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75 Simple British Slang Phrases You Should Probably Start Using

75 Simple British Slang Phrases You Should Probably Start Using

Oh, the Brits. No-one can snark quite like they do, and there are certain turns of phrase that are so utterly delightful, the rest of the world really should sit up and take note. Below are just a few common British phrases that you might like to work into your daily vernacular, as they can pepper any conversation with a little extra something.

  1. Aggro: Aggressive/in someone’s face.
  2. “Are you having a laugh?”: Statement of incredulity, like “you’ve got to be kidding”, and such. “You think I’ll hire your brother after he gets out of prison for armed robbery? Are you having a laugh?”
  3. Argy-bargy: Quarrelsome, arguing.
  4. Arse: One’s backside/buttocks.
  5. Arsed: Bothered. “I can’t be arsed to go to my cousin’s third wedding.”
  6. Balls-up: “Gone wrong”, as in a situation that hasn’t gone according to plan.
  7. Barmy: Crazy, insane.
  8. Bimble: An ambling walk.
  9. Biscuit arsed: Dirty, filthy.
  10. Bog: Toilet/restroom.
  11. Bog roll: Toilet paper.
  12. Bollocks: Nonsense.
  13. Buggered: Worn out, broken, ruined.
  14. Catch flies: To sit with one’s mouth hanging open.
  15. Chav: An ignorant, trashy, lower-class person.
  16. Cheeky: Playfully impertinent. “Did you just whistle at that old lady? You cheeky monkey.”
  17. Chin-wag: A chat or brief conversation.
  18. Chuffed: Pleased, delighted.
  19. Clanger: A mistake.
  20. Cock up: Make a mess of something. “He really cocked up his job interview when he mentioned that he’d shagged the boss’s daughter.”
  21. Collywobbles: Nervousness; butterflies in the stomach.
  22. Crease up: To laugh heartily (so one’s face creases up).
  23. Crumpet: A sexually desirable person.
  24. Dodgy: Suspicious, dubious. “I ate a dodgy curry last night and now my stomach’s off.”
  25. Dogsbody: The person who takes care of most tasks, especially menial ones.
  26. Drop a clanger: To make an obvious mistake or terrible faux-pas.
  27. Dull as dishwater: Exceedingly, horribly boring or plain.
  28. Ear-bashing: A severe reprimand. “He got a right ear-bashing after crashing his dad’s car into that buffalo.”
  29. Fall arse over tit: Take a tumble/head over heels.
  30. Gammy: Injured, lame, or painful. “My gran’s had a gammy leg ever since she fell off a horse.”
  31. “Get stuffed!”: An angry rebuke, similar to “Go f*ck yourself!”
  32. Giddy kipper: An overly excitable person.
  33. Ginger: A red-haired person.
  34. Gobby: Offensively outspoken.
  35. Gobsmacked: Stunned/utterly blown away.
  36. Grotty: Unpleasant/disgusting.
  37. Gutted: Devastated. “She was gutted after her boyfriend left her for her nephew.”
  38. Knackered: Exhausted.
  39. Legless: So drunk, one has difficulty standing.
  40. Liquid lunch: A meal that consists mostly of alcohol, rather than food.
  41. Lost the plot: Lost one’s mind/gone senile. “My great-uncle thinks he’s an admiral with the United Federation of Planets, but of course, he lost the plot years ago.”
  42. Lurgy: The flu, or other illness that makes you feel horrible.
  43. “Mad as a bag of ferrets”: Utterly and completely insane.
  44. Manky: Disgusting. “The chicken you left on the counter for a week has gone manky.”
  45. Miffed: Irked.
  46. Moggy: Cat.
  47. Muck up: Ruin something.
  48. Murder: Devour. “I could murder a sandwich right now.”
  49. Naff: Unfashionable.
  50. Nethers: Euphemism for genitals.
  51. Pants: Rubbish. “She said the film was pants, but I rather liked it.”
  52. Peckish: Slightly hungry.
  53. Peevish: Petulant and sullen.
  54. Plonk: Horrible, cheap wine.
  55. Prat: An idiot.
  56. Rubbish: Terrible, crap. “I’m totally rubbish at math—can’t even add.”
  57. Sad arse: Pathetic person.
  58. Sausage fest: An event that has a disproportionate amount of males to females… like a comic convention.
  59. Shag: Have sex.
  60. Shattered: Worn out, exhausted.
  61. Shufflebutt: A restless, fidgety person.
  62. Slag: A contemptible person; possibly a promiscuous one.
  63. Smarmy: Creepy, sleazy.
  64. Smashing: Brilliant, wonderful.
  65. Snog: To make out/fool around.
  66. Snookered: Defeated/thwarted.
  67. “Sod it.”: “I give up.” Used in a sentence: “I’ll never understand this math problem. Sod it, let’s go down to the pub.”
  68. Sprog: A child/offspring.
  69. Starkers: Naked.
  70. Taking the piss: Making fun of something.
  71. Tosh: Rubbish/nonsense.
  72. Tosser: A contemptible idiot.
  73. Twee: Overly dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint. “Her bunny-themed tea set is so utterly twee.”
  74. Wazzock: Imbecile.
  75. Wonky: Unstable. “The table leg’s a bit wonky; you might want to slide a book under it.”

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

More Tips About Building Positive Relationships

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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