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100 terms

Top 100 British Slang and English Language Differences. From Cursing to the Spoken Word

Top 100 British Slang and English Language Differences. From Cursing to the Spoken Word
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a bit off of the other
having sex.
arse
ass. as in arsehole, that's my arse. "arse over tit" is a phrase that is something akin to ass over elbow in US English. "completely arseholed" means you are really drunk.
aubergine
eggplant. the big purple weird fruit thing.
apples & pears
stairs. not sure why?
bender
everything from a pub crawl, to a heavy drinking session, to a true multi-day mega-blowout global party. the British get to take credit for this great word with serious depth. see Rules for the global bender
bang
screw. have sex. look for a sly smile from the cute British girl when the stylist asks her what she'd like to do with her bangs.
bespoke
custom made, just for you. as in tailored clothing made for you on sevile row, the street in London for bespoke clothing. see the post on marble2 on bespoke for more details.
blow
So surprised you could knock me over by blowing. not the same thing it would mean in the us, where it refers to a *******.
bob's your uncle
that's all folks, a matter of fact conclusion to something like a description, recipe or story.
bollocks
testicles. balls. that is the literal translation, but this is a complex slang word. "dog's bollocks" actually refers to something at peak performance, or "that's bollocks" means that it's rubbish, or someone who is "talking bollocks" is generally talking rubbish. if you hear "the dog's" then it refers to the dogs bollocks, which is something good, not like the rest of the bollocks, which would be rubbish.
bonk
screw. have sex.
bum
butt. ass. "get off your bum" "stop touching my bum". you get the picture. you'll hear this word a lot.
bugger
camp - drag/gay/effeminate. camp it up means to dress in drag.
bung
throw it, as in "bung me my keys, mate."
centre
center. almost ever opportunity for something that ends in "er" in US English becomes "re" in British English. just to keep you on your toes.
cheerio
- sayanora. goodbye. chinese whispers
cheers
- thank you, goodbye, and a toast all work for this complicated multi-faceted British word. cheeky
cheesed off
pissed
chin wag
chat. a sit-down conversation between close friends.
chips
french fries. as in "fish & chips" this particular type of cuisine is surprisingly quite popular still.
chav
this one requires it's own hotspot. suffice it to say that a chav wears fake and discounted burberry, gold chains and other bling and enjoys all things tasteless. chav hotspot n. (British) lower class, section of the population with a low socio-economic status, lowest social stratum
chick peas
garbonzo beans. used interchangeably in the US, uttering "garbonzo" might get you weird look from your British counterpart.
chinese whispers
a passed along story that morphs and changes from person to person. by the time it goes around all your mates it's completely different than the original.
chuffed
pleased, happy. "she was chuffed when we met"
cockney rhyming slang
born of east london, this is a deep slang pseudo-language used to allow people to talk about anything, legal or illegal, in front of the police. this slang system allowed them to avoid problems when discussing semi-legal things in public. "septic tank" is cockney for "yank" which is a North American.
cock up
is a mistake you've made, not referring to any male body parts.
colour
color. color in US English just doesn't quite cover the full range of colour available in the UK. generally speaking, your "or" endings will become "our" in British English, for words like colour and flavour.
corgette
zucchini.
coriander
cilantro. very popular with UK cooking, which tends to be a mixture of ethinicities.
cracking
stunning.
**** (pronounced "coont")
when curled off the edge of the tongue in British English, it doesn't share quite the same horror it does when used in the United States. it's very commonly heard and used.
dickhead
tosser (see below). this one is used so often by the British that the scales of ownership between the US and the UK English for ownership of dickhead lean towards the British. regardless it sounds more sophisticated when the British say it.
do
party. "go to a do" means go to a party in London.
dodgy
sketchy. this is a personal favorite, referring to a "dodgy character" something "dodgy in the fridge, or even something that is stolen (nicked in the UK).
drop a clanger
**** a brick. something that is enormously embarrassing that you did would lead you to drop a clanger.
engaged
busy, not committed to marriage. a busy line on a mobile would lead you to believe someone was engaged.
***
cigarette. not like the American version which is a gay person, and not very frequently used for a bundle of wood, it's a cigarette and used by gay and straight people alike to refer to one. "can i have a **?" a complex word, you could also so "i can't be *ged" which means "i can't be bothered." "**ging" is the process similar to hazing (tradition of subjecting newcomers to humiliating initiation rites ) where kids new to a boarding school have to do undesirable things for the older kids.
fanny
****/***. go figure.
fit
good looking. becoming more popular due to the band the streets and more frequent usage, fit can be applied to a bird (girl, remember from austin powers) or a bloke (which refers to a male).
fizzy
soda. cola. could be just a fizzy, or a fizzy drink.
flavour
flavor. as in flavour flav. see the "colour" rule above.
flog
sell. not beat, but when you flog the dvd player you sold it to one of your mates.
full monty
the whole thing. all the way. from the movie, it's easy to conclude that it means to take all your clothes off. not true, but to strip full monty would be to strip all the way.
get stuffed
get lost.
getting off
another way to say "snog" or make out or "hanky panky"
glamour
glamor.
globalise
globalize. a topic near and dear to our hear. globalize in US english, and most instances of a "z" in this particular context, becomes and "s" in British English. go figure.
globalisation
globalize. same as above.
have
it's worth pointing out that most americans would say "can i get a sandwich" or "get a beer," seemingly referring to themselves getting up from the table to go get it themselves. the more polite british approach that will work better for you in a pub is to say "can i have a pint?"
her majesty's pleasure
put in prison. nothing to do with, ah, pleasing the queen, it just means you've been put behind bars.
humour
humor. things that make you laugh.
jammy
really lucky, as if a major fluke(a stroke of luck) happened.
jimmy riddle
piddle. pee. take a pee. you see, jimmy riddle, rhymes with piddle. so if you are at a bar with one of your mates (see below) and they say to you "jimmy riddle" it means they are politely excusing themselves to visit the loo. "jimmy" for short.
John Thomas
willy. dick.
jumper
sweater. a pully.
keep your pecker up
keep you chin up.
kip
nap. short sleep.
knees up
dancing. a dance party, you are going dancing.
knock up
wake someone up. there used to be a human version of this, or it can mean to make something out of random parts - as in knock up a skateboard ramp from the wood behind the house. in the US knock up would mean to make someone pregnant.
knockers
breasts. yes, that's where this one came from.
loo
bathroom. restroom. the place where you relieve yourself.
mates
friends. generally male skewed (xuyên tạc). the British love their mates, and talk about them all the time. "there I was with my mates...."
momentarily
for a moment. not "soon" like it would be in the US. so when they say the plane will be landing momentarily, all the British globalites will laugh to themselves wondering if they will have time to get off of the plane.
mug
gullible, block headed type.
mutt's nuts
yes, this one is the dog's balls, which remember strangely is a good thing. generally my first thought is not a good thing, at all, but alas, I'm not British either.
nice one
good job. good one.
nick
steal. pilfer. filch is also another popular word. "knock off" works too.
nut
give someone a headbutt. like zidane did in the world cup match.
organisation
organization. a company, business entity with that "s" not "zed" twist to it.
organise
organize.
orrible
horrible. as in "that's horrible." you really need the british accent on this one.
pants
blows. as in "that blows." pants, as in a dog that is panting, this one could be used to describe a person, a bar, some lame clothing or a chav car. total crap.
pass
i don't know. i know, it means "i don't know" from an old British TV show called Mastermind.
pissed
drunk.
piss poor
low quality crap.
piss up
a vulgar(tho tuc) word for drinking session, not quite a bender(A drunken spree - binge, period of unrestrained self-indulgence (drinking, shopping, etc.); fun social activity).
posh
luxury. "posh" spice is both a thorn in the side of the british and representative of the term posh because she blows a lot of cash and is married to Beckham.
pub-crawl
the British like to drink, heavily. a pub crawl is a multi-stop tour that starts at a brisk pace and slows to a crawl as you get further into the night. to the British, drinking is a sport, when played well it produces outstanding outcomes.
pull
scouting for birds. trying to meet girls.
pulling
getting some action. could include everything between "having it off" or just a snog.
pullover
sweater. to keep you warm. for a chav, this would be last year's Burberry, or even a fake Burberry print.
pully
pullover. an even more favorite term. "don't forget your pully, your **** before running out to meet your mates"
radiator hooch/cheap booze
cheap-ass drinks. cheap booze (n. alcoholic beverage, hard liquor; immoderate drinking, intoxication ). the lowest of low.
quid
pound. which is is more than $2. a fiver or a tenner is something you hear a lot referring to the 5 and ten pound note.
roger
screw, copulate, have sex. it's a little more complex though, in you would say something like "to roger" and it might mean to have "a bit off of the other." British people were hysterical when the cartoon "Roger the Rabbit" came out as it had some interesting connotations.
rubbish
trash. as in to talk trash. british people place trash in the "bin", but this word is used quite a bit when something is trashy or nonsense.
screw it
as in forget the details, let's move forward.. this one could be argued either US or UK English, but Sir Richard Branson's famous quote "screw it, let's do it" plants this one squarely in the UK camp. richard branson hotspot
shag
screw. sex. have sexual intercourse (British Slang); yes, austin powers put the global spotlight on this and it is still used in modern British English.
shite
****. the polite version
smashing
terrific - adj. terrifying; extreme, intense; excellent; tremendous
snog
making out. kissing, heavily. maybe some petting involved.
tab
cigarette. "i smoked my tab to the nob" can be used interchangeably with *** of course.
taking the piss
making fun of someone. if you haven't already guessed it, the British adore irony, sarcasm and "taking the piss" or making fun of people and themselves.
tossing off
***********. masturbating.
tosser
one who jacks off (masturbate). a great and frequently used insult. a dickhead (insulting terms of address for people who are stupid or irritating or ridiculous (synonym) ******, bastard, ********, **, mother **er, mother**er, prick, whoreson, son of a ****, SOB).
up-market
swanky. posh. luxury. pricey.
wank
dick. can refer to either self-manipulation of one's own wank, or simply to one's wank in general.
wanker
one who wanks.
willy
dick. a man's, er, organ. also known as a "knob"
zed
this is shared across many other languages. not "zed's dead, zed's dead baby" from pulp fiction, but just the letter "z" is referred to as zed in British English.