi, I found your website and figured it would’nt hurt if I asked you to help me out with something, So here it goes. On the internet there is a U.K based company game riddle made by a famous online riddle maker. The prize to the winner is a motorized golf bag and only E.U member states are eligible to win the prize- I’m in the United States so I cant win nor am I a golfer. But I am a riddler. I play many riddle games online just for the glory of the “hunt” for clues. There are also valuable histories to be discovered along the way in some games a lot of of knowledge. Anyway, I need help on the following riddle if I may be so bold to to solicit your attention to the matter. Below are five sets of words, I am searching for five uniquely “british” words that connect each set of words. I am myself of English ancestry and I just cant coin the words, I have even grilled “me Mum” on these words but she could not think of them either, so if you could help I would greatly appreciate it. Here are the set of words:
    sheep – – – -over
    lamb – – – – stick
    ram – – – – time
    horn – – – – engine
    wool – – – – cloth
    I am looking for 5 four letter words, each different. I know this is a strange request but any input would help greatly.Thanks for your time in advance, Stewart.

  94. avatarROSCOE says

    i dont see why the uk and america do not exchange food of different kinds and fish too we have speceies of bass fish that would do well in the uks lakes and rivers they are a good sport fish and they are a good tastey food fish. we many different kinds good food fish that would do good in the uks rivers and lakes. we have many different kinds apple trees the uk could have and grow a lots apples. we have many kinds of differernt nut trees pecans walnuts and so forth. america and the uk would do well to exchange food prodfucts and fish speceies. but i know there to stupid to do good things.

  95. avatarAnonymousLondoner says

    Poof – Camp Guy
    Boffin – Clever Person
    Nincompoop – Idiot (though I haven’t heard anyone say this insult in years)
    Knickerbocker Glory – Ice-cream Sundae
    Heavy – Brilliant
    Wasted – Very Drunk

  96. avatarxristi says

    Here’s one for you which i learn’t from my mum but cant find a listing for in slang dictionaries

    do ally tat = crazy – as in lost their marbles ie that person is do ally tat, or as australians would say – the kangaroos are loose in the top paddock

    • avatarDave Bagnall says

      I think you mean ‘doolally,’ which originally was ‘doolally tap’, your meaning is correct to mean some one who has lost the plot.

      This comes from the name of British Army transit camp in India – it was called the Deolali Transit Camp.

      It wasn’t a nice place, and caused a lot of mental issues for the soldiers who passed through it, they were said to have ‘Gone Doolally’ or ‘Doolally tap’.

  97. avatarMartydoll says

    I’m a 3rd generation Irish American in my late 60’s and a HUGE fan of BritishTV, especially the murder mysteries.
    On several occasions I’ve heard the expression “argy-bargy” (Pronounced arjee-barjee) Which in context sounds like it refers to argument. I just love it and intend to incorporate it into my own fanciful lexicon! Gotta LOVE the British sense of humor!

  98. avatareleanor radford says

    yes argy-bargy is a playful way to refer to an arguement- but refers more to the drama – cafuffle – around the situation… the havoc it might cause…
    I’m really interested to hear what people think of the British sense of humour as I’ve heard from lots of people round the world that many think the Brit sense of humour is terrible- most liekly becasue it’s totally obscure and most don’t get it… but interested to hear what people thought as I thought it was renowned round the world as famous for being good- but now I’ve heard most think it’s awful???

    • avatarJames says

      I’ve heard people who aren’t British say that our sense of humour is “awful” but they don’t mean that it isn’t funny. They mean that it is often dark and cruel. They don’t share our love of irony because they weren’t brought up surrounded by people continually saying the most apparently dreadful things without literally meaning any of it. They don’t understand that it’s just a joke,a sort of creative game using words and mental images, with no holds barred. I remember a Swedish friend being shocked when she heard a British father look at the mess his kids had made and say to his wife “I told you we should have got a kitten instead” he could just as easily had said” Fetch me a sack and two bricks, they’re going in the river”. To us Brits that is just funny. In some countries someone would be reporting him to the police!

  99. avatarAmeliaV says

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned that number 92 is wrong. Chav does not mean white trash because a chav can be any race, there are plenty of black and Asian chavs in England as well as white. It just means a lower class person who usually wears tracksuits/ cheap jewellery and just generally behaves badly. Other regional terms for chavs are ‘kevs’ or ‘yam yams’

    Some other slang words I know:

    Clunge or snatch – vagina
    Mashed- high off weed
    Lashed/smashed/sloshed/rat arsed/legless/fucked/wankered and my dad’s old favourite ‘three sheets to the wind’ – drunk.
    Matted or munted- ugly
    Dank- hot/good looking, or it can describe good quality cannabis

    Also, I’ve got a ask: why do Americans say ‘I could care less’ when they mean they don’t care? Dont they realise that doesn’t make any sense!

  100. avatar says

    Hello, first off I would like to say how funny it is watching non-british people argue over how ‘us British’ speak xD yes, I understand that some of you are in fact, British.

    Also! The program is called ‘Only Fools and Horses’ NOT ‘Fools and Horses’.

    I was quite amazed to find out that people in America haven’t heard of the word ‘Telly’ or ‘Brilliant’, they’re such common expressions here.

    Also, up north we say ‘hit the road, Jack’ as in to get going or get on the road.
    Some of these phrases are not known to all British people because it depends what part they come from. I don’t like that some people are saying others are wrong for not having heard of a phrase before. We don’t say some of the things that are said in the South. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing the difference between the North and South.

  101. avatarJames says

    I noticed ‘give him/her one’ hasn’t been mentioned.

    A woman goes in to a French restaurant and asks the waiter for a double entendre. So he gave her one.

  102. avatarViki says


    10 years ago I was working as Translator and for the first time I have heard the expression; Gentleman’s we are old and Bold enough; I was aware about the subject of the discussion and guessed the meaning, surprisingly enough I was right, but ever since I love those two words. Bugger, Wanker and Absobloodylootely are Brilliant!

  103. avatarDavid says

    A character in “Downton Abbey” says something like, “He was her soap.” What does that mean?

  104. avatarcheryl says

    I’ve been watching all 20 sets of Midsommer Murders, and have fallen in love with the slang word “slapper”. It’s a woman who “gets around”, to say it nicely. My new favorite.

  105. avatarDave D says

    “A character in “Downton Abbey” says something like, “He was her soap.” What does that mean?”

    It doesn’t mean anything, I think you’ve mis-heard it!!

  106. avatarAndrew says

    I’m Canadian, but from English relatives and watching Corrie I’ve picked up a few others not on the list: play the gooseberry (be a third wheel), gone pear shaped (fallen apart, gone awry), muggins (gullible person), do one (get lost, leave), go for a slash (urinate).

  107. avatarAmy says

    A few i’d like to add….

    Snog – french kiss
    crap – commonly used british word for poo, but also describes something that is rubbish or inferior.
    wolly – meaning someone a bit silly.
    minging – dirty or unattractive (applies to people, places and objects)

    Everything on this list is regional, im from the south west and we have what other areas of the country would call ‘farmer accents’ we would not use cockney rhyming slang much, apart from the off phrase that has worked its way down here.

    Also, i would say fucking, wanker, cunt, twat when im up the pub with my mates, but i would NEVER EVER EVER use any of those words in front of my parents, or a member of the older generation or at work. They are serious swear words and i would expect a clip round the ear hole.

    Bugger is more acceptable and in fact is the word i use when i dont want to swear in front of my children. ‘oi you little bugger’ But they’re not allowed to repeat it, its a word for adults.

    although we are a small country our slag and our accents vary considereably from region to region, so much so that when i go up north sometimes im not sure what people are saying. So i imagine its very confusing for an american visitor.


    • avatar says

      Here in my my little corner of America, “fucking” is perfectly acceptable in mixed company…in a crowded bar on a Saturday night…and you are talking about your job and/or your ex-girlfriend and/or your ex-boyfriend and/or your ex-best friend who’s shagging your and/or ex-whichever. (It is the 21st century, after all.)

      “cunt” and “twat” NO. those words are saved for special occasions and are usually used by very bitter ex-boyfriends when they are in the company of other men and have just discovered their “ex” status via a series of VERY revealing photos of their soon-to-be ex-girlfriends with their soon-to-be ex-best friends posted on-line.

  108. avatarLisa Sheldon says

    Aar kid- Our kid
    Arf soaked- Stupid
    Babbee- Small child
    Bostin- Terrific, excellent,fantastic etc
    Cake hole- Your mouth
    Coppit- Catch it
    Gerroff- Get off
    Gerron me wick- Fed up with someone
    Gob- Mouth
    Mooch- Look, as in a mooch around the shops
    Palaver- A vexing situation
    Trarabit- Goodbye and see you soon

  109. avatarAmanda Thomas says

    He got one wrong the Horses for courses. It actually means , its always like that , say if something don’t quite go right but ends up ok its horses for courses. And before anyone asks yes i’m British.

    • avatarSue says

      No, Jonathan is correct. Here’s the definition from the idiom dictionary: “Horses for courses means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another” I’ve always used it that way.

  110. avatarMatt says

    Just thought you’d be interested – number 57… being made redundant is NOT the same as being fired. We have them both here.

    Being made redundant is just that – your company has no need for your role any more, and therefore, you are now redundant.
    Being fired means that the role will probably still exist after you have been let go, because the role itself is not redundant.

    It’s an important destinction because legally you are entitled to different things depending how you were released from your job…


  111. avatarUmberto Echo says

    “Nosh” is not just British slang! It’s Yiddish for ‘eat’! At least specify where this word comes from!

    • avatarMike says

      Well this site has kept me up past midnight and enable me to have 2 bedtimes snorts of whiskey.
      which is wicked when you think about it. Lovely Jubbly !!!!

  112. avatarEdward Thomas says

    This is amazing, but I got one doubt, is this frequently used now-a-days also?

  113. avatarJD says

    I’ve never heard of strawberry creams being used in that way. This probably means I’m posh or something!

  114. avatarkaitiee says

    What about Twat ? a foolish person.
    Kutch, -hook up,kiss.

    Hanging out my arse- hungover

  115. avatarKimmie says

    I’m pretty sure most Americans know what a fortnight is (we had to learn in school cuz of history and such.) And I’ve heard shit-faced used regularly here.
    And even if we don’t use them, we recognize things like bloody and loo from British movies.

    I remember a friend of mine telling me about going to a party where she got really pissed, and I asked her if she got into a fight or something. we were so confused until she told me she got really, really drunk.

  116. avatarBaz says

    Another term used for masturbate is “bash the bishop” – or use “shake the one-eyed milkman”
    I know people mentioned “Heath Robinson” as something that is disorganized or messy.
    Knob jockey is homosexual just like bumhole engineer.
    A few cockney slang:
    It’s all gone Pete Tong (wrong)
    Fancy a Ruby? (curry)
    Ace Of Spades (AIDS)
    I’m going Chicken Oriental (mental)
    He’s a bit of a Moby (Dick) isn’t he?

    • avatarMinerva says

      ‘Heath Robinson’ doesn’t refer to being messy/disorganised….he was an illustrator/cartoonist who drew amazingly complicated & fantastical machinery to do very simple jobs………so if something is described as being ‘rather Heath Robinson’, it would be a simple thing made unnecessarily over-complicated.

  117. avatar says

    But…”flash” As in “I think that’s a bit flash for one of Georges parties”

    How old is it? How far back does it go? Just wondering because I have a character in one of books using it. The story is set in the Regency, about the time Prinny was really setting to work on Brighton Pavilion.

  118. avatarWilliam says

    I just stumbled upon this website and I have to say that it’s quite heartwarming to read about your experience of Britain. I hope we’re not too depressing, we try not to be but the weather seriously does its best to put pain to that.

    Anyway I’ve felt the need to comment because after reading this article and the one mentioning accents. I’m from a little known part of the English West Midlands near Birmingham known as ‘The Black Country’. I’ve even met English people that have no idea what it is, so that’s how little known it is! It is called this because of the explosion of industry in the area during the industrial revolution and it was often said that the air was black with smoke, hence Black Country. Queen Victoria reputedly drew the curtains on the royal train as she passed through to avoid looking at it! The wikipedia page on it is quite informative if anybody is interested in the area:

    The main point of my point was accent and sayings. We in the Black Country almost have our own language and an accent that can only be described as undecipherable to an outsider however, that said, it is often described as friendly so its not all bad! As a dialect, it resisted many of the changes from archaic Middle English into Modern English so to outsiders we use a lot of words that don’t really mean anything in Modern English.

    So, with that in mind I thought I’d post a little crash course in Black Country dialect for anybody who’s curious (including my fellow countrymen who haven’t heard of the place!)

    Insults (Naturally). These are proceeded with “Yowm…” which is “you are”:
    a twonk – Idiot
    Saft – Stupid
    Yampy – Highly strung
    a wazark – Idiot

    E.g. Yowm a yampy old mon wiy a faerce like the town hall clock who’s saft as pump water.

    Um – Home or house
    Tater – Potato
    Oss – A horse
    Suck – Sweets/candy
    Donnies – Hands
    Jasper – A wasp
    Fittle – Food

    Sentences is where it gets really bizarre because modern English grammar is not in affect.

    How bin ya?/How bist? – How are you?
    This is usually answered with “I bay bad” (I’m not bad) but “I” is pronounced “ar”

    Where bist? – Where are you?
    Am yow gooin aat? – Are you going out?
    What day o’ the wik is it? What day is it?

    One for comedy: Mar new missus bangs loike an aat ouse door (I’ll let you figure that one out!)

    There’s obviously a lot more and it becomes incredibly complex and convoluted owing to the fact as each town has slight variations in accent and vocabulary. I’ve tried to write the above sentences phonetically and as close as possible to how they sound spoken, which as rule means elongated vowels and missing consonants.

    I hope someone finds this interesting and would like to visit us here in the Black Country. As they would say round here “Yow now spake proper me mon. Get y’sel a paarnt in ar kid. Bostin!”


    • avatar says

      Hi Will. As you said, it’s also interesting how many distinct accents there are in the midlands. My ex girlfriend came from Nuneaton and the accent there was completely different from, say Leicester in one direction and Atherstone in the other. But that pronunciation of the word “out” as “aat”, that you mentioned. seems to be common to most of the midlands and South Yorkshire. Leading to the humourous pronunciation of “house” as “arse”, as in: “I’m having an extension built on me arse”.

      I also remember that distinctively midlands pronunciation of “man” as “mon”. One of the sayings I remember was an optimistic comment about the weather:

      “There’s enough blue sky to make a mon a pair o’ trarsers”

  119. avatardeanomarr says

    Pretty much any adjective can be used to describe being drunk:

    hammered, pissed, trollied, trousered, shitfaced, steaming, paggered (another geordie one), arseholed, bollocksed….. the list is endless.

  120. avatarSophie says

    ‘Taking the mick’ is also common, it’s literally the same as ‘taking the piss’. Also, I’ve never hears of ‘strawberries and cream’ as a term for breasts and I’m British. Also, I think it was 82 that doesn’t make sense. Isn’t an Anorak a coat/jacket?
    Don’t forget when us Brits say “can’t be arsed” it means that we can’t be bothered/don’t want to do something. You could also have had cheeky, as a lot of Americans I know have no idea what cheeky is. “Stop being cheeky, you!” means “Stop being such a smart-arse” (they could be making fun of someone or being impolite etc.)
    Some of these aren’t common at all anymore. I think a lot of Anglophiles watch way too many old TV shows and British films ’cause a few of these died out in the 70’s! You had an alright list, anyway. Sorry us Brits aren’t too jolly for you.

  121. avatarNathan says

    Tosser and wanker are exactly the same thing. To wank or to toss off is masterbation. Or if you were to call some one a wanker or a tosser as an insult means they are just being a dick.

    Hoover is a brand name. It is vacuum in both vocabularies.

    Pants doesn’t just mean panties it means underwear in general. Knickers is also another phrase for panties.

    Abso-bloody-lutely just means absolutely.

    Up for it doesn’t just mean yes to sex. It means yes to anything.

    Bell end isn’t a penis. it’s the head the penis it’s self.

  122. avatarKarl says

    Who writes this stuff and where did they get it from,I am British I am 46 and have lived here all of my life and must say some of these words aren’t our slang and others have different meaning to what is written here.

  123. avatarTerry says

    ‘Bare’ is pretty funny to me because how people have made fun of it or overused it around me.I can’t take it seriously~
    Also – while it’s funny, Chavs aren’t only white. It’s a particular brand of idiocy

  124. avatar says

    Slight Correction: A Dogs Dinner means that something is chaotic and in a mess. However if someone is “Dressed up as a dogs dinner”, it means that they are very smartly dressed up, possibly even to slight excess.

  125. avatarAndy S says

    Slang changes with generations so whether you know a word or the context in which you use it will depend on your age, but some are enduring. Anorak is definitely a word meaning someone who has a intense knowledge of one thing, but it’s usage is relatively recent. It comes from the unfashionable jackets worn by train spotters It is different to geek, which implies something technical whereas anorak refers often to having useless knowledge, like knowing the names of all the colours that you could get for a model of car sold in 1981

  126. avatarPhoebe says

    No 57 wrong
    Being made redundant means the company has gone bust and the cant afford to have u
    Fired means they don’t want u anymore

  127. avatarMagpie says

    Smeg might have been made popular by Red Dwarf, but it’s been around far longer–it’s short for smegma.

    And Ponce means effeminate and fussy, not a poser. It originally referred to both pimps and effeminate homosexuals.

  128. avatar says

    Made redundant is not the same as being fired. When you are made redundant you are given payment to cover your job loss, when you are fired you don’t get anything. If you are fired it is actually called being “given the sack” or “sacked”.

  129. avatar says

    (Apologies if this point has already been made in previous comments). It’s funny just how many common words are colloquial. For example, the use of the lovely word “oftentimes” in the introduction to this interesting list is something not generally used by modern British English speakers. I think it’s a reflection of the greater link to older idioms in American English that, ironically, have been lost in British English. Most British people I would just say “often”, although I have occasionally heard the longer form shortened to: “times”.

  130. avatar says

    One more comment. Number 76: “Daft cow”. Another interesting one is: “You daft apeth!”. My Nan used to say that. “Apeth” is a fantastic example of shortening. It’s short for “half-penny-worth”. Also used in the expression: “sinking the ship for want of apeth of tar”, to indicate the folly of ruining a large expensive project by skimping on relatively cheap, but essential details.

  131. avatar says

    Good to know that I should never say “I’m up for it!” (#55) in the UK because here, in America, it just means that you have the energy or willingness to do whatever is being suggested. “Who wants to go out for ice cream?” “I’m up for it!” “Let’s skateboard down that hill!” “I’m up for it!” I could be implying something totally unintended in the UK!

  132. avatarCockney Boy says

    Hello there! Thanks for compiling the list. It’s a very interesting read. My friend is a true cockney girl and sometimes I don’t understand what she means. I’m sure this list will help :)

  133. avatargeordiefella says

    but since Britain is full of dialect it saddens me that a lot of Americans think its all about cockney slang, i myself being a geordie and proud of it, like to point out that some words like netty(toilet), oh stuff it heres a link lol

  134. avatarDave, Crown Prince of the Pub. says

    Not sure if its been tackled (far to lazy to read all the comments) but “Smeg” is short for Smegma.. the accumulation of white gloop that forms under the foreskin. I’ve never heard it used (in this context) by anyone other than the Red Dwarf crew or their devotees. For the most part I’m guessing its used in the same way as Bollocks or Shite.. A mild exclamation or displeasure.

  135. avatarLolly Willowes says

    Forgive me if this has been discussed, but can anyone tell me the British slang for poser? I read this once and thought it a beautiful and less-profane way of calling someone a bullshitter, but for the life of me can’t remember the word. It’s not toffer, not poncer,but something close to it — someone who feigns expertise that they clearly don’t have.


    • avatar says

      Poser and bullshitter are not really the same thing. A poser is someone who wears flash (expensive) clothes and goes about showing them off. A bullshitter is someone who talks a load of rubbish (garbage).

  136. avatarLinda says

    I thought “Piece of Piss” ,was another way of saying it was simple? For example, one might say “That was a piece of piss, even a two year old could’ve done it.

  137. avatarJackie blackburn says

    Am from the North west and my favourites are clempt – hungry and Beddies – slippers. Our expression for an ugly person is that they are a two hatter – say it quickly lol

  138. avatarMrs Sherringham says

    A lot of these are inaccurate/wrong:

    Tosser = masturbator; used to put down a useless person
    Pants = underpants but only in southern England. Can also mean poor quality.
    Zed = you say zee
    Blimey = Used to express surprise.
    Wanker = masturbator (again), used for an inept person
    Chuffed = pleased (not proud)
    Fancy = sexually attracted to
    Dodgy = problematic or not reliable
    Wonky = askew, not level, unstable or crooked
    Arse over tit = falling over, yes; but also for doing something in the wrong order like “cart before the horse” and for “head over heels” in love. (Rarely in use now.)
    Made redundant = laid off – not fired. Fired is sacked or getting the sack.
    Chips = steak chips (not French fries)
    On the pull = not sex, necessarily. Could be less than that.
    Daft cow = stupid or crazy woman
    Do = as a verb, it means to sell as in “Do you do chips?”
    Shambles = a mess
    Horses for courses = suitable
    It’s monkeys outside – never heard of that one, mate, so not used much if at all, like #84 and #97.