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50 British Phrases Americans Don’t Understand!

There are certain British Phrases americans just don’t understand firstly why we say them, secondly how we even developed them! Yeah I’m not going to lie, we do have some strange words, even stranger phrases! I suppose we are just like that! Can’t change us!

Let’s begin the British Phrases!

1. “How’s your father,” “Rumpy pumpy,” “Good rogering”
Meaning: To have sex, sexual relations, get “your groove on.”

2. “Going to play some footy”
Meaning: Going to play soccer.

3. “I’ll give you a bunch of fives”
Meaning: You’re going to get a punch in the face.

4. “That was a right bodge job”
Meaning: That job went wrong.

5. “Oh bloomin ‘eck”
Meaning: A non-curse word exclamation.

6. “That’s pants”
Meaning: It’s not great, not very good.

7. “I’m knackered”
Meaning: I’m tired, exhausted.

8. “Don’t get shirty with me,” “Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” “You’re getting on my goat,” “Wind your neck in”

Meaning: Someone’s getting angry or aggravated with you…or you’re getting annoyed or
irritated with them.

9. “ I was gobsmacked”
Meaning: I was shocked, lost for words.

10. “She was talking nineteen to the dozen”
Meaning: She was talking at a speedy rate.

11. “It’s all gone pear shaped”
Meaning: Something has gone wrong.

12. “She’s a picnic short of a sandwich,” “She’s a slice short of a loaf”
Meaning: She’s a little dopey, not very clever.

13. “She’s as bright as a button”
Meaning: She’s clever.

14. “He’s as mad as box of frogs,” “He’s crackers”
Meaning: He’s mad. He’s lost it.

15. “Spend a penny,” “Going for a slash”
Meaning: To visit the bathroom.

16. “Well that’s thrown a spanner in the works”
Meaning: Plans have gone awry, a curveball has been thrown.

17. “We’re having a right old knees up,” “Heading out on the tiles,”“Out on the lash”
Meaning: To go out for the night to have a good time. To party.

18. “I’m out on the pull tonight”
Meaning: To go out looking for a lady or man with whom to enjoy a romantic liason (see #1.). To get ‘laid’.

19. “I’m going to get off with him / her”
Meaning: I’m going to kiss / snog that person.

19. “I’m quids in” / I’m skint,” / “Have you got any dosh?”
Meaning: You’ve come into money / You have no money / You’re asking someone if they have any money.

20. “Sweet Fanny Adams”
Meaning: Nothing, such as when being asked what you did for the day or what you’re currently doing.

21. “It’s just Sod’s law”
Meaning: Same as ‘Murphy’s Law’ — what’s going to happen, will happen.

22. “It’s parky out” or “It’s brass monkeys out”
Meaning: It’s cold outside.

23. “She’s such a curtain twitcher” or “Stop being such a nose ointment”
Meaning: She’s a nosy neighbor, stop being so nosy.

24. “Did you see her? She’s such a chav”
Meaning: A British stereotype for a ‘low class’ person or someone wearing ‘cheap’ clothes.

25. “That’s smashing,” “Super,” “Ace,” “Pucka”
Meaning: That’s “awesome.”

26. “Did you just fluff?” “Did you just pop?”
Meaning: Did you just fart?

27. “He’s the dog’s danglies,” “It’s the mutt’s nuts”
Meaning: He’s the best, it’s the best. Top notch.

28. “Nice baps,” “Look at those bristols,” “Look at those rose buds”
Meaning: Nice breasts.

29. “Old Blighty”
Meaning: Britain.

30. “Oh, he’s a Bobby,” “They call him PC plod”
Meaning: He’s a policeman / cop.

31. “I’ll ring you,” “I’ll give you a bell,” “I’ll give you a tinkle”
Meaning: I’ll call you.

32. “He’s such a plonker,” “ponce,” “pillock,” “tosser,” “ twit,” “knob,” “bellend”
Meaning: He’s not very nice / He’s an idiot.

33. “Stop being such a big girl’s blouse”
Meaning: Stop being such a wimp.

34. “Toodle Pip!” “Ta ta!”
Meaning: Goodbye.

35. “I’m just having a fag”
Meaning: I’m just having a cigarette.

36. “I’m totally cack-handed”
Meaning: I’m not coordinated.

37. “He’s such an anorak”
Meaning: He’s such a geek.

38. “Don’t be such a wind-up merchant”
Meaning: Stop teasing.

39. “Having a good old chinwag”
Meaning: Having a gossip / chat.

40. “She’s got a face like a bag full of spanners” / “She has a face like a cat’s arse”
Meaning: She’s not very attractive / She is pulling a ‘sour’ face.

41. “Meat and two veg”
Meaning: A man’s ‘private parts’

42. “She’s so gobby”
Meaning: She’s very mouthy, rude.

43. “She / he / it’s minging”
Meaning: She / he / it’s not very nice, disgusting.

44. “That’s mint, that is”
Meaning: Mint condition, perfect.

45. “Careful, he’s on the chunder bus”
Meaning: He’s going to be sick, throw up.

46. “Oh stop whinging on”
Meaning: Stop moaning.

47. “You look smart”
Meaning: You are well dressed.

48. “That’s lush”
Meaning: That’s nice, or that tastes good.

49. “I’m feel really grotty”
Meaning: Feeling under the weather, not well.

50. “Ta!”
Meaning: Thanks!

I hope you enjoyed my British phrases, if you like this post comment below or reach out to me on Facebook/Twitter

Have a great day,


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