English slang

English learners will be more familiar with the American way of using the language due to its widespread influence on popular culture. While with British English it seems there is an air of prestige that surrounds it with high-brow educational institutions such as the university of Oxford or Cambridge coming to mind, and the Royal Family. To shake up this perception this blogpost shall give you a few tasters of British slang. I promise you’ll be gobsmacked, I mean astonished!

You are knackered after a week of sightseeing!

I mean you are tired. The word knackered describes as state of exhaustion and originates from ‘being ready for the Knackyard’, which effectively is a slaughterhouse.

Have you lost your Marbles?

This is an exclamation deployed to express doubts over your cognitive abilities at the time. Marbles is slang for wit and intelligence. It only gets properly degrading when you hear someone calling you a nutter though!

Skint after a trip to London?

It means you are out of money or broke, which is another word for passing on going for another pub night or ticketed party this weekend!


Collywobbles during a date?

Although initially linked to stomach aches from a medical perspective it is now used to describe butterflies in your belly, that very excitement you experience when falling in love!

A Knees-up!

That’s an energetic party, boisterous and loud – using legs and knees, effectively dancing… adding the drinks one could say in retrospect that it was a boozy knees-up (!), if alcohol, known as booze, was plentiful, which is not uncommon in the Uk!

It was bloody good!

Whether you refer to last night or your lunch, even as a vegetarian (!) here the word bloody is simply an intensifier. So whatever quality you want to emphasise on, putting bloody before will make you sound bloody English.


I was gutted when I read the news

Ok, potentially there is something bloody going on here, but that’s likely because of the story of mankind!? Whether its guts of fish or mammals, the procedure of removing them translates into everyday metaphorical use expressing bitter disappointment or upset.

Hard Cheese

For a change, here we are in the realm of the dairy produce of british land. Bad luck is hard cheese. Now, if you were to be cheeky things might turn around?


Cheeky chappy

A chap is a man or a boy and saying chappy is an even more informal version of the same. Gender aside, some dictionaries proclaim that attributing someone to be a cheeky chappy might include animals! Cheeky rhymes wonderfully and expresses a type of instinctual characteristic of not doing things by the book, potentially cheating whilst being perceived as funny and cute.

It was a total fluke to find fifty quid on the street!

A tremendously lucky situation is described as a fluke. So kind of the opposite of hard cheese. What’s luck? A quid is a pound and there lie fifty of it, that’s totally flukey to say the least!


Additional useful sources for British slang

Want to know more, here are some additional useful sources for the advanced:

If you have questions you’re always welcome to comment here or send me an email via osmansem19@gmail.com.


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