Top 20 British Slang Words and Phrases

Programs for this blog post

Business + Culture

Authored By:

College Study Abroad

Ahead of any international travel, it’s always smart to brush up on common phrases in your destination’s official language to ensure you can communicate well enough to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Even in primarily English-speaking countries, different dialects, accents, and even unfamiliar slang words may trip you up from time to time.  

The Top 20 British slang words and phrases include:

InnitProperFaffing AroundMiffedLoo

So, if you’re preparing to study abroad in England, save this blog post to familiarize yourself with British slang words and phrases and learn how to talk like a Brit in no time.  

top 20 british slang words

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Studying Abroad in England 

What Are Some Slang Words in the U.K.?  

Like any country, including the United States, the U.K. has a ton of different slang words and phrases, and there are some pretty popular ones you might’ve even heard of before, particularly in England. Read on as we list the meaning of the Top 20 British slang words and phrases. 

#1: Bloke/lad  

Both are endearing terms for male friends or pals; bloke is the equivalent of “dude” or “bro,” and lad refers to younger men and boys.  

#2: Bonkers  

When something is bonkers, it usually means “mad” or “crazy,” but in a light-hearted kind of way. For example, when you’re visiting Big Ben during your study abroad travels, you might refer to the crowds as “bonkers.”  

Read More: 10 Reasons to Study Abroad in London 

#3: Daft 

Referring to something a bit stupid or foolish. For example, forgetting your passport before international travel would be considered “daft.”  

london tower bridge

#4: Dodgy 

This British slang word indicates something or someone that is a bit questionable or sketchy.  

#5: Knackered  

To be “knackered” means to be extremely tired or exhausted. You’ll probably feel pretty “knackered” after your flight to the incredible U.K. (but in the best way possible, of course).  

#6: Bloody 

“Bloody” is a British slang adjective – it adds emphasis to whatever you’re talking about, like your study abroad adventures are going to be bloody fun.  

#7: Chuffed 

Chuffed refers to someone who is pleased or delighted.  

#8: Fiver/Tenner 

These British slang words refer to five-pound or ten-pound notes (aka part of the U.K.’s currency, the pound sterling.)  

big ben tower london

#9: Nosh  

Nosh is another term for “food.” Some nosh you’ll definitely need to try during your study abroad travels to the U.K. includes classic fish and chips, Yorkshire pudding, and a full English breakfast.  

Read More: Eat, Drink, Explore: London 

#10: Kerfuffle  

A kerfuffle refers to a disagreement or ruckus.  

#11: Innit  

A British slang term for “isn’t it.” For example, you might find yourself saying, “It’s beautiful here, innit?” when describing your new home away from home in England.  

#12: Proper   

Different from how Americans use the term, “proper” in British slang is used as an adjective, like “very” or “extremely.” In a sentence: “That’s a proper good time.”  

#13: Faffing around 

This refers to wasting time or taking an excessive amount of time to do something that’s pretty straightforward or quick. For example, like procrastinating on a project, the Brits would describe this as “faffing around.”  

#14: Miffed  

To be “miffed” means to be annoyed or unhappy in British slang.  

#15: Loo  

The “loo” will be an important one to remember – this means bathroom or toilet!  

#16: Quid  

Another British slang word for pound – the U.K.’s currency.  

london students smile

#17: Cheeky  

“Cheeky” is used to describe someone as being a bit naughty or rude but in a more light-hearted and playful kind of way. This is similar to how we might refer to someone as “sarcastic.”   

#18: Mug 

This refers to someone being a bit gullible or foolish – it’s not the nicest British slang word to use.  

#19: Trainers 

Meaning sneakers – you’ll want to make sure to pack your trainers ahead of your travels because you’ll be exploring a lot.  

#20: Cheers  

While we use this word in the United States, “cheers” in the U.K. means “thank you.”  

Cheers to reading through our fun list of British sayings!  

Read More: How to Pack for a Semester Abroad in London 

England is Calling 

This list of British slang words and phrases will come in handy during your U.K. study abroad trip; it might even help when you binge popular British television shows like The Crown or Game of Thrones.  

While you’re practicing your British slang, make sure to check out our many, bloody fun England study abroad programs

You’ll have a proper good time in the U.K. Make sure to eat some authentic British nosh, avoid any kerfuffles, count your fivers, tenners, and quids properly, and you’ll be sure to be chuffed. Cheers!