If you want to understand British movies, TV shows and songs, or if you want to make friends with British people, you need to know these words that we use everyday!

13 British English Slang Words YOU NEED TO KNOW

Dodgy

This means that something or someone a little suspicious or questionable.

For example:

  • Look at that bloke at the bar. He looks a bit dodgy, doesn’t he?

Knackered

“Knackered” is used when someone is extremely tired. Can also mean something is old or damaged and can’t be used any more.

For example:

  • “I’ve been up studying English all night so I’m absolutely knackered”

Can’t be arsed

This is a less polite version of saying that you can’t be bothered doing something. You might also see this abbreviated to “CBA” in textspeak.

You can say things like:

  • “I can’t be arsed to go out tonight. It’s been a long week at work and I’m absolutely knackered”

Proper

Most people think that it means correct or real but in the UK, “proper” is used as an alternative to “very” or “extremely.”

For example:

  • “That pub is proper expensive! It’s £5.80 for a pint!”

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Cock up

This means that something is a mistake or failure. Can be used as a noun or a phrasal verb.

Like:

  • “I completely cocked up that presentation at work last week.”

Cheers

It has three main meanings. Making a toast before drinks in the pub. Saying thank you and saying goodbye.

Like:

  • “Cheers for helping me move house last week”

Gutted

To be really disappointed about something.

Like:

  • “I’m gutted we couldn’t get tickets for the new blink-182 tour.”

Buzzing

to be tipsy or slightly drunk. It’s also British slang for being excited or very happy.

Like:

  • “I’m buzzing about this party next weekend! I can’t wait!”

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Skint

Being broke or having no money. Lacking “fivers” and “tenners”  (see below)

Like:

  • “I’ve just had to repair my car and now I am proper skint until I get paid next week”

Quid

This is British slang for British pounds. A five pound note is called a fiver and a ten pound note is called a tenner. Small coins are called shrapnel.

Like:

  • “Mate, I’ve only got a fiver. Have you got any shrapnel for the vending machine?”

INNIT

It’s the shortened and easier version of “isn’t it?” It’s seen as a general filler in a conversation or when seeking confirmation.

Like:

  • “It’s proper warm, innit?”

Taking the piss

To “take the piss” means to mock, or generally be sarcastic towards something. Can also be used to accuse someone of lying.

Like:

  • “My friends took the piss out of me so much last week when I lost my wallet.”

Bollocks

Something we say (or usually shout) when something goes wrong. Like a more sweary version of “oh dear”

Like:

  • BOLLOCKS! I forgot to buy milk on the way home!”

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