Top 20 ENGLISH SLANG Phrases to start using NOW to sound like a real BRIT!



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If you were brought up with great British television like myself (though I grew up in New Zealand not England!), these phrases will be no surprise to you, but if you are an ESL learner they can be really confusing. So I thought I would put them down and decipher them for you. There are many more (which I will write about later but here are the first 20 anyway!)

  1. Charlie – idiot

That guy is a real Charlie!

  1. Give you a bell

I’ll give you a bell on Friday night.

  1. Blimey – my goodness

Blimey! That was a great goal!

  1. Gutted – devastated

When he lost his job he was really gutted.

  1. Chuffed – proud

He was really chuffed when he passed his exams.

  1. Fancy – like

I really fancy a hamburger right now.

  1. Lost the plot – gone crazy

The driver really lost the plot when he went over the other side of the road.

  1. Sorted – arranged

She doesn’t need anything she is already sorted.

  1. Kip – sleep

Let me get some kip tonight and I’ll see you tomorrow.

  1. Bee’s Knees – awesome

She thinks her son is really the bee’s knees at everything.

  1. Know Your Onions – Knowledgeable

Make sure you know your onions before you sit your exam!

  1. Dodgy – Suspicious

That business deal was very dodgy.

  1. Wonky – Not right/uneven

The hem on that dress is wonky.

  1. Wicked – Cool!

That new t shirt you are wearing is wicked.!

  1. Whinge – Whine/complain

Oh all you ever do is whinge, you have to start being more positive.

  1. Tad – Little bit

My dinner was a tad cold.

  1. Tenner – £10

Hey brother can you lend me a tenner?

  1. Fiver – £5

Hey brother can you lend me a fiver?

  1. Skiver – Lazy person or someone who avoids doing something

Don’t be a skiver, get the job done.

  1. Toff – Upper Class Person

The person is a real toff, you can tell by the way he speaks.


Other ENGLISH slang posts AND LINKS:

The very best of British

30 Awesome British slang terms you should start using immediately



12 thoughts on “Top 20 ENGLISH SLANG Phrases to start using NOW to sound like a real BRIT!

  1. Comical! In Canadian slang, to “toss” is to masterbate. A tosser is someone who masterbates. Not the best expression to use on this side of the ocean in Canada. Hahahaha. But that’s the fun of language (it should make you laugh, after all).

    • Funny you say that, there were other expressions that had double meanings that I didn’t include, and I had my suspicions about that one too, but put it in anyway as my search showed me that it had another meaning….thanks for telling me about that, maybe I will edit it out, not something ESL students should learn!!! hahahah…….

  2. Love your list! English is so confusing to people who speak other languages. Of course, in U.S. we have our own phrases like “you guys, cool, awesome, duh!” etc.

    • Exactly, fortunately I have managed to find that some words in some parts of the world are considered offensive so I removed them…just another interesting point about language and how it travels!

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