Well i’ve decided to do a quick post on British slang, explained! In Britain we use all kinds of slang, some of it you probably think, how? How is that even a slang, but seriously, these are real! So let’s run through some that I hear on a regular basis.
All right? – This is used by so many people it basically means, “Hello, how are you”? You would say it to a complete stranger or someone you knew.
Barmy – If someone tells you that you’re barmy they mean you have gone mad or crazy.
Aggro – Short for aggravation, it’s the sort of thing you might expect at a football match. In other words – trouble! There is sometimes aggro in the cities after the pubs shut, but this can relate to anything!
Arseholed – Drunk! Usually in the advanced stages of drunken stupor, someone would be considered “completely arseholed”. Never me, of course!
Bladdered – This rather ugly expression is another way of saying you are drunk. The link is fairly apparent I feel!
Blast – An exclamation of surprise. You may also hear someone shout “blast it”, or even “bugger and blast”!
Blatant – We use this word a lot to mean something is really obvious.
Fortnight – Two weeks. Comes from an abbreviation of “fourteen nights”. Hence terms like “I’m off for a fortnights holiday” meaning “I am going on a two week vacation”.
On your bike – A very polite way of telling someone to f*** off.
Sad – This is a common word, with the same meaning as naff. Used in expressions like “you sad b***ard”.
Scrummy – This is a word that would be used to describe either some food that was particularly good (and probably sweet and fattening).
Fruity – If someone is feeling fruity then they are feeling frisky. Watch out!
Grub – Food. Similar to nosh. I remember my Dad calling “grub’s up”, when dinner was ready as a kid. A grub is also an insect
Jammy – If you are really lucky or flukey, you are also very jammy. It would be quite acceptable to call your friend a jammy b****rd if they won the lottery.
Narked – In the UK you would say that someone looked narked if you thought they were in a bad mood. In the US you might say that someone was pissed. We definitely would not say that, as it would mean they were drunk!
On the piss – If you are out on the piss, it means you are out to get drunk, or to get pissed.
Taking the piss – One of the things Americans find hardest about the Brits is our sense of humour. It is obviously different and is mainly based on irony, sarcasm and an in-built desire to “take the piss”. This has nothing to do with urine, but simply means making fun of someone.
Piss poor – If something is described as being “piss poor” it means it is an extremely poorattempt at something.
Piss up – A piss up is a drinking session. A visit to the pub. There is an English expression to describe someone as disorganised which says that he/she could not organise a piss up in a brewery!
Pissed – This is a great one for misunderstanding. Most people go to the pub to get pissed. Getting pissed means getting drunk. It does not mean getting angry. That would be getting pissed off!
Twat – Another word used to insult someone who has upset you. Also means the same as fannybut is less acceptable in front of your grandmother, as this refers to parts of the female anatomy. Another use for the same word is to twat something, which would be to hit it hard. Get it right or I’ll twat you over the head!
Twee – Twee is a word you would generally hear older people say. It means dainty or quaint.
Twit – You twit! Not so rude as calling someone an idiot but it amounts to the same thing. I use this all the time.
Off colour – If someone said you were off colour they would mean that you look pale and ill! Not quite the same as something being off colour in the US!
Off your trolley – If someone tells you that you’re off your trolley, it means you have gone raving bonkers, crazy, mad!
On about – What are you on about? That’s something you may well hear when visiting the UK. It means what are you talking about?
Wobbler – To “throw a wobbly” or to “throw a wobbler” means to have a tantrum. Normally happens when you tell your kids they can’t have an ice cream or that it’s time for bed.
Wonky – If something is shaky or unstable you might say it is wonky. For example I changed my chair in my kitchen recently because I had a wonky one.
Write to – Correct grammar would be to say “write me” and you would be made to write it out 100 times until you got it right.
Yakking – This means talking incessantly – not that I know anyone who does that now!
These are just some of the thousands of British slang terms, but if I’ve missed some out that you use on a regular basis, comment them below or tweet me @mrjamesvincent
Have a great afternoon,