50 British Slangs You Can’t Do Without In The UK Universities

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

July 8, 2020

Are you aware that roughly 7,50,000 international students enroll each year in different UK universities? The UK is celebrated for its perfection in higher education and currently attracts international students from all over the world. It is also the first choice for students who are seeking a course taught in English. International students in the United Kingdom come from over 200 countries, with the bulk coming from China, India, Nigeria, Malaysia, and the United States. Getting used to commonly used British slangs should be one of the first things international students do before joining uni and this is what this article is all about.

The UK is home to some of the most famous Universities in the world, such as Cambridge University and Oxford University. Thus, it comes as no surprise that higher education qualifications from the UK are recognized worldwide. 

As an international student, coming to the UK for further education can be exhilarating yet scary. The UK possesses different dialects of the English language. Most students struggle to cope with the linguistic barrier. To add insult to injury, students have to navigate through tricky British slang to understand or get their point across. But to be fair, British slang words sound awesome and are widely used. 

There are some words that you are familiar with in your home country that have a completely different meaning in the UK. So next time a Brit asks you, “Fancy a beer?”, don’t go around thinking, “Why does he want to dress up a beer…?” 

Uni – One of the most popular British slang in the UK. You probably guessed it right. It means university and/or college.

Fresher – This is the American equivalent of Freshman, which means a first-year student.

Libes – The British uni slang word for a library.

Budge up – You will probably come across this slang when you’re sitting in class, and your friend wants to sit next to you. It means to move or make room.

Mate – If you think we’ve confused our islands, you’re wrong. Most of us associate the word mate with Australia, but the truth is that the Brits use this word too. It is a term of endearment used to call a friend, male or female. A male friend can also be called a lad or chap, and the female version of this is lass or lassie.

Knackered – “Mate, I’m absolutely knackered”, is a phrase you will hear and say during your time at uni. It means being exhausted.

Sloshed – “Mate, I’m absolutely sloshed”, is another term you will be familiar with at uni. It means being drunk. Alternative slang words that convey the same meaning are lashed, smashed, pissed, plastered and trolleyed

Buzzing – This British slang means to be happy. You can also use the word – psyched.

Dynamite – This means simply, awesome and cool. You will also hear people use the word Wicked to convey the same meaning. 

Ace – This is a British slang word that means excellent. This is mainly used in Liverpool. Ace player, that Salah. Another word for this is Mint

Cheers – The rest of the world uses this word while toasting drinks but in the UK, it’s used to say thank you.

Mug – A fool. Another word, Daft.

Dodgy – This basically means unreliable or suspicious.

Pork Pies – Stop drooling! Pork Pies means lies. Porkies is another way of saying lies. 

Chinwag – Here’s a tough one. It means to chat. 

Skive Off – This common British slang is synonymous with lazy or a procrastinator. Some other British slang used in a similar way is kip (sleep) and faffing (waste time).

Jimjams – This is another term for pajamas. Who would’ve thought there’d be a cuter name for pajamas? Well done, UK.

Cock Up – A ‘cock-up’ is a mistake or a failure of large or epic proportions.

Fortnight- This is a British slang term more commonly used by everyone in the UK to mean ‘a group of two weeks’.

Gobsmacked- It is a truly British expression meaning to be shocked and surprised beyond belief. 

Gutted – It is a British slang term that is one of the saddest on the lists in terms of pure contextual emotion. To be ‘gutted’ about a situation means to be devastated and saddened.

Hunky-Dory- It is a little piece of British uni slang that means that a situation is okay, cool, or normal.

Kerfuffle – Kerfuffle describes a fight or an argument caused by differing views.

Minging – This is an alternative to the word disgusting or gross. 

Posh – It is used to describe anything flashy or needlessly classy or expensive. It is similar to the American word fancy.

Sick – Here being “sick” is actually a good thing. It’s like a stronger form of “cool”

Throwing a wobbly – This phrase means the same thing as having a tantrum. 

Tosh – A little British slang that means rubbish or crap.

Scrummy – You use the word scrummy to describe food that is mouthwatering and utterly delicious. While we are on the topic of food, remember, bangers are used for sausages, chips word is for French Fries, and nosh is for food.

To Let – This means that a place is ready to vacant to rent. Just ask us, we know. If you are looking for student accommodation in the UK, you will definitely hear this. 

Dosh – This is a fancy word for money. Wonga, dough, dollar, and bread are some other words for money.  

Nippy – “There’s a nip in the air”. This word is used to describe cold or chilly weather. Some common phrases that convey the same meaning are “Its monkeys outside” and “Brass Monkeys“.

Cracking – Cracking means something that is particularly good or excellent. 

Botched – If something is botched, it means that has not gone according to plan.

Easy peasy – If something is not difficult then it is usually pronounced as being easy peasy.

Naff – Naff is something that is a bit uncool. 

On your bike – It is a British slang that is a not so polite way of telling someone to go away.

Pissed – Pissed doesn’t mean annoyed or angry in UK slangs. It means blind drunk.

Quid – It is a common British slang word for a British pound.

Snookered – To be snookered means you are in a situation from which you can see no obvious escape.

Spend a penny – This British slang means going to the bathroom. It originated from the time when public toilets charged one penny for their services.

Yakking – It means talking too much.

Blud – This is a term of endearment for a good friend. It comes from the term, “Blood brother”. 

Yonks – It is a general uni British slang for a long period of time

Bants – This is short for banter. 

Taking The Piss – You take the piss when you ridicule or trick someone.

Ygm – This means you get me, ygm?

Trainers – Trainers are the British equivalent of the sneakers denoting athletic shoes.

Chuffed – When someone is chuffed, it means they are very pleased or happy about something.

Narky – It is another word for moody or bad-tempered.

Fluke – Fluke is something caused by chance or luck. Something can also be described as being ‘flukey,’ signifying it is particularly lucky or coincidental.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. If you’re someone who wants to share his/her valuable experiences through a blog, we are excited to collaborate. Write to us on contact@uniacco.com to know more about our submission process. Let’s see if you fit as a fiddle!

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