Learn essential British slang words for English learners!
Table of Contents
For people outside of the UK even the word ‘slang’, might be unusual, so to clarify, ‘slang’ refers to the casual use of words that have been newly created and are usually spoken only by select groups of people.
Slang in Britain flourishes, from North to South or East to West you’ll find an interesting mix of English and regional dialects, sometimes heavily influenced by international culture (heightened by internet culture).
You can easily find yourself puzzled by the quick retorts of youth, or the savvy lingo expressed by the professional and even by the old pensioners outdated observations.
Thankfully, we’ve devised a guide to popular slang, the following table reveals the meaning behind the words.
British Slang Words for English Learners
|“Any road” is another way of saying ”anyway”. It is commonly used up North. Instead of saying anyway, they say “any road”!
|This is technically a form of greeting. It is used a lot in London and the south to mean “Hello, how are you”. It is usually said as a question. Sometimes it gets expanded to “All right mate“? You would say it to someone you knew or a complete stranger. The normal response would be to say “All right” back to the speaker.
|This is used a lot in Liverpool. If something is ace, it means it is awesome!
|When someone is being anal about something, he is choosing to be an asshole. He is choosing to be tight and strong-minded like the anal sphincter. Therefore, you tell him: ”Don’t be anal”.
|This means your buttocks, your backside, but mostly a donkey!
|This word means the same as ass but is much ruder. It is used in phrases like “pain in the arse” (a nuisance) or I “can’t be arsed” (I can’t be bothered) or you might hear someone say “a half-arsed attempt” meaning that it was not done properly.
|It means yes. It is commonly used in Scotland. It was used in the film ”Brave Heart”
|When a Brit says you are Bladdered, they mean you are drunk.
|It is used in informal settings to describe anger and rage. E.g. He went ballistic ( meaning he went mad)
|Another word for male
|If someone tells you that you’re barmy they mean you have gone mad or crazy. For example, you’d have to be barmy to visit England without trying black pudding!
|You would call something or somebody beastly if they were really nasty or unpleasant. Most people would consider you a snob if you used this word. People like Fergie can get away with it though.
|If something is a blinding success – it means it’s a great success!
|Someone who is blinkered is narrow-minded or narrow sighted – they only see one view on a subject.
|One of the most useful swear words in English. It is used for emphasis. E.g. “bloody awful” or “bloody hell”. “bloody brilliant “. It is used to emphasize almost anything!
|This is a great English word with many excellent uses. Technically speaking it means testicles but is typically used to describe something that is no good (that’s bollocks) or that someone is talking rubbish (he’s talking bollocks).
|If something costs bugger all, it means that it costs nothing. Meaning it is cheap. If you have bugger all, it means you have nothing.
|This word is obviously used when drinking with friends. However, it also has other colloquial meanings. For example when saying goodbye you could say “cheers”, or “cheers then”. It also means thank you.
|French fries. it is basically a deep-fried finger length potatoes eaten in the UK not to be confused with American potato chips – these are known crisps in the UK
|To be flirtatious, that is, to speak to someone with the intent of eventually engaging in sexual intercourse with them. Generally conducted in a relaxed, playful and outstandingly obvious manner.
|Another word for good. Usually said without pronouncing the last “G”. If a girl is cracking it means she is stunning.
|If something is dear it means it is expensive. E.g. Don’t you think flights to Nigeria is are dear.
|Bad quality and untrustworthy. If someone or something is a bit dodgy, it is not to be trusted.
|It is commonly used in Britain as a short for do it yourself.
|Technically, it is used when addressing a stranger, when interrupting or disagreeing with someone or to request a repetition of what has just been said.
|Like or desire. In America it means to like someone in a sexual way, to want to be with them, to want to go out with them. In Britain, fancy means the same but it also means ‘want’ E.g. Do you fancy a cake? Technically, fancy is used for both people and food. Geezer – old man
|Food. E.g. I’m hungry, Let’s get some grub!
|This is very common slang in Britain. It means to be sad or upset. E.g. like when you fail your driving test!
|Very good. E.g. a Jolly good fellow
|Basically means stupid, insane, nuts, moronic, asinine
|Tired or sleepy; exhausted. E.g. I am feeling a bit knackered today.
|This has nothing to do with loading a van. It simply means ‘rich‘. When a Brit says that guy is loaded, it means he is rich!
|This is a very handy one to know. It means what are you talking about?
|A one-off is used to describe a one-time event that is never to be repeated.
|Piece of Cake
|When something is exceptionally easy. E.g. He makes that dance look like a piece of cake
|Another word for Drunk Posh – High class, sophisticated.
|Vomit Quid – A pound in English money.
|If something is smashing, it means it is terrific.
|A slang word for Thank you.
|Taking a Piss
|This has nothing to do with Urine. It basically means making fun of someone.
|A word used to insult someone who has offended you. It means a person who is stupid and lacks a good sense of judgment. It is also slang for female genitals.
|Up for it
|To be available. When a Brit says they are up for it, it means you are willing to come along. E.g. You up for going down the pub?” “Yeah mate, I’m up for it” Uni: short word for university
|This is a derogatory term used to describe someone who is a bit of a jerk. It actually means someone who masturbates and also has a hand signal that can be done with one hand at people that cannot see you shouting “wanker” at them. This is particularly useful when driving.
|This has a couple of meanings. If something you do is a “wind up” it means you are making fun of someone. However it you are “wound up” it means you are annoyed.
For more slang words, please visit Slang Dictionary from idiomsandslang.com