Ingenious Examples of British Slang


by Sasha Brown //

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.





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