British English can often leave non-British English speakers scratching their heads as to what exactly they are talking about. Once you are able to get over the novelty of these expressions and slang terms, embrace them and even add them to the mix of conversation to liven it up.

At first it may seem unnatural to use expressions such as these in daily conversation, but the more they are used, the more they will come out naturally and at appropriate times. Do not worry too much about sounding strange when using the lingo, confidence will come with time. Each of these idiomatic expressions are unique and honestly, are a much more fun way to express any number of the mundane phrases that are said by non-British English speakers on a daily basis.

1. Bob’s Your Uncle!

While this may be true literally, it also means “There you go!” (It’s an affirmation of sorts). It can also mean “You’ve got it!”. Never think that this is really about an uncle.

2. Cheeky

This means to not be respectful of something or someone– to have a flippant or facetious attitude, to be sarcastic but all in an endearing way. Sometimes it may mean flirty.

3. Gobby

To be loudly opinionated, to be offensive or violate polite conversational norms. To speak in a loud or attacking manner.

4. To have a butcher’s

To take a look at something or to look at someone. To inspect something quite closely.

5. The Full Monty

To go all the way with something. To go all out. To go big instead of going home. This can also mean to include everything that is appropriate, necessary, or possible.

6. It’s monkeys outside!

It is very cold outside.

7. I’m off to Bedfordshire

I am going to bed/I am hitting the hay.

8. Knees up

This is a term for a party or a mixer. It is used as a noun instead of a verb, as in, to attend a knees up.

9. Lurgy

To be sick or to be under the weather. (This can sometimes be used sarcastically.)

10. Snookered

This word can be used when you are in a bad situation. In essence, it means to be without a paddle/put in an unfortunate position.

11. Shambolic

For something to be shambolic is for it to be in a total state of chaos, dismay, or bedlam. To be disorganized or mismanaged.

12. Tickety-Boo

This is a phrase for when everything is going fantastic, and is not used in a sarcastic manner. This is used when everything is in order or fine.

13. Knackered

This means to be extremely tired—most of the time used after an exhausting day.

14. Gormless

To be totally clueless, naive, or simple. To be foolish or lacking intelligence.

15. Get Stuffed

This is to be said when telling someone to go away, “beat it!” or “scram!” It is used as a way of expressing anger or disagreement.

16. Collywobbles

This is an extreme queasiness or pain in the stomach, brought on by nervousness, stress, or anxiety. In other words, a bellyache brought on by apprehension.

17. Chin Wag

This means to have a chat with someone, or to have a friendly conversation.

Take a chance with any of these sayings, they are all popularly understood by the majority of residents in the United Kingdom and will be met with enthusiasm for the vernacular. It is quite important to note that some popular forms of slang/idiomatic expressions are not necessarily understood in the same way in Britain as they might be in other Western countries. Some seemingly innocent words might mean something entirely different and are sometimes considered offensive when used in predominantly British areas.

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