16 British slang expressions you might find useful


Planning a trip to the UK? Or you are simply eager to get the hang of English? Then you might as well want to revise your speaking skills and particularly pay attention to vocabulary. A rich language like English comes with its challenges. The abundance of idiomatic expressions, allusions, metaphors, collocations, and slang words can make it complicated for foreigners to master certain linguistic areas.  

Keeping up with specific regional dialects and colloquialisms can be especially tricky and it might take some time for learners to find their way around them. However, there is no room for worries, because I’m coming to your rescue. In an attempt to be as helpful as I can, I gathered some popular slang phrases so I can give you a heads up on what to expect.  


An alternative to ‘good looking.’ Harry Styles, for instance, looks quite dishy, if you ask me.  


We are very chuffed, in other words, delighted that England made it to the finals in the UEFA Euro 2020.  


You can’t go mad in Britain, you go bonkers!  

Donkey’s years

When you hear Brits say ‘I have been waiting for donkey’s years,’ they mean they have been waiting for a long time. Some say it derives from the fact that donkeys tend to be slow, others believe it’s because of their long ears.  

Full of beans

A lively, hyperactive person in slang language is full of beans.  


Here we have a case of homophones, I would say: same spelling, same pronunciation, different meaning. When Americans are pissed, it means they’re annoyed. When Brits are pissed, they’re awfully drunk.  

Brassed off 

Now this is how you describe a vexed Brit. If you see one, don’t mind them. Have you seen the weather forecast in Britain? No wonder they’re so brassed off.  


The American equivalent would be ‘a dude.’ 

Throwing a wobbly

It refers to a child’s tantrum but often describes a fit of rage thrown by adults.  

A Kent face

It’s not unusual for Britons to say ‘I saw a Kent face’ when seeing familiar faces. The slang word ‘kent’ derives from as early as the 16th century and is considered to originate from the Old English verb ‘cennan’ (which in German can still be found under the form ‘kennen’) which translates to ‘know.’  

Bob’s your uncle

Something that can be done quite easily. A piece of cake. Nevertheless, if we trace back the origins, the meaning has a tiny little twist. A common hypothesis among Brits is that the idiom came into existence when Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil committed nepotism by employing his nephew in the high ranks. If Bob’s your uncle, the job is yours, no questions asked. Thus, if you know people and have connections, you will certainly succeed.  


One of the dozens of ways of saying farewell.


Brits prefer to use this slang word instead of using the ordinary-sounding ‘I am tired.’  


An alternative way to make mention of the very amorous making out.  


You have most certainly heard someone shout out ‘bloody hell.’ Brits use this word in all kinds of combinations: a bloody awful day, a bloody awesome movie, bloody brilliant, bloody tasty, etc. It’s used as an emphasizer to express how bad or good things are. 

Don’t cry over spilled milk

It’s pointless to feel uneasy about something that has occurred and cannot be reversed. 




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