American and the British speak the same language, or do we? The British have a unique use of particular English words that Americans find difficulty in understanding. If you’re not careful, it’s possible a good natured Brit might try to take the piss with you. Blimey! You don’t want to be the brunt of a joke, do you?
While English is my first and only language, I always say I’m bilingual as I’m familiar with both American English and British English. I had to learn, otherwise I’d be lost when out with friends.
There is no need for you to be confused. Study the following comprehensive list of British slang before your next trip to London. I’ve highlighted the most commonly used words or phrases in red. Now there is no need for you to scratch your head about the meaning of something or find yourself in a precarious situation because you don’t know the language.
With the Ultimate Guide to British slang from A to Zed, you now have an easy reference so you can translate your British friends into an English language you know. Feel free to download A Gentleman’s Guide to British Slang for when you need a handy guide while you travel.
A AA – abbr – The British Automobile Association, whom you call when your car breaks down. A&E – n – Accident and Emergency, what Americans would call the Emergency Room. A – Levels – n – The highest level of secondary education that culminates in a series of standardized tests. Abattoir – n – A place where an animal is butchered. Abdabs – n – To be scared or frightened of something. Absobloodylootely – n – To agree with someone highly in a rather enthusiastic fashion. Somewhat vulgar. Ace – n – Excellent or wonderful. Action man – n – The equivalent to the U.S. G.I. Joe or a man that does macho things. Advert – n – An advertisement or commercial.
Aerial – n – A television antenna, usually located on the roof. Aeroplane – n – How the British spell ‘airplane’. Afters – n – Another name for the dessert course at dinner. AGA – n – A massive cooking range modelled with a vintage look. Aggro – n – Abbreviation of “aggravation”. Something that is rather annoying. Agony Aunt – n – A newspaper advice columnist. Air Biscuit – n – A fart. Airy-Fairy – adj – Someone who is lacking in strength or ability. Alcopop – n – Canned or carbonated fruit drinks with alcohol in them. Aled up – adj – To be drunk as the result of drinking ale. Alight – v – To disembark or get off a mode of transport like a train or bus.
All fur coat and no knickers – adj – A woman who looks good on the surface but has no substance. All Mod Cons – n – A home or car with all the modern conveniences. All mouth and no trousers – adj – To be boastful without justification. All over the Gaff – n – To be disorganized. All over the shop – adj – 1. To be disorganized. 2. Everywhere All to pot – adj – Something that’s gone completely wrong. Allotment – n – A garden plot in a shared community garden. Alright! – A simple greeting. It’s not a question asking how you are. Aluminium – n – It’s just Aluminum. Amber nectar – n – Lager (beer). Anchors – n – Brakes on a car. Ankle-biters – adj – A derogatory term for children.
Anorak – n – 1. A nerd or someone who is geeky about something like a planespotter, trainspotter or Anglophile. 2. A light waterproof jacket perfect for rambling in the countryside.
Answerphone – n – An answering machine. Bit of an outdated term now that voicemail is common. Anti-clockwise – adv – It means the same thing as ‘counter-clockwise.’ Antenatal – adj – Prenatal care. Argue the toss-v-To dispute something at length. Argy-bargy – n – Trouble, noisy or having an argument. Arrows – n – Another word for darts, the actual darts themselves, not the game. Arse – n – Buttocks. Arse about Face – Back to front. Arsehole – n – An asshole. Arsemonger – n – A Jonathan Thomas person worthy of contempt.
Arse-over-tit – adj – To fall over, often as the result of alcohol. To be intoxicated. As rare as hen’s teeth – adj – Something that’s rare. ASBO – n – Anti-social behaviour order – a punishment on people who repeatedly disturb the peace. Aubergine – n – Otherwise known as an eggplant. Aussie kiss – n – Oral sex on a woman. Autumn – n – The British don’t have Fall, they have Autumn, the season that precedes winter. Axe – n – A guitar. Axe wound – n – Vagina.
B Baby batter – n – Semen. Backhander – n – Bribe. Back passage – n – Anus. Back scuttle – n – Anal intercourse. Badger – v – To annoy someone incessantly. Bagsie – v – Calling dibs on something. For example, I call bagsies on the front seat of the car. Bairn – n – Another word for baby, usually used in Scotland. Baldy notion – n – To have an idea or a clue about something. Ball bag – n – Scrotum. Balloon Knot – n- The anus. Ballsed up – adj – A situation that’s all messed up. Bally – n – Short for Balaclava, a type of mask that covers your face. Bare – n – To say that there is a lot of something.
Baltic – n – To describe something as very cold, referring to the Baltic region. Banger – n – Short term for the traditional English sausage. When served with mashed potatoes, it’s called bangers and mash. Bang on – adj – Exactly or correct. Bang out of order – adj – Totally unacceptable. Bank Holiday – n – A public holiday in the UK. Usually, they don’t have any special meaning other than a day off that allows a long weekend. Christmas, Boxing Day etc are usually Bank Holidays as well.
Bap – n – A bread roll. Baps – n – Another name for a woman’s breasts. Barking – adj – Insane or crazy.
Barmpot – n – A stupid person that has the added distinction of being clumsy. Barmy – adj – To be crazy or insane. Barnet – n – Another name for human hair, Cockney roots in the location of Barnet. Barney – n – To be in big trouble. Barrister – n – A lawyer that practices in front of higher court judges. Bash on – interj – To go on regardless of the problems facing you in a situation. Bean – n – 1. An ecstasy pill 2. The female clitoris. Bearded clam – n – Female genitalia that’s covered in pubic hair. Beat the bishop – v – To masturbate. Beavering – v – To work industriously at something. Not used as much these days because of what the word ‘beaver’ means in American English.
Bee’s Knees The – adj – Something that is awesome and wonderful. Bedfordshire – n – Bed or bedtime. Said as “I’m off to Bedfordshire.” Bedsit – n – An apartment where the bedroom serves as the living space similar to a studio apartment. Beeb – n – Shorthand for the BBC. Belisha Beacons – n – The yellow flashing lights at a pedestrian crossing in the UK. Bell-end – n – The end of the male genitalia. Also, an insult to call someone stupid. “Don’t be such a bell-end.” Belt Up – interj – Shut up. Bender -n- 1.An epic alcohol drinking session. 2. A derogatory term for a male homosexual. Bent – n – A derogatory term for a homosexual. Berk -n- Anidiotor irritating person. Bespoke – adj – Something that is custom made for you. i.e. bespoke cabinetry. Best of British -v-To wish someone good luck. Bevvy – n – An Alcoholic drink.
Bill, The – n – A slang term for the Police. Billy-no-mates – n – A person who doesn’t have any friends. Billy – n – Amphetamine drugs. Bin – n – A trashcan. Bin liner – n – A garbage bag that goes in a trash can. Bin man – n – Garbageman. Bint – n – A derogatory word for a woman who is just above a prostitute. Bird -pron- An attractive girl or woman. Biro – n – A ballpoint pen. Biscuit – n – What Americans call a cookie. As a corollary, it has nothing to do with what Americans call a biscuit. Bits and bobs – n – Bits and pieces. Blag – v – To scam something. Blagging is to pretend to be someone else to steal their personal information or access their bank accounts.
Bleeding – adj – Another use of the word bloody. Blighter – adj – A man or a boy. Blighty – n – An older term that simply means Britain.
Blimey – interj – Exclamation similar to “Oh no!” or “Oh dear!” Blinding – adj – Something that is uniquely wonderful Blink – adj – Something that’s not working. “On the blink.” Blinking – adj – Damned. Bloke – n – Guy or man. Bloody – adj – The British equivalent of the word damn and it is considered a mild curse word. Blooming – adj – A much lighter way to say bloody. The American equivalent would be ‘darn.’ Blow off – v – Fart. Blower – n – Telephone. Blub – v – To cry. Bob – n – 5 pence piece (used to be a shilling) Bob’s your uncle – interj -There you have it! Bobbie – n – Police officer. Bobbins – adj – Something that’s crap.
Bodge – v – Something haphazard or cobbled together. Bodge job – n – A poorly done job. Bodger – n – A person who works with wood, a wood turner. Boff – v – To have sexual intercourse. Boffin – n – Policy wonk or someone that is knowledgeable on a subject. Bog – n – The toilet. Bogroll – n – Toilet paper. Bog standard – n – Normal or average. Bogie – n pron – A booger. Boiler – n – An unkind term for an ugly woman. Bollard – n – a Metal post that usually indicates a place one should not drive into. Bollocks – n – 1. Male testicles. 2. Something that is rubbish or crap. Bollocking – n – To be punished severely or told off. Bolshie – adj – A rebel. Bolt-hole – n – A hideaway place, usually a country cottage. Bomb – n – A splendid success.
Bonce – n – The top of one’s head. Bonfire night – n – Also known as Guy Fawkes Day, fireworks and bonfires are usually held to celebrate the capture of Guy Fawkes. Bonnet – n – The hood of a car. Bonny – adj – Scottish for beautiful. Boot – n – The car’s trunk, opposite of the bonnet. Boozer – n – A pub or bar. Boracic – n – Without money. From rhyming slang ‘Boracic Lint’ – Skint. Bottle – n – To have a lot of nerve. He’s got a lot of bottle! Bounder – n – A useless person. Box – n – A rather rude way to refer to the female genitalia. Boxing Day – n – The day after Christmas. A public holiday where everyone has the day off but doesn’t really have any special meaning anymore.
Braces – n – Suspenders. Brackets – n – Parentheses. ‘( )’
Brassed Off – adj – To be fed up with something that’s frustrating you. Similar to ‘pissed off’ in American English. Break wind – v – Fart. Brekky – n – Breakfast. Brew – n – A cup of tea. Brick – n – A person that you can rely on. Bricking it – n – Someone who is terrified. Brill – adj – Short for brilliant! Brilliant! – adj – Exclamation for something that is awesome. Brolly – n – Umbrella. Brownfield land – n – Former industrial land that is available for re- use. Brush – n – A broom. BSE – Acronym – Mad Cow Disease. Bubble and squeak – n – Boiled cabbage and sausage. Buff – adj – Sexually attractive; Also a word for nude, sometimes used loosely to describe the act of sex e.g. “We was buffin’ for hours.”
Bugger – n – An exclamation of dissatisfaction (“Oh bugger!”), in a dire situation (“Well, we’re buggered now”), acute surprise (“Well bugger me!”), dismissal (“bugger that”).
Buggery -n-The act of anal sex. Builder -n-A construction worker or contractor. Builder’s bum – adj – Plumber’s crack. Builder’s tea – n – Strong, inexpensive tea taken by people in the building trade, usually in a mug. Bum – n, v – Buttocks. Not particularly rude – more acceptable in polite circles than ‘arse.’ Bum bag – n- What Americans would call a fanny pack (don’t call it a fanny pack in the UK, see ‘fanny’.) Bum bandit – n – Homosexual, derogatory. Bum cleavage – n – The area between the buttocks. Bumf – n – Too much paperwork. Bung – n – To give or throw a game. Bunk off – v – To call off sick or not fulfil your duties. Burgle – n – To break into a building. Busker – v – Street musician. Butcher’s – n – To look at something. Butty – n – A sandwich usually sold in chip shops that consists of sausages and chips. Or both. Brew – n – A cup of tea.
C C of E – n – A short way of saying Church of England – England’s official state Church. Cabbage – n – 1. Vegetable 2. Someone who is brain-dead or catatonic. Cack – n – Shit. Cack-handed – n – Clumsy or inept. Caff – n – A café. Cakehole – n – Mouth – ‘shut your cakehole’ Camp – adj – Effeminate or homosexual. Campervan – n – Recreational vehicle. Candy floss – n – Cotton Candy. Cans – n – Headphones. Car boot sale – n – Swap meet or flea market where people sell items from the back of their car. Car park – n – Parking lot or parking garage.
Caravan – n – Another term for Recreational Vehicle. Cardie – n – Short for a cardigan which is a type of sweater. Carrier bag – n – Shopping bag. Carry on – v – To continue with something. Cat’s eyes – n – Reflectors located on the road in the centre line. Central reservation – n – The median of the road. Chancer – n – A person willing to take risks or take a chance. Chap – n – A man, bloke or guy. Chat up – v – Trying to pick someone up in a bar or elsewhere. Chattering Classes – n – Snobby upper-class people chiming in on something. Chav – n – A derogatory term used towards the lower classes with a similar meaning to ‘white trash’ but applies to all races. Chavtastic – n – Something that is in poor taste that a Chav would appreciate.
Cheeky – adj – Risqué or too clever. Cheerio – interj – Goodbye! Cheers – interj – Simply means thank you but it also works as a drinking toast. Chelp – v – To disagree vocally with someone without sufficient grounds to do so. Chemist – n – Pharmacist but it should be noted they can also provide simple medical advice without having to go to a doctor. Chesterfield – n – Hard leather sofa. Chinese Whispers – n – What Americans would call Chinese Telephone. Chipolata – n – A small sausage. Chippy – n – A fish and chip shop. Chips – n – French Fries, usually thick cut. Chivvy on – v – To hurry along. Chock-a-block – adj – Closely packed together i.e. a busy schedule. Chocolate box – adj – Excessively decorative and sentimental, like the old pictures on boxes of candy. Usually used to describe a quaint village.
Chocolate drops – n – Chocolate chips. Christmas Cracker – n – A Christmas tradition in England. It’s a tube, nicely wrapped with a small explosive inside so when you open it there’s a loud pop. Inside is a token prize, a joke and a paper crown. Usually done at Christmas Dinner.
Chinless Wonder – adj – A person of upper-class extraction who’s clueless or lacks a depth of character. Chuff – v – Fart. Chuffed – adj – To be quite pleased about something, not to be confused with the singular version above. Chugger – n – Short for charity mugger, someone who prowls Britain’s high streets and pressures people to donate money to charities (they earn a commission on each donation).
Chunder – v – To vomit. Chunky Chips – n – Very thick cut French fries. Cider – n – an Alcoholic form of apple juice. Ciggy – n – A cigarette. Clone town – n – The process where all the high streets in Britain have the same big chain stores so they all look pretty much the same and push out small local businesses.
Close – n – A cul-de-sac. Clunge – n – A very very rude word for the female vagina not to be used in polite or even impolite conversation. Coach – n – A bus. Cobblers – n – Stupid nonsense. Similar to rubbish. Cock – adj – A very versatile insult but basically an idiot. Cock-up – v – To mess something up really badly. Codswallop – n – Nonsense. Colleague – n – Co-worker College – n – A school that specializes in single year studies. Done between leaving school and going to a university. Collywobbles – n – The heebie-jeebies. Come a Cropper – v – To fail miserably. Concession – n – A discount for a specific group (seniors, students, etc). Confuddled – v – To be confused or not understand a situation.
Cooker – n – Otherwise known as an oven. Cop off – v – Kiss. Copper – n – Policeman. Cor – interj – Ohhh! Cor blimey – interj – Said to be an abbreviation of ‘God Blind Me’. An interjection that has changed meaning over time. In early novels, it was used in the same way as ‘damn’ to express exasperation or frustration. In recent years it is regarded as a mild expression of surprise or shock. Sometimes used to comic effect (‘Blimey! It’s the Rozzers!’ – ‘Goodness me! The police!’), in a deliberate reference to it being archaic usage.
Coriander – n – The herb cilantro. Corrie -n- Short for Coronation Street – a soap opera aired on ITV. Cot – n – Baby crib. Cot death – n – SIDS. Cotton buds – n – Cotton swabs. Cotton wool – n – Cotton ball. Council house – n – Public housing or a housing project. Courgette – n – Zucchini. Court shoes – n – Woman’s high heeled shoe – a pump. Cow – adj – A woman of contempt – a rude bitch. Cowboy – n – A dishonest or incompetent trade worker.
Cream Crackered – adj – To be extremely tired. Creche – n – Day-care or nursery. Crikey – interj – a General expression of surprise. Crisps – n – Potato Chips. Crumbs – interj – Another common expression of surprise. Crumpet – n – A yummy teacake. Crusty Dragon – n – A booger. Cuppa -n- A cup of tea. Current account – n – A checking account. Cutlery – n – Silverware. CV – n – Short for Curriculum Vitae but Americans would simply call it a Résumé.
D Dab hand – n – To be particularly skilled at something. Dabs – n – Fingerprints. Daddy-long-legs – n – Not to be confused with the type of spider, it actually refers to the crane fly. Dado – n – A chair railing on a wall. Daft – adj – An idiot, stupid, or foolish person. Daft Cow -adj- A rude and stupid overweight woman. Dago – n – Derogatory term for a Spanish, Italian or foreign person. Damp -n- Mold or wet rot that is common in older homes. Damp Squib – adj – An event which you think will be exciting but which actually turns out to be a disappointment. Damper – n – The shock absorber on a car. Dangly-bits – n – Male genitalia.
Dapper – adj – A well dressed and well-spoken individual, can be used as a compliment or an insult. Daylight robbery – n – A highway robbery. Dear – adj – Something that is expensive or costly. Dekko –n – A look, glance – to take a look at something. De-mister – n – De-froster. De-plane -v-To exit an aircraft. Destroyed – adj – To be very drunk or intoxicated on drugs. Diamond Geezer-n-A respected older gentleman, phrase mainly used in London. Diary – n – A person’s schedule or calendar. Not a personal journal. Dibbles – n – Police officer as in Officer Dibble from Top Cat.
Diddle – v – To swindle or con someone. Digestive – n – A biscuit that you dunk in your tea, sort of like a cookie that’s supposed to aid in digestion. Dim – adj – Someone who is stupid. Div – adj – An idiot. Divvy – n – An idiot. DIY – abbr – Shorthand for Do it Yourself – i.e. for home improvement projects. “Fancy doing a little DIY this weekend?” Do – n – A party. Doddle – n – Something that is very easy. Dodgems – n – Bumper cars. Dodgy – adj – Something shady or rather dubious. Also can apply to something that was poorly made or doesn’t work well. Dog-end – n – A cigarette butt. Dogging – v – The act of having sex in public parks while people watch.
Dog’s bollocks – n – Something especially good is “the dog’s bollocks”. Dog’s breakfast – n – A complete mess. Dog’s Dinner – n – The same meaning as ‘dog’s breakfast’. Dogsbody – n – A lowly servant or functionary Dole – n – The various forms of welfare are lumped under this term. To be on the Dole is to live off the state. Done Over – v – To be beaten up by someone. Donkey’s years – n – Something that happened a long time ago. Dosh – n – Money. Doss – v – To be lazy and not do much. Double-barreled – adj – The practice of upper- class people having more than one last name joined together with a hyphen.
Dozy – adj – A person who is rather slow. Draught – n – We say ‘draft’ as in a cold draft. Draughts – n – The game of checkers. Drawing-pin – n – A thumbtack. Dressing gown – n – A bathrobe. Dual carriageway – n – A divided highway a step down from a motorway. Duff – n – Something that doesn’t work. Dummy – n – A baby’s pacifier. Dustbin – n – Garbage can. Dustman – n – Garbage man. Duvet – n – Bed cover. Dux – n – The valedictorian of a school. Dynamo – n – An electric generator.
E Earner – n – A job that earns good money. Easy Peasy – n – Something that is really easy to do. Eating irons – n – Silverware/cutlery Ecosse – n – The French name for Scotland. Eejit – n – An idiot. Effing – adj – A polite way to say ‘f*cking.’ Egg Banjo – n – A fried egg sandwich. Elastoplast – n – A band-aid. Electrics – n – The electrical fittings in a house. Elevenses – n – Means having a snack mid-morning. End-piece – n – End of the male genitalia – another way of saying “bell- end.” Engaged – adj – To be busy with something. Enplane – v – To get onto an aeroplane.
Entail – n – An old English custom that controlled how a large estate was inherited and what could be done with it. Entrée – n – The appetizer portion of a meal. Essex girl – adj – Derogatory term for a girl from Essex that does not have any class. Estate agent – n – A realtor or real estate agent and generally they’re not very respected. Estate car – n – A station wagon. Eurosceptic – n – A person who is against British involvement in the European Union. Eurocrat – n – A derogatory term for the civil servants that work at the centre of the European Union. Ex-Council – n – An apartment or house that used to be public housing but has since been bought by the tenants (and perhaps sold on but it will always be known as ex-council).
Expat – n – Someone who lives abroad. Eyetie – n – Someone from Italy – an offensive term.
F Faff – v – To dither or screw around, pussyfoot around. Fag – n – A cigarette. Fag-end – adj – The used stub of a cigarette, and by extension the unpleasant and worthless loose end of any situation. “It was the Fag End of my shift, and I was knackered”. Faggot – n – A type of sausage. Fairie cake – n – Also known to Americans as a cupcake. Fairy lights – n – The general name for Christmas Lights. Fancy – v – To desire or want to do something. Fancy dress – n – To wear a costume. Fancy dress party – n – A party where costumes are worn. Fanny – n – A woman’s vagina. Not for use in polite conversation. Feck – n – An exclamation of anger of frustration similar to f*ck.
Filch – v – To steal something. Flannel – n – Baby’s washcloth Flash – adj – Something that is showy or ostentatious. Film – n – A movie. Brits would generally say they want to see a film not a movie. Filth – n – A not so nice term for the police. Fit – adj – A word used to describe an attractive woman or male. Fitted – v – To have something installed. Fiver – n – Five pounds sterling. Fizzy drink – n – Soda- pop or soft drink. Flag – adj – To be tired or lose all energy. Flat – n – An apartment. Flatmate – n – A roommate in your flat.
Flog – n – An attempt to sell something that may not be worth the money being asked. Fluff – n – Dryer Lint. Flutter – v – A brief go at gambling. Fly tipping – v – The act of dumping your trash in a place you’re not supposed to. Football – n – What Americans quaintly call soccer. Football Pitch – n – A field where British Football is played. Footie – n – A shorthand term for Football. Footpath – n – A public path through the countryside for walking. Fortnight – n – Two weeks. Often used in the UK when talking about time. Freehold – n – Owning both the land and the building on the land. Sometimes in Britain, a different person owns the land and the building. See ‘leasehold’.
Freesat – n – A selection of free channels you can receive via satellite with a dish and a receiver. Freeview – n – A selection of digital channels you can view for free if you purchase a Freeview receiver, which usually has added features.
Fringe – n – Hair bangs. Fry-up – n – Another name for the full English breakfast as most of the meal is fried in some form. Full English – n – A full English breakfast usually consists of eggs, sausage, black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, and half a tomato.
Full Monty – n – The entire take or everything that is desired. Full stop – n – Period. The type at the end of a sentence. Fun fair – n – Carnival or amusement rides.
G Gaffe – n – A home. Gaffer – n – The boss. Gaffer tape – n – Duct tape. Gagging – v – Desperate in a derogatory way. i.e. She was gagging for it. Garden – n – Backyard. Gash – n – Derogatory term used for the female genitalia. Gastropub – n – A pub that serves food, sometimes pretentiously. Gay – adj – Something that is bad, e.g. “It was ‘gay’ being mugged.” Gazump – n – To accept a higher offer on something at the last minute. GCSE’s – n – Academic tests that take place before the A-levels (many students stop here and ‘graduate’). Gear lever – n – The stick shift in a manual car. Gearbox – n – A car’s transmission. Geezer – n – Someone you respect. Geordie – n – Someone from the Newcastle area. Made famous in Geordie Shore, a spin-off of MTV’s Jersey Shore. Get off – v – To make out with someone. Get on – v – To do something. Commonly used in ‘How did you get on?’ Get the Nod – v – To get permission to do something. Get your end away – v – To have sex. Giddy – n – To get dizzy or experience vertigo. Ginger – n – A person with red hair. Ginger beer – adj – Derogatory term for a homosexual. Git – n – An incompetent, stupid, annoying, or childish person. Give over – interj – To give up. Give way – interj – To yield when driving.
Give You a Bell – v – Means to call someone on the phone. Glop – n – Thick substance or unappetizing food. Go – v – To try something. i.e. To give it a go. Gob – n – Your mouth in a derogatory sense. Shot your gob! Gobshite – n – Bullshit. Gobsmacked – adj – Flabbergasted, dumbfounded, astounded, speechless. Golf buggy – n – Golf cart. Googly – n – A cricket ball that bounces around randomly when it lands. Gone off – v – Something that’s gone bad or expired. Gormless – adj – Someone lacking in common sense. Grammar – n – A textbook. Grammar School – n – Elementary school. Grand – n – Used in place of thousand (i.e. “This house is worth 140 grand”). Grass – n – A snitch. Green fingers – n – Someone who is adept at the gardening arts. Greenbelt – n – The land around cities and town in Britain that is left undeveloped to preserve the environment. Greenfield – n – Land that can’t be developed or built upon that’s left to exist for the purpose of pretty landscapes. GP-n-General Practitioner – your regular family doctor. Grizzle – n – To grumble or moan, see whingeing. Also a fussy baby. Grockle – adj – A derogatory term for a Tourist, primarily used in Southern England. Grotty – adj – Something that is gross. Growler – n – A very rude term for female genitals covered in pubic hair. Guff -v- Fart. Guinea – n – A older unit of currency that meant 1 Pound and 1 Shilling. Gutted -adj- To be devastated or shocked by something. Guv’nor – n – The boss. Gyp – n – Something that’s
H Hacked-off – adj – Annoyed or stressed. Haggis – n – Legendary Scottish dish consisting of a sheep’s minced heart, liver, and lungs cooked in its own stomach with onion, oatmeal, and spices.
Haha – n – Trench dug at the end of a garden in place of a fence to the view isn’t spoiled. Hand-luggage – n – Carry- on baggage. Handbag – n – A woman’s purse. Handbags – n – A harmless fight Handbrake – n – Parking/Emergency brake in a car. Hard shoulder – n – Shoulder on the side of the road that’s paved. Hash – n – The # symbol. Have a go – v – To give something a try. Have a go hero – n – A person that attempts to defend their home or property against an intruder with force. Haver – n – To ramble incoherently. Having kittens – interj – To be extremely nervous. Head boy – n – Highest achieving boy in a class similar to valedictorian. Health and Safety – n – An all-encompassing term of derision geared towards useless safety rules and regulations.
Helmet – n – 1. The glans of the penis 2. A fool. Hen night – n – Bachelorette party. Her Majesty’s pleasure – v – To be put into prison. Higgledy-piggledy – adj – Something all jumbled up or in disarray. High street – n – Main street. High tea – n – Late afternoon light meal that usually involves a cup of tea. Hill-walking – n – Hiking. Hire – v – To rent something. i.e. A hire car. Hire car – n – A rental car. Hob – n – A range or stove. Hockey – n – Field hockey. Holiday – n – What we would call a vacation or any time off of work. Brits usually get 28 days paid holiday. Hoodie – n – A young person usually known for their misdeeds who are identified by their distinctive clothing, a hooded sweatshirt. Hoover – n – A vacuum cleaner. Hoovering – v – The act of vacuuming. Horses for Courses – v – To each his own. Housing Estate – n – A sub-division but it can also mean a public housing estate as well. Hum – n – A bad smell.
I Icing sugar – n – Powdered sugar. Ickle – n – Something very small. Indicator – n – Turning signal in a car. Innit – interj – Shortened from “ain’t it” or isn’t it. Interval – n – Intermission or a break in performance. Ironmonger – n – The old name for a hardware store. Ivories – n – Teeth.
J Jabs – n – Vaccinations or shots. Jacket potato – n – A baked potato. Jam – n – Jelly. Jam sandwich – n – A term for Police Car. Jammy – adj – Someone who is lucky. Jammy dodger – n – A lucky person. Jelly – n – What the British call Jell-O, not to be confused with Jam Jerry – n – Someone from Germany, derogatory. Jim-jams – n – Pajamas Jock – n – A Scottish person, usually male. Jobsworth – n – An official who strictly adheres to rules and regulations. See Health and Safety. John Thomas – n – Male genitalia. Joint – n – A large piece of meat like a beef loin. Jolly – adv – Very good. Jollies – n – Pleasure or thrills Jubblies – n – A woman’s breasts. Jumble sale – n – A garage sale. Jumped up – adj – Arrogant. Jump leads – n – Car jumper cables. Jumper – n – A sweater.
K Kagoul – n – A poncho or windbreaker jacket. Kecks – n – Pants or trousers. Kerb – n – A curb. Kerb crawler – n – A person who solicits street prostitutes. Kerfuffle – n – To make a big fuss about something. Kip – n – A word for sleep or to get some sleep (have a kip). Kirby grip – n – Bobby pin. Kit – n – Clothing or sports equipment. Kitchen roll – n – Paper towel. Kiwi – n – Someone from New Zealand. Knackered – adj – Exhausted, tired, also ‘broken’ Knackers – n – Vulgar name for testicles. Knees-up – n – A party. Knickers – n – Women’s underwear, see pants. Knob – n – Male genitalia. Knob head – adj – A stupid, irritating person. Knob jockey – adj – Homosexual, derogatory. Knob-end – adj – An idiot, or tip of the penis (see bell- end). Knockabout – n – Sporting practice. Knock up – v – To bang on someone’s door. Does not mean to impregnate. Know your onions – phrase – To be very knowledgeable on a particular subject.
L L-plates – n – Special license plates you’re required to have on your car while learning to drive in the UK. Lad – n – A boy or an immature grown male. Laddette – n – An immature woman. Ladybird – n – A ladybug. Lager – n – A type of beer popular in England. Lager lout – n – A person who misbehaves while drunk. Lairy – adj – To be noisy or abusive. Larder – n – Pantry. Lav – n – Short for the lavatory. Lay-by – n – Rest area along the highways. Leasehold – n – A possessory right to live in a building or flat but not owning the land upon which it sits. Common for apartments. Leases are usually for 99 or 999 years.
Left luggage – n – A place you can leave your luggage safely (for a fee) while you travel or shop. Leg it – v – To run hurriedly. Leg over – n – Sexual intercourse. Lemonade – n – While in the UK if you ask for Sprite or 7-up you’ll be given this which is basically carbonated lemonade. Lie-in – n – The act of sleeping in. Lift – n – An elevator. Limey – n – An English person. Local – n – The local pub. Lodger – n – A person who rents a room in your home, lower on the scale than a flatmate. Loft – n – The attic area of a house. Lolly – n – A popsicle. Loo – n – The bathroom. Lorry – adj – A semi or heavy goods truck. Lost the Plot – n – Someone who’s gone mad. Love – n – A kind form of address (“Excuse me, love”). Luv – n – Honey or darling.
M M and S – abbr – Shorthand for the department store Marks and Spencer’s, the British equivalent to JC Penney. Also affectionately known as Marks and Sparks.
Macintosh – n – Light waterproof jacket, also known as a Mac. Mad – adj – Crazy. Made Redundant – v – Someone whose job no longer exists. Maisonette – n – A set of rooms for living in, typically on two stories of a larger building and with its own entrance from outside. Manc – n – Someone from Manchester. Mancunian – n – A polite way to say someone is from Manchester. Manky – adj – Dirty or filthy. Manual gearbox – n – A manual transmission on a car. Marmite – n – A strange spread usually eaten on toast made of yeast extract. Marrow – n – The vegetable squash. Mashed – n – High from smoking cannabis. Mate – n – A good friend. Maths – n – Mathematics. Meat and two veg – n – Male external genitalia. Mental – n – Crazy or insane. Mews – n – The short narrow street behind a house like an alleyway. Mews house – n – Small house located on a mews street that often housed servants and horses but have since been converted into homes.
Miffed – adj – Pissed off. Mileometer – n – A car’s odometer. Mince – n – Ground beef. Mince pie – n – A sweet pie usually enjoyed at Christmas stuff with fruit and mincemeat (which is not actually meat). Mind – v – To be aware of. “Mind the Gap.” Minge – n – Female genitalia, derogatory. Minger – adj – An ugly or filthy-minded person. There is usually an implication of poor hygiene or body odour in the usage. Minted – n – To be wealthy. Mobile phone – n – We would say a cell phone or cellular phone. Most Brits just say mobile. Moggy – n – A cat. Mole grip – n – Vise grip. Molly-coddled – adj – To be overly looked after. Mong – n – Derogatory term for someone with special needs.
Monged (out) – n – To be severely drunk or high. Moose -n- A very unattractive woman Moreish – adj – To want more of something. Motor – n – An antiquated term for an automobile. Motorway – n – The equivalent would be an interstate highway. Move house – v – To move to a new house. Multi-story car park – n – A parking garage. Muck in – v – To help with or assist in something. Muggins – n – A simple person or someone silly. Mum – n – Mother. Munter -n- An ugly person. Muppet – n – An idiot.
N Naff – adj – Something that is tacky or otherwise in poor taste. Nappy – n – Baby’s diaper Narked – adj – Being in a bad mood Natter – n – Chatter. Natty – adj – Cool. Naughty bits – n – A polite way to say male genitalia. Nause – adj – An annoying person. Navvy – n – Road worker. Nearside – n – The side of the car that’s closest to the curb. Newsagent – n – A convenience store where you can buy newspapers, magazines and snacks and drinks. Also known as a newsy.
Nick – v – To steal or arrest. Nicked – v – To be arrested or something that was stolen. Niggle – v – To pester. Nimrod – adj – Another name for a weasel, but also used to called someone stupid. Nip – v – To go off and do something quickly. Nippy – adj – Cold. Nob – n – A member of the nobility class. Nonce – n – A paedophile. Non-starter – n – An idea so absurd it has no chance of being a success. Nosey parker – n – A person who gossips and won’t mind their own business. Nosh – n – Food. Nought – n – The number zero. The Brits will almost never say zero. Noughts and crosses – n – The game of tic-tac-toe. Nowt – n – Nothing. Number plate – n – License plate. Numpty – n – An idiot. Nutter – n – A crazy
O O-levels – n – Series of exams that took place a few years before you’re A-levels. Replaced the GCSE’s in the 1980’s. OAP – Acronym – Old Age Pensioner – someone living on social security. Off one’s onion – adj – Crazy. Off one’s rocker – adj – Crazy. Off one’s tits – adj – High on drugs. Off one’s trolley – adj – Crazy. Off-license – n – An off-license is a place where you can buy alcohol and other small household goods. I.e. the corner shop. Also known as the offie.
Offside – n – 1. The side of the car that is farthest from the curb. 2. A complicated rule in football that generates endless debate. Oi – interj – Hey! Old Bill – n – The police. Old banger – n – An old crappy car. OH – n – Other half – significant other. Omnibus – n – 1. A gathering of a week’s radio shows or a soap opera into one large episode. 2. What they used to call buses. On the blink – adj – Something that doesn’t work. On the fiddle – phrase – Cheating. On the piss – v – getting drunk, drinking alcohol. On the pull – v – Out looking for sex. One – n – Referring to yourself in the third person, The Royal We. One Off – n – A special or one-time event.