– one of the commonly used terms of endearment and affection in British slang
terms. Used when you are talking to a close friend, and is often easily
substituted for the American ‘buddy’, ‘pal’, or ‘dude’.
example, ‘Alright, mate?’
2. Bugger All
all’ – a British slang term used to be a more vulgar synonym for ‘nothing at
example, ‘I’ve had bugger all to do all day.’
– a great word and phrase used by Britons to describe their tiredness and exhaustion,
in any given situation. Often substituted in friendly circles for ‘exhausted’.
example, ‘I am absolutely knackered after working all day.’
– a British slang term that is one of the saddest on the lists in terms of pure
contextual emotion. To be ‘gutted’ about a situation means to be devastated and
example, ‘His girlfriend broke up with him. He’s absolutely gutted.’
– a truly British expression meaning to be shocked and surprised beyond belief.
The expression is believed by some to come literally from ‘gob’ (a British
expression for mouth), and the look of shock that comes from someone hitting
example. ‘I was gobsmacked when she told me she was pregnant with triplets.’
6. Cock Up
up’ – a British slang term that is far from the lewdness its name suggests. A
‘cock up’ is a mistake, a failure of large or epic proportions.
example, ‘The papers sent out to the students were all in the wrong language –
it’s a real cock up.’ Also, ‘I cocked up the orders for table number four.’
– a slang term that is far from something that physically causes someone to
lose their sight. ‘Blinding’ is a positive term meaning excellent, great, or
example, ‘That tackle from the Spanish player was blinding.’
8. Lost The Plot
the plot’ is one that can actually be discerned by examining the words
themselves. To ‘lose the plot’ can mean either to become angry and/or
exasperated to a fault, or in a derogatory – if slightly outdated sense – to
mean someone who has become irrational and/or acting ridiculously.
example, ‘When my girlfriend saw the mess I’d made, she lost the plot.’
doesn’t quite have the same meaning that it does in other counties – of course,
it still means ‘celebrations’ when toasting a drink with some friends, but in
British slang, it also means ‘thanks’ or ‘thank you’.
example, ‘Cheers for getting me that drink, Steve’.
– a British slang term that means something that is brilliant or excellent. Can
also mean to pass something with flying colors.
example, ‘Jenny is ace at the lab experiments’, or, for the latter definition,
‘I think I aced that exam’.
11. Damp Squib
of an usual term, a ‘damp squib’ in British slang terms refers to something
which fails on all accounts, coming from the ‘squib’ (an explosive), and the
propensity for them to fail when wet.
example, ‘The party was a bit of a damp squib because only Richard turned up.’
12. All To Pot
more of an outdated version, this British slang term is still used, and its
meaning remains relevant today. ‘All to pot’ refers to a situation going out of
your control and failing miserably.
example, ‘The birthday party went all to pot when the clown turned up drunk and
everyone was sick from that cheap barbecue stuff.’
13. The Bee’s Knees
bee’s knees – a rather lovely term used to describe someone or something you
think the world of.
example, ‘She thinks Barry’s the bee’s knees’. Can also be used sarcastically
in this same sense.
a wonderfully melodic word, ‘chunder’ is part and parcel of British slang
terms. Meaning ‘to vomit’ or ‘to be sick’, ‘chunder’ is almost always used in
correlation with drunken nights, or being hugely ill and sick.
example, ‘I ate a bad pizza last night after too many drinks and chundered in
15. Taking The Piss
the British tendency to mock and satirise anything and everything possible,
‘taking the piss’ is in fact one of the most popular and widely-used British
slang terms. To ‘take the piss’ means to mock something, parody something, or
generally be sarcastic and derisive towards something.
example, ‘The guys on TV last night were taking the piss out of the government
one of the most internationally famous British slang terms, ‘bollocks’ has a
multitude of uses, although its top ones including being a curse word used to
indicate dismay, e.g. ‘Oh bollocks'; it can also be used to express derision
and mocking disbelief, e.g. ‘You slept with Kate Upton last night? Bollocks…';
and, of course, it also refers to the scrotum and testicles.
example, ‘I kicked him right in the bollocks when he wouldn’t let me go
– a British slang term more commonly used by virtually everyone in the UK to mean ‘a group of
example, ‘I’m going away for a fortnight to Egypt for my summer
different to the ‘bollocks’ of the previous suggestion, a ‘bollocking’ is a
telling-off or a severe or enthusiastic reprimand from a boss, co-worker,
partner, or anyone you like, for a misdemeanour.
example, ‘My wife gave me a real bollocking for getting to pick up the dry
cleaning on my way home from work.’
19. Nice One
one’ – used almost always sarcastically in common British lexicon, although it
can be used sincerely depending on the context.
example, ‘You messed up the Rutherford order? Nice one,
20. Brass Monkeys
more obscure British term, ‘brass monkeys’ is used to refer to extremely cold
weather. The phrase comes from the expression, ‘it’s cold enough to freeze the
balls off a brass monkey’.
example, ‘You need to wear a coat today, it’s brass monkeys outside.’
British slang terms, ‘dodgy’ refers to something wrong, illegal, or just plain
‘off’, in one way or another.
example, it can be used to mean illegal – ‘He got my dad a dodgy watch for
Christmas'; it can be used to mean something food-related that is nauseous or
nauseating – ‘I had a dodgy kebab last night and I don’t feel right.; and it
can also be used as a pejorative – ‘He just seems dodgy to me.’
of the more delightful British slang terms in this list, ‘scrummy’ is used as a
wonderfully effusive term for when something is truly delicious and
example, ‘Mrs Walker’s pie was absolutely scrummy. I had three pieces.’
rather delightful and slightly archaic words in this list of British slang
terms is ‘kerfuffle’. ‘Kerfuffle’ describes a skirmish or a fight or an
argument caused by differing views.
example, ‘I had a right kerfuffle with my girlfriend this morning over
nifty little British term that means ‘rubbish’ or ‘crap’.
example, ‘That’s a load of tosh about what happened last night’, or ‘Don’t talk
25. Car Park
of the more boring and technical terms on this list, a ‘car park’ is in effect,
the place outside or attached to a building where people park their cars. The
British equivalent to the American ‘parking lot’ or ‘parking garage’.
example, ‘I left my car in the car park this morning.’
– a British slang term used to indicate when someone has failed to turn up for
work or an obligation due to pretending to fake illness. Most commonly used
with schoolchildren trying to get out of school, or dissatisfied office workers
trying to pull a sick day.
example, ‘He tried to skive off work but got caught by his manager.’
of the most commonly-used British phrases, ‘rubbish’ is used to mean both
general waste and trash, and to also express disbelief in something to the point
of ridicule (in this sense it is a much-more PG-friendly version of
example, it can be used respectively, in, ‘Can you take the rubbish out
please?’, and ‘What? Don’t talk rubbish.’
‘wanker’. Possibly the best British insult on the list, it fits a certain niche
for a single-worded insult to lobbied out in a moment of frustration, anger,
provocation, or, of course, as a jest amongst friends. ‘Wanker’ fits the
closest fit by ‘jerk’ or ‘asshole’, but to a slightly higher value.
example, ‘That guy just cut me up in traffic – what a wanker.’
– a neat little piece of British slang that means that a situation is okay,
cool, or normal.
example, ‘Yeah, everything’s hunky-dory at the office.’
last, but most certainly not least, term on this list, ‘brilliant’ is not a
word exclusively in the British lexicon, but has a very British usage.
Specifically, when something is exciting or wonderful, particularly when
something is good news, ‘brilliant’ can mean as such.
example, ‘You got the job? Oh, mate, that’s brilliant.’