Your Handy Dandy Guide to British Lingo

Let me just spare you the endless amounts of confused looks and “what?”s that you will endure with this handy guide to the British lingo. When I got here, I was expecting a lot more of the “posh” British accent that is portrayed whenever there is a British character in any American movie or tv show. Sadly, I was let down.

For those of you that do not know like I did not, the UK has at least a dozen different accents that are remarkably different from each other and nothing similar to what Americans think of as the generic British accent. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to show you how the different accents sound, but I have taken the liberty to write down some of the lingo that is used in this country!

I have arranged the lingo into various categories, so you get the best feel of how the words are used and sort of understand in what context as well as separated them regionally.

Disclaimer: I have heard all of these words used in conversation and have not conducted any additional research for this list.

Common Slang


Bloke = guy (non threatening)

Bird = female (can be taken offensively but not meant to be)

Peak = good/bad (big debate if it is good or bad. (North =Good) (South =Bad))

Fit = person is hot

Mare = nightmare. Having a bad day

Grim = horrible

Grafting = stage leading to relationship

Crepes = sneakers

My G = mate

Tea = dinner (mostly northern slang)


South London

Bruv = friend

Calm = good

Boukey = weird

Cotch = chill / relax

Grafting = stage leading to relationship

Dank/Chun/Peng = awesome/good

Bare = a lot/very

Bait = obvious

Dash = get rid of something quickly

Ends = area in which you live

Yute = young person

Chore = using a lot

Cushty = good


Geordie (Newcastle)

Mortal = wasted

Craic = good/fun

Radgy = angry/moody


Buzzin = excited

Sound = something’s good

Angin = horrible

Arkid = when referring to someone younger than you

Mint = good

Scram = food

Mither = bother


English Translation for American Words

Squash = juice

Chips = fries

Crisps = potato chips

Series = season

Hoover = vacuum and action of vacuuming

Brew = cup of tea

Garden = yard

Yard = house

Mate = friend

Pants = underwear

Torch = flashlight

Fag = cigarette



Can’t be asked = can’t be bothered to do something

To be fair = to be honest

What you sayin = how are you doing?

Taking the piss = are you joking?

Allow it/ ’low it = let it happen

Do one = go away


There is WAY more slang than just this glimpse of lingo I have provided, but I hope this guide will help you navigate through the extensive vocabulary of British slang. British Slang = Very Confusing.

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