When people think of Britain we usually imagine a world of politeness and neat English, but did you know they have their own cool slang too? Shortening words and having language specific to your country or culture is common. So while you’re watching your favorite British show (we know you have one) you can stay on top of the slang and avoid missing a beat.
Many countries around the world speak English, but that doesn’t mean they all speak it the same way. Even the British themselves have variations in their use of slang. While some phrases are shared between England, Scotland and Wales – or even overlap with Irish slang – each country has its own fun vernacular, too. To break it down, we’ve compiled a list of British slang words and phrases that can be found all throughout the Isles, as well as exclusively in each country. Read on and see if you recognize any.
General British Slang
Meaning: A man.
Meaning: Being heartbroken or upset over something.
Meaning: An alcoholic drink.
Meaning: A kiss or to kiss.
Meaning: To be lucky.
A Few Spanners Short
Meaning: To be dumb or not fully there.
Meaning: A fool or a gullible person.
Meaning: To skip school or work.
Away With The Fairies
Meaning: Used to describe someone who’s aloof or out of it.
Taking the biscuit
Meaning: Pushing your luck.
Meaning: A bit stupid or silly.
Meaning: Thrilled or delighted.
Meaning: Shopping cart.
Meaning: A British pound or money.
Pull A Blinder
Meaning: To pull off something excellently, but unexpectedly.
Arse Over Tit
Meaning: Falling over, usually in connection to being drunk.
Meaning: Very drunk.
Meaning: A cup of tea.
All To Pot
Meaning: This phrase means that things are getting out of control or something is completely failing. For example, “The wedding went all to pot when the groom was found behind the speakers with the bride’s sister.”
Meaning: People typically say this word when they’re surprised or find something impressive or shocking.
Meaning: To screw something up.
Meaning: An adjective used to describe someone who is mad or odd.
Black Over Bill’s Mother
Meaning: Terrible weather.
On The Raz
Meaning: Out on the town.
Meaning: A small child.
Ah Dinnae Ken
Meaning: I don’t know.
Yer Bum’s Oot The Windae
Meaning: You’re full of it.
All His Eggs Are Double-Yoakit
Meaning: A way to describe a bullshitter.
Mad Wi’ It
Meaning: Drunk and having a great time.
Haud Yer Wheesht
Meaning: Shut your mouth.
Bolt Ya Rocket
Meaning: Get the hell outta here.
Meaning: Something very nice or cool.
Meaning: To be very angry or disgusted.
Meaning: Brilliant, fantastic, a good thing.
All The Threes
Meaning: Arguing or trash-talking.
Meaning: A pair of sneakers.