100 Famous British Sayings And Slangs Words In The UK

Are you aware that roughly 7,50,000 international students enrol 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 slangs sound fantastic 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…?” Here’s a list of more such British slangs that you will most likely come across when in the UK.

Top 100 British Slangs Every Student Loves

British slangs

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. 

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

Cheers – The rest of the world uses this word while toasting drinks but in the UK, ‘cheers’ is one of the most commonly used British slangs used to say thank you.

Mug – A fool. Another word, Daft. Hence, it is cosidered as the british slang insults.

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 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 list 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, and chips word is for French Fries.

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 it 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 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 slang. 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 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.

Bare – A popular slang in London meaning ‘very’ or ‘lots of’.

Jiffy – This implies a very short period of time or within short notice.

Barmy – Something strange or crazy.

Skint – Being skint is to be penniless or without money.

Wagwan or Wagwarn – One of those British slangs inspired from Jamaica and used on London’s streets – it is a shortened version of “what’s going on” – used commonly as a greeting between friends.

Punter – A customer, buyer, or speculator is also called a punter in the UK.

Knees-Up – An informal British slang that is used for talking about ‘A lively party that usually involves dancing’.

Gaffer – Refers to someone who’s in charge of something like a boss, supervisor, or manager.

Fam – This word was primarily used in London but is now getting popular across the world. ‘Fam’ is short for ‘Family’ and is also used for friends.

Chippy – The British love their ‘Fish N Chips’ so much so that they refer to chip shops & stores as ‘A Local Chippy’.

Bruv – Short for brother, fellow, or buddy – Bruv is a common UK slang and is usually used between male friends.

Moolah – The British are very fond of using slang terms for ‘money’ and moolah is yet another slang used for money! Going to the UK will definitely enable you to earn loads of ‘Moolah’.

Pig’s Ear – Making a pig’s ear is to mess up something or do something clumsily. 

Wasteman – A very popular street slang in the UK used on someone who is behaving in a stupid manner and comes off as someone who’s wasting their time.

Ting – Slang for ‘Thing’ – used in the UK mostly by people from a Jamaican or Caribbean background.

Mint – Mostly used in Manchester, mint is an informal and rather colloquial style of saying ‘great, fantastic or brilliant’.

Bloke – Used both in Australia and in the UK, bloke is an informal term for a ‘man’ just like ‘dude’ in American slang.

Full of beans: When someone is full of beans, it means they’re filled with energy and are very enthusiastic.

Gander – To glance or look around.

Haggle – You usually haggle over prices or costs. It basically means to argue or negotiate about something specifically pertaining to prices.

Pinch – When you’re in the UK, and you hear someone using the term ‘Pinch’, you’ll need to be careful because there are high chances that they’re referring to ‘stealing’. To pinch is an informal way of saying ‘to steal something’.

Welly – “Hang in there mate! Give it some welly”. You’re probably going to be hearing this phrase very often. It is used to denote effort, time or commitment.

Nosh –  Food! A nice dinner might be described as a good nosh-up.

Codswallop – A load of rubbish, anything that is absolute nonsense.

Flog – A British slang to sell something

Leg It – To flee, generally from trouble. When you leg it, you run really fast, often to get away from someone or something.

Zonked – This term is used when someone is sleeping and is extremely exhausted, or is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

Parky – Used to indicate chilly weather. Not extremely cold, just a little nippy.

Gallivanting – Strutting or prancing around with a nearly endless supply of confidence.

Cheesed Off – Disappointed or irritated. The majority of the British population is cheesed off with the weather today.

Kip – A brief power nap, often known as a snooze in English.

Fag – An informal word for a cigarette. “She’s gone out for a quick fag”.

Chock-a-block – A fairly crowded area. This might be used to indicate a busy road, street, or shop.

Daft – A little stupid. It’s not really offensive, just fairly silly. 

Faff – Faffing around is a uniquely British pastime. It means to take time unnecessarily on something that should be simple. Nothing beats a good faff for a Brit.

Shirty – Someone who is becoming irritable may be regarded as turning shirty.

Ta – Probably one of the shortest slang terms you’ll come across; Ta is short for thanks.

Brill – As seen, brill is short for brilliant or exceptionally cool.

Wicked – Wicked, a generic intensifier frequently followed by “pissah,” is a surefire sign that you’re speaking to a New Englander. When used as Brit slang, wicked means something really cool or superb.

Off Your Trolley – Exhibiting highly unusual behaviour or engaging in excessively stupid activities.

Bagsy – To “bagsy” something is to claim control of it or to call first dibs.

Dishy – Extremely attractive or pretty: A pair of dishy fashion models.

Blimey – One of the most popular British slangs – Blimey is an exclamation or expression of surprise.

Blinkered – Narrow-minded. A blinkered individual is unable or unwilling to comprehend the beliefs of others.

Wonky – Wonky is a synonym for wobbly or unstable. It can be used to refer to either a person or an item.

Peanuts – This term is very commonly used for something very small or cheap or on any trivial person or thing

Doddle – If your assigned task was a doddle, it means that it was something that was easy to finish or fix.

Toff – High-class. Working-class people use this term to refer to the upper class.

Honking – To vomit, throw up or puke. He honked up all over the floor.

Toodle pip – An old English phrase that implies goodbye. Toodles!

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. Please write to us at contact@uniacco.com to know more about our submission process. Let’s see if you fit as a fiddle!


Q1. What is the meaning of YGM?

Ans: The most common definition for YGM “You’ve Got Mail” which is commonly used on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Q2. What is a popular British saying?

Ans: “Keep calm and keep on,” a common British expression, is often used to urge courage and composure in difficult situations.

Q3. What are some British slangs?

Ans: Some British slangs include “bloke” (man), “cheeky” (playfully impudent), and “gutted” (disappointed).

Q4. What is UK Slang words?

Ans: UK slang words are informal phrases that are common in the United Kingdom but are not considered standard English.

Q5. What is British slang greetings?

Ans: “Alright?” (How are you?) “hiya” (hello), or “cheers” (thanks) are examples of British slang greetings.

Q6. How do British say hi?

Ans: British people typically say “hi” or “hello” as a casual greeting.

Q7. How do British say thank you?

Ans: The British way of saying “thank you” is usually “thanks” or “cheers.”

Thank you for reading this blog on the top 100 British Slangs Every Student Must Know Before Heading To The UK. If you’d like to read more, check out our other blogs of interest:

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100 Famous British Sayings And Slangs Words In The UK

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