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British Slang – Jane Godwin Coury

If you went to the UK tomorrow and talked to someone in their twenties, would you understand the slang they are using? I recently picked my 26-year old niece´s brains about British slang and selected some expressions, phrasal verbs and words that may help you grasp what´s going on in a dialogue.


To be chuffed to bits – to be very pleased about something

E.g. I was chuffed to bits when I got promoted at work.

That really cracked me up – I started laughing uncontrollably

E.g. That new comedian on TV really cracked me up.



E.g. That party was sick last night


She´s lost the plot!/He´s cray-cray!/He´s not all there! – He/She is crazy

E.g. I have a feeling she´s lost the plot! It just doesn´t make sense what she´s saying!


Bladdered/pissed/smashed/wasted/steaming– Completely drunk

E.g. He was so wasted last night at the pub.

What do you fancy?/What´s your tipple?/What´s your poison? – What would you like to drink?

Booze – alcohol drinks

E.g. Let´s get the booze in!

Get a round in – to buy drinks for everybody in your group (common in a UK pub)

E.g. I´ll get this round in.

Sam: “I´ll meet you at the pub at 8pm.”

Julie: “Cool beans, man!” – OK, fine by me!

He is a lightweight/He can´t handle his drink – He gets drunk easily.

E.g. He´s such a lightweight. After a pint, he´s gone. Can´t handle his drink.


That really cringed me out – That made me feel uncomfortable

E.g. Oh my god, that film really cringed me out!

Rain on someone´s parade – Prevent someone from enjoying an occasion/event

E.g. Don´t rain on my parade! I´ve been wanting to go to this music festival for so long.

Dodgy – strange/low quality

E.g. That food tastes a bit dodgy. Wouldn´t eat it if I were you!

Skive off work – to avoid work by staying away or leaving early.

E.g. She´s skived off work again today. I´ll have to step in for her.

Skint – no money

E.g. God! I´m absolutely skint this week. I get paid tomorrow though.

Absolute shambles – complete mess

E.g. That company is an absolute shambles. Not working for them again.

Aggy – annoying/aggravating

E.g. She is always getting on someone´s nerves. She´s so aggy!

Faffing about/around – To aimlessly waste time doing useless things

E.g. Stop faffing around! Let´s get on with the job we have to do.

If you are interested in learning more British slang, check out this article:

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