Common British Slang You Should Get Used To In University If You’re Studying In The UK

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.

Last updated Jul 18, 2020

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 slang words 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 university 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 – It 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 British slang is synonymous with lazy or a procrastinator. Some other British slang used in a similar way are kip (sleep) and faffing (waste time).

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

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 “It’s monkeys outside” and “Brass Monkeys“.

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

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?

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